Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cycling infrastructure best practice study

Achieving the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling in London (March 2013) will require London practitioners to apply tried-and tested techniques from around the world to the London context, and to innovate as necessary. To this end, TfL commissioned a study of selected cities, to understand better what makes for success in relation to cycle infrastructure, safety and culture. The study was based around visits during 2013 to 14 cities of different character, to learn from them by interviews with local practitioners, by observation and by riding. The cities were chosen to enable different types of lesson to be learned: from what works best in cities where mass cycling is established, to how cities lower down the curve have applied learning from those further up; and from physical techniques to systems of governance. For this reason, they visited cities as diverse as New York and Utrecht. The former is a mega-city of 8+ million inhabitants with low overall levels of cycling, but with a recent successful policy of reallocating street space from general traffic to cycling. By contrast, Utrecht (south-east of Amsterdam) has around a third of a million inhabitants and is one of the world’s great cycling cities, where around a third of all journeys are by bicycle. Read more here.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Could Smart Cities Slowly Destroy Democracy?

Has the concept of the smart city ”crystallised into an image of the city as a vast, efficient robot?” In the age of the “Internet of Things,” where does the citizen fit in? In this article from The Guardian, journalist Steven Poole takes a critical stance against the purported utopian ideals of smart . Poole delves into the nuances of who the smart city is truly meant to serve, questions the debate over whether it should develop along a top-down or bottom-up approach, and poses the provocative thought: “a vast network of sensors amounting to millions of electronic ears, eyes and noses – also potentially enable(s) the future city to be a vast arena of perfect and permanent surveillance by whomever has access to the data feeds.” Questions of control, virtual reality, free-will, and hierarchies of power, Poole asserts are critical to the discussion of technology’s powerful role in the future. Read the full article to learn more about the possible potential of the smart city to “destroy democracy,” here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Copenhagen: Relatively good for cycling

The purpose of the doctoral study -Vélomobility; A critical analysis of planning and space- is to bring a spatial dimension into the research on urban mobilities and connect the spatial dimension to the marginalisation of cyclists in urban space. This is been done by exploring the role of urban bicycling and transport planning. The materialisation of power relations is analysed with the example of modern planning in Sweden and Denmark. Overall this thesis manages to show how cycling as a mode of transport is marginalised in urban space, and that urban space wars between cyclists and car drivers and among cyclists are fought in Copenhagen as well as in Stockholm. The conclusion is that different factors, such as the economic situations in Denmark and Sweden, have affected urban and transport planning and thus have created two very different transport systems, where cycling plays a large role (Copenhagen) and a smaller role (Stockholm). Nevertheless, this thesis shows that even in cities that are very good for cycling, like Copenhagen, the motorised modes of transport create many problems and are still dominating urban space. Read on here.

Monday, December 8, 2014

What BMW has learned from cycling; London calling.

BMW is hoping to be in the vanguard of dealing with the changing way Britain’s city dwellers use vehicles by launching a joint venture with car rental company Sixt. The companies have brought the DriveNow car-sharing model to London from Germany which allows users to locate, unlock and start cars using a mobile phone app, then drive them on a charge per minute basis. The system – currently in a small scale test with a fleet of about 250 BMW 1 series and Minis – does away with the need for a central collect and return point so users can make one-way journeys. DriveNow has agreed a deal with Islington, Hackney and Haringey councils allowing the cars to be parked in any on-street parking spaces, meaning they can be used in a similar way to London’s “Boris Bike” scheme, as long as they are dropped off within the three boroughs. Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW board manager said the company looked at the future of the car market several years ago and decided it needed to be in the sector. Read on here.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Planning the Cycling City: Highly recommended graduate level program!

This graduate level programme will explore urban cycling from a Dutch perspective, both historically and current, and will provide students with a host of skills on how to develop and foster cycling cities and gain insights on what this means. Students will examine the impacts of history, policy, infrastructure, planning, and culture within the context of urban cycling in the Netherlands. Next to this, the programme invites students to bring and share their personal views and experiences on cycling cities. Amsterdam is the world’s cycling capital and offers the most suitable environment for examining bicycle-related issues in the urban context. Admission requirements: - Master's and graduate students in the field of urban planning have priority. - Undergraduates in their final years, majoring in urban studies or related, are welcome to apply. - Those not in the field of urban planning are also welcome to apply, but should make clear in their motivation letter why they believe they qualify for the programme. Highly recommended by Velo Mondial! Be quick!

