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ITDP Thinks Globally, Acts Globally

An Update of Recent Activities
Letter from the Executive Director

In the past winter and spring, ITDP’s where it discusses with borrowing gov- requested our support in organizing citi-
policy reform initiative was in Eastern ernments and NGOs how the new policy zens movements to press for the introduc-
Europe and Asia, bringing information to will affect lending practices in their coun- tion of bikeways, the preservation of pub-
indigenous environmental and activist try, giving NGOs a chance to voice their lic transit systems, controls on central city
organizations about the role that concerns about actual MDB activity in the parking, and improving the level of citi-
Multilateral Development Banks were region. zen participation and input in the plan-
playing in encouraging motorization in Hopefully, as a result of our efforts, the ning of major road infrastructure. The
their countries, and how they could work leverage of the MDBs will be used more MDBs are sometimes adversaries, but
to change this. Here in the U.S., ITDP’s consistently for their own self-stated goals sometimes they are useful allies in nation-
efforts to reform the World Bank’s trans- of poverty reduction and environmental al reform efforts.
port sector lending are bearing fruit. As sustainability rather than for fiscal austeri- These cooperative efforts have already
this newsletter goes to press, the World ty and the promotion of motorization. won some successes. ITDP, working with
Bank’s new Transport Sector Policy There are indeed some signs of progress. the Hungarian Traffic Club, forced the
Review, called Sustainable Transport (we But the global motorization crisis was Budapest City Council to promise on
like the title!) will go before its Board of not created by the World Bank. Often, national television that there would be no
Directors for approval. This document national governments are more than will- more public transit cutbacks in Budapest.
will serve as a guide to World Bank trans- ing to let MDBs take the heat for policies Pressing hard on the World Bank from
port lending. As a result of pressure from which they would have implemented on Washington and Budapest, ITDP played a
ITDP and others, this document was their own. As ITDP’s experience broadens role in convincing the World Bank to relax
developed with input from professionals, in Central Europe and developing coun- the cost recovery requirements on its loan
citizens groups and NGOs from around tries, it is becoming clear that many gov- to the Budapest Public Transit system,
the world. The World Bank deserves cred- ernments are far more enthusiastic about bringing much needed capital for track
it for making this an open policy making motorization than the MDBs. The and rolling stock improvements. The loan
process. Highway Lobby is rarely seen at the also helps to force the implementation of a
The result of all this work? The new World Bank. They deal directly with gov- parking control scheme in Budapest.
Policy Review, we believe, will represent a ernments. It is now at the national and Speaking at a Conference in Bucharest,
vast improvement over current World municipal government level that the fight ITDP implored the heads of the Bucharest
Bank transport sector lending policy and for a more sustainable transportation Public Transit and Metro Systems to pay
practice. For the first time, the new policy future is currently being lost. attention to pedestrian and bicycle access
will officially recognize the importance of As our efforts to reform the World to their systems, and not to waste all their
non-motorized transportation and sup- Bank in Washington at the policy level money on expensive new metro lines
ports its promotion. While still too pro- have achieved much of what we set out to while allowing the existing surface trolley
privatization in the rail and public transit achieve, ITDP is increasingly turning its and bus system to deteriorate. ITDP has
sectors, it at least now acknowledges the attention to empowering NGOs to orga- also moved closer to convincing the
problems this will cause, and pushes for nize national strategies to push for envi- Global Environmental Facility to embark
full cost recovery in the road sector as ronmentally sustainable and equitable on a major transport and the environment
well. Finally, the document will recognize transportation in their own countries, project for four cities in Central Europe. In
for the first time that continued passing on what experience we have the fall, we hope that we can facilitate the
unchecked motorization could result in gained here in the U.S. by fighting the development of a viable GEF program for
dire consequences for the global environ- most powerful Highway Lobby in the the CEEC.
ment. world. Similarly, in Asia, ITDP has successful-
Will this new policy have any impact In Poland, Hungary, and soon in the ly begun a comprehensive sustainable
on actual World Bank lending? This can Czech Republic and Romania, ITDP is transport initiative in Southeast Asia-a
only be ensured if NGOs around the working with NGOs to forge national region where the motorization crisis is
world are willing to hold the World Bank coalitions to press for transport policy perhaps the worst. In partnership with the
accountable to this new, higher standard. changes at the local and national level. Asia-Pacific 2000 program under the
ITDP is currently working to convince the NGOs in these countries, where direct United Nations Development Program in
World Bank to hold regional seminars democracy is still a new idea, have Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, ITDP will be

FALL 1995

C o n t e n t s
Number 5 Fall 1995
Sustainable T R A N S P O RT
is a publication of:
The Institute for
Articles: Transportation and Development Policy
611 Broadway, Rm. 616
New York, NY 10012
Cuba: 4
Tel. (212)260-8144•Fax (212)260-7353
Havana Pedals Through Hard Times email: Mobility@
Editors: Walter Hook, Brian Williams, Karen
Mobilizing Democracy in Haiti 6 Overton, Ney Oliveira, John Griffin
Art Director: Cliff Harris
Cycling Renaissance in Mexico City 8
Board of Directors:
Poland: 12 Keith Oberg, President
Shock Therapy Short-Circuits Public Transit Inter-American Foundation
Matteo Martignoni, Vice President
World Bank Finds Other Path 16 International Human Powered
Upgrading Peruvian Mountain Tracks Puts People First Vehicle Association
Walter Hook, Secretary
Executive Director, ITDP
Robin Stallings, Treasurer
Media Consultant
Letter from ITDP's Executive Director 2
Michael Replogle
News Briefs 10 Environmental Defense Fund
Marijke Torfs
New Titles 18 Friends of the Earth
John Howe
Bulletin Board 19 Professor, IHE Delft
Setty Pendakur
Chairman, NMT Task Force
Cover and illustrations by Cliff Harris Transportation Research Board,
Professor, Univ. of British Columbia
Ariadne Delon-Scott
Rivendell Cycles
working to develop a Sustainable ue to further the key transport-housing
Elliott Sclar
Transport Forum composed of NGOs linkages in the Sustainable Human
Professor, Columbia University
from the region, and will provide techni- Settlement debate at the U.N.
cal support to these NGOs in their ITDP’s demonstration projects are also All views expressed in the articles in this publi-
attempts to influence regional, national, back on the front burner. ITDP has formed cation are the views of the authors and not
necessarily the views of ITDP.S u s t a i n a b l e
and local government officials to promote a new strategic alliance with the New
Transport welcomes submissions of articles
more sustainable transport policies. The Jersey-based Pedals for Progress, which about non-motorized transportation and
Forum will also monitor and try to reform specializes in the collection of both new information about sustainable transportation
the Asian Development Bank and and used donated bicycles, tools, and activities worldwide, as well as letters and
Japanese bi-lateral transport lending. accessories. They are providing an other comments.
Through ITDP’s continued monitoring increasing supply of materials to our pro-
of the U.N. Commission on Sustainable jects, while our staff focuses on project ITDP is a non-profit research, dissemina-
Development and our work with the development, implementation, training tion, and project-implementing agency which
seeks to promote the use of non-motorized
Habitat International Coalition (HIC), we and follow up.
vehicles (NMVs) and the broader implementa-
have successfully placed ‘sustainable With the changes in Haiti, our Mobility tion of sustainable transportation policies
transport’ and the ‘right to access’ as a Haiti project has been able to expand con- worldwide. ITDP is registered in the United
central agenda item for the upcoming siderably (see Article in this issue). Our States as a charitable agency eligible for tax-
Habitat II conference to be held in long term presence on the ground in Haiti deductible contributions under the Internal
Istanbul, Turkey next year. Through our has given us enormous credibility with Revenue Service code. Members include bicy-
efforts at the recent HIC annual meeting the Haitian government, which has cle activists, transportation planners, economic
development specialists, small businesspeople,
in Havana, ITDP has been placed on the requested that we help them devise a environmentalists, and other professionals, pri-
steering committee of HIC’s Habitat and national strategy for broadening our pro- marily but not exclusively U.S. citizens.
the Environment Subcommittee, to contin- continued on p.17


