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Posts from the ‘Cycling’ Category

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(

Twenty times more English children could cycle to school with better transport planning

The Conversation, 18 March 2019

Only 2% of pupils in England cycle to school, even less than the 3% of adults who cycle to work. Similarly low rates can be found in other wealthy countries, like the US and Australia, although some European countries have much higher levels.

Hostile cycling environments, where riders are expected to mix with buses and other large vehicles, are off-putting enough for commuters, let alone for children (or more accurately, the adults deciding whether or not their children can cycle). Lack of provision for cycling may also help explain the comparatively low rates of cycling in England among women, who are more likely than men to be travelling with children.

Yet planning for school cycling barely exists. Most effort across the country goes into teaching children cycling skills, via the national Bikeability programme. While it’s important to ensure children can ride a bike, often little is done to ensure they have somewhere to ride. At school run times many neighbourhoods are traffic clogged, with drivers parked on double yellow lines and zig-zags, at times even driving on the pavement in the rush to drop off.

There hasn’t been much incentive for this to change. Transport planning has generally marginalised cycling, with planning tools and models focused on private motorised traffic. More broadly, commuters and to a lesser extent adults making other utility trips are prioritised over children’s mobility, independence, and well-being. These two factors have combined to mean that child cycling has not reached the mainstream transport planning agenda.

Cycling potential

Leadership and funding are crucial in changing the situation. But data and planning tools also matter. We saw an opportunity to use data to improve planning processes. Part of the problem is that we don’t know how many children might cycle to school. We don’t know which neighbourhoods could have high levels of child cycling, nor which routes within an area have the greatest potential.

Making that invisible potential visible is the challenge. And one that we’ve met through developing a new modelling tool, part of the Department for Transport-funded Propensity to Cycle Tool (PCT). The analysis is based on the National School Census within which data on travel to school was last collected in 2011 for all state primary and secondary schools in England.

The analysis shows that if children in England cycled to school at the same rates as Dutch children do (for trips of the same distance and hilliness), more than two in five children would do so. The model uses data from the Dutch travel survey, which shows for instance that while around a third of Dutch primary school children might cycle 2-3km to school, these rates drop to one in nine when distance rises to 4km. Realising the “Dutch” potential would mean a 22-fold increase from the current levels of one in 50 children cycling to school.

Even today’s best performing areas would see growth. For example, in Cambridge (with the highest levels of cycling across the country), the amount of children cycling to school would rise from 30% to 53%. All areas see substantial increase, even rural and hillier places; and no English local authority would have fewer than 16% of trips to school cycled.

At present, child cyclists are almost absent from most of our streets, and this amount of child cycling is hard to imagine. To help planners visualise and plan for growth, the PCT maps cycling to school, along routes, in neighbourhoods, and for individual schools. Some roads might have as many as 500, 1,000 or more children pedalling along them, if we were able to create conditions that prioritise children over cars. “School streets” are one such policy, restricting car access at school times, leaving streets clear for children to walk, cycle, play, and socialise without fear of traffic injury.

Other options are to create more widespread interventions. For instance, London’s mini-Holland programme (in Enfield, Kingston, and Waltham Forest) involved closing some neighbourhoods to through motor traffic. Replacing rat runs with planters, play areas, and bike parking, the scheme is already resulting in an increase in walking and cycling.

Health and climate benefits

What might the benefits be of getting more children to ride to school? Many benefits can’t easily be quantified, such as the impacts of redressing long-term decline in children’s independent mobility. For children, available space has too often shrunk from whole neighbourhoods, to streets, to front or back yards – with the greatest impacts on children without access to private outdoor space.

But some impacts can be quantified. The PCT shows that if England achieved its school cycling potential, the benefits could be huge. The calculations suggest that achieving the scenario outlined above would increase physical activity from school travel among pupils by 57% and reduce transport-related carbon emissions by 81 kilotonnes per year.

These benefits vary by primary versus secondary school. Primary school children would see a 9% increase in physical activity from school travel (largely because many walk at present, with distances short). Secondary school children would see a 97% increase. Using World Health Organisation physical activity targets, the proportion of secondary school children getting at least half their recommended physical activity from active school travel would increase threefold, from 13.6% to 40.4%.

