Urban Velo

Fort Collins Stop-As-Yield

Fort Collins, Colorado is currently debating implementing the “Idaho Stop Law” as it’s called where bike riders may treat stop signs as yield signs when the intersection is completely clear of traffic. Read about the push for the stop-as-yield policy in the Coloradoan in this August 2013 article, outlining the for and against sides of the Fort Collins arguement. At least one columnist isn’t in favor of the porposed change in law, reportedly because she is more fearful of cyclists than cars on her commute to work, a definite leap in logic given the numbers of riders injured or killed by cars as compared to fellow cyclists. That said, there are two sides to the stop-as-yield policy and it’s worth following along to see how it plays out, especially for advocates that hope to implement (or prevent) stop-as-yield policies in their locale.

Learn more about the 1982 Idaho Stop Law in Urban Velo #17, Pulling Out The Stops.

The League Releases First Women on a Roll Bike Report

Picture 6“Women on a Roll” is the first report of its kind, coming out of the League of American Bicyclists  Women Bike program. The comprehensive report  comes less than a year after the first National Women’s Bike Summit, and demonstrates a disjunction between women’s positive attitude towards cycling versus actual ridership, citing statistics that while women make up 60% of bicycle owners between age 17-28, women accounted for only 24% of all U.S. bike trips (according to the National Household Travel Survey).

But the tides are changing. According to the report, the number of women and girls who bicycle rose 20%, compared to a .5% decline among men between 2003 and 2012. Major barriers to entry detailed in the report included comfort and access–and while these are not particularly new findings, data showing female ridership increasing in areas with new bike lanes and bike share programs demonstrates just how significantly these features can bridge the gap. In 2012 54% of new members of Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C., and 43% of all bike share members in North America were women. Are for the impact of bike lanes, women’s ridership rose 100% on Spring Street in Los Angeles, 115% on South Carrollton Avenue in New Orleans, and an average of 267% on streets with added bike lanes in Philadelphia.

Women are still marginal within the industry and advocacy groups, but organizations such as Black Women Bike, Cyclofemme, Women on Bikes SoCal, and the League’s Women Bike program, in addition to grassroots cycling clubs like the Ovarian Psyco-Cycles and FWOD, are providing the community and resources to make biking less of a boys club and more fun for everyone. Do your part and get involved, go for a ride with your female friends, teach ‘em how to fix something (or let them teach you); share what you love about bikes with the ladies in your life. Read the full report and at www.bikeleague.org/womenbike.



Alliance For Biking And Walking Summer Photo Contest

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alliancephotocontest The Alliance For Biking and Walking is holding a summer photo contest where you could walk away with a Tern folding bike. Open until August 31, the contest is looking for the best images that capture summer time biking enjoyment to boost the colletion of photos for potential future Alliance use. All images will be added to the Alliance’s image bank, with all rights granted to the Alliance upon upload. See full contest details at: www.peoplepoweredmovement.com

Living Streets Will: “Suspect Criminality”

Living Streets Will is a movement for safer streets, urging the NYPD to conduct criminal investigations when a cyclist or pedestrian is killed by an automobile rather than declaring “no criminality suspected at the scene of the crash.”

Recorded videos in which people request the police to “suspect criminality,” and to investigate and release the reports of any investigation in these circumstances serve as living wills for participants, while urging the NYPD to perform due diligence before declaring a pedestrian or cyclist death an accident. Living Streets wills call for reports to be made available to the public so that they can be used to advocate for safer streets.

New Yorkers have been sharing their personal living streets wills since March; record your own living streets will and be a part of the push. Post your living streets will to the Streets Will Facebook page, or Tweet to @StreetsWillsNYC (hashtag #MyLivingStreetWill). More information, along with a prompt for what to say, can be found at www.streetwillsnyc.com.

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


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

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