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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Gotham Cycle Chic, Circa 1896

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Posted on Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 at 1:27 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
3 Comments. Click here to leave a comment.

Fewer Sidewalks, More Pedestrians

As I’m sure most of you know, Google’s NGram Book Viewer provides an invaluable window, via written texts of the last century or so, onto what the culture was collectively thinking. Not surprisingly, there’s much to be gleaned here from an urban or transportation point of view.

Exhibit A is the first word: Pedestrian.

You see that this word, never that popular, essentially held flat, prior to the automobile, when it began to rise. There was a drop-off after World War II, perhaps in response to postwar suburbanization — people were doing less walking. But then it continues to grow year after year, to the present — even as Americans were walking less every year. This is curious on the one hand, but predictable on the other. As people did more driving, and less walking, the notion of what was once a rather common, everyday activity — walking — became a more specialized “mode of transportation,” something to be considered as The Other, something even, dare I say, a bit strange.

For a sense of what was going on as pedestrian became a more common word, let’s turn to Exhibit B: Jaywalking.

Even as fewer people were walking, there was an increased prevalence of the term jaywalking. This reflects the idea, as noted in Peter Norton’s book Fighting Traffic, which I’ve discussed here often, that people on foot — now “pedestrians” — bore a greater responsibility for their own safety (where the burden had once been on drivers); not to mention that they were considered an obstruction to the smooth flow of vehicular traffic and thus worthy of demonization.

Maybe people were jaywalking more because as, Exhibit C hints at, there were fewer sidewalks in America (that little uplift at the end, however, is an encouraging sign).

And, just for fun, Exhibit D shows another form of built space that was on the rise: Driveways. These are found even in places that don’t have sidewalks.

I’ve been posting other results via Twitter, but would be curious to see your “UrbaNgrams.”

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Posted on Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 at 11:22 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
1 Comment. Click here to leave a comment.

Traffic Advisory

A number of readers (one is always heartened to discover they exist!) have written in to ask about the ongoing state of this blog, which has admittedly declined in frequency as of late. I am still here, I assure you, but there are several things at work here: 1.) I’ve shifted most of the micro-announcement, interesting-links sort material to Twitter (follow here); my column at Slate.com, meanwhile, covers some of the longer-form material that may otherwise have been treated here. 2.) I’ve had a large number of magazine and other journalistic assignments, some having nothing at all to do with driving or transport, and in the economy of words, paying work must always trump non-paying (and trust me, if this blog was a paying gig there’d be no problem filling it seven days a week with material). And, 3.) I’ve been traveling a lot, for work and for pleasure.

I’ve just in fact returned from Lisbon to find a new paper from Michael Sivak in my inbox (“Toward Understanding the Recent Large Reductions in U.S. Road Fatalities,” in Traffic Injury Prevention), the third of a trilogy of works examining the recent drop in U.S. traffic fatalities; this paper uses the most updated data available, from 2008. As he notes:

From 1994 to 2005, U.S. road fatalities increased by 7 percent, from 40,716 to 43,510. However, from 2005 to 2009, they dropped by 22 percent, to 33,963 in 2009 (see Figure 1). A reduction of such magnitude over such a short time has not occurred since road safety statistics were first kept (starting in 1913), except for the reductions during World War II (National Safety Council 2009).

He essentially finds the decline is greater than might be expected were we simply to factor in the state of the economy over the past few years, and the chart below summarizes where injuries have gone up and where they have gone down in a number of significant categories. There’s other intriguing details — like the decline in repeat DWI crashes, or the downtick in station-wagon crashes — but I’ll leave those for you to sift through.

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Posted on Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 at 2:35 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
4 Comments. Click here to leave a comment.

Traffic Safety Film of the Week

Dusting off an old feature here, we look at NYC’s new campaign to remind drivers of one the city’s biggest secrets: It’s 30 mph citywide limit.