Havana Pedals Through Hard Times
by Joseph Scarpaci and Annie Z. Hall

Cuba’s political response to a changing and Old Havana has been immortalized
world elicits strong emotions from its by Cuban writers such as Alejo
friends and enemies. Its streets appear Carpentier, Guillermo Cabrera
trapped in time and its people constrained Infante, Reinaldo Arenas, and Jose
by forces beyond their control. At the Lezama Lima. Havana had a spe-
peak of its alliance with the former USSR cial allure to foreigners who visit-
and its Eastern European allies, Cuba ed the city after the 1959
received nearly $5 million in foreign aid Revolution, with its old ‘57
daily. The collapse of the USSR in the late Chevys, ‘49 Buicks, and other
1980s however, triggered draconian mea- classics from an era when Elvis
sures that now dominate Cuba’s develop- actually wore blue suede shoes.
ment and planning agendas. Today, the four-lane Malecon
This austere time, called the “Special carries more cyclists than auto-
Period in a Time of Peace,” challenges the mobiles. Bicycle commuters fret
island’s transportation system. Cuba must more about strong Northeasterly
triage its use of petroleum — usually of Trade Winds and the occasional
high sulfur content bought on the spot wave that breaks over the sea
market— because domestic supplies satis- wall than about bumper to
fy just one percent of its oil needs. bumper car traffic and air pollu-
Petroleum requires hard currency which tion which afflicts most Latin
is in scarce supply. Although it is only too American cities. The Special Period
willing to exchange sugar for oil (it contin- has cleared Havana’s streets of most
ues to do so with Russia, but at increasing- of those gas guzzling 8 cylinder ‘road
ly unfavorable terms for the island) most hogs’; not by choice, but by the
petroleum purchases are targeted to pub- demands for fuel rationing, combined
lic utilities, factories, and fueling tractors with Cuba’s reinsertion into the global
for sugar-cane harvests. Cuba’s trans- economy.
portation system during these dire times In 1986,
is indicative of the radical turn the country Cuban Transport: Havana’s
has taken. Automobile and bus travel The Historical Record buses accounted
receive low priority . Jus t o v er 2 m i ll i on re s id e nt s c al l for 86% of total trips by motorized trans-
If Cuba elicits strong emotions from Havana home, in a country of 11 mil- port, and automobiles—never a signifi-
most readers who hold polarized views of lion. Like many capital cities, Havana cant mode of transportation, accounted
the Revolution, the beauty of Havana is generates a disproportionate amount of for just 6%. Roughly half of the 200 buses
sure to be a point of consensus. Situated the island’s industrial output and holds in Havana are now out of circulation, and
on the Straits of Florida where 16th and the lion’s share of the island’s service many bus routes have been eliminated,
17th century garrisons guarded a harbor economy. Once it was crisscrossed with consolidated or cut back, making lengthy
that was once coveted by corsairs and a st r e et c ar n e t w ork t h a t g re at l y waits at crowded bus stops a multi-hour
pirates, the Malecon seaside promenade expanded during the U.S. occupation endeavor.
figures prominently in postcard images of (1 898 -1 90 2) fo ll ow i ng t he Sp an is h- In the wake of this transportation crisis
this tropical city. Havana’s splendid colo- American War. Preference for the auto- has come a huge increase in bicycles. In
nial, modern, and Art Deco architectural mobile led to the demise of the streetcar 1990, Habaneros used their roughly 70,000
styles have earned it a variety of names: in the 1950s, and since then automobile bicycles mostly for recreation and sport.
“The Nice of the Caribbean,” “The Paris of and diesel engine buses came to domi- By 1993, Havana had 700,000 bicycles and
the Antilles, and the “City of Columns,” nate. Since the 1960s Eastern European- 1000 cargo tricycles, mostly purchased
d es i gn ed b us es h av e r un t hr oug h from China. Today, bicycles are used
Joseph Scarpaci is an Associate Professor at Havana’s streets. By 1990, however, the mainly for commuting. Unlike in China,
Virginia Tech, and Annie Z. Hall is a number of bus trips and routes began though, Cuba has not had a bicycle cul-
freelance writer. declining. ture. No road space had been dedicated to

FALL 1995

non-motorized vehicles before the ‘Special eties), and most use the all-terrain type Cuba’s free market economy has brought,
Period,’ nor were there traffic signs or straight handlebar. and partly because locks are scarce.
data. Habaneros are only slowly adjusting to Finally, Habaneros are exerting more
bicycle transportation. Until recently, physical energy on their commute at a
Havana Shifts to Bikes most had not used the bicycle for other time of food rationing when belt sizes are
With the Special Period, however, all than recreational purposes. Riding in traf- being ratcheted down. There is growing
this began to change. The Chinese models fic—usually with hundreds of other concern about productivity among labor-
Phoenix, Forever, and Flying Pigeon can cyclists rather than in automobile-clogged ers who on average confront a decreasing
now be bought on installment plans for streets—has meant learning a whole new caloric intake. A taxing commute in a tor-
from between 60 pesos for students to 120 set of skills. Ignored stop signs, pot hole- rid climate can weaken some cyclists,
pesos for workers. In deflated 1995 real ridden streets, tropical downpours, and especially the elderly. Some Habaneros
dollars, this ranges from $1 to $2 USD. other obstacles have produced numerous who arrive at work hot, tired, and at a job
Some of the side-effects of the shift to bicycle accidents and even a few casual- site with few co-workers are unwilling to
the bicycle include less air pollution in ties. In 1990, for instance, about 1/3 of the sacrifice so much for jobs that pay in
Havana, greater commuting time for 306 road fatalities in Havana were non- pesos. Transportation difficulties and
workers, and a proliferation of private sec- motorized vehicle-related. falling worker productivity only irritate
tor bicycle repair and parking services. City officials, however, are working the city’s broader economic problems.
When Fidel Castro legalized more than towards making Havana a safer city for
100 private sector occupations in July of cyclists. Today there are at least 26 kms. of Inter-Modal Planning
1993, employment in bicycle cottage non-motorized vehicle-dedicated lanes The rise of this new, green, and ecolog-
industries grew rapidly. Tire repair ser- and cycle paths throughout Havana. ically sound means of transportation,
vices, bicycle parking lots, and mechanical Havana’s beauty is even more striking however, brings other rewards. Havana
repair shops continue to proliferate when seen gliding along on a two-wheel- officials offer a ‘ciclo-bus’, or bicycle bus
throughout Havana, and employ many er. Although the city’s roads were never that carries commuters from the huge post
workers idled by public down-sizing and heavily bogged down with automobile revolutionary suburb of Habana del Este
factory closings. Last year the kind of traffic, traveling around the city by bicycle (Eastern Havana) and their bikes to and
bicycle taxis common in South Asia sur- for the foreigner is a beautiful experience. from the central city. This is a safety mea-
faced in the Vedado tourist district for for- In the eyes of most Cubans, however, it is sure to carry cyclists who would other-
eigners seeking a ride along the Malecon a mixed blessing. Most Cubans begrudg- wise have to travel next to cars in a nar-
or the tree-covered side streets row and dimly lit tunnel run-
of Vedado and Miramar. ning under the Bay of Havana.
Tourists can also rent bicycles Flat bed trailers assist the
and jump into the fray them- ciclo-bus by shuttling thou-
selves. sands of cyclists through in
The big increase in ‘rush’ hours.
demand for bicycles has had Havana’s turn to the
considerable spill-over effects two-wheel machine is not a
on the Cuban economy. policy of choice, but neither
Although China has been the were the 1973 OPEC oil price
main supplier of bicycles to increases that forced American
Cuba, Cuba is increasingly car manufacturers to produce
building more of its own bicy- more economically and envi-
cles and components. In 1990 ronmentally friendly cars. Will
the Giron bus factory in Havana maintain its us of non-
Havana was refit and retooled motorized transport once eco-
for the manufacture of bicy- nomic recovery sets in? The
cles. After its first year of oper- Bicyclists in Havana 34-year old U.S. boycott con-
ation it produced approxi- tinues to make any imminent
mately 20,000 bicycles. Projected produc- ingly accept it as the only way to get economic bonanza highly unlikely, espe-
tion for 1995 is 100,000 bicycles. Cubans around. On the one hand, the rise in cially considering the increasingly hostile
can now manufacture all components cycling is a rational coping mechanism U.S. foreign policy towards Cuba. Will the
except spokes, bearings, the rear hub and during the Special Period, is environmen- bicycle permanently replace the automo-
chains, and heavy-gauge seamless pipe, tally friendly, and provides excellent exer- bile? This seems unlikely. Regardless of
which come from Mexico. The Cuban 26” cise. On the other hand, commuting time how Cuba navigates its present economic
wheeled bicycle is about 15 pounds lighter has increased as many household heads storm, it is improbable that either the
than the 57 lb. Chinese models and better drop off spouse and children, all packed nation or its capital will revert back to the
suited for multiple purposes than the 28” onto one bike, at their various destina- pre- Special Period levels of subsidized
Asian wheel. Cuban bikes also come in a tions. Bicycle theft has also increased,
variety of colors (now in 12 tropical vari- partly because of the new ‘liberties’ that continued on p.15


