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Old December 11th, 2008, 06:24 AM   #61
particlez
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^okay.. would you acknowledge that the difference in car ownership rates between the best served german cities like hanover and stuttgart, and something like bremen result in differing levels of transport patronage? you know their rates of automobile ownership are closely correlated with their respective PT effectiveness. and amongst wealthy cities (i.e. those with populations wealthy enough to afford the car) which have comprehensive transport systems, the degree of automobile penetration affects urban planning and the built environment?

p.s. even if the average number of PT trips/day comes close to matching the entire population, the stats become less convincing if many commuters are patronizing park and rides. like the north american cities, many of the 'issues' with PT in europe exist in the newer, lower density burbs, where car ownership becomes more of a necessity.

i did not intentionally wade into this dumbass argument. but then you guys had to get on leo_sh's residency after he/she initially made a cogent point about transportation. PT is invariably impacted by automobile penetration. THAT'S IT. i have no idea how anyone could argue against that.

Last edited by particlez; December 11th, 2008 at 06:32 AM.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 06:36 AM   #62
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^okay.. would you agree that the difference in car ownership rates between the best served germany cities like hanover and stuttgart, and something like bremen? you know their rates of automobile ownership are closely correlated with their respective PT effectiveness. and amongst wealthy cities (i.e. those with populations wealthy enough to afford the car) which have comprehensive transport systems, the degree of automobile penetration affects urban planning and the built environment?

i did not intentionally wade into this dumbass argument. but then you guys had to get on leo_sh's residency after he/she initially made a cogent point about transportation. PT is invariably impacted by automobile penetration. THAT'S IT. i have no idea how anyone could argue against that.
You're not comparing like with like though. Both Stuttgart and Hannover possess incredibly effective Stadtbahn systems with extensive underground portions (thus allowing them to avoid traffic jams). These systems are largely segregated from regular traffic when running at street level too, thus increasing their appeal further! Bremen on the other hand has street running trams on the whole and thus has a lower grade of transportation. Coupled with this are the size differences between the cities. Stuttgart (2.4 million in the VVS catchment) in particular is so much more massive than Bremen and Hannover. Of course I'd expect far greater penetration of PT use in Hannover and Stuttgart, but that is the point I'm making entirely! Cologne possess an extensive and effective Stadtbahn network which is well utilised on the whole.

By the way, I've never attacked Leo's ethnicity at all. The only time I even mentioned China was with regards to his statements about PT penetration and provision in larger cities relative to smaller cities and the quality and provision of that service!
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Old December 11th, 2008, 06:50 AM   #63
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^dude, i was comparing hannover and stuttgart, with bremen, whose PT is lacking and has higher car ownership rates. worse yet, the suburban areas for all of these cities have higher car ownership rates than their respective cores. in fact, the increase in car ownership rates is a pressing concern for all urban planners. do i need to provide footnotes?

automobile ownership rates impact PT negatively. i'm assuming you've studied urban planning at some level. it's hard to see how you can continually ignore this very important point.

let's introduce yet another city to this circuitous argument. singapore possesses a very comprehensive PT system, and has very high incomes. yet car ownership in singapore is limited. its citizens can easily afford the expenses of the car, yet the government strictly limits car ownership. one of the reasons for this policy is to prevent a modal shift towards private transport.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 07:48 AM   #64
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^dude, i was comparing hannover and stuttgart, with bremen, whose PT is lacking and has higher car ownership rates. worse yet, the suburban areas for all of these cities have higher car ownership rates than their respective cores. in fact, the increase in car ownership rates is a pressing concern for all urban planners. do i need to provide footnotes?

automobile ownership rates impact PT negatively. i'm assuming you've studied urban planning at some level. it's hard to see how you can continually ignore this very important point.

let's introduce yet another city to this circuitous argument. singapore possesses a very comprehensive PT system, and has very high incomes. yet car ownership in singapore is limited. its citizens can easily afford the expenses of the car, yet the government strictly limits car ownership. one of the reasons for this policy is to prevent a modal shift towards private transport.
I've never studied urban planning at all, I'm a cancer biologist who just happens to have an interest in planning and transport in particular.

