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M II A II R II K Nov 22, 2010 8:32 PM

Expansion of Bike Lanes Brings Backlash


Over the last four years, the streets of New York City have undergone a transformation: More than 250 miles of traffic lanes dedicated for bicycles have been created, and several laws aimed at promoting cycling have been passed. The efforts by the Bloomberg administration have placed New York City at the forefront of a national trend to make bicycling viable and safe even in the most urban of settings. Yet over the last year, a backlash has taken hold.

Bowing to vocal opposition from drivers and elected officials, the city last week began removing a 2.35-mile painted bike lane along Father Capodanno Boulevard on Staten Island. In Manhattan, a community board held a special hearing this month for business owners to vent about a new protected bicycle lane on Columbus Avenue — in particular, the removal of parking spaces and the disruption of the normal traffic flow.

In Brooklyn, new bicycle lanes have led to unusual scenes of friction. Along Prospect Park West, opponents protested last month alongside supporters of the lanes. And last year, painted paths along Bedford and Kent Avenues in Williamsburg caused disagreement between cyclists and Hasidim. The lane on Bedford Avenue was later removed. So far, the opposition to the city’s agenda on bicycles has far less organization and passion than the bicycling advocates, but it is gaining increased attention.

The City Council will hold a hearing on bicycling on Dec. 2 to address balancing the needs of cyclists with those of other road users, said Councilman James Vacca, the chairman of the Transportation Committee. The hearing will also look at how well the Transportation Department has worked with community boards to review large-scale road changes. Meanwhile, the Police Department and the Transportation Department have begun a crackdown on bicycle-related traffic violations amid complaints from some pedestrians.

Surging bike ridership has created a simmering cultural conflict between competing notions of urban transportation. Many New Yorkers object to bicycle lanes as sudden, drastic changes to their coveted concrete front yards. “He’s taking away my rights as a driver,” Leslie Sicklick, 45, said of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Ms. Sicklick, a dog walker and substitute teacher, grew up driving with her father around the Lower East Side, where she still lives.

She organized a protest in the East Village last month, and she and at least two groups of opponents are planning new rallies against local bicycle lanes. They have discussed joining up for one large protest, though none has been planned. “To me, Union Square is a perfect place to do the protest,” Ms. Sicklick said, “because it’s one of the worst areas created by the new bike lanes.”

Cycling advocates have taken notice. They have begun to mobilize more — seeking to undercut any anti-bicycle rally by their own presence — and have increased pressure on city officials to continue the pro-bicycle agenda. On Nov. 10, for example, advocates and bike riders massed in front of City Hall to protest the Transportation Department’s decision to scale back on parking-protected lanes along First and Second Avenues.

Michael O’Connor, 63, from the East Village, argues against the new bike lanes in his neighborhood with a pro bike-lane protestor.

Okstate Nov 24, 2010 6:49 PM

Bicycle trips on the rise in Portland

POSTED: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 04:00 PM PT
BY: Sue Vorenberg
Tags: bikes, Portland Bureau of Transportation

The throngs of bicyclists pedaling out across the streets and bridges of the Rose City grew once again in 2010, according to the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

The agency today announced the release of the Portland Bicycle Count Report for 2010, which showed a 12 percent increase of bicycle traffic on bridges and a 7 percent increase in bicycle trips on non-bridges over the past year.

“One of the goals of the city of Portland is to increase the number of people getting around on foot, on public transit, in carpools and on bicycles,” said Dan Anderson, a city spokesman. “Traveling those ways increases the health of the city, reduces congestion and saves money.”

Officials view growing ridership as a sign the agency has been successful in making bicycling in the city easier, more comfortable and more accessible, he said.

Overall, the total number of trips increased 8 percent in 2010 compared with 2009 counts, according to the report.

The bureau has counted bicycle traffic at various spots in the city since the early 1990s, and almost every year it has noted steady increases, Anderson said.

“Population growth is a part of that, but we’ve seen huge increases in the past 20 to 30 years that have risen much more than could be accounted for by just population growth,” Anderson said.

In the past 10 years, bicycle traffic across the city has risen about 190 percent.

That said, 2009 was a different story - and a bit of an anomaly. That year, agency saw a dip in traffic, likely because of layoffs and the bad economy, he said.

“People just didn’t have the same places to go to when unemployment doubled,” Anderson said.

The 2010 numbers are back where they should be, and show traffic rising once again, he said.

Southwest Portland had the highest increase in number of cyclists, with an increase of 19 percent. East Portland also had a strong increase of 9.4 percent, according to the report.

Counts are done manually by volunteers and bureau officials standing at street corners or on bridges during different time periods throughout the day. They collect data several times a year, Anderson added.

The full report is available online at

sciguy0504 Nov 24, 2010 7:23 PM

When you pay registration fees for your bike, obtain a license to ride your bike and pay "gas" taxes, you can share the road with my car.

Steely Dan Nov 24, 2010 7:43 PM


Originally Posted by sciguy0504 (Post 5068293)
When you pay registration fees for your bike, obtain a license to ride your bike and pay "gas" taxes, you can share the road with my car.

bicycles already have the right to share the roads with cars in all 50 states. if you don't like it, that's too bad. you are not the arbiter of which types of vehicles get to use the roads. that job belongs to the government, not some dude on the internet.

Nowhereman1280 Nov 24, 2010 8:17 PM


Originally Posted by sciguy0504 (Post 5068293)
When you pay registration fees for your bike, obtain a license to ride your bike and pay "gas" taxes, you can share the road with my car.

Bicycles existed before cars and had a right to the road before cars, therefore its bikes who are sharing the road with cars, not the other way around.

Also, why the hell should a bicyclist have to pay a gas tax? How would that even work? Would they have to pull over at every gas station and just pour fuel on the ground so that they contribute to the tax? That's probably one of the dumbest comments I've seen on SSP in a while.

If anything bicyclists should get a negative tax (subsidy) for not using gas and not putting more wear and tear on our roads by using a 3000 lbs device instead of 15 lbs one... Oh wait, they do get a tax credit. You get like $20 a month tax credit if you bike to work more than 80% of the time.

PS, the gas tax pays almost exclusively for the upkeep and construction of the Interstate system which, in most states, is off limits to bicycles...

mhays Nov 24, 2010 8:25 PM


Originally Posted by sciguy0504 (Post 5068293)
When you pay registration fees for your bike, obtain a license to ride your bike and pay "gas" taxes, you can share the road with my car.