We’ve got a long way to go before cycling to school is normalised. If we get there, the benefits are great: improved health and well-being, cars off the road, greater child (and parental) mobility and independence. This will involve a shift in mindset, prioritising children’s health over adults’ car-driving convenience. The new PCT layer contributes to an emerging evidence base to help local policymakers plan for, and prioritise, child cycling.

https://theconversation.com/twenty-times-more-english-children-could-cycle-to-school-with-better-transport-planning-113082

Cycling now the most popular form of rush hour transport on London streets, report shows

Cycling Weekly, 19 February 2019

City of London report shows four-fold increase in cycling in City in last 19 years

Anyone in London will be able to tell you about the surge in cycling numbers in the capital in recent years, but the latest survey of transport modes in the capital has shown in stark detail just how popular cycling has become.

The City of London Corporation has been running its Traffic in the City study for the last 19 years, with its survey of traffic at 15 locations in the City of London showing loud and clear the huge uptake in cycling over those years.

Since 1999 all modes of above-ground transport have reduced by 25-50 per cent, with the exception of cycling, which is now four times as popular as it was 19 years ago.

What’s more, at peak times (between 08:00-10:00 and 17:00-19:00) the numbers of cyclists exceed the numbers of cars, taxis, buses, motorcycles, or goods vehicles.

However it’s not all good news when it comes to the level of cycling in the City of London, with the report pointing out that the increase in cycling numbers has slowed since 2012.

“While this is not a extrapolatory exercise”, the report states,” it does appear that the City counts have reached ‘peak cycle’ over the last five years, suggesting that significant changes in cycling infrastructure provision and/or travel behaviour may be needed to spur further growth in cycling on City streets.”

The report has also included pedestrian numbers for the first time, and points out how the large amount of space dedicated to private vehicles carries a relatively small number of people.

“Private vehicles – cars, taxis, and motorcycles/mopeds – utilised the most street space of any mode – over 53 per cent – while only carrying an estimated quarter of all people travelling on City streets,” the report continues.

“While buses only made up two percent of all counted vehicles, they carried an estimated 19 per cent of all people travelling on City streets (compared to 21 and 19 per cent for private vehicles respectively).

“Buses and private vehicles carried approximately the same number of people in the City while making up an estimated nine and 53 per cent of total street space usage respectively.”

Bike-friendly cities should be designed for everyone, not just for wealthy white cyclists

The Conversation, 8 February 2019

Designing for bikes has become a hallmark of forward-looking modern cities worldwide. Bike-friendly city ratings abound, and advocates promote cycling as a way to reduce problems ranging from air pollution to traffic deaths.
But urban cycling investments tend to focus on the needs of wealthy riders and neglect lower-income residents and people of color. This happens even though the single biggest group of Americans who bike to work live in households that earn less than US$10,000 yearly, and studies in lower-income neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Boston have found that the majority of bicyclists were non-white.

I have worked on bicycle facilities for 38 years. In a newly published study, I worked with colleagues from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Boston groups focused on health and families to learn from residents of several such neighborhoods what kinds of bike infrastructure they believed best met their needs. Some of their preferences were notably different from those of cyclists in wealthier neighborhoods.

Cycling infrastructure and urban inequality

Bike equity is a powerful tool for increasing access to transportation and reducing inequality in U.S. cities. Surveys show that the fastest growth in cycling rates since 2001 has occurred among Hispanic, African-American and Asian-American riders. But minority neighborhoods have fewer bike facilities, and riders there face higher risk of accidents and crashes.

Many U.S. cities have improved marginalized neighborhoods by investing in grocery stores, schools, health clinics, community centers, libraries and affordable housing. But when it comes to bicycle infrastructure, they often add only the easiest and least safe elements, such as painting sharrows – stencils of bikes and double chevrons – or bike lane markings, and placing them next to curbs or between parked cars and traffic. Cycle tracks – bike lanes separated from traffic by curbs, lines of posts or rows of parked cars – are more common in affluent neighborhoods.

Compared with white wealthier neighborhoods, more bicyclists in ethnic-minority neighborhoods receive tickets for unlawful riding or are involved in collisions. With access to properly marked cycle tracks, they would have less reason to ride on the sidewalk or against traffic on the street, and would be less likely to be hit by cars.
In my view, responsibility for recognizing these needs rests primarily with cities.

