Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2015 Winter Cycling Congress Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

The first Winter Cycling Congress took place in February 2013 when winter cycling enthusiast gathered in Oulu, Finland, to discuss and experience winter cycling. The participants and organizers soon realized that much more work was needed to further the research and achievements of projects relating to winter cycling. The Winter Cycling Federation was thus created. After Oulu, Finland, in 2013, and Winnipeg, Canada, in 2014, the Congress will be held in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands in 2015. Leeuwarden is located in the northern province of Frysl├ón. Winter Cycling Congress 2015 Leeuwarden is about uniting hearty souls from communities of all climates, sizes and levels of bicycle development who share the ambition to make two-wheeled travel normal, even when the snow flies. Using the perspective of all different types of professionals – from engineers to planners to journalists and more – we are planning a conference meant to show winter cycling is more than a sustainable solution for transporting people, it is also a way to develop a culture and built environment supporting the health, wealth and happiness of many people. Read more about this here and meet me there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Southwark leads the way in London


The 'Southwark Spine' is the centrepiece of the council's new draft cycling strategy, which will be officially launched for public consultation next week. "We have a clear vision for cycling in our borough and this strategy forms a key part of delivering that vision," says Cllr Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transport. "We are committed to increasing levels of cycling in Southwark whilst making it safer for everyone. We want cycling to become commonplace – just another way of getting round and as easy as walking. "We have seen levels of cycling increase in our borough in recent years. We want to build on this and provide the infrastructure, education and information to get even more people cycling. We want to hear from our residents, particularly those who don't currently cycle, to find out what changes we need to make to get them cycling. "We will unlock a cycling network in our borough, starting with a new north-south Southwark Spine route that will run the entire length of our borough. This will complement existing plans for cycle superhighways and quietways, forming the basis of a comprehensive cycling grid. By working together we can significantly increase the number of people cycling from all backgrounds." Read on here.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Is This The World's Best Bike-Share Bike?

The Danish capital has reinvented bike sharing. Its new fleet of electric,Wi-Fi-connected bikes are designed to get more non-cyclists to ride. "When [the city and partners] began a process of upgrading the existing bike-share system, they took a look at systems in cities like Paris, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Barcelona," says Torben Aagaard, CEO and co-founder of Gobike, the company supplying the new bike. "They wanted to have a system that was even better than all the existing examples they could see." The new bikes, which began rolling out earlier this year, aren't cheap to make, but each detail is designed to lower the barrier to ride. A theft-proof tablet attached to the handlebars offers navigation (far easier than trying to read a tiny smartphone screen), and has built-in links to the rest of the city's transportation system. If you want to check train times and get directions to a particular station, you push a button. The new system launched in March with 250 bikes, and will grow to over 1,800 by next year. Gobike is planning similar systems in Barcelona. Read on here.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Floating cycle path proposed for London's River Thames

A proposal for a new east-west cycleway that would float on the River Thames has been unveiled by a consortium of architects, artists and engineers formed to promote the development of better cycling links inLondon. The Thames Deckway aims to provide a solution to the British capital's "deep-seated traffic and pollution problems". Proposed for a 12 kilometre stretch from Battersea in the west to Canary Wharf in the east, the cycleway would run close to the south bank of the river – away from the main water navigation channel. The project by River Cycleway Consortium Ltd would provide a car-free route and potentially slash the journey time from end to end to half an hour by bike. "London needs to think outside the box of conventional solutions to solve its deep-seated traffic and pollution problems," said the company in a statement. "The Thames offers vast, untapped potential to ease and improve London's infrastructure problems. What is needed is imagination to unleash it." Velo Mondial comments that this plan has the same base idea as "cycling utopia" above London's railways which is not realistic when not connected to a city cycling network.  A London Cycling Network should have first priority. Read on here. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Chennai: Promoting walking, cycling, rickshaws, pushcarts

