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Rizzo Oct 4, 2010 5:41 PM


Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 4986707)

Kind of goes both ways. I see alot pedestrians not paying attention and dashing out between cars or crossing the street when they aren't supposed to. That seems to be the number 1 opportunity where collisions occur as opposed to general recklessness of cyclists which I do see more often than not. I'm a safe cyclist and obey traffic signals and yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. I have nearly hit people on busy avenues who ran into traffic mid-block. One of those times, a cop was on the opposite side of the street and gave the person a talking to for nearly causing an accident.

M II A II R II K Oct 5, 2010 3:18 PM

The London-Paris cycle route that keeps getting you lost

With Videos:


I've cycled in the Alps and the Pyrenees, Provence and the Auvergne, but I never thought of cycling to Paris until I heard of the Avenue Verte. The Avenue Verte is an idea - perhaps a dream - for a traffic-free cycle path, safe enough for a child, linking London and the French capital. So far only the outline of the route has been decided. I cycled it two weeks ago, and it's easy and surprisingly enjoyable.

If you tell someone you are doing London to Paris by bike, they're likely to start backing away before you ask for sponsorship. There are so many charity rides that the journey is now automatically associated with self-sacrificial misery - the kind of thing you put yourself through for a good cause, like running a marathon.

The private companies that have sprung up to organise many of these rides often add to the pain by steering their victims through the grim windswept plains of the Nord Pas de Calais. Could the lush Avenue Verte reclaim London-Paris for the pleasure-seeking cyclist? I think it could.

But if it's to become pure escapism, a lot of work needs to be done. The original hope was that the route would be given a fanfare launch in 2012 - but council spending cuts mean that's unlikely on this side of the Channel at least.

M II A II R II K Oct 6, 2010 4:28 PM

From Periphery to Center: Does Bike Redistribution Work?

October 5, 2010

By Jonna McKone

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Bikesharing systems have opened in cities, such as Denver, Co.; Minneappolis, Minn.; London, England; Montreal, Canada, Melbourne, Australia, Shanghai, and Washington, D.C. Boston, Mass., New York City, and Budapest, Hungary are also planning, seeking funding or studying the potential for bikeshare systems. As bikeshare systems gain in popularity, so do logistical concerns. Bike availability at stations and open spots for depositing bikes has become an issue for a number of cities.

- Still, cities with bikeshare schemes are experiencing too many or too few bikes in certain areas. Freemark says London’s system, Barclays Cycle Hire, is not working in specific locales due to the directional flow of commuters. Job centers and residential areas are isolated from one another. According to Freemark, “this may put a strain on bike sharing, since to work, the concept requires a relatively even pattern of bike pick-ups and drop-offs at every station.”

- Stations like King’s Cross and Waterloo Stations experience peak usage when dozens of extra bicycles are left undocked by users. To anticipate high usage the system is also leaving dozens of extra bikes available for users.

- For Washington, D.C., the bikesharing system Capital Bikeshare has been in place for only a few weeks. The bikes span the city and Arlington County – 114 stations and more than 1,000 bikes. There are plans to expand it.

The charts demonstrate the fundamental difference between Washington’s proposed system and those in Montréal and Paris. In the center-cities, the French-speaking cities have roughly three times the densities of bike stations as the District proposes; in areas far from downtown, the difference is even more pronounced. Indeed, the minimum density of stations anywhere in the Paris or Montréal bike-sharing zones is higher than the maximum density promoted for Washington.

Downtown D.C. bike availability on October 5, 2010. A few stations are empty or close to being empty. Image via iPhone screenshot.

SFUVancouver Oct 6, 2010 4:32 PM

Vancouver's Hornby bike lane gets green light
(Mark Forsythe/CBC)

Vancouver's Hornby bike lane gets green light
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 | 8:02 AM PT
CBC News | Source

Vancouver city councillors voted unanimously on Tuesday night to build a second downtown bike lane along Hornby Street, after a marathon public hearing.

The vote came late in the evening after the council spent much of the day hearing from dozens of residents, riders, and business owners about the plan. Just before midnight, the councillors voted to spend $3.2 million to build the two-way separated bike lane.