I would begin by questioning your premise. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Is high automobile ownership due to the LACK of PT rather than high automobile ownership preventing the investment in PT? It's a difficult one and one that people always seem to be divided on. The very fact that once you provide high quality, frequent PT to an area you see people utilise the service shows that the argument might be weighted more in favour of the automobile ownership only being high due to the lack of high quality PT to the area - and in western nations this is the case due to the difficulty in securing funding for vast infrastructure projects of any kind be it road, rail or even power supply as can be seen at the moment in Germany!

I know you were comparing Stuttgart with Bremen, however, read what I said. Stuttgart has 2.4 million people living within the PT umbrella relative to Bremen's much smaller population. If we analyse the relative number of people of each city taking PT we can see that numbers are actually quite similar between the two PT organisations (133.33 per head of population in Stuttgart compared to 113.57 in Bremen if we are to disregard all mitigating factors in these statistics of which there are many). This is why it is difficult to compare the two as Stuttgart's PT organisation covers a load of small villages around Stuttgart and the city is very fragmented across a valley rather than being confined to just the city itself.

I agree that Singapore in many ways provides a model of good urban planning and infrastructure provision, however, it also restricts personal liberty due to punitive laws. I for one would not want to live in an environment where choice is diminished.

Of course I'm willing to acknowledge that the whole of the western world (and even Japan) have problems with automobile dependence at some level or another and I have done so in my posts as that is not what I'm arguing about. I've never said in any of my posts that the automobile doesn't impact negatively on PT use, more that it's the number of vehicle km accrued by each individual person that counts more. I cited the example of the UK which has a much lower car ownership rate than Germany, yet a higher number of vehicle km per head of population hinting that people must use their cars more often in the UK despite owning less!

I still stand by what I say about the Cologne system, since this is what this topic is actually about if you read the title; that it is comprehensive, frequent and of a high standard for the population of the city it serves. Intercity travel is also comprehensive and frequent. If anyone can show me other examples of cities (beyond one single city state IE Singapore) where transit is better organised, better provisioned and of a higher quality in a wealthy country in a similar sized city I would like to see it.

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Old December 11th, 2008, 08:02 AM   #65
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your ignorance of urban planning theory shows. it's not intended to be mean-spirited. but you need to have a clearer grasp of the subject before you make these assertions.

it's NOT a chicken or egg thing. cities evolve, populations and settlement patterns change, and the transportation system is never set in stone. right now, throughout most (but not all) of the middle-income and above regions (the areas with auto penetration), rates of auto use are rising. cologne is not an exception. it's not to demean cologne, which admirably does possess a comprehensive PT system. but a disproportionate amount of newer construction is more suited to car-based transport. thus, you see rising rates of auto usage. THAT'S IT!!!!

yeah, i mentioned singapore's limits on automobile ownership, and you immediately respond with a red herring about some other aspect of its supposed freedom or lack thereof. are you going to play the libertarian hand and cite car ownership as a hallmark of modern society?
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Old December 11th, 2008, 09:09 AM   #66
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your ignorance of urban planning theory shows. it's not intended to be mean-spirited. but you need to have a clearer grasp of the subject before you make these assertions.

it's NOT a chicken or egg thing. cities evolve, populations and settlement patterns change, and the transportation system is never set in stone. right now, throughout most (but not all) of the middle-income and above regions (the areas with auto penetration), rates of auto use are rising. cologne is not an exception. it's not to demean cologne, which admirably does possess a comprehensive PT system. but a disproportionate amount of newer construction is more suited to car-based transport. thus, you see rising rates of auto usage. THAT'S IT!!!!

yeah, i mentioned singapore's limits on automobile ownership, and you immediately respond with a red herring about some other aspect of its supposed freedom or lack thereof. are you going to play the libertarian hand and cite car ownership as a hallmark of modern society?
Okay, so you're now resorting to ad hominem attacks to justify your viewpoints and claiming "inside knowledge" due to you having studied urban planning. This is one of the last refuges of someone in an argument as I have not seen any clear facts or proper theories to convince me that you are privy to a greater degree of knowledge than myself in my "amateur" reading on the subject.

