Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Op-Ed: Privatizing Street Parking

There are a lot of good reasons for cities to charge for public parking. It is more efficient and equitable. Urban parking facilities are a valuable resource, costing $10,000 to $50,000 to construct, with a typically annual value of $1,000 to $2,000 in land, construction and operating costs. Many vehicles are worth less than the parking spaces they occupy; underpricing parking forces people who own fewer than average vehicles to subsidize their neighbors who own more than average vehicles.

Currently in North America, most parking is provided free, financed through development costs and municipal governments, and therefore borne through mortgages, rents and taxes. Charging motorists directly of using urban parking facilities typically reduces automobile trips by about 20%; in other words, about 20% of parking facility costs, traffic congestion, accidents, energy consumption and pollution emissions results from the common practice of paying for parking indirectly rather than directly.

That said, it is probably best for municipal governments to maintain tight control over their parking pricing systems. Chicago recently leased its parking meters to a private company for 99 years, simply as a way for the city to collect a short-term windfall (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/transportation/chi-parking-meters-20-mar20,0,871852.story).

Privitization could be fine if designed to maximize user convenience and economic efficiency, but not if the goal is simply to maximize revenue. At a minimum, privitization should require state-of-the-art payment systems, gradual and predictable price changes, performance standards, and a much shorter lease period so future councils can change their policies.

For more information see:

"Parking Pricing" ( http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm26.htm )

Richard Arnott and John Rowse (2007), ‘Downtown parking in auto city’, Boston College Working Paper 665 (http://econpapers.repec.org); at http://econpapers.repec.org/paper/bocbocoec/665.htm.

Marcus Enoch and Stephen Ison (2006), “Levying Charges On Private Parking: Lessons From Existing Practice,” World Transport Policy & Practice, Vol. 12, No. 1 ( http://ecoplan.org/wtpp/general/vol-12-1.pdf), pp. 5-14.

Daniel B. Hess (2001), The Effects of Free Parking on Commuter Mode Choice: Evidence from Travel Diary Data, Lewis Center for Public Policy Studies, UCLA ( www.sppsr.ucla.edu/lewis/WorkingPapers.html).

Douglas Kolozsvari and Donald Shoup (2003), “Turning Small Change Into Big Changes,” ACCESS 23, University of California Transportation Center (www.uctc.net), Fall 2003, pp. 2-7.

Todd Litman (2006), Parking Management Best Practices, Planners Press (www.planning.org).

Todd Litman (2006), Parking Management: Strategies, Evaluation and Planning, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org/park_man.pdf ).

Todd Litman (2006), Parking Taxes: Evaluating Options and Impacts, VTPI ( www.vtpi.org/parking_tax.pdf).

Todd Litman (2006), Parking Management: Innovative Solutions To Vehicle Parking Problems, Planetzen ( www.planetizen.com/node/19149).

Gary Roth (2004), An Investigation Into Rational Pricing For Curbside Parking: What Will Be The Effects Of Higher Curbside Parking Prices In Manhattan? Masters Thesis, Columbia University; at http://anti-bob.com/parking/Rational_Pricing_for_Curbside_Parking-GRoth.pdf ).

Tom Rye and Stephen Ison (2005), “Overcoming Barriers to the Implementation of Car Parking Charges at UK Workplaces,” Transport Policy, Vol. 12, No. 1 ( www.elsevier.com/locate/transpol), Jan. 2005, pp. 57-64.

Donald Shoup (2002), Curb Parking: An Ideal Source of Public Revenue, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (www.lincolninst.edu), Presented at “Analysis of Land Markets and the Impact of Land Market Regulation,” (Code CP02A01).

Donald Shoup (2005), The High Cost of Free Parking, Planners Press (www.planning.org). This is a comprehensive and entertaining book of the causes, costs and problems created by free parking, and how to correct these distortions.

Donald Shoup (2006), The Price of Parking On Great Streets, Planetizen ( www.planetizen.com/node/19150).

USEPA (2006), Parking Spaces / Community Places: Finding the Balance Through Smart Growth Solutions, Development, Community, and Environment Division (DCED); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/parking.htm).

VTPI (2003), Parking Cost, Pricing And Revenue Calculator, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org/parking.xls).

