Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Report - Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center: Case Study Compendium

This Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center Case Study Compendium contains a collection of brief, original case studies developed by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP). The case studies, or success stories, cover pedestrian and bicycle projects and programs from across the US and abroad, including engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement, planning, health promotion, and comprehensive safety initiatives. They are intended to provide ideas and spur thinking about potential activities communities can undertake to further support bicycling and walking.

Article - But the emperor has no clothes!

Annapolis County Spectator, April 7
Author: Sandy MacKinnon

Our own national emperor arrived in Wilmot a few (weeks) ago astride a snowmobile touting an infrastructure raiment of $25 million for trail development. The $25 million is tied to a National Trails Coalition proposal that would see most of the funding go toward the development of motorized trials across the country and likely all of the $1.3 million proposed for Nova Scotia will be for motorized trails.

Article - Urban design turning kids off being active

ABC Science, April 13
Author: Dani Cooper

Poor urban design and safety fears are critical factors in determining whether children walk or cycle to school, say Australian researchers. In the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Dr Clare Hume and colleagues report the proportion of Australian school children walking to school dropped from 37% in 1985 to 26% in 2001.

At the same time the proportion of children cycling to school is now so low it is statistically too insignificant to be considered on its own, says Hume, of Deakin University's Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research.

Hume says the decrease in what is known as active commuting has occurred at the same time as obesity rates among children have increased.

Article - Go ahead, take a walk in the park

Globe and Mail, April 8
Author: John Ibbitson

It's been a cool, wet spring - dispiriting for Washingtonians, who expect to be in shirt sleeves by now. But, on Saturday, the sun came out and I walked over to Lincoln Park and relearned a lesson.

Because this is an old neighbourhood, built on a grid, with narrow lots, those stores are an easy walk for anyone in the neighbourhood, affording another excuse to loiter in the park, milk jug under your arm, watching the children and dogs, and feeling good about your community.

Report - The physics of why bicyclists hate stop signs

The Oregonian, April 6
Author: Joseph Rose

In their essay "Why Bicyclists Hate Stop Signs," University of California physics professor Joel Fajans and Access transportation journal editor Melanie Curry write that requiring cyclists to follow the same complete-stop rules as motorists defies science.

Report: Link found in article.

Article - Ottawa: Skateboarder contests city's helmet proposal

Ottawa Citizen, April 21
Author: Laura Kiel

Jack Hillman has a message to city councillors: If they want to improve safety at skateparks in Ottawa, they need to do more than enforce a mandatory helmet bylaw. He believes if the city wants to improve safety at the parks, it should consider better supervision and education, especially when young kids come to the park after school.

Article - Australia: Eco suburb plan unveiled for city, February 25
Author: Jason Dowling and Natalie Craig

A vision for a suburb of the future with no cars, an 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions and the ability to grow its own food has been unveiled by a State Government-funded thinktank. And it could happen on a site just two kilometres from the centre of Melbourne.

Video - L.A.’s Orange Line: Bus Rapid Transit (plus bike path!)

Great five minute video about a new rapid transit line that has been developed with a parallel bicycle route - in Los Angeles.

Article - Thinner is better to curb global warming, study says, April 20
Author: Elizabeth Landau

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine published a study showing that, because of food production and transportation factors, a population of heavier people contributes more harmful gases to the planet than a population of thin people.

Article - EU Digs Deep in Public Rental Bikes

The huge popularity of public bike rental schemes like Velib in Paris didn’t escape the attention of the EU government. The European Commission initiated an extensive study to the implantation of public rental bike systems in Europe over the past two years.

Article - University of Kentucky plans bicycle permit parking

Kentucky Kernal, April 7
Author: Jill Laster

[Be honest, you knew it would happen sooner or later. Are you prepared when the issue comes up in your community? MH]

Bikers will have to pay to park on campus under a new plan by UK Parking and Transportation Services. Under the program beginning in July, bikers will be required to have a permit to park at the bike racks on campus.

UK Parking and Transportation Services decided to create a bike plan because no single department is in charge of biking, said Stuart Kearns, the department’s associate director for transportation. The fee will allow Parking and Transportation Services to take charge of efforts such as installing more bicycle racks.