Mobilizing Democracy in Haiti

by Hugh Lewis

ITDP’s Mobility Haiti project coordinator release of the containers from customs. few wheeled stretchers were built for the
Hugh Lewis spent much of 1995 in the During these negotiations, Hugh learned hospital. Providing more ambulatory
Artibonite Valley region of Haiti expanding that it would be easier to bring bikes in if vehicles for the hospital, however, has
the Mobility Haiti project. What follows is they were in smaller quantities shipped as proven difficult due to the lack of access
taken from his recent trip report. deck cargo packaged either in large crates to specialized parts, lack of full-time in
or in deck nets to the smaller ports of St. country staff with design experience, and
With the restoration of the legitimate Marc or Gonaives, both of which are clos- lack of funds from the hospital to cover
Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide er to the Central Artibonite Valley, and the costs.
in late 1994, the violence and repression of where customs backlogs are less. Hugh The Laboratwa Esperanse, set up by
the military junta has been replaced by also secured a used truck to bring the ITDP and Project Help, is thriving, and
Haiti’s first democratically elected govern- goods from the ports. the hospital is increasingly playing the
ment. These changes have given Mobility After securing the release of the con- role of one of several clients to the Lab.
Haiti a great window of opportunity to tainers, it was agreed that Project Help in The Lab currently has three full time paid
work with the numerous grassroots orga- Borel would pay all container fees Haitian employees, each of whom was
nizations in the country which are resur- incurred at the port and take care of truck- trained by ITDP. The Lab also has two
facing and gaining ground against the apprentices who graduated in June and
repressive circumstances which under- three more apprentices have just begun.
mined their ability to function for so The shop repairs between two and five
long. Mobility Haiti is now able to bicycles a day. Hugh trained the
provide human-powered trans- Lab’s employees to make bicycle
port to more people and orga- carts out of local materials and
nizations who daily face one some donated children’s
of the most serious crises of scooters, which were
basic mobility in the world. extremely popular and gen-
But working in newly erated enormous excitement
democratic Haiti has not among local farmers. The
been free of adventures. shop functions like a non-
profit organization, selling
New Shipments of Bikes bicycles to recipients at well
Between October 1994 and below market prices but at prices
January 1995, three containers of new which cover most of the shop’s costs.
and used bikes, accessories, parts and While the hope is that the shop will be
tools were sent from Miami to Port au able to cover all of the costs necessary for
Prince, Haiti from Pedals for Progress in ing to Borel, in exchange for receiving a ongoing business operations by year end,
New Jersey and ITDP. The project large number of bicycles, parts and acces- after the current infusion of donated bikes
encountered considerable difficulties in sories out of the shipments. This still left and equipment is processed, achieving
getting the containers released by customs ITDP with at least 50 bicycles to distribute financial self-sustainability may require
officials. Hugh had to spend an enormous at cost to grassroots organizations outside some changes. One of the strength’s of
amount of time getting the containers out of the Laboratwa partnership. the Lab was its skilled chief mechanic, Bos
of the port. Our Haitian partners, the Holsen, and in April he left to take a more
Hospital Albert Schweitzer and the Borel Update on the Laboratwa Esperanse secure government job. The three remain-
Mission had both recently undergone sig- Mobility Haiti’s initial goal was to help ing employees did not have enough work
nificant staff and leadership changes, and the Hospital Albert Schweitzer’s outreach to keep them busy until the three contain-
responsibility for the project was left in to clinics and health facilities that tradi- ers cleared customs in June. For the
limbo. Then there were significant tionally have not been easily accessible to future, a system of smaller, self-financing
changes in the rules over customs duties staff, and patients at these clinics have had decentralized distribution and repair facil-
and clearance with the new government. trouble reaching the hospital. Roughly ities run by the apprentices of the
Finally, new contracts were drawn up out- half of the bicycles sent by Mobility Haiti Laboratwa Esperanse is being developed.
lining the responsibilities of all project have gone to hospital staff for their exten- The training of local Haitians to main-
participants and Project Help secured the sion work and other mobility needs, and a tain and repair bicycles at the Laboratwa

FALL 1995

has been a big success, and there is no rea- is a facility complete with classrooms, a Ti Riviere where Mobility Haiti will help
son why smaller facilities like the Lab weaving and woodworking project and a construct a micro shop space where train-
could not be started in other Artibonite dormitory that currently houses 23 ing can first take place and then continue
locations and eventually all over Haiti. orphans. After meeting with Met to operate a repair facility on whatever
Costs for establishing a small shop are d’Linoise who founded the orphanage in future site is chosen.
low, and require only a minimal set of 1938, it was agreed that several bicycles Mobility Haiti will also work with
tools, several clamp stands, a grinder and and trailers would be useful in their work PDID, Pwoje Developmen Integre
a vice. The recent donation of several distributing donated food to some of the Desarmes, a well-organized and progres-
clamp stands should greatly facilitate the local area’s handicapped and elderly citi- sive development project located in
establishment of these facilities. The fun- zens which are usually delivered on foot. Desarmes on the main road from Borel.
damentals of bike repair are easy to teach, The development of democracy in While AGAPA gives “Mobility Haiti”
especially since it is the vehicle of choice Haiti, especially in rural areas, is taking more access to the level “heart” of the val-
for many of the Artibonite’s inhabitants, place through the work of small, well- ley, Desarmes is a different region entire-
and being able to repair one’s own trans- organized networks, cooperatives and ly. The road between Borel and Desarmes
portation represents considerable freedom “groupmans”. Mobility Haiti will also deteriorates significantly which gives all-
there. Follow up training of the appren- work with AGAPA (the Asosyasyon terrain bicycles a distinct advantage over
tices of the Laboratwa, and any future Groupaman Agrikol Peyizan Atibonit), an cars and trucks. Before the coup, the
installations like it, would help, however, umbrella group comprised of numerous PDID’s central complex housed cement-
since the trainees there didn’t always fully small agricultural organizations and coop- block and furniture-making micro-enter-
retain the finer points of the craft. eratives located in the Artibonite Valley. prises which were destroyed by the mili-
Hugh also learned that the American tary. They have
way of repairing bicycles is not always the just recently been
best way in Haitian conditions. Many able to begin
Haitians have become quite adept at rebuilding and
repairing things without access to special- fundraising.
ty tools which would normally be used in PDID is very
American bike shops. Hugh often set interested in get-
aside his tools while Haitian mechanics ting bikes to their
and trainees demonstrated equally effi- 30 organizers
cient, if unorthodox by U.S. standards, who work on a
methods of repair. full-time basis
A greater need is for teaching the basic with the pro-
principles of running a small business gram, getting
enterprise such as a bicycle-repair shop. bikes to peasants
For a “Mobility Haiti” shop to reach self- and peasant
sufficiency, those managing the shop will “groupmans”
have to be able to handle rudimentary near Desarmes
bookkeeping, learn some simple advertis- Bike repair training session at Lafanmi Selavi and setting up a
ing, improve shop efficiency and schedul- bike repair, pro-
ing of a customer’s bicycle repair, and The majority of these groups have duction and training facility at the center.
develop pricing policies which reflect the between 10 and 15 members. AGAPA In addition, they offered Mobility Haiti an
real costs of the shop plus overhead. operates from the towns of Ti Riviere de entire wing of an old cement workshop
L’Artibonite, Verrette, Liancourt and their area, located 100 yards from the Desarmes
New Haitian Partnerships 2,240 members hail from many of the sur- market area where a micro bike shop
In the rest of 1995, and into 1996, rounding localities as well. Women make could function.
Mobility Haiti will work to broaden the up 35% of the membership. Mobility Haiti will also continue work-
impact of its work. As ITDP delivers on its After consultations with representatives ing with Lafanmi SeLavi, a well-known
commitments to its Haitian partners, and of the group, AGAPA was very excited center dedicated to the education of Port
the Laboratwa Esperanse is put on a more about providing its ‘animators’ or orga- Au Prince’s orphaned street boys. The
secure financial footing, ITDP will use nizers with bikes since they often cover organization, which provides services to
more of its institutional strength to pro- long distances by foot. They were quick to the boys while helping them to mature
vide improved mobility to other NGOs point out the low environmental impact of into self-supporting adults, was estab-
and to set up smaller, more flexible assem- bicycles and the possibility of bike trailers lished in 1986 by Father Jean-Bertrand
bly and repair facilities in other locations. intrigued them. AGAPA was interested in Aristide, now President of Haiti. The cen-
Out of the 50 or more bicycles remain- 20 to 30 bikes and has agreed to pay a ter is able to house close to 100 boys. Two
ing after meeting our promises to Borel, price for each bicycle to cover shipping years ago, during the coup, the main part
Hugh identified several other partners for and administrative costs. In addition, the of the building was damaged but is now
Mobility Haiti. The MHC School and group has offered free-of-charge two rapidly being rebuilt.
Orphanage in Ti Riviere do L’Artibonite, spaces along the main street in the town of continued on p.15


