Monday, April 29, 2013

Bike Racks are also 'Parking'.

In a very short time, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to show the world that they are just as virtuous, well-intentioned and offended by sloth as people in Copenhagen or Geneva or any other of a number of cities where mindful living and wonderful yogurts reign. The city’s long-anticipated bike share program is scheduled to make its debut in May, allowing New Yorkers to pick up and deposit rental bikes at hundreds of locations, most of them, so far, in some of the wealthiest neighborhoods. Anyone waking up on a Sunday morning in TriBeCa, finding nothing in her refrigerator and hankering to go to Smorgasburg in Dumbo, Brooklyn, for instance, will now be able to do that with relative ease. So is this really the time to complain — this, a moment when progressive policy has had such an obvious victory? Virtually everything about the city’s growing bike culture has prompted vigorous argument and even fury. Now that the metal stalls and kiosks where bikes will be stationed are turning up in parts of Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan, the theater of operations in the war among cyclists and drivers and pedestrians has expanded and multiplied and bred new factions, even though the bike share program itself has been shown to have widespread support in polling. Read on in the New York Times. Velo Mondial says: Bike Racks is also 'parking', just for more people.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bike Share: Ready for Research

More than 500 cities in 49 countries host bike-sharing programs, with a combined fleet exceeding 500,000 bicycles, according to new research from Earth Policy Institute. Paris’ landmark Vélib’ program, which was launched in 2007, now has company as cities around the world turn to bike-sharing—distributed networks of public bicycles used for short trips—as a way to enhance mobility, alleviate automotive congestion, reduce air pollution, boost health, support local businesses, and attract more young people. In the United States, more than two dozen cities have active public bike-sharing programs, including Washington, DC, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Boston, Miami Beach, Denver, Madison, and Ft. Worth. EPI’s Director of Research, Janet Larsen, points out that the number of American bike-sharing cities is set to double in the next couple years as large programs roll out in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, and San Francisco, among others. New York City will become the nation’s biggest program, though at an ultimate 10,000 bikes, it pales in comparison with the mega-programs in China that boast up to 90,000 bikes. Find your full overview of Bike Sharing systems in Velo Mondial's PAS-PORT to Cycling.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bicycle Highways in Amsterdam

What is a bicycle highway? The big difference between a bicycle highway and a bike lane in Copenhagen is that highways are maintained and prioritised just like normal roads are.This means the bike paths are as straight as possible, making them faster. Normal bike lanes usually meander where there is space available for them, which may prove cumbersome to cyclists. The paths are also broader and during winter, snow will be removed from them, as with regular roads. Everyone said there have to be better bike lanes, better lighting next to the bike paths, it has to go fast and the snow must be removed quickly; this is what the Danes are trying to address, making some long bicycle highways where you can ride safely in good lightning and where the necessary equipment is close to you. Comfort has also been thought through, with air pumps placed every 1.5 kilometres. And when you get closer to the city centre, traffic lights have been coordinated in “green waves” so that cyclists who keep a speed of 20 kilometres per hour will only meet green lights.Velo Mondial adds that these bicycle highways resemble very much standard bicycle paths in The Netherlands. Read on in EurActive.

Bicycle Highways In Copenhagen

Bicycle highways, a new transport experiment, are spreading fast across the European Union, notably in Denmark, Germany, Sweden and the UK.In the suburbs of Copenhagen, a bicycle highway project launched in April last year has proven a hit with the city's commuters. Authorities plan to open 28 bicycle highways in total.According to its promoters, bicycle highways should be rolled out across the EU, especially in a time of crisis as they can help governments save on healthcare costs. The bicycle network is currently saving the Danish state an estimated €40 million per year in health costs, with only a relatively small amount of money going to building and maintaining the highways. Lars Gaardhøj, chairman of the Environment and Green Growth Committee in the capital region of Denmark, told EurActiv that the bicycle highways targeted commuters who traveled more than five kilometres to work or school. Studies have shown that over distances more than five kilometres, people tended to choose other means of transport, like buses or cars, he said. Read on in EurActive.