Please put your responses to Unit 5 here.
Looking for a way to shift containers from truck to other modalities (ship and rail) in the Netherlands a lot of inland container terminals have been realised. Every inititative was an isolated one. Local governments took initiatives but also private partners built a harbour for their own use. Now there are so man yinland terminals that many of them have not enough cargo to handle to make profit. And it still continues: the province of Gelderland is involved in realising new or a bigger container terminal, while a private enterprise (after a 'struggle' with bureaucracy of more than 20 years ) finally can realise its own multimodal terminal. What i mean to say is that the large number of terminals have led to many terminals without profit, where fewer terminals could have been more profitable.
Another shift I see in logistics is the call for
multimodal initiatives. Some people think this means: shifting containers from
truck to rail or ship, but until now the truck still is the most flexible way
of transport of containers. Focussing on only one modality blocks initiatives
in the other modalities. The German focus on stimulating rail transport blocks
the initiative of Gigaliners. But Gigaliners can be a clean solution for a
specific niche in transport and are widely used in the Netherlands. They could
even have a positive effect on rail transport as they can cover the longer
distance between railway station and hinterland. Another trade-off is that two Gigaliners can
carry as much as three normal trucks, so you need one driver less. In the
Netherlands we fear a shortage of truck drivers in the near future. This
shortage can partly be overcome by using Gigaliners
One thing you say that I find interesting is that focussing on one modality can block options in other areas. Clearly there's not a single answer to the challenge, but I'm always fascinated by the fact that the problems are often not technical ones but simply an inability for people to communicate and to look for compromise solutions.
The inland terminal experience was probably lead by the desire for money: project developers came with nice plans to develop an inland terminal , that would lead to a large number of new jobs and was rather cheap thanks to all kind of financial funding for regional development. Who could say no to such a plan?
Money still is a strong power to do and to stop things: 'I will defend my bad idea because I can get money from it'. Different possibilities of looking at a solution for a problem make it difficult to decide on which solution is best.
The development of cycling infrastructure in the city, can lead to:
- Reduction in traffic jams
- Shortening the travel time
- Improving road safety
- Reduction in air pollution and noise.
All this could have an positive effect on health and quality of life of citizens.
I order to form a cycle path in certain streets, it is necessary to abolish on street car parking or narrow a sidewalks for pedestrians. If the on street parking is abolished, it is necessary to form new parking or garage near by. Otherwise, it may happen that there could be a drivers resentment, which can lead to improper parking of cars. That might lead to aversion toward bicycle traffic.
The challenge of on-street parking is a political "hot potato". Even here in "orderly" Germany, I'm constantly amazed at the way people park their cars. They put them on sidewalks, in bike lanes, wherever there's space. Maybe Bert can correct me, but in the Dutch cities I've been in, that seem to happen less and I don't think it's so bad in the UK either. It's an interesting aspect of local cultural that puts such high value on the private car.
On the one hand, I agree with you that you can't simply remove parking without properly consulting, but on the other hand there will always be some opposition to change. You need to have the political courage to make such a change - and hold out through the loud complaints for a few weeks - and generally people adjust amazingly quickly to the new situation. I've observed this from a distance as they add more and more cycle lanes in Vancouver, Canada (where I'm from). Five years ago, they reallocated a car lane from a bridge leading into the city centre to cycling. The opposition was huge (including in the media) but within a few weeks, it had almost been forgotten as more and more people rode their bikes over the bridge. Now it's completely normal. That's not to say it doesn't take a lot of work and consultation and preparation and public information to make such a change. It just means that after you've done the preparation you have to be able to stand the pressure until people are accustomed to the "new reality.”
One other aspect that
may be interesting: they introduced the change as a 6-month trial. That meant after
6 months, they looked at the situation again to see how it was working. If it
had been a failure, they would have looked for another solution. Since it was a
success (24% more cyclists, fewer injuries and very little change in car travel times), they made the change permanent.
The trial idea is an interesting one in that it demonstates that you have enough confidence
in your idea to test it and to give up on it if it turns out not to work.
I'm not sure if this is applicable in your situation as it sounds rather like it's your political leaders who are less interested in change, but maybe it's helpful to know what has worked elsewhere.
Sorry to disappoint you, but in my region I also am surprised by the way people park their car; like you say: when there is space, there is space for my car. I do think this parking behaviour is generally just for a small period (less than 10 minutes) which maybe makes it less visible. I do know that there are many complaints of van drivers that their dedicated dropzones in cities are often occupied by 'normal' cars.
I heard that the 'trick' of a trial period is that people feel less overpowered by the new rules. It is less radical, so people oppose less. They have the idea that they have influence on the definite situation. You can also say that after a certain period people are used to the new situation, so their opposition is less.
To Jelena I would say that the authorities must follow their own restrictions. With that I mean that the authorities must not make restrictions for everyone except for themselves, as they work with the authorities. If not, opposition against the new rules will be stronger.