Thursday, March 26, 2015

The best roundabout design for cyclists

Roundabouts are often disliked by cyclists because using them by bicycle can be fraught with danger. When riding on a roundabout, you rely upon drivers seeing you on your bike. There is a tendency for motorists to look right through cyclists while looking for other motor vehicles, hence the frequency of "SMIDSY" incidents. However none of this has to be the case. The best Dutch roundabout designs do not cause significant danger for cyclists. But note that not all Dutch roundabouts are created equal. There are big differences in the safety of different designs of roundabout used in the Netherlands, and not all advice from this country emphasizes the safest design. In the Netherlands it is not expected that cyclists should be mixed with motorized traffic on roundabouts. There is always a cycle-path or lane of some form. While cycle-lanes around roundabouts are not generally thought to work well.  There are two opposing views on how these cycle-paths should be designed. One view holds that cyclists should have priority across each road leading to the roundabout, the other holds that it is dangerous for cyclists to have this priority. Read on here. Also read this in BicycleDutch.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Amsterdam children in 1972; amazing footage shaping the Amsterdam of today

“This would be a perfect area for a trial with a maximum speed of 30km/h” (18mph) explains a traffic expert of the city of Amsterdam to a child in a film that was broadcast on Dutch national TV almost 42 years ago. The TV documentary was made for a progressive broadcasting corporation and shows the Amsterdam neighbourhood “De Pijp” which was about 100 years old at the time. The homes were run down and small. The streets were never built, nor fit for all the cars brought in by the 40,000 people living in the small area and its many visitors. This led to an overpopulated neighbourhood with a lot of dirt and filth and especially the children suffered. The documentary is one of a series and this particular episode looks at the situation from a child’s perspective. Read much, much more here.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Once in a lifetime event in Johannesburg SA

EcoMobility World Festival will transform Sandton into a car-free central business district in October 2015. Arguably, it will be the only car-free CBD in entire Africa! October this year, the world will see a first-of-its-kind experiment to bring about a shift from car-dominated transport to EcoMobility in cities: Johannesburg will close a key part of Sandton Central Business District to cars and encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport for the entire month. The happening is framed as EcoMobility World Festival, the first such event in Africa and the second in the world. Mayor Parks Tau has officially launched the EcoMobility World Festival project on 17 March 2015 at an event attended by key stakeholders in Johannesburg.“We have never imagined Sandton, the economic powerhouse of Joburg, to be a parking lot. We need to redefine mobility in Sandton. The new mobility needs to be an integrated one that serves people. It will happen in October, the future will be seen today. Driven by ICLEI, we will partner with local organizations and stakeholders to make the EcoMobility World Festival a success and a beneficial experience for all those involved,” announced the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Parks Tau.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Stockholm steps it up a notch

Stockholm city officials and architects have unveiled plans for a new parking garage catering exclusively to bicycles and their riders. With limited inner city space, Stockholm hopes to encourage ridership by creating something that caters to the needs of cyclists. “The city of the future is not one built around the car as a means of transportation,” says Roger Mogert, city planning commissioner for Stockholm. “This requires that we make it easier to travel by bike, and of course arranging for safe and efficient parking solutions is one step towards that goal.” Belatchew Architects, the firm tasked with the project, says the garage will have the capacity to hold as many as 700 bicycles. It’s located near a major train stop and was designed with all kinds of cyclist needs in mind. Instead of doors with handles, entrances slide open for easy access from the bike path or street. Plans also call for a bike repair shop and changing rooms where commuters can shower, get dressed for work and stow their helmets in lockers. Read on here.

Friday, March 13, 2015

A true revolution in bike sharing by VanMoof

Equipped with Bluetooth and GSM technologies, the new generation VANMOOF bikes has attracted the attentions of Silicon Valley. VANMOOF technology is at the heart of Spinlister, a revolutionary new bike-share scheme that’s being launched in the city of Austin, Texas during the 2015 South by Southwest Festival (13-22 March). Imagine being able to locate and rent a state-of-the-art bicycle using just your smartphone, anywhere in the world. Spinlister is a radical departure from all other bike sharing schemes to date. There is no hub or station where bicycles have to be collected or returned. Renters simply locate, book and unlock privately-owned bikes using the Spinlister mobile app. In doing so, they avoid back-and-forth communication with owners, or having to plan trips around fixed-location bicycle hub stations. It’s a new, intuitive and user-friendly system that’s possible thanks to the groundbreaking features of the latest commuter bikes from VANMOOF. Boasting GSM and Bluetooth technologies, these VANMOOF bikes are able to communicate with the Spinlister app. Together, they make to make finding and renting a bicycle convenient and enjoyable. Read more here.

Cycle and pedestrian bridge with the works: park, solar, winter warming, illumination, thermal storage

The Paleisbrug (palace bridge) is an elevated park and a bicycle and pedestrian bridge in one. It is designed to connect the old town centre and the new Paleiskwartier (Palace district) of the city ‘s Hertogenbosch and at the same time meant to create unity with the surrounding historic green landscape. From the Paleisbrug there is a magnificent view over the Gement, the grassland that was used as inundation area during the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648). The 250 meter long Paleisbrug has space for bicycle and pedestrian lanes, plants, trees, benches and lighting, all integrated in folded weathering steel. The plants are illuminated, as well as the benches and paths, allowing the Paleisbrug to be a pleasant place to walk and sit down, even at night. A floor heating is installed that provides a low temperature (10 degrees Celsius) in the deck and the stairs of the bridge. This prevents the bridge from freezing in the winter without the necessity to spread salt, which would affect the steel and the plants. The bridge will also be used as a massive solar collector during summer, since the floor heating is connected to an Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) that provides the stored heat during winter. Read on here.