Cycling Renaissance in Mexico City

by Greg Green

ach morning, as the world’s largest city awakes and its front that some daring riders have to try to look around to see
inhabitants begin the day, the streets and sidewalks fill where they are going!
to capacity with cars, buses and pedestrians. Everyone, Just after dawn each morning, fleets of bicycle carts leave bak-
from business executives to ordinary people suffer eries to deliver the morning bread, and messengers roll through
through gridlocked traffic and serious air pollution lasting most downtown to begin the City’s morning business communica-
of the day. But the story of Mexico’s bustling and beautiful capi- tions. In residential neighborhoods, peddlers offer convenient
tal is not all gloomy; it is also a story of resiliency and accommo- while-you-wait knife sharpening services from bicycles with
dation. As Mexico City continues to grow and transportation small grinders mounted on the back. Ironically, auto mechanics
problems are becoming more pressing, bicycles are emerging as cruise the city streets looking for breakdowns riding bicycles
an effective way to bypass the perpetual gridlock and effectively with tool sets mounted on the rear rack.
distribute goods and services to the public. Five major newspapers printed near the congested center of
People are turning to bicycles in Mexico City for many of the downtown are turning more and more of their distribution over
same reasons they are in other large cities around the globe, to bicycle delivery. All day, an endless stream of old and young
including the U.S. With traffic congestion near riders on
gridlock, bikes get around faster than cars, and Mexican-made
the adventuresome are riding bikes. Though the Benotto inde-
streets of Mexico do present bicycle riders with
many challenges, more and more residents have
One teacher reports her structo bikes
leave the load-
come to depend on these two-wheelers than
ever before.
children sometimes re a c h ing dock of the
The air pollution in Mexico City has reached
crisis proportions. The emissions from the 3.2
for grey crayons when Excelsior carry-
ing papers
million private cars that ply the streets of Mexico
City have so devastated the natural environment
asked to draw the sky. piled up to
five feet high
that one school teacher reports her children on their rear
sometimes reach for grey crayons when asked to racks. With
draw the sky. Environmentalist Beatriz Padilla surprising
who works promoting the development of solar cars and bicycle ease, they pass skillfully through the endless torrents of cars to
commuting reported just how thick the air can get:”I’ve seen the get the daily paper to the public.
smog get so bad that there isn’t just haze in the air. There are Just getting on a bike weighed down with so much cargo is a
actually different densities of air swirling in the street and we skill that veteran masters pass on to the newest kids on the block.
don’t even know what they are. Something must be done.” People who have toured with a heavily-weighted rear rack and
Mexico City’s air pollution problems are aggravated by natur- little weight in front know what an ordeal getting on a bike like
al conditions. During the winter, thermal inversions often occur this can be, pushing, rolling forward, taking a few quick steps
because pockets of cold, ozone and lead-laden air are pushed alongside, swinging one foot over and hoping the wheels lay
ground-ward as the sun heats the valley floor at day-break. This grounded long enough to actually arrive in the seat.
effect intensifies air pollution problems by displacing cleaner air The paper deliverers are a community of people long expert
with air heavier with contaminants. Mexico City’s altitude is also at making the most out of very little. Life at the newspaper load-
part of the problem, as people have to breathe in more air to get ing dock has the free-wheeling feel of a Sunday market. Between
the same amount of oxygen, which means they inhale more cont- delivery runs, they sit and talk as tires are patched, deals are
aminants at the same time. struck, and favors are exchanged and repaid.
Occasionally, one can spot a fearless veteran paper deliverer
Non-Motorized Freight Transport pedaling his hefty rig in the middle of four lanes of traffic—going
Mexico City residents are finding a way out of the gridlock against the flow. These workers are surprisingly at ease in
through the increasing use of bicycles and other forms of non- Mexico City’s congested traffic, and most insist that few serious
motorized vehicles. Ice Cream and Coca-Cola, previously accidents occur. Despite the obvious dangers of lugging their
shipped in trucks which tied up traffic, are being replaced by hefty cargo past so many unpredictable car doors, they never
hefty bicycle carts capable of carrying so much cargo stacked up wear helmets.

FALL 1995

Not far from the downtown newspapers, in the “zocalo” or Bicycles in Mexico City are seen by many who use them as a
town square, bicycle taxis are now increasingly popular for meet- salvation. Javier says that for himself and his coworkers, bicycle-
ing the growing need to get around neighborhood gridlock. On based employment is now a lifestyle deeply rooted as the union.
weekends, families and couples line up at the city’s massive He describes his job as a healthy way to meet a public need and
cathedral to catch the next available bicycle taxi. For romantic make an honest living. Bicycle-taxis are a growth industry in a
couples, the bicycle-taxi harkens back to the days of horse-drawn city which continues to grow. A whiff of the local air drives this
carriages, when the weekend ritual of going out to see and be point home. Bicitaxistas are not just alternative transportation,
seen was best embodied in an open-air ride through town. Rides their wider use may become an absolute public necessity.
of an hour or more are available so that tourists and natives alike To preserve their health as they face the air pollution prob-
can view the attractions of the City, with the “bicitaxistas” serv- lem, bicitaxistas union members head “up to the mountains” in
ing as tour guides, following a route past the Alameda Central neighboring Tolcuna once a month to ride their bikes where the
and the famed House of Tiles, now a Sanborn’s Restaurant and air is clean. “It decongests the lungs” they say. Conversation with
Department Store. Javier and other bicitaxistas bring out one commonality: they
don’t know or care what time of the day or year the smog is at
Bicycle Unions it’s worst, they just know it’s always there.
In the Mexican tradition, many bicitaxistas have joined a Watching off-duty bottle distributors using their bicycle carts
union. “The union’s not a bad deal”, said bicitaxista Javier de la to carry friends through oppressively dusty streets for a wild
Torre Andres. “We just pay 10 pesos ($1.50) a day, and, like a Saturday night, I am reminded of the words of Ricardo, a great
cycle enthusiast: “We cyclists are like
cockroaches and the rats that can survive
nuclear war. You just blow the ash out of
your nose and pedal on.”

Bicycle Power
Public policies promoting bicycle use
should be seen as part of the solution to
Mexico City’s air quality problem. The
growing number of bicyclists represent
an emergent political force capable of
pushing for more environmentally sus-
tainable transport policies. In 1991, a
nascent bicycle-based eco-consciousness
movement held a very successful ‘bike
to work’ day. Since then it hasn’t been
repeated, but the effort is well remem-
bered as the first time the bicycle move-
ment visibly drew attention to the
virtues of two-wheeled non-motorized
Other approaches to the air problem
have been tried, but have real limita-
tions. A successful emission-cutting pro-
gram was instituted in 1990 which
requires that every car “rest” one day of
the week, allowing only odd or even-
numbered license plates on the streets
any given day. The program’s success
cooperative, they pay for new bikes and repairs.” has been compromised, however, by drivers affluent enough to
Javier wears jeans, a walkman and a wide grin below his mous- own a second car. Some have even suggested installing giant fans
tache as the sun casts a fierce orange glare across his bicycle car- atop the mountains that ring the city to blow clean air through
riage. One side of the carriage bears the insignia of the union and conduits to downtown areas where it is most needed.
the back is adorned with a colorful ad for La Prensa, a major But if Mexico City is ever to solve its air pollution problems, it
national newspaper. “La Prensa bought us 25 carriages so they will need to pay closer attention to making walking and bicycling
could put their name on the back. None of us know what that safer and more viable, with better facilities for parking and rid-
would have cost, but it’s a lot”, Javier said. ing. Making bicycling more affordable would also help. Rudiger
Javier’s been doing circles around downtown for a year and a Dombusch, a Professor of Economics at MIT, suggests that
half now and says he has yet to tangle with any passing cars, Mexico City remove the sales tax from bicycles. Policies such as
trucks or donkeys. In the downtown center, the growing pres- these are important to solving Mexico City’s air pollution crisis
ence of bicycle-taxis has become a fact of life. and making the City more liveable. ♦



bicyclists. High speed rail and
metros also have enormous Sustainable Tra
prestige value, unlike pedi-

News B
While the lion’s share of new trans- cabs and bicycles which in
port investment into East Asia’s bur- Asia are associated with the
geoning economies has been directed poor. Asian governments
towards new road construction, hopeless need to be reminded that
traffic congestion is forcing Asia’s gov- bicycles and pedicabs, afford-
ernments to give rail and light rail anoth- able and non-polluting, can be
er look. South Korea is planning a major modernized as well. The rapid growth in also lead to the loss of numerous jobs for
new high speed rail link between Seoul, the market for bicycles in China, Eastern railroad employees, and would have a
the capital, and Pusan, a major port. The Europe, and elsewhere in Asia, Latin serious adverse affect on rural commu-
line, which will move an estimated 80 America, and Africa may be a sign of the nities. There is little doubt, therefore,
million passengers a year at 300 kilome- future, and not the past. that the recommended reforms would
ters per hour, is projected to be complet- have adverse equity impacts.
ed by 2001. Taiwan is also planning a INDIA
high-speed rail link between Taipei and
Kaohsing, and Malaysia has plans for World Bank Proposes
high speed rail service between Kuala Rail Commercialization
Lumpur and Singapore, which could
reduce the current travel time of seven A World Bank report, India
hours to 90 minutes. China also wants to Transport Sector: Long Term Issues,
build a high speed rail line between released in March, makes recommenda-
Beijing and Shanghai at an estimated cost tions which have sparked controversy in
of $10 billion, and plans to expand and India. The report suggests several contro-
upgrade its railway system, spending versial changes, particularly a complete
some $47 billion. overhaul of the Indian National Railway,
Mass transit systems are also being the world’s largest. While not calling for
built in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, outright privatization, it does call for the
Qingdao, Shenyang, and Chongqing, substantial reduction of public subsidies
and a light rail system will be built from to passenger service, which will lead to
Beijing to the tourist sites of the Ming substantial fare increases. It also propos-
Tombs and the Great Wall. Indonesia is es cutbacks in freight and passenger ser-
planning a new metro in Jakarta, and vices to low-traffic volume rural areas.
Vietnam plans to build an elevated rail- Finally, it recommends that the National
way in Hanoi. Meanwhile, Kuala Railway spin off rolling stock manufac-
Lumpur, Taipei, and Bangkok are also turing to form a separate company in
trying to built light rail or metro systems, order to avoid conflict of interest.
and Manila is expanding its existing sys- The equity concerns of rail deregula-
tem. tion are real. Many low income people
Some industry experts speculate that will face much greater travel costs. The Bicycle taxis are being driven off t
the popularity of expensive metros and Bank report tries to justify this on the
high speed rail systems over more cost- grounds that the trains are not only used The impact of the recommendations
effective dedicated bus, trolley, light rail, by lower income people, so a large part on rail’s mode share is more difficult to
bicycle and pedestrian lanes on existing of this subsidy is actually benefitting determine. On the one hand, higher
streets, is that they do not take road higher income people. They argue that fares and reduced service on less uti-
space away from private cars. Pouring from an equity perspective the same lized routes will hurt rail’s mode share
public money into such projects can have funds could be better utilized elsewhere in the short term. On the other hand, a
a positive impact on the mode share of in a way more carefully targeted to the financially-strapped railroad unable to
public transit in the long run, particular- poor. While this may be true, the report make necessary investments into
ly in higher income countries. However, is asking India’s poor to give up an exist- improved rail services is also likely to
these expensive systems often take scarce ing and certain subsidy in their rail sys- lose mode share, particularly in the long
public funding away from the proper tem for a theoretical subsidy in some run. While the equity concerns are seri-
maintenance of existing bus fleets, con- area which will probably never material- ous, if the railroad is expected to also be
tinued priority of buses and trams on the ize, or will not prove to be politically sus- a welfare agency and an economic
existing street network, and safe and tainable. development agency while road passen-
convenient facilities for pedestrians and The recommended reforms would ger and freight services do not share

