Commentary: On priority lane strategies for Malta

Malta priority lane - smallOn 11 November, the following question was posted by James Craig Wightman‎, one of the leaders of Malta’s hard-pressed cycling activist program, to the World Streets Facebook site.

Not sure if this is worthy of the Worst Practices page so thought I’d ask your opinion. As of tomorrow bus lanes in Malta will be open for car pooling cars and electric vehicles as well. While it’s a laudable notion, it remains to be seen how this will effect cyclist and motorcyclist rider safety. Up to now we knew the only cars that would (or should) be passing us were Taxi’s. Motorcycles were also allowed to use the lane. We knew that other private cars were not allowed and this meant we knew who to look out for (the idiot breaking the law and dangerously trying to squeeze past). Now its not so clear, neither is it clear how this will be enforced (a big problem in Malta) and managed. So I’m deeply concerned about cyclist safety with higher traffic volumes on the bus lanes, and particularly electric cars creeping up silently on cyclists. While you need to ask why other two wheeled traffic lost out (that will now filter down files of traffic).

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Earth Policy Institute reports on Public Bicycles

USA Earth Policy Institute logo

 

EPI Bicycle Share Fact Sheet

The prevalence of bicycles in a community is an indicator of our ability to provide affordable transportation, lower traffic congestion, reduce air pollution, increase mobility, and provide exercise to the world’s growing population. Bike-sharing programs are one way to get cycles to the masses.

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Anybody who says that Berlin is great for cycling doesn’t know what they’re talking about

uk alternative dept of transport

Cycling in Berlin *

There’s so much to cover here in Berlin;  I have to tell you about the excellent public transport system, the suffocating dominance of car parking, the superb driving conditions, the less-than-superb cycling conditions, the at times downright hostile footways, the culture and attitudes, the VC-and-helmet-loving local cycle campaign, and so much more.

So this first post is a general overview of conditions for cycling in Berlin as I’ve experienced them these past five months, and I’ll begin with this statement:

Anybody who says that Berlin is great for cycling doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

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Bicycle Contraflow Lanes: Death Wish or Life Line?

A counterflow lane or contraflow lane is a lane in which traffic flows in the opposite direction of the surrounding lanes. *

Contraflow is a common part of decent cycling infrastructure and is often seen on one-way streets. A standard example is that car and other vehicular traffic might have only one lane while on both sides there are bike lanes; one going in the same direction as the vehicular traffic, the other (the contraflow bike lane) allows cyclists to safely go in the opposite direction to the cars

Counterflow cycle lane in Paris. Credit: Vladimit Zlokazov

Counterflow cycle lane in Paris. Credit: Vladimir Zlokazov

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Go Lillestrøm! Pedestrians and cyclists receive “reverse toll money” in Norway

japan pedesstria cyclist dressedAs part of Norway’s ongoing European Mobility Week celebrations, around 10,000 NOK (€1,200) was handed out in the town of Lillestrøm to pedestrians and cyclists in “reverse toll money”. The money symbolised the health benefits of walking and cycling, including better fitness, improved air quality and more efficient transport.

Cyclists received around €12, while pedestrians gained €11. Calculations carried out by the Norwegian Directorate of Health shows that active transport provides the state with a saving of 52 NOK (€6) per kilometer for pedestrians and 26 NOK (€3) per kilometer for cyclists. An average bike trip in Norway is 4 kilometers, providing a health benefit of 100 NOK (€12), while an average walking trip is 1.7 km, worth almost 90 NOK (€11)

The only thing I have to say about this is: EXCELLENT!

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Car Free Days 2014 – Citizen Cycling Audit (Revision 2.2)

Twenty questions to light the way to improving cycling in your city.

iceland planning meeting smallThis is the first revision of the initial listing of questions and criteria for the proposed first runs of the Citizens Cycling Audit, as  initially published as a fetture artcile in World Streets on 27 August at http://wp.me/psKUY-3HQ .[1]  As you will note as a result of additional inputs and suggestions from helpful colleagues, there are now a bit more than twenty questions. Not a problem and we can sort this out once we feel comfortable that we are moving in the right direction.

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Twenty Questions to consider to improve cycling In your city. (First guidelines for 2014 WCFD Citizen Cycle Audit )

velib-guyAs original organizers of the World Car Free Days movement, we are always attentive to finding ways to make real use out of these generally festive occasions. We have been working consistently on this task since the first program announcement in Toledo Spain at a major European conference in October 1994 under the title of  “Thursday: A breakthrough strategy for reducing car dependence in cities“.  (See http://wp.me/psKUY-U9)

This year we propose that considering cities may give some thought to the possibility of organizing on a pilot basis a special core Car Free Day event — specifically intended to examine, encourage and support cycling in cities.  This makes sense: a Car Free Day is seen as an occasion to  step back and think together about how your city is doing in the challenging transition from an essentially private car-based to an equitable and efficient mobility-based society.  With this in mind we are proposing at the core of the other planned CFD events this year  the tool of a “Civil Society State of City Cycling Audit” – in order to provide independent  background and perspective on the state of safe and abundant cycling in their city. The following posting sets out the latest proposal for this “collaborative citizen self-audit”.

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