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Posts from the ‘Cycling’ Category

London is looking to increase cycling tenfold after the coronavirus

Treehugger.com 6 May 2020

It's the only way to deal with reduced capacity in the underground, and is a great example for other cities.

In North America, bikes are seen as recreation rather than transportation; that's why some cities like New York and Toronto have to be dragged kicking and screaming into providing room for them. But both of these cities are dependent on subways to move commuters and are faced with a serious problem of reduced capacity. London is even more reliant on the Underground, and is looking at bikes being part of the solution. Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman (yes, they have someone doing that!) explains the straightforward mathematics in BikeBiz:

With London’s public transport capacity potentially running at a fifth of pre-crisis levels, up to eight million journeys a day will need to be made by other means. If people switch only a fraction of these journeys to cars, London will grind to a halt. Essential deliveries and emergency services will be stuck in gridlock and Londoners will once again be exposed to toxic traffic fumes and rising levels of road danger. Our city’s economic recovery will be choked off.

Parking and traffic lanes will be reduced or removed to provide more space for pedestrians and bikes, with pavements doubled in width in some areas. Traffic signals are being retimed to reduce pedestrian waiting, and more space will be provided at busy transit stops. Mayor Sadiq Khan is quoted: “The emergency measures… will help those who have to travel to work. Many Londoners have rediscovered the joys of walking and cycling during lockdown and ... we will enable millions more people to change the way they get around our city.”

They also project five times the amount of walking, with more people working from home and walking around their neighborhoods. Commissioner Norman explains:

Many people will continue to work from home for many months to come. We’re likely to have fewer longer journeys to work and more shorter journeys in our local neighbourhoods. We will rapidly transform local town centres on the TfL road network to enable these local journeys to be safely walked and cycled where possible, and work with the boroughs to make similar changes on their streets. Wider footways on high streets will facilitate a local economic recovery, with people having space to queue for shops as well as enough space for others to safely walk past while socially distancing.

This is where it gets really interesting, a vision not that different from the one laid out in TreeHugger's The Coronavirus and the future of Main Street, where more people working at home supported what Eric Reguly called "a relaunch of Jane Jacobs’s urban ideal, where neighborhoods have a diverse range of work and family functions."

Instead of spending billions on expensive subways and highways, it becomes an exercise in rebuilding shorter, local links serving revitalized neighborhood centers. But it also recognizes, finally, the importance of walking, bikes and now e-bikes as transportation, not just fitness or recreation. Cars take up a lot of space, and we don't have enough of it in our cities. We have to acknowledge, as they are in London, that we can't just hand our cities over to drivers and cars or we will just have gridlock and pollution. In an earlier post, E-bikes will eat ... buses? I quoted Morton Kabell: "A lot of people will be afraid of going on public transportation, but we have to get back to work someday. Very few of our cities can handle more car traffic."

https://www.treehugger.com/bikes/london-looking-increase-cycling-tenfold-post-lockdown.html

Pop-up bikeways on the cards in Adelaide’s CBD as indecision stalls east-west route

ABC News 12 May 2020

Pop-up bikeways in Adelaide's CBD that could utilise existing car lanes are to be considered by the city's council as a temporary solution to long-awaited cycling infrastructure.

Key points:

A councillor is going to propose pop-up bike lanes as an experimental measure in Adelaide
The $5.5 million east-west bikeway has been delayed since announced in 2016
There are calls for more funding of cycling infrastructure to avoid traffic gridlocks post-COVID-19

City of Adelaide councillor Robert Simms said he wants to draw from "what's happening around the world and in other states" by implementing temporary bike lanes in the CBD.

"We want to look at what we can do in the short-term to accommodate more cyclists on our streets while we get bikeway construction underway," he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

"We've got lots of car parking that is not being used because of the pandemic. And even with the easing of restrictions at the moment we're still not going to see the volume of people coming into the city for some time.

"It could mean less [motor] lanes on arterial roads.

Debate stymies east-west bikeway

Debate over a long-awaited east-west bikeway through the CBD appears no closer to being settled as opinions on the best route continue to vary in the council — as they have for much of the latter half of last decade.
Proposals for the $5.5 million project have included using Grote and Wakefield streets, Flinders and Franklin streets, and Pirie and Waymouth streets.