FALL 1995

ransportation spective if India tried to

resolve its financial crisis by
income. There is no better way for a
tourist to see Ho Chi Minh City than by
first insisting on full cost cyclo, as the rapid emergence of similar

recovery from road users, pedicab operations all over Prague,
rather than through railroad Krakow, and other tourist Meccas
restructuring. Car owners are demonstrates. A cyclo driver who
also heavily subsidized but attracts a regular clientele of foreigners
tend to be much higher can make $100 a month, or four times
income than rail passengers. the pay of local factory workers.
these responsibilities, the ability of the Second, the low-level fares should be Strictly private operations, the cyclo’s
railroad to compete with road-based preserved for low income people, but emergence in Vietnam was an early sign
modes is being constrained. the burden of paying this subsidy of economic liberalization. The recent
In the broader context of Indian should be gradually removed from the crackdown is not a sign of progress but a
transport sector reform, not reforming railroad to other government agencies. crackdown on free enterprise.
the rail system is also likely to have Third, employees laid off by restructur-
ing should be guaranteed jobs in other OUAGADOUGOU,
sectors where they could be more pro-
ductive. Once these issues were BURKINA FA S O
resolved, increasing the ability of the Moped-Centered Mobility Has
railroad to provide better service and Unique Feautures
compete with road based modes would
receive wider public support. Ouagadougou is unique in Africa for
having motorized not with the private
car but with the moped. Moped-cen-
HO CHI MINH CITY tered motorization has some interesting
advantages. First of all, its cheaper. Per
Free-Market Bicycle Taxis Banned capita income in Ouagadougou is under
$300 a year. Even the moped, at $1000
Sadly, the cyclo (pronounced seek- for a new vehicle, is out of the price
lo), Vietnam’s three-wheeled bicycle range of many people. But they are still
taxi, is being slowly driven off the streets far less expensive than a new car, and
of Ho Chi Minh City. In July of 1995, a the secondary market makes them
new edict was passed, and enforced by affordable to many. Secondly, the
traffic policeman, to drive the 37,000 cyc- moped takes up far less space for park-
los out of the city centre. Authorities ing and far less road space.
claim that the cyclos tie up “other traf- Ouagadougou does not have the kind of
fic”, such as motorcycles, trucks, buses, traffic congestion faced by many of its
and a growing number of cars. What automobile-dominated neighbors, and
few traffic studies exist indicate that pri- parking costs only a nickel a day.
vate cars because they consume so much Gasoline costs are also a fraction of what
streets of Ho CHi Min City. more road space per passenger than it would cost to operate a private car.
pedicabs, are a much more severe source The fuel distribution business, being in
adverse consequences. While rail of traffic congestion. No similar restric- such small quantities, is dominated by
remains unreformed, trucking has been tions have been placed on private cars, small, low income informal sector ven-
deregulated and bus services are however. dors who can enter the business with
increasingly being privatized. Over The cyclo fills a critical niche in minimal start-up capital costs.
11,000 kilometers of privately-financed Vietnam’s urban transport market. But the moped has some disadvan-
toll roads are planned over the next Already, shoppers are grumbling about tages as well. By 6:00 p.m. the city is
twenty years. Private contracting in the how to get their groceries home from the enshrouded in a thick haze of pollution
road sector is improving efficiency. market. Children and the elderly are because of their small, inefficient
Mode share in both freight and rail are particularly hard hit. Most say they will engines, causing serious health prob-
shifting from rail to roads as a result. switch to mopeds, which are not only lems. The noise is also a constant
Meanwhile, financial projections for the more polluting, they are also much more headache. With helmets virtually
rail system, while controversial, indicate expensive. unheard of, safety is also a major
an imminent financial crisis. Banning the cyclos is a bad business problem. Casual observers report seeing
Ultimately, it would be better from idea, particularly since Vietnam is very several serious crashes a week.
the equity and the environmental per- interested in increasing its tourist continued on p.14


Shock Therapy S h o rt Circuits
Public Transport
by John Pucher

This article orignally appeared as “The Road process, albeit with mixed success. In elected government in 1990 was extraordi-
to Ruin” in Transport Policy, Vol. 2, No. 1, Eastern Europe, however, these systems narily bold, entailing a rapid shift from a
pp. 5-13, 1995 are in their infancy, and governments are planned socialist economy to a decentral-
ill-prepared to deal with the dangerous ized market economy in what has come to
Radical economic reforms since 1990 external effects of growing motorization. be known as “shock therapy.” Three
have had important impacts on the sus- There is considerable danger that irre- aspects of this economic reform have had
tainability of Poland’s transport versible damage will be done to Polish especially important consequences for
system.Increased political and economic cities if current trends continue. Poland. First, “shock therapy” led to a
freedom, access to Western consumer sharp reduction in the subsidies to public
markets, reductions in government subsi- Urban Transport in Socialist Poland transport which had enabled low fares.
dies, increases in public transport fares Like most socialist countries, passen- Second, the responsibility for local public
and service cutbacks have all driven peo- ger transport in Poland was almost com- transport was shifted from the central
ple away from buses and trams and into pletely dominated by public transport, government to local governments, which
private cars. The result has been worsen- both for long and short-distance travel. In are in dire financial straits. Third, in the
ing air and noise pollution, congestion, most cities, public transport accounted for early years of ‘shock therapy’ the lack of
growing transport-related injuries and 80-90% of motorized travel, with only 10- funds for upgrading or even maintaining
fatalities, and increased travel costs and 20% of trips made by automobile. It is not existing public transport infrastructure led
reduced mobility for the poor. Western difficult to see why. Partly as a matter of to less reliable service and more frequent
countries have developed sophisticated socialist ideology, auto ownership and use breakdowns.
environmental regulatory systems and were extremely expensive and difficult, Official policy since 1990 has encour-
procedures for democratic participation in while public transport was widely avail- aged the maximum possible privatization
the transportation and land use planning able and subsidized to such an extent that of public transport firms themselves.
it was almost free. Through a process of competitive tender-
John Pucher is an Assistant Professor While the end of communism came ing reminiscent of the situation in Great
at the Department of Urban Planning, gradually in Poland, the economic reform Britain, both public and private transport
Rutgers University program adopted by the democratically firms are required to submit bids to the