I pay more in taxes than most people, even though I don't drive. Shall we talk about the preferential treatment I would deserve if your logic made sense?

awholeparade Nov 24, 2010 9:34 PM


Originally Posted by sciguy0504 (Post 5068293)
When you pay registration fees for your bike, obtain a license to ride your bike and pay "gas" taxes, you can share the road with my car.

apparently, i needed a comment this stupid to pull me out of lurker mode.

i'm 27 years old, i've never had a license, i have always been a cyclist, and i have been working since 15; i've paid taxes the entire time. i've put forth more than enough to "buy my right to the road." also, as someone else mentioned, this isn't a "chicken or the egg" situation. bikes were clearly around first, therefore, we have just as much of a right to SAFELY share the road with other vehicles. it's obvious that neither of us (cyclists or drivers) or going away anytime soon, so something's gotta give.

M II A II R II K Nov 25, 2010 1:14 AM

WANTED: Bike Share in New York City!


New York City’s Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) for private companies to provide a bike share system for the city with hopes of implementation by the spring of 2012. The bike share system would follow such cities as Montreal, Washington, D.C., and Paris and augment Sadik-Khan’s suncess in installing 250 miles of additional bikes lanes in the five boroughs.

The key features of the new “public transportation system” will include: durable bicycles and docking stations “to provide convenient and inexpensive mobility twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year,” according to the press release. DOT sees bike sharing as useful for trips under three miles and as a congestion-reducing, green transit option.

The RFP calls for a private company to “bear all the cost and responsibilities for the system during an initial five-year period while sharing revenues with the city, and with no taxpayer funds being used for the system’s implementation, upkeep or maintenance.”

Sadik-Khan says the high number of short trips in New York City (50 percent are under two miles), the city’s residential and commercial density, and its relatively flat geography make it an ideal place for a bike share system. The RFP does not state the number of bikes nor the location of stations New Yorkers and visitors can expect, but the press release does say:

“. . . preliminary City research indicates that a financially self-sustaining program could include Manhattan south of 60th Street and surrounding neighborhoods. DOT is particularly interested in systems that span more than one borough and that make the best use of the city’s growing bicycle network.”

M II A II R II K Nov 26, 2010 4:38 PM

Janette Sadik-Khan on NYC’s Proposed Bike Share Program


Richard Hake: New York City today takes the first step toward launching the largest bike-share program in the country. New Yorkers will be able to rent bikes one-way for short term rides all over Manhattan. The idea is that the program will be entirely privately run, but the city will share the revenues. Joining us now is the city’s transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan.

Tell me how this program would work. If I get off work today, I’m here on Varick Street and I want to take a bike up to Union Square, would that be possible?

Janette Sadik-Khan: The system would be similar to the bike share format we’ve seen in Paris and London and Washington where heavy-duty bikes would be located at docking stations every few blocks throughout the system, and they can be ridden and dropped off at any other docking station in the system. So we’re asking for companies to come in and give us their ideas where the best place would be to site a bike share system.

RH: So where would these docking stations be? Would they be in major sections like Union Square? Would there be one in Times Square? Have you investigated how that would work?

JSK: Well, the RFP does not specify the number of bicycles or the precise geographic area to be covered. But we do have preliminary research that says south of 60th Street in Manhattan in the central business district would be an ideal match for New York’s geography because we’ve got high density and a growing bike infrastructure there.

RH: Now are you looking at this more for tourists, for people who just want to leisurely go around the city or could this be done for people who want to go to work and get some errands done?

JSK: We expect it to serve bothgroups. Bike share would give New Yorkers many more transportation choices as the city’s population continues to grow and as traffic congestion increases. And it would be privately funded, so taxpayers will not be on the hook for coming up with dollars to support this, but they would share in any profits. And we think this is really the best deal in town for on-demand travel and a nice complement to our transit system.

RH: So when you say privately run, does that mean, there would be different companies or maybe one large company would actually purchase the bikes, maintain those bikes and actually rent the bikes out to people that want them?

JSK: Yes, the RFP specifies that a private company would bear all the costs and responsibilities with the system during the initial five-year period while sharing revenues with the city. No taxpayer funds would be used for the system’s implementation or for the upkeep or for the maintenance of it. And in fact, we expect significant revenues from user fees and sponsorship and we will negotiate a city share of that revenue.


M II A II R II K Nov 29, 2010 9:48 PM

Theft and Vandalism Just Not a Problem For American Bike-Sharing


Even as bike-sharing spreads across the United States, it remains dogged by one persistent doubt. Critics, and even some boosters, fear that the bikes will be routinely stolen and vandalized. It’s time to stop worrying about crime, however. In America’s new bike-sharing systems, there have been essentially no such problems.

Fears that public bikes will be abused can be traced to Paris’s Vélib system, which while wildly popular has struggled with high levels of theft and vandalism. Take Michael Grynbaum’s write-up last week of New York City’s bike-share plans in the Times, where crime is portrayed as the only downside:

In Paris, the pioneer of bike-sharing, the bikes are used up to 150,000 times a day. But there has also been widespread theft and vandalism; bicycles have ended up tossed in the Seine, dangling from lampposts and shipped off to northern Africa for illegal sale.

The scenes of Vélib bike abuse replicate descriptions widely circulated in a 2009 BBC story about the system’s troubles. The problems with Vélib are real, if overhyped by the media. In 2009, JCDecaux, the advertising agency that runs Vélib, estimated that over 8,000 bikes were stolen and another 8,000 rendered unrideable and irreparable. It was a problem that had to be addressed.

Luckily for the rest of the world, it seems to have been an easy fix for other cities. Many now believe that the locking mechanism at Vélib’s stations was poorly designed. Systems that use a different method have successfully controlled theft to the point where the cost is negligible.

Vélib bikes lock on the side of the frame, as seen here. Other operators, including ClearChannel, B-cycle and the Public Bike System, have had dramatically lower rates of theft and use a different locking method, explained Bill Dossett, who runs Minneapolis’s new NiceRide bike-sharing system. “The ClearChannel systems had the locking mechanism built into the headset,” where the handlebars meet the bicycle frame, “and just has never had the same problems,” he said.

For example, Barcelona’s Bicing system, run by ClearChannel, has had about one-fifth the rate of stolen public bikes as Vélib, despite higher theft rates citywide, according to the New York Department of City Planning.

Stateside, the problems with crime have been smaller still.

“Theft and vandalism hasn’t been a big problem with either of our two systems,” said Jim Sebastian, who runs Washington D.C.’s bike and pedestrian programs. Under D.C.’s old SmartBike system, which opened in 2008, only one bike was ever stolen, and that was when a rider left it unsecured. Under the new and larger Capital Bikeshare system, which launched in September with about 1,100 bikes, they’ve lost fewer than five bikes, Sebastian said.

M II A II R II K Dec 1, 2010 5:37 PM

Expanding Pedestrian and Bike Safety to the Whole District Won’t Be Easy

Posted by Lydia DePillis on Nov. 17, 2010


On Monday morning, District Department of Transportation Director Gabe Klein sat at a dais at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments boardroom, next to the Dutch ambassador and other Netherlandish dignitaries. They were there to talk about how their country makes it easy to bicycle, before mobile workshops that would assess D.C.’s bike friendliness.