The Chennai Corporation Council on Tuesday approved a non-motorised transport (NMT) policy to promote walking, cycling, cycle rickshaws, pushcarts and other forms of mobility powered by humans. The civic body has set a target of increasing the mode share for pedestrians and cyclists to at least 40 per cent by 2018. It will also implement policy decisions towards a reduction in the number of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities to zero per annum. The public transport mode share is expected to be 60 per cent of motorised trips by 2018. While at least 80 per cent of streets will have footpaths in five years, at least 80 per cent of those with a right-of-way of over 30 metre will have an unobstructed, segregated, continuous cycle track of two-metre width, the draft policy stated. The Corporation will also take initiatives to promote cycling and walking by creating a safe network of footpaths, cycle tracks, greenways and other facilities. Streets will be designed in accordance with the best in pedestrian-oriented, multi-modal designs, and will incorporate appropriate environmental planning and water management techniques. Read on here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Urban mobility in the smart city age

A smart city is an efficient city, a livable city, as well as an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable city. This vision can be realised today, using innovative operational and information technology, and leveraging meaningful and reliable real-time data generated by citizens and city infrastructure. However, an unprecedented scale of change is needed for cities to become more efficient, attractive, inclusive and competitive. This change will require a new paradigm, which looks at the fabric of cities in a totally new way. This, in turn, requires a breakthrough in how cities, businesses, citizens and academia think and work together. The transition towards smarter cities is about reinventing cities, such that: • citizens are no longer considered as users, but as key stakeholders; • technology is no longer looked at as a static asset, but as a dynamic enabler; • business is no longer viewed as a provider, but as a partner; • the notion of urban evolution is replaced by one of transformation. Read on in URBAN MOBILITY IN  THE SMART CITY AGE and find out how Velo Mondial thinks, as well as a growing number of people and institutions.

Monday, September 29, 2014

London cycling lanes face opposition from Transport for London

Senior figures at Transport for London (TfL) believe Boris Johnson is trying to rush through his plans for segregated cycle lanes in London too quickly, Politics.co.uk can reveal. The London mayor has promised to build a series of segregated cycle routes across London over ten years. The plans are broadly supported by cyclists but are meeting stiff opposition from motoring and business groups, who believe the lanes will cause congestion. A senior source at TfL told Politics.co.uk that they were concerned that the mayor's cycling ambassador Andrew Gilligan had not effectively explained the policy to Londoners."It's not a bad policy as long as you communicate to people what it entails and I'm not sure that's been done," they said. The source described Mr Gilligan as a "zealot" and suggested that he had failed to convince anyone beyond those already persuaded by the need for the new segregated cycle lanes. They pointed to new figures showing the mayor's cycle superhighways will delay other journeys across London by up to 16 minutes on some routes. Read more here. For London planners, read: 'Enabling Cycling Cities, Ingredients for success' where preventing this problem is addressed. 


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rome was not built in one day; nor shall London's cycling network

Boris Johnson cycle superhighway plans are cut and delayed. While his allies rally round his flagship project, other elements of the London mayor’s “cycling vision” are being quietly dropped or slowed down With media attention firmly focussed on the 18-mile, east-west “Crossrail for bikes” and concerns that this ambitious scheme is being forced through too fast in order to make Boris Johnson look good before he formally steps down in 2016, two of the mayor’s other planned “cycle superhighways” have been dumped and others have been put back. In a written answer to a question from Green Party London Assembly member Darren Johnson, the mayor has confirmed that plans for a superhighway 6 (CS6) from Penge to the City and a superhighway 12 from East Finchley/Muswell Hill to Angel (CS12) “are now deleted from the programme”. Meanwhile, the latest Transport for London (TfL) operational and financial performance report shows that CS11, CS4 and an extension to the forthcoming CS5 are “scheduled to complete later than originally forecast”. Read on here.

Lambeth: a new public space

In response to residents’ feedback from consultation on the Loughborough Junction Plan, Lambeth Council are now working with the Loughborough Junction Action Group, local residents and architects DSDHA to develop proposals to improve the junction of Coldharbour Lane and Loughborough Road for pedestrians and cyclists and a new public space outside on Loughborough Road at Wyck Gardens. Bringing together other local initiatives such as the 7 Bridges project, the proposals aim to create a positive new public space in the heart of Loughborough Junction, helping to build the identity of the area to reflect the existing vibrant community and enhance the quality of life for local residents, businesses and visitors. The proposals would increase the amount of public space at the junction of Loughborough Road and Coldharbour Lane by reducing the width of the road. Conditions for cycling and walking would be greatly improved.The proposals would complement the area-wide proposals to create calmer residential streets with less through-traffic whilst maintaining access for residents, visitors, deliveries, the emergency services, cyclists and buses. Read on here.