Urban governments rely on public participation processes to help them target investments, and car owners tend to speak loudest because they want to maintain access to wide street lanes and parallel parking. In contrast, carless residents who could benefit from biking may not know to ask for facilities that their neighborhoods have never had.

Protection from crime and crashes

For our study, we organized 212 people into 16 structured discussion groups. They included individuals we classified as “community-sense” – representing civic organizations such as YMCAs and churches – or “street-sense,” volunteers from halfway houses, homeless shelters and gangs. We invited the street-sense groups because individuals who have committed crimes or know of crime opportunities have valuable insights about urban design.

We showed the groups photos of various cycling environments, ranging from unaltered streets to painted sharrows and bike lanes, cycle tracks and shared multi-use paths. Participants ranked the pictures according to the risk of crime or crashes they associated with each option, then discussed their perceptions as a group.

Studies have shown that awareness of criminal activity along bike routes can deter cyclists, and this is an important concern in low-income and minority neighborhoods. In a study in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, I found that African-American and Hispanic bicyclists were more concerned than white cyclists that their bikes could be stolen. Some carried bikes up three flights of stairs to store them inside their homes.

From an anti-crime perspective, our focus groups’ ideal bike system was a wide two-way cycle track with freshly painted lines and bike stencils plus arrows, free of oil or litter. Conditions around the route also mattered. Our groups perceived areas with clean signs, cafes with tables and flowers, balconies, streetlights and no alleyways or cuts between buildings as safest. They also wanted routes to avoid buildings that resembled housing projects, warehouses and abandoned buildings.

For crash safety, participants preferred cycle tracks separated from cars by physical dividers; wide cycle track surfaces, colored red to designate them as space for bicyclists; and bike stencils and directional arrows on the tracks. In their view, the safest locations for bike facilities had traffic signals for bikers, clearly painted lines, low levels of traffic, and did not run near bus stops or intersections where many streets converged.

Rules for the road

We compared our results with widely used bicycle design guidelines and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles to see whether those sources reflected our participants’ priorities. The guidelines produced by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the National Association of City Transportation Officials provide engineering specifications for designing bicycle facilities that focus on road elements – paint, delineator posts and signs – but do not describe design features that would protect vulnerable humans bicycling through an environment at night. Our study asked people about what kinds of surface markings and features in the surrounding area made them feel most comfortable.

As an example, our groups preferred street-scale lighting to brighten the surface of cycle tracks. In contrast, tall highway cobra-head lights typically used on busy urban streets reach over the roadway, illuminating the road for drivers in vehicles that have headlights.

In higher-income neighborhoods, cyclists might choose bike routes on side streets to avoid heavy traffic. However, people in our study felt that side streets with only residential buildings were less safe for cycling. This suggests that bicycle routes in lower-income ethnic-minority neighborhoods should be concentrated on main roads with commercial activity where more people are present.

Decisions about public rights-of-way should not be based on how many car owners or how few bicyclists show up at public meetings. Our study shows that city officials should create networks of wide, stenciled, red-painted, surface-lighted, barrier-protected, bicycle-exclusive cycle tracks in lower-income ethnic-minority neighborhoods along main streets. This would help residents get to work affordably, quickly and safely, and improve public health and quality of life in communities where these benefits are most needed.

https://theconversation.com/bike-friendly-cities-should-be-designed-for-everyone-not-just-for-wealthy-white-cyclists-109485

E-Scooters Could be a Last-Mile Solution for Everyone

ITDP, 14 December 2018

Like docked and dockless bikeshare before them, dockless electric “kick” scooters are taking off in popularity, responding to a strong and growing need for urban car alternatives like transit and “last mile” connections. As part of a menu of urban transportation options, scooters have the potential to reduce short-distance, single occupancy vehicle and TNC (Transportation Network Company, e.g. Uber, Lyft, Via) trips, reducing urban congestion and emissions.

Scooters provide a low cost, flexible mobility option for short trips, particularly those connected to transit. Bikes have long provided an excellent option for last-mile trips, and they continue to do so. However, the popularity, and user-friendliness of e-scooters may offer an even easier option for the first and last mile.
Scooters, particularly e-scooters, offer an option that pretty much anyone, regardless of fitness or ability, can ride for short trips. As with shared bikes, cities have an opportunity to leverage scooters, and other privately-operated, shared modes in a way that more directly encourages their use in coordination with transit. For example, cities could work with operators to subsidize scooter and bikeshare rides that start or end at transit using common payment options. This level of targeted integration benefits cities by expanding access to transit at a relatively low cost per mile (compared to building new stations, adding buses, etc.), benefits users by making sustainable, multi-modal trips more streamlined and affordable, and benefits companies by establishing a loyal, diverse customer base.

