Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Chattanooga as an e-car platform

Last week, I suggested Car2Go car sharing as a way to drive the development of an e-car charging system across a city ("Electric vehicles and city charging infrastructures: could car sharing be a way to drive changes more quickly?"). 

Note that I didn't use Brooklyn and Queens as an example, even though Car2Go is operative there today.  When asked about this by I colleague, I wrote:
My reservation is that it's not best to try to do something innovative but difficult in a place where it is already extraordinarily difficult to do anything. In other words, try to pick a place to start off with where you can be wildly successful and where opposition is likely to be muted.

E.g., DC tried to do streetcar in Anacostia but the area has pretty contentious if not noxious thinking about politics, "the neighborhood," transit, and public resources. So that area has zero streetcar and DC shifted to H Street NE. It delayed launch, but East of the River, by at 6 years. I was at a WMATA conference in Nov. 2006, where a DDOT person confidently said they'd be starting streetcar service in Anacostia the next year.

I should have said this about NYC:

After figuring this out in places where the constraints are fewer, like DC and Seattle, then take on a space with extraordinarily difficult infrastructure challenges like NYC, specifically Brooklyn and Queens where Car2Go operates.

OTOH, you could counter with Autolib, which was launched in Paris, which is just as tough a place to do it.

The difference though between NYC today and Paris then at the launch of Autolib is the support of the top elected officials, and the overall greater commitment in Europe towards dealing with the environment and climate change.

Autolib was an initiative of the then mayor. And today the Paris mayor is just as committed to the environment and clean air. Did you see that Paris will be giving incentive payments towards the purchase of bikes, cargo bikes, and e-bikes to people who agree to give up their cars, as part of clean air initiatives. That's an indicator of the difference between Paris and today's NYC.

These days, the current mayor of NYC doesn't seem to be particularly engaged when it comes to sustainable mobility generally, and he's not a rah rah kind of person on stuff that isn't social justice related.
Anyway, like the BlueIndy program in Indianapolis and the GreenSpot program in Jersey City, it seems as if Chattanooga is developing a similar program, according to GovTech ("Chattanooga pushes multimodal to solve its transportation problems").

But I don't think it's an example that is quantumly different at a system scale because it's pretty small when it comes down to it, but a bit more marginally interesting because the transit agency is adding a solar farm to power it--even though it seems somewhat duplicative as the region is known for cheap hydroelectric.  From the article:
The Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is constructing an 80-kilowatt solar farm, the installation of 64 electric-vehicle charging ports spread across 22 sites and a car-sharing program powered by battery-electric Nissan LEAFs. ...  
“With interest from an electric-vehicle car-share operator, CARTA entered into a funding agreement with TVA in February 2014 to provide for a minimum of 40 charging ports and a 20-vehicle car-share program ...

The car-share portion of the project is operated by Green Commuter, a membership-based car-sharing platform based in Los Angeles. Members rent the car for the time they need it, while the company pays for electricity to recharge the vehicles, as well as maintenance, parking and insurance costs. Rates are $7 an hour or $45 a day.
20 cars isn't that big a deal, almost not big enough to even acknowledge, although it is significant from the standpoint of smaller cities, as Chattanooga has about 180,000 residents.

The BlueIndy program has 230 vehicles. Granted, Indianapolis has five times the population of Chattanooga, but still, a program with 230 electrically powered vehicles is of a size that's significantly noticeable.

In DC, Car2Go has a 600 car fleet, albeit none are electric.

Multimodal vs. the concept of the sustainable mobility platform
.  The other thing that I don't think is as useful is to think about this in terms of "multimodalness." Yes, different modes are multiple.  But the issue is to integrate the sustainable modes into a system. 

Some refer to this as "transportation as a service" or "mobility as a service," although they aren't necessarily focused on all the services being "sustainable."

I prefer to call this the sustainable mobility platform ("Dolly micro-move app as an element of the Sustainable Mobility Platform" and "Free access to cargo bikes/e-cargo bikes as part of a mobility hub/sustainable mobility platform"), extending the concept from a diagram from an old national bicycle plan for Germany.

Bicycle Traffic as a system, diagram, German National Bicycle Plan, 2002-2012
Bicycle Traffic as a system, diagram, German National Bicycle Plan, 2002-2012

Sustainable Mobility Platform Elements

I continue to work out where to place the various rungs on the ladder.  It's easier if you split it out according to trip distance.  These are the elements:

-- Walking
-- Scooters/Skateboards
-- Cycling
---- secure bike parking, air pumps, repair stands
---- access to trailers
---- tandems
---- cargo bikes
---- e-bikes
---- special populations ("Two men leading an effort to provide bikes to homeless," WLOX-TV)
-- Bicycle sharing
---- community system
---- building/campus (e.g., hotel, office building, university, office complex)
---- special populations ("New bike share program gives One80 Place's homeless a way around the city," WCIV-TV)
-- Segways/electric wheels
-- Delivery services (e.g., Dolly; UPS, FedEx, etc.) and package pickup points
-- Transit
---- various bus, streetcar, light rail, heavy rail, railroad services
---- network scale (regional, metropolitan, city; primary, secondary, tertiary)
---- intra-district(Baltimore Circulator, Circulators, San Diego FRED Shuttle); tertiary network (Tempe Orbit)
---- shuttle services (school, employer, residential)
---- microtransit either private (Bridg, Chariot, Israeli sheruts) or public (AC Transit FLEX pilot project, "The newest battleground between public transit and Uber, Lyft is an unlikely one," San Jose Mercury News)
---- van pools (longer distance) (vride)
---- shared taxi type services at edges of the transit system (taxi collectif in Montreal) or intra-district (Via, UberPool, Lyft Line) either publicly subsidized ("Mass transit gets boost from ridesharing," USA Today; "Uber and Lyft Want to Replace Public Buses," Bloomberg) or not
-- Taxis/Ride hailing
---- single trips (equivalent of "single occupant vehicle trips")
-- Car sharing
---- one-way (car2go)
---- two-way (Zipcar, Enterprise)
---- inclusion of a variety of vehicles in fleets to accommodate multiple uses (Zipcar)
---- electric car sharing systems
-- Scooters
---- scooter sharing (Scoot in SF)
-- Car pooling
-- Car rental

Somehow too the system support elements need to be woven into the framework, such as the charging stations, IT services, intelligent transportation systems, apps, etc.

Another way too to think about this is that the enabling infrastructure of a city's mobility system: streets and sidewalks; is the operating system for mobility but also placemaking and quality of life.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home