Monday, December 17, 2012

Dime-parking in Amsterdam abolished

Parking for a dime per hour will no longer be available from next year in a number of Amsterdam shopping streets. The 10-cent zones were introduced hoping to attract more shoppers But according to the municipality this has had no effect at all. In Bilderdijkstreet and 1st C. Huygensstraat instead of the 10-cent rate the standard rate will be applied again. Near sportsfields in Amsterdam East the 10-cent areas are maintained. The 10-cent zones were introduced to attract shoppers by car without having to pay the regular (higher) rate . Licensees were not allowed to park their car during shopping hours in these zones. After shopping hours the normal rate would apply again. Since one can only park their car for one hour, long-term car parking was excluded. This was supposed to attract many visitors to this favorable tariff. The idea was that in this way a more favorable economic climate would be achieved for retailers and other businesses. However, research proves that this is not the case. The effect on the number of cars parked and hence the number of car traffic movements proved very limited. Hardly any difference was found between the number of cars park in the 10-cent zones and the reference streets. Source: Verkeerskunde

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cycling challenge: ready for 2013?

Following its success in 2012, the municipality of Bologna and the local transport authority SRM are launching the European Cycling Challenge for 2013. Want to join? Co-funded by CIVITAS MIMOSA, the edition of 2012 of the urban cycling contest saw seven European cities challenging themselves. Nearly 1,200 participants cycled throughout May in their cities, leaving their cars in the garage, covering about 90,000 kms and saving about 10 tons of CO2. All their trips were tracked by GPS with the support of the Endomondo© free App. In line with the previous edition, the Challenge 2013 consists in a mileage challenge where groups of urban cyclists track their “transport cycling” trips during a month, quantifying CO2 savings in comparison to their habitual behaviour. If your city is interested to joint this exciting experience, please complete the expression of interest available below by 31 December 2012. For more information, contact  Follow them on Facebook (Bolognainbici) and Twitter (@Bolognainbici).

Monday, December 10, 2012

30km/hour: The Standard

30 km/h (20 mph) limits are an inexpensive and popular way to improve safety, cut pollution and encourage smarter travel choices. They lead to improved traffic flow and less congestion. People can move without fear. "30kmh – making streets liveable!" want to achieve these benefits for the whole of the European Union and 30 km/h shall become the standard speed limits for villages, towns and cities with local authorities being able to decide on exemptions. "30kmh – making streets liveable!" is organising a “European Citizen´s Initiative” - a fascinating, brand-new policy instrument in the European Union. That includes a huge effort as they must collect more than 1 million signatures within one year from at least 7 different member states of the EU. The EU Commission has officially accepted our European Citizens´ Initiative “30km/h – making the streets liveable!”. The decision was made after a two-month legal check. This success means that gathering statements fo support for a 30 km/h urban speed limit throughout the whole of the European Union can begin. People can already sign the initiative. Velo Mondial is happy to support this initiative for reasons of urban safety.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Global phenomenon

Fashion house H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB will enter the cycling gear market with a limited men’s collection of 11 pieces. The line has been designed in close cooperation with Brick Lane Bikes of East London, combining the function of cycling wear with great city style for both on and off the bike. H&M Hennes & Mauritz will enter the cycling gear market with a limited men’s collection of 11 pieces. Brick Lane Bikes tested an approved the H&M collection. The designs were inspired by both vintage pieces and today’s sports performance and the collection is made from more sustainable materials as part of H&M’s Conscious work. The collection will be launched on 7th March 2013 in approximately 180 stores worldwide, as well as online. Founded in 2006, Brick Lane Bikes was the UK’s first fixed-gear bike store, specializing in custom-made bikes built in their on-site workshop.  Each piece has been designed to be worn on and off the bike, with functional details providing both performance and also style. H&M concludes with Velo Mondial's all along objective:  Cycling has become a global phenomenon, and now it is becoming glamorous!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bike Butlers and other services

The City of Copenhagen has been on a 'charm offensive' since April 2010. The goal is to get more people to use the bike racks around the city's Metro stations, instead of leaning them up against everything else. Here's the simple trick. If you park your bicycle illegally, the City will move it over to the bike racks. Instead of finger-wagging, they will then oil your chain, pump your tires and leave a little note on your bicycle asking to kindly use the bike racks in the future. How brilliant is that? And the great thing is that the initiative has worked. "It's about getting people to stop parking their bicycles in areas that emergency service vehicles need to access if there is an incident at a Metro station", said Project Leader Poul Erik Kinimond, as his colleague Morten Schelbech oils a chain in the background. Twice a day they move bicycles at the city's largest Metro stations. "We're been called "Bicycle Butlers". People really like what we do". The City of Amsterdam is considering Bike Butlers in an innovative plan on a cycling parking garden called "The Low Lijn". This is a reception facility for cyclists who park under this garden where they find first a lounge, with services like lockers, make up mirrors, police post, toilets, ticket terminals.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dutch Royal Couple in Istanbul