- Although the Dutch could brag about their capacious bike parking facilities and dedicated cycle tracks, it wasn’t wholly an instructor-student dynamic. In many instances, the foreigners ended up praising D.C.’s bicycling infrastructure, from signage to new bike lanes to high usage of helmets. Klein tapped away at his Android phone for parts of the presentation–he’s familiar with the Dutch innovations, having brought a few of them to D.C. already–and looked up to smile at photos of children cycling to school. When his turn at the mic came, Klein delivered a stirring encomium to bold action for a bike-centric city.

- Aside from a few high-profile reversals–like the wide Pennsylvania Avenue NW bike lanes that later had to be slimmed down–he’s mostly gotten his way. DDOT is now retrofitting so many streets for bikes that the agency is trying to figure out how to contract out the work, rather than doing it all in-house. One need: More paint stripers, to keep up with all the traffic flow revisions the agency wants.

- What’s stopping the DDOT director now? It’s true that Klein could be replaced in a Vince Gray administration, though his position is considered to be safer than those of some other cabinet members. Assuming he stays on, the biggest obstacle to the development of a walkable, bikeable city is, in many parts of the city, a dearth of places to walk and bike to.

- There’s not much point in putting down a bike lane that runs for miles before getting to a grocery store, after all, or putting in stoplights when there aren’t enough pedestrians to use them. Places like Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle were only waiting to be connected by bike paths; drivers there are already used to dealing with foot traffic. But in the suburban expanses of Wards 4, 5, 7, and 8, where parking is plentiful and amenities scarce, Klein’s DDOT could find itself waiting for development to catch up.

- The challenges to making D.C. foot-friendly are baked into the street design. The long, grand avenues that give the center city its vistas turn into speedways to the suburbs on the outskirts. When they intersect downtown, they create irregular traffic patterns that confuse drivers. Those oddities might be why D.C. has a higher pedestrian accident rate than comparable cities. In 2008, the latest year for which the Federal Highway Administration keeps data, 26.5 percent of people killed in traffic accidents here were pedestriansªthe highest rate in the country.

M II A II R II K Dec 2, 2010 4:28 PM

How Portland plans to become the first world-class bike city in America

by Jay Walljasper


It’s become a cliché that Portland is America’s most livable city, a hotbed for innovative ways to support green policies, public spaces, pedestrian amenities, transit, and, of course, bicycles. In fact some people are growing weary (and the rest of us envious) of hearing about how great things are in Oregon’s largest city. When it comes to bicycling, at least, the cliché is true. Today Portland sports the highest share of bicycle commuters (6-8 percent) of any large U.S. city. It’s also the only large city to earn the League of American Bicyclists’ coveted platinum status as a bicycle-friendly city.

- Earlier this year, the city council unanimously approved the 2030 Bicycle Master Plan, which envisions Portland as “a world-class bicycling city” with three times the bikeways it has now.

- Meanwhile, Metro, a government body elected by the entire metropolitan area, is enacting a plan to triple the number of people who bike over the next 30 years. Their goal is for 40 percent of all city and suburban trips of three miles or less to be done atop a bicycle by 2040. “In some neighborhoods in Portland, 10-15 percent of people already bike each day,” notes Lake McTighe, manager of Metro’s Active Transportation Partnership, “which means that we could be making parts of Portland into a mini-Amsterdam or Copenhagen.”

- The best way to get more people on bikes, according to Portland officials, is to make biking seem less scary. The new Bicycle Master Plan will augment the city’s established network of bike lanes—where a white line is all that separates riders from cars and trucks—with new routes that better protect cyclists. Currently, about two-thirds of Portland’s 314 miles of bikeways are simple bike lanes, but the city is designing more bike boulevards (residential streets optimized for bike, rather than car, traffic), bike paths (off-street trails through parks or old rail lines), and cycle tracks (bike-only spaces separated from busy streets by a median, grade separation, or wide strip of painted pavement).

Portland’s plans also involve ways to increase the safety and comfort of bicyclists when they do come face-to-face with traffic at in intersection. Among these innovations, most of which have been proven to work elsewhere in the world, are:

* Bike boxes, a designated area in busy intersections where bicyclists can gather in plain view of cars at the stoplight, increasing visibility and reducing the risk of being struck by right-turning cars and trucks.

* Colorized bike lanes, which offer a clear visual reminder to motorists and bicyclists that they share space on the roadway. These can be particularly helpful for bicyclists making left turns at an intersection or to command extra attention at key locations.

* Traffic signals for bikes, which better inform cyclists of the safest time to cross, and sometimes gives them a head start to reduce turning conflicts with motorized traffic.

* Traffic calming, an entire toolkit of roadway techniques that remind drivers to heed speed limits and look out for bikers and pedestrians. These include everything from the familiar traffic humps and median strips to elevated crosswalks and traffic diverters, which give bicycles priority on some streets.

M II A II R II K Dec 2, 2010 7:20 PM

Cyclists Pedal Faster On Wednesdays, Reveals Smart Bike Data


In 2005, the French city of Lyon introduced a shared bicycle system called Velo'v that has since inspired numerous other schemes around the world.

Velo'v differed from earlier schemes in its innovative technology, such as electronic locks, onboard computers and access via smart cards. The system now offers some 4000 bikes at almost 350 stations around the city. Most residents agree that the system has transformed the city from a grid-locked nightmare to a cyclists dream, with some 16,000 journeys now being completed each day.

All this presents researchers with an interesting opportunity. Since its introduction, the system has kept track of the start and finishing location plus travel time of every journey. Today, we get a detailed analysis of this data from Pablo Jensen at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and a few amis.

They looked at 11.6 million bicycle trips in Lyon between May 2005 and December 2007. The result is the first robust characterisation of urban bikers' behaviour, they say.

Some of what they found is unsurprising. Over an average trip, cyclists travel 2.49 km in 14.7 minutes so their average speed is about 10 km/h. That compares well with the average car speed in inner cities across Europe.

During the rush hour, however, the average speed rises to almost 15 km/h, a speed which outstrips the average car speed. And that's not including the time it takes to find a place to park which is much easier for a Velo'v bike than a car.

big T Dec 2, 2010 7:41 PM

^ interesting. It is rare enough to see Lyon (accurately) presented as the bike sharing pioneer in France, especially in foreign press.
As far as the findings they do confirm what all urban cyclists already know -- that a bike will beat a car in rush hour traffic just about every time.

zilfondel Dec 3, 2010 2:38 AM


Originally Posted by sciguy0504 (Post 5068293)
When you pay registration fees for your bike, obtain a license to ride your bike and pay "gas" taxes, you can share the road with my car.

So, I own 2 cars and 5 bicycles. I drive ~6,000 miles a year, and cycle another 1-2,000 miles a year.

I already pay my taxes. Your comment sounds more a rant than anything.