The route is designed to connect with Frome Road's north-south bikeway, which has itself been the subject of controversy after its initial design was partially ripped up and re-designed in 2017.

"We've had big discussions about the east-west bikeway in Adelaide and where we are going to put it," Cr Simms said. "Maybe this is a chance for us to trial some routes, trial some options in a pop-up way and whether they work, before we get the permanent infrastructure happening."

Cr Simms' motion will be considered by the council at its monthly meeting Tuesday night.

Calls to boost infrastructure spending

Bicycle Institute of SA chairperson Katie Gilfillan said the high number of cyclists seen during COVID-19 restrictions proved it was a highly popular form of exercise among the community and deserved more funding from the state and local governments.

By way of example, BISA figures found more than 1,600 cyclists on average used the River Torrens Linear Park shared walkway during April this year, compared with just over 800 in April 2019.
"Within the City of Adelaide a lot of people would know there has been some significant delays on those bikeways," Ms Gilfillan said.
"We've been waiting on an east-west bikeway for some time and we were really hoping that, like Melbourne, Sydney, Milan and Paris, that post this COVID-19 period we would see that project pushed forward faster."
She said the State Government had increased its Planning and Development Fund to $50 million for "shovel-ready" local projects this year and hoped much of that money would be directed towards cycling infrastructure.

"On top of the extra funding they've got for local councils now we'd also like to see the State Government genuinely increasing funding for bike riding, which currently gets around 0.6 per cent of the total transport budget," Ms Gilfillan said.

"We'd like to see that increase to 5 per cent and for us to keep rolling out quality bike infrastructure that's low stress, so places where people don't have to battle with cars a lot."

This included more expenditure on arterial road crossings for routes that cyclists use through local streets.

"The majority of us use quieter local streets and they're often quite good, but we do need to get across those busy roads and they can be pretty hectic," Ms Gilfillan said.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-12/pop-up-bikeways-to-be-considered-by-adelaide-city-council/12238028

Pop-up cycleways for central Sydney

Bicycle Network 18 May 2020
More than 10 kilometres of pop-up bike lanes will be installed in the City of Sydney in the coming weeks as part of the NSW state government's plan to ease coronavirus restrictions.

Six temporary bike lanes will be installed in key commuter areas to give people an easy alternative to public transport which will be running at reduced capacity to help people maintain physical distancing.

The new bike lanes will connect to the city's existing network of bike lanes and feed in from the the north, east, south and west. The locations of the new bike lanes are:

Bridge Road / Pyrmont Bridge Road at Pyrmont
Pitt Street North in the CBD
Moore Park Road in Paddington / Moore Park
Dunning Avenue at Rosebery
Sydney Park Road in Alexandria / Erskineville
Henderson Road at Eveleigh

The bike lanes will be matched with a trial of 40km/h speed limits in the villages of Camperdown, Ultimo and on Bridge Road between Annandale and Pyrmont.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said that the pop-up bike lanes will help the city return from coronavirus restrictions.

“When someone rides to work, they take a car off the road or free up space on public transport – this will be even invaluable when people start returning to the City and seek to maintain physical distancing."
“The rapid roll-out of key connections in our cycleway network will improve safety for people riding to the City centre, school and health facilities, and reduce crowding on public transport," said Cr Moore.

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said the new bike lanes will help people get to and from work safely.
“We are already seeing our public transport system at capacity during peak periods with the need to physical distance and we want to offer the community more options to make their journeys safer," said Mr Constance.
On top of the six confirmed bike lanes, plans are also being considered for temporary cycleways on Oxford Street in Paddington and Darlinghurst, King St in Newtown, Castlereagh and King streets in the CBD, and in a possible back-to-the future move, College Street.

College Street is a key commuter route and used to have a dedicated cycleway, but it was ripped up in 2015 under the direction of former roads minister Duncan Gay. Bike lanes on College Street and King Street have both been long-term campaigns of Bicycle Network.

https://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/newsroom/2020/05/18/pop-up-cycleways-for-central-sydney/

‘Cleaner and greener’: Covid-19 prompts world’s cities to free public space of cars

The Guardian May 18 2020

The mayor of Athens has said he will “liberate” public space from cars. His counterpart in Paris says it is out of the question for the city to return to pre-coronavirus traffic and pollution levels. In Berlin, 14 miles (22 km) of new bike lanes have appeared almost overnight.
Around the world, from Dublin to Sydney, cities are being radically reshaped in favour of cyclists and pedestrians as empty streets give authorities the opportunity to implement and accelerate large-scale projects.

