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kilbride102 Mar 13, 2014 10:53 PM


Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 6467781)
I sympathize with delivery drivers, who really cannot use an alternate mode and without whom the city wouldn't function. But blaming bike lanes is ridiculous windshield perspective. Blame excessive and unnecessary car traffic & car storage (ie parking). Bikes are part of the solution to this problem, not the cause.

Thanks for your sympathy. Not blaming cyclists as a whole. I'm looking more at the planning and implementation of lanes that often dont factor in anything but car/bike movement along street and fail to incorporate other needs of the neighborhood.

jamesinclair Mar 15, 2014 4:16 AM


Originally Posted by kilbride102 (Post 6493199)
Companies will not send multiple trucks or multiple deliveries to one store it is simply not cost effective.

And yet everywhere else on earth theyre able to do it, even in countries with significantly higher labor wages.

kilbride102 Mar 15, 2014 7:51 PM


Originally Posted by jamesinclair (Post 6495361)
And yet everywhere else on earth theyre able to do it, even in countries with significantly higher labor wages.

Its not so much labor costs as it is fuel, toll, and equipment costs. Tolls for 18 wheelers crossing nyc bridges aproach $100. Most routes include mulitple bridge crossings. National companies don't base their distribution centers in high labor cost areas like nyc or philly prefering the suburbs or rural areas. Expecting big chain companies like dunkin donuts, mcdonalds, cvs, etc to purchase equipment to service a few stores differently than the thousands of other stores they supply is not likely. Anyway this isn't a truck drivers cpmplaint forum, I was just trying to shed some light that streets serve many purposes for multiple people and choosing vehicles over bikes or vice versa will affect other users

M II A II R II K Mar 24, 2014 10:08 PM

A Bicycle-Powered Moving Company's Sales Pitch: We're Just Faster

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The idea of a bicycle giving a monster oil-tanker a run for its money might be laughable. But a Swedish start-up has proved transporting smaller amounts of goods on two wheels can be practical as well as green.

Movebybike will transport anything up to around 660 pounds courtesy a fleet of bike trailers. Initially a small project run by enthusiasts, the company expanded this year from its home base in Malmö to Stockholm and Gothenburg, thus covering Sweden's three largest cities. Not only is the company greener than the alternative, it's also faster and potentially cheaper.

Movebybike director Johan Wedin explains: --- Our service is aimed at the dense city. It’s quicker because we can use all kind of roads – bicycle tracks and short cuts as well – and we can bike all the way without having to park. Our biggest clients are actually delivering newspapers in bulk. They contacted us because they needed faster delivery. It’s not about the price or the environment or anything, it’s about the bottom line.

This speed brings down hourly rates, as does the relatively low cost of the vehicles. The company's prices start by the half hour, a short slot within which a truck company would find it difficult to deliver.

The plan's limitations are obvious, of course. It's actually volume rather than weight that is the first cap on what's transported—the 32 square foot metal boxes on the company’s trailers can only fit so much. There's also the question of topography. Malmö is as flat as they come and bikes can reach pretty much anywhere in that city easily. Gothenburg is much hillier, as are parts of Stockholm, and any rider regularly scaling these cities with 600 pounds trailing behind them would soon end up with calves of titanium.


Citi Bike, Needing Millions of Dollars, Looks for Help

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Leaders of Citi Bike are moving quickly to raise tens of millions of dollars to rescue the popular bike-share program as it loses money, according to people familiar with the matter.

Citi Bike's bright blue bicycles have become a seemingly indispensable part of some city neighborhoods, but its managers don't believe it can survive if it doesn't become more appealing to tourists and expand to new neighborhoods, the people familiar with the matter said. The program's leaders have approached officials in Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration about raising Citi Bike's rates, the people said.

Earlier this month, Polly Trottenberg, the city's new transportation commissioner, said the bike-share program faced "a number of financial and operational challenges," though she didn't detail them. --- "We are working as diligently as we can to help the company resolve them and strengthen the program going forward," she said March 6 during an appearance before the City Council's transportation committee. --- Asked for comment Thursday, the city transportation department provided a statement identical to a portion of Ms. Trottenberg's earlier testimony.