M II A II R II K Dec 9, 2010 7:31 PM

New PPW Results: More New Yorkers Use It, Without Clogging the Street

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On the heels of Brad Lander’s survey showing that a whopping 78 percent of interested Brooklyn residents want to keep the traffic calming Prospect Park West bike lane, DOT has released still more data showing that the new street design keeps New Yorkers safer and helps them get where they’re going.

With two more months of data collection since DOT last released its Prospect Park West numbers, the fundamental facts about the redesign remain. As DOT found in October, while three-quarters of cars were measured speeding before the redesign, now only one in six drive over the speed limit. The number of cyclists roughly tripled on weekdays, and doubled on weekends. There are some slight variations in the December numbers — the more recent data show slightly higher speeds in the morning and slower speeds in the evening, for example — but these effects are looking like they’re here to stay.

The December numbers add new evidence that, contrary to opponents’ claims, the narrower Prospect Park West has not caused congestion. Looking at travel times, DOT shows that even though speeding is down, a trip down Prospect Park West actually takes a few seconds under the new design. Travel times are slightly down on Eighth and Sixth Avenues as well, though a bit up on Seventh. Even during rush hour, the effects on vehicle speeds are negligible, with morning peak car trips taking a few seconds longer and evening peak trips taking a few seconds shorter.

M II A II R II K Dec 21, 2010 5:24 PM

More bicycling means safer streets


- When many bicyclists are on the road, cycling safety improves substantially. This observation is consistent with data from other countries. Cycling is far safer in countries where bicycles are used more often — such as the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. Now comes data from Portland, Oregon, that suggests encouraging bicycle use leads to greater traffic safety in general.

- Bicycle crashes citywide have risen little since 1991 — despite the dramatic increase in cycling. There was a noticable rise in reported crashes in 2008 and 2009, but that was mostly due to changes in policy that have required even minor bicycle accidents to be recorded.

- The cycling increase has largely resulted from Portland’s aggressive policy to increase bicycle use. The city has installed 300 miles of bicycle trails, lanes, boulevards (bicycle-friendly streets), and other facilities in that time period. This 300-mile network cost approximately the same as the construction of a mile of urban freeway, according to Mia Birk, a planning consultant and the former director of Portland’s bicycle program.

- Of course, this can’t all be attributed to Portland’s bicycle policies. The city and the Metro area have invested heavily in mass transit, encouraged transit-oriented development, limited the availability of parking downtown, and have taken other measures that have likely reduced automobile use. But the bicycle program has been unusual and significant. It has slowed down traffic on many streets and generally taken asphalt away from the exclusive use of fast-moving cars. When drivers are aware of many bicyclists on the road, they drive with more care. That tendency benefits everyone on the road.

pdxtex Dec 22, 2010 1:08 AM


Originally Posted by sciguy0504 (Post 5068293)
When you pay registration fees for your bike, obtain a license to ride your bike and pay "gas" taxes, you can share the road with my car.

also genius, so few people ride bikes anyway that the revenue generated from a bike tax would probably not cover the administrative costs of collecting it. fail.

Beta_Magellan Dec 22, 2010 6:55 AM


Originally Posted by sciguy0504 (Post 5068293)
When you pay registration fees for your bike, obtain a license to ride your bike and pay "gas" taxes, you can share the road with my car.

I like the idea of a bike “gas” tax—at restaurants everyone will have to show your bicyclist’s license when ordering high-carbohydrate foods in order to make sure they’re not evading the 15¢/Calorie surcharge.

M II A II R II K Dec 22, 2010 3:54 PM

Ballard shows high potential for creating a strong, high quality biking community


Earlier this year, Adam Parast, a transportation planner and regular contributor to the Seattle Transit Blog, released a GIS study in which he compared the bikeability of Seattle to that of Portland (the second most bike-friendly city in the US according to Bicycle Magazine). What he found was that Ballard has the most potential to become a great biking neighborhood for families and athletes alike.

“What people can take away from the study is that Seatte is bikeable and that Ballard specifically, is one of the better areas in Seattle because it’s relatively flat, has great connectivity, and offers lots of destination that can be reached by bike,” Parast said. Parast decided to do a Seattle bicycle analysis after seeing the 2008 Cycle Zone Analysis of Portland. Using the same factors that we’re observed in the Portland analysis, Parast anaylized Seattle and compared it to Portland, a city that has made progressive changes to support bicycle commuting.

“I took a look at factors that are important for a bikeable, high quality area,” Parast said. These factors include street connectivity, land use, bicycle facilities, slope, and barriers such as a high density of cars. The factors were weighted and neighborhoods received a score. The analysis shows that while Portland is already very bikeable, Seattle has a long way to go.

Parast said his analysis should not be taken as fact, but should rather be viewed as the starting point of a discussion about how best to model bikeability based on strengths and weaknesses of each city. “I think [my findings] are accurate enough to draw some conclusions and to also raise some questions,” Parast stated. The report states that the most bikeable areas of Seattle are those located near multi-use paths like the Burke-Gilman and the Elliot Bay trails.

The numbers represent the score. The higher the score, the higher the bikeability. Seattle has a long way to go before reaching those higher scores.

M II A II R II K Jan 3, 2011 4:30 PM

Bicycling boosts Wisconsin's economy by $1.5 billion annually

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Investment in a more bicycle friendly Wisconsin pays off. A 2010 study conducted at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that bicycling contributes $1.5 billion to Wisconsin's economy every year.

What does bicycling mean for our local communities and our state? It means:

* 13,200 bike-related jobs

* $535 million in tourism dollars from out-of-state visitors

* reduced health care costs

* a better quality of life


Sparta is just one of many Wisconsin places where bicycle recreation generates more than $924 million in economic activity. Sparta welcomes 15,500 visiting bicyclists each year thanks to the Elroy Sparta bike trail. The Wisconsin department of Natural Resources reports that 100,000 people use the trail annually. The Sparta Chamber of Commerce states, ,

"As [Sparta] residents drive by our full parking lots, see vehicles from almost every state in the Union, or see bicyclists downtown eating and shopping, they realize the trail's importance."


World-renowned bicycle brands like Trek Bicycle Corporation, Saris Cycling Group, Planet Bike, Pacific Cycles, Waterford Precision Cycles reside in Wisconsin. Hundreds of locally-owned bike shops and bicycle-friendly businesses support the vitality of local economies. Wisconsin bicycle industry adds nearly $600 million annually to our state's economy.

Health Care

If just the residents of Madison and Milwaukee got enough moderate exercise by replacing some short car trips with bike trips, we could cut healthcare costs by $319 million.

M II A II R II K Jan 3, 2011 4:40 PM

In Denmark, Bikes Have a Seat on Some Trains


Taking your bike on public transit can be a huge hassle, or often, not an option at all. Specially designed accommodations for bicyclists are usually severely limited, and on certain bus, train and metro systems, bikes are only allowed on board during non-peak hours.