Todd Litman
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
Victoria BC, Canada

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Letters: Signal priority for city buses

Dear Editor:

Here is a wonderful and useful document from TfL (Transport for London on "Bus pre-signals": a technique used to enable buses to move ahead of queues on the approach to signalised junctions and areas where there is insufficient carriageway width to provide physical measures. (TfL is the integrated body responsible for London’s transport system, under the authority of the city's mayor.)


Whether its prioritising buses on roads that narrow down in to a bottle neck or when one wants buses to pull out from a bus stop in the left lane straight in to the right lane as they need taking a right turn at next junction - An absolute must read.

I pray for the day when something as simple as this hits Indian cities like Mumbai and Pune - hope its sooner than later.

Adhiraj Joglekar
Eyes on the Street correspondent in Mumbai, India

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Carsharing on World Streets

World Streets actively supports carsharing as one of the key baseline new mobility modes that have to be brought in as part of the multi-level package needed to manage the transition to sustainable transport in all cities and communities around the world. Note the fact that we say all and not just certain kinds of cities. Stay tuned and you will see how this work.

The New Mobility Agenda created the World Carshare Consortium in 1997 as a free, cooperative, independent communications and collaboration forum in support of carsharing projects and programs, worldwide. World Carshare offers a convenient place on the web to gather and share information and independent views on projects and approaches, past, present and planned future, freely and easily available to all comers.

Through this date World Carshare has has brought together more than 450 members, hosted more than 3000 exchanges of questions and information, organized or participated in several dozen national or international workshops or conferences, generated a number of independent reports, provided policy counsel to both cities and carshare projects, helped draft legislation, and more generally served as a spur to carshare development internationally. (These contributions have been deeply appreciated by leaders in the field, as you can see from the testimonials that are summarized here.)

Here is what the map of visitors for 12 April 2009 looks like. Basically it provides a good resume of where carsharing is being practiced and studies today. We are going to see this map expand steadily in the years immediately ahead.


In a recent world survey (November 2008) we identified more than one thousand cities and communities in the world in which you can pick up a share car this morning. This number has come close to doubling over the last two years, and there is no sign of this rate of growth leveling off.

Why have we over all these years supported a concept that may to some appear to be so off-beat and marginal as carsharing? Simple! We think it's a great, sustainable, practical mobility idea whose time has come and whose potential impact is quite simply huge. Carsharing: the missing link in your city's sustainable transport system.

In Spring 2009 Streets will report on carshare development at the leading edge, and will be hosting a series of interviews with leading figures and projects in every country in which it is presently practiced. Stay tuned.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Honk! Polish cyclists can't drink and drive

- From our vigilant Eyes on the Street reporter Marek Utkin in Warsaw.
Under a law passed in 2000 in Poland, anyone riding a bike under the influence of alcohol faces a fine or up to two years in prison, depending on the level of their intoxication.

This law was engineered (for not to say doctored) before Poland's access to the EU: one of the requirements, imposed by the EU on its candidate members was to increase the detectability of the crimes. The cyclists became scapegoats...

This law, which places the cyclist after two beers on the same footing with a drunk driver of 20 ton truck or bus full of people, received a wholehearted welcome by police officers, especially in the countryside.

It turns out it is a way easier (and safer) to arrest a local farmer John, returning home by bike after closing of bar, than to stop a speeding car, which might be full of the thugs in track suits or -- even worse -- its driver could be a distinguished Member of Parliament (which is quite often phenomenon and means troubles for every policeman).

This law proceeded to the Constitutional Court, as absurd and draconian and which can drag whole families into poverty -- and currently two thousand Poles (mainly fathers of the families) are in prison for riding a bicycle whilst under the influence of alcohol. In spite of this, Poland's Constitutional Court has upheld a ruling that drunken cyclists should be tried as criminals, treated like drunken motorists and face prison if caught.

The average sentence for riding a bike after booze is 11.5 months imprisonment.

There was a proposal that intoxicated cyclists should be treated like drunken pedestrians, who face a fine rather than jail, as both use their own muscles to achieve motion. The Constitutional Court (lead by the chairwoman, a typical car-bound person), ruled that cyclists use public roads and are considerably more dangerous because of the speeds they can travel.