Giving the right example

Preventable E-Bike Type Approval Abuse

In a dramatic appeal to all MEP’s, ETRA urges them not to vote article 2.2(g) of the compromise text in the Proposal for Regulation (on the approval and market surveillance) of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles. That article stipulates that the Regulation does not apply to vehicles primarily intended for off-road use and designed to travel on unpaved surfaces. According to ETRA, this article is a permit for manufacturers of electric bicycles to circumvent type-approval and to put vehicles on the market with optimum functional danger levels rather than safety levels. ETRA also calls the article a permit for manufacturers to put vehicles on the market for irresponsible consumers who are only interested in speed and power output.  ETRA issues a stark warning that article 2.2(g) will produce serious safety risks.The compromisetext on the Proposal for Regulation on the approval and market surveillance of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles still needs to be formally debated and voted in a Plenary session. That is scheduled for Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 November. Velo Mondial supports ETRA in their stance. Read on in Bike Europe


Friday, November 2, 2012

Wind in the back for cycling in NYC

In post-storm New York, the bike is having a moment of sorts.  With subways still not running under the East River or between Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, traffic snarled in many places and lines for buses stretching for blocks, many people in Brooklyn took to bicycles on Thursday to get where they had to go. “I’m extremely glad I have a bike right now — it’s one of the best assets you can have,” said James Emery, 22, who was riding on Thursday afternoon from Williamsburg to Red Hook to help a friend whose screen-printing business had been flooded. Thomas Jarrels, 46, who biked home to Crown Heights from his job as a sous-chef at a Midtown law firm, said he was glad to have had an impetus to bike to work. He said he was a bike messenger in the 1980s and loved biking, but had never commuted by bike until the storm disabled the subway. Transportation Alternatives staff & volunteers and the NY Bicycle Ambassadors are out in full force helping New Yorkers with their post Sandy commutes. Just pulling your bicycle out after a long time? Have no fear, we are here to help!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Heels on Wheels 2

Ms. Dailey identifies four chief types of “ladies burning rubber out there”: the Fashion Victim, whose outfits harmonize with her trendy neo-vintage wheels; the Speed Demon with extraterrestrial helmet and sleek, Matrixy gear (like Gwyneth Paltrow); the Earth Mother, who careers toward farmers’ markets with her baby bobbing precariously in the front basket; and the Retro Rider in Steampunk get-up, whose vehicle “weighs more than a cement-mixer.” Beyoncé Knowles is a devoted urban biker who relishes the anonymity a bike gives her when she’s in public. “By the time they realize it’s me, I’m already gone,” she says. The suffragist Susan B. Anthony declared that bicycling “has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world,” and the novelist Iris Murdoch called the bicycle “the most civilized conveyance known to man.” Albert Einstein, though not a woman, gets a pat on the head because he came up with his theory of relativity while riding his bicycle at night. Comment by velo Mondial: He must have had great cycle infrastructure guding him, as his mind clearly was not on the road. Read on in The New York Times.

Heels on Wheels: A Lady’s Guide to Owning and Riding a Bike

Are you in the mood for a contentious debate? Stroll past the North Pavilion of Union Square in Manhattan before 7 p.m. on the last Friday of each month and ask any of the hundreds of cyclists who gather there for the Critical Mass ride why women’s bikes tend to have a low crossbar (also called a “mixte” or “step-through”), whereas men’s bikes have a high crossbar that juts from below the seat to below the handlebars. Is the feature a quaint leftover from the days when women wore petticoats, and maneuvering themselves over the high bar would have been a challenge? Might it reflect a surprising impulse toward modesty among modern women who don’t mind weaving among taxis and buses, but still prefer not to bestride their steel steeds like a cowboy hopping on a palomino? Or is the step-through an anachronism in these days of unisex denim and leggings? Why do male and female riders require different kinds of bikes? The answers you get will be vociferous. They will not be unanimous. Clare Owen, the British velophile Katie Dailey skirts the controversy by mildly pointing out that, however it came about, the lower bar is easier to clamber over than the higher one. Read on in The New York Times.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cycling in Central Europe

The still increasing private motorisation results in unsustainable traffic congestion and air pollution in the cities and regions of Central Europe. By designing and implementing trans-national, cross-border and national strategies the EU-Project BICY aims to achieve a widespread modal shift towards cycling and walking to improve the quality of life and reduce pollution. Considering that around 80% of all urban trips have a distance of less than 5 kilometres it becomes evident that an increased use of bicycles would bring about an enormous reduction of problems associated with congestion, pollution and the emission of CO2. As a consequence of this many positive effects could be achieved. From improved health, time savings to combating climate change. In other words, cycling mobility (together with walking and in combination with public transport) should be promoted as the most sustainable, ecological and, under certain conditions, healthiest and safest way of mobility. The BICY project partnership includes those that are forerunners with regard to bicycle mobility. The project made a brocure 'Trendy Cycling' in 8 languages.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Now moving to a better beat