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Posted on Friday, October 22nd, 2010 at 1:59 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Figure 8 Roundabout in Buffalo

A colleague sends the above photo of a “double roundabout,” in Buffalo, NY (or it’s suburbs). While your first thought might be, wow, how confusing, consider the Google Map image below that shows the original intersection — too big, actually two intersections masquerading as one (one can imagine cars getting “trapped” in that little extra segment, and box-blocking problems). Undoubtedly there was a crash problem, hence the double roundabout. Which are used in the U.K. (and taken to its logical extension in the “Magic Roundabout”, of course, but are, as far as I know, relatively novel here. Anyone live near here by chance and care to weigh in?

(thanks Nate)

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Posted on Thursday, September 9th, 2010 at 7:47 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
14 Comments. Click here to leave a comment.

Desire Path Crosswalk

An interesting prototype design via the PFSK Conference for an “ergonomic” crosswalk that takes into account pedestrians’ natural inclinations to want to shorten the distance it takes them to cross the street (as someone once told me, ‘pedestrians are natural Pythagoreans’). I can foresee a problem with cars, who already stray into the crosswalk, having a bit of a problem lining up. And while I like the red/yellow LED light concept in theory, does it just lessen our tendency to look at the actual environment for safety cues?

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Posted on Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 at 12:04 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Road Links

I’ve been traveling a lot the last week (currently doing the “milk run” to Australia), hence the lack of updates here, but here’s a few of the myriad things that have come across the transom (apart from those I’ve posted on Twitter):

A reminder of my own piece on Slate about London Transport posters.

London bike hire scheme data visualizations.

A “safer” way to text and drive (as a thought exercise try replacing the word “texting” with drinking as you listen to this).

Endlessly hypnotic: Bicycle rush hour in Copenhagen.

Excellent bike-related stencil art from Adelaide-based Peter Drews.

Adam Greenfield ponders the complexity of bus networks. (“You know I believe that cities are connection machines, networks of potential subject to Metcalfe’s law. What this means in the abstract is that the total value of an urban network rises as the square of the number of nodes connected to it. What this means in human terms is that a situation in which people are too intimidated to ride the bus (or walk down the street, or leave the apartment) is a sorrow compounded. Again: everything they could offer the network that is the city is lost. And everything we take for granted about the possibilities and promise of great urban places is foreclosed to them.)

New standards dictate 3.5 FPS average pedestrian walking speeds.

Forget trashing hotel rooms — today’s indie rockers spend their time twittering about parking tickets!

Recalls media friendly but distort true road safety picture, via the WSJ.

The Chinese used car market.

How about an “ignition interlock” for habitual speeders in Australia?

The always good Carl Bialik on “traffic math.” (and I liked this bit: Nicholas Taylor, a research fellow at the consulting company Transport Research Laboratory in Wokingham, England, says that adding road capacity can be effective if it isn’t perceived as adding capacity. Opening a highway’s shoulder to traffic during peak hours appears to work, Mr. Taylor says, because it is “not seen as a whole new provision of the road. There’s a psychological element to it.”)

Driver distracted by sex toy.

Driver who thought (fatally) he was piloting the Star Trek enterprise ruled “insane.”

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Posted on Sunday, August 29th, 2010 at 3:58 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
1 Comment. Click here to leave a comment.

The Permanent Jam

A number of people have written in, or tweeted (and don’t forget to find me in the tweetosphere), to tell me about a traffic jam in China, currently in its ninth day, that seems to be on the verge of evolving, as per Cortazar’s story “The Southern Thruway” (an inspiration for Godard’s Weekend), into some kind of makeshift settlement.

This has struck an enterprising verve in some locals, notes the BBC:

The drivers have complained that locals are over-charging them for food and drink while they are stuck.

Then again, what is the “market price” for selling food and drink to 100 km traffic jams?

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Posted on Monday, August 23rd, 2010 at 12:51 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Dude, Where’s Your Car?

I’m currently holed up on Cape Cod, doing little more than eating fried clam rolls and reading Philip Hoare’s thunderously good book The Whale, hence the silence around these parts (save for a quick appearance on WBUR to talk about my Boston Globe piece, “Trooper Down”).

But just a quick note to say my latest Slate column is up; it’s on how people without cars, or who don’t drive, are depicted in Hollywood films, and many of the ideas came from your good submissions to my earlier blog post. So thanks, and I’ll be back next week.

