Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Italy takes cycling serioulsy

On September 25; just two hours after the start of Italy’s second bike buying incentive scheme already 2,000 bicycles were sold with a total government subsidy of 230,000 euro! On September 18, at the opening of the 67th EICMA International Bicycle Exhibition show Italy’s Minister of the Environment Stefania Prestigiacomo announced that the government has allocated another 7.6 million euro to spur consumer purchases of bicycles; earlier the Italian government granted in total 11.4 million euro as incentives for buying bikes. These millions (which were also allocated to spur people to buy new and more environmental friendly scooters and motorcycles), resulted in about 40,000 bikes extra sold in Italy. The extra 7.6 million is however expected to raise an even much better sales score of 70,000 bikes. Italy’s Minister of the Environment Prestigiacomo stressed at the start of the campaign the importance to dedicate government funds for the development of cycling paths and routes. She pointed to the fact that most of the thousands villages and cities in Italy have old city centers which are ideal for bicycles and e-Bikes! Read on.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

And the winner is ......

It was Saturday night in the meatpacking district. The velvet ropes were out; a rumbling bass pulsed out of every club. Well, nearly every club. At Cielo, which says on its Web site that it is “purpose-built for dancing with a centrally located sunken dance floor,” no one was shaking it. Instead, a rapt crowd, many of them sitting on the purpose-built dance floor, watched two teams of Dutch and American designers make pleas for their plans to improve bicycle riding in New York City. A slow-turning disco ball cast speckled light across the audience, but all eyes were on a pair of monitors on a stage and Team Amsterdam’s presenter. “You think that’s enough greenways?” Michael Mandiberg, a Brooklyn-based artist and designer, asked the crowd as he pulled up a map of Manhattan, its West Side and East Side bike paths highlighted. Mr. Mandiberg and 11 other designers, architects, planners and bike thinkers from the United States and the Netherlands were in the final competition stage of the New Amsterdam Bike Slam. After days of touring the city on bikes and brainstorming to create a vision to spur a million more cyclists onto New York’s streets, the two teams were coming into the final stretch and pitching their plans.