Parking and Transportation Services plans on using part of the money to add to the 2,700 spaces for bikes on campus with new bicycle racks. It will also replace the older-style bicycle racks with newer models. Kearns said the racks now can be “wheel benders,” when many bikes are on the same rack and pressure can cause the front wheel to bend.

Article - South Korea: [President] Lee Highlights Plans to Promote Bicycle Use

The Chosun Ilbo, April 22

President Lee spoke of the need to promote the use of bicycles in our daily lives on Monday. The president said in his biweekly radio address that the government plans to build more bike paths around the country to make it easier and safer for people to use bicycles as their primary mode of transportation.

[When was the last time you heard a Canadian Prime Minister mention the word 'bicycle'?]

Article - Plan to reduce speed limit to 30km/h throughout most of Dublin city centre

Irish Times, April 15
Author: Olivia Kelly

Council plans to reduce speed limits to 30km/h throughout most of the city centre, including O’Connell Street and the Liffey quays, to make the city safer for cyclists and pedestrians. The council’s traffic engineers said the speed limit change would result in a significant reduction in road fatalities and serious injuries, without significantly slowing travel times for motorists.
Some 5 per cent of pedestrians hit by cars travelling at just over 30km/h are killed. At just under 50km/h, fatalities increase to 45 per cent.

Article - Taiwan to promote bike tourism

The Times, April 14

Taiwan bicycle manufacturer Giant Inc plans to launch a travel agency to promote bike tourism, a newspaper reported. Giant general manager John Ho said the new travel agency was initially expected to bring in more than 100 million Taiwan dollars (nearly 3 million US) in annual revenue, but Giant’s goal is not making money but to promote bike riding as a way of life.

Article - Can Abu Dhabi be a pedestrian city?

The National, April 12
Author: Matthew Chung

Wide, sweeping boulevards with shaded walkways, express traffic lanes and dedicated car, bus and taxi lanes are all part of a bold vision to transform Abu Dhabi into a pedestrian-friendly city.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Conference - Toronto: Bike Summit 2009

Join leading thinkers, practitioners and decision-makers who are on the fast track to creating bikeable communities. Bike Summit 2009 will be held on Thursday May 28th at the Novotel Toronto Centre in Toronto.

Increasing the number of people who move around by cycling and walking is critical to the prosperity and livability of our region. Share the perspectives and innovations of our panel of experts on May 28th and leave with even more reasons and methods to design cities for cyclists.

Article - Active transportation plan will wait til 2010

Packet & Times (Orillia ON), March 26
Author: Courtney Whalen

The city of Orillia is interested in making it easier for residents to travel the city without turning on their vehicles -- but not until next year. At Monday night's committee meeting, councillors agreed to have staff bring forward a budget request in 2010 to hire a consultant to create an active transportation plan for the city.

Article - Vancouver set to launch bike sharing program, March 21

The city [Vancouver] is preparing to implement a bike share program that would allow commuters pay a nominal fee to "borrow" a bicycle for short term use. If it succeeds, the plan could see as many as three-thousand "shared" bikes hitting the streets by next summer.

Article - Transit use associated with better fitness, say Canadian researchers

People who use public transit are three times more likely to meet fitness guidelines than those who don't, say researchers at the University of British Columbia.
The survey also suggests the more people drove their cars, the less likely they were to get their 30 minutes of daily physical activity.

"The idea of needing to go to the gym to get your daily dose of exercise is a misperception," associate professor Lawrence Frank, who teaches community and regional planning, said in a release. "These short walks throughout our day are historically how we have gotten our activity. Unfortunately, we've engineered this activity out of our daily lives."


Report - Cycling on the Rise: Public Bicycles and Other European Experiences

A 2009 report on recent bicycle policy in European cities. [Well worth scanning. MH]

Excerpt: "As the project comes to an end we can conclude that huge strides have been
made. All the partner cities have improved their cycling policy. All of them
now have a public bicycle system, even though Barcelona and Bucharest had
not even planned for these at the start of the project. Berlin has enthused us
all with its leadership in cycling planning. Bucharest and Ploiesti have been
inspirational—their approach to local partnerships and to communication
and awareness-raising programmes has provided a model for cities of a similar
size and background, and their experiences are reflected in the brochure “Cycling
in Eastern European Cities”, which was produced in Polish, Hungarian,
Romanian and Czech. Rome showed us that determination leads to results,
even in the most complicated circumstances, and Göteborg has been a trailblazer
in many areas, with its excellent communication projects, bicycle highways
and advanced bike-counting systems."