FALL 1995

local governments for the right to provide bile has become an extremely important minutes depending on the rather erratic
service on specific routes. Public transport symbol of freedom and social status. conditions. Finally, increased auto use has
systems are also required to offer competi- Many Eastern Europeans with quite mod- drawn away much of public transport’s
tive contracts for repair and other services, est incomes have purchased automobiles ridership, leading to losses in revenue, the
with the goal of reducing costs and even though they do not need cars for need for fare increases and cutbacks in
improving service quality. their transport needs and cannot really service. For the increasing number of
While such privatization measures afford them. Having an automobile is Poles with an automobile, this may seem
might eventually improve public trans- essential to showing that one does not an irrelevant problem but it is causing
port services, many current impacts have belong to the lower class. ever more severe mobility problems for
been negative. Even in an affluent and Many of the difficulties of public trans- Poland’s rapidly growing underclass.
technologically advanced country such as port in Poland undoubtedly lie with the
Britain, privatization of urban bus service public transport systems themselves. Policies to Mitigate Poland’s Growing
has led to large fare increases, service cut- Thanks to decades of massive subsidies, Transport Problems
backs and alarming losses in ridership. A the monopolistic structure of the industry It is essential that urban transport poli-
similar pattern can be seen in Poland, with and an almost entirely captive ridership, cies in Poland be revised to take externali-
fare increases and service cutbacks lead- public transport systems became extreme- ties into account, requiring travelers to
ing to ridership losses and a vicious circle ly inefficient. At the end of the socialist pay the full costs of their travel choices.
of further fare increases. era, labor productivity was low, per-unit Only then will distortions in modal choice
costs were high, overstaffing was extreme, be avoided. Regulations against the use of
Reasons for Changes in Travel Behavior and the quality of service was low. cars without catalytic converters and the
Sharp increases in public transit fares conversion to unleaded gasoline are also
have accelerated the loss of public transit Problems of Increased Auto Use critical.
ridership since 1988. Equally striking, in Poland Parking policies are also key to the
however, is the change in the price of pub- Perhaps the most serious consequence solution. Parking regulations are not
lic transport relative to the price of auto of increased auto use in Poland has been enforced, and motorists are paying far less
use. In 1988, the price of a liter of gasoline the increase in traffic fatalities. From 1987 than the opportunity cost for using the
in Poland was eight times as expensive as to 1991, the number of fatalities in auto- land on which they are parked. Fees for
a one-way trip by bus or streetcar (120 zl. mobile accidents rose from 4625 to 7901 parking should be high enough to reflect
vs. 15 zl.). By 1994, the price of a liter of and the traffic fatality rate per 100,000 at least some portion of the congestion
gasoline was only about twice as high as population rose from 12.3 to 20.8. In addi- costs arising from auto use in densely
the price of a public transport trip. Thus, tion, air, water and ground pollution have developed central city areas and there
the relative price of auto travel has fallen been severe problems in Eastern Europe needs to be a crack down on illegal park-
sharply while the relative price of public for decades but were largely ignored by ing through more frequent towing and
transport has risen. At the same time, higher fines. Successful parking
gasoline rationing has come to an control schemes have already been
end in Poland, thus increasing the implemented in Wroclaw and
supply of gasoline for purchase by
the motoring public.
Shock therapy led to Cracow, with positive results on
the liveability of their central cities.
Compared with Poland, the rela-
tive price of public transport
higher fares, deteriorating These policies would help to traffic
calm central cities, and combine
increased even more in Eastern
Germany between 1988 and 1992,
maintenance and less well with other traffic calming
measures, bicycle lane and parking
with the ratio of gasoline price to a
one-way trip public transport falling
reliable service. development, and pedestrianiza-
tion strategies for making the
from more than 9:1 to less than 1:1. urban environment friendly to the
In the Czech Republic, the ratio fell public transit user, who is after all
from 9:1 to 3:1. The largest drops in a pedestrian also.
public transport ridership occurred in communist governments who single- With private cars increasingly clogging
eastern Germany and Poland, where the mindedly pursued the goal of fastest pos- the street network for public transport,
relative price of public transport increased sible industrialization. On top of this lega- priority bus or tram lanes or high occu-
the most, while ridership has increased in cy of environmental deterioration, pancy vehicle lanes could be increasingly
the Czech Republic, where the relative increased auto use has especially exacer- effective methods of promoting public
price of public transport increased the bated the problem of air pollution in transit and reducing congestion.
least. Polish cities. There has been fierce opposition by
Financial incentives obviously do not Traffic congestion is probably the most Polish auto drivers to any sort of limits on
provide the only explanation for the visible problem of increased auto use. In their driving. That opposition has translat-
modal shift from public transport to the Warsaw, a typical rush-hour auto com- ed into political blockage of many local
automobile. Throughout the countries of mute of 10 km. required 20 minutes in government measures to control auto use
Central and Eastern Europe, the automo- 1988; the same commute now takes 30-45 continued on p.15


Sustainable Transportation Bike is free to be used by anyone who will be closed to non-motorized traffic.

News Briefs wants to use it. The city is now receiving

a large number of private donations to
Given that India spends five and one half
billion dollars on imported fossil fuels,
continued from p.11 expand the fleet, and so far none of the this policy is indeed questionable.
vehicles have been stolen, although a few
Many of the noise, pollution, and to have flat tires. While viewed with skepti- NEW YORK, NEW YORK
some extent the safety problems related cism in crime-ridden cities like New
to mopeds and other intermediate trans- York, the idea is catching on in small U.S. Subway and Bus Fare Likely to Rise to
port technologies have simple, known, West Coast towns, some of which are $1.50 as Service Declines
technical solutions which deserve to be planning to launch similar programs.
explored. However, bicycles and other The Metropolitan Transportation
non-motorized technologies are even NEW DELHI, INDIA Authority, facing severe funding cut-
more affordable, don’t generate the pol- backs from the State Government as a
lution, and have a better safety record in New Developments in Bullock Carts result of Governor Pataki’s tax-cut
the proper conditions. Low levels of bicy- promises, is planning to raise the fare on
cle use indicate that safety for bicyclists Senior Indian Government officials buses and the New York City Subway to
and pedestrians is also a major concern. recently announced that there are nearly $1.50 from $1.25, making the subway fare
25 million bullock carts plying the roads more expensive than a gallon of gasoline
of the country. Back in 1981, Prime for the first time in history. While the
BRAZIL Minister Indira Ghandi stated, “In this jet MTA is subsidized from toll revenues on
age, people refer to bullock carts as sym- many of New York’s bridges and tun-
Motorization Explodes as Car Taxes bols of the past. However, in India, ani- nels, this toll revenue is unevenly divid-
are Lowered mals provide more power than all of our ed between suburb and city. The wealthy
power plants combined. Replacing them suburban commuter rail lines receive a
The number of annual car sales in would entail a further investment of 25- higher subsidy per capita than the city’s
Brazil has nearly doubled between 1990 40 billion dollars alone, over and above public transit system which is used pre-
and 1995, from 713,000 a year in 1990 to the loss to the agricultural sector of dominantly but not exclusively by low
over 1,400,000 a year this year. One major manure and cheap fuel.” and moderate income people. New York
reason is that, in a concession to the Nevertheless, the old model of bullock Mayor Guiliani’s plans to make school
nation’s automobile industry, the govern- carts consisting of
ment significantly reduced the taxes on just wood and
the consumption of first time car buyers iron has persisted,
in 1992. The end of rampant inflation has despite improve-
also made commercial loans for auto pur- ments in technolo-
chases viable again. In order to accommo- gy. For example, C-
date the burgeoning traffic, massive new TARA (Centre for
highways are being built at enormous Tech-nology
cost, particularly in Sao Paulo, where Alternatives for
many of the new roads are displacing Rural Areas) at the
thousands of favelados or slum dwellers. Indian Institute of
With Brazil 85% dependent on Technology in
imported oil, and spending at least 30% Bombay has de-
of its foreign exchange on oil supplies to vised a cart forti-
private automobiles, such policies hardly fied by steel rods,
seem consistent with the increasingly springs and shock
severe austerity measures being imposed absorbers to ride
by the new Government to curtail gov- more smoothly and
ernment spending. with less stress on Rug merchant in New Dehli
the animal.
PORTLAND, OREGON While most of these new and children pay for their own public transit
improved carts would cost up to only Rs fares was finally defeated after an enor-
Yellow Public Bikes Introduced 8,000, the government refuses to aid in mous popular outcry.
their development while it is simultane-
Portland, Oregon has introduced 100 ously providing loans of up to Rs 30,000
yellow public bikes for downtown. for motorized tractors, and millions of ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Borrowing an idea once tried on a greater dollars in free rights of way to 10,000
scale in Amsterdam, Portland’s Yellow kilometers of planned toll roads which

FALL 1995

continued from p.13
Haiti cy has been restored, ITDP has been able
to broaden the scope of its Mobility Haiti
continued from p.7 project. By providing grassroots groups
either by restricting lane usage or parking affordable, economically accessible and
in some cities. Of course, the congestion After several preliminary meetings environmentally-friendly transportation,
and parking problems may eventually with Elien Joachim, LaFanmi’s Director, Mobility Haiti is playing a key role in
become so severe that even auto drivers it was agreed that Hugh and a mechani- empowering the indigenous NGO sector
will agree that something must be done. cal trainer and advisor from Borel, in Haiti. ITDP is open to working with
Until now, however, there seems to be an Gregory Geffrard would conduct a pre- all groups that share our commitment to
almost allergic reaction to any govern- liminary training session to gauge the promoting environmentally sustainable
ment policy that even remotely resembles boy’s interest for a bicycle program. transportation and meeting the basic
the hated controls associated with the Although seminar participants were to access needs of the poor. By increasingly
communist era. This attitude does not be held to 10, nearly 20 boys managed to working directly with indigenously-con-
bode well for the future of public trans- squeeze in to the teaching room and it trolled grassroots organizations,
port in Poland since doing nothing means was impossible to persuade them to Mobility Haiti will be better able to
a failure to internalize the external costs of leave! empower Haitians with the ideas and
auto use, putting public transport at an Elien Joachin has requested a bike skills they need to meet their basic access
enormous competitive disadvantage. mechanic/Trainer to work at least part and mobility needs.
With municipal governments and pub- time at LaFanmi and he has agreed that Even with a wealth of background
lic transit agencies facing severe fiscal the organization will pay a stipend to and historical information, it is often dif-
crises, many urban public transport sys- whomever is selected to cover food and ficult to understand the complexities of
tems are going to have to engage in lodging while they are in Port-Au- Haiti. Haiti is a small country with a his-
painful restructuring in order to remain Prince. tory that has given its people good rea-
competitive with automobile transport. Finally, Haiti’s Ministry of Transport son to be suspicious of foreigners.
But increased investment into more ener- and Rural Development has expressed Developing trust does not come easily,
gy-efficient rolling stock and track is also interest in ITDP’s help in preparing a and can be easily destroyed, and main-
critical to bringing down system costs and national level basic mobility needs taining the trust of the community
improving the competitiveness of public assessment, which would give ITDP the makes all the difference to project suc-
transit. The extensive tramway systems in opportunity to demonstrate the feasibili- cess. ITDP’s Mobility Haiti has been
many Polish cities, for example, are in ter- ty and viability of sustainable non- warmly welcomed to the Artibonite. We
rible condition. Dilapidated tracks, vehi- motorized transportation at the national are trying as outsiders to understand
cles and power systems lead to frequent level. and work with the realities there, and
breakdowns and speeds slower than learn their methods of working.
buses. However, many parts of the tram Conclusion Through our work, Mobility Haiti is,
lines are on exclusive rights-of-way and Working in Haiti in these times of slowly, becoming known and respected.
have the potential to provide fast, depend- political turmoil has not been easy, but it
able service largely immune to traffic con- has been rewarding. Now that democra- ♦ ♦ ♦
gestion. The modernization of Poland’s
tramway systems and provision of priori-
ty signalization at intersections would
vastly improve the overall quality of
urban public transport.
user charges.
Experience in the U.S. and Western Havana
continued from p.5
National government funds for one- Europe shows that once a public transport
time capital grants in both the road and rider is lost to the automobile, it is almost
public transit sectors are common in the impossible to win that rider back. Now is fossil-fuel driven transportation.
West including the U.S., but are now pri- the crucial time to preserve and improve Politics and shifts in global political
marily available only in the road sector the existing public transport systems in alliances often produce unintended out-
and for the Warsaw Metro in Poland. A Eastern Europe before more damage is comes. Cycling through the rolling hills of
system of national capital grants for local done. They should not be sacrificed on the Havana reveals the tenacity of Cubans in
public transit systems administered at the altar of supposedly sacred market princi- the face of extreme adversity. It also high-
local level needs to be established. The ples. Fair competition in the marketplace lights the practical aspects of simple, sus-
ideal source of revenue for such a fund is not possible until state support is bal- tainable transportation. Bicycle lanes con-
would be increased taxes and fees on auto anced between modes and the external tinue to be added, and after six years of
use, such as gasoline taxes, congestion costs of auto use are internalized. Until bicycle commuting, Habaneros are as like-
pricing, and vehicle registration fees. then, government support to public trans- ly to welcome lightweight alloy bicycles as
Local revenues for public transit support port will be essential to prevent a serious cheap gasoline vouchers—even if they
could ideally come from parking revenues distortion in modal choice, which would could get spare parts for those old ‘57
and parking violation fines, or other road have disastrous consequences.♦ C h e v y s .♦