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Posted on Friday, July 30th, 2010 at 11:48 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Crosswalks on Van Brunt

Getting local for a moment, very local, as I’m right off Van Brunt at the moment, this article — about a lack of crosswalks on Van Brunt Street — is a bit odd.

The only crosswalks that span the increasingly busy Van Brunt Street are at Sullivan, Wolcott and Bowne streets. That leaves about a half-mile stretch with no absolutely crosswalks, that familiar cross-hatching pattern that alerts drivers of that pedestrians are likely to be present.

In other parts of the country, drivers may actually stop at marked crosswalks — as the law actually requires — but in NYC, marked crosswalks (sans stop sign or traffic light) are quite rare; probably because no driver actually stops at them, which is my experience on Van Brunt. They certainly don’t seem to influence driver behavior, based on the ridiculous approach speeds of outer-borough drivers headed to Fairway.

I’m not a fan of putting in traffic signals for the sake of it, but that seems to me the only chance of bringing some order — and chances for non-harried pedestrian crossing — to Van Brunt, which by rough calculation must be one of the longest — and most populated — streets in NYC, with hardly any traffic signals.

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Posted on Friday, July 16th, 2010 at 10:08 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
3 Comments. Click here to leave a comment.

Negative Energy and Road Crashes

Photo by Marco La Rosa/Flickr

Admittedly, when I think about pyramids and road safety, I tend to think of Heinrich’s triangle, or the so-called ‘incident pyramid.”

That phrase is taking on a whole new meaning in Nagpur, India, however.

Traffic officers in Nagpur, 870km west of Mumbai, have agreed to allow small pyramids to be placed at 10 accident-prone sites in the city to see if their claimed positive energy can reduce crashes.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Sahebrao Patil said the road safety initiative came about after a meeting with an expert in Vastu, an ancient Hindu system of construction which is similar to Chinese Feng Shui.

“He told me that he had placed a number of pyramids on roads outside the city and the results were excellent.The number of accidents reduced. He wanted to do it in the city, so I said, ‘OK, no problem’,” Mr Patil said.

“He’s going to be installing them in 10 spots. They won’t be on the road directly but at the corner of chowks (squares) or near traffic signals so they won’t obstruct traffic.”

While I personally have no belief in negative energy, reincarnation, the Rapture, etc. etc., I am interested in the possible “placebo” effects the pyramids may instill in those believing drivers who drive by — similar to what Freakonomics dubbed the “Hindu traffic nudge”; religious shrines erected at crash hotspots near Simla (a version of the crash memorials erected the world over). And, after all, things could hardly get worse on Indian roads — so what’s the harm in a little positive energy?

(thanks Alan)

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Posted on Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 at 1:06 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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German Efficiency

Enjoying this poster, apparently via the city of Munich’s transportation department, of how much street space it takes to move the same amount of people via car, bus, and bicycle.

(via Copehagenize)

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Posted on Monday, June 28th, 2010 at 1:48 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Cloud Commuting, Redux

Via Ian Sacs, here’s a program that speaks to the heart of the networked, “cloud commuting” city I talked about earlier, vis a vis Adam Greenfield (and it turns out “cloud commuting” has already been theorized by frequent Traffic appearer David Levinson): Hoboken’s Corner Cars:

The program, called Hoboken Corner Cars, seeks to sprinkle car-sharing vehicles on-street throughout the entire city – complete with exclusive, reserved parking spaces – so that these vehicles are much more accessible and convenient than any personally owned car. Existing car-sharing statistics in Hoboken justify this special treatment; for every one of these vehicles placed in the community, over 17 households will choose to give up their cars, taking cars off the street and culling the glut of “recreational” ownership for residents who commute daily via transit. An additional 20 or more households say they postpone or stop considering buying a car because car-sharing vehicles are available. The cherry on the sundae is a potential savings per household of $3,000 to $5,000 over vehicle ownership.

