Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Europa Mobility Academy

Soon to be expected!

A first: the LA Bicycle Coral

Los Angeles will finally get a bicycle corral, thanks to a unanimous vote by the City Council this afternoon. A pilot project funded by the business community and local neighborhood council, the corral will hold up to 20 bicycles in front of Cafe de Leche on York Boulevard at Avenue 50. "We expect that this will be a success and that people will want to have" corrals in their neighborhoods, said Councilman Jose Huizar, who wrote the motion. "Hopefully the Department of Transportation could find additional funds should we expand this... When you make it more convenient, both for businesses and customers alike, that's when people are going to start using bicycles more often." Council member Bill Rosendahl, who heads up the city's Transportation Committee, exclaimed he was shocked that this was going to be the city's first one. "Let's just hope it's the beginning of these corrals throughout the city," he said, noting that he looks forward to parking his bike in a corral on Venice Boulevard in the future. "This is a new day for us in the city of Los Angeles. Finally, bicycling is getting the respect, at least at that spot." Huizar thanked the bicycling community for making the corral a reality. "It is through your activism, advocacy and involvement that we've been able to do this."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Abu Dhabi goes cycling and walking, light rail and roads

As part of efforts to reduce traffic congestion and build an efficient transportation system, the Abu Dhabi government is expected to spend $68 billion (Dh249.7 billion) on public transport schemes between now and 2015. A large area of focus in Abu Dhabi's transportation plan is the introduction of more than 40 metro stations which will handle 40,000 to 70,000 travellers per day. The Abu Dhabi Urban Street Design Manual has been developed by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) in cooperation with Abu Dhabi's Department of Transport, (DoT), to lessen congestion and reduce dependence on motor vehicles by implementing a public transit network including high speed rail and rapid transit options such as trams and buses. In addition, a system of new and redesigned streets will emphasise high quality urban design and cater to all modes of transport including cycle tracks and bicycle lanes. In line with UPC's 2030 vision to create innovative street designs that will provide a choice of movement by walking, cycling and public transport modes, the DoT expects to invest about $82 billion in Abu Dhabi's transport network, including the construction of roads and a light rail.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


“When I lived in Tokyo I cycled through the city to work and on the weekends rode up the mountains around the city. Tokyo, with its frequent and punctual trains, capsule hotels, high population densities, and vending machines, opened my mind to new possibilities. I came up with the idea of a bicycle monorail network while teaching a class in which the topic for discussion was transport solutions. The idea of riding above the traffic jams on multi-level rails seemed to me the only possible way that Tokyo’s millions of residents could move around the city quickly and safely. It had the added advantages of being environmentally friendly and offering an aerobic workout". To Geoff Barnett, Shweeb Inventor, this was a project that he could, if I put his mind to it, make happen.” Shweeb originated from the desire to create a solution which provided the user with the same flexibility and comfort offered by the car but without the consequential costs - both direct financial and indirect health and environmental costs. By integrating the unique properties of monorail and recumbent cycle technologies, Shweeb delivers now a personal, efficient, and cost-effective transport solution with applications for urban commuting, recreational and fitness markets. The prototype site has attracted widespread media coverage and global interest. Discussions are currently taking place with a view to delivering the  phase I products of Racetracks, Scenic and A-B links in the near future.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Amsterdammers vote for Charlie in fierce Rack debate

Who says bike racks have to always be a U or M shaped piece of metal frame? Former Talking Heads music group co-founder and New York City based artist David Byrne has created some awesome bike rack installations in shapes including the dollar sign, a car and a guitar among other things. And in a stroke of genius, the racks are contextually installed. That means the steel dollar design is at Wall Street, the guitar design named ‘Hipster’ is in Williamsburg, while a stiletto shaped shoe rack found itself outside Bergdorf Goodman. The car shaped silhouette finds its home at the entrance to Lincoln Tunnel. Read on here. Charlie Sorrel writes: Call me a Luddite, but there are a few things in the world that probably don’t need to be redesigned. One of those is the bike-rack: The current inverted-U works just fine. It takes up minimal space, is instantly recognizable and yet blends in to the street, it is secure and easy to use. And perhaps even more importantly, it is familiar. Those of you who have been faced with a fancy new rack design know what I mean: your usual streamlined, practiced and almost unconscious locking routine is interrupted and you need to spend quite a while changing it. Read more here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

e-Bike Market becomes Mass Market

The recently formed British Electric Bike Association (BEBA) is predicting dramatic growth for the UK e-Bike market this year, with further sales acceleration in the years to come. Halfords, Evans Cycles, Tesco and Argos are all selling and promoting e-Bikes in the UK while BEBA is about to start a major promotion of e-Bikes to independent bike dealers. “We are confident that sales jumped from 15,000 in 2008 to over 20,000 in 2009 and I predict the UK will hit 30,000 units quite comfortably in 2010,” says BEBA secretary and co-founder Mark Loveridge. Loveridge works for Ultramotor who recently pulled off a major e-Bike coup by doing a deal to sell two of their products in Halfords’ shops throughout the country. Ultramotor are now supplying Halfords with two models of Urbanmover e-Bikes; the UM ‘Electric Mountain Bike’ at GBP 849.99 and the UM Sprite at GBP 649.99. Halfords have actually been selling both Urban Movers via their website since last summer, but only put them in their shops in March 2010, complete with publicity posters. Read further in Bike Europe

Snazy Innovations

Bike sharing is bursting out all over, and Paris' Vélib system was the urban bike sharing breakthrough that really started this fast-spreading trend. In México City there's now Ecobici (1,100 bikes); in Teheran there's Bike House (around 425 bikes), in India there's FreMo (100 bikes), and in Denver the much-hyped B-cycle will kick off on Earth Day. And what does the father of bike sharing, Luud Schimmelpinnink - he conceived the White Bicycle system back in 1965 - think of all this? While happy that elements of his vision for bike-based inner-city travel is coming true globally, Schimmelpennink is eager for the fourth generation of urban bike sharing to appear, and (surprise!) he's got a design for a system that integrates the features that many believe will grace bike sharing and urban biking's future. Schimmelpennink's design for a sturdy bike for Amsterdam and other bike-friendly cities is based on a pedal-assist electric bike with a chainless shaft drive and a hub motor in the back wheel.The rest of the bike's electronics are neatly hidden in the frame tubing. Schimmelpennink said electric assist is necessary in the next generation of bikes for a couple of reasons. The first is to appeal to a wider field of riders - while Amsterdam is generally flat and has a fairly small inner city loaded with bike lanes, in other cities hills are a minor to intermediate challenge for riders.In addition, however, the electric component of the bike is important for system maintenance and control. When the bike leaves a designated city area, the system can via GPS find the bike and reduce power to to the pedals, making it difficult to ride. Read more in Tree Hugger.