Friday, November 28, 2014

No cycle super highway, but a fast cycle route: a timeline

Timeline: 2008 First investigation into the feasibility of a high-speed cycle route ʼs-Hertogenbosch-Oss. 2009 The national government decides to subsidise fast cycle routes and local and/or regional authorities are asked to send in plans with a subsidy request. A total sum of 21 million euro will be available. 2010 The Province of Brabant, together with the municipalities of ʼs-Hertogenbosch, Oss and Maasdonk, apply for a subsidy for the F59. 2011 The preliminary design is finished. 2011 The National Government grants 1.3 million euro to this project. 2012 The province and the municipalities try to allocate funds for their part of the route. The total costs of 4.8 million euro will be shared as follows: National government 1.3m Province 2.5m (including 0.6m as a guarantee for unforeseen costs) Municipalities 1m (all three combined). The municipality of ʼs-Hertogenbosch will be in charge of the project. 2013 Representatives of all parties involved sign an agreement to start building the route. 2014 The first part is officially finished and opened. January 1, 2015 The municipality of Maasdonk will cease to exist and its territory will be split between ʼs-Hertogenbosch and Oss. 2015 The full route is expected to be finished by the end of 2015 Read on here in Bicycle Dutch.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Public Bike sharing in North America During a Period of Rapid Expansion

Public bike sharing systems offer accessible shared bicycles for first-and-last mile trips connecting to other modes, as well as for both short and long distance destinations in an urban environment. Access to the bicycles is gained through membership in a bike sharing organization. While the majority of North American bike sharing operators charge for use (membership and use-based fees), some community-based bike sharing organizations do not. This report highlights Information Technology (IT)-based bike sharing activities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Bike sharing systems typically permit both one-way trips and round-trips with bikes available on-demand (no reservation) via a network of docking stations for retrieving and parking bicycles. Thus, bike sharing can facilitate connections to and from public transit and provide a means to make local trips within the bike sharing network. IT-based bike sharing has grown rapidly in North America over the past five years.  Read on here.

Why don't the poor use bike share systems?

Bicycle sharing systems have been spreading like wildfire over the past few years, with new initiatives in New York and Chicago bringing the idea to America's biggest cities. But even the oldest such systems aren't very old, so we're still learning a lot about how they work. One striking finding of a major new report from the Mineta Institute at San Jose State University is that bike shares cater disproportionately to the rich. At least they do in the four major established systems in the US and Canada that the report examined. For each city, this table shows two different populations. In the left column, you get the share of the city's total population that belongs to each income bracket. In the right column, you get the share of the city's total bike share membership that belongs to each income bracket. In all four cities, you see that low income cohorts are a lower share of the bikeshare population than they are of the total population. In the high income cohorts it's the opposite. 17 percent of Salt Lake City bike share members earn over $150,000 a year, even though such well-to-do individuals are only 8 percent of the city's total population. Read on here.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Investment in cycling can bring very strong returns to society.

new statistical report from the Department for Transport in the UK shows that investing in cycling brings huge economic, social and health benefits, with some cycling schemes having a benefit-to-cost ratio (BCR) of up to 35 to 1. The newly-funded cycling schemes have BCRs of 5.5:1 – the Department for Transport said this means that "for every £1 of public money spent, the funded schemes provide £5.50 worth of social benefit." The DfT's "Value for Money" guidance says a project will generally be regarded as "medium" if the BCR is between 1.5 and 2; and "high" if it is above 2. In transport terms, 35 to 1 is most definitely "off the scale".To put this into perspective, the Eddington transport study of 2006 said the BCR for trunk roads was 4.66, local roads 4.23 and light rail schemes a measly 2.14. The UK's £43bn HS2 rail project has a BCR of just 2.3. Ministers often state that road and rail projects offer "high" benefit to cost ratios.This tallies with another ground-breaking DfT report, "Claiming the Health Dividend", also released today; the report riffs on the many benefits of "active travel", stressing that the investment case for cycling is "compelling." Read on here. 

