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M II A II R II K May 15, 2010 6:44 PM

There also happens to be a Chicago 2015 Bike Plan

M II A II R II K May 16, 2010 5:38 PM

Democratizing the streets


Steven T. Jones

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It's hard to keep up with all the changes occurring on the streets of San Francisco, where an evolving view of who and what roadways are for cuts across ideological lines. The car is no longer king, dethroned by buses, bikes, pedestrians, and a movement to reclaim the streets as essential public spaces. Sure, there are still divisive battles now underway over street space and funding, many centered around the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which has more control over the streets than any other local agency, particularly after the passage of Proposition A in 2007 placed all transportation modes under its purview.

- But as nasty as those fights might get in the coming weeks, they mask a surprising amount of consensus around a new view of streets. "The mayor has made democratizing the streets one of his major initiatives," Newsom Press Secretary Tony Winnicker told the Guardian. And it's true. Newsom has promoted removing cars from the streets for a few hours at a time through Sunday Streets and his "parklets" in parking spaces, for a few weeks or months at a time through Pavement to Parks, and permanently through Market Street traffic diversions and many projects in the city's Bicycle Plan, which could finally be removed from a four-year court injunction after a hearing next month.

- Even after this long ban on new bike projects, San Francisco has seen the number of regular bicycle commuters double in recent years. Bike to Work Day, this year held on May 13, has become like a civic holiday as almost every elected official pedals to work and traffic surveys from the last two years show bikes outnumbering cars on Market Street during the morning commute. If it wasn't for the fiscal crisis gripping this and other California cities, this could be a real kumbaya moment for the streets of San Francisco. Instead, it's something closer to a moment of truth — when we'll have to decide whether to put our money and political will into "democratizing the streets."

The number of SF cyclists has doubled in recent years even as a court injunction has prevented the creation of new bike lanes

M II A II R II K May 17, 2010 1:49 PM

City planners track cyclists, pedestrians to measure trail needs

May 11th, 2010

By Trevor Hughes

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Rain or shine, summer or winter, Hartford, Conn., attorney Ben Bare rides his bike for the 4-mile commute to work. "It wakes me up in the morning and blows out the stress of workday on the way home," says Bare, 35. He says the ride is just as fast as driving a car. Bare is one growing number of people turning to bicycles for transportation. According to the most recent U.S. Census figures, the number of adults who bicycled to work in 2008 was 786,098, up 26% from 2006. That number continues to grow, says Wiley Norvell, spokesman for the New York City-based Transportation Alternatives advocacy group. "It has just exploded," Norvell says. Mindful of that growth, transportation planners in states and municipalities across the USA are increasingly deploying high-tech sensors along bicycle and pedestrian paths to map trail, sidewalk and bike-lane use and assess future needs.

Planners have long collected data about the number of vehicles on major roads by placing rubber-strip counters across travel lanes, but those counters are generally unable to detect passing cyclists, says David Patton, a bicycle and pedestrian planner for Arlington County, Va. Some of the new counters, which can cost $500-$8,000, are triggered by the weight of passing trail users, while others rely on heat emitted by their bodies or bounce radar off them, Patton says. He says recent advances in technology have made the counters more affordable, which means more communities are buying them to supplement labor-intensive tallies conducted by human volunteers. "You build a Walmart and we can tell you how many car trips it will generate, on which roads, and at which times of day," Norvell says. "We know next to nothing about how and where people bike and walk in this country."

Transportation Alternatives recently estimated that 201,000 people bike daily in New York City. City-conducted sample counts showed a 26% increase in bike ridership from 2008 to 2009, Norvell says. He says other large cities are seeing — and counting — similar increases. The increased use of high-tech sensors supplements a push for expanded counts by the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project, which this September is overseeing censuses in about 150 cities, including Kansas City, San Francisco and New York City, Michael Jones says. Jones, a planner and principal with the Portland, Ore.-based Alta Planning and Design, says he founded the count in 2004 after growing frustrated by the lack of consistently collected pedestrian and bicycle use data. He says about 10 groups conducted counts that first year.

M II A II R II K May 18, 2010 4:58 PM

Backbone Bikeway Network

February 1st, 2010

By Alex Thompson

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If you open the draft of the proposed Bike Plan, and you flip to the maps, you’ll find a sixteen pages of confusing mess: dashed lines, dotted lines, infeasible lines, and tiny street names. By contrast, when the Bike Working Group publishes its Best Bike Plan (a community effort to produce a ambitious bike plan for LA), you’ll be able to flip to the centerfold, and view three clean, coherent maps outlining a system of bikeways that will get you anywhere in the city.

t’s the Backbone Bikeway Network. The Backbone Bikeway Network will get you from Downtown to West LA, Crenshaw to Valley Village, and LAX to Hollywood. The Backbone doesn’t have neighborhood level detail, because that’s not what a citywide system is for – this system gets you 5 and 10 and 20 miles across town. It goes on major streets – arterials – unlike the proposed Bike Plan, and it gets you within striking distance of major destinations like Dodger Stadium and City Hall.

This is the first section – the Central Area. Mad props are due to Mihai Peteu for designing this beautiful map – let’s hear it for Mihai! In the next few days we’ll come out with the Valley map, and the South LA map. This is the hardwork of the 3rd Bike Working Group, and we fought and loved over each decision. Therefore, we invite you to criticize!

Here’s a basic criticism: what do you do once you get near your destination and you must leave the Backbone? Then you make use of the neighborhood network. The neighborhood network is whatever the neighborhood has – bike lanes, sharrows, traffic calming, narrow streets with high speeds and pot holes, wide streets with calm traffic, whatever happens to exist there.

M II A II R II K May 21, 2010 1:35 PM

Bicycle Second Line celebrates New Orleans' expanded bike lanes and awareness

May 21, 2010

By Molly Reid

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You may have noticed the new bike lanes that have appeared over the past two years on major roadways such as St. Claude Avenue and Wisner Boulevard. They're impressive, but they're small potatoes compared to the bicycle-friendly path set to develop Saturday, when St. Charles Avenue and other thoroughfares become one big, temporary bike lane for the Bicycle Second Line.

Organized by the nonprofit cycling advocacy group Metro Bicycle Coalition and sponsored by Entergy New Orleans and AARP, the group bike ride, accompanied by the Crescent City Stompers, will take over roadways from Audubon Park to the Marigny Triangle and back to promote bicycle awareness. "It's about trying to encourage people and get them excited to get on a bike," said Nicole McCall, president of the Metro Bicycle Coalition. "There will be more awareness of cycling."

