Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Before the sun rises over the East Coast Road south of Chennai each day, a lone rider speeds down the tarmac. Dressed in a fluorescent jersey and cycling shoes with a srichurnam – a red line of lime and turmeric paste – on his forehead, Ramanujar Moulana has followed exactly the same route every day for the past four decades … until now. For the past few weeks there’s been a new stop on his agenda: India’s first cycle cafe. Nestled in Kotturpuram, a plush neighbourhood in the south of Tamil Nadu’s state capital, is the Ciclo Cafe. It boasts a cycle spa, where riders can watch their bike get washed while they drink their coffee, a reading area stocked with books on cycling, and decor fashioned from bike parts – cycle-chain chandeliers and table legs made from front forks. A retail zone showcases high-end brands like Bianchi, Cannondale, Mongoose and Schwinn. “There is more to Chennai than ancient temples, Carnatic music and filter coffee,” says Nidhi Kapoor Thadani, the co-founder of the cafe, who was partly inspired after a visit to Look Mum No Hands! in Shoreditch, east London. “Thanks to the many recreational cycling clubs in Chennai the city has a strong cycling culture.” Read more here!
Sunday, June 21, 2015
The number of cities offering bikeshare has increased rapidly, from just a handful in the late 1990s to over 800 currently. The paper Bikeshare: A Review of Recent Literature by Dr Elliot Fishman of the Institute for Sensible Transport provides a review of recent bikeshare literature. Several themes have begun to emerge from studies examining bikeshare. Convenience is the major motivator for bikeshare use. Financial savings has been found to motivate those on a low income and the distance one lives from a docking station is an important predictor for bikeshare membership. In a range of countries, it has been found that just under 50% of bikeshare members use the system less than once a month. Men use bikeshare more than women, but the imbalance is not as dramatic as private bike riding (at least in low cycling countries). Commuting is the most common trip purpose for annual members. Users are less likely than private cyclists to wear helmets, but in countries with mandatory helmet legislation, usage levels have suffered. Bikeshare users appear less likely to be injured than private bike riders. Future directions include integration with ebikes, GPS (global positioning system), dockless systems and improved public transport integration. Greater research is required to quantify the impacts of bikeshare, in terms of mode choice, emissions, congestion and health.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
A park on legs is how some describe it. The exceptional new pedestrian and cycle bridge in ʼs-Hertogenbosch that connects the historic city centre to the Paleiskwartier (Palace Quarter). This is a former warehouse district that now houses the court building, a number of universities of applied science and agriculture and a lot of new homes and offices. It is a garden bridge that was inspired by the Ponte Vecchio in Florence and the High Line in New York City. Initially the bridge would be called “Ponte Pallazzo” to indicate its Italian roots, but that was considered too fancy and over the top for a Dutch bridge. So a name giving contest was held and the winning name was… simply the Dutch translation: Paleisbrug (Palace bridge). The ‘Palace’ in that name relates to the high court that can be found in the area, which the Dutch refer to with the equivalent of ‘Palace of Justice’. The bridge across the railway line running from ʼs-Hertogenbosch further south had to be 250 metres long. Any bridge that long has the risk of becoming an unpleasant place. That is why the architects decided to make the bridge a ‘place’ even with free wifi. Read on here.
Friday, June 12, 2015
Normally Velo Mondial does not publish on technical stuff. For once we make an exception and now you can get insight in all EU rules and regulations on e-bike, pedelecs, speed pedelecs here. Bike Europe has gathered all EU regulations on e-bikes, pedelecs and speed pedelecs. In a on-line document they present a manageable overview on all you need to know on e-bike regulations. It offers guidelines on pressing issues when designing, developing, sourcing, distributing and selling e-bikes, pedelecs and speed pedelecs for European markets. 1: Technical rules on the new type-approval procedure; find full text of all EU regulations here. Part 2: Machinery directive. Part 3: Electromagnetic compatibility. Part 4: RoHS directive.Part 5: Battery transportation. Part 6: Battery directive. Part 7: Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). Part 8: Reach; Read more on Reach here. The full document can be downloaded here.