Barriers to bikesharing: an analysis from Melbourne and Brisbane

This study quantifies the motivators and barriers to bikeshare program usage in Australia. An online survey was administered to a sample of annual members of Australia’s two bikeshare programs based in Brisbane and Melbourne, to assess motivations for joining the schemes. Non-members of the programs were also sampled in order to identify current barriers to joining bikeshare. Spatial analysis from Brisbane revealed residential and work locations of non-members were more geographically dispersed than for bikeshare members. An analysis of bikeshare usage in Melbourne showed a strong relationship between docking stations in areas with relatively less accessible public transit opportunities. The most influential barriers to bikeshare use related to motorized travel being too convenient and docking stations not being sufficiently close to home, work and other frequented destinations. The findings suggest that bikeshare programs may attract increased membership by ensuring travel times are competitive with motorized travel,  Convenience considerations may include strategic location of docking stations, ease of signing up and integration with public transport. Read on here. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

China embraces the bicycle again

China’s campaign to re-embrace its biking tradition is catapulting the wealth of two Chinese billionaires. To reduce air pollution and traffic jam, the country has become a leader in building sharable biking systems. The regained cycling  enthusiasm in China is adding to the wealth of two billionaires. Shanghai Forever Co., a bike manufacturer whose board chairman Chen Rong ranked No.281 on the Forbes China Rich List with a net worth of $750 million, has seen its share price rising by 51.4% in the last 12 months. The Shanghai-listed company, which was acquired by Chen’s Zhonglu Group in 2001, now has a market capitalization of $7.01 billion yuan ($ 1.14 billion). The firm, also backed by the wealth management arm of France’s BNP Paribas , said its bike-share facilities will be upgraded as it rolls out more programs in Jiangsu province, adding to the 69 facilities it already operates nationwide, according to company filings and website. Read more here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2015 Winter Cycling Congress Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

The first Winter Cycling Congress took place in February 2013 when winter cycling enthusiast gathered in Oulu, Finland, to discuss and experience winter cycling. The participants and organizers soon realized that much more work was needed to further the research and achievements of projects relating to winter cycling. The Winter Cycling Federation was thus created. After Oulu, Finland, in 2013, and Winnipeg, Canada, in 2014, the Congress will be held in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands in 2015. Leeuwarden is located in the northern province of Fryslân. Winter Cycling Congress 2015 Leeuwarden is about uniting hearty souls from communities of all climates, sizes and levels of bicycle development who share the ambition to make two-wheeled travel normal, even when the snow flies. Using the perspective of all different types of professionals – from engineers to planners to journalists and more – we are planning a conference meant to show winter cycling is more than a sustainable solution for transporting people, it is also a way to develop a culture and built environment supporting the health, wealth and happiness of many people. Read more about this here and meet me there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Southwark leads the way in London

The 'Southwark Spine' is the centrepiece of the council's new draft cycling strategy, which will be officially launched for public consultation next week. "We have a clear vision for cycling in our borough and this strategy forms a key part of delivering that vision," says Cllr Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transport. "We are committed to increasing levels of cycling in Southwark whilst making it safer for everyone. We want cycling to become commonplace – just another way of getting round and as easy as walking. "We have seen levels of cycling increase in our borough in recent years. We want to build on this and provide the infrastructure, education and information to get even more people cycling. We want to hear from our residents, particularly those who don't currently cycle, to find out what changes we need to make to get them cycling. "We will unlock a cycling network in our borough, starting with a new north-south Southwark Spine route that will run the entire length of our borough. This will complement existing plans for cycle superhighways and quietways, forming the basis of a comprehensive cycling grid. By working together we can significantly increase the number of people cycling from all backgrounds." Read on here.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Is This The World's Best Bike-Share Bike?

