Urban Velo

Cleveland Bike Infrastructure Improvements

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Cleveland’s Newsnet5 is reporting on various cycling improvements to expect this summer, including bike boxes with covered parking, new bike lanes, a second bike to work day, and a large-scale PSA campaign about safe road sharing.

The bike parking facilities are made from old cargo containers and customized by Rustbelt Welding. They can hold up to 23 bikes depending on the design.

“Ride Together” is a Bike Cleveland bike safety public awareness campaign launching in July.
The campaign was developed by Dix & Eaton and will be launched through bus wraps, bumper stickers, posters, billboards, viral video PSAs and radio PSAs. The goal of the campaign is to raise the awareness of bicycling and improve the safety of cyclist.

“As we see more and more people on bikes across Greater Cleveland it is important to keep for cyclists and motorists to cooperate on the roads,” said Jacob VanSickle of Bike Cleveland. “(T)his campaign will educate and encourage motorists and cyclists to ride together. ”

Read the entire article at: www.newsnet5.com

Amtrak Considering Adding Roll-On Bike Capacity

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amtrak-logo-jpg According to Streetsblog, Amtrak is considering adding roll-on bicycle capacity to more lines as the demand for such service continues to grow. As it stands a mere eight Amtrak routes have the walk up service, on most others you are forced to partially disassemble your bike, box it, and check it as luggage. Granted, the $10 box that Amtrak provides is large enough that most bikes merely require the bars to be turned sideways and the pedals to be removed, but nonetheless roll-on service is in high demand along more routes as greater numbers of Americans wish to travel about their destinations by bicycle. Even those routes that have roll-on service frequently sell out, and now require reservations in some markets.

In California, demand for bike accommodations has been so overwhelming that Caltrans and Amtrak recently added a reservations system for walk-on bike service for the Pacific Surfliner. Before the policy, if too many passengers wanted to bring bikes on board, they were bumped or, at best, forced to hold bikes in the aisle.

Steve Kulm, a spokesman for Amtrak, said the agency is looking for opportunities to retrofit train cars to allow more convenient bike transport. Kulm said most of the lines that allow walk-on bikes receive additional funding from the state. If the state owns some of the train cars, it can design them to accommodate bikes.

Read the entire article at dc.streetsblog.org

Take the “I Am For Bikes” Pledge

PeopleForBikesFrom People For Bikes:

Our goal is to unite one million voices by December 2013 to improve the future of bicycling in America for all ages, all abilities and all disciplines of biking.

To grow a strong enough voice to make a difference, we could really use your support! Signing the pledge only takes about 30 seconds.

Click here to take the pledge.

Women Mean Business

Yes We CanThis is a guest post from Rebecca Susman, Membership and Outreach Manager at BikePGH covering The National Women’s Bicycling Forum.

Last month my colleague Jane Kaminski and I attended the League of American Bicyclists’ 2nd Annual National Women’s Bicycling Forum with the theme “Women Mean Business.” The double entendre of the title was perfectly descriptive as 375 leaders and advocates came together to discuss how women are changing the face of bicycling both within the business of bikes and within communities.

To this day when asked to picture the typical bicyclist, people usually think of a man, possibly wearing either racing spandex or bike messenger attire. Women and men throughout the bicycling world have been working for years to make this just a stereotype, and not the statistical reality of who uses the streets on a bike. We have come a long way, and in 2011 women accounted for 46% of the adults who ride bicycles.

As a bicycle advocate I have attended other national conferences on bicycling including one other women’s forum, but this was the largest woman-focused event by far. It was incredible to be in a room with so many women of diverse backgrounds openly discussing their experiences and hearing the similarities of so many of the stories. I know, and currently work with, some amazing men within both the bicycle advocacy and industry worlds, but this was my first time experiencing an environment in which women of different professional backgrounds (not just the higher-ups) felt comfortable asking questions and speaking their minds. Once given a forum in which they did not feel pressure or fear judgment the floodgates opened, and every workshop I attended ran overtime until they kicked us out of the rooms. The discussions were so engaging and sense of camaraderie affirming that at the end people spoke of a need for more similar forums, and necessary adjustments in advocacy and industry based on the outcomes.

Below are some statistics, ideas, and highlights from the forum.

– Each generation has produced more women who are riding and spending money on bicycles. Currently, 44% of Generation X bike owners and 60% of the Millennials who own bikes are women. Over half of the bicycles bought by women were not purchased in local bike shops in large part because going to a shop felt intimidating. This indicates many future opportunities for local bike shops if they listen to what the women are saying and take the appropriate steps to make their environments feel welcoming.

– Women identified their top barriers to riding (in descending order) as: distance, safety, and time. 

– In recognizing the different lifestyles of woman/ people with children, it is important to address the different equipment needs, types of trips taken, and ways to get people biking. One successful way is through organized community and family bike rides that are short and centrally located.

– Georgina Terry of Terry Bicycles and Natalie Ramsland of Sweet Pea Bicycles opened the day with a discussion moderated by Karen Brooks of Bicycle Times. They began by geeking out on steel vs. carbon and then taking the discussion a step further towards removing barriers to bicycling regardless of what people ride. Their fundamental goal was about getting people together on bikes.

– Jenna Burton, founder of Red, Bike and Green, spoke about creating a culture of bicycling where people of all backgrounds can use it as a way to enjoy and feel ownership of their neighborhoods.

– Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth put us all to shame as she spoke of the competing in bike races on the hand-crank bike that she started using after losing both of her legs in Iraq. She advocated for the merits of bicycling as a method of rehabilitation and way for war veterans to reclaim some of the physical fitness and autonomy they enjoyed prior to their injuries.

