Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Many of the stratagies were interesting and usefull, here are my 10 favorite:
1) Changing the way we discuss transportation. This includes changing talking about public transportation as "alternate" and calling cars "alternate" transportation. This also includes shifting the focus away from better cars to public transportion. Even if this seems like a small "pc" form of change, it will at least spur conversation to the way we look at transportation.

2) Rail systems with designated areas on streets, street level. The idea of incorperating transportaion into daily lives to create and enhance vibrance in the city is a good idea. Looking at cities such as New York, the public transportation becomes part of the experience of the city. While there still is the fast paced movement of the city, it looses (in a good way) the transportation as a means of only getting from point a to point b (the way it is viewed in many cities like Philadelphia).

3) The addition of chip cards while having many problems can be very usefull. The idea is similar to the idea of easy pass, a car paying system, but if moved to public transportation could make it easier and more desierable to use, instead of needing to count loose change every time one uses public transportation. Additionally having one card which works for all modes of public transportation would cause a simpler transition to public transportation.

4) Car share is an interesting idea because it is one of the methods discussed which foccuses on people's social behavior and attitude as opposed solely to fixing environmental problems. While The idea that people use cars more often when they have access to one is an obvious point often overlooked.

5) Incentives to hire locally and work locally could be possitive (or negative in that they could create even more segregated communities in some areas than already exist). On the other side they are likely to give jobs to many and possibly create mixed neighborhoods if planned right (but this would require a lot of planning and work to prevent gentrification in some neighborhoods). In areas such as west Philly/ University city there is currently a large seperation in population, hiring locally could place more of those with lower income into penn staff jobs. This could also cause professors to become more of a part of the community.

6) Creating car free zones would allow people to see how possitive carless areas are. In Philadelphia there are known and loved areas created with walkable areas, center city has a network of small parks such as love park and rittenhouse square. These are prime areas for people to sit and walk through. The problem is that one reaches and end and gets to the highway. These walkable areas could be extended (there is currently a path that does go back towards the other areas) but walking is still restricted across the river. Decreasing the highway here and implementing more walking areas with mixed uses could help the city with some of its sprawl problem

7) Creating car free housing and replacing it with different functions (such as farmers markets) could be useful. For many the issue of having a car can be that there is not the type of markets they need around their house, or they need to carry their purchases such as groceries, this would not be as large of an issue if the markets were closer.

8) raising the price of roads could help cause a fast change to public transportation, as it is more of a forced shift. While people do not want to use public transportation (it's really bad in Philly) this could cause more people to utilize it, making it safer and run better due to demand. It tends to be an endless cycle in Philadelphia, people don't use it because service is bad, so they cut service. Philadelphia public transportation needs to think of ways to become more used.

9) Above ground transport. Philadelphia has a confusing bus system which often takes much longer to get anywhere than it should (an hour for what would be a 15 minute drive) creating more direct roots which are more visible could increase usage. This could also help to destroy the raised train (market-Frankfurt line) which doesn't let light through therefore killing the neighborhood underneath.

10) Attempting to encourage biking by creating biking areas could also stimulate usage. Many people do bike in Philadelphia, but feel unsafe due to having to bike between parked and moving cars. Creating specific areas for biking (and locked facilities, most people I know in Philadelphia who bike have had their's stolen) would help.