The Danish capital has reinvented bike sharing. Its new fleet of electric,Wi-Fi-connected bikes are designed to get more non-cyclists to ride. "When [the city and partners] began a process of upgrading the existing bike-share system, they took a look at systems in cities like Paris, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Barcelona," says Torben Aagaard, CEO and co-founder of Gobike, the company supplying the new bike. "They wanted to have a system that was even better than all the existing examples they could see." The new bikes, which began rolling out earlier this year, aren't cheap to make, but each detail is designed to lower the barrier to ride. A theft-proof tablet attached to the handlebars offers navigation (far easier than trying to read a tiny smartphone screen), and has built-in links to the rest of the city's transportation system. If you want to check train times and get directions to a particular station, you push a button. The new system launched in March with 250 bikes, and will grow to over 1,800 by next year. Gobike is planning similar systems in Barcelona. Read on here.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Floating cycle path proposed for London's River Thames

A proposal for a new east-west cycleway that would float on the River Thames has been unveiled by a consortium of architects, artists and engineers formed to promote the development of better cycling links inLondon. The Thames Deckway aims to provide a solution to the British capital's "deep-seated traffic and pollution problems". Proposed for a 12 kilometre stretch from Battersea in the west to Canary Wharf in the east, the cycleway would run close to the south bank of the river – away from the main water navigation channel. The project by River Cycleway Consortium Ltd would provide a car-free route and potentially slash the journey time from end to end to half an hour by bike. "London needs to think outside the box of conventional solutions to solve its deep-seated traffic and pollution problems," said the company in a statement. "The Thames offers vast, untapped potential to ease and improve London's infrastructure problems. What is needed is imagination to unleash it." Velo Mondial comments that this plan has the same base idea as "cycling utopia" above London's railways which is not realistic when not connected to a city cycling network.  A London Cycling Network should have first priority. Read on here. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Chennai: Promoting walking, cycling, rickshaws, pushcarts

The Chennai Corporation Council on Tuesday approved a non-motorised transport (NMT) policy to promote walking, cycling, cycle rickshaws, pushcarts and other forms of mobility powered by humans. The civic body has set a target of increasing the mode share for pedestrians and cyclists to at least 40 per cent by 2018. It will also implement policy decisions towards a reduction in the number of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities to zero per annum. The public transport mode share is expected to be 60 per cent of motorised trips by 2018. While at least 80 per cent of streets will have footpaths in five years, at least 80 per cent of those with a right-of-way of over 30 metre will have an unobstructed, segregated, continuous cycle track of two-metre width, the draft policy stated. The Corporation will also take initiatives to promote cycling and walking by creating a safe network of footpaths, cycle tracks, greenways and other facilities. Streets will be designed in accordance with the best in pedestrian-oriented, multi-modal designs, and will incorporate appropriate environmental planning and water management techniques. Read on here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Urban mobility in the smart city age

A smart city is an efficient city, a livable city, as well as an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable city. This vision can be realised today, using innovative operational and information technology, and leveraging meaningful and reliable real-time data generated by citizens and city infrastructure. However, an unprecedented scale of change is needed for cities to become more efficient, attractive, inclusive and competitive. This change will require a new paradigm, which looks at the fabric of cities in a totally new way. This, in turn, requires a breakthrough in how cities, businesses, citizens and academia think and work together. The transition towards smarter cities is about reinventing cities, such that: • citizens are no longer considered as users, but as key stakeholders; • technology is no longer looked at as a static asset, but as a dynamic enabler; • business is no longer viewed as a provider, but as a partner; • the notion of urban evolution is replaced by one of transformation. Read on in URBAN MOBILITY IN  THE SMART CITY AGE and find out how Velo Mondial thinks, as well as a growing number of people and institutions.