Firstly, I would direct you to this review article by Morris which states that car-free development in many cities in Europe is on the increase and the popularity of such developments is high, thus refuting your claims that car-centric development is becoming more popular in Europe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morris (2005)
This is supported by marketing at the recently approved site at Nippes, Cologne. which has a waiting list of 2,000 applicants. Of the initial 5,000 respondents, 50% were car-owners who stated they would comply with the legal requirement not to own a car
(Herbertz, 2004).

Germany currently has ten purpose-built car-free residential areas, with another nine approved (Nobis, 2004).
Thus you see, there is now a greater drive (pardon the pun) towards less car-centric development and people are embracing the concept! Now with this I'm not saying that car-centric developments aren't occurring, of course not, however, I am saying that perhaps your assertions are wrong regarding the new development of European cities since there is now a growing awareness that car-centric developments are detrimental to the quality of life in a city.

Secondly, you claim that it isn't a chicken and egg situation, yet you provide no evidence to the contrary (other than boldly claiming that it isn't). If we are to take a case study from Hong Kong by Cullinane (2002) it shows that adequate public transport provision can deter the purchase and operation of a car in 65% of all respondents, ergo it shows that if PT is provided, people will use it. This doesn't quite add up with your statement of:

Quote:
Originally Posted by particlez
automobile ownership rates impact PT negatively.
What I meant by my statement about the chicken and egg is that high automobile use results from a lack of PT alternatives rather than preventing money being channelled into PT initiatives which is what your statement hints at. Again though, you'll find articles out there which do claim that in areas of high automobile use the investment in PT is unattractive which is why I said opinion is divided on the subject. You also refused to refute my information regarding the UK and car use relative to Germany despite having a lower car ownership rate. If you cannot do this, how can you call me the ignorant one when I have provided a case study to the contrary of your statement? This can be seen in the UK Commission for Integrated Transport which states that car ownership in Germany is 504 per 1000 compared with 399 in the UK, yet average vehicle km in the UK is 10,738 pkm/year compared with 9,025 pkm/year showing that Germans use their cars less despite owning more (information correct at the time of the study).

If you read articles by Peter Newman, the man who coined the expression car dependence, you can see that he has argued quite successfully for many years that car dependence is only a byproduct of inefficient and insufficient alternatives. Following his extensive lobbying in Perth, Australia a very car dependent city, public transport patronage has risen hugely from the construction of a high quality electrified rail network where there was previously an old diesel network. It reinforces the view of "build and they shalt come" which is taken by a number of academics and even urban planners in more progressive cities.

Also, don't assume that having studied something in University that people are unable to grasp what is quite a simple concept. If you wish to challenge any of my assertions, back up your statements with evidence, statistics from public transport bodies and peer reviewed articles on urban planning like I have resorted to doing. It makes for a more interesting debate than ad hominem comments about my supposed "ignorance" on the subject.

Last edited by Svartmetall; December 11th, 2008 at 01:38 PM.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 12:15 PM   #67
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^oh lord. i said your arguments betrayed an ignorance towards urban planning. no offense was intended, but obviously you've become fired up.

you're bolstering your arguments by dredging up reports about britain? you might as well bring up examples from the american sunbelt. yeah, cologne is miles ahead of anything similar in britain, or australia or any of the WASP nations. blame it on bad planning, or neoliberal capitalist cost-cutting, etc. but at any rate, britain doesn't set a very high bar.

it's getting late, and i have to get to work tomorrow. i'll add more if i have the time later on.

i'll keep it short, by summarizing my key point throughout this whole tawdry mess of hackneyed debates. when i said that automobile ownership impacts PT in a negative way, i simply stated an aphorism. and yes, the fact you still do not understand this aphorism is both amusing and annoying. automobiles aren't cheap. their upkeep isn't cheap. their fueling and maintenance isn't cheap. the costs of the supporting infrastructure are hugely expensive. thus you can see why an embrace of the car would necessitate a diversion of funds which would otherwise have gone into PT.

