Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Amsterdam moet veilig worden voor onze fietsende kinderen!

Wij, bezorgde ouders van Amsterdam, constateren: Steeds weer worden Amsterdamse kinderen slachtoffer in het drukke Amsterdamse verkeer. Dat is absoluut onacceptabel. Er moet nú iets gebeuren. Onze kinderen móeten veilig van en naar school kunnen fietsen. Nog steeds is fietsveiligheid geen speerpunt van beleid en door gebrek aan centrale aansturing krijgt dit onderwerp niet de aandacht die het in Amsterdam verdient. Met doden en gewonden tot gevolg. Daarom hebben we, als bezorgde ouders, een tienpuntenplan opgesteld. Met deze maatregelen willen we van Amsterdam een veiligere fietsstad maken. Wij roepen u op deze maatregelen met de hoogste prioriteit uit te voeren. In het belang van de Amsterdamse kinderen, in het belang van Amsterdam. en verzoeken Maak de veiligheid van onze kinderen speerpunt van uw beleid. En ga over tot het uitvoeren van het volgende tienpuntenplan

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New York, Paris new bicycle cities

Word Streets interviewed Paul White from Transportation Alternative and concluded the interview with some lessons for New York from the Paris experience with Critical Mass Bike Rides over these last years. And even though the basic cultures are so different, here are a few thoughts that come to mind:
1. Transportation professionalism.
2. Iron discipline
3. Be there or be square
4. Have your man in City Hall
5. Be your own good cop
6. Communicate like a winner
At the same time New York's Commissioner for transport Janette Sadik-Khan closed off part of Times Square, a brave act with a massive impact. Read more in the New York Times. Also the Summer Streets Program 2009 will give New Yorkers a chance to see carfree streets. Much of the Park Avenue will have no traffic at all on three Saturdays this summer, as the city shuts down 6.9 miles of Manhattan roadway in a reprise of last year’s Summer Streets program.
The Battery Park at the tip of Manhattan will be using Acorn Cycles “bakfietsen” (Dutch for “bucket bikes”) to turn the park into a “green zone”, with less unnecessary green house gas emissions. By doing this the park wants to set the example for a sustainable solution for transportation in all US parks.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Finally a World Health Report on Road Safety; long overdue

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Monday its first global report on road safety worldwide. The news is grim. The report is based on data drawn from a survey of 178 countries. It concludes that something on the order of 1.3 million people are dying in traffic accidents each year, that this number is accelerating, and that anywhere from 20 to 50 million people are injured as a result of traffic crashes. If you check out their five minute video on this page, you will hear them reminding us that these numbers sum to one person being injured in traffic every second, and someone dying -- being killed rather is a more accurate way to state it -- every thirty seconds. Of these totals roughly half (46%) of the victims killed on streets and roads worldwide are pedestrians, cyclists, and riders of motorized two wheelers – the most vulnerable road users. Dr. Kelly Henning, director of global health programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies, the foundation that has sponsored and paid for the work behind the report, recommends that the answer lies in more laws and better enforcement of them. Read more here or go to the WHO page for details. You can also click on the picture.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

New York here we come

Luud Schimmelpennink, the winner of the first Amsterdam Cycling to Sustainability Pioneer Award wrote a nice article in Worldstreets. His opening paragraph: "Back in the 1960s, when I was young, and I thought smart, the idea occurred to me and some of my friends that bicycles were surely the best way for people to get around cities. We could see that for ourselves every day on the streets of Amsterdam. However as we thought about it, it struck us that something was missing. So we came up with something we called the White Bicycles. Free bikes".He ends with writing: "But here in closing is my final, respectful and a bit less direct message which I should like to share with all of you in Washington who have been charged by President Obama with the responsibility of creating sustainable transportation projects, sustainable cities and sustainable lives for people of all economic and social classes across the United States. Do not shy away from an idea just because it may at first glance strike you as a bit crazy. Sometimes that is the way it is with a new idea that really could make a difference. So before automatically saying no, just because the idea strikes you at first as untenable, get comfortable, sit back and think it through from the beginning. You may find that within it are the germs of a great idea. A benevolent virus.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Velib Paris changes more than just Paris

The JCDecaux Vélib bike scheme in Paris was responsible for what had almost every Capital in the world contemplating about public bike hire schemes. Since July 2007 Paris was all of a sudden the world capital of rental bikes. Once again the bicycle was in the spotlight as the healthy, zero-emission alternative for the traffic congestion most big cities are struggling with. The first statistics show the success of the Vélib in Paris: every bike is being rented on average ten times a day and around 300,000 people, mainly Parisians, have already taken annual subscriptions. There is more to come as a growing number of cities are setting up self-service rental bike schemes. Chicago is interested, as well as Moscow, Washington, Geneva, Roma, Beijing and Sydney. Read more about the public bicycle in 'Cycling on the rise' by Spicycles. The public bicycle system is also having a huge effect on the sales for bicycles around the world. The offering in bikes is dominated by sports orientated bikes like MTBs and road racers. With the biggest cities in the world implementing rental bike schemes, the demand for City, Trekking and folding bikes is growing and with that also the demand for hassle-free transmission systems. Also the 'standard rental' bikes market is increasing. Read more in Bike Europe.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Shopping by Free Bike in San Sebastian

To promote cycling as a normal means of transport for shopping, the city of Donostia-San Sebastián, is giving away 170 free bicycles to people that shop in the city centre. The campaign was launched on the 20th of May when shops in the city centre started handing out “scratch & win” cards to customers. On the 6th of June, 170 happy cyclists ride off on their new black bikes equipped with a useful basket to carry their groceries. The “go shopping on your bicycle” campaign is an initiative of the city of Donostia-San Sebastián and the shopkeepers associations of Zaharrean and Centro Erdi. The shops that are members of the associations are handing out scratch & win cards to their clients. The bicycles are handed out to the lucky winners during a joint event on Saturday morning 6th of June at a time when there are lots of people shopping in the city centre.The campaign supports the package of CIVITAS measures on cycling being implemented in the city of Donostia-San Sebastián. Within CIVITAS the bicycle lane network will be extended and new bicycle parking facilities will be developed. In 2009 450 meters of new exclusive bicycle lane was added on Xabier Lizardi street. Read More.