Monday, September 29, 2014

London cycling lanes face opposition from Transport for London

Senior figures at Transport for London (TfL) believe Boris Johnson is trying to rush through his plans for segregated cycle lanes in London too quickly, Politics.co.uk can reveal. The London mayor has promised to build a series of segregated cycle routes across London over ten years. The plans are broadly supported by cyclists but are meeting stiff opposition from motoring and business groups, who believe the lanes will cause congestion. A senior source at TfL told Politics.co.uk that they were concerned that the mayor's cycling ambassador Andrew Gilligan had not effectively explained the policy to Londoners."It's not a bad policy as long as you communicate to people what it entails and I'm not sure that's been done," they said. The source described Mr Gilligan as a "zealot" and suggested that he had failed to convince anyone beyond those already persuaded by the need for the new segregated cycle lanes. They pointed to new figures showing the mayor's cycle superhighways will delay other journeys across London by up to 16 minutes on some routes. Read more here. For London planners, read: 'Enabling Cycling Cities, Ingredients for success' where preventing this problem is addressed. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rome was not built in one day; nor shall London's cycling network

Boris Johnson cycle superhighway plans are cut and delayed. While his allies rally round his flagship project, other elements of the London mayor’s “cycling vision” are being quietly dropped or slowed down With media attention firmly focussed on the 18-mile, east-west “Crossrail for bikes” and concerns that this ambitious scheme is being forced through too fast in order to make Boris Johnson look good before he formally steps down in 2016, two of the mayor’s other planned “cycle superhighways” have been dumped and others have been put back. In a written answer to a question from Green Party London Assembly member Darren Johnson, the mayor has confirmed that plans for a superhighway 6 (CS6) from Penge to the City and a superhighway 12 from East Finchley/Muswell Hill to Angel (CS12) “are now deleted from the programme”. Meanwhile, the latest Transport for London (TfL) operational and financial performance report shows that CS11, CS4 and an extension to the forthcoming CS5 are “scheduled to complete later than originally forecast”. Read on here.

Lambeth: a new public space

In response to residents’ feedback from consultation on the Loughborough Junction Plan, Lambeth Council are now working with the Loughborough Junction Action Group, local residents and architects DSDHA to develop proposals to improve the junction of Coldharbour Lane and Loughborough Road for pedestrians and cyclists and a new public space outside on Loughborough Road at Wyck Gardens. Bringing together other local initiatives such as the 7 Bridges project, the proposals aim to create a positive new public space in the heart of Loughborough Junction, helping to build the identity of the area to reflect the existing vibrant community and enhance the quality of life for local residents, businesses and visitors. The proposals would increase the amount of public space at the junction of Loughborough Road and Coldharbour Lane by reducing the width of the road. Conditions for cycling and walking would be greatly improved.The proposals would complement the area-wide proposals to create calmer residential streets with less through-traffic whilst maintaining access for residents, visitors, deliveries, the emergency services, cyclists and buses. Read on here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

'The Law of the Mind' and the 'Perfect Citizen'

Riding a bike, you are agile, able to make calculated maneuvers in spontaneous circumstances; your body and face are exposed, integrated in your built and social environment; you communicate informally, as you see another cyclist turn a corner coming toward you, you lean subtly left to signal your direction and with a split- second glance at their eyes, the other acknowledges and veers just to your side; you are aware of others; others are aware of you; your actions are communal and collective; your actions are private and individual; you think and decide; you decide without thinking; your body is performing; you dip on and off the sidewalk, avoiding autos and obstacles, squeezing through traffic and slipping through red lights; you do what autos do; you do what autos do not, and at times, what autos cannot; you see chaos in congestion; you find order in the swarm; you conform to formal traffic rules; you have your own set of rules; you are a cyclist. Read on in this highly interesting blog of 'Cycling Academics'.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Segregation removable for state occasions

Europe’s longest substantially-segregated urban cycleways were unveiled today, the centrepiece of the Mayor’s £913 million commitment to get more Londoners on their bikes. Two continuous cycle routes almost completely separated from traffic will cross central London from east to west and north to south, opening up thousands of new journey opportunities for cyclists. The north-south route will run for more than 3 miles from Elephant & Castle to King’s Cross. The east-west route will run from Barking to Acton, a distance of over 18 miles, including a section on the Westway flyover, where one lane will be removed to create a segregated cycle track. Protected cycle routes will also be created through dangerous junctions, including Tower Hill, Blackfriars, Parliament Square and Lancaster Gate. Connections will be created to cycle routes servicing other parts of the City, West End and suburbs. Subject to detailed public consultation – which begins today – work will start early next year and the routes will open in March 2016. High-quality materials will be used for the scheme to enhance the look of the streets and reflect their importance. On parts of the scheme, the segregation will be removable for state occasions. Read on here.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The world's largest study of bicycle user behaviour