contrary to what you've stated, european PT networks have become less effective in the past generation (note statistics on mileage/person). the PT systems haven't been dismantled. instead, the percentage of car dependent development has risen. while median real income growth in industrialized nations have been slow, the rates of car ownership (and mileage) have been climbing. there are several reasons for this occurrence. first, while governments have generally been starved of taxation inflows, individuals have been (in many cases becoming indebted) purchasing new cars. second, developers have been exploiting the fatter profit margins of lower density greenfield developments, whether they're office parks, malls, or lower density housing built further out. places like cologne DO POSSESS PT networks which reach further out. but the lower densities, along with the increased car usage, render the PT system to be less effective than it was previously.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 12:21 PM   #68
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I AM an urban planner, and I actually think that svartmetall knows what he's talking about to a fairly significant extent.

As I've said in other threads the best way to measure auto-dependency is kms travelled per year per person versus public transport trips per year per person.... or something along those lines.

I think Japan is a good case showing that high car-owernship does not necessarily mean a high use of cars - especially in large cities such as Tokyo. I bought a 1995 Mitsubishi Lancer back in 2006 that had just been imported from Japan. It had a completely legitimate 17,000 km on its odometre! Furthermore, Auckland (where I live) does not have a significantly higher level of car ownership than cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Perth, Brisbane or Melbourne, yet has vastly fewer public transport trips per person per year (largely because it's a bollocks system that's been ignored for years).

Coming back to comparing China with Germany, or whatever got the debate started, clearly a country with a higher level of car ownership is likely to end up with a higher level of car usage... give or take a bit. In a place like China whilst you do have a few hundred million people who are fairly well off, there are still hundreds of millions more who aren't even close enough to being rich enough to own a car, so of course that would bring the averages down. My worry with China is that they'll model themselves too much on the USA and "invest" zillions in freeways and so forth, when it would obviously be smarter to build metros and high-speed rail lines. I know that China is doing both, but I have heard that road investment outweighs rail investment by a lot.

I disagree that auto-use is on the rise. In the USA 2008 mileage is WELL below 2007 levels. Even with significantly lower petrol prices it hasn't really bounced back. Furthermore, in a lot of North American cities and also in Europe throughout the past 10 years there has been a big shift towards concepts of "New Urbanism", "urban intensification" and "transit-oriented developments". All of these have contributed towards a rennaisance in 'inner-urban living' - and subsequently public transport use has generally trended upwards (particularly in the last year or two).

If all you're saying, particlez, is that as auto-ownership levels have risen in the past 20-30 years (which has happened pretty much everywhere) public transport has found it harder to find adequate funding, then I don't think that can really be argued with and it is a valid point. However, as I am sure you would know as someone who has studied planning, there are a huge number of issues that have sided against public transport over that time too - like sprawled single-use developments, masses of free parking that the city subsidises everywhere, hugely imbalanced investment in private transport over public transport and so forth.

Thankfully peak oil, when it does eventually get here, will fix everything.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 12:31 PM   #69
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^you MUST be kidding about auto use declining because of new urbanism? andres duany waxes poetic about NU's revolutionary impact. most everyone i work with points out the large numbers of watered down, greenfield NU developments and its marketing appeal.

auto use is declining because the artificially bolstered economic good times have come to an abrupt end, people have run out of money for many expenses. you could counter by pointing out examples of PT development, but how do they compare with the lower density auto-dependent development?

please tell me, which metropolitan areas in north america or europe or most anywhere else have seen decreases in per capita automobile mileage over the past 10 or 20 years?

