Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Geetam Tiwari

A sustainable transport system must meet the mobility and accessibility needs of people by providing safe and environmentally friendly modes of transportation. This is a complex and difficult task in the mega-cities of developing countries because the needs of people belonging to various income groups are not only different, but also often conflicting in nature. For example, if a large section of the population cannot afford to use motorized transport – private vehicles or public buses – they have to either walk to their place of work or use bicycles. Providing a safe infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians means either physically segregating road space for cyclists and pedestrians from motorized traffic, or, if that is not possible, reducing the speed of motorized traffic. Both measures imply restricting the mobility of car users to ensure the mobility of bicycle users. 
In this paper we show that pedestrians, cyclists and non-motorized rickshaws are the most critical elements in mixed traffic. If infrastructure design does not meet the requirements of these three all modes of transport operate in sub-optimal conditions. It is possible to redesign existing roads to provide a safe and convenient environment for non-motorized modes of transport. This also results in the improved efficiency of public transport vehicles and an enhanced capacity of the transport corridor when measured in number of passengers per hour per lane.

Kolkata tram, photo by seaview99

read more articles about sustainable transportation:

New Urbanists Who Admire Singapore’s Urban Planning

Only 1% of the safety-related construction funds is spent for bicycling and pedetrians in the U.S.

Reclaiming the Streets on World Car Free Day

The Great American Streetcar Myth

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