Nine intersections. 19,500 cyclists. Nine hours. All in a city considered as a model for many urban planners. The Copenhagenize 'Design Company Desire Lines Analysis Tool' headed south to Amsterdam to study bicycle user behaviour and how it interacts with - or is affected by - urban infrastructure. In a loose collaboration between Copenhagenize Design Co. and The University of Amsterdam in the guise of Marco te Brömmelstroet nine intersections in the city were filmed during the morning rush hour in order to complete the world's largest study of bicycle user behaviour. The results of our study and showcase some of the data, analyses and desire line maps. The bicycle infrastructure in the City of Amsterdam is rather different from the typology used in Copenhagen ,where we did the first anthropological studies of the cyclists - The Choregraphy of an Urban Intersection, and others. It was therefore interesting for us to observe the trajectories and behavioiur of Dutch cyclists crossing over-crowded intersections.  Do we really have the World's Best Behaved Cyclists in Copenhagen or can the Dutch compete with that? Read on in Copenhagenize.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Electric Bikeshare in Madrid

Madrid’s bike sharing program finally debut this week, joining other metropolises, such as Barcelona, Seville, Valencia, Zaragoza, and Vitoria, to advance the most sustainable and healthy transport system after walking. More interestingly, Madrid’s brand new bicycles are electric. The chosen name was initially controversial. BiciMad comes from bicicleta (bicycle) and Madrid, and despite some people noticing the double meaning in English, the local council did not get it or actually liked it and decided to go “loco.” It was prophetic, as the first day was a little hectic, with it not working and a fake twitter account helping people better than the official one. Nevertheless the bike sharing system is welcome in Madrid. The Spanish capital is begging for clean air and many social movements have been started in the last few years demanding more space for bikes in the street. Will people in Madrid leave the car to take the bike? The electric motor will probably make the difference. Read more here. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Car producers cycle at work

Faced with a serious transportation problem on its sprawling technical center campus in a Detroit suburb, General Motors Co. has turned to a solution that predates cars – bicycles. GM has launched a bike share program for 19,000 employees at its Warren Technical Center. It will help them navigate the 61 buildings on the 330-acre campus and provide convenient transportation for errands in the surrounding community.   Employees at the tech center might think using bikes to get around is a foreign concept, but they appear game. “This is good for exercise, good for on-campus mobility and a nice way to actually learn more about non-auto transportation,” said John Waechter, designing engineer at the Tech Center. The bikes will compete with walking, a shuttle bus system and cars. Waechter said he thinks cycling will be quicker than walking and have one advantage over driving because he won’t have to search for a parking place. Read more in the LA Times.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The first fully segregated roundabout in London

A breakthrough in cycle safety was unveiled today as work began to create the first fully segregated roundabout in London. Cyclists and vehicles will be kept apart by using raised kerbs and separate traffic lights on the Queen’s Circus roundabout in Battersea. The interchange is not notorious for collisions, but Wandsworth council decided to make the improvements to prioritise cycling and walking as the Nine Elms area is redeveloped. The roundabout is used by thousands of commuter cyclists each day as it lies on Boris Johnson’s bike super- highway 8 linking Wandsworth and Westminster. Its use is expected to increase as former industrial areas of north Battersea are being transformed with the redevelopment of Battersea power station and the relocation of the US embassy.The new roundabout, right, which will also have pedestrian crossings, is the first to attempt to keep cyclists and motorists fully segregated in London. Work is due to be completed next summer. Read on here. 

A day in the life of a City Bike: London & New york

A day in the life of a New York Citibike From an investment  banker at 7.50am to a solar product start-up entrepreneur more than 12 hours later, The Guardian follows the fortunes of a New York Citibike for a day. London, an impression: It is 8am on a warm morning. Waterloo station in London is the city's busiest bicycle hire dock, and this is its busiest time of day. There are no bikes, of course. As quickly as vans unload cycles – 400 of them by 10am – the cycles disappear. We want to know how the cycle hire scheme is used, who rides the bikes, and why. New York, an impression:Our bright blue Citibike, number 0919, starts its day early at the busiest Citibike station, on 42nd Street, outside Grand Central station. Last month, nearly 500 trips started or ended here every day. 7.50am Yuri K, 39, rushes towards Citibike 0919. He just got off the train from Westchester, Connecticut, and is on his way to his office in Tribeca in downtown Manhattan. Read more about New York here and about London here.