M II A II R II K Mar 28, 2014 3:51 PM

Bike And Pedestrian Access Could Breathe Life Into 'Underused' Metro Stations

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As Metro works to sell the public on the necessity of spending billions to expand its rail system in the coming decades, the transit authority is also trying to get the most out of its existing capacity, especially on the eastern side of the system, a project whose price tag is in the millions, not billions. That is because building sidewalks is a lot cheaper than building underground tunnels and new rail lines.

Regional transportation planners at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments are launching a study to determine how to make 25 “underutilized” Metro stations more accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists, work that overlaps with Metro’s research into exploiting excess capacity during the reverse commute: morning rush hour trains heading into D.C. are usually packed; trains heading out of the city into the suburbs are often empty by comparison.

The reason is that many suburban stations, particularly in Prince George’s County, lack office development and employment centers within a mile’s walk or bike ride, and the areas surrounding some of these stations lack sidewalks and bike lanes, too. The 25 stations were also picked because the vicinities are “anticipating employment growth in the near-term future and/or have significant transit-dependent populations living in close proximity,” according to the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB).


Is the “menace of urban cycling” all about sprawl?

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The Australian weighed in to the “dooring” debate on Friday with an editorial titled The menace of urban cyclists. The paper says our sprawling cities mean cyclists can’t expect more from drivers.

- Just how cyclists, who have a legal right to the road and are especially vulnerable to injury or even death, can be described blithely as having an “arrogant sense of entitlement” and are “selfish” because they’re demanding more consideration from motorists is baffling, to say the least. Of course the anti-cyclist tone isn’t surprising. This is an ideological battle for The Australian and most of its readers; it’s not about logic or ethics.

- CBDs are far removed from the sprawling suburbs. They only cover around 5 sq km and they’re by far the densest agglomeration of activity in Australian metropolitan areas, as all those office and residential towers make obvious. In terms of transport, cars don’t dominate the CBD; they’re a minor mode. For example, the great majority of work trips to and from the CBDs of Sydney and Melbourne (around 70-80%) are made by public transport, not cars.

- You’ve only got to try and find a parking space in Manhattan or Brunswick to know that density doesn’t preclude high levels of car use. Or see how many times the characters in Sex and the City prefer the convenience of a cab over taking the subway. Conflict between cyclists and pedestrians is an issue that needs to be addressed. But so does conflict between cars and cyclists.



THE arrogant sense of entitlement in our inner cities is also evident in the ever-growing number of cyclists snaking their way through pedestrians on overcrowded pathways, darting between cars and clogging-up lanes on our congested roadways.

The problem of city cyclists reached their apogee in Melbourne this week when a cyclist was “doored” on busy Collins Street, after a passenger opened a taxi door and a rider crashed into it. Neither the taxi nor its passenger could be deemed at fault because a narrow “bike lane” inhibited the taxi from stopping next to the kerb. The passenger was lucky to avoid serious injury.

What makes this incident even more absurd is that, although the lane was marked by a bicycle symbol, it was not actually a dedicated bicycle lane. Melbourne bike lanes must have signage, fixed to a pole, that shows the start and finish of a lane, as well as clear markings on the road itself. The state’s bicycle operations officer — yes, there is such a position — admits there is confusion for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

Cyclists, including the one “doored” this week, are using cameras to film such incidents so they can make insurance claims. The Victorian government imposed even tougher on-the-spot fines in 2012 for people who opened car doors in the direct path of cyclists.

For too long, authorities have bowed to the demands of selfish cyclists and their lobby groups. Truth is, our cities are dominated by cars because they are sprawling. We have no equivalent of Amsterdam and should stop pretending we do.