Denmark’s transit system continues to build its reputation for being bike friendly. Early last year, the Danish State Railways, offered free bike carrying on their trains that serve greater Copenhagen, in an effort to further endorse biking as a legitimate mode of transit. As the blog wrote, “DSB hopes to make everyday journeys easier for Copenhageners and encourage more people to use their bicycle.”

The Danish transit service provider is going a step further by providing bicycle pumps in existing bike compartments. The pumps will be installed starting in the New Year and DSB will double the capacity of “flex compartments” for more bicycle capacity.

The announcement of the new measure for free bike travel on trains came along with a public demonstration that included creative marketing flyers and brochures. We think public art, outreach and good communication is important for sustainable transport, and Copenhagen does it well.

M II A II R II K Jan 11, 2011 9:20 PM

Early snags for the mayor of London’s pet transport project

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Interactive Bike Share Map:


London launched a municipal bicycle-hire scheme in July, with 5,000 bikes scattered around hundreds of docking stations in the centre of the city. Boris Johnson, London’s mayor (and himself a keen cyclist), has been quick to declare the initiative a success, trumpeting the fact that it accounted for 2m journeys in the first five months of operation. The blue bikes—which weigh a hefty 23kg to deter thieves—have become a common sight. Transport for London (TfL), which runs the city’s transport networks, is hoping to expand the scheme and boost cycling’s share of travel in London from its current paltry figure of around 2% of all trips.

But the project has its problems. It has not yet met its original usage target of over 50,000 trips a day, instead peaking at around 24,000 during the summer. There have been frequent complaints of local mismatches between supply and demand, with many riders suffering from the opposing problems of either being unable to find bikes to rent or being unable to find an empty rack to drop them off.

Transport officials point out that these are early days. Once TfL has more data, it says in its defence, it will tweak the location of the racks and the supply of bikes. Alas, its cycling experts were unable to design precisely the system they wanted, as many bike bays were refused planning permission by London’s local councils.

Some observers wonder whether TfL has fundamentally misjudged the nature of bike demand. Its own feasibility study, published in 2008, acknowledged that the scheme could not afford to cater for the “after-rail” market (ie, longer-distance railway passengers wanting to finish their journeys by bike), lest it be swamped by the number of commuters arriving in London every morning. Docking stations were deliberately placed away from big railway terminals. But rail commuters appear to have piled onto the bikes anyway.

The resulting tidal flow of riders into central London in the morning and then out again in the evening might explain the periodic scarcity of spaces, as it shunts bikes wholesale from peripheral racks to central ones and back again. Serco, the private firm that operates the system, uses lorries to lug bikes across London in order to free up space in crowded racks and resupply depleted ones, but does not always seem able to keep up.


M II A II R II K Jan 15, 2011 3:07 AM

Study: Biking Infrastructure Projects Create More Jobs Than Auto-Based Initiatives

Read More:

PDF Study:


Bicycling is cleaner, more efficient, and in many cases more fun than driving a car around the city. Now a study (PDF) from the Political Economy Research Institute says that building bike infrastructures creates up to twice as many jobs than auto-based infrastructure projects.

The study, Estimating the Employment Impacts of Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Road Infrastructure, examined job creation data from 2008 provided by Baltimore, Maryland. The result: pedestrian and bike infrastructure projects create 11 to 14 jobs per $1 million of spending while road infrastructure initiatives created seven jobs per $1 million of spending.

Biking and pedestrian projects require more engineers than construction workers, according to the report. Projects that require more engineers are more labor intensive than simple construction jobs, and often have the effect of creating more supporting jobs. This is, the report explains, because they have "a higher employment multiplier. Projects with higher engineering costs (as a share of total project expenses) will therefore have greater employment impacts than projects with a smaller share of engineering costs."

staff Jan 16, 2011 4:22 AM


Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 5112285)
In Denmark, Bikes Have a Seat on Some Trains

I didn't know there are trains in Denmark (or the Swedish parts of the Copenhagen-Malmö Axis) on which you cannot take your bicycle.

M II A II R II K Jan 20, 2011 5:33 PM

The Controversy Over Bike Helmets


“Adding highway lanes to deal with traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to deal with obesity,” said Louis Mumford, a cultural historian and city planner, as quoted in a United Nations Environment Programme report. A similar perspective applies to the long-running and contentious battle on the utility of helmet laws in improving safety for cyclists. If bikers get in a crash, helmets are “widely accepted as reducing the severity of head injuries.” But as other bloggers have argued, the question of whether or not to wear helmets is the entirely wrong one to be asking. Policies that require helmets do not necessarily address the broader and more pertinent safety issues for non-motorized transit users.

The helmet debate, in particular, has been fueled by the politics of road space (who “owns” the road?) and a lack of consistent and reliable data on helmet safety. ( points to some of the major examples of contradictory and inconclusive evidence.)

Ironically, in countries with higher rates of cycling, helmets are rarely worn. These are the same countries that seek to make biking convenient and safe through cycling infrastructure and policy. Take, for example, the Netherlands: cycling was at its lowest in the late 1970s, but at this point, cycling also became the most dangerous. As cycling rates crept up after this decade, corresponding rates of fatalities went down. Urban planners call this phenomenon “The Safety in Numbers Theory”: collision rates decline as the number of walkers and bikers go up.


Steely Dan Jan 20, 2011 5:45 PM

^ ever since i witnessed a friend back in high school take a header over his bars and collide with a tree head first as the helmet he was wearing shattered into pieces, i've been completely converted to the religion of helmet wearing. if my friend wasn't wearing his helmet that day, he would have either been dead, or at the very least paralyzed. as it was, he had a serious concussion, but went on to lead a normal life.

helmets ALWAYS for me. my brain is the single most important thing i own, it makes no sense to me to not take some very simple minimal steps to try and protect it a little bit.

i won't ride in a car without a seat belt and i won't get on a bike without a helmet. that's just how i roll and no one will ever change my mind on those two things.

FREKI Jan 25, 2011 10:53 AM


Originally Posted by staff (Post 5127706)
I didn't know there are trains in Denmark (or the Swedish parts of the Copenhagen-Malmö Axis) on which you cannot take your bicycle.

Neither did I...

All I can think of is trains to and from other nations - like Germany where the ICE trains may not have the capacity for bikes that all Danish trains ( be it regional, various metro systems or national /Inter City ) have

On some routes that get crowded it is advised to reserve a seat for the bike as well as yourself, but the space is there..

Maybe the reporter was unsure and decided to take the easy way rather than looking into it.. :shrug:

northbay Jan 25, 2011 10:14 PM

a new bike path:


New green trail under BART moving forward
By Chris Metinko
Oakland Tribune
Posted: 01/25/2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Updated: 01/25/2011 01:03:56 AM PST
A southbound BART train leaves the Oakland, Calif. skyline behind,... (D. Ross Cameron/Staff)

The areas below elevated BART tracks are not normally known for their picturesque beauty, but Alameda County's transportation agency is hoping to change that.