i cringe whenever developing nations are brought up on these forums. it doesn't matter if it's china or brazil, or my favorite mexico (which is unfairly castigated as atavistic by my fellow 'mericans). roads serve a purpose when they're being built through rural areas and enabling the flow of goods. and anyway, this topic is beyond the scope of this thread.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 12:40 PM   #70
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there are a huge number of issues that have sided against public transport over that time too - like sprawled single-use developments, masses of free parking that the city subsidises everywhere, hugely imbalanced investment in private transport over public transport and so forth.
i've basically been alluding to these points in my arguments all along. because society has been going towards a more auto-oriented built form, and because cars have become more ubiquitous, cologne, (and fill in the blank city) has become more compromised.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 01:20 PM   #71
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^oh lord. i said your arguments betrayed an ignorance towards urban planning. no offense was intended, but obviously you've become fired up.

you're bolstering your arguments by dredging up reports about britain? you might as well bring up examples from the american sunbelt. yeah, cologne is miles ahead of anything similar in britain, or australia or any of the WASP nations. blame it on bad planning, or neoliberal capitalist cost-cutting, etc. but at any rate, britain doesn't set a very high bar.

it's getting late, and i have to get to work tomorrow. i'll add more if i have the time later on.

i'll keep it short, by summarizing my key point throughout this whole tawdry mess of hackneyed debates. when i said that automobile ownership impacts PT in a negative way, i simply stated an aphorism. and yes, the fact you still do not understand this aphorism is both amusing and annoying. automobiles aren't cheap. their upkeep isn't cheap. their fueling and maintenance isn't cheap. the costs of the supporting infrastructure are hugely expensive. thus you can see why an embrace of the car would necessitate a diversion of funds which would otherwise have gone into PT.

contrary to what you've stated, european PT networks have become less effective in the past generation (note statistics on mileage/person). the PT systems haven't been dismantled. instead, the percentage of car dependent development has risen. while median real income growth in industrialized nations have been slow, the rates of car ownership (and mileage) have been climbing. there are several reasons for this occurrence. first, while governments have generally been starved of taxation inflows, individuals have been (in many cases becoming indebted) purchasing new cars. second, developers have been exploiting the fatter profit margins of lower density greenfield developments, whether they're office parks, malls, or lower density housing built further out. places like cologne DO POSSESS PT networks which reach further out. but the lower densities, along with the increased car usage, render the PT system to be less effective than it was previously.
Right, you make a lot of assertions in this diatribe yet fail to back any of them up with relevant facts. You moan at me for "dredging up" a report regarding a western nation (Britain) yet you fail to provide any evidence to substantiate your viewpoints at all. You refuse to acknowledge actual analysis conducted of built form in Euro cities and trends in development done by an academic. You refuse to acknowledge the study conducted in Hong Kong about the driving principle behind the success or failure of PT which I cited.

It isn't that I don't understand your point about car ownership impacting upon PT, it's that I don't understand how you can say that it automatically impacts upon PT patronage given that patronage in European cities across the board is higher than it is in Britain despite lower car ownership in Britain! Ergo, despite your claims about the costs associated with car ownership it appears that the statistics associated with the relevant networks fly in the face of that. Funding for PT is still very high in most European cities and I suggest you take a look at the budgets for the relevant transport organisations in Germany (since we're talking about a German city). As I also said earlier, funding for any infrastructure works at all is difficult to secure no matter where it is required. Currently, Germany is struggling with a prospective energy shortfall once nuclear plants are decommissioned yet funding for alternatives isn't forthcoming. The road lobby too isn't getting the investment it says it sorely requires. It isn't a specific problem with PT per se, more with infrastructure provision in general.

The reason I use Britain as an example (despite being a bad one in your book) is that it is geographically close, the GDP per capita is similar and it is of a similar origin to many European cities. Whilst the societal and political differences are exaggerated now, there is greater similarity between these societies than between Germany and an Asian country for example.

Anyway, this discussion is getting rather tiresome as it's obvious that you think I'm not worth debating with, which is a bit of a shame. Since you claim to know so much more than me, teaching through demonstration of proof of principle to back up your statements would be far more beneficial than simply sitting there and throwing out arrogant statements without any evidence or proof behind them. Since we were making comment ad hominem, it's my chance to say that if you were a scientist I'd be laughing at you right about now as no scientist would ever make such claims without actually showing where the evidence is sourced from, I'm very much hoping you're not an academic merely someone with a planning degree. I also find it quite galling that an American can sit there and lecture the world on what they consider to be bad or good planning.