Article - Lakefront plan gives pedestrians top priority

Toronto Star, March 26
Author: Tess Kalinowski

Waterfront Toronto's vision for Queens Quay and the East Bayfront has sparked enthusiasm since the winner of a design competition was unveiled in 2006. The scenario being recommended would turn the south side of Queens Quay into a "linear park," with a wide pedestrian promenade shaded and separated from traffic by aisles of trees. The drawings show streetcars running down the middle of the avenue on a grassy right-of-way – a green touch still under discussion.

The existing four lanes of traffic would be reduced to two lanes on the north side of the road.

Article - Korea: Insurers urged to offer policies for bike riders

JoongAng Daily, March 28
Author: Moon Gwang-lip

With the popularity of bicycles among commuters growing thanks in part to government support, nonlife insurers in Korea are considering selling policies to cover riders against accidents, according to the head of the nonlife insurers’ association. Though Korea has the world’s seventh-largest insurance market, bike riders are surprisingly not yet covered.

Since early 2000, bicycle accidents jumped 20.7 percent every year on average, with the number of casualties up from 214 in 2004 to 439 last year, according to the National Police Agency. According to nonlife insurers, the premiums for insurance against injury while on a bicycle will likely be 50,000 won to 100,000 won [CAD$46-92] per year.

Report - Chicago: Bicycle and Pedestrian Crashes in Illinois: 2004-2007

Prepared by the [Illinois] Active Transportation Alliance, this report examines pedestrian/automobile "crash levels by geographical location. This report is a starting point for finer analysis that can develop effective strategies to reduce crashes in Chicagoland. Effective strategies will focus not only on specific dangerous locations, but also on the causes of crashes — speed, street design and driver, pedestrian and bicyclist behavior."

[I think this is worth reviewing, and worth considering whether such a report could be prepared for your community, or even whether the proper statistics are being tracked to enable such a report to be generated].

Article - US: City to spend millions on walking paths, bike lanes

Wave3, March 16
Author: Chris McGill

A second round of federal stimulus money is in the offing for Louisville. On Monday Mayor Jerry Abramson talked about how the city plans to spend the additional $14.7 million in federal funding. A large chunk will be used to build new walking paths, sidewalks and bike lanes across Louisville. The projects are expected to create another 1,300 jobs for the city. [One city that has been able to chose bike paths instead of roads. MH]

Article - Vandalism Doesn't Damage Paris Cycle Hire Scheme

Vélib’s project manager Mathieu Fierling told Bike Europe that despite the vandalism problems not only a new and more vandalism-proof Vélib bike is now being developed but also that the scheme is expanded with another 300 hire stations and 3,300 bikes.

Article - Hey, you! On the cell phone! Watch where you're walking!, March 30
Author: Steve Johnson

But my complaint here is bigger: It's that cell phones make people walk stupid. They become an annoyance and worse—sometimes even a danger to themselves and others, if a couple of recent studies are to be believed.

Article - Skateboarding at school? Fridley elementary says sure, March 31
Author: Emma Carew

Instead of scowling and muttering about "kids these days," the educators find themselves in awe. The students are the first in the state to learn to skateboard as part of their physical-education classes.

The students in Craig Coleman's gym classes at Hayes are taking to it with glee. Even those who used to beg off the tougher exercises are getting excited, he said. "There's no, 'I can't,' anymore," he said. "They just want to do it."

Article - Skateboarding and yoga boost PE

Non-traditional school sports such as skateboarding, cheerleading, golf and yoga are increasing the popularity of PE lessons in England, inspectors say.

Article - Skateboard park breaks ground this spring

Airdrie Echo, March 26
Author: Scott Mitchell

It has been a long, arduous process in the eyes of the Airdrie skateboarding community, but the long-awaited skateboard park at Chinook Winds will break ground this spring and is expected to be completed by fall.

Article - Documentary deal eases pain of city fine

The Gazette [Montreal], March 25
Author: Irwin Block

A veteran Montreal skateboarder lost his court case yesterday[.] Though he claimed he was not actually skateboarding in a downtown park at the time he was ticketed, David Bouthillier was fined $653 in municipal court.