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Posted on Friday, June 18th, 2010 at 10:48 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Transmobility: The City as a Networked Resource

Photo by Stanza/Flickr

Over at Gerry Gaffney’s User Experience podcast, there’s an interesting conversation with Adam Greenfield (among other things, a user experience designer at Nokia) that takes a brief turn towards transportation:

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about something that I’ve been calling transmobility. And I go into this to some degree in the new book, “The city is here for you to use”, the notion that once you take a vehicle, or any other object, and you make of it a networked resource, it’s no longer an object anymore, it becomes something with the nature of a service, it becomes something that you can schedule, something that you can share, something that has a presence on the network and is capable of locating itself, and you can book it or swap it or any of the other operations that you can perform on a networked piece of data you can now perform on that physical vehicle.

It turns out to change the nature of urban mobility entirely, at least potentially. It opens onto something that I think of as transmobility, where again you’re really taking the network seriously, and you’re understanding what it can do to vehicular mobility. And I think a really, really crucial and important aspect of that is shared bicycle systems.

The bicycle is an incredibly supple and finely-grained way of using urban space. To be kind of wonky about it I don’t think that there is any finer tool in the psychogeographer’s toolkit than the bicycle. It allows you to traverse comparatively large stretches of ground in short order, and yet you still have something of the pedestrian’s ability to make instantaneous decisions about: I’m going to stop here, I’m going to turn down this corner. And yet as opposed to walking it lowers the opportunity cost of having made a bad decision.

So if you turn down a street and you find out that it’s really not that interesting, you really haven’t made that great [an] investment in time whereas on foot, obviously, if you make a wrong turn and you walk to the end of a block, there’s a significant investment of time involved in doing that.

The bicycle is just… It is hard for me to imagine a technology that has less downside and more upsides than the bicycle. It’s just an incredible thing, and the degree to which we could turn bicycles into network resources and ensure that everybody in the city can use them, and allow them to sort of insufflate the street network and the street grid, it’s tremendous.

So yes, absolutely one of the things Urbanscale is interested in doing is the next generation of network shared bicycle systems.

Lovely word, that: Insufflate. But I was intrigued by Greenfield’s concepts (and thought they’d be suitable for the Nimble Cities project), which, I should say, are somewhat in spirit with the “mobility internet” as envisioned by Bill Mitchell and the other authors of Reinventing the Automobile (and please turn here or here for remembrances of Mitchell, by two friends of his, and mine; I didn’t know Mitchell but had engaged with his work on various occasions).

And I wonder if there’s some useful metaphor here vis a vis cloud computing; instead of just having one’s application (e.g. music library) running native on one’s own device (limited in memory, etc.), one can gain access to a shared music library as one needs, where one needs, through the cloud, for an arguably richer experience in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

I hereby trademark the phrase: “Cloud commuting.”

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Posted on Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 at 10:00 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
7 Comments. Click here to leave a comment.

Slate’s ‘Nimble Cities’ Hive Mind Project

Dear readers, I’m currently overseeing, for the next month, Slate’s second ‘Hive Mind’ project. The first was about how to live a more efficient life, personally, in energy terms; this one’s about how to make transportation in and among cities more efficient (not to mention safer, more pleasant, etc.) in the 21st century.

Here’s a taste to get you started, but I urge you to submit your own ideas (and I know readers here have ‘em), and vote upon those you think most worthwhile.

You probably have a friend like Campbell Scott. Or, rather, the character Campbell Scott played in the 1992 film Singles. You remember: the idealistic transportation planner flummoxed by all the congestion generated by single people (caution: metaphor ahead!) driving alone. “If you had a supertrain,” he tells a friend, “you give people a reason to get out of their cars. Coffee, great music … they will park and ride. I know they will.” (To which his friend replies: “But I still love my car, though.”) This is the sort of person who waxes lyrical about things like modal splits and commutersheds; gets a wistful, thousand-yard stare as he reminisces about the 1970s personal-rapid-transit demonstration project in West Virginia (and can finger the culprits in its demise); and conspicuously vacations in places with active streetcar networks.

Or maybe you are Campbell Scott. Maybe you’re the one–sitting in a Mumbai traffic jam, waiting on a tube platform in London’s Elephant and Castle station, lost between connections at Tokyo’s Narita or cycling over the Willamette River–who, in a moment of pique or boredom or inspiration, suddenly envisions a better way of managing the commute. Perhaps it’s a sweeping, inefficiency-killing overhaul or maybe a minor design tweak that just makes the experience ineffably better: the “flash of genius” that does for traffic what the intermittent wiper did for windshields. And then you want to tell the world, or at least the taxi driver or pub companion who’s stuck listening to you, all about it.