M II A II R II K Apr 4, 2014 6:22 PM

This Bike Elevator Makes Steep Hills a Little More Manageable

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Scandinavia, always ahead of the bike infrastructure curve, has something else to share: a self-service cycle lift for hilly roads.

The first prototype was installed in Trondheim, Norway, in 1993. Since then, it's become a popular tourist attraction that's powered more than 200,000 cyclists up a 130-meter hill, with no accidents recorded. The original lift was dismantled in 2012, and replaced a year later with CycloCable, an industrialized version upgraded to meet new safety standards. Now, POMA Group, the French cableway company behind the CycloCable, wants to sell the idea to other cities around the world.

CycloCable works very much like a ski lift. But most of the design structures are placed just below the street surface for a safer and more seamless integration into the road. To begin, you just push the green button at the "start station" and wait for the first footplate. You then stand up on your bike and put your right foot and all of your weight on the footplate. The launcher at the start station will give you gentle push to accelerate from zero to 1.5 meters per second. The lift can go up to 2 meters per second, handling a maximum of 300 cyclists per hour. It supports inclines of up to 18 percent grade and can extend as long as 1,640 feet.


Video Link

M II A II R II K Apr 18, 2014 4:34 PM

Bike Lanes Don’t Cause Traffic Jams If You’re Smart About Where You Build Them

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As cities re-design streets, they’re making a concerted effort to create more bike lanes. This is happening not only in large metropolises like New York City, San Francisco and Chicago. Bike lanes are in the planning or construction phases in Louisville, Ky., Raleigh, N.C., the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, Ferndale, Mich., Rutland, Vt., and Elyria, Ohio.

- New bike lanes certainly make life better for cyclists, but how do they affect drivers? This question is hotly debated, especially when a new bike lane replaces a lane used by vehicular traffic. It seems that unless a ton of people start commuting by bicycle, giving away a lane would cause increased car traffic. But is this really the case?

- We tried to answer this question by looking at Minneapolis, which Bicycling magazine has recognized for several years as the best city for biking in the U.S.1 (Yes, this is the same Minneapolis where the average high temperature in the winter is below freezing. These cyclists are dedicated.) True to this ranking, Minneapolis funded the construction of 45 miles of bike lanes in 2010 and 2011. To test a bike lane’s effect on congestion, we looked at the 10 road segments that gained a bike lane during this construction at the cost of a driving lane.

- Minneapolis doesn’t report traffic data broken down by day and time. It’s difficult to find this data for any city. What Minneapolis does report is the Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT), a measure of the number of cars and commercial vehicles traveling on a road in a typical day. A city may collect this information continuously throughout the year, or over a few days using portable sensors. If you’ve ever driven over a thin black pneumatic tube lying across a road, then congratulations — you’ve probably been counted in the AADT.

- Minneapolis measures AADT on the same roads every few years, so we have data from before the bike lane installation (in 2008 or 2009, depending on the road) and after the installation (in 2012). We found that each road seemed to have about the same traffic volume after its bike lane was installed. Running a statistical test across all 10 roads confirmed that there was no difference in AADT before and after the installation of the bike lanes.2 Now, you may be saying, “Hold up! If you have the same number of cars traveling down a road with one fewer lane, won’t there be a lot more congestion?” A good point, and one that requires us to look beyond traffic volume.

- To estimate congestion during rush hour, we can convert AADT to an estimate of the number of cars traveling in the busiest direction during peak travel time.3 Dividing this by each road’s capacity4 gives us what traffic engineers call the volume-to-capacity ratio, or V/C ratio. This metric tells us how “full” each road is. As the V/C ratio approaches 1, the amount of congestion increases. At V/C ratios between 0.5 and 0.75 you have mild to moderate congestion, where traffic is still moving smoothly but you might notice that it’s a bit harder to move from one lane to another.5 At V/C ratios between 0.75 and 0.9 you experience heavy congestion and the effect on your commute is greater. Here, traffic starts to slow down and minor incidents can cause jams. Severe congestion occurs at V/C ratios above 0.9, where the road is almost at capacity and there are no gaps to switch lanes. The V/C ratio for our 10 streets in Minneapolis can be seen in the following chart.