Drunken pedestrians use the public roads too and I would be careful not to exaggerate the speed of a drunken cyclist. Taking into account that the energy (hence the possible damage) equals mass time velocity [M x V], the mass of the cyclist plus bike rarely exceeds 100 kilograms while the speed decreases with the level of alcohol in blood.

The whole affair unveils the attitude of Polish authorities to the cycling in general. Both the cyclist, as the motorist in Poland could have 0,2 promille of alcohol in blood. In Germany the cyclist could have 1,6 promille of alcohol (and the car driver -- 0,5 promille).

In Poland in road accidents with alcohol in background, ca. 86% of them caused drunken car drivers and only in 14% of them have been involved drunken cyclists. In majority of the accidents with drunken drivers casualties or heavy injuries occurred. In accidents with the drunken cyclists the number of injuries and casualties was much more lower, and the victims have been often the cyclists alone.

In Polish prisons ca. 1931 people have been jailed after being caught in flagrante delicto for cycling after boozing (more wait in the custody). Cost of keeping all these sinful cyclists in prisons equals about EUR 10 to 12 million per year. For that much money Poland could build about 250 kilometers of cycle paths along the most busy national roads.

Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/europe/7994857.stm
- As to the photo we have been unable to ascertain if the cyclist pictured is drunk. Or for that matter Polish. Our investigations continue (See Comments below for results). The editor.

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Get to know your neighbors on World Streets

Over the last 24 hours more than 200 people have checked in to World Streets from the following countries to have a look:



Look at this against the present status of our world Eyes on the Streets map (started only on 5 April and just getting going.)



I kind of wonder what this is telling us.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Honk! Livable Streets Promised Land

This just in from our friends over at Livable Streets and Streetsblog in New York City.

We share this with you because we have long been convinced that one of the keys to the kinds of pattern breaks which are needed to make our cities more sustainable and people-friendly are precisely these skills of convincing visualization to show in very concrete terms what the changes are going to bring about. When this is well done, it helps to take the fear of uncertainty out – most of us after all are not necessarily welcoming of change. Particularly when the future being proposed to us is not all that familiar.

If you click here you will be taken to the front door of this entry, which will one click later take you to their “photosim” interactive graphic. You will also be invited to join their (free) Livable Streets Initiative (very handy and highly recommended) as well as invited to join their contest with a two-step before-and-after picture simulation of a project you would like to see in your own city. And if you do, make sure to share it with us here on World Streets. This kind of change management is of interest to us all.

Note: Strongly recommend you have a look at the comments which are coming in on their site. Some of them are very challenging and very sensible.

The Editor


From Livable Streets:

Here's a nice visual of what cities will look like when the livable streets movement has completely emerged from the wilderness (sorry for the extended metaphor, couldn't help it today). GOOD Magazine ran this photosim done by our very own Carly Clark in their transportation issue, with text by Streetsblog Editor-in-Chief Aaron Naparstek. They've got a whole interactive graphic that walks you through the elements of a livable street, and -- hats off to my coworkers -- it looks great.

GOOD is also putting on a photosim contest where readers can submit their own designs for a livable street. If you send something in, don't worry too hard about impressing the jury. Aaron will be the only judge.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bad News Dept: “Manual for Streets” ignored in Wales.

“Manual for Streets, published March 2007 by the UK Department for Transport, gives new advice for the design of residential streets in England and Wales. It represents a strong Government and Welsh Assembly commitment to the creation of sustainable and inclusive public spaces.”

“The Department’s policy-making process received an award recently, with Traffic Management Division winning a Royal Town Planning Institute prize for its Manual for Streets. The award recognizes that it is radically changing designers' and local authorities' approach to residential street design for the better. It emphasizes that streets should be places in which people want to live and spend time in, and are not just transport corridors. In particular, it aims to reduce the impact of vehicles on residential streets by asking practitioners to plan street design intelligently and proactively, and gives a high priority to the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and users of public transport.” – From the Dft project website (below).

The report is available at http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/sustainable/manforstreets/


Yes but when you get to the street in Wales here is what you see (Ian Perry reporting from Cardiff). . .

All Local Authorities in Wales have failed to respond to the offer of training or more information on the Manual for Streets according to one of its authors. The document is based on solid research and has won much praise and many awards and yet Local Authorities continue to design streets as they always have...