Great Britain Goes Dutch

The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain has long made the case that cycle tracks, and space for cycling more generally, should not be seen through the prism of getting cyclists out of the way of motorists, but rather as part of a strategy of humanising and civilising our towns and cities.  In doing so everybody benefits, because demand for space on the road network diminishes if these policies are implemented successfully.  Car use can be made more difficult, but it is not fair to do this without providing people with a comfortable and convenient alternative. Removal of routes for cars, and the taking away of road space, has to go hand in hand with the creation of space for cycling. Thet can see how this has been achieved in Dutch cities like Amsterdam. When the subject of the reallocation of road and street space is raised, is often accompanied by talk about how different Dutch streets are. How they are narrower. Or wider. Or older. Or newer. And that because our British streets are so wide, or so narrow, or so old, or so new, Dutch-style improvements to those streets - to make them more attractive for cycling - couldn't possibly work here. Read on in Cycling Embassy of Great Britain.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Horse behind cart

The European Commission started an investigation on the accusation that bikes made in China destined for Europe are illegally re-routed and re-packaged through Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia. The Commission is also conducting an interim review on the imposed anti-dumping duty of 48.5% on bicycles imported from China into the EU member states. The European Commission started the procedure after it received a request to investigate the possible circumvention of the anti-dumping measures imposed on imports of bicycles originating in China from the European Bicycle Manufacturers Association (EBMA). The European Commission claims to have sufficient evidence that the anti-dumping measures on imports of bicycles originating in China are being circumvented by means of transshipments via Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia and by means of assembly operations of certain bicycle parts from China in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia. Velo Mondial feels that European anti-dumping regulation hampers the growth of cycling in Europe and makes bicycles unnecessary expensive. Read on in Bike Europe.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Helmets revisited

In the United States the notion that bike helmets promote health and safety by preventing head injuries is taken as pretty near God’s truth. Un-helmeted cyclists are regarded as irresponsible, like people who smoke. Cities are aggressive in helmet promotion. But many European health experts have taken a very different view: Yes, there are studies that show that if you fall off a bicycle at a certain speed and hit your head, a helmet can reduce your risk of serious head injury. But such falls off bikes are rare — exceedingly so in mature urban cycling systems. On the other hand, many researchers say, if you force or pressure people to wear helmets, you discourage them from riding bicycles. That means more obesity, heart disease and diabetes. And — Catch-22 — a result is fewer ordinary cyclists on the road, which makes it harder to develop a safe bicycling network. The safest biking cities are places like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, where middle-aged commuters are mainstay riders and the fraction of adults in helmets is minuscule.  Pushing helmets really kills cycling and bike-sharing in particular because it promotes a sense of danger that just isn’t justified — in fact, cycling has many health benefits. Read on in New York Times.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dutch Bicycle Infrastructure in figures

The Netherlands have almost 35,000 kilometers of cycle pathsThat's more than the previous estimate of 29,000 kilometers and much more than the last figure of 17,000 km from the Central Bureau of Statistics CBS dating back to 1996. Roads with bicycle lanes together have a length 4700 km, equal to the previous estimate. The new figures are more accurate since the Dutch Cycling Route Planner recently become nationwide. Thus, the Dutch now have a reliable and detailed source of information for all provinces The most mileage bike path located in the province of North Brabant, closely followed by Gelderland (see table). This is mainly due to the size of those provinces.  North Holland, South Holland and  Utrecht have 30-70% more cycle paths than the national average. Also, the use of bicycles as high, according to figures from the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics. Per kilometer cycle path is in the Randstad 35-60% more kilometers are  cycled than the national average. Below you can see the lenths of bicycle paths per province, the surface of bicycle paths in square kilometers and the number of times every kilometer has been used on a dayly basis.

Paris Plage Plus

From Saturday 1 September 2012, Parisians will be able to enjoy a large new people-friendly section of the riverside north of the River Seine. The changes include narrowing the road between Hotel de Ville and Quai Henry IV to create new pedestrian corridors, riverside walkways, along with new cafes and bars. In spring 2013, an even larger scheme will be completed that will remove a 1.5-mile section of urban motorway from the opposite riverbank, creating what's hoped will be a walking and cycling paradise. The riverside transformations are the latest of Mayor Bertrand Delanoe's projects to reclaim portions of the city away from motor vehicles, following his expansion of cycle routes and introduction of the Velib cycle hire, which was the model for London's successful scheme. Delanoe has had to fight against national politicians and motoring groups to make sure the £30 million project succeeds, but planners have assured motorists that journey times are only likely to be marginally affected. The riverside project comes in the wake of the successful Paris Plages, which saw Voie Georges-Pompidou transformed each summer into a seaside resort, complete with sand, parasols and palm trees.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Budapest gets Bus Bike Lanes

