Tuesday, February 28, 2012

34 years later, almost trendy again

New York is making choices

A set of proposed changes to the Prospect Park loop in Brooklyn would radically change its current design, reducing the space for cars to a single lane and creating two separate, dedicated lanes: one for pedestrians and one for bicycles.Connect with us on Twitter for breaking news and headlines in New York. The changes came in response to a series of collisions between pedestrians and cyclists, and amid growing rancor over how to balance the interests of the 10 million people who crowd into Prospect Park each year. The debate intensified last fall after a pair of severe accidents left two women with brain injuries. The goal of the Prospect Park Road Sharing Task Force had been to increase safety by making the drive, which is 3.3 miles long, more predictable and easier for pedestrians to cross. Under the proposal, the center lane, which is now used by motorists during morning and evening rush hours and by bicyclists at other times, would be for bicycles all day. The left lane, which is currently divided between pedestrians and bicyclists during the rush hours, would be for pedestrians. By pushing that traffic into one lane, there would be about a six- or seven-second delay. During the evening commute the delay would be about a second, according to models by the Department of Transportation.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Do bike paths promote bike riding in America?

The "fundamental law of road congestion" tells us that building roads creates traffic. There's such a latent demand for space on the highway that no sooner does it appear than it's filled. But whether or not a similar law applies to bike paths and bike lanes remains a mystery. A recent study of Seattle residents found that those living near bike paths had an increased likelihood of riding, but saw no effect for bike lanes. Then again, a study in Minneapolis reached the opposite conclusion. Some recent work has found no connection between bike lanes and ridership levels at all. In short, the research picture is far from settled. A new study published in the March 2012 issue of the journal Transportation attempts to clarify the confusion. Ralph Buehler of Virginia Tech and John Pucher of Rutgers analyzed a new batch of 2008 data on bike lanes (that is, on-road routes) and bike paths (off-road ones) in 90 of the largest cities in America. Even after controlling for a number of factors — including land use, climate, socioeconomic status, gas prices, public transport and bike safety — they still get a clear result: "cities with a greater supply of bike paths and lanes have significantly higher bike commute rates." Read on in Atlantic Cities

Monday, February 13, 2012

International Road Safety Educational Program

Every six seconds someone is killed or seriously injured on the world's roads. Nine in ten casualties occur in developing countries, many are children. The Road Safety Fund has a simple mission: To invest in the preventative measures that are proven to reduce the risk or severity of road injury. Invest in the people and the skills that can provide sustainable paths to safety. Invest in Life. Delft University of Technology and the Foundation Road Safety for All are preparing an International Road Safety Educational Program. This initiative intends to strongly support the United Nations Decade of Action for Road safety 2011 - 2020. In the past 30 years The Netherlands developed a leading position in the road safety field. Our present program builds on that experience and intends to help LMIC's in developing their own road safety capacity. Our philosophy is quite simple: we intend to support the development of educational programs in the LMIC's, i.e. both at universities and for practitioners. Therefore our program is based on a Train the Trainers approach. The first step will be a post graduate course in the Netherlands for road safety professionals from LMIC´s.  Velo Mondial, Road Safety for All and Delft Post Graduate Education support the development.

London goes Dutch

The next Mayor of London must prioritise safe and convenient bike lanes and make junctions and roundabouts less dangerous if they want to encourage more cycling, according to a YouGov survey published today. The survey, which suggests over half a million Londoners already cycle at least once a week, coincides with the launch of the London Cycling Campaign’s Love London, Go Dutch petition, which calls on the mayoral election candidates to commit to more people-friendly streets and continental-standard cycle facilities in the capital. 51% of Londoners said the next Mayor can take action to encourage them to cycle more, with 78% of those people naming safe and convenient bikes lanes all over London or safer junctions and roundabouts as their top priority. 16 cyclists were killed on London’s road last year, up from 10 in 2011.  Velo Mondial has just signed the Love London Go Dutch petition organised by the London Cycling Campaign as part of their 2012 mayoral election campaign. And I'd be delighted if you signed it too...  Make London more liveable for everyone by making the streets as safe and inviting for cycling as they are in Th Netherlands. Please follow this link to join the many thousands of ordinary people who’ve already offered their support.