Here is your chance. Welcome to “Nimble Cities,” the second in Slate’s Hive series, a project designed to harvest the world’s collective wisdom to solve the world’s most pressing problems. We are asking you, essentially, to become transportation hackers (and we’re talking not simply cars but the whole of urban and interurban movement). We are looking for your best ideas. They may be your own wild brainstorms, or they may be examples, whether grand or mundane, of things you’ve experienced in your own city or while traveling. But we want your best proposals for solving an increasingly relevant problem: how to move the most people around and between cities in the most efficient, safe, and perhaps even pleasurable manner. And then we want you to vote on which of those submissions you think are best.

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Posted on Monday, June 14th, 2010 at 8:23 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
2 Comments. Click here to leave a comment.

China, India, and the Road Death-GDP Correlation

The New York Times notes:

India overtook China to top the world in road fatalities in 2006 and has continued to pull steadily ahead, despite a heavily agrarian population, fewer people than China and far fewer cars than many Western countries.

It goes on to cite a few reasons:

A lethal brew of poor road planning, inadequate law enforcement, a surge in trucks and cars, and a flood of untrained drivers have made India the world’s road death capital. As the country’s fast-growing economy and huge population raise its importance on the world stage, the rising toll is a reminder that the government still struggles to keep its more than a billion people safe.

In China, by contrast, which has undergone an auto boom of its own, official figures for road deaths have been falling for much of the past decade, to 73,500 in 2008, as new highways segregate cars from pedestrians, tractors and other slow-moving traffic, and the government cracks down on drunken driving and other violations.

As R.J. Smeed first noted, having fewer cars is by no means an indicator that one will have fewer traffic fatalities (and an important distinction in the developing world is that traffic fatality categories are topped by pedestrian deaths). But one thing that goes unmentioned in the piece is research, cited in Traffic, by Elizabeth Kopits and Maureen Cropper, that links a nation’s rate of traffic fatalities to its GDP. When GDP climbed from $1200 to $4400 in the countries studied, the fatality rate dropped by a factor of three.

According to the CIA Factbook, the 2009 estimated GDP of China was $6600, while in India it was $3100. Just by this measure alone, the discrepancy between the two countries could be predicted, if not fully explained (for there would be many other factors at play here, like culture, governmental structure, etc.). It’s not hard to imagine why higher GDP would lead to fewer deaths (in this regard it’s not properly correct to call traffic deaths, as is often done, a “disease of affluence”); as development levels increase, there’s not only more money for engineering, enforcement, etc., but also a reduced likelihood of corruption (roads are built to standards, police less willing to take bribes), accompanied by a greater societal emphasis in safety in all kinds of areas of life. But the real question is how India can close the huge fatality gap with China even if it can’t immediately narrow the GDP gap.

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Posted on Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 at 7:52 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
3 Comments. Click here to leave a comment.

Superclogger

We’ve all been amused by (or at least subjected to) the impromptu road theater of children turning around in the back seat of the car ahead to wave at us (or worse). Although, come to think of it, we probably see that less these days given the heightened awareness toward back-seat passenger restraints — not only do you not want your precious cargo hurtling forward, you don’t want them hurtling forward into you (same goes for dogs, etc.). Trust me, you don’t want to learn about the biomechanics of in-cabin projectiles.

But Phil Patton alerts me to a new form of high-concept road theater about to take place in that nexus of art and traffic, Los Angeles: Superclogger.

Conceived with Providence-based artist and bike mechanic Peter Fuller and developed out of Kyack’s interest in chaos, performance, and the relationship between individual will and collective control, Superclogger will present various puppet shows to drivers caught in afternoon traffic jams from a mobile theater housed in the back of a nondescript white pickup truck. Broadcasting soundtracks discretely to the viewer’s car stereo, Superclogger aims to briefly halt the progression of chaos by temporarily drawing the audience out of the commute experience and placing them within an intimate space of engagement and performance that highlights their own individual presence within the broader structure of the traffic jam.