KevinFromTexas May 22, 2010 2:16 AM

350 miles of new bike lanes coming to San Antonio streets.

Making room for bicycles
Web Posted: 03/19/2010 12:00 CDT

Some 350 miles of bicycle lanes could be added to San Antonio' s streets -- triple the amount now -- without widening a single road or impeding traffic, just restriping. The mayor, who sees bike lanes as a tool for urban renewal, is backing the plan.


vid May 22, 2010 6:07 AM

Restriping is how we're adding all of our bike lanes. Drivers are screaming bloody murder but I think ten years from now every travel corridor in this city will accommodate all forms of transportation.

M II A II R II K May 25, 2010 4:29 PM

South Carolina - Developers plan to build bicycles-only community

May. 25, 2010


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Soon there will be a subdivision where your car is not welcome. Developers plan to build a bicycles-only community in Lexington County, near Gaston. Those developers — from Ohio and the Lowcountry — think their Bicycle City will be the first subdivision of its kind in the nation. It will have no asphalt. It will have miles of trails and ponds for boating. It will have eco-friendly homes. And residents and their visitors will have to park their cars outside the community and bike — or walk — to their homes.

Developers have spent nearly $1 million to buy 140 acres about 15 miles south of Columbia, according to land records. They also have hired community designer Ozzie Nagler, planner of Harbison and the Three Rivers Greenway. “It could become an eco-tourism destination,” said Joe Mellett, a Cincinnati-based Internet marketer and one of the developers. Mellet and one of his co-developers will present their concept to Lexington County Council at a meeting tonight. Bike-friendly developments are not a new concept, though they have been difficult to pull off.

fflint May 25, 2010 5:08 PM

^An interesting idea (there's a suburb in Germany built along the same lines), but I've got to ask: is there any demand for a car-free subdivision in South Carolina?

KevinFromTexas May 26, 2010 5:32 AM


Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas (Post 4849322)
350 miles of new bike lanes coming to San Antonio streets.

Here's an expanded article on this. It includes a map. The bike lanes look to be planned for every area of the city.

I must say, Julian Castro is an encouraging civic leader.

Bike lanes now in fast lane for S.A.
By Colin McDonald - Express-News

Web Posted: 05/25/2010 6:43 CDT

For years, San Antonio has built streets and approved developments with little to no accommodation for anything but motor vehicles. Now with obesity rates off the charts, the region on the verge of violating federal air standards and a new mayor who sees bicycles as part of being a competitive and attractive city, bike lanes are gaining ground.

It’s a move Portland, Ore.; Seattle; Minneapolis; and New York made decades ago.

Although difficult and slow, the transformation has started: A federal grant will promote bicycling and department heads have issued new marching orders.

“It seems the bureaucratic molasses has given way to fuel,” Mayor Julián Castro said recently.


M II A II R II K Jun 1, 2010 7:56 PM

City’s bike plan switches gears

May 31 2010

Tess Kalinowski

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It’s the 1,000-kilometre question. Has Toronto’s cycling movement been tethered too long to a meaningless number — the 1,000 kilometres of bike routes touted for a decade as the path to a cycle-friendly city? The head of Toronto’s Cycling Committee thinks so. It’s time to let go of the round number that has taunted cycling advocates since it was enshrined in the bike plan nearly a decade ago, says City Councillor Adrian Heaps (Scarborough Southwest).

As he nears the end of his term, Heaps is advocating a new approach, one that focuses less on distance and more on connecting the city’s existing network of bike paths, lanes and routes, particularly downtown, with its high percentage of bike commuters. “I’m not going to go out there and pump paint to hit a quota,” he said. “Complete the circle, make it smaller, do it right. I’d rather have a smaller network that was fully integrated.”

A 2009 Ipsos Reid cycling poll for the city supports his position. It suggests safer cycling routes could help transform up to 44 per cent of Toronto’s recreational cyclists into utilitarian pedallers. A new city cycling report, being unveiled Monday for Bike Month, doesn’t even mention the elusive 1,000 kilometres. It simply notes that bike lanes, paths and trails grew to 418 kilometres in 2009, from 166 in 2001. Today, that number is closer to 500. A blueprint for the city’s active transportation priorities over the next two years, Changing Gears lists connecting bikeway trails and completing downtown bikeways as the top two priorities. It will be used as the basis for a review of the 2001 Bike Plan by city staff after this fall’s election.

M II A II R II K Jun 7, 2010 12:27 AM

Changing Behaviors with Bike to Work Day


Cong. Earl Blumenauer and Mayor Adrian Fenty both turned out in biking gear at Bike to Work Day in Washington, D.C., along with 900 riders who committed to bike commuting on that day. released this video capturing the spirit of Bike to Work Day in D.C.

M II A II R II K Jun 7, 2010 5:39 PM

2-wheeled revolution: 'Bicycling is now cool'

June 7, 2010



When Rob Sadowsky started biking to his job at a downtown nonprofit in 1998, he felt like a "freak." These days, there are so many two-wheeled commuters that Sadowsky runs into bike traffic jams. "I'm part of the crowd," he said. "Bicycling is now cool." But Sadowsky, who for six years has headed the Active Transportation Alliance, said the city still has a long way to go to improve conditions for biking and walking. "I'd like it be 20 percent bike, 20 percent pedestrian and 20 percent transit," said Sadowsky. "It's doable, certainly May through October."

Sadowsky, 45, leaves his job Friday to head the Bicycle Transportation Alliance in Portland, Ore. Melody Geraci, Active Trans' program director, will serve as interim director until a permanent replacement is hired. During Sadowsky's tenure at the nonprofit, its budget grew from $1.4 million to $3.5 million, and its staff from 21 to 36. It also changed its name from the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, refocusing its mission to include pedestrians and transit as well as bikes. Sadowsky said he thinks Active Trans' biggest accomplishment during his tenure is the citywide "complete streets" policy, and a state law requiring complete street design.

A "complete street" is one designed for all users, so it must have sidewalks, some kind of bike accommodation, and intersections designed so that everyone can cross safely. City engineers are trained in complete street design, and residents should notice the approach as streets come up for resurfacing, Sadowsky said. The 2007 policy came about as a result of a meeting with Mayor Daley. "The mayor was complaining about engineers, and how he'd like to fire all the engineers. . . . People at the meeting were laughing," Sadowsky recalled. "And I said, 'I have an idea for you,' and he started writing it down, and within a week we had a written policy."