After a years-long lobbying effort, Budapest cyclists are finally being allowed to ride in several downtown bus lanes. Earlier this month, the Budapest Transport Centre (BKK), the umbrella organisation overseeing all aspects of city transport, designated 10 bus lanes that will now also be open to cyclists. The lanes, marked with yellow bicycle icons, include one long artery in Buda and nine shorter sections in central Pest. In total, they run more than 4.5 km. Perhaps the most significant is the one in Buda, on Fő utca between Bem József tér and a Clark Ádám tér. This will serve as the non-touristic cycling alternative to the Buda korzó path. There's long been discussion of creating a parallel, faster route for the latter categories of cyclists, and it appears the new shared bike-bus lane on Fő utca will be it. But the main news here is the long-awaited opening of priority bus lanes to cyclists. The ban on cycling in these lanes has been a sore point because it has meant cyclists have just two unappealing choices: either ride along the curb illegally or ride legally but unsafely in the second lane over. In that position, faster motor traffic passes the cyclist on both the left and right, creating an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation. Read on here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Points for Paddling

If you could earn points to spend at the cinema, or in your local Marks & Spencer store, if you opted to walk to work rather than take the train, would you? That's the carrot that Transport for London and Recyclebank is planning to dangle in front of you with a new app, called re:route, launching shortly in the App Store. The idea is to reward people for walking around London. The scheme, backed by the Mayor of London, is tied into an iPhone app (Android and other platforms are on the way). Using the phone's GPS signal allows the app to track your movement - and make sure you don't cheat - when you press the go button. At launch, every journey you make will earn your five points and the people behind the app believe that walking to work every day should earn you about £250 across the year if you stick with it. So far the Recyclebank has a multitude of companies signed up to give rewards including Marks & Spencer, Champneys, Classic British Hotels, Haven Holidays, Cineworld and Jojo Maman Bebe. To increase the urge to walk rather than get the Tube, Recyclebank plans to motivate people in different ways and eventually let you earn more points for walking further. Read more.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cycling the academic way

Registrations are now open for the 2nd World Cycling Research Forum (WOCREF) to be held on 13/14-09-2012 in Enschede, The Netherlands.  The primary aim of WOCREF is encapsulated in its by-line 'Bringing Cycling Research to the World' and the Forum is an opportunity for those involved in research and projects into all aspects of cycling (utility, health, behaviour, social aspects, safety, engineering, advocacy etc) to present their work, add to the ever-growing body of cycling research, and to network with others involved and interested in research focused on cycling. Participants in WOCREF will hear of cycling work from around the world (Netherlands, Ireland, England, Italy, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Singapore and the United States) and selected papers to be presented at the Forum will be published in the peer-reviewed journal Cycling Research International. This year’s WOCREF will be preceded on 12 September with a study tour of the bicycle infrastructure of Münster. The tour is to be led by Stephan Böhme of Stadt Münster who will give insights into the policies and planning that have made Münster such a cycle-friendly city. Velo Mondial endorses WOCREF.

Superbus Life on Street Now!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A path to the future

The NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide is based on the experience of the best cycling cities in the world. The designs in this document were developed by cities for cities, since unique urban streets require innovative solutions.  All of the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide treatments are in use internationally and in many cities around the US. To create the Guide, the authors have conducted an extensive worldwide literature search from design guidelines and real-life experience. They have worked closely with NACTO member cities, as well as traffic engineers, planners, and academics with deep experience in urban bikeway applications. A complete list of participating professionals is included here. Additional information has been gathered from numerous other cities worldwide. The intent of the Guide is to offer substantive guidance for cities seeking to improve bicycle transportation in places where competing demands for the use of the right of way present unique challenges. Each of the treatments addressed in the Guide offers three levels of guidance: Required: elements for which there is a strong consensus, Recommended: elements for which there is consensus of added value, Optional: elements that may add value. Velo Mondial endorses the NACTO Guide.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Teething problems 3

On Friday morning, thousands of bikes for the program, sponsored by Citigroup and known as Citi Bike, sat in boxes in Building 293 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. “We’re still taking deliveries,” said a worker, who declined to be identified, rolling through the cavernous space on one of the few royal blue Citi Bikes so far assembled. Gray pieces for some of the hundreds of expected docking stations were stacked nearby. No activity could be seen at a few bike mechanic stands in one corner of the warehouse. There is no official date for the roll out, and supporters fear the warm-weather window to begin the program this year is shrinking. “We’re preparing for that eventuality,” Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives and Velo Mondial's friend, said in a phone interview last week, referring to a significant delay in the program. “That would be unfortunate but not disastrous. New York is ready for bike share.” At the same time, the arrival of bike share — whenever it occurs — raises a sort of existential question for the once-fringe group. With a staff of 23 full-time employees, roughly 8,000 dues-paying members and an active e-mail network of more than 40,000, not to mention a deep bench of alumni working in government, the group has become a potent political force. Read on in NYT.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Dutch Deliver