Only one person out of the 20 people in attendance at a presentation on the Manual for Streets organized by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, held in the council offices of Cardiff Council, worked for a Local Authority (and not Cardiff), with the remainder working in the private sector as engineers or consultants – who reported that private developers were interested in applying the findings of the research into Manual for Streets, but wary of Local Authorities refusing to adopt streets.

It would seem that the public sector in Wales is not interested in embracing different practices.

Thanks to the watchful Eyes on the Street and World Streets Correspondent, Ian Perry, Cardiff, Wales, UK

Editor’s note: We strongly invite commentary and if available further information on lessons to be learned from this experience.

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Frequency of publication (Reader views)

On the day that World Streets opened its doors, 2 March 2009, we asked our new readers to take the time to share with us their views on what they preferred in terms of frequency of “publication”. In addition to private exchanges and conversation on this, we also opening up a small poll and left it open for the first two weeks, during which time 43 readers took the trouble to share their views with us. What the poll told us lined up quite closely with the emails and other exchanges.


More than half, as you can see here, advised that they would prefer a weekly edition for consultation, while close to a third reported that monthly would be just fine for them. Five of the respondees indicated that they thought ad hoc and no fixed schedule will be the way to go, while only 2 voted for World Streets as a daily.

Now we asked that question with several things in view. First, our desire to avoid info overload, certainly the direct cause of losing your audience on the net or pretty much anywhere. We had in fact the idea of a daily/weekly in target from the beginning. i.e., something that is sufficiently interesting each day that some if not all of our readers might book mark and have a quick look with their morning coffee. But at the same time, organized in such a way that the faithful though busy reader could drop in at any point and have direct access to the full last week of postings.

As to those asking for something monthly, our plan is to do something along those lines, but we have yet to figure out how. Finally, as daily users of the web we appreciate that stuff is happening in our sector in various corners of the world all the time, some of it interesting and to the point here, so we also wish to make Streets a resource readable available at all times. Which is what you have here.

Our job is to make this interesting, relevant and efficient for you. We are off to a pretty good start, but stay with us, more and better is ahead.

The Editor

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Op-Ed: Mikel Murga on Look beyond Transportation

As a Basque-American working in both Boston … and Bilbao, I would suggest to those in charge of Transportation, something very simple: Look beyond Transportation. This should lead to:

1) Focus on City Making, which should be specially palatable to President Obama. City Making addresses many of the basic issues driving the new administration: Education, equal opportunities, mitigation of income disparities, etc. All in line with the old dictum of “Stadt Luft Macht Frei”. But at the same time and from a transportation perspective, it allows to focus on above targets, and not just on functional benchmarks, because a city by itself fosters density of residence and density of jobs of services.

This translates in turn into the right environment to foster good public transport, good walking and cycling environment and good and attractive public spaces as meeting points for their citizens. This suggestion also entails the examination of suburbs in search of opportunities to create an urban culture through infill of its core area. This is an area where Europe offers many examples of such a level playing field for their citizens, clear economies of scale and more attractive public spaces

2) Adopt new indicators for the contribution of the transportation system, both positive and negative. These indicators should go beyond our current level of service measurements plus operating costs, congestion and external costs. The goal is to incorporate transport contribution towards savings of the household transportation budgets and new business efficiencies through agglomeration of economic activities, as two quick examples

3) Re-Balance the Transportation System, by leading a program as ambitious as President Eisenhower Interstate Program. This Interstate II would be based on High-Speed Rail, in order to decrease dramatically the current modal share of auto and aviation, thus mitigating the growing levels of congestion on both modes, decreasing external costs, and fostering new regional development based on the new rail infrastructure. This in turn will reinforce the economic role of our cities as they compete globally with other world cities which already benefit from efficient transportation systems. Notice for example the short number of years during which Spain has reached second place in terms of total miles currently planned, added to those under operation and those under construction.

4) Redesign every new transport project as a city making opportunity. Those choosing to visit the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao are surprised by the quality of the city environment. The explanation lies on the fact that the new stations of the recent Subway and new Light Rail were taken as an excuse to create high quality public spaces and new high density residential and employment developments. This virtual cycle, which might include land value capture schemes, should be part of the evaluation of every new transport project in a multi modal context.