The plan calls for barriers to divide the lane from vehicles, new traffic and bike signals, and more passenger and loading zones for vehicles. It is the final phase of a plan to connect the Burrard Bridge bike lane with the Dunsmuir Viaduct bike lane with a separated route through the downtown core.

“The fact is Vancouver has just 0.5 per cent of its roadway dedicated exclusively for cyclists,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson in a statement released after the vote.

“We don’t have the capacity to accommodate more car traffic in our city. We don’t have room for new roads. The shift we’ve seen over the past decade is towards transit, cycling and walking, and this new bike lane reflects that,” he said.

Councillors also said opinion polls show the majority of residents support the plan, and most shoppers already either walk or take public transit to reach Hornby Street.


Read more:

M II A II R II K Oct 11, 2010 5:41 PM

On the Road Conveniences for Bike Riders


About a year ago, AAA, announced that it’s long-time car-only roadside assistance plan will now feature services for roadside bicycles in Oregon and Idaho. AAA, a 50 million member n0n-profit auto lobbying group founded in 1902, is a federation of 51 independently operated motor clubs throughout North America. The organization provides services to its members like travel, automotive, insurance, financial and discounts. AAA serves one-sixth of the U.S. population.

AAA’s new program works as such:

* Bicycle transportation service is provided to the rider whose bicycle is disabled.

* Service extends to any point of safety within a 25-mile radius of the bicycle breakdown.

* Service applies to all bicycles including rentals.

Mother Jones thinks AAA’s service was launched to compete with Better World Club, which offers a carbon offset service, eco-travel services, discounts on hybrid car rental, and “what was, until last week, the nation’s only bicycle roadside assistance program,” says Mother Jones.

A year ago, when AAA rolled out the program, it marked a crucial step in public awareness of the importance of biking. Despite this program, AAA is still known for supporting anti-bike and anti-transit policy, like increased highway funding, lower gasoline taxes, and reduced vehicle regulations. The organization recently defended itself, arguing that federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) money should be exclusively for highway funding and not include trails for walking, hiking and biking. AAA later split hairs on this issue, arguing that they were adv0cating only for this specific pot of money to go to Highways:

We will not call on Congress to de-fund trail, walking and bicycling programs. We are simply calling for a change of accounting, not actually the elimination of any programs.

Steely Dan Oct 11, 2010 5:48 PM

^ AAA can still go fuck themselves from my perspective. they can pay all the lip service they want to the idea that they're not anti-bike and anti-transit, but the truth is the truth, and you can't change that with a press release.

M II A II R II K Oct 11, 2010 10:34 PM

I would have thought AAA would only be obligated to service vehicles anyway, which is it's function, and that another organization would oversee cyclists.

M II A II R II K Oct 12, 2010 3:55 PM

There’s safety in numbers for cyclists

11 Oct 2010

By Elly Blue

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In U.S. cities, there are a lot more people out bicycling than just a few years ago. You might reasonably think that the bicycle crash rate would skyrocket as more people, from wobbly new riders to the outright safety-averse, take to the streets on two wheels. It's a fine, common-sense assumption -- that happens to be wrong. Research has been steadily showing, actually, that the more people are out there riding bicycles, the safer bicycling becomes. As ridership goes up, crash rates stay flat.

- Much of the ridership increase is due to cities' investments in bicycle-specific infrastructure. But the efficacy of that infrastructure for safety is often questioned. And there's one theory -- based on a growing body of data -- that suggests that a few painted lines on the road, bike racks, and traffic lights form only part of the safety equation. And maybe a smaller part than we tend to assume.

- After being asked by officials in Pasadena, Calif., if their city "was a dangerous place to bicycle," Jacobsen began looking at crash data from various communities where bicycle ridership had fluctuated over time. What he found surprised him: The number of crashes involving bikes correlated with the number of riders in a community. As ridership fluctuated, so did the crash rate. More riders, fewer crashes; fewer riders, more crashes.

- This happened too abruptly, Jacobsen decided, to be caused by slow-moving factors like infrastructure development and cultural change. Bicycling becomes safer when the number of riders increases, he concluded, at least in part because the number of riders increases.