DC Inspires Bike Lane Envy With Curb-Protected Cycling

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Here’s a good sign that protected bike lanes are here to stay in American cities: Cities are increasingly trading plastic bollards for concrete curbs, making the lanes a more permanent feature of the landscape. As I reported for People for Bikes last year, Chicago, Austin, Seattle, New York and Portland have all either installed or plan to install curb-protected bike lanes. The latest city to join this elite group is Washington, DC.

Cirrus at Greater Greater Washington explains the new bike lanes coming to M Street and 1st Street in the nation’s capital:

Their designs are a step up from previous DC cycletracks, since they each include spots — though on M, a very brief spot — where a full concrete curb separates bikes from cars. The 1st Street NE cycletrack connects the Metropolitan Branch Trail to Union Station and downtown DC. DDOT installed its curb last week, from K Street to M Street. Crews are still working on striping and signals, but the project is close to opening.

The M Street cycletrack is longer than 1st Street’s overall, but the portion with a curb is shorter. It’s less than one block, where the cycletrack briefly curves onto Rhode Island Avenue in order to approach Connecticut Avenue more safely. Officials say the M Street cycletrack is a week or two from opening. Typically DDOT uses plastic bollards instead of curbs. The bollards are less expensive, easier to install, and can be removed occasionally to perform street maintenance. But they’re less attractive and less significant as a physical barrier, compared to a curb.


Could IDOT Bike Plan Represent a Turning Point for the Car-Centric Agency?

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The Illinois Department of Transportation has a long history of promoting driving before all other modes. However, its new Illinois Bike Transportation Plan, released this morning at the Illinois Bike Summit in Champaign, may represent a new direction for the department.

In recent years, IDOT has pushed wasteful, destructive highway projects like the Circle Interchange Expansion and the Illiana Tollway, and it recently released a “Purpose and Need” statement for the North Lake Shore Drive rehab that was written largely from a windshield perspective.

When the department launched the public input process for the state bike plan last summer, it was still prohibiting Chicago from installing protected bike lanes on state roads within the city, apparently for reasons that had nothing to do with safety. It seemed ironic that IDOT was seeking input on strategies for improving bike safety when its own policy undermined it.

In October, at a memorial for Robert “Bobby” Cann, a cyclist who was killed by a motorist on Clybourn, a state road, it was announced that IDOT was lifting the PBL ban. The agency is currently working with the Chicago Department of Transportation to design protected bike lanes on Clybourn, possibly shielded by concrete curbs, on an experimental basis.

This morning, the Active Transportation Alliance heralded the release of the bike plan, which calls for improvements to state road design and more funding for bike safety projects, as a sign of IDOT’s growing commitment to improving conditions for non-motorized transportation. “This is not an easy task given IDOT’s historically car-centric perspective that has de-prioritized biking and walking,” the Active Trans release said.

“With the adoption of its Complete Streets policy in 2007, its plans to pilot-test protected bike lanes on state routes, and now the state bike plan, I think it’s fair to say IDOT is turning the corner, so to speak, toward a multi-modal approach that provides a range of transportation options for Illinois residents,” said Active Trans director Ron Burke in a statement.


Cirrus Apr 18, 2014 7:27 PM

You still need to credit photos. For example, that one of the DC cycletrack is mine. Streetsblog managed to credit it correctly.

KevinFromTexas Apr 30, 2014 6:48 PM

^I actually think those curb separations are a waste of money. That is nowhere near enough of a barrier to actually stop a car from hitting a bicycle or to keep a bike from veering into traffic. And, in the event of an emergency where you were on a bike and needed to swerve out of the way to avoid another bike or bike accident, you'd be screwed. At best it gives a false sense of security. It offers no more safety to a bicyclist than a curb does along a sidewalk to a pedestrian. People die on sidewalks every week from being hit by a car.