Mikel Murga, mmurga@mit.edu
Research Associate and Lecturer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
President, Leber Planificación e Ingeniería
Cambridge, MA and Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain

Contribution by the author to the world wide collaborative project “Messages for America: World-wide experience, ideas, counsel, proposals and good wishes for the incoming Obama transportation team”. See www.messages.newmobility.org for latest version of this report of the New Mobility Agenda.

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Honk! Can Segway do the trick?


We wish engineers, inventors and anyone else who chooses to get involved, all the good luck in the world when it comes to trying to bring on line new and more emissions/energy effective vehicles and power sources.


Indeed, we are convinced that the shift from old to new mobility will in large part be mediated by technology. However we have to be a bit careful with this because at the same time it is important to bear in mind the time window which we believe is the proper focus of policy and practice, and of course of technology – i.e., the two to four years directly ahead.

This is significant and in many discussions of various ways of achieving more sustainable transportation arrangements, we often hear much about the advantages of new vehicle, motive, and fuel technologies, as if they were going to be able to do the job that needs to be done. This of course is impossible, unfortunately, when we bear in mind the realities of the penetration path of these technologies, which are measured in many years and indeed decades by a time they begin to have a significant global impact on greenhouse gas reductions, energy savings, etc..



It is tempting of course for us to look at proposals for this particular class of technologies, all the more so since they often are well supported by institutions and interests behind them. You do not have to look very far to find many such proposals, often wrapped up in very appealing packages and arguments. But we really need to think hard and keep them in perspective.

Here is one example that has been brought to our attention today by our "eyes on the street" colleague in Ottawa, Chris Bradshaw, in which he makes the point: ”It seems Segway's announcement today, http://www.segway.com/puma/, is right up your alley.”

Well, if we check out that reference here is what the Segway people have to say about their product:

“Think of it as a digital solution to an analog problem. Segway’s P.U.M.A. (Personal Urban Mobility & Accessibility) prototype represents the shift that’s needed for the future of transportation. It values less over more; taking up less space, using less energy, produced more efficiently with fewer parts, creating fewer emissions during production and operation, all while offering more enjoyment, productivity, and connectivity”

Hmm. I invite you to have a look at the Segway product and proposal as outlined here, and to share with us your reflections and reactions to it, perhaps both in general but more specifically within the time and strategic framework that World Streets is working with. Personally I do not see it.

True enough, if Segway and other innovators with similar softer technology packages are able to bring to market vehicles which people will buy and use instead of less efficient and more wasteful technologies, this would be useful at that specific micro level. But from the global and time perspective that we are destined to work with, it just doesn't add up. Sorry.

To end a more positive note, I would with your permission like to cite the statement made under the heading “Full speed ahead with new technology” in the welcoming note posted here.

“New mobility is at its core heavily driven by the aggressive application of state of the art logistics, communications and information technology across the full spectrum of service types. The transport system of the future is above all an interactive information system, with the wheels and the feet at the end of this chain. These are the seven leagues boots of new mobility.”

Thus it is our view that technology is no less than enormously important in the party moved to sustainability, but the way in which is going to make its difference will be when it is brought in to provide the information and communications infrastructure needed to render our new mobility systems effective and competitive. We will never get there without them

Your comments are as always very welcome on this.

Eric Britton

Editor, World Streets


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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Public Bikes: "Cycling on the rise"


This timely report just in from our Dutch friends SpiCycles. In their words:

When the Spicycles project was launched in 2006, cycling was not the "hot" mode of transport that it has become today. As project partners, we wanted to gather experience related to specific areas of cycling policy. We were keen to explore how key elements such as communication and awareness raising, and the building of local partnerships, might increase the modal share of cycling. We had big expectations at the beginning of the project regarding cycling planning, but could not have predicted the explosion in the popularity of public bicycle systems that has taken place during Spicycles.

All Spicycles' results can now be seen in the reports and newsletters on the website http://spicycles.velo.info, which also features an innovative interactive map for cycling planning, a benchmarking tool and a pool of consultants.