Scooters, bikes, and other technology-enabled shared modes have a role to play in shifting the paradigm away from personal car ownership. Cities can take advantage of this opportunity by understanding the demand for car-alternatives for short trips, and setting smart, goal-oriented regulations that help address that demand. Data from Portland’s scooter pilot shows that 34% of resident scooter riders would have otherwise driven a personal car or taken a taxi or TNC if a scooter hadn’t been available for their most recent trip. While this is promising support for scooters helping to reduce car trips, the data also indicates that 37% of respondents would have otherwise walked if a scooter wasn’t available. When asked how often they rode a scooter to or from a transit stop, 61% responded ‘never’. These last two data points underscore the need for cities to ensure that scooters support public transit, walking and cycling, instead of competing with these modes.

More, and longer-term data on scooter trips could help cities decide whether scooters are, in fact, providing a first-last mile connection to transit, substituting car trips, or pushing pedestrians and cyclists away from biking and walking.

Funding the Last-Mile Solution

Cities are now more prepared for the “ask forgiveness, not permission” attitude of privately-operated mobility services, and are responding to the unpermitted launch of e-scooters much more quickly and systematically than with transportation network companies like Uber, or even dockless bikeshare companies. While a few cities have outright banned scooters, most have launched pilots to test regulations and evaluate potential for long-term integration of scooters into the transportation network. In some cases, such as in Austin, Denver, and Los Angeles, cities are moving to combine permitting of dockless bikes, e-bikes, and e-scooters under a common regulatory scheme.

Other cities are taking more concrete steps to improve scooter and bike riders’ comfort on the street by requiring private operators to help fund infrastructure and other road safety improvements. Indianapolis is the first city to require scooter operators to pay $1 per scooter per day into a fund for road safety improvements for cyclists and scooter riders. Scooter operator, Bird, has volunteered to pay a similar amount for infrastructure improvements in other cities (many of which have been hesitant to accept Bird’s offer) however, some reportedly do not have a process in place to accept this type of funding from the private sector. Regardless, this new model of collaboration between cities and private companies to fund projects that make choosing a scooter or bike as a last-mile solution safer could prove successful, as long as cities are clear about what their goals are and why they are asking companies to share costs.

Encouraging the use of dockless scooters as a first-last mile option could also help connect people living further from the city center to public transit. Residents who live in outer neighborhoods tend to have fewer transit options, and likely require both a first and last mile solution for their trip. These residents stand to benefit the most from improved access to reliable, affordable first-last mile options.

Cities and e-scooter operators have an opportunity to learn from bikeshare by recognizing the demand – especially in neighborhoods further from downtown – for low-cost, reliable transportation options that aren’t private vehicles. It’s also critical for cities to realize their role in supporting sustainable transport like bikeshare and e-scootershare with protected infrastructure that can serve cyclists and scooters well, along with cost-effective and convenient connections with transit. Technology and private capital offer cities great tools to improve the lives of their residents, and taking full advantage of these tools means making space on our streets for many mobility options: scooters, bikes, transit, and shared vehicles all have a role to play in a healthy, vibrant transport system.

E-Scooters Could be a Last-Mile Solution for Everyone

How your personal information funds share bike schemes

Sydney Morning Herald, 14 November 2017
You’re 25, you ride your brightly-coloured share bike across the city to get dinner and drinks with friends at the same pub every Friday, you take the same route home, and leave the bike near your house each time. That kind of portrait is legally captured by the navigation systems and phone apps linked to the dockless share bike schemes quickly spreading across Australian cities, and is a valuable source of income, especially when they charge as little as $1 per half hour.
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Perth bike paths fail to meet lighting standards

The West Australian, 13 December 2018
Large sections of Perth’s most popular bike paths are poorly lit, with many failing to meet Australian lighting standards. Research commissioned by the RAC examined 67km of inner-city bike paths and found almost 60 per cent had substandard lighting.
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