During last year’s transit strike in Philadelphia, bike ridership boomed. That likely made streets safer for cyclists.

jamesinclair Oct 13, 2010 5:57 AM


Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 5011960)
^ AAA can still go fuck themselves from my perspective. they can pay all the lip service they want to the idea that they're not anti-bike and anti-transit, but the truth is the truth, and you can't change that with a press release.

From what I understand, each AAA office (statewide) operates pretty independently.

M II A II R II K Oct 14, 2010 3:49 PM

Tell town planners where cycle parking is most needed


Something wonderful is happening in London every weekday: something that should be indicating to politicians and civil servants that they'd be mad to cut cycling expenditure now.

Each morning, thousands of commuters pick up what's been dubbed a "Boris bike" from the outskirts of zone one, to ride into the city centre. Within walking distance of Euston, Waterloo, or King's Cross, and the racks are empty.

During the evening rush hour, the signature flashing lights of hire bikes head back the other way, emptying the docking stations in commercial districts such as Mayfair, Soho and Farringdon and filling those near mainline stations.

To cope with demand, Transport for London is even shuttling trailer-fulls of hire bikes in the opposite direction.

We at the London Cycling Campaign think it's fabulous that thousands of people have chosen to add cycling to their commute, demonstrating the vast latent demand for cycling in London and, dare we suggest, in many other British cities and towns.

staff Oct 14, 2010 9:54 PM

When a bicycle is a transportation device:

northbay Oct 15, 2010 5:39 PM

someone please enlighten me: washington dc has two bikeshare programs right? capital bikeshare and smartbike. any chance they will be consolidated or that they may work together? seems a little redundant or that their energy could be put to better use under one umbrella.

Muji Oct 16, 2010 6:07 AM

Cool video, staff! Cycling advocacy groups in the US tend to focus all of their energy on making life easier for existing cyclists, which is certainly important. But we don't seem to do very much in the way of outreach to motorists, encouraging them to give bikes a shot. It's a challenge for sure, but it looks like Malmö's setting a great example.

M II A II R II K Oct 27, 2010 8:03 PM

Bike Sharing: The Newest Mode of Public Transport


With bike sharing systems popping up all over the world, it’s about time we look critically at the role these systems can play in a city’s urban fabric and transportation system. While bikes have been an integral part of the modal mix in many cities for years, they served a similar purpose to automobiles: exclusively personal mobility. Bike sharing has altered that paradigm, essentially creating a new mode of public transit.

- “By being yoked to the rack system, the bicycle, this ultimate symbol of mobility and freedom for the masses, effectively becomes public transport: it doesn’t leave from precisely where you are and doesn’t arrive at exactly where you want to be. Unless you work as a bicycle rack attendant, the very point of the bicycle is somewhat defeated.”

- The key part of his statement is the first sentence. May says that under a bike sharing scheme “the bicycle…effectively becomes public transport.” But to frame this negatively, as he does, is a mistake. This is precisely the greatest characteristic of these growing programs: they are a new part of the public transit portfolio.

- Personal bicycles suffer from the same downfall that personal automobiles do: they spend most of their time parked, unoccupied and unused. Cities around the world have recognized this as bike racks, sign posts, fences and every other imaginable object narrow enough to accommodate a lock are overwhelmed with bikes, many of which have been abandoned by their owners and subsequently stripped of any utility by thieves and scavengers.

- An abundance of vehicles languishing unused results in a massive loss of efficiency, both in wasted resources and income, and is precisely the problem that bike sharing seeks to address. If I only need a bike for 20 minutes, why shouldn’t anyone else be able to use it after that time, as long as I have access to one when I need it again?

- Yes, there are some inconveniences to bike sharing vis-à-vis using your personal bike, but with a large, dense, and well-distributed system, these are minor. Instead, residents get most of the benefits of cycling along with many of the benefits of the public transit, meanwhile avoiding several downsides to both. Users can forgo the cost of bike ownership and responsibilities and concerns that go with it but eliminate the time loss that comes with waiting for a bus or train.