Dutch Street Furniture Company Falco has recently supplied and installed a series of the high density  two-tier cycle parking systems for Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport! The 218 cycle space facility has been located at each end of the terminal and provides travellers with a dedicated and secure area to park their bicycle. Falco's team of installation engineers took up the night time challenge and successfully worked within the parameters of the installation time table. The image attached shows the recently installed two-tier cycle parking system powder-coated in a special Heathrow blue! The FalcoLevel and FalcoLevel-Pro are a high density cycle parking rack designed to house twice as many bicycles as any traditional cycle rack. Designed for areas with restricted space, the FalcoLevel two tier cycle stand offers the ideal cycle parking solution for stations, schools, cycle hubs and shopping centres. Both the Falco Level and FalcoLevel-Pro are the same size, use the same operations and accommodate all types of bicycles. The only difference between the two is that the FalcoLevel-Pro is equipped with a gas strut to ease the process of lifting the upper cycle storage tier.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New Amsterdam Bike Slam Success

In 2009 Velo Mondial organized the New Amsterdam Bike Slam in New York in cooperation with Transportation Alternatives and the Dutch Embassy in the USA; The Brooklyn Bridge was the main focus of attention in this Slam. Three New York City Council members are now trying to sell a plan for part of the Brooklyn Bridge. Citing the tight quarters of the pedestrian and bicycle paths on the bridge, the Council members proposed on Tuesday to widen the upper-level platform, a popular artery for tourists and commuters. A detailed plan has not been drafted, nor have engineers been consulted on a possible proposal. Councilman Stephen Levin, whose district includes the Brooklyn side of the bridge, suggested that “the engineering and ideas community” would be enlisted to fill the gap, perhaps through a competition organized by local design groups. “None of us are engineers,” Mr. Levin said. Still, proponents estimated that the amount of pedestrian space could be tripled, noting the areas of the existing pathway that widen. “Just looking at how the path goes around the buttresses gives you a sense that a wider path is feasible,” Councilman Brad Lander of Brooklyn said. “If it can widen out there, surely we can find a way to widen it out elsewhere.” Velo Mondial is happy to see that the New Amsterdam Bike Slam now renders success to this Velo Mondial Bike Slam. Read on in NYT.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Open Cycling Map BeNeLux

OpenFietsMap is a free routable cycling map for Garmin GPS units. The map is based on data from and published under CCBYSA 2.0 license; OpenStreetMap creates and provides free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them. In the download section you can find a version for the GPS wich includes a Windows installer to install the map automatically in Mapsource or Basecamp on your pc. There is also a Mac version (gmap) for Garmin Roadtrip/Basecamp available.  The Benelux light version does not include contour lines and has limited landuse forms (no buildings, grass- and farmlands etc). OpenFietsMap Benelux covers Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg as well as a small border area (Germany and N-France). Main focus of the map is on cyclists, so the routing will try to follow cycling lanes and routes as much as possible. Car routing is not supported. The Openstreetmap data in the Netherlands is quite detailed since the the donation of the complete streetnetwork by AND in 2007. However, a lot of cyclepaths were not part of this AND network and has to be added by volunteers. What is available on this OpenFietsMap? Topographic data of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg; cycling routes, paths and nodes; trip planning by making routes.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Folding Bike Hire in London

The most innovative cycle hire scheme of the UK is launched at Manchester Piccadilly Station in partnership with Virgin Trains. Parliamentary under-Secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker MP, was with us at this delightful occasion. Located just outside the main entrance of Manchester Piccadilly, Brompton Dock will be accessible for anyone who would like to hire a British hand-made folding Brompton bike. With no restrictions on public transport and Virgin Trains allowing the bikes on their network during peak hours, the Brompton bike is set to become a mainstay on the streets in and around Manchester. Norman Baker MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, said: "This innovation really showcases what can be achieved when two transport providers come together to establish an end-to-end journey solution." The dock at Manchester Piccadilly Station will host 40 bikes. Become a member now to enjoy the most convenient and flexible cycling experience. Brompton Dock is growing rapidly and spreading throughout the UK. They aim to reach 17 locations by the end of 2012 and International expansion is the next step.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Growing Pains

Citi Bike will  not begin as scheduled. “We’re working on the launch plan and will update the public as soon as we finalize all the details,” said Seth Solomonow, a spokesman for the Transportation Department, who confirmed the program would not begin in July. Now, with an uncertain start date and little explanation being given, community leaders, program partners and eager riders find themselves with more questions than answers. Where are the bikes? When will the dock stations be installed? And can it all fall into place while the quiet streets and accommodating weather of summer remain? “It’s almost like getting that bicycle that you wanted for your birthday or for Christmas,” said Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives, which has worked alongside the Transportation Department to promote the program. The program, which is expected to include 10,000 bicycles by next summer, will allow members who pay an annual fee of $95 to shuttle between stations for up to 45 minutes without an additional charge. In a radio interview on Friday, Mayor. Bloomberg suggested that impatience was a sign of the city’s growing acceptance of bicycles. “It’s fascinating,” he said. “The people who did not want bicycle lanes at all are now screaming, ‘Well, where are they? Where are they? I want them quickly.’ Read more in NYT here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Amsterdam OV Fiets not suitable for tourists

