World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda are strong and consistent supporters of bike sharing projects created in university settings, particularly when planned and implemented on the basis of collaboration with students and faculty. We have reported on the excellent bike sharing project at Taiwan National University, and today we are pleased to share with you information just in from the Bike Sharing Project at Makerere University in Kampala Uganda. Projects like this not only improve mobility and environment for all within the target area, but also serve to prepare future leaders.
The Young Scholars/Future Leaders program organized in association with the inaugural Kaohsiung World Share/Transport Forum provided a highly innovative and useful component of the 2010 event, which we are keen on build on and extend in the future. To this end, we publish here today background information taken from the original event, as a stepping stone in the direction of bringing the entire program up to date and making it one of the key building blocks of the still to be decided 2013 World Forum. More to follow on this shortly but for now read on here.
Not everything the auto lobby does today is greenwash. There is plenty of that about of course, but in addition the honeyed words that are constantly articulated to calm our raging democratic spirits and to bring us to believe that we are all in the same side in this one big happy sustainable family, there are occasions in which the industry and its more hapless proponents fall back into a blatant posture of pure meanness of spirit. As an example let us take a look at a recent vicious campaign of General Motors to sell their cars to young people, at any cost to their future well-being. Continue reading
Although the interest is increasing, research about carsharing in China is still at a low level. The objective of this paper is to assess the feasibility for carsharing to work in China, and to find out which city in China is best suited for carsharing to first be tested. Therefore, this paper evaluates current transport background for carsharing in two of China’s major cities, and comparisons were conducted, focusing on: 1) transportation policy which relates to carsharing, 2) geographic features, and 3) demographic characteristics of residents. The main conclusion from this study is that carsharing has a great possibility for development in Beijing and Shanghai . . . Continue reading
It’s close to midnight on this fateful Friday the 18th, as COP15 suddenly trudges unfulfilled sadly into our past. And as I sort through the debris, I am struggling to figure out what might be the main lessons of this experience. Let me share with you my late-night thoughts concerning three event-shaping failures, or at least stark short-comings which I suggest we will all do well to learn from. After all we have the planet waiting for us. Continue reading
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership in the United States has just released a new report showing how Safe Routes to School programs can be harnessed to keep children safe from traffic dangers while walking and bicycling to school. The report explores the approaches five different communities used to create safer environments for children walking and bicycling. The lessons are universal.
The five communities (Santa Rosa, CA; Miami-Dade County, FL; state of ME; Springfield, MO; and Portland, OR) each demonstrate how Safe Routes to School evaluation, education, encouragement, enforcement, and engineering can address traffic safety concerns. Many of these safety improvements are made at relatively low costs to communities and schools, yet have profound effects on keeping children safe while also improving physical health and the environment.
The report demonstrates there are many different approaches to improving safety for children walking and bicycling:
• In Santa Rosa, CA, after children received pedestrian safety education, there was a 63 percent increase in children using the crosswalks to cross the street rather than crossing at unmarked locations.
• In Miami-Dade County, FL, since the launch of the WalkSafe™ child pedestrian safety program in 2001, there has been a 43 percent decrease in the total number of children ages 0-14 hit by cars.
• An analysis comparing bicycle crash rates in Maine for the eight years before their Bicycle Safety Education Program was implemented (1992 to 1999) with the first eight years the program has been offered (2000-2007) reveals a 51 percent drop in bicycle crashes for children aged 10-14.
• Springfield, MO has already demonstrated the impact special roadway signage can have on vehicle speeds. Data from their pilot showed that 85 percent of motorists reduced their speeds by three to five miles per hour without any increase in enforcement after speed limits were reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph.
• Infrastructure improvements in Portland, OR have been successful in helping decrease crashes, as well as the severity of the crashes. Total crashes decreased by nearly 25 percent and there was a 32 percent decline in pedestrian injuries from crashes.
Deb Hubsmith, Director of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership noted, “The success stories in this report show the power and promise of Safe Routes to School to help communities all across the country to address safety risks and improve conditions for students walking and bicycling to school.”
In 2007, an estimated 14,000 children ages 14 and under were injured as pedestrians, while more than 300 children were killed while walking. In 2008, an estimated 52,000 bicyclists were injured in motor vehicle crashes, and 21 percent of those bicyclists-nearly 11,000 children-were age 14 or younger. Children walking and bicycling to school represent 11 percent of injuries and fatalities during the school commute, but just 14 percent of trips and less than two percent of miles traveled.
Transportation for America also recently released a report, Dangerous by Design, identifying the dangers that pedestrians face in 360 metropolitan areas and focusing on solving the epidemic of preventable pedestrian deaths through active transportation. Safe Routes to School programs can provide tangible solutions to major traffic safety issues such as these, making it safer for children-and other residents-to walk and bicycle in their neighborhoods and to and from school.
Congress launched the federal Safe Routes to School program in 2005 through the federal transportation bill and provided $612 million for five years of state-level implementation of programs that build sidewalks, bike lanes, and pathways, while also providing funding for education, promotion, and law enforcement. Federal Safe Routes to School funds are educating children on safe bicycle and pedestrian practices, increasing traffic enforcement to improve adherence to traffic laws and speed limits, and making infrastructure improvements to create safe places for children to walk and bicycle.
The report can be viewed at www.saferoutespartnership.org.
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership, hosted by the non-profit Bikes Belong Foundation, is a network of more than 400 nonprofit organizations, government agencies, schools, and professionals working together to advance the Safe Routes to School movement in the United States. The Partnership focuses on building partnerships, changing policies, advancing legislation, and improving the built environment.
As part of the massive media effort underway in France in support of the Copenhagen initiative, the editor of World Streets was invited by Ann-Cécile Bras of Radio France International this morning to share his views and reactions to the COP15 process and what might come next. His principal theme: “The problem is not the problem. The problem is the ‘solution’.” Follow the podcast here. Continue reading