Monday, January 19, 2009

Amsterdam: more cycle than car trips

The bicycle is the most used transportation means in inner Amsterdam. In the period 2005-2007, citizens of Amsterdam took on average 0.87 trips per day with the bicycle and 0.84 trips by car. The bicycle is now, for the first time, being used more than the car. In 2006, all citizens of Amsterdam made jointly about 2 million trips per day. This is 8% less than in 1990. The reduction is lower because the number of trips per person per day is gone down from 3.6 to 3.1. Especially within the so-called inner (old) city the number of trips takes off. The number of car trips is has dropped by -14% in all city areas, whereas the cycling trips only has risen within the inner city (+36%). In the center, the bicycle becomes used mostly (41% against on average 28%) and the car the least (18% against on average 28%). The restrictive parking policy that has been led since the years '90 clearly has its effects.

New York City Wins the Sustainable Transport Award 2009

New York beat the likes of Beijing, Istanbul, Mexico City, Milan to win the 2009 Sustainable Transport Award. The Award was awarded on January 13, 2009 by a jury composed of ITDP, Embarq, CAI-Asia, GTZ, UNCRD, UITP, ICLEI and Environmental Defense.Throughout 2008, the city continued to implement PlaNYC 2030, its comprehensive long-term sustainability vision. The city took 49 acres of road space, traffic lanes and parking spots away from cars and gave that space back to the public for bike lanes, pedestrian areas, and public plazas. Protected on street bike lanes were part of the 140 miles (255 kilometers) of bike lanes implemented. Bike ridership has increased by 35 percent over the past year. Over 98,000 trees were planted, a select bus service was implemented, car free Sundays introduced. As part of its standard operations, the city’s Department of Transport also recycles 40 percent of its asphalt. Although not successful, the city pushed for congestion charging, a first for US city and now other cities are considering it. Read more about this all.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Walking and Cycling in England

"The fact is, however, that the people who most need to walk and cycle are the least likely to do so. People from the lowest socio-economic groups have the highest inactivity levels. Yet despite the fact that walking and cycling are the cheapest and most accessible form of exercise known to humankind, physical and mental barriers, such as the mis perception that it can be ‘unsafe’ or time consuming, prevents people living in the most deprived areas from traveling actively in their own neighborhoods. The Travel Actively projects are set up so that people living in some of the most deprived areas benefit from the expert-designed program. We deliver projects underpinned by a simple and pragmatic goal; to demonstrate that, from the bus stop stroll to the three mile circuit, walking and cycling is as flexible and unique as the person doing it and it can be incorporated into people’s daily lives". says Tom Franklin, CEO of the Ramblers’ Association in Travel Actively. Much more you can read in a report from Active Travel Consortium that addresses health and wellbeing through regular walking and cycling across England.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Spicycles Final Report Planning for Cycling

The Final Report on Planning for Cycling has been drawn up collecting information from all the partner cities in regards to the urban context, to the structure of the town and the characteristics of the transport system in particular regarding cycling subsystem. The high variability of the different contexts has been the greatest difficulty since they can be very small such for example Ploiesti but also very large like Rome and Berlin. Another problematic, finding good homogeneous reports in order to plan cycling inside the cities, is linked to the different sustainable politics on transportation among the several partners.The analysis of detailed activities implemented by the partners, showed that the different characteristics of the urban context influenced the resulted actions. In fact big towns such as Berlin and Rome focused planned the use of bicycles in relation with public transport, with the approach of developing the planning of journeys either using the cycles from origin towards interchange nodes or using public transport from interchange nodes until the final destination. Differently from cities above, smaller cities like Ploiesti developed the planning of bicycle use (and infrastructures related to) from the origin until the final destination. Read the full report with results here.

