Friday, September 19, 2014

'The Law of the Mind' and the 'Perfect Citizen'

Riding a bike, you are agile, able to make calculated maneuvers in spontaneous circumstances; your body and face are exposed, integrated in your built and social environment; you communicate informally, as you see another cyclist turn a corner coming toward you, you lean subtly left to signal your direction and with a split- second glance at their eyes, the other acknowledges and veers just to your side; you are aware of others; others are aware of you; your actions are communal and collective; your actions are private and individual; you think and decide; you decide without thinking; your body is performing; you dip on and off the sidewalk, avoiding autos and obstacles, squeezing through traffic and slipping through red lights; you do what autos do; you do what autos do not, and at times, what autos cannot; you see chaos in congestion; you find order in the swarm; you conform to formal traffic rules; you have your own set of rules; you are a cyclist. Read on in this highly interesting blog of 'Cycling Academics'.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Segregation removable for state occasions

Europe’s longest substantially-segregated urban cycleways were unveiled today, the centrepiece of the Mayor’s £913 million commitment to get more Londoners on their bikes. Two continuous cycle routes almost completely separated from traffic will cross central London from east to west and north to south, opening up thousands of new journey opportunities for cyclists. The north-south route will run for more than 3 miles from Elephant & Castle to King’s Cross. The east-west route will run from Barking to Acton, a distance of over 18 miles, including a section on the Westway flyover, where one lane will be removed to create a segregated cycle track. Protected cycle routes will also be created through dangerous junctions, including Tower Hill, Blackfriars, Parliament Square and Lancaster Gate. Connections will be created to cycle routes servicing other parts of the City, West End and suburbs. Subject to detailed public consultation – which begins today – work will start early next year and the routes will open in March 2016. High-quality materials will be used for the scheme to enhance the look of the streets and reflect their importance. On parts of the scheme, the segregation will be removable for state occasions. Read on here.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The world's largest study of bicycle user behaviour

Nine intersections. 19,500 cyclists. Nine hours. All in a city considered as a model for many urban planners. The Copenhagenize 'Design Company Desire Lines Analysis Tool' headed south to Amsterdam to study bicycle user behaviour and how it interacts with - or is affected by - urban infrastructure. In a loose collaboration between Copenhagenize Design Co. and The University of Amsterdam in the guise of Marco te Brömmelstroet nine intersections in the city were filmed during the morning rush hour in order to complete the world's largest study of bicycle user behaviour. The results of our study and showcase some of the data, analyses and desire line maps. The bicycle infrastructure in the City of Amsterdam is rather different from the typology used in Copenhagen ,where we did the first anthropological studies of the cyclists - The Choregraphy of an Urban Intersection, and others. It was therefore interesting for us to observe the trajectories and behavioiur of Dutch cyclists crossing over-crowded intersections.  Do we really have the World's Best Behaved Cyclists in Copenhagen or can the Dutch compete with that? Read on in Copenhagenize.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Electric Bikeshare in Madrid

Madrid’s bike sharing program finally debut this week, joining other metropolises, such as Barcelona, Seville, Valencia, Zaragoza, and Vitoria, to advance the most sustainable and healthy transport system after walking. More interestingly, Madrid’s brand new bicycles are electric. The chosen name was initially controversial. BiciMad comes from bicicleta (bicycle) and Madrid, and despite some people noticing the double meaning in English, the local council did not get it or actually liked it and decided to go “loco.” It was prophetic, as the first day was a little hectic, with it not working and a fake twitter account helping people better than the official one. Nevertheless the bike sharing system is welcome in Madrid. The Spanish capital is begging for clean air and many social movements have been started in the last few years demanding more space for bikes in the street. Will people in Madrid leave the car to take the bike? The electric motor will probably make the difference. Read more here. 







Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Car producers cycle at work

Faced with a serious transportation problem on its sprawling technical center campus in a Detroit suburb, General Motors Co. has turned to a solution that predates cars – bicycles. GM has launched a bike share program for 19,000 employees at its Warren Technical Center. It will help them navigate the 61 buildings on the 330-acre campus and provide convenient transportation for errands in the surrounding community.   Employees at the tech center might think using bikes to get around is a foreign concept, but they appear game. “This is good for exercise, good for on-campus mobility and a nice way to actually learn more about non-auto transportation,” said John Waechter, designing engineer at the Tech Center. The bikes will compete with walking, a shuttle bus system and cars. Waechter said he thinks cycling will be quicker than walking and have one advantage over driving because he won’t have to search for a parking place. Read more in the LA Times.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The first fully segregated roundabout in London

A breakthrough in cycle safety was unveiled today as work began to create the first fully segregated roundabout in London. Cyclists and vehicles will be kept apart by using raised kerbs and separate traffic lights on the Queen’s Circus roundabout in Battersea. The interchange is not notorious for collisions, but Wandsworth council decided to make the improvements to prioritise cycling and walking as the Nine Elms area is redeveloped. The roundabout is used by thousands of commuter cyclists each day as it lies on Boris Johnson’s bike super- highway 8 linking Wandsworth and Westminster. Its use is expected to increase as former industrial areas of north Battersea are being transformed with the redevelopment of Battersea power station and the relocation of the US embassy.The new roundabout, right, which will also have pedestrian crossings, is the first to attempt to keep cyclists and motorists fully segregated in London. Work is due to be completed next summer. Read on here. 

A day in the life of a City Bike: London & New york

A day in the life of a New York Citibike From an investment  banker at 7.50am to a solar product start-up entrepreneur more than 12 hours later, The Guardian follows the fortunes of a New York Citibike for a day. London, an impression: It is 8am on a warm morning. Waterloo station in London is the city's busiest bicycle hire dock, and this is its busiest time of day. There are no bikes, of course. As quickly as vans unload cycles – 400 of them by 10am – the cycles disappear. We want to know how the cycle hire scheme is used, who rides the bikes, and why. New York, an impression:Our bright blue Citibike, number 0919, starts its day early at the busiest Citibike station, on 42nd Street, outside Grand Central station. Last month, nearly 500 trips started or ended here every day. 7.50am Yuri K, 39, rushes towards Citibike 0919. He just got off the train from Westchester, Connecticut, and is on his way to his office in Tribeca in downtown Manhattan. Read more about New York here and about London here.




A day in the life of a city bike: London & New York



A day in the life of a New York Citibike From an investment  banker at 7.50am to a solar product start-up entrepreneur more than 12 hours later, The Guardian follows the fortunes of a New York Citibike for a day. London, an impression: It is 8am on a warm morning. Waterloo station in London is the city's busiest bicycle hire dock, and this is its busiest time of day. There are no bikes, of course. As quickly as vans unload cycles – 400 of them by 10am – the cycles disappear. We want to know how the cycle hire scheme is used, who rides the bikes, and why. New York, an impression:Our bright blue Citibike, number 0919, starts its day early at the busiest Citibike station, on 42nd Street, outside Grand Central station. Last month, nearly 500 trips started or ended here every day. 7.50am Yuri K, 39, rushes towards Citibike 0919. He just got off the train from Westchester, Connecticut, and is on his way to his office in Tribeca in downtown Manhattan. Read more about New York here and about London here.