In a comparative study on bicycle sharing systems, the German ADAC sharply criticizes the OV-fiets (rental bicycles operated by Dutch Railways) in Amsterdam. Along with the Hague, the capital is at the bottom of the ranking of 40 European bicycle-sharing systems. Information is only available in Dutch, it’s not possible to rent a bicycle without first registering and bicycles have no suspension and gears. The criteria show that ADAC is primarily looks at the bicycles from the point of view of tourists. Last year, a study by the Fietsersbond showed that the Dutch are very satisfied: 96% of users spontaneously recommend the OV-fiets to friends and acquaintances. There is some room for improvement regarding the availability and quality of the bicycles. The best system in the ADAC test is vélo’v in Lyon. Introducing a similar system in Amsterdam has often been discussed, but this has not been done because there is no room on the sidewalks for bicycle rental stations and because Amsterdammers already own bicycles. Expanding OV-fiets is considered a more feasible option. The Dutch OV-Fiets however was never intended for tourists who are encouraged to rent with bike rental shops, that also service tourists with routes and tours.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Growing Pains: New York Going After Unsafe Delivery Cyclists

They churn their legs against the traffic, dart between sidewalk-clogging pedestrians, and, according to city officials, pay only occasional mind to the signs and signals that govern the streets. A food deliveryman riding the wrong direction down Columbus Avenue on Friday in Manhattan. A city campaign is seeking to curb such traffic violations. Deliverymen from Lenny’s restaurant listening to a news conference on the city’s new initiative for bicycle delivery safety. But some of the delivery cyclists who run afoul of the law do so with a quintessential New York City goal: making sure the hot food in their bags remains that way. Beginning next week, a six-person team of department inspectors will patrol, door to door, across the Upper West Side, providing information to businesses about commercial cycling laws. The plan is expected to extend into other areas of the city, and by early 2013, businesses that continue to violate the laws may receive fines of up to $300, the agency said. “New Yorkers want everything in a New York minute,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner. “But businesses that depend on bike deliveries can’t cut corners on safety.” Read More in NYT

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cycling and the environment

Without any consultation with the electric bicycle sector, the European institutions included  electric bikes up to 25 km/h and a motor output up to 250 W in a regulation called RoHS II. This means that manufacturers would have to ensure and, if asked, prove that no Lead, Cadmium, Hexavalent Chromium, Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) have been used, not only in the electrical and electronic components but also in no other vehicle component. Consequently, as of January 2, 2013, the CE-mark could only be affixed to pedelecs which are as a whole in compliance with the RoHS II-Directive. The European Twowheel Retail Association (ETRA) argued strongly against inclusion of e-bikes in this regulation. This would not contribute to reaching the objectives of the Directive and has therefore no beneficial impact. A new advice in the form of a draft fact sheet on electric bicycles now concludes “Overall, the inclusion of electric bicycles in the scope of RoHS II is expected to have very limited impacts, whether that is in environmental, economic or social terms.We will keep you posted on developments; also read here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Electric Bicycles on the move

The concept of electric bicycles, whose riders can cruise up hills on battery power when they are tired of pedaling, is slowly catching on in cities around the world. The bicycles resemble their conventional counterparts but have a heavier frame and carry a battery pack, which is usually either behind the rider or integrated in the frame. The motor transmits energy to the rear wheel, and the battery can be detached for recharging. China is far and away the world leader in the technology, with over 100 million e-bikes on the road already. Demand is growing in Europe, where Germany and the Netherlands are the largest markets and Paris has a program to provide subsidies of up to €400, or nearly $500, to electric bike purchasers. In the United States, electric bike shops have recently sprouted in car-dependent cities like Austin and Houston, and an electric bike-sharing project is getting under way in hilly San Francisco. Safety is challenge in China, with e-bikes zipping down sidewalks. Lead-acid batteries are not adequately recycled, creating an environmental problem, and a proliferation of small e-bike makers in China makes crafting effective safety rules a challenge. NYT

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rio+20 is a conference about implementation, and an important part of that is making and delivering commitments. Commitments are invited from various stakeholders, including business and industry, other Major Group organizations, associations, academic institutions, philanthropic organizations, UN entities, partnerships involving more than one stakeholder, and Member States. The eight largest multilateral development banks (MDBs) announced today that they will invest US$175 billion to finance more sustainable transportation systems over the coming decade, boosting equitable economic development and protecting the environment and public health across the developing world. The pledge by the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and six other MDBs was made at the start of United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (also known as Rio+20). 16 additional voluntary commitments were made by 13 organizations on sustainable transport amongst which Asian Development Bank and partners: Commitment to Sustainable Transport, EMBARQ: Scaling Up Sustainable Transport Solutions Worldwide and Velo Mondial: Pas-Port to Mobility