"Chicago was leading the way for a long while in cycling" before losing its direction, says Rob Sadowsky, who is taking a job in Portland, Ore. after heading Active Transportation Alliance.

JordanL Jun 8, 2010 5:19 PM


Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 4868042)
Changing Behaviors with Bike to Work Day

He's a Rep. for Portland, Oregon, and he's a big bike proponent even within the city itself.:tup:

Rizzo Jun 8, 2010 5:58 PM

As a cyclist, I'm thrilled to see more people out on the streets biking. My parents live in a quiet suburb of a small midwestern city and the council has been putting down tons of bike lanes. To be truthful, they really don't even need them, but they are committed to making cycling convenient in their community. They've developed a board to plan and secure funding for new trails and improvements. It's all paying off. Every visit home, I see tons of people out biking including elderly folks. It's not just a lifestyle trend popular in big cities, but even in the smallest of towns.

M II A II R II K Jun 11, 2010 7:40 PM

'Nice Ride' bike sharing program gets rolling today in Minneapolis

Jun 10 2010

By Joe Kimball

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A new bike-sharing program kicks off today in Minneapolis, when Nice Ride begins offering greenish and blue bikes for short jaunts around the city. Hundreds of the bikes are available at 60 kiosks around the downtown Minneapolis area through the nonprofit program. To ride you need a subscription, available online. The cost ranges from $5 for 24 hours to $60 a year. Then the first half hour of riding is always free; the next half hour costs $1.50, and the next half hour is $3. Riders use a credit card to pay at the kiosk pay station.

Bikes can be returned to any kiosk at the end of the ride, although if there are no empty slots you'll be prompted to take it to another nearby kiosk with openings. As part of the opening festivities, Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, an avid cyclist and the author of "Bicycle Diaries," will join Mayor R.T. Rybak and others in a June 17 forum titled "Cities, Bicycles, and the Future of Getting Around." The event, at 7 p.m at the Uptown Theater, will also feature writer Jay Walljasper and Steve Clark, manager of the Twin Cities' Transit for Livable Communities Walking and Bicycling Program.

The Nice Ride bicycle rack at Fifth Street and First Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis.

M II A II R II K Jun 14, 2010 5:10 PM

Get on your bikes and ride, Elgin


By Harry Hitzeman

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Today kicks of Bike to Work Week in Elgin and other communities across the suburbs. The city's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee has a full docket of events planned. The committee also is working to promote biking as a viable and preferred mode of transportation for the coming week and beyond. "It's a more sustainable way to get around," said Elgin resident and committee chair Steve Wasliowski. "This isn't about recreation. It's about connectivity, getting from one place to another, without using a car."

Elgin, as part of its downtown streetscape plan, has painted bike-only areas on roads and has focused on making the city more bike friendly. Others seem to be taking notice, as the League of American Bicyclists this past April named Elgin as an honorable mention for a Bicycle Friendly Community. The city also wants opinions from residents about biking and walking via an online survey at the city's website. For details, visit or email

The city's committee has proposed that new developments have a requirement for bike racks, similar to the number of parking spaces required for a new strip mall. Tom Armstrong, an Elgin resident and retired city planner, will kick off a short on-street instructional ride beginning a 10 a.m. Friday, June 18 from the Gail Borden Library, 270 N. Grove Ave., as a way to teach adults and kids 10 and older the rules of the road. Armstrong, a committee member, who by choice did not have a car for three years until last month, said biking is a great form of exercise and in many ways cheaper than owning an automobile. "It's the ultimate freedom machine, I think," Armstrong said.

M II A II R II K Jun 16, 2010 5:32 AM

New bikeways create buffer

June 15, 2010

By Mike Aldax

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Drivers and bicyclists could wrangle less on San Francisco roadways if an upcoming pilot project to install bike lanes between parked cars and the curb in Golden Gate Park is successful. By year’s end, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency hopes to construct “parking-buffered” bike lanes along stretches of John F. Kennedy Drive between Stanyan Street and Transverse Drive.

The $250,000 project will move parking spots away from the curb so bicyclists and cars no longer have to mingle on the roadway. The lanes are expected to protect bicyclists and encourage more cycling in The City. “A painted buffer area between the parked cars and bikeway will provide space for passengers to enter and exit vehicles,” the SFMTA said. “In areas without parking, the bikeway will be separated from the travel lane by a painted buffer area only.”

Around half the JFK Drive corridor will have the new “cycling tracks,” mostly between Transverse Drive and Eighth Avenue, the transit agency said. The project is in the design phase and must be publicly vetted. Should the idea prove successful, the hope is that similar separations between bicyclists and vehicles will be constructed citywide. The 11,000-member San Francisco Bicycle Coalition said other good spots for the protected bikeways include Townsend Street by the Caltrain station and The Embarcadero between AT&T Park and Fisherman’s Wharf.

The SFMTA said it would construct more parking-buffered bikeways if the pilot project is successful, but it has yet to identify additional locations. The lanes have been a success in Amsterdam, Copenhagen and New York City, said Andy Thornley, the Bicycle Coalition’s program manager. The lanes offer the comfort of safety and fluidity for cyclists, he said.

harleyxx Jun 16, 2010 2:52 PM


Bicycles were the first transpiration devices and they are pollution free transportation device which are most commonly used all over the world



MSDS Software

M II A II R II K Jun 17, 2010 12:45 AM

Concrete, not paint


From the late 80s, with the opening of the Seaside route, to the 90s, with the development of the bikeway network, Vancouver has been steadily increasing the number of kilometres designed to encourage cycling. But with the success of the Burrard Bridge lane, fully separated from passing traffic, Council gained the confidence to move forward, quickly and decisively, to introduce ‘cycle tracks’ into downtown.

Now it is possible to cycle on Dunsmuir Street from Main Street to Howe on a two-way track, separated from sidewalks and vehicle lanes, in comfort and safety.

mwadswor Jun 17, 2010 5:12 PM


Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 4880291)

I'm a big fan of using more than paint to separate cycle tracks/bike lanes from the roadway used by cars, they need to be one way on each side of the road, though. I hate it when they put both directions on one side of the road, it's very unsafe no matter how well marked it is.

M II A II R II K Jun 22, 2010 7:25 PM

New bike program is sharing on two wheels


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Think of it as an I-GO for bikes. Chicago B-cycle will be the city's first bike-sharing system for residents when it launches in July with 100 bikes at six stations throughout Chicago. It's a program that was unveiled at the Bike to Work rally Friday at Daley Plaza. Mayor Daley has been interested in bike-sharing since he saw it in Paris in 2007. Loyola University has a similar program for its students. "The idea was to bring European-style bike-sharing to the United States. Bike-sharing is an alternative form of urban transportation," said Bob Burns, president of B-cycle.

