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 Frysl├ón. 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.