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mobility Centers in Europe

A Mobility Centre is a centre that provides tailor-made information and services on mobility, not only for public transport modes but also for other modes, like car parking, carsharing, bike sharing. It operates at an urban or regional level, where mobility services are provided. Ideally, a MC has a 'physical' office, to visit or to contact by phone and email, and a 'virtual' one, a website offering multimodal information, route planners etc. (e.g. Helsinki Region Transport in Finland, Mobil Zentral in Graz, Austria and Centrale di Mobilit� in Milan, Italy). Although ICT is gaining in importance, the presence of physical offices remains important (for instance SUMOBIS). Qualified personnel, trained as a mobility consultant, is one of the minimum standards for a Mobility Center. . In the past 10 years, many Mobility Centers have been established through the support from European projects:  In March 2012 three Mobility Info Shops opened in Ljubljana. These Mobility Info Shops provide information on public transport in the city and the Slovenian railways. It is planned that at least one of these will grow into a real Mobility Centre by the end of the year. SEE MMS partner cities will have implemented 10 new MCs by the end of June 2012. five 'Transport Offices' have been created: in Toulouse, in Burgos, in Oviedo, in Ponferrada and a virtual office in Huelva. Read more in EPOMM.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Cycling is Globally Cool & Accepted

In their latest book 'City Cycling' John Pucher and Ralph Buehler make the claim that cycling is no longer viewed as an outdated, old-fashioned mode of transportation. Especially among younger adults, cycling has become cutting edge and is viewed as a cool way to get around. Perhaps the greatest strength of cycling is that it provides enormous benefits both to the individual and to society as a whole. Many cities in Europe, North America, and Australia have witnessed impressive growth in cycling over the past two decades. It seems likely that the coming years will bring continued growth. Many studies predict shortages in oil supplies and rising energy prices, which would increase the cost of car use and enhance the relative cost savings of cycling. With slowing economic growth and falling real per-capita incomes in some countries, those cost savings may become even more important as an economic incentive to cycle rather than drive. The public health benefits of walking and cycling have generated much support for active travel in recent years, with more pro-bike government policies likely in the future. Increased attention to quality of life, personal and public health, livable cities, environmental protection, and climate change seem certain to provide cycling with a growing base of public, political, and financial support.  Velo Mondial feels a sense of pride and 'deja vu' when reading the book.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Byrne Bikes New York

This summer the city’s Department of Transportation inaugurates a new bike-share program. People who live and work in New York will be able to travel quickly and cheaply between many neighborhoods. This is major. It will make New Yorkers rethink their city and rewrite the mental maps we use to decide what is convenient, what is possible. Parks, restaurants and friends who once seemed beyond plausible commuting distance on public transportation will seem a lot closer. The possibilities aren’t limitless, but the change will be pretty impressive. I’ve used a bike to get around New York for decades. There’s an exhilaration you get from self-propelled transportation — skateboarding, in-line skating and walking as well as biking; New York has good public transportation, but you just don’t get the kind of rush I’m talking about on a bus or subway train. I got hooked on biking because it’s a pleasure, not because biking lowers my carbon footprint, improves my health or brings me into contact with different parts of the city and new adventures. But it does all these things, too — and sometimes makes us a little self-satisfied for it; still, the reward is emotional gratification, which trumps reason, as it often does. David Byrne is an artist and musician; he wrote this article in the NYT.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Even Los Angeles starts bicycling

It was a warm April morning in downtown Los Angeles, and there was not a car on the road. For five hours, the streets were commandeered by nearly 100,000 people on bicycles — old and young, wearing spandex and silly hats, dogs and babies perched on handlebar baskets — in a celebration that produced a sight that once would have seemed inconceivable in this city of cars. It was the fourth time this city closed its streets for the event known as CicLAvia, and it was the largest one yet. In the past 18 months, close to 40 miles of bike paths and lanes have been created across the city and the City Council passed a measure to prevent bicyclists from being harassed by motorists. On one recent evening, drivers came to a (mostly) uncomplaining stop as swarm after swarm of cyclists breezed through an intersection on Wilshire Boulevard, complete with a police escort. And on Tuesday, there was a “Blessing of the Bicyclists” — with a rabbi, a water-sprinkling priest and bikers in attendance — at Good Samaritan Hospital. Bicycling is no longer the purview of downtown messengers or kamikaze daredevils. Its advocates include hipsters who frequent the bicycle repair cooperative known as the Bicycle Kitchen.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cargo Bike Hits Edinburg Streets