I'm sure this will be up for debate, and it even had me scratching my head. Maybe they're basing it on climate?!GuRyE

The 20 Best US Cities For Cyclists

BENJAMIN ZHANG APR. 29, 2014, 10:35 AM 6,988 8

According to the report, San Francisco is the most bicycle friendly city in the country, with 7.8 miles of bicycle facilities per sq. mile. Austin and Long Beach came in second and third, with 4.6 and 4.5 miles of bike facilities per sq. mile, respectively. San Francisco's time at the top of the list may be short lived, as Austin plans to expand its facilities by an additional 1,100 miles over the next eight years.

Here are the 20 best cities in America for bicyclists:

San Francisco (CA)
Austin (TX)
Long Beach (CA)
Philadelphia (PA)
Mesa (AZ)
Albuquerque (NM)
Seattle (WA)
Minneapolis (MN)
Boston (MA)
Washington D.C.
Sacramento (CA)
Fresno (CA)
Tucson (AZ)
Denver (CO)
Portland (OR)
San Jose (CA)
Honolulu (HI)
New York (NY)
Chicago (IL)
San Diego (CA)

M II A II R II K May 1, 2014 5:06 PM

Railpath expansion coming soon

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Phase two of the West Toronto Railpath will add another 3.2 km to the beloved linear park that cyclists in this city love so much.

The current 2.1 km section of railpath extends from Dundas Street and Sterling Road north to the Junction. The original railpath plan called for this wonderful, west-end railpath to go all the way downtown to the financial district and help connect cyclists to the lake. This second phase of the railpath will head south and connect the existing Dundas Street West terminus with the new pedestrian and cycling bridge at the Fort York national historic site.


scalziand May 1, 2014 6:03 PM

An extension to the Somerville Community Path was funded this week.

Green Line Extension: Community Path Funding

MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey today announced funding for a multi-modal Community Path to be built along the Green Line Extension (GLX) in Somerville and Cambridge. The 1.9 mile path will connect four GLX Stations: Lowell Street, Gilman Square, Washington Street and the relocated Lechmere. When complete, the path will provide a long-awaited connection that will give pedestrians and bicyclists a continuous route from Bedford to Boston. Secretary Davey was joined at the event by Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott, and community members.

M II A II R II K May 1, 2014 7:28 PM


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Every city that's ever considered removing auto parking to make room for a protected bike lane has been, understandably, nervous. North America's best city for biking wasn't immune.

But when it was planning its signature downtown bike project in 2005, Montreal got past those concerns with a very simple tactic. Instead of counting only the change in parking spaces on the boulevard De Maisonneuve itself, a measure that might have led to headlines and perceptions that "half of the parking" was being removed, it counted the total number of auto parking spaces — public and private, on-street and off — within 200 meters of the project.

The district, it turned out, had 11,000 parking spaces. Converting one of the corridor's two auto parking lanes to a protected bikeway would remove 300 of them, or just under 3 percent.


Even in 1932, Copenhagen Was a Cyclist's Paradise

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Copenhagen's fame as a bike-friendly city is old news. It's at least 82-years-old in fact, judging by a recently unearthed 1932 newsreel. The short film, entitled "The Wheeled City – With Eve in Copenhagen" is one of over 80,000 old clips from the British Pathé newsreel archive uploaded to Youtube this month. It records the wild popularity of cycling among 1930s Copenhageners, and reveals its British filmmakers in dizzy "What will they think of next?" mode.

- The two-wheeled lunacy doesn't stop there. The film then reveals that the Danes love cycling so much that they've created an extreme, unlikely to be imitated scheme to indulge their obsession. "They even have special cyclist roads (not forgetting the white line down the center)" marvels the film, before showing footage of a still impressive set of broad, well-segregated bike paths. It all seems too much for the filmmakers, who comment that: "A few days of Copenhagen reduces the pedestrian to a kind of 'whirly-wheel' state." They end up losing themselves in an expressionist wig-out of spinning wheels, double exposures and sped-up footage. How dull our news is by comparison.