Cycling advocates and environmental activists are urging governments to ensure the revival is long-term and lasts beyond the pandemic, for fear of a pushback by the car lobby.

The Greek capital is embarking on one of the most ambitious rejuvenation schemes, which has been hastened by the pandemic, according to its mayor, Kostas Bakoyannis. He announced plans last week to allocate 50,000 square metres of public space for cyclists and pedestrians.

At the heart of the scheme will be a four-mile “grand walkway” uniting archaeological sites in the historic centre. Pavements will be widened, boulevards pedestrianised, squares enlarged and traffic banned from areas beneath the Acropolis.
The mayor of Athens has said he will “liberate” public space from cars. His counterpart in Paris says it is out of the question for the city to return to pre-coronavirus traffic and pollution levels. In Berlin, 14 miles (22 km) of new bike lanes have appeared almost overnight.
Around the world, from Dublin to Sydney, cities are being radically reshaped in favour of cyclists and pedestrians as empty streets give authorities the opportunity to implement and accelerate large-scale projects.
Cycling advocates and environmental activists are urging governments to ensure the revival is long-term and lasts beyond the pandemic, for fear of a pushback by the car lobby.

The Greek capital is embarking on one of the most ambitious rejuvenation schemes, which has been hastened by the pandemic, according to its mayor, Kostas Bakoyannis. He announced plans last week to allocate 50,000 square metres of public space for cyclists and pedestrians.

At the heart of the scheme will be a four-mile “grand walkway” uniting archaeological sites in the historic centre. Pavements will be widened, boulevards pedestrianised, squares enlarged and traffic banned from areas beneath the Acropolis.

Bakoyannis, who became Athens’ youngest mayor last year, openly admits that the pandemic played a role in accelerating infrastructure works that might have taken years to accomplish.

“We have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and are fast-forwarding all our public works,” he said. “The goal is to liberate public space from cars and give it to people who want to walk and enjoy the city … Athens will be cleaner, greener and better lit.”

In Budapest, 12 miles of temporary bike lanes have been introduced on some of the city’s busiest roads over the past month.

The city’s mayor, Gergely Karácsony, who was elected last year on a largely green platform, had little trouble introducing the lanes after many people expressed their discomfort at the prospect of depending on the city’s excellent but usually packed public transport system during the pandemic.

The mayor’s office said it was monitoring traffic levels and that some of the temporary lanes may remain once life gets back to normal. It is planning a public consultation over where and how to introduce more bike lanes in the future.

Around 20 miles of temporary bike lanes have been set up across Paris, much to the disgruntlement of car lobbyists who have protested to city hall that their rights are being squeezed. Main roads such as the Rue de Rivoli and Rue Saint Antoine, a major east-west route, are gradually being sealed off to private vehicles and there are proposals for a further 30 miles of bike lanes in the city.

Many Parisians are being offered €50 toward getting old bikes repaired as part of the French capital’s €20m (£18m) planvélo to encourage the use of bicycles.

Those supporting the new push for bike travel point to recent studies, one of which showed the average journey by vehicle in Paris to is 2.5 miles – a comfortable distance by bike for most – and another indicating that the lack of exhaust fumes during lockdown has dramatically improved air quality in the city.

The city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, had made persuading people to abandon private cars in favour of bikes one of the pillars of her political programme even before she was elected mayor in 2014. Despite the car lobby’s hopes that motorised vehicles can reclaim the city once the virus is under control, Hidalgo has said it is out of the question for the city to return to the pre-coronavirus traffic jams and vehicle pollution.

Dublin city council has set aside swathes of Ireland’s capital for pedestrians and cyclists to facilitate physical distancing in a “temporary mobility plan” that may become permanent. Authorities singled out College Green, which abuts Trinity College, and other parts of the city centre for what promises to be a bold transformation.

The idea is to give pedestrians and cyclists more space to navigate the city when shops and other businesses reopen in a 12 to 18-month respite from traffic-choked streets.