World Bank Finds Other Path

Upgrading Peruvian Mountain
Tracks Puts People First
By Paul Guitink

The World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank project links remote communities to their fields or farms, and
have given the go-ahead to a $300 million Rural Roads markets. It is primarily used for human and animal portage of
Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project for Peru. The project agricultural inputs and outputs, and household-related trips. A
includes several innovative elements which will better target typical small farmer in remote areas has diverse mobility needs.
lower income beneficiaries and improve its long term environ- Farmers must go first to their fields and farms, then to their vil-
mental impact, including significant funds for upgrading village- lages, then to local towns, and sometimes to larger market towns.
level footpaths and tracks that are used primarily by pedestrians While in the past many projects focused only on the main inter-
and human and animal-powered vehicles. The overall project city network, a large portion of rural people’s basic mobility
focuses on secondary feeder roads that provide key links to the needs are met by non-motorized modes using the unclassified
primary road system, and the local network. The underdevelopment of this
inclusion of local tracks in the network represented an important barrier to
project provides important the development of small farmers.
recognition that non-motorized Interventions under the project are not limited
transport plays a key role in an to path and track improvements but can also
integrated transportation sys- include the provision of common storage facili-
tem. Identification, prioritiza- ties near the roadside to develop an efficient
tion, design, construction and intermodal transport system that combines
maintenance of improvements farm-roadside non-motorized transport with
will be done by the communi- roadside-market motorized transport.
ties, with the participation of all The local track componant of the project
stake holders. By using commu- will be implemented in two phases. Phase I
nity participation to plan the will select five pilot sites located in two of the
improvement of local paths, the poorest areas where village-level infrastructure
project represents an innovative is to be improved under the “main” project,
attempt to target infrastructure thus creating an integrated and continuous
investment to the basic mobility farm-to-market network. The pilot areas will
needs of low income people. be selected by a team of local stakeholders and
Furthermore, local micro- involved agencies known as the Project
enterprises and small contrac- Implementation Unit (PIU), based on how to
tors will be given training in maximize the number of beneficiaries, the
labor-based road rehabilitation impact on agricultural production, terrain
and then hired to rehabilitate characteristics, current transport patterns and
and maintain the rural roads the level of community interest.
included in the project. Phase II, starting 18 months after the first
Normally, roads are rehabilitat- phase, will expand the project to all areas
ed using bigger firms with capi- covered by the “main” project. At this point,
tal-intensive methods, which Mountain trails in Peru the method of selecting and planning local
has less direct benefits for the track and facilities improvements will be based
poorer people in the project area. This labor-based method will on lessons learned from the first phase.
greatly increase the number of jobs and the development of skills In both phases, the communities will select and implement
for low income people in the project area. the sub-projects with the technical assistance of a national consul-
The project will also improve local village streets in about 300 tant or NGO. Development of sustainable institutional capacity
villages to reduce the negative environmental impact of dust, at the community level to prepare, implement and manage simi-
which has been linked to respiratory illnesses. lar projects is included in the project. Training programs for the
The village-level infrastructure network supported by the community organization will familiarize them with commercial
practices required to manage and use allocated funds, to identify
Paul Guitink is the Non-Motorized Tranport expert with the World Bank. priority interventions and to ensure project sustainability.

FALL 1995

Letter Peru
financing a much needed project recom-
mending changes in World Bank loan
continued from p.3 assessment guidelines, and finally to the continued from p.16
Rockefeller Brothers Fund, who’s support
ject to the national level and integrating for our Eastern Europe project has been Training programs will build on existing
non-motorized transport into their infra- vital. capacities and practices of communities
structure development plans. Project We are pleased to note that many of and will pay special attention to the par-
Director Hugh Lewis is currently in Haiti. the articles in this issue of Sustainable ticipation of women.
In South Africa, ITDP has developed a Transport have been written by our mem- As World Bank funds are in an inter-
plan with the Soweto City Council to set bers, and we encourage more members to nationally exchangable currency, they will
up a bicycle and cart parking, rental, get involved. If you work in any of the primarily be used to cover materials need-
repair, and purchase facility at the Soweto areas that we are working and can offer ed for the project which are not locally
Commuter Rail Station. Based on the assistance to our campaigns, let us know. available, including small equipment for
Dutch model, but in a low income neigh- Finally, ITDP’s Board of Directors and labor-based road construction and rehabil-
borhood, the project will not only provide staff wish to welcome our newest Board itation.
vehicles for small micro-businesses so members who were elected at a Board Community participation also means
dearly needed in South Africa, but also Meeting in January of this year, prior to that communities will be responsible for
will maintain and improve the viability of the ITDP 10-year Anniversary Party held ongoing maintenance of the improved
the commuter rail system and decrease in Washington, D.C. They are: Ariadne facilities. Maintenance standards will be
travel times for Soweto residents who Delon-Scott, currently working with established in close collaboration with the
have to walk long distances to reach the Rivendell Cycles and previously with communities and only those communities
rail terminal. If the project catches on in Bridgestone Cycles, U.S.A.; John Howe, with proven track records of adequate
this high-profile location, it may prove a Professor of Transport at IHE-Delft routine and periodic maintenance of the
model for all of Africa. University, Delft, Holland, an internation- improved village-level infrastructure will
ITDP’s Women’s Mobility Project in ally renowned expert in human -powered be eligible for replacement of worn-out
Mozambique is also back on track with transport in Africa; and V. Setty equipment or follow-up projects.
the generous support of contributors to Pendakur, Professor of Urban and The success of this project will be
the Alternative Gifts Market. Doubling the Regional Planning at the University of judged based on the performance of the
promised number of bicycles, two con- British Columbia in Vancouver, Chairman sub-projects and their impact and interac-
tainers of bicycles, parts and accessories of the Transportation Research Board’s tion with the improvements in the main
were shipped this September to Global Task Force on Non-Motorized project which focuses on secondary roads.
Mozambique to help the members of Transport. We’d also like to thank Harriett Furthermore, measuring the economic
AMRU, a women’s organization, set up Parcells for her years of support as a benefits on the lives and economic posi-
small businesses. Board Member. Special thanks to Karen tion of the low income beneficiaries will
The requests for ITDP’s help, however, Overton and Robin Stallings for their hard be one of the first attempts by the World
are rapidly outstripping the money we work organizing our 10-year anniversary Bank to include impacts on non-motor-
have available to provide this support. party, to Paul MacCready, and everyone ized transport in economic assessment cri-
Our heartfelt thanks are extended to the who participated in the celebration.♦ teria. The results of this assessment will
Turner Foundation and the New Land also be used to develop guidelines and
Foundation who have renewed their long- best practices for future projects.
time support our work, to the Walter Hook
Environmental Protection Agency for Executive Director ♦ ♦ ♦

Pedals for Progress

Every year, we Americans buy 12 million new
bicycles and junk five million old ones, leaving Pedals for Progress has sent bicycles
to Nicaragua, Eritrea, Ecuador, the
them abandoned and unused in basements, barns
Domincan Republic, and to ITDP’s
and garages. Few of us want to throw old bicycles projects in Haiti and Mozambique.
away; we recognize they have value, and we are To supoport PFP, send youir check
reluctant to add to the waste stream. Pedals for or write to :
Progress offers a simple solution to this problem Pedals for Progress
and has established a viable means for recycling 86 E. Main St.
these bicycles and lessening our impact on our High Bridge, NJ 08829
own landfills.