B-cycle, a partnership of Humana, Trek Bicycle and ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky and owned and operated by Bike & Roll Chicago, launched Denver's citywide bike-sharing program with 500 bicycles on Earth Day in April. So far, there have been more than 18,000 rides through the program, Burns said.

Riders can sign up for a membership fee of $35 for 30 days, $45 for 60 days and $55 for 90 days. A card will be mailed to them and riders can stop by a bicycle kiosk at McCormick Place, Museum Campus, Buckingham Fountain, the Chicago Park District headquarters (541 N. Fairbanks Ct.) and two downtown locations yet to be announced.

Riders then swipe their membership cards to unlock a bike, which comes with a lock but no helmet. The first half hour is free and each additional half hour is $2.50. Also, riders who don't purchase a membership can use a credit card for a $10 daily membership pass and pick up a bike. Riders will be able to drop off the bicycle at any B-station as well as Navy Pier, North Avenue beach and Millennium Park, where Bike & Roll has rental stations.

M II A II R II K Jun 28, 2010 4:51 PM

scalziand Jun 28, 2010 6:54 PM

^Nice chart.

M II A II R II K Jun 29, 2010 4:07 PM

Where to ride those bikes?


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It's exciting to see that Denver's bike-sharing program is meeting with early praise and plenty of use. Count us among those hopeful that the cleverly named B-Cycle network of 400 bikes conveniently located at 42 stations around town leads to long-term benefits for both the city and users. But our enthusiasm is tempered by key challenges that the program and commuters face going forward. If the non-profit program staged with the cooperation of the city wishes to achieve its ambitious goals of reducing traffic congestion on Denver's core urban streets, far more attention and work need to be directed to providing the infrastructure that enables such a transformation.

Because while the attractive red bicycles now becoming a routine sight downtown are a nice fit with our city's active lifestyle, they also help draw attention to the lack of consistently reliable bike lanes along the primary streets and avenues riders share with automobiles. Though we are happy users of Denver's nearly 400 miles of bike paths, we mostly use them recreationally and don't risk commuting on our bikes. We aren't alone; statistics show that less than 2 percent of commuter miles comes in the form of bicycle traffic.

Nick Soloninka assembles a bike for the Denver B-cycle program at a warehouse in Aurora. (Kristin Morin, YourHub )

M II A II R II K Jul 2, 2010 6:13 PM

Bicycle Highways

June 30, 2010

By Tom Vanderbilt

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While there have been any number of bicycle-related entries in Nimble Cities, several readers have proposed an idea that can essentially be described as "bicycle highways." "I live in Chicago and take the L to work," wrote one, "but I'd rather ride my bike. A large problem with bicycling in cities is fear, generated by the fragility of a 5-pound bicycle when faced with a 2,000-pound car. To combat this fear, cities must develop or designate roadways specifically for bikes." Another argued that bicycle rental programs, while a good way to seed networks, were lacking: "Most people don't ride bicycles to work not because they're difficult to store/lock up but because they are at a serious disadvantage safety-wise. No bike helmet will protect you if an SUV driver on a cell phone accidentally broadsides you!"

- There is hardly a major city in the world that is not trying to get more people on bikes—ridership is up in cities ranging from Paris to New York—and city planners the world over envision ever greater numbers of people on bicycles in their long-term projections. The reasons are fairly obvious: Bicycles lessen congestion while improving the health of the citizenry. Cycling moreover has begun to seem a kind of indicator of overall urban health. A recent and not atypical survey of the world's 25 most livable cities (by Monocle magazine) was stacked with Copenhagen, Munich, Stockholm, and other cities that have invested heavily in cycling; Portland, Ore., was one of two U.S. entrants.

- But the key, one could argue, is infrastructure. While the school of so-called "vehicular cycling" argues that cycles should be treated as cars and share the roads, this philosophy seems to be the result of (primarily American) cyclists adapting by necessity to their harsh surroundings rather than the sound basis of a widespread transportation shift. In the world's top cycling cities, one finds not muscular riders harried and buffeted by passing cars, but all manner of people—young, old, carrying groceries, carrying kids—riding on networks that have been designed for them. In the Netherlands, for example, where no new road is built without a provision for cycles, cyclists ride on paths with a minimum width of 2.5 meters (which must be 1.5 meters from the road), get their own green lights, and find parking (if not always enough) at train stations and even bus stops.

- In Denmark, for example, the city of Copenhagen is extending its bicycling network outward into the suburbs, creating what the blog Copenhagenize calls "bicycle superhighways," for commutes of 10 kilometers or more, with everything from "green wave" lights (cycle 20 kilometers to hit all green) to standardized signage to bicycle service stations along the way. In London, Mayor Boris Johnson's own network of a dozen cycling "superhighways" (like football's Premiere League, they are sponsored by Barclays) is taking root; it "will provide cyclists with safe, direct, continuous, well marked and easily navigable routes along recognised commuter corridors."

M II A II R II K Jul 3, 2010 1:46 PM

Lessons from Copenhagen for Bicycling in the Bay Area

June 23, 2010

By Leah Shahum

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More than 1,000 bicycling leaders from nearly 60 countries are gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark to oooh and aaah, share and compare, and, above all else, challenge ourselves to step it up back home. For a dozen of us from the Bay Area, the Velo-City Global Conference is a chance to experience the much-praised Copenhagen bicycling environment and to bring home ideas and inspiration at a time when our own region could be on the cusp of awakening to the benefits of great bicycling cities. "In the Bay Area, people are starting to realize that this is the future, in terms of our development. And cycling is an integral part of that," says Corinne Winter, Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.

In presentations from biking advocates from Europe, North America, South America, and Asia, it is clear that cities are now considered the most vital frontier for increasing and improving bicycling, particularly as more people move to urban areas. "Cycling is the most obvious way to encourage more mobility no matter which corner of the earth you come from," says Bo Asmus Kjeldgaard, Copenhagen's Mayor of the Technical and Environmental Administration, who spoke to the eager crowd. "Copenhagen is just a drop in the ocean…but the power of our example is not to be missed. Cities need to look beyond their national borders and raise the bar worldwide."