Authorities in Milan, among the most polluted cities in Europe, have said 22 miles of streets will be transformed over the summer as part of a scheme to reallocate space from cars to cycling and walking. Congestion in Milan, which is usually clogged with traffic, has fallen between 30 and 70% during the lockdown, and air pollution with it.
Rome’s council has approved the construction of 93 miles of temporary and permanent cycle routes as a way to be more sustainable while allowing people to adhere to physical distancing rules. As part of the government’s economic decree, people in towns and cities with populations of 50,000 or more will also be able to claim up to €500 toward the cost of a new bike. The payment also applies to scooters, electric bikes and Segways.

Last year’s Tour de France victory by the Colombian Egan Bernal precipitated a cycling boom in Bogotá. Hundreds of miles of public highways are closed to cars on Sundays, allowing cyclists to take to the roads free of exhaust fumes and the blare of car horns.

This enthusiasm has made it easier for the mayor, Claudia López, herself a keen cyclist, to introduce more bike lanes as part of plans to reduce public transport use to 35% of capacity in the country’s effort to tackle the pandemic. Fifty miles of new bike paths were announced last week, on top of the 300 already in place.

Announcing that 7,000 people were using the bike paths in the working-class south of the city, Bogota’s transport secretary, Nicolás Estupiñan, tweeted: “Every day more Bogotanos are getting on, and staying on, their bikes!”

Similar developments are taking place from Brussels to Sydney, while transport officials in many US cities report an “explosion in cycling”. From “slow streets” programmes in California to the progressive closure of many streets in New York, some cities have said they plan to make the changes permanent.

In Berlin it can take up to a decade to create a new bike lane, but during the coronavirus crisis, 14 miles of pop-up bike lanes, separated from car lanes by traffic beacons, have been introduced in anything from three to 10 days. Most will be here to stay, city officials have said, arguing that increasing numbers of Berliners – at the last count 43% – have no car, and that bikes will help lessen the burden on public transport.

The ADAC, Germany’s automobile association, has been highly critical of what it has called officials’ “exploitation of an emergency”, which has been taking place in cities across the country.

“The temporary reduction in car traffic, and incidentally bike usage as well, cannot be used to enforce the permanent reallocation of traffic space,” Volker Krane, of the ADAC, told German media. He said the bike lanes did little to ensure the safety of bike riders.

Even in some cities that have not introduced specific measures to encourage bikes, cyclists are making their presence felt. In the Jordanian capital, Amman, they spoke of the joy of seizing empty roads from the aggressive driving culture that normally dominates them, after cars were banned for about six weeks.

Reporting team: Helena Smith in Athens, Shaun Walker in Budapest, Kim Willsher in Paris, Rory Carroll in Dublin, Angela Giuffrida in Rome, Joe Parkin Daniels in Bogotá and Michael Safi in Amman

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/18/cleaner-and-greener-covid-19-prompts-worlds-cities-to-free-public-space-of-cars#maincontent

This was the decade of the bicycle. What’s next?

Treehugger.com 24 December 2019

Probably, the decade of e-mobility.

TreeHugger Mike first wrote about self-driving cars in 2010, suggesting that “in the next 10-20 our cars could start to be able to drive themselves safely and efficiently.” Over the next few years everyone thought Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) were just around the corner.

Read more

Make room for the e-bikes, the top-selling electric vehicles for the next decade

Treehugger.com 3 January 2020

A new study from Deloitte predicts what we have said before: e-bikes will eat cars.

Recently, after calling the teens the decade of the bicycle, I predicted that the Twenties would be the decade of e-mobility.

Read more

A bike parking facility in Tilburg is even more beautiful than their bus station

Tteehugger.com 6 May 2019

It even has moving sidewalks for bikes. This is how you get people out of cars.

After writing about a beautiful bus station in Tilburg, the Netherlands, designed by Cepezed, I noticed that they had designed an amazing bike storage facility as part of the public transportation hub. I asked for permission to publish the photos of it and they wrote back that they didn’t have any, since it had just started construction a few weeks ago. These were renderings! It’s amazing – these are getting so good that it’s hard to tell these days what’s real and what’s rendered. Also amazing is the attention given to bike storage as part of a public transportation strategy, in what is a relatively small city, the official municipality having a quarter of a million people.

One parking facility will be on the north side of the station and the other one the south side. Together, they will offer space for over 7000 bicycles. The northern parking facility has space for 3900 bicycles; [it] is the first one to be built and is expected to be ready in the summer of 2020. The southern parking facility on the side of the city center will have 3400 parking spots and will probably be finished by the end of 2021.