Monday, June 8, 2015
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Delft is now one of the Dutch cities with a bicycle parking facility to park 5,000 bicycles at the railway station. The symbiosis of the train and the bicycle is very successful in The Netherlands. The train covers a lot of distance fast and the bicycle makes it easy to reach many destinations in the last kilometre. The dense cycle grid and the perfect bicycle parking possibilities make the train-bicycle combination very competitive with the private car and it is therefore a vital element in the Dutch transportation system. Intercity trains run every 15 minutes in a large part of the country. This will be increased to every 10 minutes in the not so distant future. That is why much of the train-infrastructure is being updated extensively now. Many train stations have been or are being enlarged and renewed and a lot of lines get more tracks. Soon the Dutch train network will feel even more like a nationwide metro system.Many people are very pleased with how the station became. Delft is a city with many students, also foreign students, and two of these made a very entertaining video on the opening day. Noteworthy is their struggle with the upper-rack. But they get it in the end as well! Read more here
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Anyone who has ever tried to make their way through the centre of Amsterdam in a car knows it: the city is owned by cyclists. They hurry in swarms through the streets, unbothered by traffic rules, taking precedence whenever they want, rendering motorists powerless by their sheer numbers. Cyclists rule in Amsterdam and great pains have been taken to accommodate them: the city is equipped with an elaborate network of cycle-paths and lanes, so safe and comfortable that even toddlers and elderly people use bikes as the easiest mode of transport. It’s not only Amsterdam which boasts a network of cycle-paths, of course; you’ll find them in all Dutch cities. The Dutch take this for granted; they even tend to believe these cycle-paths have existed since the beginning of time. But that is certainly not the case. There was a time, in the 1950s and 60s, when cyclists were under severe threat of being expelled from Dutch cities by the growing number of cars. Only thanks to fierce activism and a number of decisive events would Amsterdam succeed in becoming what it is, unquestionably, now: the bicycle capital of the world. Read on here. And when done read much more here.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Cities around the world are coming to the same conclusion: they’d be better off with far fewer cars. So what’s behind this seismic shift in our urban lifestyles? Gilles Vesco from Lyon calls it the “new mobility”. It’s a vision of cities in which residents no longer rely on their cars but on public transport, shared cars and bikes and, above all, on real-time data on their smartphones. Birmingham, which vies with Manchester for the title of England’s second city, has been following the experience of Lyon and other European cities closely, and is now embarking on its own 20-year plan called Birmingham Connected, to reduce dependence on cars. For a city so associated in the public mind with car manufacturing, this is quite a step. London, which has pioneered congestion charging and has a well-integrated system of public transport, has led the move away from cars over the past decade, during which time 9% of car commuters have switched to other forms of transport. Helsinki has a vision of how the city will look in 2050. It will have a lot more people – the population is projected to rise by 50% – but with much less dependence on cars. And much, much more here.
The number of cities offering bikeshare has increased rapidly, from just a handful in the late 1990s to over 800 currently (note:VM estimates 600). This paper provides a review of recent bikeshare literature. Several themes have begun to emerge from studies examining bikeshare. Convenience is the major motivator for bikeshare use. Financial savings has been found to motivate those on a low income and the distance one lives from a docking station is an important predictor for bikeshare membership. In a range of countries, it has been found that just under 50% of bikeshare members use the system less than once a month. Men use bikeshare more than women, but the imbalance is not as dramatic as private bike riding (at least in low cycling countries). Commuting is the most common trip purpose for annual members. Users are less likely than private cyclists to wear helmets, but in countries with mandatory helmet legislation, usage levels have suffered. Bikeshare users appear less likely to be injured than private bike riders. Future directions include integration with e-bikes, GPS (global positioning system), dockless systems and improved public transport integration. Greater research is required to quantify the impacts of bikeshare, in terms of mode choice, emissions, congestion and health. Read on here.