Copenhagen clearly takes its role seriously as a pioneering bicycling city and wants to serve as a model for the rest of us. The numbers are impressive: 37 percent of Copenhageners ride bicycles to work and school, though the city's leadership is not satisfied with this and aims to increase that to 50 percent by 2015. More than 350 kilometers of physically separated bikeways grace the city's streets, and plans are underway to expand the already-impressive bicycling network with more dedicated bike space and improved intersections.

More convincing than the statistics, though, is simply stepping outside the conference doors to see why Copenhagen is lauded as one of the best, if not the best, bicycling city in the world. The impressive number of people bicycling for transportation is immediately noticeable as a literal sea of people pedaling moves like a wave down major streets. Even more compelling than the high numbers of people bicycling here is the normalcy of it all. A huge number of families with small children are riding, elderly people are riding, well-dressed professionals are riding. This is a country where Nobel Laureates and the Crown Prince ride bicycles for transportation.

In an effort to better appreciate and recognize bicyclists, the City of Copenhagen recently added this railing at a busy intersection to allow cyclists to hold on while they wait for the light to change.

This new covered bike parking is specially designed to hold cargo bicycles, a growing segment of bikes in Copenhagen during the past five years. Today, 25 percent of all families with two children in Copenhagen own cargo bikes.

A great idea for Market Street in San Francisco?! This automated bicycle counter is positioned on one of Copenhagen's busiest bicycling roads and tracks the number of cyclists passing by (in the single direction) on a daily and annual basis. It shows that, as of 10:22a.m. on this sunny Monday morning, 2,572 people had biked by. This street regularly sees between 20,000 and 30,000 bicyclists a day.

M II A II R II K Jul 8, 2010 4:10 PM

Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Protect Bicyclists on Illinois Roadways

July 5, 2010

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CHICAGO – July 5, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that will keep bicyclists safer on Illinois roads by making it illegal for automobile drivers to crowd bikers. Governor Quinn also signed legislation that will create a specialty license plate to educate the public about sharing the road with cyclists.

“These laws will help keep bicyclists safe and remind drivers to be alert for people on bikes,” said Governor Quinn. “We are strengthening laws to protect bicyclists and increasing safety education opportunities to help ensure that everyone is safe on Illinois’ roads.”

Senate Bill 2951, sponsored by Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) and Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills), makes it illegal for drivers to crowd or threaten bicyclists by unnecessarily driving close to a cyclist.

The new law increases penalties for attempting to harm or threaten bicyclists. Under the law, drivers who intimidate cyclists with threats, crowding or throwing items will be subject to a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.

Video Link

M II A II R II K Jul 9, 2010 6:14 PM

Finally, Bike Branding Moves Beyond Hipster Ghetto

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The National Bicycling and Walking Study:


Americans are riding bikes more than ever, yet cycling is still held up as some sort of cultish hobby relegated to aggro dudes with messenger bags who live and die by their fixed gears.

So maybe it’s time for a new image, yeah? Colle+McVoy, a Minneapolis ad agency, has partnered with the coalition Bikes Belong to design People for Bikes, an ingenious bike branding campaign that presents a refreshingly sunny view of life on two wheels. The effort includes a Web site, posters, TV spots, products, and a push from the cycling king himself, Lance Armstrong, all in the name of growing a national front for promoting bike-friendly policies. “Each piece is meant to inspire people from all backgrounds and levels of ability to bike and join the movement to make biking easier and better,” a Colle+McVoy spokeswoman tells us in an email. Put another way: It’s advocacy gussied up as lifestyle branding. And it’s pretty damn clever.

M II A II R II K Jul 15, 2010 3:08 PM

Bike parking takes over car parking spaces

July 13th, 2010

By Matthew Blackett

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Toronto bike riders can celebrate a “first” today: the City has converted two car parking spots into parking for a minimum of 16 bikes. Here is a little background on how it happened. Last year after I returned from a month-long trip to Scandinavia — where I witnessed a variety of amazing bike infrastructure projects — I was determined to see if any of them could be implemented here in Toronto. One of the easiest things, I figured, was the conversion of a few car parking spots into bike parking. Montreal had done it a few years back and I saw other examples in cities like Vancouver, New York and Portland.

A year ago, there were six ring-and-post bike racks in front of Spacing’s office on Spadina that could hold up to 12 bikes, yet a survey conducted by our landlord, the Centre For Social Innovation, determined that 75% of tenants rode their bike to our building in the summer. That meant there was a demand for 150 bike parking spots near our building. While the landlord provided bike parking in our building for about 30 bikes, there was still a significant shortage of spots available on the sidewalk for a few blocks. Cyclists were parking to stop signs, support wires for light poles, the pipes of water mains, the scaffolding attached to our building for much of the summer, and any other thing you could fit a lock through.

I contacted Yvonne Bambrick at the Toronto Cyclists Union (a fellow tenant) and the City bike infrastructure folks and invited them to the building to survey the lack of bike parking. We discussed a variety of options and determined that our spot on Spadina was the perfect place to convert a few car parking spots into bike parking. I contacted the businesses in our building and next door (luckily, it was fully of urban planners, designers and architects) who wrote letters of support. Councillor Adam Vaughan and his staff loved the idea and went to bat for us and kept us in the loop on any developments.

M II A II R II K Jul 20, 2010 6:51 PM

Riding London's Bicycle Superhighways

July 20th, 2010

Sarah Rich

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While idealistic urbanists plot ways to turn 10-lane freeways into wilderness corridors, London is rolling out brand new superhighways. But these are not the pollution-spewing variety. A series of 5-foot-wide, bright blue bicycle lanes are opening across the city this summer in an effort to improve safety and efficiency for pedaling commuters.

A dozen cycling superhighway routes (initiated by the mayor but sponsored in name by Barclays) are slated to open in the next five years, eventually forming continuous spokes connecting to the center of London from all directions. With cities like Berlin and Amsterdam as models, London aspires to be a model of pedal-powered transport, adding not only the new lanes but also city-wide bike-sharing (a strategy that is so far a success in Denver) as well as more bike parking.

Video Link

M II A II R II K Jul 28, 2010 2:38 PM

Advocacy How To: Road Design Review

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Earlier this morning, I repeated my occasional admonition to show up at public meetings if you want bicycle facilities included in new roads. What I’ve never done, though, is explain what to do at those meetings. Fairfax Advocates for Better Biking (FABB) in Virginia have created this guide: the “Guide for Reviewing Public Road Design and Bicycling Accommodations.”

