Urban Velo

A Sober, Data-Based Approach to Bicycle Advocacy

CityCyclingFrom The Atlantic Cities:

In their new book, John Pucher and Ralph Buehler come right out and state their belief in plain English: “Cycling should be made feasible, convenient, and safe for everyone.” The editors of City Cycling, just published by MIT Press, aim to further that cause by gathering together as much data as they could find to support their case that “it is hard to beat cycling when it comes to environmental, economic, and social sustainability.”

Read more.

Safe Streets Not Slowing Emergency Responders

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FireTruck-300x217 “Think of the children…” is a common refrain when trying to preserve the status quo. When it comes to resisting bike lanes and pedestrian infrastructure there is usually someone making an argument that complete streets improvements hinder emergency vehicles by creating pinch points in otherwise open, traffic-free streets. Streetsblog.org is reporting that response times in NYC in 2012 were lower than in previous years, and this with more bike lanes and pedestrian improvements than ever before.

A data set released by the city Wednesday blows another hole in what has always been a weak and cynical criticism. At an event on Randall’s Island yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano announced that in 2012, FDNY achieved the fastest average EMS response time in the city’s history. Fewer civilians died in fires last year than ever before, which the mayor and fire chief attributed to another near-record low average response time.

Read the entire article along with links to previous arguments against walkable infrastructure improvements at www.streetsblog.org

2012 Washington DC Bicycle Count Summary

The Washington DC Department of Transportation just released their 2012 bicycle count summary and it shows a 175% increase in peak-hour cycling from 2004-2012 that goes along with a 300% increase in the number of bike lanes in that same time. Washington DC is quickly becoming known as one of the most bike friendly US cities, and the ridership numbers don’t lie. See more at www.ddotdish.com

Take Your Lane Illustration

This illustration was created for a cyclist who was pulled over by a police officer who claimed that the 12ft lane he was in was shareable. I offer it to anyone who needs to make the case that a 12ft lane is not wide enough to share and is thus exempt from any FTR requirement. The lanes is too narrow to share and riding too far right compromises the bicyclist’s safety.

Read more and see other illustrations on the Commute Orlando Facebook page.

Bike lanes, cars may be on crash course…

Bike lanes, from the SF GateFrom the SF Gate:

The good news is that there have never been more lanes dedicated to bike traffic in San Francisco. The bad news is bikes and automobiles are still crashing into each other.

Part of the problem is simply sharing the street. But there’s also a concern that the green bike lanes may actually be encouraging collisions.

Read more.


Advocates Try to Make Cycling in D.C. Less Black and White

From the DCist:

Veronica DavisTwo years later, Capital Bikeshare’s ubiquitous red bikes are housed at over 175 stations (up from 114 when the program started) and are credited by some as sparking a more inclusive conversation around cycling. Veronica Davis, founder of Black Women Bike D.C., remembered hearing talk in 2010 discouraging cycling east of the river.

Veronica Davis, a resident of the Hillcrest neighborhood in Ward 7, recalled thinking, “What about people like me? What am I supposed to do?” When Capital Bikeshare stations opened in the area, she registered and quickly became an advocate of the program, knocking on neighbors’ doors and spreading the word about cycling.

The following year, Davis and two fellow cyclists launched Black Women Bike D.C. on Facebook, which quickly went from an online forum to a bike community that hosts monthly rides, helps women figure out what bike to buy and even connects new cyclists to commuting buddies.

Read more.

Pittsburgh Art Commission Approves Bike Corral Design

From Bike-PGH:

The City [of Pittsburgh] is one step closer to seeing more on-street bike parking areas, or “bike corrals.” Pittsburgh installed its first bike corral in May in front of the OTB Bike Cafe on East Carson St in the South Side, a PennDOT owned street.

Now that the Art Commission gave the thumbs up to the Bike/Ped Coordinator’s design, the final approvals are in place to install more bike corrals on city-owned streets.

Read more.

Separate Bike Lanes Increase Ridership In Sydney 82%

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Treehugger just posted about recent cycling initiative in Sydney that have increased ridership 82% in two years time. Common sense measures from many cyclists perspectives, from a ridership and advocacy perspective it is amazing progress that I’d love to see happen on my watch.

The Guardian explains:

…Sydney is working to provide 200km of cycle lanes by 2030, with 55km separated from traffic. Although Campbell admits that segregated cycle lanes are not ideal, with the risk of producing a “them and us” mentality, they have been successful in persuading previous non-cyclists to get out on their bikes. Research done by the council has shown that the likelihood of a resident commuting by bike increases exponentially with the proportion of their commuting trip made possible on a separated bike lane.

The new lanes have been combined with decreased speed limits and extensive junction redesigns which give cyclists priority and improve visibility. One advantage of the new junctions is that there has been a decreased number of accidents involving all modes of transport, not just bikes.

They have run safe cycling courses, given out cycling maps and encouraged “gracious” cycling, providing free bike bells for stretches of shared use pathways. Efforts have been made to keep the local community on board by making the new facilities attractive.

All these measures have combined to produce rapid growth in cycling over two years, with numbers up by an average of 82% across all areas of the city.

Read more at Treehugger and The Guardian.

Pedal Minnesota

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Despite the northern latitude and the weather that comes with it, Minnesota is one of the most bike friendly states out there. Pedal Minnesota is a new resource for all cyclists and potential cyclists living in or visiting the state, with links to just about anything you may want to know about trails, rentals, public policy and even tips to get new or returning cyclists rolling. With resources for individuals looking to put in the miles or businesses striving to make their workplace bicycle friendly Pedal Minnesota is hoping to have the answers to make cycling that much easier in their state.

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