Well, here we go again: tomorrow is World Naked Bicycle Ride Day.
World Streets maintains a watching brief and reports from time to time on the tricky topic of mandatory helmet laws in different parts of the world. (For more: http://goo.gl/H8mEHm .) Ian Ker reports here from Perth with a case study of mandatory bicycle helmet laws in West Australia , as presented to the 29 May 2014 VeloCity Global Conference in Adelaide.
In memoriam 2013.
Streetsblog: Doing its job year after year in New York City.
Each year our friends over at STREETSblog in New York City publish a heart-rending testimonial to the mayhem that automobiles have wrought over the year on their city’s streets and the cost in terms of lives lost by innocent pedestrians and cyclists. Putting names, faces and human tragedy to what otherwise takes the form of dry numbers, faceless hence quickly forgettable statistics is an important task. We can only encourage responsible citizens and activists in every city on the planet to do the same thing, holding those public officials (and let’s not forget, “public servants”) responsible for what goes on under their direct control.
Who is doing this job in your city?
There are of course quite a number of reasons, but one of them is NOT that we do not have sufficient knowledge and experience in order to figure out and implement effectively a very large number of measures and policies, each of which one step at a time will draw us just one bit more close to our much needed goals. So that is definitely not the problem. Continue reading
Continuing our coverage of the open “No parking, No business” conversation, more on walkability impacts/local economic development impacts, this time from Todd Litman: selected references from the “Walkability” chapter of the Online TDM Encyclopedia of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute. Continue reading
On 23 June we asked the following open question to our readers “Has anyone out there ever run across a solid report or study showing that local businesses suffer financially when a zone is pedestrianized or made bike-accessible? Or that real estate prices take a nose dive when such improvements are made? Most of us here are familiar with the other side of this coin, but it occurred to me that this such critical references might be useful to us all, given that these local conflicts and claims come up time and time again in cities around the world.” Continue reading
NEW REPORT: Public bikesharing—the shared use of a bicycle fleet—is an innovative transportation strategy that has recently emerged in major North American cities. Information technology (IT)-based bikesharing systems typically position bicycles throughout an urban environment, among a network of docking stations, for immediate access. Trips can be one-way, round-trip, or both, depending on the operator. Bikesharing can serve as both a first-and-last mile (connector to other modes) and a many-mile solution. Continue reading
Last Saturday morning, the 23rd of June, I thought to ask an open question to several of our New Mobility Agenda fora as follows:
Has anyone out there ever run across a solid report or study showing that local businesses suffer financially when a zone is pedestrianized or made bike accessible? Or that real estate prices take a nose dive when such improvements are made? Most of us here are familiar with the other side of this coin, but it occurred to me that this such critical references might be useful to us all, given that these local conflicts and claims come up time and time again in cities around the world.
From Equity-Based Transportation Systems: Paradigm Shift.
The transportation justice movement calls into question government subsidies of transportation forms that tend to benefit largely white and affluent urban and suburban commuters and advocates for better transit options and safer streets for poor people and people of color. This population of cyclists is largely uncounted, unrecognized, and unrepresented. Put simply, these are the invisible cyclists. In many cases, invisible cyclists are the constituents of transportation justice organizations, but only insofar as they are poor people of color. As cyclists, they remain invisible.
Under our World City Bike program we have for several years now been looking at the yes/no sudden-death helmet issue in the context of public bike projects . If you click here you will find several postings that make an effort to report in a balanced manner (to the extent possible) on the issues, trade-offs and implications of creating legal requirements that force all cyclists to use helmets. An absolutely well-intentioned position which has turned out to be no less than the cold hand of death strangling nascent public bicycle projects in various projects around the world. Pity to spend all that public money on a nice bike sharing system and then find that they are not being widely used while honest citizens add pounds of fat to what should be their lithe frames. In the event, here are a handful of short videos from YouTube that take a pretty good whack at it from several perspectives. Have a look and decide for yourself.
[Have a look at this good historical piece by Christopher Gray which appeared in today's New York Times under their Streetscapes/Traffic Wars rubric.]
IN the future, perhaps our time will be known as the first decade of the Bicycle Wars, with righteous armies fighting over traffic lanes, bike paths and sidewalks, indeed over the very purpose of the streets themselves. Like many wars, it’s a question of territory, and the pedestrian has been losing for years. Continue reading
A city known for its sea of yellow taxis and crowded streets, New York is becoming a place no one thought was possible: bikeable.
