Thursday, October 27, 2011


It’s finally possible! Driving a car inside Amsterdam without the high costs of owning a car or the bother with parking. And with hardly any CO2 discharge. Electric driving is going to get a big boost in the coming years, partly thanks to ‘Amsterdam Elektrisch’. Logical, because it’s cleaner, quieter and saves energy. No wonder that Amsterdam is the first city in Europe where 300 car2go electric smarts are used. Where you can now use them 24/7. The basic point is clear: electrical car use in the city without bother. Reserve a car? Not necessary. A subscription? Not necessary. Take the car back to a depot or to where you got in? Not necessary. Bring it back before a certain time? Not necessary. You just get in where you want and drive off. You can also park anywhere, completely free. Car2go means flexible car use inside the operating area. You only pay for the number of minutes you use the car. Everything is included in the fee, electricity, parking, service costs, insurance and road tax. You move about quickly and comfortably with a car2go. And you contribute to a better quality of life in our city. Is this what you want as well?

NRGSPOT Amsterdam

The JCDecaux city furniture operator and energy company Eneco have deployed a new kind of information kiosk in Amsterdam’s Rembrandtplein. The kiosk also serves as a charging station for electrical bicycles, mopeds and scooters. Consumers owning a so-called “OV chip card” or some other RFID-pass are able to recharge their electrically powered vehicles there free of charge. If this pilot turns out to be a success, the city can be equipped with many new charging stations which won’t require any extra municipal space . The installation of this commercial information kiosk, named NRGSPOT, is part of a pilot-project of  JCDecaux en Eneco. The increasing popularity of electrically powered transport requires a growing need for charging station in the capital city. The NRGSPOT makes the most efficient use of public space since it combines various functions in only one object. Thus hundreds of new charging stations can be created without requiring extra space. Amsterdam has been chosen as a suitable municipality for implementing this pilot since it leads the country in the area of electrical transport. Read more here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Minneapolis versus Portland!

Despite its cold weather and spread-out development patterns, a Midwestern city beat Portland, San Francisco and Boulder for the title of #1 Bike City. Jay Walljasper explains how. People across the country were surprised last year when Bicycling magazine named Minneapolis America's #1 Bike City, beating out Portland, Oregon, which had claimed the honor for many years. Shock that a place in the heartland could outperform cities on the coasts was matched by widespread disbelief that biking was even possible in a state famous for its ferocious winters. But this skepticism fades with a close look at the facts. Close to four percent of Minneapolis residents bike to work according to census data. That’s an increase of 33 percent since 2007, and 500 percent since 1980. At least one-third of those commuters ride at least some days during the winter, according to federally funded research conducted by Bike Walk Twin Cities. Even on the coldest days about one-fifth are out on their bikes. Minneapolis also launched the first large-scale bikesharing sytem in U.S.—called Nice Ride — and boasts arguably the nation's finest network of off-street bicycle trails. Read much more here in Planetizen.

Friday, October 7, 2011

30km per hour maximum speed

Today marks a decisive day in the push for 30 km/h speed limits throughout Europe. The European Parliament adopted a resolution in which it “strongly recommends the responsible authorities to introduce speed limits of 30 km/h in all residential areas and on single-lane roads in urban areas which have no separate cycle lanes. This resolution is part of a wide range of measures to halve Europe’s 31,000 annual road fatalities by 2020. The number of kids that walk or cycle to school has decreased from 82% to 14% within the last 30 years. Injuries fall by 25% when 50 km/h zones are redesigned for 30 km/h according to the Dutch research institute SWOV.  An EU-wide survey conducted in 2010 showed overwhelming support for 30 km/h zones with 78% of EU drivers citing excessive speed as a major safety concern.  The Institute of Advanced Motorists from the UK released a poll last month in which two thirds of its members supported the adoption of 20mph (32.19km/h) speed limits. As for enforcing these speed limits, the Parliament has also requested the European Commission draft a proposal and timetable to fit vehicles with “intelligent speed assistance” (ISA). Read more here.