For further information contact:

Pascal J.W. van den Noort - operations@velomondial.net
Executive Director Velo Mondial
http://velomondial.blogspot.com
http://spicycles.velo.info

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Honk! Ikea flirts with WWF for a nice green world

Ikea – you can't builda green reputation with a flatpack DIY manual

Fred Pearce , guardian.co.uk, Thursday 2 April 2009 11.05 BST


Huge out-of-town stores that are inaccessible by public transport, illegally logged timber products and half-hearted attempts to join WWF's Earth Hour. Who is Ikea trying to fool with its greenwash?

You'll know about Ikea. It's the place you drive to on a Saturday to fill your house with bits of wood from foreign lands.

This week, they played a little April Fool's joke, with some viral marketing about launching a new "Leko flatpack car".

When unveiled it turned out to be a computerised car-sharing scheme in France. Not a new one, but a special customised service from an established car-sharing service designed to get more customers to Ikea stores.

Now, I am in favour of car-sharing. Anything to keep down the number of cars clogging up Ikea car parks must be good. But this story is a bit like the one I did on Disney theme parks a couple of weeks ago. It is green tinsel on a business model that is all about persuading people to make long carbon-intense journeys to buy their products.

The telling statistic was at the back end of the company press release: "5.8% of Ikea France's customers already used a shared form of transport to get to their preferred store." So 94.2% don't. Allowing for the odd walker and cyclist, that must mean around 90% drive.

That's the problem, Ikea. You build your stores in places out of town that are ill-served by public transport. You slap a big delivery charge on any who don't want to take their own furniture home (£60 in my case, I notice). And then you try and get greenie points for making it slightly less hard to reach them in an environmentally acceptable manner.

It won't wash.

The car-sharing scheme is part of a rather haphazard greenwash strategy that has been going on at Ikea for a while. Last week its website announced that "Ikea has signed up to WWF's Earth Hour 2009."

Earth Hour is an annual event promoted by the environment group WWF in which we are all encouraged to turn off our lights for an hour as an expression of support for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and halting climate change. This year that hour was from 8.30pm on 28 March.

Ikea didn't turn all its store lights out. It might have been bad for business. Instead it "turned all lighting in-store to minimum levels consistent while maintaining a safe working environment for co-workers and customers." Shouldn't they do that all the time? Or, since only half of their UK stores stay open that late on a Saturday, they could have shut the rest, allowing all the lights to go out. Just a thought.

In any event, I am not quite sure why WWF allowed lights-on Ikea to use its logo to promote how it had "signed up to" (but not obeyed, obviously) the Earth Hour. Nor why it gave Ikea gratuitous publicity on its own site for half-heartedly complying with the Earth Hour.

Well, actually I am fairly sure. Ikea and WWF have a long-term "business relationship". Ikea gives cash and a few environmental initiatives, while WWF gives green kudos and some environmental advice.

The panda logo is all over the Ikea website. Ikea is all over WWF's website.

There have been some hard questions asked about this relationship among other green groups. The Environmental Investigation Agency, for instance, recently pointed out that Ikea has not even managed to stamp out the use of illegally logged timber in its furniture, especially all those flat-packs supplied from China.

Worse, the company has been actively opposing US laws set to come into force in July aimed at banning imports of illegally logged timber. Unless the company gets it overturned, every piece of furniture sold in an Ikea store in the US will be required to have a paper trail showing where the wood came from.

Even though other companies claim to be able to meet the rules, Ikea told federal regulators that "trying to trace this information to certify compliance all the way through the supply chain to the harvesting of each and every tree is unrealistic."

For unrealistic, read expensive. Perhaps WWF should give back that sponsorship money and ask Ikea to spend it checking its supply chains. Or is that "unrealistic" too?

Who are the real greenwashers this week? Well, I think WWF should share the accolade with Ikea, for services rendered.

• Do you know of any green claims that deserve closer examination? Email your examples of to greenwash@guardian.co.uk or add your comments below

About this article: This article was first published on guardian.co.uk at 11.05 BST on Thursday 2 April 2009. Guardian News and Media Limited 2009

Source and fair use: This article originally appeared in the Gurdian of 2 April 2009, by their reporter Fred Pierce. You can view their original article here. And click here to view World Street's policy on Fair Use. Comments welcome.

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