Both parking facilities are equipped with conveyer belts and are permanently guarded. There will also be a service room for minor repairs and the parking facilities will accommodate around 200 OV (public transport) bikes. Travelers will be able to park their bikes for free the first 24 hours.
Really, moving sidewalks for bikes! This is how you get people out of cars.

In North America, transportation agencies build vast parking garages for cars at commuter train stations, costing as much as $40,000 per space. In Ontario, Canada, the agency found that passengers live quite close; according to Oliver Moore in the Globe and Mail,
Some 13 per cent of them travel less than one kilometre to a GO rail station, and another 19 per cent come between one and two kilometres. But only 18 per cent of passengers arrive by foot, transit or bicycle, meaning that a large number of people are making short drives to the station.
That’s what happens when you give out “free” parking. Perhaps if they built bicycle parking facilities like Cepezed have designed for Tilburg, people wouldn’t have to drive half a mile to store their car all day.

https://www.treehugger.com/bikes/bike-parking-facility-tilburg-even-more-beautiful-their-bus-station.html t1 \lsdpr

Gazelle dutch-style e-bikes will eat cars

Treehugger.com 27 May 2019

These are not just bikes with motors, they are an entirely different mobility platform.

Four years ago I reviewed an e-bike and wondered if they belonged in cities.

Toronto is relatively flat, my trips are relatively short, and I am relatively fit; I can see that for other people in other places it could be a very different story. Tomorrow I will be back on a regular bike that is a third the weight and a fifth the cost. My heart will beat a little faster and I will travel a little slower, but I’m not ready for that e-bike yet. Let’s talk again in a few years.

Ok, it is a few years later, and I have spent the last few weeks riding a really wonderful e-bike, a Gazelle Medeo. And it’s time to talk.

First, let’s talk about the bike. Gazelle has been making bikes in the Netherlands since 1892, and their e-bikes have all the attributes of classic dutch-style bikes: solid, heavy, durable, with a comfortable upright riding position. The Medeo, which I have been riding, is their lowest priced model, starting at about US$2500. It has a 250 watt Bosch mid-motor churning out 50 Nm of torque and a 400 watt-hour battery that will push it about 59 miles in ECO mode. I have been using it mostly in Tour mode, which will go approximately 33 miles.

It is a step-through design which at first I had to force myself to use, I am so used to a top tube and throwing my leg over the rear. In fact, this is much easier, and a joy at red lights. The bike is substantial and has real inertia, taking a push to get going but then never stops. It feels solid, stable, confident. In Tour mode I play nicely with others in the bike lane, going at about the pace of the 25 year old commuters, getting passed by the speedsters.

The bike has hydraulic rim brakes; I wondered why, when so many bikes come with disk brakes now. Benny of Gazelle USA explained:

The decision to use Magura HS-22 hydraulic rim brakes goes back to us being a Dutch company. In the Netherlands, people ride their bike everywhere they go and when they reach their destination, they park the bikes in bike racks and can accidentally bend/damage disc rotors, contaminate them, etc. So, in the simplest of terms, I’d say we use the hydraulic rim brakes for braking power/control and simplicity of maintenance.

The battery is up high too, built into the carrier. I thought this might be a problem, that perhaps it would be better to keep the weight low, but it’s a great carrier and I never noticed issues of centre of gravity.

Now let’s talk about riding. The bike is a pedelec and has no throttle. Instead, it detects how fast and how hard you are pedalling with cadence, torque and speed sensors, and gives the appropriate boost. It is so sensitive and so simple that you really can forget that you are on an e-bike; you just happen to be really strong and fast and hills don’t matter and, oh right, it’s an e-bike. You don’t hear it and soon you don’t even feel it, but it is there, making me feel 25 again. The nine gears help you easily find a comfortable cadence for your speed, and let you eat steep hills for breakfast.

Is it ‘cheating’? If my name was Femke Van den Driessche and I was in a road race, yes. But I am not dressed in Lycra doing a race. I am just a guy trying to get from A to B. I am not on this for racing, or even for exercising, although my Apple Watch heart monitor, and my working of the gears on hills, tell me that I am indeed getting light exercise, and studies confirm this. I am on this for transportation. I am on this because I believe we should not be driving cars in the city. I am on this because I hate getting stuck in traffic and I hate trying to find or pay for parking. Oh, and there is a climate crisis.