I think that phrase, “the relationship between individual will and collective control,” well sums up the driving experience these days. This could be the most exciting thing to happen in a white truck on L.A. freeways since, well, you know…

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Posted on Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 at 7:43 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Texting While (Not) Driving

This Ad Age report cites a substantial decline in young drivers (and driving), and chalks it up largely to the “digital revolution.” Perhaps, but conspicuously underplayed is graduated drivers licensing programs, which have made driving (solo, at any time) at age 16 or 17 a thing of the past in many states (with good reason).

(Flash of the headlights to Clive Thompson)

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Posted on Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 at 12:47 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
5 Comments. Click here to leave a comment.

The Sorrows and Travails of India’s Autorickshaw Drivers

Photo by Tom Vanderbilt

Over at The City Fix, I picked up some facts about urban autorickshaw drivers in India, via a study by Leslie Phillips and her team at the University of Texas:

It is more than 50% likely that a driver has a family of up to 8 people to support, and in order to do so, a driver works an average of 10-12 hours per day. Recent statistics from Delhi suggest that nearly 80% of auto rickshaw drivers rent their vehicles, and pay out roughly half of their daily revenue in rental fees.

They are socially distanced from the government and the manufacturers of their product:

While they are an integral part of transportation in almost every major Indian city, the auto rickshaw drivers are perceived as a nuisance to the system. The findings of our study corroborated this point: auto rickshaw drivers are a struggling population caught in a system where they are treated with utter disregard by the government and are often resented by their own customers. Most of the recent auto rickshaw reforms have been reactionary, as regulatory authorities and traffic police attempt to crack down on poor behavior (traffic violations, emissions) as opposed to implementing systemic reforms. Meanwhile, manufacturers generally do not perceive rickshaw drivers as their end client, but rather focus on the passenger when designing and positioning their vehicles. This has created a crucial disconnect in the auto rickshaw industry, where the very people who ultimately drive the success of the industry (the drivers) are left out of the process.

These pressures result in some unsavory practices (though this no doubt made for fascinating fieldwork):

While the interviews with randomly selected auto rickshaw drivers went relatively smoothly, the MBA group’s experience in India with the auto rickshaw drivers (what could be considered the “tourists’ perspective”) was the complete opposite. The majority of students who rode in auto rickshaws in Delhi and Bangalore were not given the option to use the fare meter but rather had to negotiate the fare from one destination to the next. Despite the agreed upon destination, drivers often took us to a different tourist location (commonly a souvenir shop) while still demanding to be paid. Many of our classmates speculated that there must be a kick-back for drivers who delivered tourists to these locations. Indeed, two auto rickshaw drivers who we interviewed revealed the details of the tourist payment scheme: If they succeed in bringing a group of tourists to a local shop, the driver will receive a two-liter gas coupon from either the owner of the shop or the “rickshaw boss.” A two-liter coupon is enough to keep a rickshaw tank full for at least a day and thus provides a strong incentive to break the agreed-upon route – and trust – with the tourist customer.

There’s hope yet for the drivers, with organizations like NyayaBhoomi, a cooperative that is “intended to create a brand image for auto-rickshaws by providing radio (call) auto-rickshaw service, improving driver behavior through training, instituting a formal fare collection system through GPS devices installed in vehicles, and creating an organized sector with employment benefits (i.e. insurance and pension policies, uniforms, regular vehicle maintenance) for drivers from revenues obtained through advertising.”

This advertising revenue would come from advertisements on the autorickshaws themselves, which already tend to be fairly well adorned, as the painted mudflaps below indicate (though, sadly, this is a somewhat fading art form, replaced by sticker-based art, or none at all).

Photo by Meanest Indian/Flickr

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Posted on Thursday, May 27th, 2010 at 8:16 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Approaching Zero

After my post on the 14 mph speed limit sign in Orlando, reader Phil was moved to send in this photo, taken from a parking lot in Austin, Tx.

How low can we go? Anyone got a 2 mph? A one?