Downward Mobility? A Critique of the

World Bank’s Transportation Sector
Lending. Hook, W., Knecht, T., and
NEW Howitt, [forthcoming]. Good sur-
vey of the impact of the Clean Air
Act Amendments on transporta-
Zegras, C., 1995. To order, write The
International Institute for Energy
Conservation, 750 First Street, NE, Suite
TITLES tion planning in the U.S. Useful
lessons for developing and CEEC
countries. Transportation Quarterly,
940, Washington, D.C. 2002 or call (202) 842- Summer 1995.
3388 or FAX: (202) 842-1565, or email: Railways, Energy, and the Environment. K. Gwilliam, Z.
Shalizi, and L. Thompson, 1994. Write to the World
A Citizens Guide to Effective State Air Quality Planning for Bank-TWUTD, 1818 H St, NW, Washington, D.C. 20433.
T r a n s p o r t a t i o n. 1994. Write The Task Force on Ask for Report TWU-6.
Transportation and the Environment, 1875 Connecticut
Ave, NW, Suite 1016, Washington, D.C. 20009, or fax Roads and the Environment: A Handbook. 1994. The World
202-234-6049. Bank-TWUTD, 1818 H St, NW, Washington, D.C. 20433.
Ask for Report TWU-13.
Bike Cult: The Ultimate Guide to Human Powered Vehicles.
Perry, D., 1995. Called the Whole Earth Catalogue for Railway Reform in the Central and Eastern European
bicyclists, this compendium has something for all bike Economies. P. Blackshaw and L.Thompson, 1993. Write
enthusiasts. Write the publisher: Four Walls Eight to the World Bank-TWUTD, 1818 H St, NW,
Windows Publishers, 39 W. 14th St., Rm. 503, New York, Washington, D.C. 20433. Ask for Report WPS-1137.
NY 10011.
Transport for Urban Development in Hong Kong. Timothy
Intelligent Transportation Systems for Sustainable Hau, University of Hong Kong. To order, Write: ITDP,
Communities. Replogle., M. Write to the Environmental 611 Broadway, RM. 616, New York, NY 10012 or call
Defense Fund, 1875 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, (212) 260-8144. $5.00.
D.C. 20009, or fax 202-234-6049.
Transport and Communications for Sustainable Development.
Reconciling Transportation, Energy, and Environmental Dr. Roberto Camagni and Roberta Capello, Politechnico
Issues: The Role of Public Transport. Proceedings of a di Milana and Prof. Peter Hijkamp, Free University of
Conference in Budapest, Hungary, June 1994. Good col- Amsterdam. To Order write ITDP, 611 Broadway, rm.
lection of articles focusing on Eastern Europe. 616, New York, NY, 10012 or call (212) 260-8144. $5.00.
Proceedings from the 1995 Conference in Bucharest,
Romania may also be available. Write to the Challenges Facing Urban Transport in Asia. Mr. M.
International Energy Agency, 2 Rue Andre-Pascal, 75775 Rahmatullah, The Economic and Social Commission for
Paris, CEDEX 16, France. Asia and the Pacific, The United Nations, Bangkok,
Thailand. To order write ITDP, 611 Broadway, RM. 616,
“Motorization and Non-Motorized Transport in Asia: New York, NY, 10012 or call (212) 260-8144. $5.00.
Transport System Evolution in China, Japan, and
Indonesia,” Hook, W. and Replogle, M. Journal of Land Moving People - Transport Policy in the Cities of Brazil.
Use Policy, Vol. 12. Write to ITDP for a copy. $5.00. Douglas Poole, Marcus C. de Melo and Regina S. V.M.
Pacheco, 1994. For more information call IDRC publica-
“A Review of the Transport Policies of the Multi-Lateral tions at (800) 274-4488.
Development Banks in Central and Eastern Europe and
Their Environmental Consequences: A Case Study of
Poland,” Speakman, D., 1995. Write to the Polish
Ecological Club, ul. Pilsudskiego 8, 31-109 Krakow,

“Integrating Pedestrian and Bicycle Factors into

Regional Transportation Planning Models: Summary of
the State of the Art and Suggested Steps Forward,” by
M. Replogle, 1995. Write to the Environmental Defense
Fund, 1875 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, D.C.
20009, or fax 202-234-6049.

“SIP’s, Sanctions, and Conformity: The Clean Air Act

and Transportation Planning,” by J. Anderson and A.

FALL 1995

Velo City. Sept. 26-30, 1995, Basel Switzerland. European Third Substantive Session of the Preparatory Committee for
Equivalent of the Pro Bike/Pro Walk conference. Attracts Habitat II, February 12-23, 1996, New York, New York.
hundreds of the world’s premier bicycle transportation engi- Contact the Habitat Focal Point: Mr. J. Mungai, United Nations
neers, planner and advocates. Contact : Postfach, CH-4124 Centre for Human Settlements (HABITAT), P.O. Box 30030,
Schonenbuch, Switzerland. TEL: (01141)61-4817869. Nairobi, Kenya, TEL: 254-2-62-3719; FAX: 254-2-62 3080.

City-Trans Asia ‘95, 21-23 Sep., 1995, Singapore. Sponsored by CODATU VII. February 12-16, 1996. 7th Conference on the
the Ministry of National Development, Singapore. Very Development and Planning of Urban Transport in Developing
expensive and corporate oriented. For more information, con- Countries, , New Delhi, India. CODATU, focusing on Urban
tact Amsterdam RAI, International Exhibition and Congress Transport in Developing Countries, brings together the lead-
Centre, P.O. Box 77777, NL-1070, MS Amsterdam, ing experts from more than 30 countries, and more than 150
Europaplein, NL-1078 GZ Amsterdam, TEL: (31 0 20-549-1212 papers are scheduled to be presented. Contact Olivier
or FAX) 310 020 646-4469. Degeorges, Secretary General, CODATU Association, 22 rue
d’Alsace, 93200 Levallois-Perret, France. Tel: (331) 47 39 36 86;
The Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies FAX: (331) 47 39 36 85.Regional Seminar on
Conference, September 28-30, 1995, Manila, Philippines.
Contact Ms. Fujita H., Secretary to Association EASTS, c/o Megacities Management in Asia and The Pacific, Manila,
Prof. Inamura H., Dept. of Civil Engineering, Tohoku Philippines, sponsored by the Asian Development Bank and
University, Aoba, Aoba-ku, Sendai, 980, Japan, FAX: 81-22- the Urban Management Programme for Asia and the Pacific
268-3689; Email: INAMURA@PLAN1.CIVIL.TOHOKU.AC.JP (UMPAP). Contact: Mr. Asad Ali Shah, Manager, the Asian
Development Bank, TEL: 632-711-3851 or FAX: 632-741-7961.
“Effective Financing of Environmentally Sustainable
Development”, World Bank’s Third Annual Conference on HABITAT II, June 3-14, Istanbul, Turkey. United Nations
Environmentally Sustainable Development. October 4-6, 1995, Conference on Human Settlements, Contact United Nations
Washington, D.C. At the National Academy of Sciences and Centre on Human Settlements, Nairobi, Kenya, P.O. Box
the World Bank. For details, call 202-473-9361, fax 202-522- 30030,TEL:254-2-230800; FAX: 254-2-226473.
3224, email, or write 1995 ESD Conf,
Office of the V.Pres. for Env. Sust. Development, The World “Towards Sustainable Transport”, March 25-28, 1996,
Bank, 1818 H St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20433. Vancouver, Canada. OECD International Conference, hosted
by the Canadian Government and the Province of British
Bicycle Federation of America - Advocacy Training. The BFA Columbia. This conference is concerned with the assessment of
is organizing five regional action weekends to help U.S.-based long-term goals for transportation that are consistent with
state and local advocates effectively pursue long-range bicycle sustainable development and the identification of policies and
and pedestrian plans developed under the Intermodal Surface measures that might be adopted to achieve these goals. For
Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA). The workshops are as more information, please contact Mr. Russ Robinson,
follows: Boulder, CO., Sept. 9-10: Madison, WI., Sept. 16-17: Environment Canada, Transportation Systems Division, 351 St.
Pittsburgh, PA., Sept 23-24: Atlanta, GA., Sept. 30-Oct. 1: Joseph Blvd., 13th Floor, Hull, Quebec, Canada K1A OH3,
Davis, CA., Oct. 14-15. For details, contact BFA at tel:202-463- FAX: 1-819-953-7815.
6622, fax:202-463-6625, email:, or write to 1506
21st St. NW, Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20036

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SustainableTr a n s p o r t
We need your support! Your tax-deductible donations have
not only helped to send several containers of donated bicycles
to newly democratic Haiti and Mozambique and train
mechanics there, but they have also convinced larger donors
to do the same. Meanwhile, our work with NGOs in Asia and
E a s t e rn Europe has empowered them to join us in the fight
against automobile-dependence. Help keep the wheels of the
‘velo’-lution turning with your contribution and help!

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