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» Cars are parked 95% of the time

"Most people in transportation focus on the five percent of the time that cars are moving. But the average car is parked 95 percent of the time. I think there’s a lot to learn from that 95 percent." Donald Shoup when asked why he studies parking.

So what?

First, I have confirmed that Shoup’s estimate of 95% does seem widely applicable. Across the world cars seem to be parked at least 92% of the time and typically about 96% of the time, according to the 1995 data mentioned above. I doubt more up to date or accurate data sets would change this number much. 

But why should we care?

One reason to talk about this is to highlight the importance of parking. It is what cars do the vast majority of the time.

It highlights a crucial inefficiency of mass private car ownership. It points towards huge parking space savings (an enormous land bank) that shifts away from mass car ownership might open up, if only we could massively improve the alternatives including making car-sharing and other ‘metered access to shared cars’ (MASC) more of a mass market phenomenon.

read more: reinventingparking, 22.02.13.

we need more carshare and rideshare. (in addition to changes in parking policy, transportation policy, etc..)

» Carmageddon: Bicyclists declare victory in race with JetBlue flight

The six bicyclists racing a JetBlue flight from Burbank to Long Beach Saturday proved the power of the pedals, beating the flight by a long shot. The cyclists, members of the urban bicyclist organization Wolfpack Hustle, made the trip in 1 hour and 34 minutes, using the path along the Los Angeles River for most of the trek.

The cyclists and a blogger aboard the JetBlue flight left at 10:50 a.m. from the same intersection in North Hollywood — with the blogger having to drive to the airport, arriving an hour before the 12:20 p.m. flight, then catching a ride to the aquarium in Long Beach, the finish line. The plane had just taken off when the cyclists arrived.

The cyclists had boldly predicted victory earlier Saturday morning. Joe Anthony, 33, who took the JetBlue flight, said the race was meant to show “how feasible cycling is in L.A.,” And, he said, “maybe how ridiculous it is to fly 40 miles.”

LAtimes, 16.07.11.
pre-race article: 16.07.11. via treehugger, 17.07.11

Reading the headline, I expected the race to start when the plane took off. Was disappointed that they gave the blogger guy / the cyclists an hour before takeoff. It does make sense, though, because that’s required “travel time” as well. But flight time: 45mins. Cycling time: 1h34. Which is not bad.. 

Except also: “The cyclists are members of Wolfpack Hustle, a bicycling club whose members ride 50 to 70 miles every Monday, leaving from Tang’s Donut in Silver Lake.” 

38.4 miles is almost as long as the route I cycled with San Diego Critical Mass in late May. It took double the amount of time these cyclists took in LA (even excluding the “circle” stops and Gaslamp traffic, probably). 

Obviously not a ride for casual cyclists. xP

But hurray for positive media coverage of cycling in LA?

holy sh—!Harbor Island is 90% automobile parking!
and then you’ve got the boat parking, of course.
I think the whole island is reclaimed land?
well at least there’s that nice separated bike path along the shore. (that doesn’t really go anywhere due to the physical shape of the island; for recreational use only, unless you own a boat or work at the Hilton or something.) 
» UCSD Electric Car Initiative Survey

quick 4 question survey.

It’ll take less than 3 seconds. Not kidding.

Something for my friend’s project for the Transportation Planning class.

Please reblog if you’re a UCSD student, and keep at least the UCSD tag.

» German plans for zero-emission car to win over petrolheads | World news | The Guardian

ontologicalterrorist:

Germany’s world-class cadre of car designers are searching for the holy grail — a zero-emission car that wins over the world’s petrolheads. “There are so many concepts,” said one Audi executive. “We’re not sure what the customer is willing to pay for.”

At the moment, even with oil prices soaring, the cost of a battery pack adds €10-15,000 to the cost of an electric vehicle, and even then it has a limited range.

“We’ve not yet gone far enough to break through with this technology,” said Audi. “People only change to new technology if they have all the benefits of the old plus something extra at the same cost. We assume that one day all cars technology will be electric: maybe not in 2020 or 2030, but by 2050.”

Not surprisingly, carmakers are focusing on hybrid vehicles, which combine a conventional combustion engine with an electric powertrain. The best-selling hybrid is the Toyota Prius. Pure electric cars have a battery that lasts only as long as the equivalent of 6-7 litres of petrol, which means recharging every hour or so.

Progress is being made in reducing the weight of the car through carbon fibre, but the key to winning the hearts of motorists is coming up with a battery that lasts for the equivalent time of a tank of petrol.

While Renault-Nissan has led the way with its €27,000 Leaf, already on the market, with the cheaper Zoe to follow soon, BMW is the only manufacturer that has decided to design an electric car from scratch, building it around new electric components rather than converting existing conventional cars.

Tobias Hahn of BMW explains that while a traditional car has a big engine and a small tank, an electric car is the reverse, with small electric components and a giant battery. This calls for a new architecture, BMW argues. It will launch its i3 model — a pure electric car — in 2013, followed by the i8, a hybrid.

“It’s a wholesale change in the approach to vehicle architecture,” said Tim Urquhart, senior auto analyst at IHS Global Insight in London.

Berlin’s Free University, meanwhile, has pioneered a “self-driving” car. It uses cameras, laser scanners, heat sensors and satellite navigation to sense other cars, pedestrians and physical obstacles. Professor Raul Rojas reckons the truly automatic car is the vehicle of the future. “The cars of today,” he said, “are the horses of yesterday.”

If the Germans can’t perform an engineering miracle then no one can.

Deutsche elektrische autos!

(via envirolutionary)


‘What makes an intelligent city?’
Few to no cars for personal daily use. 

good.is.
» "sacred bull in society's china shop"

There’s something I’ve been wondering about. I’ve noticed that the majority of traffic ‘safety’ campaigns seem to focus on everything except the bull in the china shop — the automobile. It’s a global tendency, stemming from the seemingly irreversible prescence of cars and trucks. I find it odd that so few campaigns actually place the focus firmly on the problem: the large, heavy, dangerous machines that rumble about our streets and the people who seem to have difficultly controlling them. …

There are changes to laws, like in Denmark and the Netherlands that place the blame firmly on the automobile in accidents, unless it can be proven otherwise. The idea is simply that the person in the most dangerous vehicle has the most responsibility.

–mikael, copenhagenize. 14.10.09.



possible ads for more truth.

Cars need these warning signs on toxicity, just like tobacco. 
(see related post on the need for campaigns about the dangers of automobiles, with more possible ads.) 

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