Spicycles Final Report on Bike Sharing

Bike sharing systems in urban areas usually differ from traditional bicycle rental services since they are rather offers for daily mobility than leisure oriented systems. In contrast to those conventional renting schemes, bike sharing systems can be used one-way for either monomodal or intermodal trips. As a flexible mobility option they can be considered as an additional part of public transport systems. A long list of possible benefits makes bike sharing attractive for municipal
organisations as well as for businesses. First of all, the increasing price of natural resources especially for oil necessitates thinking about sustainability, efficient use of resources and development of new innovative solutions. Furthermore, the increasing urbanisation brings the necessity to think about alternative transport concepts. Growing density of the population in cities intensifies the problem of insufficient infrastructures. Those infrastructures can only be enlarged to a certain level. Thus, new ways and concepts for an efficient use of the existing infrastructures have to be found. Bike sharing also offers an economic effect for cities and individuals. bike sharing can be seen as an environmentally friendly service to support the modernity and individuality of a city. A further long term effect is the overall increase of awareness for cycling and sustainable transport modes. More of this in the Final Report that you can read here.

Spicycles Final Report on Local Partnerships

Partnership-building has clearly formed an important element of the implementation of the
measures realised during the project. The key findings are quite varied, reflecting the specific context of each city’s actions. Nevertheless, it is possible to define a “win-win” scenario: Making cycling visible by practical actions helps to develop the stakeholder platform. The SPICYCLES experience suggests that this is better done in a step-by-step manner than in trying to develop an all-encompassing Master Plan in one go. As the partnership-building progresses, the ambition and the level of integration can be increased. Once the platform is functioning for key actions such as infrastructures planning and communication, then the Master Plan can help to improve the level of integration of the specific actions. There is evidence to suggest that cities with an active stakeholder framework are able to achieve a more intensive implementation of actions. Hence, it is recommended that partnership-building form a key element of any city’s cycling action plan – whatever stage of development the city finds itself with regard to cycling promotion. Read more in their comprehensive final report here.

Final Report Communication & Awareness

The share of cycling in the world is increasing. Spicycles is one of the Intelligent Energy Europe STEER projects that aim to demonstrate that the share of cycling can be increased even more. Colleague projects in Europe's STEER are Bypad and Astute; many other projects work parallel to strengthen the efforts. Actions in Barcelona, Berlin, Bucharest, Göteborg, Ploiesti and Rome focus on bicycle communication through different marketing campaigns and improved cycling information. The overall goal is to encourage the use of cycling which will raise peoples' awareness, create a change in travel behavior and raise the status of the bicycle to become an attractive mode of transport. At the same time, other beneficial aspects, such as health, environment and safety are being highlighted. In order to encourage the use of cycling, activities such as marketing campaigns and improved cycling information have been carried out for all of the cities. However, the activities carried out and how they are carried out differ for each city as the prerequisites for working with cycling are very different. Here you will find the final report of the Communication and Awareness group.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Velo Mondial: The premier global sustainable mobility and cycling network

Velo Mondial has been promoting cycling as a positive mode of transport in the last 10 years. In various projects that we have been reporting about at our site and blog, we have been active in bringing cycling at the position where it is now: one of strong and positive opportunities for a world looking for sustainability. We will continue with organizing the most relevant global conferences on sustainable mobility and cycling as we have done in the past. We will cooperate with Europe based cycling conferences like Velo-City and the American conferences, and primarily we will continue to work with local governments and with knowledge based oriented organizations. In the future we will focus on sustainable mobility, with cycling as one of its prime opportunities. We will bring with us, all our experiences that we gathered in past projects. Now we will be working on: CIVITAS PLUS MIMOSA: Making Innovation in Mobilityand Sustainable Actions; in Gdansk, Talinn, Funchal, Bologna and Utrecht; Promoting a safer position for vulnerable road users in Brazil and India with a number of international partners.Amsterdam Cycling to Sustainability with a focus on knowledge and with ambitions to set up the Amsterdam International Academy for Sustainable Mobility. Hudson 400 with a global Conference in Amsterdam on Sustainable Mobility and with a Design Battle in New York. We will focus on systematically gathering information on sustainable mobility and make it available in innovative ways, as soon as it becomes available on our various websites.