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Old December 11th, 2008, 05:32 PM   #72
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During the week the Stadtbahn runs at 10 minute frequencies off-peak and many routes are bundled. The S-bahn runs at 20 minute peak frequency and 20/30 minute off-peak frequency (but then it's a commuter rail system, what do you expect)? Many of these lines are also backed up by RB/RE/IC/ICE services with stops at key stations as the S-bahn system in Köln is a small part of the S-bahn Rhein-Ruhr.

If you were using the PT network, why not buy a day pass or week pass and save yourself the trouble of being caught out by a fare system? I personally think that the German fare systems due to completely integrated transit are some of the most simple out there. In Auckland I have to own 4 different passes for each bus operator and still pay separately for the trains. All of the trains and buses run their own zoning system for fares. Confused yet? Also, of course conductors will be rude to people who don't have tickets! They will simply think that you're trying to fare dodge and that is very much frowned upon. If you had stolen something from a shop, would you expect a good response from a shop keeper if you were caught?

Is there a particular reason you're trolling this thread (as you're not doing it for any other city) because it appears that you have a grudge against Cologne and its public transit? Despite what you claim about PT patronage, 252.1 million people use systems from the KVB every year giving an average ridership of 253.27 per head of population per year. This excludes the ridership on the S-bahn.
Why I keep "trolling" this thread?! Because I'm still a F***ING RESIDENT of Köln-Bonn region!!!! I still spend more than 6 months every year living here. I think I'm legimately entitled to fuss about my local public service that failed me!
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Old December 12th, 2008, 12:52 AM   #73
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I don't want do a "vs" thing here, especially between Germany and China. But somehow I still don't feel very good when some Americans say look, they are doing better than us, while pointing at Germans, Swedes, etc.. I just want to point out, whatever their rhetorics are, most Northern Europeans (in this case including Germans, Dutch) are as heavily reliant on private transport as North Americans.
Negative. Private transport use in Germany maybe very high, but it has less to do with reliance than choice. People can use public transport because the options are certainly there. Unlike some other places for instance in the U.S. where there isn't a public transport option so they really are reliant on their cars. People do chose cars because in most cases they are still faster than public transport and a great deal of people commute from the core cities metropolitan area, not just from the city proper itself.

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If you want to find more efficient PT systems, you can go to Southern Europe, such as Rome, Madrid, Athens. It is not because they have better planning or higher consciousness. It is just because they are less developed and they cannot afford two cars per family, not even one. Rome has only two metro lines and a very chaotic bus network, but it looks like a much more lively and useful system.
Again, Negative.
Italy, the country you just wrote is less developed and cannot afford two cards has in fact the most amount of cars in the world per capita.
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/tr...portation-cars
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Old December 12th, 2008, 01:01 AM   #74
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automobile ownership rates impact PT negatively. i'm assuming you've studied urban planning at some level. it's hard to see how you can continually ignore this very important point.
I personally can't agree with this statement. If this was the case, then the PT options on this list below, would be in reverse of the car ownership per head of population. But it's absolutely not:

#1 Italy: 539 per 1,000 people
#2 Germany: 508 per 1,000 people
#3 Austria: 495 per 1,000 people
#4 Switzerland 486 per 1,000 people
#5 Australia: 485 per 1,000 people
#6 New Zealand: 481 per 1,000 people
#7 United States: 478 per 1,000 people
#8 France: 469 per 1,000 people
#9 Canada: 459 per 1,000 people
#10 Belgium: 448 per 1,000 people
#11 Sweden: 437 per 1,000 people
#12 Norway: 407 per 1,000 people
#13 Finland: 403 per 1,000 people
#14 Japan: 395 per 1,000 people
#15 Netherlands: 383 per 1,000 people
#16 United Kingdom:373 per 1,000 people
#17 Denmark: 353 per 1,000 people
#18 Ireland: 272 per 1,000 people

Having a look at that list above, we can see that Germany, which has excellent public transport options also has some of the highest car ownership rates in the world. And Ireland which has a much lower car ownership rate does not in fact have any notable public transport networks.