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Posted on Thursday, May 20th, 2010 at 8:23 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Traffic Tom Vanderbilt

How We Drive is the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt’s New York Times bestselling book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), published by Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S. and Canada, Penguin in the U.K, and in languages other than English by a number of other fine publishers worldwide.

Please send tips, news, research papers, links, photos (bad road signs, outrageous bumper stickers, spectacularly awful acts of driving or parking or anything traffic-related), or ideas for my Slate.com Transport column to me at: info@howwedrive.com.

For publicity inquiries, please contact Kate Runde at Vintage: krunde@randomhouse.com.

For editorial inquiries, please contact Zoe Pagnamenta at The Zoe Pagnamenta Agency: zoe@zpagency.com.

For speaking engagement inquiries, please contact
Kim Thornton at the Random House Speakers Bureau: rhspeakers@randomhouse.com.

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Drive-on-the-left types can order the book from Amazon.co.uk.

For UK publicity enquiries please contact Rosie Glaisher at Penguin.

Upcoming Talks

April 9, 2008.
California Office of Traffic Safety Summit
San Francisco, CA.

May 19, 2009
University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies
Bloomington, MN

June 23, 2009
Driving Assessment 2009
Big Sky, Montana

June 26, 2009
PRI World Congress
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

June 27, 2009
Day of Architecture
Utrecht, The Netherlands

July 13, 2009
Association of Transportation Safety Information Professionals (ATSIP)
Phoenix, AZ.

August 12-14
Texas Department of Transportation “Save a Life Summit”
San Antonio, Texas

September 2, 2009
Governors Highway Safety Association Annual Meeting
Savannah, Georgia

September 11, 2009
Oregon Transportation Summit
Portland, Oregon

October 8
Honda R&D Americas
Raymond, Ohio

October 10-11
INFORMS Roundtable
San Diego, CA

October 21, 2009
California State University-San Bernardino, Leonard Transportation Center
San Bernardino, CA

November 5
Southern New England Planning Association Planning Conference
Uncasville, Connecticut

January 6
Texas Transportation Forum
Austin, TX

January 19
Yale University
(with Donald Shoup; details to come)

Monday, February 22
Yale University School of Architecture
Eero Saarinen Lecture

Friday, March 19
University of Delaware
Delaware Center for Transportation

April 5-7
University of Utah
Salt Lake City
McMurrin Lectureship

April 19
International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (Organization Management Workshop)
Austin, Texas

Monday, April 26
Edmonton Traffic Safety Conference
Edmonton, Canada

Monday, June 7
Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals
Niagara Falls, Ontario

Wednesday, July 6
Fondo de Prevención Vial
Bogotá, Colombia

Tuesday, August 31
Royal Automobile Club
Perth, Australia

Wednesday, September 1
Australasian Road Safety Conference
Canberra, Australia

Wednesday, September 22

Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s
Traffic Incident Management Enhancement Program
Statewide Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI

Wednesday, October 20
Rutgers University
Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation
Piscataway, NJ

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre
Injury Prevention Forum
Toronto

Monday, May 2
Idaho Public Driver Education Conference
Boise, Idaho

Tuesday, June 2, 2011
California Association of Cities
Costa Mesa, California

Sunday, August 21, 2011
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Attitudes: Iniciativa Social de Audi
Madrid, Spain

April 16, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Gardens Theatre, QUT
Brisbane, Australia

April 17, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Centennial Plaza, Sydney
Sydney, Australia

April 19, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Melbourne Town Hall
Melbourne, Australia

January 30, 2013
University of Minnesota City Engineers Association Meeting
Minneapolis, MN

January 31, 2013
Metropolis and Mobile Life
School of Architecture, University of Toronto

February 22, 2013
ISL Engineering
Edmonton, Canada

March 1, 2013
Australian Road Summit
Melbourne, Australia

May 8, 2013
New York State Association of
Transportation Engineers
Rochester, NY

August 18, 2013
BoingBoing.com “Ingenuity” Conference
San Francisco, CA

September 26, 2013
TransComm 2013
(Meeting of American Association
of State Highway and Transportation
Officials’ Subcommittee on Transportation
Communications.
Grand Rapids MI

 

 

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