The Alameda County Transportation Commission is moving forward with a plan to build a 12-mile bike path under the elevated BART tracks between Oakland and Hayward.

The project -- called the East Bay Greenway -- would offer a landscaped, car-free corridor from just north of the Fruitvale BART station all the way just south past the Hayward station. A pedestrian trail also would be included in the project, which cuts through four jurisdictions -- Oakland, San Leandro, unincorporated Alameda County and Hayward.


While not all the funding is in place, the plan is moving along.


The trail would run parallel to some Union Pacific rails, but O'Brien said there are no plans to remove or alter the path of the rail lines.

"We're not going rails to trails," he said. "We're going trails with rails."

O'Brien said the project would do more than just make cosmetic improvements to areas not typically known for their beauty. He said the trail -- which would cut through five BART stations -- would run by some of the most densely and underrepresented areas in the county.


He said current estimates have the project costing $30 million to $35 million. Despite the price tag, he said the trail could be built if the right state and federal money comes through.

"We'll be championing this project," O'Brien said.

electricron Jan 25, 2011 10:53 PM

I like trails near rails, with or without bike paths. A common complaint you hear from passengers is how hard it is to get to and from the train stations. A trail answers a part of those complaints paralleling the rail corridor.

Adding bikes to the equation lengthens each station's reach into the communities. Which can only be good for ridership.

northbay Jan 26, 2011 12:38 AM

^excellent point. i think they just stole the idea from our smart train plan ;)

i hope the landscaping will cover the graffiti-ed areas of the pillars, but i doubt it will.

tallboy66 Jan 26, 2011 2:17 AM

You know when a bike isn't a transportation device? When it has a flat tire.

M II A II R II K Jan 26, 2011 5:27 PM

For Bikesharing, Forget Stations; All You Need Is a Phone

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A small start-up near Washington, D.C. has started what it calls “the first stationless smart bike sharing program in North America.” And all it took to get the system up and running was some bikes, U-locks and mobile phones.

In the fall of 2007, Allie Armitage and three classmates at the University of Maryland, College Park, just outside of the nation’s capital, decided to design a campus bikeshare program for their “Systems Thinking” course. Armitage says one team member, Vlad Tchompalov, had just seen the new bikeshare systems in Paris and Berlin and thought they could implement a smaller-scale version on their 37,000-student campus. They figured that a system with stations would be a huge step up from the communal “yellow bike” programs in places like Portland, Ore. that failed because the bikes were left unlocked and most were stolen.

But when they approached the university about installing the bikesharing stations, they hit a wall – of bureaucracy. “To install the stations we needed approval from three department heads,” Armitage says. “And to even get our plans in front of them we had to get the support of everyone working under them.” They went to their faculty advisor, Dr. Gerald Suarez, for advice. “And he said, ‘Well, what if you don’t have stations at all,’”Armitage says.

Following the advice from their professor, Armitage, Tchompalov and their classmates Yasha Portnoy and Brad Eisenberg developed software that lets users check out and return communal bikes with text messages – without having to use any sort of station. Operating under the name weBike, the team refurbished 12 bikes with the help of a local youth program. With these bikes they began a pilot program at the University of Maryland campus in September 2009.

The group locked the 12 bikes to various bike racks and posts around campus with standard combination-protected U-locks and then listed the bike locations on the weBike website. To check-out a bike, students texted the bike’s ID number to weBike and weBike generated an automatic text back with the combination to unlock the bike. The students could have the bike for up to 30 minutes before having to lock the bike back to a rack or post at a location on campus and text the bike’s location and ID number to weBike. If the bike wasn’t returned within 30 minutes, weBike’s system would text the user once an hour until the bike was returned. The weBike team would check in on the bikes and make needed repairs (though customers could text “damage” if a bike needed to be fixed) and periodically change the combinations on the locks.


fflint Jan 26, 2011 8:44 PM


Originally Posted by northbay (Post 5139388)
^excellent point. i think they just stole the idea from our smart train plan ;)

i hope the landscaping will cover the graffiti-ed areas of the pillars, but i doubt it will.

Actually they're just copying the several-mile long bike/ped trail under the BART elevated rails running through Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito and Richmond--the Ohlone Greenway.
image by pbo31 at flickr

M II A II R II K Jan 27, 2011 6:34 PM

Bike boulevards use street grids to boost two-wheeled travel

January 27th, 2011

By Robert Steuteville

Read More:


Portland, Oregon, has adopted the ambitious goal of increasing bicycling from the current 8 percent of all trips to 25 percent in the next quarter-century — a change that would reduce personal transportation costs, improve health, and cut greenhouse gas emissions. The city plans to provide trails, lanes, or streets designed for bicycling within a half-mile of at least 80 percent of residents. Currently only about 25 percent of Portland residents are within half a mile of bike facilities, and even that number represents an impressive accomplishment for a US city.

Portland has created more than 300 miles of bicycle facilities in the past 25 years. Among the most effective are “bicycle boulevards” or “neighborhood greenways.” A bicycle boulevard is a shared street with no specific bike lanes or paths. These streets have low motor vehicle volume and speed, and they possess enhanced landscaping (more street trees are planted, for example) and traffic-calming features. Automobile traffic is diverted at key points to keep volumes low. Stop signs are eliminated or “flipped” (shifted to the cross-street) to give traffic on the bicycle boulevard the right of way. Crossings are installed to get bicyclists and pedestrians across busy intersections, and special signs and pavement markings are installed.

“People go out of their way to use these routes — they are very attractive,” says Jennifer Dill, a researcher and professor at Portland State University. Portland currently has 30 miles of built bicycle boulevards, which carry approximately 10 percent of bike traffic in the city. Another 30 miles of these boulevards are funded, and an additional 58 miles are planned. Besides Portland, bicycle boulevards have been created in Eugene, Oregon; Arcata, Berkeley, Emeryville, Palo Alto, San Luis Obispo, and Pasadena, California; Tucson, Arizona; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Ocean City, New Jersey; Syracuse, New York; and Vancouver, British Columbia, according to Mia Birk of Alta Planning.


lawfin Jan 27, 2011 9:10 PM


Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 5133169)
^ ever since i witnessed a friend back in high school take a header over his bars and collide with a tree head first as the helmet he was wearing shattered into pieces, i've been completely converted to the religion of helmet wearing. if my friend wasn't wearing his helmet that day, he would have either been dead, or at the very least paralyzed. as it was, he had a serious concussion, but went on to lead a normal life.

helmets ALWAYS for me. my brain is the single most important thing i own, it makes no sense to me to not take some very simple minimal steps to try and protect it a little bit.

i won't ride in a car without a seat belt and i won't get on a bike without a helmet. that's just how i roll and no one will ever change my mind on those two things. is probably the single dumbest thing I do and worst for me.....not wearing a bike helmet....I really should get one.