New Zealand and Switzerland have almost the same car ownership rates (Switzerland slightly more) yet Switzerland is globally famous for it's trains and public transport working efficiently and NZ has possibly the worse public transport in the developed world.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 03:12 AM   #75
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Thank you for that data Justme. I certainly think that if you plotted that information against "public transport trips per person per year" I don't think there'd be an obvious alignment at all.

There is a MUCH MUCH greater alignment of public transport usage with other factors such as urban density, lack of public transport options and so forth.

I think this does come back to a chicken-and-egg argument. Does high auto-ownership lead to poor public transportl; or does poor public transport lead to high auto-ownership? I think the above data would probably indicate (especially if we had PT usage data to compare it to) there's no clear answer..... perhaps the answer is neither, perhaps it is both, perhaps it is one slightly more than the other, who knows?

Regarding the impact of New Urbanism and urban intensification on car usage, it's probably too early to say for sure. However I know that it is given as one of the reasons why car usage in the US has slowed in the last year or two (obviously along with bigger issues such as high oil prices and their recession.)
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Old December 12th, 2008, 03:30 AM   #76
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Why I keep "trolling" this thread?! Because I'm still a F***ING RESIDENT of Köln-Bonn region!!!! I still spend more than 6 months every year living here. I think I'm legimately entitled to fuss about my local public service that failed me!
Fair enough, but I honestly don't know what more you want from a transport network in a city of Cologne's size. If I had a network like that in my city I'd certainly not be complaining!
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Old December 12th, 2008, 03:40 AM   #77
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People complain about public transport everywhere svarty. They should come live in Auckland for a while....
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Old December 12th, 2008, 03:50 AM   #78
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it's the end of the day, and now it's my turn to speak my two cents.

when i stated that there was a negative correlation between automobile ownership and PT effectiveness; a comparison was made between the lower automobile ownership rates of great britain vis-a-vis germany, and britain's higher per capita mileages. i'll defend my premise in the next few paragraphs.

now, there are several other contributing factors. britain has made car ownership more onerous (e.g. higher automobile prices) while simultaneously neglecting its PT system. we can blame it on neoliberal economic policies, an earlier hollowing out of the industrial tax base, less emphasis on social democracy, etc. and/or we can cite inefficiencies in britain's PT investment. as a result, britons do not enjoy the public transportation advantages of germans. they are left with fewer options aside from the car.

however, given the SAME amount of money available for transit (as opposed to comparing comprehensive german investment to the relatively neglected british counterpart), money spent for the car and its accompanying infrastructure necessitates a very similar amount deducted from the PT system. some conservative economists may cite the multiplier effect from the car, but these arguments have been countered by citing the many nefarious, externalized costs of the car. the costs of transit add up, even for wealthy places. given a set amount of money available, the car and its infrastructure means building less for PT.

furthermore, as car ownership increases, people will inevitably begin to choose the car for its convenience, despite the existence of comprehensive PT. as i stated earlier, wealthy singapore chooses to limit car ownership because it does not want a weakening of PT's modal share. you could argue against singapore's politics, or argue that it can only occur in a city-state. but the point stands, car ownership will inevitably result in some erosion of PT effectiveness.

i've tried my hardest not to impugn cologne, as it's an example of a well-functioning city. but i find it strange how people can defend the car. it may be a symbol of wealth, but its effects on finances, the built urban form, etc. are roundly accepted as negative.

a discussion of NU could also be in order. it's an interesting concept, but its implementation has been mostly disappointing.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 03:58 AM   #79
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I don't think svartmetall or myself could be considered as "defending the car". We're probably Auckland's two biggest public transport advocates.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 04:00 AM   #80
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cologne has obvious advantages over auckland, or even most british cities. what i have been arguing all along is; cologne's PT system would be even more efficient if its residents did not embrace the car.
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