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TOPIC: NLC study on Cities Planning for autonomous cars

NLC study on Cities Planning for autonomous cars 1 year 9 months ago #118

Report: Most cities not planning for autonomous vehicles
Posted: 8:31 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 | Austin American Statesman
By John Gallagher - Detroit Free Press

With technologists racing to get autonomous-driven vehicles on the road in 10 years or less, America’s urban planners need to resolve a host of questions about how cities will respond to the future of transportation.
A report from the National League of Cities finds only 6 percent of U.S. cities have devoted planning resources to figuring out changes needed to accommodate self-driving vehicles. And only 3 percent have studied the impact of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, which function as alternatives to traditional taxi services.
Yet 50 percent of cities’ plans include explicit recommendations for new highway construction — dealing with auto congestion in the traditional way of adding more roads, more lanes and more parking garages to the urban landscape.
The report, titled “City of the Future: Technology and Mobility,” is meant to help city leaders understand, imagine and plan for the coming changes in the urban environment due to autonomous vehicles and other new transportation options.
Among the questions that cities need to consider:
—Will the advent of autonomous vehicles require dedicated lanes for them? Technology that keeps autonomous vehicles from straying outside their lane may solve many safety-related problems. But regulators might decide separating traditional cars from autonomous vehicles in different lanes or zones may work best, especially in crowded downtown areas.
—Will autonomous vehicles lessen the need for downtown parking garages? One possible future would see most autonomous vehicles as part of fleets operated by services like Uber and Lyft.
—Will the spread of autonomous vehicles go hand-in-hand with more bicycle commuting and other “green” forms of alternative transportation? And should cities spend more on public transportation as part of an overall strategy to lessen dependence on privately owned cars?
These issues are starting to get a look as the technology of autonomous vehicles advances with unexpected speed, said Brooks Rainwater, an author of the new report and director of the Center for City Solutions and Applied Research at the National League of Cities in Washington, D.C.
“The rate of change is definitely happening much faster,” Rainwater said. “Cities are getting up to speed and they’re looking at what they can do, but the planning perspective oftentimes hasn’t been aligning with how quickly technology has been changing.”
Besides the rush toward autonomous vehicles, the report found that 13 cities now have new streetcar lines coming, more than 20 have so-called bus rapid transit systems under consideration, and 49 cities are building or planning new bicycle-sharing systems to be in place by 2020.
All these changes will lessen the need of cities to accommodate private automobiles, although to what extent won’t be known for years.
Travis County Precinct Two Commissioner Brigid Shea
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NLC study on Cities Planning for autonomous cars 1 year 9 months ago #119

This new technology will impact Travis County in the same way the transition from horse & buggies to the "horse-less carriage" did at the turn of the last century. I'd like to recommend we create a special task force to study how it will affect us and how best we can prepare for it. Who wants to co-sponsor it? I'd also like to see if the city and other entities would like to participate.
Travis County Precinct Two Commissioner Brigid Shea
The administrator has disabled public write access.
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