Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Smart Urban Remake

About ten years ago, Trans.21 offered a 21st century vision that it is still valid today. 

       The world needs cities made up of people-friendly districts unthreatened by speeding traffic and not choked by parked cars.
 In these compact, walkable districts, neighbors know each other and nurture small public landscaped places. 
Parents are free of constant fears that their children might be injured -- or worse -- by traffic.

Integration of PRT into urban life has not yet happened.
- courtesy of Bob Woods/Chuck Harris
In this 21st century re-embrace of town life with modern mobility, the air is clean. The atmosphere is free of the roar of highway traffic and the screeching and horn-blowing on your typical city street.

Talk Like a Mobility Czar

The policy menu of the mobility czar of cities today is growing and engaging. He or she is conversant in many modal niches. Most are aware of PRT or can quickly grasp both the benefits and the costs.

Uber, Lyft, Google and many others are forcing new debates and policy questions. The czar also talks and cares about parking issues, pedestrian safety, senior citizen shuttles and ride-sharing programs.

How symbolic is it that Washington DC has ditched its old Taxi Commission in favor a 21st century Department of For-Hire Vehicles? These vehicles are getting smarter, many driverless, many with the comfy feel of a pod. Where does PRT fit in that world?

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