I’ll write more later on the importance of just showing up, but in the nutshell: they can’t hear you if you don’t show up. There have been a number of occasions when I have been the only person to show up at a public hearing. Caltrain puts as much emphasis on bike facilities as they do because cyclists often have such an overwhelming presence at Caltrain board meetings — we let the board members know we’re very interested in their business. Last month, the California Transportation Commission didn’t plan to award any money for purchasing the Santa Cruz Branch line for a proposed rail-trail project, but 22 bike advocates traveled to Sacramento on Amtrak to present their case, while two people signed up to speak against the proposal (and meekly declined to speak at their turn). The Commission went against staff recommendation to provide $10 million for the rail purchase. Showing up and pressing flesh with bureaucrats planners is no guarantee of success, but failure to show is a guarantee you will never be heard.

Planning, approving, and constructing road projects is a long process that presents many opportunities for bicycling advocates to provide input into the final outcome. FABB’s new guide outlines ways bicycling proponents can get involved in the process of designing, approving, building, and retrofitting roads to ensure that bicycling accommodations are integrated into the plans where needed. Although geared for Virginia, many of the ideas contained in the report could be applied to other locations as well. The 32-page booklet covers the basics of understanding engineering plans and also outlines various roadway features (such as intersections, roundabouts, wide curb lanes, and bike lanes) that could be shown in the plans. Design standards and guidelines, design and safety issues, and a checklist for each of these features help advocates review and comment on road design plans.

After you look at a few of these plans, a few thing start to pop out at you. For example, what’s wrong with the shared lane (“sharrow”) marking that’s used as an illustration in the Guide? Page 14 of this new bike planning guide advises us to refer to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) for guidance on sharrow use. The MUTCD is the Holy Bible used by engineers for all “traffic control devices” — signs, lights, pavement markings, reflective coatings, and even safety cones. Each state has their own official version that they’ve adopted (and which you should refer to in your bike advocacy efforts), but for simplicity we’ll refer here to the latest Federal edition. Small town planners and engineers can’t really be expected to know the minutiae of every tiny little detail of what’s available in the MUTCD and other Federal, State, and local laws, which is why they need input from you and I.

“Traffic Controls for Bicycle Facilities” are covered in the MUTCD Section 9; shared lane markings are described in Section 9C§7 which reads, in part:

If used on a street without on-street parking … the centers of the Shared Lane Markings should be at least 4 feet from the face of the curb.

The sharrow shown in the illustration is only about 30 inches at the very most from the curb, and reinforces the discriminatory gutter bunny bike positioning that many motorist-minded people have. For it to be used for its intended purpose of “[alerting] road users of the lateral location bicyclists are likely to occupy”, that marking should be at least another foot or two out into the lane.

zilfondel Jul 28, 2010 9:47 PM


Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 4898521)
Bicycle Highways

...fragility of a 5-pound bicycle when faced with a 2,000-pound car.

I'd love to have a 5-pound bicycle.

But seriously, you can die in a wreck whether you're in a car or on a bike. I've seen people get hit by a car going 20 and survive, just keep them cars to obey the speed limit in urban areas, would help tremendously.

M II A II R II K Jul 29, 2010 6:42 PM

Life in the Bike Lane: New York City

July 28, 2010

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As WNYC highlighted on Thursday, cycling is the fastest-growing way to get around New York City. In 2008, the city added a record 90 miles of bike lanes — bringing the total to 420 miles — and passed the Bicycle Access to Office Buildings Law, which grants tenants of commercial office buildings the right to securely park their bikes in or close to their workplace.

These policies — part of the Bloomberg administration’s PlaNYC 2030 to make the city more sustainable – contributed to an unprecedented 35 percent one-year increase in bike commuting from 2008 to 2009.

Still, only 1 percent of New Yorkers bike to work. So what’s life like for this small slice of the Big Apple? What motivates, irks and inspires them?

Now you can find out (if you want to know). WNYC has produced a video documenting life in the bike lane in NYC. One good tip from a reasonable rider: “We all have to co-exist; we all have to follow the rules; and we all have to walk, bike, and drive defensively.”

Video Link

M II A II R II K Jul 30, 2010 7:09 PM

Bike Share: A slice of Paris in Chicago

July 30, 2010

Mary Schmich

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It's not every day that you can stroll down a Chicago sidewalk and think you've been magically zapped to Paris. But I was cruising down Ohio Street Thursday when — zut alors! There was a row of rental-bike docks that looked a lot like Paris' famous Velib' stations. Half a dozen guys were fiddling with the machines, making sure everything would work on Friday when Chicago debuts its first city bike-share program. There are only 100 bikes and only six locations, but if this experiment works, bike-sharing could become a Chicago way of life. To find out more, I called Josh Squire. He's the founder of Bike and Roll, which is managing the program.

Q. How did this idea evolve?

A. We started thinking about bike share in 1998. It took some time until the technology caught up. The city reached out to us to do some sort of pilot program. We were able to obtain a small-business loan to start and hopefully build a network of stations throughout the Chicagoland area.

Q. You've been in the bike-rental business a long time?

A. Since 1993. I started in college because I wanted to hang out at the beach. I went to the park district and asked them to rent bikes. They said no. I went back and said, "You didn't give me a reason why." They let me do it as a pilot program at Oak Street Beach.

Q. How much does this cost the city?

A. It doesn't cost the city anything. Since we put a couple of stations on park district space, if we get sponsorships, then the city will benefit.

Q. All the stations are near the downtown lakefront. Is this mostly for tourists?

A. Our idea is to demonstrate that this is viable for tourists, locals and area workers. As we grow we'll venture into neighborhoods and transit centers.

Q. It's expensive — $10 an hour if you don't have a membership.

A. I don't think it's expensive if you compare it to a CTA monthly pass or even I-GO or Zipcar. And how much does it cost you to park a car in the city?

A pass costs $35 a month, $25 for students. With the pass, the first hour of use is included. You have unlimited trips in that hour. If you want to keep it longer, it's an additional $2.50 per half hour, but we want to discourage that.

Dan Ioja, fleet manager for Bike and Roll, removes a rental bike from its dock at a B-cycle station on Ohio Street. (Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune / July 28, 2010)

M II A II R II K Aug 2, 2010 1:43 AM

Left Out of Olympics, Wisconsin Roads Still Lure Cyclists

July 27, 2010


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Last October, the International Olympic Committee tossed out Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics in the first round, ultimately choosing Rio de Janeiro. For many a Chicagoan it was a crushing blow. But there was a collective gasp 150 miles to the northwest in Madison, Wis. When proposed cycling routes in Illinois failed to pass muster, event planners opted to move the cycling events to the hillier environs of southern Wisconsin’s Dane County, a growing cycling mecca.

