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Innula Zenovka

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Brenda Archer

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The parallels with the collapse of Rome are remarkable. People pretended they were part of a normal Roman society long after it was really true.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Why banning cars from city centres isn't enough:


Makes it clear, among other things, how London, at least, is seeing many problems because of a combination of separate measures and initiatives that are, on their own, admirable but, because they're not coordinated, have counterproductive results.

“London has achieved the impossible by eradicating the private car – and still having desperate traffic congestion,” says Prof Tony Travers, the director of LSE London, a research centre at the London School of Economics that explores the city’s economic and social concerns. “People keep saying we need to get the cars off the road. In central London, there aren’t any.”

[....]
Among most analysts, there is consensus on two underlying reasons: more vans and more Ubers. But in case we should feel righteously smug, Travers adds a list of contributors to the gridlock: “Cycle lanes, in some places, are bad. Ubiquitous four-way pedestrian crossing. Wider pavements. Any one of those makes perfect sense individually. But the buses are completely screwed.”

The bus easily outstrips the tube and rail as the main mode of transport for Londoners – even more so among disabled people, those with mobility problems and the poorest residents. Frozen prices, plus the introduction in 2016 of the hopper fare, which allows unlimited journeys within one hour for the cost of one trip, have made buses even cheaper under the current mayor, Sadiq Khan. However, the network has shrunk and patronage has declined in the past four years.
Quoting David Brown, the chief executive of a major bus operator, they say

In a previous job at TfL, he tried to curb the numbers of delivery vehicles coming into London before the Olympics, when fears of gridlock were at their height. “I was looking at Amazon, then I realised there were a hundred and one people delivering to my own building every second. Just trying to get 11 floors and 2,500 people working for TfL to change their behaviour was hard enough.”

Some of these deliveries were personal items; others were the result of various departments ordering their own photocopying paper, which arrived at different floors at different times. TfL had some success consolidating these trips, “but it was really hard yards, down in the detail”. Meanwhile, Brown says, “Regent Street had 36 different operators doing recycling. Each person was doing the right thing, but add them all up together …”
 

Innula Zenovka

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