– Janette Sadik-Khan, NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner closed the day with an inspiring Keynote address about the importance of creating “livable cities” and making cycling a mainstream form of transportation. This focus addressed community design and safety through an interconnected system of bicycle infrastructure coupled with legislation for support. It also provided protected bike lanes with an aim of creating safer streets and an eye for business. The statistics showed that the areas with the lanes and bike parking saw both a rise in retail sales (50% in some corridors) and a decrease in storefront vacancies.

In short, the National Women’s Bicycling Forum was a great day with interesting, knowledgeable people from across the country and a tremendous amount of information provided at once. It will take me some time to digest it all, but was definitely worth spending a beautiful, sunny Washington DC day inside.

Boston and Minneapolis – St Paul Bikeshare Maps

hubway

Mobility Lab has posted visualized trip data from Boston and Minneapolis-St Paul bikeshare systems, allowing residents, planners and transport nerds alike to make sense of how these systems are actually being used. Let’s hope mroe cities release data like this so we can all better make sense of bikeshare usage.

San Francisco BART to Test All-Day Bike Access

628x471 The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the BART light rail system will test all-day bicycle access to the system March 18-22. As it is, bicycles are banned during peak hors, in my experience complicating commuter use on the sytem, and particularly between San Francisco and Oakland and other further reaching stops.

BART has a history of cautiously welcoming bikes aboard its trains. When the system opened in 1972, bikes were banned. Three years later, BART agreed to allow bikes through the fare gates but bicyclists needed permits, and were only allowed to bring their bikes onto the rear of the last car of each train during non-commute hours. In 1988, BART allowed bikes on trains in the reverse commute direction. The permit requirement was dropped in 1997, and BART allowed bikes in all but the first car. A year later, the Richmond-Fremont line opened to unrestricted bike access.

During the March experiment, BART will lift its commute-hours ban, which varies by line but generally applies from 7-9 a.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. in commute directions. All other bike rules – including a prohibition on boarding crowded cars or blocking aisles, doors or accessible seats – will still apply.

Read the entire article at www.sfgate.com

Cyclists and Drivers Share Blame In Accidents In Minneapolis

Last month the Star Tribune reported on a recent study in Minneapolis looking into the causes of bicycle/auto traffic accidents.

A new analysis of 10 years of crash data has found that drivers and cyclists are almost equally at fault in the 270 reported bike-motor vehicle crashes that Minneapolis averages annually.

Biker actions contributed to the crash in 59 percent of collisions, compared to almost 64 percent for drivers, according to the study presented Tuesday to the City Council. Sometimes both were judged at fault by investigating officers.

The city’s Public Works Department plans to use the data to target education campaigns at drivers and bicyclists as well as to improve bike features such as lanes, bike-triggered traffic signals and other accommodations.

David Meyer, who rides and works at the Hub Bike Co-op, said the shared fault makes sense to him. “It’s all people — just taking different modes of transportation,” he said.

Nick Mason, chairman of the panel that advises the city on bike matters, called the study “definitely the most thorough analysis we’ve seen of crashes.”

“It’s so great to know that our crashes are not all random … and there are things we can do to prevent crashes,” he said.

The report urges that the city continue such practices as striping bike markings through congested intersections to guide cyclists or using dashed lines to signal to drivers when they can cross a bike lane for a turn.

Read the entire article at www.startribune.com

Bike Fixtation and Green Guru Partnership

BikeFixtation4 Bike Fixtation manufactures work stands, pumps and vending machines for public bicycle repair access. Over the years I’ve had no shortage of conversations with people about bicycle vending machines near trail access points or outside of the shop for off-hours tubes and lube, and we’ve all dreamed of the fantasy land of a bike repair station at the bus terminal or outside of the grocery store. Bike Fixtation makes it happen — I’ve seen a number of these around the country, and always walk away impressed with how it makes bikes as transportation that much more accessible. Now Green Guru and Bike Fixtation have paired up to offer bicycle tube recycling paired with tire inflation at certain stations, giving your old tube new life as a repurposed product. Badger your local public transportation management and grocery story chains and maybe you can find one of these in your town before too long.

Aspen Considering Idaho Stop Law

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The Aspen Times is reporting that city officials are considering adopting the “Idaho Stop” law that allows cyclists to yield at stop signs and proceed if the intersection is clear.

Aspen Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn said the “stop-as-yield approach” has proven to work in states such as Idaho, which changed its law allowing cyclists the option to yield some 30 years ago. A 2008 study by a University of California at Berkeley researcher showed that in Idaho, police and motorists have accepted the measure as public policy that makes sense.

“If people are already doing it for practical purposes, and it’s not causing a wave of traffic crashes around town, why don’t we at least discuss the possibility of changing the law and allowing people to do it legally? It removes the guesswork for the motorists,” he said.

Read more at www.aspentimes.com

The Long Haul

The Bicycle Works is nestled along Bicycle Route 20 in the Town of San Anselmo, California—just north from San Francisco, over the Golden Gate Bridge. Bicycle Route 20 is one of the major East/West bicycling corridors in Marin, a county famous for Redwood Trees, Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Ranch, plenty of expensive imported cars, and being the birthplace of the mountain bike. Hundreds of people ride past The Bicycle Works daily—and more often than commonly seen, on cargo bikes. The Bicycle Works has been a hub of cycling activity for the past three years, serving the community and doing pioneering work on electric cargo bikes.

Read more.

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