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Take a car away...

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
I'm currently working on a methodology to investigate the effect of taking one car away from a two-car (or more) family. It's hypothetical, we won't actually take a car off them, instead we'll get them to keep travel diaries and vehicle logs for maybe a week, then map out their activities and the locations of those activites, and ask them to figure out how they'd get to where they need to with one less car.

I guess some of their options would be

a) ride share
b) take public transport
c) walk, cycle or skateboard (non-motorised individual transport)
d) cancel the activity
e) delay the activity
f) reorganise other activities
etc

The idea is to investigate whether putting restrictions on car ownership may actually lead to less efficient travel and higher VMT (or VKT here).

My question is this: does anyone know of any software (or just clever ideas!) that we could use for visually mapping peoples' activities by location and time, to enable us to use as a discussion point with the participating families, to see how their travel would change.

An interesting project....
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
I don't think that a family hanging up a set of car keys would lead to an increase in VMT especially if one spouse has the car at work all day. It would be physically impossible.

I've experienced the opposite. I didn't have a car then I was "watching" my brother's car for a few months during his national guard deployment. I found myself making trips by car that I didn't before. For instance my gf would normally do the grocery shopping on her way home from work but i started doing it even though she drove right past it on her way home.

I'm actually more familiar with seeing cities encouraging one car households as a solution to a parking problem, not a traffic problem. Seattle has a program, or at least had a program, where the city was cashing out second cars.
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
Actually higher VKT is just one possibility of what might happen, but really we're interested in exploring what changes people might make to their travel and activities.

Putting heavy taxes on a family's second vehicle is an idea that has been floated here, as a way to ease traffic congestion and reduce vehicle emissions. So I guess we're asking what effect that might have - is it likely to work as intended, or will people accommodate for it by finding other ways to make the same number of trips?
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
If you live under a zoning regime then people won't have much of a choice but to make the same number of trips by car. They'll just to have to be smarter about it. You could see a rise in carpooling or you could see neighbors trading grocery lists.

If the areas are already both pedestrian friendly and accomodating and the area has good transit then I believe you'll see a much larger reduction in VMT.

I've always maintained that traffic is a secondary problem caused by limited access. If access is multimodal then taking one mode out of the equation will cause only minimal pain.
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
Yes we are very much living under a "zoning regime". In the whole region, including towns up to an hour's drive away, there are 3 main centres of employment, and the vast majority of people drive to work in one of these centres. Other challenges: a lot of people are provided with work vehicles and parking is abundant and reasonably inexpensive.

2001 figures for travel to work: 49.3% by motor vehicle, 13.5% walked or jogged, 12% went by bus, 4% by train and 3% cycled.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
2001 figures for travel to work: 49.3% by motor vehicle, 13.5% walked or jogged, 12% went by bus, 4% by train and 3% cycled.
I wouldn't call 49.3% a "vast majority" :p. I think 13.5% walking is amazing. There aren't too many places in this country that can come anywhere near that. Bicycling seems pretty low though.

Still, those don't looking like the commuting patterns of sprawl at all.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
as americans i think we have a pretty warped sense of what is not sprawl.

New Zealand isn't exactly a big country and if you're talking about the north island i would venture to guess that an hours drive is ridiculously far.

But from those statistics - if you're trying to cut down on work based trips - it looks like you already have most of the answeres
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
Ok ok, we're not doing too badly :)

I added those stats after I had written my reply and thought, hey, that's not too bad. There's still room for improvement though!

I think we have the highest rates of walking to work in Wellington (cf. other NZ cities) because it is a reasonably compact city. It has natural geographical barriers to sprawl - ocean on two sides and surrounded by hills.

You could drive from the bottom of the north island to the top in about 12 hours I think
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
And jordanb, i think you should stop poking your tongue out at everyone and introduce yourself!
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
My family only has one car.... but I don't deny that there are families with more than one car... The soccer mom SUV, dad's car,etc... all of those habits have been imported,sadly :(
 
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