M II A II R II K Oct 31, 2010 10:16 PM

Bike-sharing project expected to begin next year


A thousand communal bicycles would be available for use in San Francisco and along the Peninsula in what Bay Area transportation officials are trumpeting as the nation's first regional bike-sharing program. The $7.9 million pilot project would provide bikes in San Francisco and along the Caltrain corridor in San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountain View and Redwood City for use by registered subscribers, much like car-sharing programs.

The goal is to get people out of their cars, particularly drivers who live and work within a mile or so of major transit hubs who would use the bikes for short trips. "Bike sharing is an innovative way to improve our community's health and air quality by replacing car trips with zero-emission bikes," said Kristine Roselius, a spokeswoman with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which would oversee the pilot project that would run a year or two.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, a regional funding and planning agency, is expected to approve the bulk of funding today.

Bikes like these from Bixi of Montreal would be available in the Bay Area under the pilot bike-sharing program.

M II A II R II K Nov 1, 2010 5:59 PM

‘Bikestations’ proliferate as motorists switch to two wheels

November 1st, 2010

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Lockers and other facilities for bicyclists are making it more convenient for bicyclists to pedal to and from transit stations. The latest in a series of facilities linking bicycling to mass transit will open this fall in Hillsboro, Oregon. Mobis Transportation, a consulting, development, and management firm based in Long Beach, California, has worked with public agencies and other entities since 1995 to establish facilities where cyclists can store their bikes prior to catching a train, bus, streetcar, or shuttle.

The first of the company’s Bikestations — a trademarked name for its facilities offering secure bike storage, repair facilities, and often rest rooms and showers — opened in 1996 in Long Beach. It’s now on the city’s First Street Transit Mall. For about a decade, the network of Bikestations, modeled after facilities in Europe and Japan, grew slowly, expanding to Palo Alto and Berkeley, California, in 1999 and in Seattle in 2003. The company also helped organizations plan bike facilities under other names in countries such as Mexico and China.

Bikestation at a transit stop in Claremont, California. Photo courtesy of Mobis/Bikestation

Bikestation showers

M II A II R II K Nov 2, 2010 4:18 PM

Politics, friction reshape influential Cascade Bicycle Club


An April fundraising breakfast for bicycling advocates could have been a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce, with all the business leaders and elected officials eating eggs and waiting for the keynote speaker.

The sixth annual Cascade Bicycle Club breakfast was proof, if you needed any, that a once-fringe activist group has landed squarely in the mainstream of Seattle politics. Sponsors included Vulcan and Starbucks, and the breakfast was attended by every member of the City Council, as well as the mayor, county executive, County Council members and state legislators.

The success of the bike lobby, represented mostly by the one-time weekend-riding club, is well documented. Over the past decade, Cascade has tripled its membership to more than 13,000 and pushed successfully for sweeping city policies that promise 118 miles of new bike lanes and safety improvements to encourage cycling.

Last year, the club helped elect bike-commuting Mayor Mike McGinn, who joined a host of pro-bike elected leaders. Cascade members meet once a month behind closed doors with a newly formed caucus of City Council members to discuss cycle-friendly projects.

But the lobby's political success has brought with it a backlash from drivers and freight advocates who perceive a "war on cars" being waged with shrinking car lanes and rising parking rates.

Within Cascade, internal disputes about how confrontational the club should be in its lobbying efforts have led to a leadership upheaval. This month, the board fired Chuck Ayers, its executive director for 13 years, then hired him back on a temporary basis.

A group of members is petitioning to recall the board.

M II A II R II K Nov 10, 2010 10:57 PM

Cyclists Paving the Way for Ungrateful Drivers


Sitting at a red light, a car driver yells out his window “Excuse me, is this the bicycle lane?”. The cyclist passively shrugs and slowly rolls his bike closer to the curb. The light turns green and the driver stomps on the gas pedal flying past the cyclist with less than a foot in between.

Many drivers feel that cyclists have no right to use the roads because drivers pay for the roads through fuel taxes and license fees. This couldn’t be further from the truth and reminds me of a modern-era tobacco industry-like outright fabrication.

Last week a National Post bigot columnist wrote a grossly ignorant and irresponsible article suggesting that cyclists should be licensed and taxed.

