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.