This is the difference between a bike and an e-bike, the way you can use it for transportation. A and B can be much further apart. It can be hot; a recent study found that you sweat 1/9th as much. It can be hilly. Or, like Toronto where I live, you can deal with a gradual slope down to the lake. For years I have complained that they put Toronto’s downtown in the wrong place, that I would rather pedal up the slight tilt in the morning and roll back down when tired at the end of the day. Or for an evening activity downtown I would take the subway and streetcar or even skip events because I was feeling lazy or tired and didn’t want to slog up the hill on the way home.

The e-bike changes that equation; that tilt of Toronto no longer matters. I no longer think about being too tired. Because of this, I am using it more often than I used my regular bike, and I am going longer distances. I suspect that, because of that, I am probably getting as much exercise as I did on my bike, although to reiterate, that’s not the point. This is transportation.

Analyst Horace Dediu paraphrased Marc Andreessen on software and said “Bikes have a tremendous disruptive advantage over cars. Bikes will eat cars.” I will paraphrase Dediu and say that e-bikes will eat cars. This bike is totally disruptive; it can truly act as a car replacement for many people. (Someone is going to say, “What about winter?” But I have been riding all winter for years. I suspect this will be much more comfortable because I will dress as if I am going for a winter walk, not a ride where I often underdressed so that I wouldn’t overheat.)

There are a couple of caveats. For e-bikes really to eat cars, they need two things that drivers of cars take for granted: a place to drive and a place to park. We need good, safe and separate bike lanes and routes so that people feel comfortable. That’s why Egbert Brasjen can ride his e-bike at age 96. With the right infrastructure, you can ride this forever.

We also need safe, secure places to lock our bikes. I have been very nervous, leaving a $2500 bike on Toronto streets, where 3700 bikes were stolen last year and only one percent recovered. I paid more for the 2 Abus locks than I have paid for some bikes, and including the AXA lock that comes with the bike, I am following the lock-per-hour rule I learned from an Abus rep from Chicago: “If I go to a three-hour movie, I put three locks on the bike.”

Riding in Toronto’s always lovely and safe Harbord Street bike lane a few days ago, I pulled up beside a blue 1990 Mazda Miata, identical to the one I sold last fall. I started talking to the driver, a guy about my age, about how I sold mine and was now riding this e-bike; it was faster in the city, and I didn’t have to put the top down to get sun and air, and I was using it much more than I ever used the car. We talked at every light for a number of blocks, about how I no longer felt safe in the car mixing in traffic with big SUVs, and actually feel safer in the bike lane on the Gazelle.

Just before he turned off Harbord, he said “I’m convinced! Where did you get it?” I sent him to Amego, Virginia Block’s wonderful e-bike shop that distributes the Gazelle here. I really believe that this kind of conversation is going to become more common.

The Gazelle Medeo is not just a bike with a motor. It’s a model for an entirely different mobility platform, a different way to get around cities, and perhaps more importantly, around suburbs that are too diffuse for a regular bike. It’s a transportation revolution and it will eat everything.

https://www.treehugger.com/bikes/gazelle-dutch-style-e-bikes-will-eat-cars.html

Dedicated Bicycle Lanes Reduce Injuries & Fatalities

Cleantechnica.com 9 June 2019

Researchers at the University of Colorado Denver and the University of New Mexico say infrastructure built specifically for bicyclists make roads safer for everyone. “Bicycling seems inherently dangerous on its own,” says co-author Wesley Marshall, an assistant professor at the College of Engineering, Design and Computing at CU Denver. “So it would seem that a city with a lot of bicycling is more dangerous, but the opposite is true. Building safe facilities for cyclists turned out to be one of the biggest factors in road safety for everyone.”

The study was published recently in the Journal of Transport & Health. One of its key findings is that bike facilities act as “calming” mechanisms on traffic, slowing cars and reducing fatalities. The effect is similar to the effect of grid blocks found in cities with higher intersection density, according to a report by Science Daily.

The researchers investigated over 17,000 fatalities and 77,000 severe injuries over a 13-year period in large US cities like Denver, Dallas, Portland, Oregon, and Kansas City, Missouri. During those years, the United States saw a 51% increase in bicycling to work and the number of protected bike lanes doubled each year starting in 2009.