I am just so used to not wearing one....I have to break through that behavioral inertia

M II A II R II K Jan 27, 2011 10:12 PM

Enviro Law Experts: Review For Bike Lanes a Waste of Taxpayer Money

January 26, 2011

By Noah Kazis

Read More:


You know something’s amiss when you hear Republicans calling for more red tape and government bureaucracy, as Staten Island Council Members James Oddo and Vincent Ignizio did earlier this week with their call to require environmental review for all new bike lanes. But let’s indulge Oddo and Ignizio and take their proposal seriously for a moment. Does it have any merit? We asked some top legal and planning experts for their opinion, and they agreed: Bike lanes generally don’t and shouldn’t need to go through environmental review.

Oddo’s office didn’t respond to Streetsblog’s request to see the letter outlining his proposal, but it seems as though he would have to pass new legislation. It’s fairly clear that under current law, striping a bike lane generally doesn’t require environmental review. There’s a presumption that small street changes like signage are exempt from environmental review, said Columbia Law School professor and environmental law expert Michael Gerrard. Specifically, the law exempts the “installation of traffic control devices on existing streets, roads, and highways.” Pavement markings are included in the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, suggesting that bike lanes fall under that exemption.

Even if bike lanes aren’t categorically exempt, continued Gerrard, a given project may not be predicted to create a significant enough impact to require environmental review. That determination would be made, in this case, by the city DOT. Bike lanes not only don’t need to go through environmental review, they shouldn’t, said former DOT First Deputy Commissioner Sam Schwartz, now the head of Sam Schwartz Engineering. “EIS laws and guidelines were established to protect the environment. If an action is not likely to meet the threshold set by regulation (and few if any bike lanes do), then why waste a ton of money?” Schwartz said. “Ironically, it would probably mean more work for my firm, but it’s a waste of taxpayer money.” “No bike lane would fail an environmental review,” said Michael King, a principal at the transportation planning firm Nelson\Nygaard.


vid Jan 27, 2011 11:56 PM


Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 5142158) is probably the single dumbest thing I do and worst for me.....not wearing a bike helmet....I really should get one.

I am just so used to not wearing one....I have to break through that behavioral inertia

Eventually you'll get so used to wearing it that not having one will feel weird. I once forgot my helmet before riding my bike and instantly I felt like something was wrong, it was disorienting and somewhat distressing until I realized what it was. :P

Rizzo Jan 28, 2011 5:07 AM


Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 5142158) is probably the single dumbest thing I do and worst for me.....not wearing a bike helmet....I really should get one.

I am just so used to not wearing one....I have to break through that behavioral inertia

I'm glad you recognize that I hope you do soon. I felt the exact same way you did, and I loved the freedom of not having a helmet on my head. But I was one of those stupid people once, and I paid for it. Had a steel C-channel rammed into my forehead when my front wheel (which had been tampered with) pulled me into the railing near the LSD bridge lakefront trail. I now have a permanent scar on my forehead that is still noticeable despite that the accident happened back in early July. I will have plastic surgery soon which should entirely remove it.

It really sucked. For anyone out there who think helmets look me...I was embarrassed after the accident to go outside since the whole left side of my face was destroyed. Then there was the headaches, and I couldn't turn my head right for 8 months.

vid Jan 28, 2011 11:12 AM

When I was little at camp, about 2 hours away from the city, a little girl was riding her bike, hit a pothole in a dirt road, flew over the handle bars and cracked her head open on a rock. Since then, the owners of the camp site have banned biking without helmets.

I don't know if she died or not but it was horrific.

northbay Jan 28, 2011 5:40 PM


Originally Posted by fflint (Post 5140493)
Actually they're just copying the several-mile long bike/ped trail under the BART elevated rails running through Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito and Richmond--the Ohlone Greenway.

image by pbo31 at flickr

yeah yeah, i was just joking :D . thanks for the pic and the link. i think it's exciting that we're starting to create "bicycle freeways" all across the bay area. i think we all agree our next priority should be a path across the western span of the bay bridge. http://www.donaldmacdonaldarchitects...OBB_west1.html

fflint Jan 28, 2011 10:56 PM

^I was biking in the Oakland hills the other day with some friends and lamented that I had to leave in order to catch one of the last BART trains back. We were all talking about how we wish there were a way to bike across the Bay. There is definite interest among cyclists on both shores.

M II A II R II K Jan 31, 2011 9:34 PM

New San Francisco Bike Lanes Too Dangerous to Use

January 27, 2011

By Scott James

Read More:


Devoted cyclists like to brag that they will bike anywhere in San Francisco, regardless of daunting hills and traffic. But there is one place you will not find cyclists: on two bike lanes created by the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency. Most bike riders believe the lanes are just too dangerous. They are called “sharrow” lanes: white bicycle-shaped graphics with directional arrows painted onto street pavement that instruct cyclists where to share the road with other vehicles. On two main thoroughfares in and out of downtown — Post and Sutter Streets between Van Ness Avenue and Union Square — the transportation agency has placed these lanes in the middle of busy, one-way streets.

This puts cyclists in the center lane of three, surrounded by fast cars on all sides. Cyclists tend to use one word to describe this idea: Crazy. Joshua Citrak, an avid cyclist with 10 years’ experience on San Francisco streets, pedaled the route at the request of The Bay Citizen. An aggravated taxi driver who wanted to pass nearly hit Citrak, while other drivers tailgated and honked their horns. “I would never ride in that lane again,” Citrak said, rattled. “I did not feel safe.” He is not alone. On a recent weekday morning during rush hour, from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., a total of 37 cyclists were seen riding on Post from Van Ness toward downtown. Not one used the bike lane.

Instead, 35 cyclists stayed to the far right side of the road, which is normally where bike lanes are placed, but which on this street is reserved for buses and taxis. Two cyclists opted to ride in the left lane, which is intended for automobiles. Most cyclists take other routes into downtown rather than navigate this precarious stretch. “Generally speaking, people are avoiding these streets,” said Casey Allen, who served on the committee that developed the city’s bike plan, part of the Transit-First policy, which mandates improving alternative forms of transportation.

Executing the bike plan is the responsibility of the transportation agency, which installed the sharrow lanes last June. “We are aware of the safety concerns,” said Paul Rose, the agency spokesman. He said state law prevented putting the bike lane on the right side of the street because “it’s a full-time transit-only lane.” The situation is emblematic of the challenges the city faces in fulfilling its bike plan — this is not its first bump. Courts suspended much of the plan for four years until last August while a study was done to assess the impact on traffic.


Video Link

fflint Feb 1, 2011 12:32 AM

^That headline is wrong. Those are not bike lanes, even by San Francisco's rather lax standards.

