ITDP: New York a World Leader in Sustainable Transport

WH_Summer_Streets_DSCF1372_thumb.JPGPhoto: Walter Hook, ITDP

New York is one of five cities nominated by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy for its 2009 Sustainable Transport Award. Click through to see what measures taken by other nominees — Beijing, Istanbul, Mexico City and Milan — merited ITDP consideration. As for NYC’s breakthrough year, we couldn’t sum it up much better than this:

Throughout 2008, the city continued to implement PlaNYC 2030, its comprehensive long-term sustainability vision. The city took 49 acres of road space, traffic lanes and parking spots away from cars and gave that space back to the public for bike lanes, pedestrian areas, and public plazas. Protected on street bike lanes were part of the 140 miles (255 kilometers) of bike lanes implemented. Bike ridership has increased by 35 percent over the past year. Over 98,000 trees were planted, a select bus service was implemented, car free Sundays introduced. As part of its standard operations, the city’s Department of Transport also recycles 40 percent of its asphalt. Although not successful, the city pushed for congestion charging, a first for [a] US city and now other cities are considering it.

The winner will be announced tomorrow in Washington, DC.

  • Rhywun

    Wow, what a turnaround Beijing has made. When I visited less than ten years ago, there were only 2 subway lines, no BRT, and car traffic was pretty much a free for all. The pictures show people using crosswalks and traffic actually stopping for them! That was unthinkable ten years ago. There were traffic lights but nobody paid any attention to them.

  • Having visited Beijing this year, Rhywun, I can assure you that no one stops for crosswalks, or yields to pedestrians, ever. Car traffic is strangling the city. Being a pedestrian is awful beyond belief — far worse than LA, Atlanta, Las Vegas, or any other sprawling American city.

  • Rhywun

    Heh, maybe the pics are staged :/

    When I visited, the situation for pedestrians in Beijing was actually marginally better than some of the other cities I visited, like Wuxi–where the old city center was being replaced with Vegas-style developments complete with giant parking lots and no sidewalks. Shanghai and Xi’an were much more pleasant though (if you ignored the cloud-like waves of pollution in Xi-an…)–reasonably pedestrian-friendly.

  • Ian Turner

    Fulton St. in Las Vegas is actually quite Pedestrian-friendly, with bollards, wide crosswalks, and forgiving stoplights at every road crossing. The irony is that the public places in America that are the most decried for their corporate identity — think Disneyworld — are also some of the most pedestrian-friendly.

  • J. Mork

    Disneyworld is not a public place.

  • Rhywun

    > think Disneyworld

    I’d rather not. I prefer the real version of the “quaint Main Street” America, not the fake one.

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