Could pedal power be the answer for companies struggling to deliver their goods in the congested streets of Scotland's cities? One young Edinburgh entrepreneur believes so. Neil Bon, of Pronto Pedal Power, has turned his back on a promising law career to run his own cargo bike business and is already winning custom from companies which want to save time, money and reduce pollution too. Cargo bikes, which are specially designed to carry large and bulky items, are already a common sight in Denmark and the Netherlands. They are increasing in popularity elsewhere on the continent but are still a rarity on Scotland's streets. Mr Bon believes that could be about to change, as businesses realise cargo bikes have important advantages over the ubiquitous white delivery van. He told me: "It's primarily about cost. But a lot of companies are looking to reduce their environmental impact, so it's about that too. And, of course, we can make deliveries more quickly than vans in the city centre."
Cycle logistics. Mr Bon said cargo bike delivery riders should not be confused with traditional cycle couriers, with a light bag of documents slung across their backs. Continue reading the main story.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

NY Bike Share Station Locations

The bike-share stations will be pliable, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has said — their assembly so simple that, if problems arise, docks can be removed without leaving a trace.Cars parked near the corner of 25th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan, where a bike-share station is planned. The first bicycles for hire are scheduled to hit the streets in late July. And yet, with the program’s first 420 proposed locations unveiled on Friday, proponents say New York has taken a step toward a watershed moment in the transportation history of the city: Every few blocks throughout Midtown and Lower Manhattan, in splotches of northern Brooklyn and along a small slice of Queens, New Yorkers will have access to a new alternative for public travel. The stations will appear on the sidewalks of Williamsburg and near the edge of the Hudson River, in parking lanes on Eighth Avenue and beside the plaza along Central Park South. Bicyclists who pay an annual membership fee of $95 will be able to shuttle between stations for up to 45 minutes without an additional charge. For bike enthusiasts, the release of the maps was long-awaited. Others worried about the increased competition for precious car parking space.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Big Money embraces New York Bike Share

Citigroup Inc. (C) agreed to pay $41 million to sponsor New York City’s bicycle-rental program, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg said will be the largest such system in the U.S. when it begins in July. The “Citi Bike” program, presented by the mayor and Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit at City Hall today, will offer 10,000 bikes branded with the New York-based bank’s logo at 600 docking stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island City, Queens. New York will share any profits from the bike rentals with Portland, Oregon-based Alta Bicycle Share, chosen as its operator in September. The bike-share program, first advocated by the city Transportation Department in 2009, would provide a low-cost transit alternative in a city where almost half the workforce lives within five miles (eight kilometers) of its place of work, the department said in a planning document. MasterCard Inc. (MA) CEO Ajay Banga, also at City Hall, said his company would pay $6.5 million to provide bike-share stations with “PayPass Tap & Go” payment points and traditional magnetic-stripe terminals as part of its “Priceless New York” promotion of events and attractions for residents and tourists. Similar systems exist in Paris, with 20,600 bicycles; Barcelona, which has 6,000;  Hangzhou, China, which offers as many as 60,600, and Washington’s 1,500-bike system. Read also NYC

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Is a new way of life emerging in the USA?

“Unfortunately for car companies,” Jordan Weissmann noted  in a couple weeks back, “today's teens and twenty-somethings don't seem all that interested in buying a set of wheels. They're not even particularly keen on driving.” Now a major new report from Benjamin Davis and Tony Dutzik at the Frontier Group and Phineas Baxandall, at the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, documents this unprecedented trend across a wide variety of indicators. Their two big findings about young people and driving: - The average annual number of vehicle miles traveled by young people (16 to 34-year-olds) in the U.S. decreased by 23 percent between 2001 and 2009, falling from 10,300 miles per capita to just 7,900 miles per capita in 2009. - The share of 14 to 34-year-olds without a driver’s license increased by 5 percentage points, rising from 21 percent in 2000 to 26 percent in 2010, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Young people are also making more use of transit, bikes, and foot power to
get around. In 2009, 16 to 34-year-olds took 24 percent more bike trips than they took in 2001. They walked to their destinations 16 percent more often, while their passenger miles on transit jumped by 40 percent.Part of the reason for this shift is financial, but also a new way of life emerges.  Read on here.

Utrecht from above

Monday, April 23, 2012

If New Yorkers were to decide

As New York City prepares for the arrival of its public bike-sharing program in July, most of the intrigue has been over where and how these bikes will be placed in the city. Although none of the locations has been set in stone, the city Department of Transportation offered a sneak peek last week at where about four dozen bike stations might be placed along the West Side of Manhattan. Most of the stations were placed on streets, like the east side of Broadway every couple of blocks from Columbus Circle to Pennsylvania Station. A smaller number of stations are to be situated on sidewalks. A small number of bike stations were placed in parks, like Hudson River Park between 39th and 40th Streets. Officials with the Department of Transportation, who presented the preliminary map of kiosks at the transportation planning committee for Manhattan’s Community Board 4, have said the program will have 10,000 bikes that riders can pick up and drop off at 600 stations, mainly in Manhattan’s central business district. New Yorkers have offered their own suggested locations by voting on sites on the department’s Web site and by attending workshops held by community boards this spring.