“But bike riders pay nothing, even though the cost of urban bicycle infrastructure, operating risks and potential liabilities are mounting. Bikers are getting a free ride that all non-bikers are paying for.”

I find it extremely sad that a journalist working for a national newspaper with 200,000+ daily circulation would make such a claim. At best it’s sheer ignorance; at worst it’s a contrived lie - both leaving Terence Corcoran absent of any sort of journalistic conduct.

The truth is, cyclists pay more than their fair share for roads. In fact, in many cases cyclists are actually subsidizing the cost of roads for drivers. Imagine that Terence, cyclists are subsidizing the cost of the roads for you – not to mention cyclists take up less space, reduce gridlock and don’t pollute.

But telling this to Terence would be fruitless. This is the same writer who made the outrageous claim that cyclists should be held accountable for the carbon emissions that they output from their breath while cycling. If this was an attempt at humour, Mr. Corcoran failed miserably.

“And then there's the carbon footprint. When car drivers cruise Yonge Street on Saturday night, their metabolisms are more or less flat-lined. They just sit there, burning up little energy personally but paying for the cost of their automobile's carbon footprint via taxes and fees. Bike riders grinding up the same route burn up a lot more carbohydrates, which their bodies convert into carbon dioxide and exhale, adding to their carbon footprint. The volumes are small, but it all adds up, and bicyclists don't pay.”

M II A II R II K Nov 12, 2010 7:04 PM

We need real bike paths for real bike transportation

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Last month, a young woman was jogging along the popular new Katy Trail in Dallas, Texas, wearing headphones. She turned left and was struck by a woman on a bicycle. The jogger's head hit the pavement. Several days later, she died.

The Katy Trail is not a trail in the woods, but a multi-use path, or, in planning-speak, a "MUP." These paved byways are varyingly called trails, paths, rail trails, bike trails, or linear parks. The mix of terminology reflects the current confusion about what exactly they are for.

The original concept is that of the linear park -- a destination in the city or suburbs where locals of all ages can go get fresh air and exercise in a natural setting. Mellow recreation was the idea. The bicycle has always been part of this mix. But MUPs aren't always simply about recreation. The use of these paths as transportation corridors, rather than parks, is being pushed increasingly at a local level, and even promoted by the feds, including in a recent interview with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on this site.

But there's a disconnect between the speedy reality of bicycle transportation and the slow, recreational uses these trails are designed for. Multi-use paths are only required to be eight feet wide. That's fine for a stroll in the park, but when you factor in two lanes for bikes as well as joggers, skaters, and roving families, it's alarmingly narrow.

Most planning guidelines acknowledge that a 10-foot trail width is better, and recommend 12 for areas with heavy bicycle traffic. Even that -- as we learned on the Katy Trail, which is still being built to these state-of-the-art standards and even includes a narrower, supplemental trail for walking -- isn't enough when bikes are in the mix.

It should be no surprise that these paths see a high collision and injury rate. A 2009 literature review of traffic safety studies looked at bicycle crashes and discovered that multi-use paths are more dangerous to ride on than even major roads.

Most attempts to address the danger focus on educating users to "share the path." This has been the gist of the most levelheaded responses to the tragic incident on the Katy Trail.

In effect, this is a way to blame the users. This becomes more clear when you brave the comment section on any story about the tragedy. The vitriolic finger-pointing starts immediately. Some blame bicyclists who ride fast and don't use their bells when passing. Others blame walkers and joggers who stop suddenly, don't hold their line, and let their kids and dogs run freely. Everyone blames people wearing headphones. Some simply blame everyone.

Meanwhile, few are looking to the real culprit: the increasingly common practice of building transportation facilities that cannot safely or comfortably carry the planned types of traffic, promoting them heavily, and then accepting easy credit for providing bike routes without having to take the political risks of encroaching on the vast amounts of roadways reserved for cars.

SFUVancouver Nov 16, 2010 8:59 PM

Our first bike coral in Vancouver was installed earlier this year on a trial basis and it continues to be be popular even as we reach mid November. Taken by SFUVancouver, November 16th, 2010.

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