Originally, researchers believed that more bike lanes and an increase in the number of cyclists would lead to a “safety-in-numbers” effect — the more cyclists on the road, the more likely drivers would slow down and be aware of their surroundings.

Instead, they found that safer cities aren’t due to the increase in cyclists, but due to the infrastructure built for them — specifically, separated and protected bike lanes. They found that such dedicated bicycling infrastructure, which separates motor vehicle and bicycle traffic, is associated with fewer fatalities and better road-safety outcomes.

Portland, Oregon saw the biggest drop in fatalities. Even though the number of bicyclists more than tripled between 1990 and 2010, the road fatality rate dropped by 75%. With added bike lanes, fatal crash rates dropped in Seattle by 60%, in San Francisco by 49%, in Denver by 40% and in Chicago by 38%.

“The U.S. is killing 40,000 people a year on roads, and we treat it as the cost of doing business,” Marshall said. “A lot of the existing research focuses on bicycle safety. With this study, we’re interested in everyone’s safety. Focusing on fatalities — not crashes — is important,” says Marshall. “Over the years, my research has found that safer cities have fewer fatalities but more fender benders.”

Co-author Nicholas Ferenchak, assistant professor in the department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at the University of New Mexico, says he hopes this study simplifies the ways in which cities move forward. “When we believed it was the old safety-in-numbers concept, that meant we had to figure out how to get more people on bicycles to make a city safer. That’s not easy. But this research has boiled it down for city planners: create cycling facilities, and you’ll see the impact.”

As this study focuses on larger cities, the results may not apply generally to smaller cities. But creating physical separation between bicycle riders and motorists has to be a no brainer for anyone interested in protecting those who choose to ride two wheel vehicles from harm. 

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/06/09/dedicated-bicycle-lanes-reduce-injuries-fatalities/ u

How to Cut 10,000 Parking Spaces Without Anyone Complaining

Citylab.com June 5 2019

A new short film celebrates bike-friendly Amsterdam’s no-drama strategy for eliminating car parking: “It’s not a big deal here.”

Visitors to Amsterdam may notice something new in coming years: more Amsterdam, and fewer cars.

Earlier this year, local leaders announced plans to scale back parking in Amsterdam’s core by about 1,500 spaces per year. As a new video by Streetfilms documents, visitors and locals alike can take in more of the city’s iconic canals, bridges, and gabled architecture with fewer vehicles blocking the view. The streets “are yours again,” Katelijne Boerma, the Dutch city’s official bike mayor, says in the film.

Some communities have already begun to re-envision their newly liberated outdoor space. As an indication of what’s possible, in the Frans Halsbuurt neighborhood, a whole grid of streets is almost totally free of parking, replaced by a bevy of rosebushes, benches, and slides. There is also more room for bikes, on which 65 percent of the city’s daily trips are made. Parked cars “are like fences,” Boerma says. “It really divides the neighborhood.” With their removal, she says, people have more of a chance to move.

As CityLab reported earlier this year, Amsterdam is using a few different strategies to systemically whittle down its parking stock. Residents with downtown parking permits will no longer be able to station their vehicles where they please; instead, they will have to pay a higher fee for a specific location. Permits that once belonged to people who move away, give up their cars, or die will not be reissued. Historic street renovations will present another opportunity to pare back parked vehicles. All told, the city believes it can eliminate as many as 11,200 parking spaces by the end of 2025. Yet even as it does so, it is not denying anyone the right to park.

The disappearance of so many spots might feel like an assault on drivers. (That’s likely how this narrative would unfold in the average North American city.) But according to Zeeger Ernsting, a city councilman who has helped lead the initiative, the parking purge hasn’t been all that controversial. There are still more than enough parking permits to go around, he says in the film. And the issue has barely come up in local newspapers—perhaps because so few Amsterdammers drive in the first place.

“The funny thing is, I read about this,” A. Henry Cutler, the founder and director of Workcycles, a local bike manufacturer, says in the film. “But I didn’t read about it in the Dutch press. I read about it on Twitter from you guys. It’s not a big deal here.”

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2019/06/amsterdam-parking-spots-removal-cars-bikes-parks-playground/591067/ :function(

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