Video Link

How This Suburb Made School Buses Obsolete

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When it comes to its schools, the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, Ohio, does things the old-fashioned way. The city doesn't have a bus system for its 5,800 students, because it doesn’t need one. Its seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school are all within walking or biking distance of the children they serve.

In this short film from Streetfilms, planner Bryce Sylvester explains that there's never been a school bus system in the city. Lakewood's density – 51,000 people in five and a half square miles, it claims to be the densest community between New York and Chicago – is key to making the system work, as is locating schools within the core. --- "For the same reasons that adults only have one car in their household, it's just made sense because we've adopted the neighborhood school network," Sylvester said. Most schools are only a mile or so from students' homes, making walking or biking the best way to get there.


fflint May 2, 2014 1:07 AM


Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas (Post 6559167)
I'm sure this will be up for debate, and it even had me scratching my head. Maybe they're basing it on climate?

Your link says "The Alliance compiled a ranking of cities with the most miles of bicycle facilities per square mile using data submitted by the 52 largest municipalities in America." The only reason SF is at #1 is because of its compactness. Hardly the only or complete measure of the "Best city for bicyclists!" but you know how these lists play out. Breathless, controversial headline--CLICK HERE!

Cottonwood May 8, 2014 7:55 PM

Boise Has Fourth-Highest Percentage of Residents Who Bike to Work

Posted by Harrison Berry on Thu, May 8, 2014 at 1:30 PM
United States Census Bureau
Boise ranks fourth in the nation for cities where residents bike to work.

As Boiseans get used to the new bike lanes and bike boxes—part of an ACHD pilot project—and brace themselves for two-way streets and roundabouts coming to downtown, they may not be surprised to know that bikes are big in Boise.

How important are bikes to Boise? According to a report on bike commuting by the U.S. Census Bureau, Boise ranks fourth in the nation among cities with the highest percentage of bike commuters. With 3.7 percent of residents getting to work with pedal power, Boise ranks behind just Portland, Ore. (6.1 percent), Madison, Wisc. (5.1 percent) and Minneapolis, Minn. (4.1 percent). The City of Trees beat out Seattle, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Sacramento, Calif.

The average rate at which Americans bike to work is .6 percent.

Other conclusions made by the report include that men are three times more likely to bike to work than women, most bike commutes run between 10 and 14 minutes, and that 1.5 percent of households making less than $10,000 per year bike to work.

mhays May 8, 2014 8:07 PM

The Boise River Greenbelt is the best place on earth to bike, going all the way through town. Shady, flat, next to a rippling river...and I'm talking about the mid-80s when I lived there. It's much better now. Boise also benefits from being a sorta college town (BSU might have 20,000 students, and it's a city of 600,000) and it's a generally flat place with an outdoor culture. No surprise that it has a lot of bikes.

KevinFromTexas May 8, 2014 8:25 PM


Originally Posted by fflint (Post 6561384)
Your link says "The Alliance compiled a ranking of cities with the most miles of bicycle facilities per square mile using data submitted by the 52 largest municipalities in America." The only reason SF is at #1 is because of its compactness. Hardly the only or complete measure of the "Best city for bicyclists!" but you know how these lists play out. Breathless, controversial headline--CLICK HERE!

That's what's puzzling to me. Austin is getting better bike infrastructure, but it's minimal at this point. We only have a couple of places with a physical barrier separating bikes from traffic. Some of the bike lanes have been widened or have had stripes painted next to them as a buffer, and we do have a lot of bike lanes in Austin. Basically I can ride from my house in South Austin all the way to downtown and never leave a bike lane for the whole 6 mile route. Still, I've always assumed there are places with better infrastructure.

Updated: 2:42 p.m. Thursday, May 8, 2014 | Posted: 2:42 p.m. Thursday, May 8, 2014
Census: More Americans biking to work

The Associated Press

A new report from the Census Bureau says the annual average number of Americans who biked to work from 2008 to 2012 is about 786,000.