Sustainable Mobility on Amsterdam Canals

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Green Trucks Toolkit

The Green Trucks Toolkit was developed by the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) with support from Asian Development Bank to assist trucks companies reduce fuel use and emissions from their truck fleets. Freight is the backbone of economic trade in Asia and by 2050 Asia will account for 29% of the global truck travel activity. By 2050, medium and heavy freight trucks worldwide will consume 1,240 billion liters of fuel and Asia’s share will be 34%. Higher fuel use translates to higher levels of particulate matter and carbon dioxide emissions which impacts human health and contributes to global warming. Based on the UNEP-TNT Clean Fleet Management Toolkit, the Green Trucks Toolkit can be used to estimate carbon dioxide and air pollutant emissions from fleets, and determine fleet efficiency indicators, such as emissions per ton-km and fuel consumed per ton-km. The tool also evaluates various improvement strategies and technologies ranging from eco-driving, idling reduction, low-rolling resistance tires and emission control devices. The toolkit was tested by 30 freight transport companies from Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam  The tool may be accessed here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cycling should be both safe and pleasurable

The Times has launched a public campaign and 8-point manifesto calling for cities to be made fit for cyclists. 1. Lorries entering a city centre should be required by law to fit sensors, audible turning alarms, extra mirrors and safety bars to stop cyclists being thrown under the wheels 2. The 500 most dangerous road junctions must be identified, redesigned or fitted with priority traffic lights for cyclists and Trixi mirrors that allow lorry drivers to see cyclists on their near-side. 3. A national audit of cycling to find out how many people cycle in Britain and how cyclists are killed or injured should be held to underpin effective cycle safety. 4. Two per cent of the Highways Agency budget should be earmarked for next generation cycle routes, providing £100 million a year towards world-class cycling infrastructure. Each year cities should be graded on the quality of cycling provision. 5. The training of cyclists and drivers must improve and cycle safety should become a core part of the driving test. 6. 20mph should become the default speed limit in residential areas where there are no cycle lanes. 7. Businesses should be invited to sponsor cycleways and cycling super-highways, mirroring the Barclays-backed bicycle hire scheme in London. 8. Every city, even those without an elected mayor, should appoint a cycling commissioner to push home reforms. Read more here.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Green Freight in Asia

Freight is the Cinderella of the transport sector worldwide but especially in Asia. Government policies tend to focus on private vehicles and public transport more than on trucks. Whether it is the introduction of cleaner fuels, fuel economy standards, tax incentives or investments in infrastructure to improve transport, the freight sector is still behind. This is despite of a huge potential to reduce fuel use and costs, and CO2 and air pollutant emissions from trucks in Asia. "Empty miles" (miles traveled without a load) is high and exacerbated by a fragmented sector, and thus efforts to improve freight logistics are initiated across Asia. A new Green Freight Website aims to improve access to information on policies and programs, technologies and logistics, and data relevant to the freight sector, especially for developing countries. By providing a platform for shippers, carriers, logistics providers, government agencies, practitioners and other stakeholders, they hope to encourage debate, sharing of experiences and establishing collaboration Information on the Green Freight and Logistics website is funded by the Energy Foundation and the World Bank, and with the support from other partners.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Optimising Bike Sharing in Europe - A handbook

In recent years, numerous and diverse BSSs have been implemented in European cities. Starting with free, low-tech offers by a few enthusiasts, the schemes went through a two-fold development: high-tech systems with thousands of bikes and major funding requirements; and smaller, less expensive systems with lower usage rates. However, bike sharing is a recent development and little information regarding the suitability of different BSS models is available.The OBIS handbook presents interesting facts and figures from bike sharing schemes (BSS) in ten European countries. Scheme characteristics such as technology, scheme size, service design etc. are described in connection with external factors of the cities. Finally the handbook gives comprehensive advice for all three stages in the lifetime of a BSS: Planning, Implementation, Optimisation. The OBIS handbook is useful for local, regional and central governments involved in traffic issues, bike sharing providers and other companies and organisations related to bike sharing (such as providers of street furniture, outdoor advertisers, municipal parking operators), public transport operators, urban planners and cycling organisations. Obis_Handbook.pdf