Monday, January 25, 2010

More lists: More cycle friendly cities

According to a list by Virgin Vacations, who suggest they relied on a methodology developed by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB), known as The Bicycle Friendly Communities Campaign, which uses five criteria (engineering, encouragement, education, enforcement, plus evaluation and planning) to identify cities that actively support bicycling.Virgin Vacations lists the following eleven cities as being the most accessible and bike friendly. 1. Amsterdam, Netherlands 2. Portland, Oregon, USA 3. Copenhagen, Denmark 4. Boulder, Colorado, USA 5. Davis, California, USA 6. Sandnes, Norway 7. Trondheim, Norway 8. San Francisco, California, USA 9. Berlin, Germany 10. Barcelona, Spain 11. Basel, Switzerland. As with any list it would be easy to debate the relative merit of inclusion or ranking. But we think rather than quibble, it's more useful to read through the description of each city to learn more about their selection and using that info strive to make more cities bicycle friendly. Velo Mondial also has awards for cities in a variety of categories and we agree with Treehugger that this list means more to Virgin than to 'cycling'. We will continue to promote cycling in the context of sustainable mobility and we are proud of all the results achieved in the last 10 years. Velo Mondiale will continue to promote Amsterdam

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bicycle Batteries on the way to maturity

China’s Science and Technology Minister, Wan Gang has presented two e-Bicycles as a state present to US President Barack Obama and his Minister Steven Chu of the US Department of Energy. As a symbol of their competitive products, China has decided to present a lithium battery-powered e-Bike as state present to Barack Obama when he paid a visit to China, holding the Sino-American Clean Energy Technology Co-operation Committee. Both bikes are equipped with lithium batteries made by Suzhou Phylion. As one of the leading lithium battery suppliers Phylion’s sales volume has exceeded 400,000 units for e-Bikes only. In a statement Phylion says: “we enjoy a rapid growth and we are awarded by the Chinese government as one of 21 stars of the future. “Being selected as part of the “State Present” is not only an honour for us, but also a recognition for the whole lithium-ion battery industry. It will surely give more momentum to the development of Phylion as well as the lithium-ion battery industry.”The e-Bike is one of China’s most competitive industries with a volume of nearly 20 million units. It has become an important means of transport and has made an important contribution to energy saving. Source: Bike Europe

Monday, January 11, 2010

20 mph/ 30 kilometer zones

Road injuries are among the leading causes of loss of life and disability worldwide, and they are projected to make an increasingly important contribution to public health burdens over the coming decades. A study was published in The Bristish Journal of Medicine on the effect of 20 mph traffic speed zones on road injuries in London, 1986-2006.The objective was to quantify the effect of the introduction of 20 mph (32 km an hour) traffic speed zones on road collisions, injuries, and fatalities in London. The study is based on analysis of geographically coded police data on road casualties, 1986-2006. Analyses were made of longitudinal changes in counts of road injuries within each of 119,029 road segments with at least one casualty. Results: The introduction of 20 mph zones was associated with a 41.9% reduction in road casualties. The percentage reduction was greatest in younger children and greater for the category of killed or seriously injured casualties than for minor injuries. In areas adjacent to 20 mph zones casualties also fell slightly by an average of 8.0%. Conclusions 20 mph zones are effective measures for reducing road injuries and deaths. You can read more on this in detail here.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Where do I park my bike? The Danish approach

Where do I park my bicycle? Regrettably, accessible and satisfactory bicycle parking facilities are sometimes few and far between. This is due to the fact that, so far, good bicycle parking has been given far too little attention in Danish urban planning. And when bicycle parking has been included in the planning, not enough account has often been taken of the needs and requirements of cyclists and their patterns of behaviour. The result is often a bicycle parking facility which is not used. Denmark generally has a good network of bicycle paths, but when it comes to bicycle parking we lag hopelessly behind, especially when compared to the Netherlands. They are currently improving and enlarging their excellent bicycle parking facilities. In The Hague, with almost half a million inhabitants, a new facility with space for 14,000 bicycles is being planned at the main railway station! Denmark is a cycling country, and this should be demonstrated by bicycle parking facilities, too. Fortunately, town planners and politicians are focusing more on the issue. Good bicycle parking facilities may be what persuades commuters to travel by bicycle and public transport rather than jumping in the car. Bicycle parking can contribute to solving the growing problem of congestion. Read more here.