That's almost 61 percent more than the 488,000 in the year 2000 who said they rode bikes to work.

Bike Car On The Streets Of Houston

Updated: Thursday, May 8 2014, 12:55 PM CDT

An attorney in Houston uses pedal power to get to and from work but he's not riding any ordinary bicycle. Johnny Havens is the proud owner of an ELF.

By riding three miles to and from work every day he keeps his cost low saving about $300 to $400 a month on insurance and gas.

"It goes 20 mph on an electric motor goes 30 when you pedal with it," said Havens.

When Havens gets to work, he parks it in the bike rack for free avoiding a parking garage or parking meter.

M II A II R II K May 15, 2014 3:02 AM

Why cyclists should be able to roll through stop signs and ride through red lights

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While it's obviously reckless for them to blow through an intersection when they don't have the right of way, research and common sense say that slowly rolling through a stop sign on a bike shouldn't be illegal in the first place.

- There are already a few places in the US that allow cyclists some flexibility in dealing with stop signs and red lights. Idaho has permitted it since 1982, which is why this behavior is known as the Idaho stop. Idaho's rule is pretty straightforward. If a cyclist approaches a stop sign, he or she needs to slow down and look for traffic. If there's already a pedestrian, car, or another bike there, then the other vehicle has the right of way. If there's no traffic, however, the cyclist can slowly proceed. Basically, for bikers, a stop sign is a yield sign.

- If a cyclist approaches a red light, meanwhile, he or she needs to stop fully. Again, if there's any oncoming traffic or a pedestrian, it has the right of way. If there's not, the cyclist can proceed cautiously through the intersection. Put simply, red light is a stop sign. This doesn't mean that a cyclist is allowed to blast through an intersection at full speed — which is dangerous for pedestrians, the cyclist, and pretty much everyone involved. This isn't allowed in Idaho, and it's a terrible idea everywhere.


electricron May 15, 2014 3:57 PM


Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 6578528)
Why cyclists should be able to roll through stop signs and ride through red lights

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I'm not going to argue statistics about whether it's safer or not because I don't believe Idaho is dense enough, that statistics gathered there is in any way represented what one may find in denser cities, like Chicago, NY, SF, or LA if they implemented this rule.

I understand the energy savings achieved by not coming to a full stop, similar energy savings would also apply to motorcycles, cars, buses, and trucks. When driving with a manual transmission, I'm more inclined to roll through stops signs than when driving with an automatic transmission, because it's easier - because I'm being lazy. While it's difficult to suggest bicyclists are lazy in general, those rolling through stop signs are being lazier than those who come to a full stop.

As for proceeding through a red light after stopping, other than making a right turn, I wish cars could also go straight or turn left if there's no other traffic. I see no difference between modes of traffic in that regard, and I see no reason why bicyclists should be treated differently. The existing laws exist to increase highway safety for everyone, including pedestrians. Once you start making exceptions, it'll be an ever increasing slide into havoc on our highways.

M II A II R II K May 21, 2014 6:52 PM

6 Signs That Philadelphia Will Get Bike-Share Right

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The first time Philadelphia thought about bringing in a bike-share program, the recession hit. Since then, cities from Boston to Chicago have launched such programs, and finally, Philly is ready. The city plans to launch bike-share in the spring of 2015 with 60 stations and 600 bikes.

- Mayor Michael Nutter has chosen to look on the bright side of being part of the what he calls the second or third wave of urban bike-share. “We get,” says the mayor, “the benefit of learning from others’ mistakes.” Or as Nutter’s chief of staff for transportation and utilities, Andrew Stober, put it to me, Philadelphia is betting on enjoying a “late-mover advantage.”


- Some of what Philly has learned from watching the successes and tribulations of its urban counterparts (this week’s Next City Forefront, “The Business of Bike-Share” proves there’s plenty to learn) has simply been about best practices: the right calculations for rebalancing bikes across the system, for example. Some of it, though, has to do with a reaction against other cities’ models, deciding to make different choices to create a bike-share that’s not only widely used, sustainable and largely glitch-free, but, critically, fitted to Philadelphia.