M II A II R II K Feb 25, 2011 10:51 PM

Lowenthal Introduces Senate Bill That Could Become Three Foot Passing Law

February 23, 2011

By Damien Newton

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Last week, Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) introduced S.B. 910, which seeks to define what a “safe distance” is for a motorist to pass a cyclist. While the language of the bill may seem innocuous at first read, Lowenthal’s staff says the current draft of the bill is a placeholder for what will most likely become a “3-Feet Passing Law.”

Given the trouble some “safe streets” legislation has faced in Sacramento, the passage of a 3 Feet Passing Law might seem a difficult task. In 2006, a similar law died in committee after an intense lobbying efforts by the California Highway Patrol and the trucking industry. The CHP’s opposition came in the form of “expert testimony” as it did when they all-but-killed legislation in 2009 that would have helped reduce speed limits on local streets.

But S.B. 910 should have some powerful local backers. “Give Me 3″ posters still adorn bus stops around Los Angeles, part of the public service poster contest hosted last year by the LAPD, Mayor’s Office, LACBC and Midnight Ridazz. At the press conference announcing the poster design, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said of a 3-Feet Passing Law, “We’ll keep at it until it becomes part of the California Vehicle Code.”

Despite some high profile support, S.B. 910 isn’t quite ready to go through the hearing process. A close reading of the current draft of the legislation will show that the words “3 feet” don’t appear anywhere in the text. John Casey, the Chief of Staff for Senator Lowenthal and a bike commuter himself, explains that the Senator’s intent is to work with bicycle advocacy groups and law enforcement to make sure that the final draft is a bill that will work for cyclists, and motorists throughout California. Sixteen other states have laws that require motorists to give a three foot berth when passing a cyclist.

“We want to start looking at those states and see what works and what doesn’t so we can craft the tightest law we can for California,” explains Casey. The introduction of this legislation is seen as a key moment by some in the bicycle community. “Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) is pleased that Senator Lowenthal is sponsoring this bill.” explains Alexis Lantz, LACBC’s policy director, “He’s the ideal person to carry this bill forward, especially since he represents Long Beach, which we all know is trying to become the most bicycle friendly city in America. LACBC has been working with the California Bicycle Coalition (CBC) and the Mayor’s office on seeing this bill move forward.”


M II A II R II K Mar 2, 2011 5:47 PM

Push for Bike Lanes Hits Some Bumps

Feb 2011

By Michael Mandelkern

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Department of Transportation have made a strong push for expanding bike lanes throughout New York City, but as more streets boast a special area for cyclists, a backlash has emerged. While opponents have long tried to block plans for specific lanes, now critics are taking on the program as a whole. Some community boards and politicians express concern that the lanes have been developed too quickly and say they make it harder to walk and drive around the city and can pose a safety hazard and hurt businesses. They attack the administration for what they see an anti-car bias. A numbers of these critics have mounted efforts on a variety of fronts to try to slow down the Bloomberg administration's cycling plans.

To dramatize his increasing skepticism about bike lanes, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz rolled into his State of the Borough speech this year on a tricycle, and then blasted the city's cycling initiatives. "For the majority of New Yorkers, it is simply not feasible to make bicycles their primary mode of transport, and unfortunately that's the direction I believe the city's policy is heading," Markowitz said.

On a more serious note, the City Council last week unanimously passed bills requiring that the police update statistics on bicycle and pedestrian traffic violations and accidents, as well as those involving cars and trucks, and that the Department of Transportation keep track of bicycle crashes. Advocates for cycling endorsed these measures. The council also approved Intro 377, which will require the Department of Transportation explain to council members and community boards why it has rejected certain suggestions to ease traffic. These initiatives, however, seem unlikely to end the debate over bike lanes.


M II A II R II K Mar 3, 2011 6:30 PM

What L.A.'s New Bike Plan Means For Cyclists—and the City

March 2, 2011

By Alissa Walker

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Despite Los Angeles' near-perfect weather, mostly-flat terrain, and an enthusiastic biking community, cyclists in L.A. still remain second-class citizens behind those piloting automobiles through the city. After yesterday's City Council ruling, that all could change. The 2010 Bike Plan, to be signed this morning, is perhaps the most ambitious pro-cyclist action in L.A. history, designating a 1,680-mile bikeway system and sweeping new bike-friendly policies.

The plan promises several changes for L.A. bikers: the Citywide Bikeway System will introduce three new interconnected bike path networks—Backbone (long crosstown routes on busy streets), Neighborhood (short connectors through small streets) and Green (along recreation areas)—throughout the city, a new pledge for Bicycle Friendly Streets will make streets more pleasant for riders and walkers, and a series of education programs and safety policies will help cars and cyclists co-exist.

Of course, this is just a plan, and one that's long overdue—for more on that, read last week's cover story in the LA Weekly. The real challenges may prove to be finding the proper funding to drive the plan towards implementation. That will take some massive commitment on behalf of the city. But what will these changes really mean for the average L.A. biker? And how does this help Los Angeles move towards a culture that truly values those on two-wheels? I asked several bike experts who have been working closely with the plan to help explain what a plan can do for biking in L.A.


Rizzo Mar 3, 2011 6:54 PM


Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 5179174)
Lowenthal Introduces Senate Bill That Could Become Three Foot Passing Law

February 23, 2011

By Damien Newton

Read More:

Everywhere I've been people have been pretty good about giving more than 3 feet. Sometimes an entire lane. Some of the smaller downtown blocks in Chicago where you have to stop at every intersection, traffic goes ridiculously slow, and the streets are pretty narrow. I'm usually fine with 12-14 inches, but no less. Any closer, and it might startle me a bit. I know some crazy cyclists who will keep their cool and accept 6 inches of clearance, but they like to take risks.

fflint Mar 4, 2011 12:22 AM


Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 5186085)
Everywhere I've been people have been pretty good about giving more than 3 feet. Sometimes an entire lane. Some of the smaller downtown blocks in Chicago where you have to stop at every intersection, traffic goes ridiculously slow, and the streets are pretty narrow. I'm usually fine with 12-14 inches, but no less. Any closer, and it might startle me a bit. I know some crazy cyclists who will keep their cool and accept 6 inches of clearance, but they like to take risks.

It is impossible to get three feet clearance on a Market Street commute. The vast, vast majority of cycle commuters here will ride around stopped buses (not loading or unloading, just stuck behind cars) in a strip about two feet wide between the bus and the curb. It's especially tricky because of the potholes. I often get six inches' clearance or less from moving vehicles as well, but they're moving slowly and if I need to I can lean up against the vehicle in order to avoid going down on trolley tracks or whatnot. Car-hugging!

M II A II R II K Mar 4, 2011 4:35 PM


Why not take the parallel side streets or alley ways for those clogged up parts of the street...

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