Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Make Way for Headways

You may have heard that on Monday, the IPCC released a summary report that synthesized its previous work on the climate crisis into 18 headline statements. One of the top-line takeaways from the summary is that they finally said carbon-based fuels have to be left in the ground.

They did their best to make those 18 statements accessible, but they're still not... really. This twitter thread turns them into 18 tweets. Worth checking out, and keeping as a reference.

Separately, one of the most important things a city or country can do to decrease its greenhouse-gas output is make it possible for people to drive less. Or even the easiest thing to not drive. Yes, even electric vehicles. And to do that, you need public transit.

I happened to see three different tweets that got across the idea of what it takes to make transit part of the climate crisis solution.

First was city planner and urbanist Brent Toderian:

Tuesday mid-afternoon, 3-minute Vancouver Skytrain headways in either direction. Frequent, predictable, reliable, convenient. You never need to run for a train when the next one is just minutes away.

That’s what ⁦Jarrett Walker (@humantransit)⁩ means when he says “Frequency Is Freedom.”

The @UrbanismAvenger replied to Toderian:

It just ain’t true that people won’t choose public transit over cars. It’s true that people won’t choose bad public transit over cars.

That's within cities, or urban areas.

Not long after, I saw this by Ray Delahanty (@Nerd4Cities):

I found the four US city pairs most comparable to Madrid–València in terms of metro area populations and distance apart, and compared rail service. And now that I’ve seen this, I can’t stop throwing up. You’re welcome:

I've been on that Madrid–Valencia train, and it was great. It's hard to believe it's the same distance as Washington to Pittsburgh, having driven that trip, more or less, as well.

Headways. Frequency. These are terms that everyone should know, but almost no one does.

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