A day in the life of a city bike: London & New York

A day in the life of a New York Citibike From an investment  banker at 7.50am to a solar product start-up entrepreneur more than 12 hours later, The Guardian follows the fortunes of a New York Citibike for a day. London, an impression: It is 8am on a warm morning. Waterloo station in London is the city's busiest bicycle hire dock, and this is its busiest time of day. There are no bikes, of course. As quickly as vans unload cycles – 400 of them by 10am – the cycles disappear. We want to know how the cycle hire scheme is used, who rides the bikes, and why. New York, an impression:Our bright blue Citibike, number 0919, starts its day early at the busiest Citibike station, on 42nd Street, outside Grand Central station. Last month, nearly 500 trips started or ended here every day. 7.50am Yuri K, 39, rushes towards Citibike 0919. He just got off the train from Westchester, Connecticut, and is on his way to his office in Tribeca in downtown Manhattan. Read more about New York here and about London here.

Monday, August 18, 2014

New Walking and cycling routes: Increased physical activity

Research in the Connect2 Program provides evidence that improved, high-quality, traffic-free routes for walking and cycling may help to increase overall physical activity levels in the local population and thereby contribute to the primary prevention of a range of noncommunicable diseases. This lends support to recent calls to increase the provision of such routes in local communities. The findings from case study sites may in principle be generalizable to other, similar projects planned within and beyond the Connect2 program. It is plausible that intervention effects will become even stronger as more destinations become connected by a high-quality network that constitutes a higher dose of intervention. Through such improvements to infrastructure (and its supporting evidence base), we hope that communities will progressively realize the substantial health and environmental benefits of making walking and cycling a convenient, safe, and attractive everyday activity. Read more here. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cycling expertise from The Netherlands

A limited number of data on bicycle use in the netherlands can be found in cycling in the netherlands. Less up to date but more extensive: facts about cycling in the netherlands (2001). At the national level new data on bicycle use are compiled annually on the basis of diaries. The data on trends in bicycle use have been analysed regularly. Before that, the english version of the final report of masterplan fiets: the dutch bicycle master plan. The predominant impression of these analyses is one of stability. Bicycle use remains at least at the same level, despite circumstances that on their own would cause a decrease (slight decrease bicycle use nice policy result!). A major factor in this respect are the ever lengthening and ever less cyclable distances in commuter traffic (we have not become more mobile). Gradually these analyses have provided increasingly stronger evidence  in favour of the efficacy of bicycle policies (Evidence in favour of efficacy bicycle policies) and Bicycle policies have mainly long-term effects (Fietsbeleid werkt vooral op de lange termijn), particularly thanks to the data that became available as a result of the Fietsbalans benchmarking by Fietsersbond (Good local policies huge incentive for bicycle use).   Read more here.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bicycle parking at Rotterdam Central Station

It was built in 22 months, the underground bicycle parking facility at Rotterdam’s new Central Railway Station. It was opened in November 2013 and it has parking spaces for 5,190 bicycles. Making it the largest of the country (to date), at just a bit bigger than the runner-up. The majority of the parking spaces can be used completely free of charge. This is one of several very large parking facilities that were opened in recent years at main intercity railway stations in the Netherlands. But even relatively small towns have large facilities. Houten (2011; 3,000 spaces) is a prime example and the “bicycle apple” in Alphen a/d Rijn (2010; 1,000 spaces) also shows that the Dutch arrive by bicycle at their railway stations in very high numbers. On average in the entire country 40% of the train travellers arrive by bicycle so combining modes of travel is very common in the Netherlands. That makes it necessary for the authorities to facilitate parking all those bicycles. All these large facilities popping up around the country is not because there is a race going on to have the best or biggest facility. Read on in Bicycle Dutch