New York City is at the tipping point of becoming one of the world’s great bicycling cities. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and the New York City Department of Transportation (DoT) have done a tremendous job creating a more bicycle-friendly New York. According to the DoT, commuter cycling increased by 13% between 2009 and 2010. In the last five years, bicycle ridership has doubled.
A city known for its sea of yellow taxis and crowded streets, New York City is becoming a town no one thought was possible. With this bike share plan, New York City will transform itself into the nation’s top bicycling city. All eyes will be on us to see if the program succeeds or fails. Bike sharing is such an important change, and change is always challenging. But this will be a game-changer for NYC; get ready for it.
* * * Click here for article.
Here is a rough chronology showing how information gets around in the world-wide sustainable transport network in 2011. Last Monday, 1 August, someone named Meras Zuokas (whom we do not know but whom we definitely like and who by all indications lives in Lithuania), uploaded a 104 second video onto YouTube with commentary in Lithuanian, showing a dynamic mayor dealing directly with the classic sustainable transport problem of illegally parked cars encumbering circulation in designated bike lanes in the capital city of Vilnius. That was the first stop on a lightning journey around the world that in a few days brings us here. Continue reading
No matter how many times I have been to the Netherlands, how many times I have ridden next to parked cars, nor how many times as a driver have I leapt from my vehicle, in all that time and in all those places I never learned how do the Dutch get out of a car. But I should have and Russell Shorto explains why. Continue reading
Bangladeshi women face significant barriers from family, neighbors and society in getting on a bike a riding around town in bright daylight. Freedom of mobility is seriously curtailed in Dhaka if women don’t feel safe to travel independently in their own city. Over 35% of female commuters in Dhaka depend on a cycle rickshaw and as more major roads ban these rickshaws, daily mobility for women is threatened furthermore. Arohi’s tagline: “Pedaling the way to empowerment” summarizes the links that we plan to draw between cycles, mobility and empowerment. Continue reading
To calm the passions of our spirited (but still unfinished) hate cycles/hate cars debate, here is a follow-up to our no less heady discussions on cities and cycling maps. You will see the background on all that and the interim results just below – but for now, let me introduce the map that I use each day here in Paris when I need some help for trip planning. I am sure there must be better ones out there that we shall be hearing about, but this is not a bad way to get this discussion moving here. Continue reading
Well the calm of this sunny April day did not last long. Bear hours after publication of what we thought was going to be perfectly harmless op-ed criticizing bicycles and bike readers in cities, comments, scathing and otherwise, came cascading into the editorial offices of World Streets and our open Facebook Group page at http://www.facebook.com/worldstreets. And within hours the following slipped in over the transom from cyclist Ezra Goldman over at “On our own two wheels”. Let’s hear what he has to say.
The following in this morning from an unidentified but apparently pretty disgruntled motorist who asked that we make his grievances widely known in the pages of World Streets. So in the spirit of equal time and with no more ado, World Streets turns over the stage to him. Let’s listen to what he has to say:
If your city is to go the bike route, and we can think of no good reason why it should not, you have to figure out the parking angle. Which, once you get into it, proves to be not nearly as easy as you might at first have thought. Here is a thoughtful piece on the on-street parking piece of the city bike puzzle which appears in Grist this morning under the byline of the ever-inventive Elly Blue. We propose you check it out with that second cup of coffee. Continue reading
We asked for the counsel of a number of international experts with backgrounds and contrasting views in this area, and this short report summarizes their information and recommendations. Still looks pretty good in 2011.
* Click here for World Streets report – Bikes, helmets and the law
What was the song? “If you can do it here you can do it anywhere. New York New York”? Well there just may be something to that. Here is some of the latest on how the proponents of more and safer biking in New York City are using social media to gain support from the citizen base, while at the same time an irate lobby is doing its best to keep the streets as they were and, as they hope, ever shall be. Amen Sister. (BTW, this is by no means a unique conflict. It could be your city.) Continue reading
On Sunday, the NYC Street Memorial Project held the 6th Annual Memorial Ride and Walk. According to the New York City Department of Transportation, 151 pedestrians and 18 bicyclists were killed on the streets of New York City in 2010. Participants called for stronger measures to reduce traffic fatalities. The ride culminated by installing a “Ghost Bike” in front of Brooklyn Borough Hall for the unnamed pedestrians and cyclists killed in 2010. Continue reading