Many in Madison saw the Olympics as a chance to make outsiders aware of what locals already knew: that there is a lot of great cycling there. Among the crestfallen was Robbie Ventura, a former professional cyclist who was part of Lance Armstrong’s United States Postal Service team for four years. Ventura lives in Chicago, where he runs an endurance coaching company, and was tapped to head the effort to put together the cycling routes for Chicago’s Olympic bid proposal.

mwadswor Aug 5, 2010 10:56 PM


Bike agenda spins cities toward U.N. control, Maes warns

By Christopher N. Osher
The Denver Post
POSTED: 08/04/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes is warning voters that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's policies, particularly his efforts to boost bike riding, are "converting Denver into a United Nations community."

"This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed," Maes told about 50 supporters who showed up at a campaign rally last week in Centennial.

Polls show that Maes, a Tea Party favorite, has pulled ahead of former Congressman Scott McInnis, the early frontrunner in the Aug. 10 primary for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Maes acknowledged that some might find his theories "kooky," but he said there are valid reasons to be worried.

"At first, I thought, 'Gosh, public transportation, what's wrong with that, and what's wrong with people parking their cars and riding their bikes? And what's wrong with incentives for green cars?' But if you do your homework and research, you realize ICLEI is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty," Maes said.
Break out the tin foil hats!

M II A II R II K Aug 6, 2010 3:36 PM

The age of the bicycle

1 August 2010

By Susie Mesure

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Britain is on the brink of a freewheeling revolution. A bicycle boom is under way across the UK, with more and more people rediscovering the joy of two wheels rather than four. Sales of bikes have soared and cyclists are travelling further, according to latest figures. The rise of pedal power is poised to accelerate, as cities from Bristol to York invest millions of pounds in new cycling infrastructure. New government research reveals that the number of miles cycled on average last year leapt 10 per cent, while the average distance rose 17 per cent. While bike sales have gone up by more than 25 per cent in the past three years, spending on new cars fell by 13 per cent in the same period, according to the National Travel Survey. The upward trend has been most marked in the south of England: 8 per cent of inner London residents and one in 25 workers in the South-east and South-west say they cycle to work, according to the survey, which interviewed around 20,000 people.

But it is not only commuters who are behind the increase. Organisers of sportive events such as the Forest of Dean Classic, held around Monmouth, or next month's Tour of Worcestershire, have reported record demand for places from amateur cycling enthusiasts. It took only seven minutes for 300 extra places for the 190km Verenti Dragon Ride, held in South Wales in June, to sell out, while 4,500 riders saddled up for the 130km Etape Caledonia in Perthshire in May, 50 per cent more than last year. Patrick Trainor, who promotes sports rides for organisations such as Wheels in Wheels, said cyclists are entering events to test themselves without racing. "Sportives make riding in different places attractive as the route is marked out for you and nutrition and back-up are taken care of," he said. A host of smaller events, including the Independent's own inaugural London to Brighton Bike Ride on 11 September, have sprung up to cater for the increase in interest.

Today the centre of Manchester will be closed to vehicles for one of 13 Sky Rides taking place this year – eight more than last year. Ian Drake, the chief executive of British Cycling, which is supporting the Sky Rides, said: "Cycling is booming and we are seeing an unprecedented growth in the number of people cycling regularly, currently 1.88 million people cycle at least once a week." He added that Sky Rides had prompted more than 100,000 people to "dust off their bikes and explore their city on two wheels". The organisation is aiming to get a million more people cycling regularly by 2013 and said its membership had risen in the past two years to more than 32,000, compared with 22,000 in 2007.

M II A II R II K Aug 11, 2010 5:36 PM

The key to cycling safety? More cyclists

August 1, 2010

By Michelle Lalonde

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- As Montreal and other munipalities push ahead with new cycling routes and other measures to encourage cycling as a mode of transportation, will this mean more injuries and fatal crashes as the streets are invaded by commuters on two wheels?

- When the “État du Vélo 2010” report is published next spring, Vélo Québec expects the numbers to jump significantly. But even before that jump is tallied, Montreal had a higher per capita rate of cycling commuters than other major cities in Canada and the United States.

- Montreal has a way to go before it catches up to the year-round cycling commuter rate of Vancouver, which was at 2.8 per cent in 2006, but cold weather cycling has certainly increased in Montreal since the city started clearing snow from some cycling routes a couple of years ago.

- Those numbers would seem to imply that the higher the cycling rate in a city, the more deaths and injuries occur. In fact, research shows the opposite; that increased numbers of cyclists on the road actually results in fewer injuries and deaths. “The studies are showing that the more cyclists there are on the street, the safer they are,” said Dr. Patrick Morency, a public health and safety specialist with Montreal’s public health department.

- A 2003 study published in the Injury Prevention Journal by Peter Lyndon Jacobsen concluded: “A motorist is less likely to collide with a person walking or bicycling if more people walk or bicycle. Policies that increase the numbers of people walking and bicycling appear to be an effective route to improving the safety of people walking and bicycling.”

- Lessons from the Netherlands and Germany, showed that pedestrians and cyclists in the United States were much more likely to be killed or injured than were Dutch and German pedestrians and cyclists, both on a per-trip and on a per-kilometre basis, even though the European countries had far more cyclists on their streets.

Three cyclists were killed and three more were seriously hurt after a pickup truck plowed into a group of cyclists on Highway 112 in Rougemont in May. Photograph by: John Kenney, Gazette file photo

M II A II R II K Aug 13, 2010 12:09 AM

Cyclists, motorists alike should chill, obey laws

Aug. 12, 2010

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When you're driving somewhere in a hurry - and who isn't in a hurry these days? - having to slow down for a bicyclist can be as annoying as ...

As annoying as having to slow down to let a frail elderly person or a mother with a stroller cross the street.

As annoying as having to repeat something to a deaf grandfather.

As annoying as waiting in line at the movies or to get into a popular restaurant.

Yes, some things are annoying. But in a civilized community we take a deep breath, look at the big picture and cultivate some compassionate patience. So why, after articles in Monday's Observer about tension between bicyclists and motorists, were online comments at so venom-filled they had to be cut off? Why do bicyclists make so many motorists' blood boil?

We don't know. (Is it the spandex?) If we knew the answer, we'd be out on the consultant circuit making millions selling it to people trying to tame the rage. Here's what we do know: Bicycles are legal on city streets and the state's roads. Bicycles have every right to share the pavement and to expect courteous treatment.

