Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Land Use-Transportation Cycle

After the stunning success of my previous Microsoft Paint wizardry, here is another version that incorporates land use. I think you can see how it would be difficult to include the various ultimate goals in here.

Basically, government priorities are a primary determinant in the relative quality of transportation modes, and in land use. These in turn influence the relative quality of life in neighborhoods oriented towards transit, driving, walking or cycling. The relative quality of modes and life in general both influence transportation choice. In turn, transportation choice influences government priorities.


Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Hey Cap'n. Try this one :)

The green didn't come out right, but here is a drawing I created using your cycle.

Cap'n Transit said...

That's a big improvement, Pan! Just the symmetry makes it easier on the eyes.

I think my choice of terminology obscured a central point: it's about the government prioritization of rail/buses/walking/cycling vs. cars, land use oriented towards rail/buses/walking/cycling vs. cars, relative quality of infrastructure for rail/buses/walking/cycling vs. cars, and individual choices of rail/buses/walking/cycling vs. cars. You can add "ferries" to the transit/human-powered combo if you like, as long as it's not half-assed ferry service.

So I think the icons would be better if they reflected that, especially the "relative quality" and the "transportation choices." Maybe for "transportation choices," a set of scales with a train on one side and an SUV on the other?

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

I'll see what I can do when I get home tonight

Cap'n Transit said...

I also was intrigued by your choice of icon for "Relative quality of life in neighborhoods." When I chose that term, I was thinking of Donald Appleyard's work and the Transportation Alternatives study, Traffic's Human Toll:

"Traffic's Human Toll finds that New Yorkers living on streets with high volumes of traffic spend less time outside and are more likely to restrict their children's outdoor play compared to people who live on 'medium' and 'low' traffic streets. The study also finds that compared to residents on low traffic streets, residents on high traffic streets are twice as likely to be disrupted by traffic while they are walking, talking, eating, playing with kids and sleeping.

"Further, the study finds that New Yorkers on high traffic streets harbor more negative perceptions of their block, are more frequently disturbed during sleep, meals, and conversations, and, in two of the four study areas, possess significantly fewer relationships with their neighbors compared to residents on low and medium traffic streets."

There's a plant-matter component to it, but it's primarily about noise and social life. In fact, one of the major anti-density, anti-urban arguments from "the left" (including my own mother) is that urban living disconnects people from nature.

Of course, denser environments for day-to-day living mean that there's much more nature available for getaways.

Cap'n Transit said...

Looking forward to the next version!

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Ok, lets try again!

Cap'n Transit said...

Okay, that definitely captures more of the ideas behind my original diagram. What do you think about the other diagrams? Can you envision a way to represent all the aspects on a single diagram?

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Hmm. I think I might be running out of icon ideas. haha. What do you think some of them might look like?