Monday, May 2, 2011

World Streets This Week: Edition of 2 May 2011

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Another busy week on World Streets, with contributions coming in from the StreetFilms media group in  New York on parking strategies, on city cycling and empowerment of women in Dhaka, and on to the pressing matter of rethinking the finances of our entire operation so that we can continue to act as the world's only fully independent, collaborative, worldwide sustainable transport daily/weekly publication and peer network.   But the buzz of the week was a series of exchanges resulting from an announcement of government support in India  for a really quite dubious proposal for a PRT Pod system for Delhi.

We started innocently enough by circulating the proposal  and inviting comments from peers in India and worldwide, who immediately made short work of the proposal. We then organized a poll which you can see here in order to give our readers an opportunity to express their views on the project. This moved along for the first days smoothly enough, with a strong majority rejecting not only the proposal for Delhi but also more generally for the concept of PRT as a sustainability strategy for cities.  All of that pretty much business as usual on World Streets.

The comments were measured, informed an non-polemic. But the real gag popped up when a group of PRT enthusiasts decided to attack  the poll and stuff the ballot boxes. Which they did very nicely, though the final tally is being cleansed of the most evident of these frauds. It tells a story that we will do well not to forget, I  am sure you will see.

There is behind it all however what I believe to be  a happy ending, of sorts, which you will see in the piece " Will the real PRT please stand up".  I hope you will find this a surprising and really very practical examination of what PRT increasingly is in cities above all in Asia, but increasingly in other parts of the world as well. Something extremely  important is going on, but thus far it has largely escaped the attention of policy makers, other than when they unite as they are doing here and there to toss out the baby with the bathwater.  You will see here.

Enjoy your read and continue to share your ideas, leads and contributions with us.  After all, it is your journal.

Eric Britton, Editor

PS. As indicated, we are now obliged to shut down the publication arm of World Streets for several weeks, in order to have the time needed to make contacts needed  to seek out and obtain financial support for continuing the program.  You will find ample explanations of this on the site. If you think we are doing a necessary job, it would be much appreciated if you would get in touch to discuss how you might help out. Thanks and keep reading World Streets, the planet's only independent and obstinate sustainable transport weekly. (This is not job for the timid.)

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