Jerks can be found behind the wheel, pedaling cycles, even in wheelchairs and on foot. You can be a jerk anywhere. So while that means motorists shouldn't honk at cyclists or swerve at them, it also means bicyclists have no more right to deliberately clog travel lanes than SUVs or tractor-trailers do.

Go7SD Aug 13, 2010 6:36 AM

Cyclists showing you how it's done in NYC...who needs bike lanes. ;)
Video Link

electricron Aug 13, 2010 8:11 AM

There were many, many traffic violations in that video...

Go7SD Aug 13, 2010 8:22 AM

Actually, on a more serious note in order for America to adapt to the kind of bicycle culture the way people do in Europe the attitudes of the politicians, planners, cyclists and motorists must change. The way to do this is to build more bikeways and encourage people to ride often. Overtime, this will become more acceptable in our culture. When there is no mutual co-operation in the over all big picture through ignorance and arrogance the roads will continue to become a dangerous place for everyone.

Many years ago when I was in the Netherlands for the first time I was in pure culture shock. I was amazed by the way they managed to separate the travel lanes between the motorists, cyclists and pedestrians in a more safer and convenient manner. When I rode my bike there I couldn't believe how much easier it was to get around and didn't have to worry about getting hit by some idiot. The bicycle culture there is basically a way life for most people there so the attitudes between cyclists and motorists are much more respectable compared to what you'll find here. There's a very good chance that these motorists are cyclist as well. ;) The people over there do not take driving for granted the way we do here in the states.

Instead of cities arguing about who has the right of way and trying too hard to figure out a way to reinvent the wheel they should look at what has already worked in Europe for many years.

The Netherlands have been perfecting the bike way system for over a hundred years. This video explains what we could learn from them. It's all about common sense designing. Do not put striped lanes next to the road with motorists.
Video Link

Video Link

fflint Aug 13, 2010 9:06 PM


Originally Posted by Roy McDowell (Post 4945832)
Cyclists showing you how it's done in NYC...who needs bike lanes. ;)

Every year, bicycle messengers from around the world gather in one city for a big week-long series of events, including various kinds of racing. This video is from the year NYC hosted the international messenger gathering and shows one of their alley cat races through Manhattan. They're not locals, nor are they really just 'cyclists.' They are the taxi drivers, NASCAR racers, and fleeing felons of the cycling world, all rolled into one hot, brakeless mess.

Go7SD Aug 15, 2010 5:03 AM

^ all I can say is that they have a pair of steel balls.

M II A II R II K Aug 17, 2010 4:39 AM

What Does American Exceptionalism Mean For Livable Streets?

July 2, 2010

By Noah Kazis

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Is the United States exceptional? It's a question that's bedeviled activists and historians alike since the country was born 234 years ago this Sunday. It's also a question that's been bugging Barbara McCann, the executive director of the Complete Streets Coalition. She's been at Velo-City, a bike conference held in cycling mecca Copenhagen this year. Writes McCann on her organization's blog:

"Frankly, in the past, I’ve discounted the value of the European model in the United States. It has been just too different - and certainly has been rejected by most local elected officials in the US. Specific European treatments such as cycle-tracks (bicycle lanes raised from the road surface and separate from the sidewalk) seemed pointless to discuss. On this trip, however, I came away with greater clarity about what European cities have to teach the Complete Streets movement in the United States."

- But one or two cycle-tracks does not a Copenhagen make. There's nowhere in this country even close to the cutting edge of livable streets. So McCann's question seems apt: Just how much can the United States learn from other countries?

- "The lesson for most of the United States, then, is not to simply import a technique or two (although it is encouraging to see a few American cities trying it): it is to learn how to build the political consensus that roads serve purposes beyond automobile travel."

Rush hour in Copenhagen. Photo: Complete Streets Coalition

sammyg Aug 17, 2010 4:53 AM

DC implements bike signals

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) recently installed Washington, DC's first traffic signals for bicycles at the intersection of 16th Street, U Street and New Hampshire Avenue, NW. The safety improvements also include contraflow bike lanes on New Hampshire Avenue and "bike boxes" for cyclists on 16th Street

M II A II R II K Aug 19, 2010 8:50 PM

Bicycle City

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- While we’re seeing more projects that address critical world issues, the planners behind Bicycle City see the city plan as a holistic approach to solving society’s problems as it addresses several problems at once, like obesity, climate change, and alternative energy.

- Co-founder Joe Mellett tells us that he envisions car-free towns as a “showcase for wind and solar energy as well as architects who specialize in green and LEED-certified problems.” (Especially prescient, perhaps, since the Southeastern United States is one of the worst perpetrators of carbon emissions in the United States.)

Official Website:

Go7SD Aug 20, 2010 1:32 AM

^^ Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to

M II A II R II K Aug 21, 2010 9:26 PM

Courts ordering cyclists who injure pedestrians to pay high damages

August 22, 2010

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Numerous court rulings awarding huge damages to victims of bicycle accidents have been handed down following the tightening of bicycle-related laws in 2007, it has emerged. Since 2007, when the Road Traffic Law was revised, there has been a stream of civil lawsuit rulings awarding damages ranging from several million yen to over 50 million yen in cases resulting in death or serious injury to pedestrians. In line with this, four main courts across Japan including courts in Tokyo and Osaka presented a new standard for judging bicycle accidents in March, stating that "in principle, pedestrians are not at fault in accidents that occur on sidewalks."

However, while high damages continued to be awarded in courts across Japan, public awareness of rules governing bicycles remains low, and the issue is likely to stir public debate. Under Japan's Road Traffic Law, bicycles are treated as "vehicles" and are supposed to travel on roads, not sidewalks, but in practice the situation is different and recently there has been a surge in accidents between cyclists and pedestrians on sidewalks. In response to the increase, the Road Traffic Law was revised in 2007, creating a provision regarding conditions for bicycles traveling on sidewalks.

The judgments awarding high compensation to pedestrians highlight the tough stance courts are apparently taking against cyclists who injure pedestrians in response to the tightened regulations. In March this year, judges from courts in Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya and Osaka, which have sections specializing in traffic lawsuits, debated the issue in a legal magazine. While a Tokyo District Court workshop and other bodies have adopted standards offsetting the fault of motorists in accidents depending on the degree of negligence of pedestrians, no such provisions exist for bicycle accidents, and the judges agreed that standards for bicycles were necessary.

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