- One key challenge, says Cohen, is avoiding operational bottlenecks. “We’re trying to have each system be its own autonomous local operation,” she says, “as opposed to where you create a sort of large national administrative body that has non-powerful local systems and every decision has to go through a central group.”


- Some of Philadelphia’s bike-share plans are being driven by the city itself. Making the system accessible is a top priority, says Stober, and “an important social equity lesson we’ve learned from other cities is that it’s important to launch in areas outside the business core in Day One.” The city’s social geography will do its part, say system operators. People of mixed incomes live in close proximity (“on top of each other,” says Cohen), and many live within the magic three-mile trip zone that bike-share supports most readily.


- Credit-less accounts were just about impossible to do with the technology that Alta relied upon, says BTS’s Cohen. And indeed, the limitations of flawed software and hardware are on the minds of Philly’s operators. “What we’ve learned from a bunch of systems,” says Stober, “is that bike share succeeds or fails on the back of its IT system.” New York City’s system, where Cohen was chief until spring of 2013, has been notoriously plagued by bad tech. Going with B-Cycle, which has gotten high marks on that front, is, says Cohen, “indicative of not wanting to be part of a technology experiment.”


- B-Cycle, too, adds Stober, brings the benefit of being affiliated with a bike manufacturer, and an attendant wide variety of bicycle styles. Philadelphia has selected one with, says Stober, a “slimmer profile” than seen in other cities, with both front and back baskets.


- Different, too, will be Philadelphia’s approach to acquiring financial support for the system. One of the major takeaways from watching other city’s experiences is, says Stober, “that it is really important to cover your capital expenses” — that is, the initial costs of getting the system up and running — “with public or non-sponsorship funding to the greatest degree that you can,” in the hopes of both putting it on stable financial footing and leaving room for sponsorship opportunities. The lesson so far, says Cohen, is that “it’s going to be a rare exception where bike-share is self-supporting,” but that puts it in league with other forms of public transportation.


M II A II R II K May 23, 2014 8:21 PM

Plateau to make roads safer for pedestrians, cyclists

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Pedestrians and cyclists aren’t dying on Montreal streets because they’re “careless delinquents.” Nor are drivers “criminals” because they sometimes speed.

The problem: “The number of interactions between cars, cyclist and pedestrians is growing because more and more people on the road are on foot or on bikes,” the mayor of the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough said Thursday. And it’s up to the city and boroughs to keep up with the times by making streets safer for “the most vulnerable”— pedestrians and cyclists, he said.

“It’s time (for the city and the borough) to take action, street corner by street corner — systematically, massively, quickly.” Luc Ferrandez made the comments while unveiling the borough’s ambitious plan to make streets safer for people on foot and bikes by lowering speed limits, securing pedestrian crossings and creating new bike paths.

Densely built and criss-crossed by through traffic, the Plateau has a high proportion of residents for whom walking and cycling is the main mode of transport. Every year, about 300 pedestrians and cyclists are killed or seriously injured in the borough — five times more than the average for Montreal boroughs, Ferrandez said.

The recent death of cyclist Mathilde Blais in a St-Denis St. underpass after being struck by a tractor-trailer was the final straw, he said. Blais was following the rules of road, he noted.

He said the borough will spend most of the $1 million it saved on snow-clearing this year on the first phase of its road-safety plan. Next year, more will be needed but they will include bigger projects that will require funding from the Montreal agglomeration and the central city.

Ferrandez announced five measures to be implemented over the next two years: Add more than 20 new kilometres of bike paths. This will double the size of the network in the borough. The new stretches will be a mixture of protected paths and simpler ones involving painted lane markings.

Normally, the central city builds bike paths. But Ferrandez said that slows down the process because the city’s active-transport department outsources the work, causing delays. Under the plan announced Thursday, the borough will do much of the work internally.


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