Monthly Archives: November 2014

FHWA: Bike-Ped Investments Pay Off By Cutting Traffic and Improving Health

Marin County rebuilt an old railroad tunnel and created a 1.1-mile walking and biking path, improving access to transit and increasing biking 95 percent on the road leading to the tunnel. Photo: Parisi Associates
Marin County rebuilt an old railroad tunnel and created a 1.1-mile walking and biking path, improving access to transit and increasing biking 95 percent on the road leading to the tunnel. Photo: Parisi Associates

Nine years after launching a program to measure the impact of bike and pedestrian investments in four communities, the Federal Highway Administration credits the program with increasing walking trips by nearly a quarter and biking trips by nearly half, while averting 85 million miles of driving since its inception. Continue reading

Bikes, Cars, and People Co-Exist on Pittsburgh’s Shared Streets

Pittsburgh’s Market Square keeps the cobblestone street on the same plane as the sidewalk cafés on the perimeter and the plaza in the middle, indicating to drivers, “you’re not on a highway anymore.” Photo: Strada, LLC
Pittsburgh’s Market Square keeps the cobblestone street on the same plane as the sidewalk cafés on the perimeter and the plaza in the middle, indicating to drivers, “you’re not on a highway anymore.” Photo: Strada, LLC

Summer is finally here, but livable streets advocates already can’t wait for September to come. The biennialPro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference is taking place in Pittsburgh, a city that’s shedding its “Rust Belt” image and emerging as a leader in progressive street design with the help of a new mayor who’s committed to biking, walking, and public space. Continue reading

Study: Safe Routes to School Programs Boost Walking and Biking 30%

In just two generations, the share of American kids who walk or bike to school has plummeted — dropping from 50 percent in 1969 to 13 percent today. Can the trend be reversed? Yes, according to new research that shows the impact of street safety infrastructure and other programs implemented with federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funds. Continue reading

3 Tips for Getting your Bike Through the Winter Commuting Season

So you are hardcore enough to brave the elements this winter and ride to work.  Good for you!  It’s so much more difficult to motivate yourself to ride in the morning when you know that Mother Nature is not going to gently embrace you with a thousand warm kisses of the sunrise.  No instead, during these commutes you will be slapped repeatedly across the face and made to feel as if someone is throwing fistfuls of razorblades at you with deadly, ninja-like accuracy.  So if you are powering through, good for you, be proud, you are truly awesome. Continue reading

The Accidental Protected Bike Lane

Toronto officials unintentionally created a protected bike lane just by adding some planters as part of a temporary pedestrian project. Photo: I Bike TO
Toronto officials unintentionally created a protected bike lane just by adding some planters as part of a temporary pedestrian project. Photo: I Bike TO

While protected bike lanes are being adopted by many American cities, in some places local officials still contend that these street redesigns are just too difficult to implement. But how hard is it to set aside street space where people feel comfortable biking?

Cyclists don’t seem to understand that this space wasn’t intended for them. Photo: I Bike TO
Cyclists don’t seem to understand that this space wasn’t intended for them. Photo: I Bike TO

Sometimes you don’t even have to try. Herb at I Bike TO has the story today about a protected bike lane that Toronto officials created entirely by accident:

Max snapped this photo one morning a few weeks ago at John and Queen, looking north. I was completely flabbergasted at first. As many of my readers might now, there was a long extended fight with Councillor Vaughan and a bunch of planners who were trying to plan cyclists out of the picture and create a pedestrian arcade (but with cars) out of John Street. This seemed like a complete 180, where cyclists were actually given their own space instead of treated like pariahs.

But, no, it was not to be. Instead this is a pilot project until October to carve out a much larger pedestrian zone with a row of planters. Instead of being a protected bike lane much like I’ve seen in Vancouver, it’s a “pedestrian” zone.

Cyclists don’t know what to do with the space. Some people are still using it as a bike lane while other cyclists choose to squeeze next to a multi-block long line of cars (photo by Michal).

Herb is disappointed the city didn’t include protected bike lanes in the street reconfiguration. Will the final design discourage cycling, or will it be flexible like the temporary project?

Elsewhere on the Network today: Systemic Failure scoffs at the news that a Hawaii father has been convicted of child endangerment for making his son walk a mile home from school. Bike Portlandconsiders the significance of the fact that “America’s bike capital” has no elected officials who commute by bike. And ATL Urbanist shares some photos showing how parking devoured Atlanta’s walkable urban fabric in the 20th century.

Original

In Austin, a Protected Bike Lane Built to Help Kids Get to School

The Bluebonnet protected bike lane in Austin serves children riding to Zilker Elementary. Photo: People for Bikes
The Bluebonnet protected bike lane in Austin serves children riding to Zilker Elementary. Photo: People for Bikes

What does it look like when a city gets serious about giving kids the freedom to get to school on their own? Austin, Texas, is showing people what’s possible with a protected bike lane that serves an elementary school. Continue reading

What’s the carbon footprint of … a new car?

Making a new car creates as much carbon pollution as driving it, so it’s often better to keep your old banger on the road than to upgrade to a greener model.

• More carbon footprints: nuclear war, cycling a mile, more
Understand more about carbon footprints

940

The carbon footprint of a new car:
6 tonnes CO2e: Citroen C1, basic spec
17 tonnes CO2e: Ford Mondeo, medium spec
35 tonnes CO2e: Land Rover Discovery, top of the range Continue reading

DC Bike Counts Show Continuing Surge in Protected Lane Use

Pennsylvania Avenue uses a combination of buffered and protected bike lanes. Photo credit: PeopleforBikes
Pennsylvania Avenue uses a combination of buffered and protected bike lanes. Photo credit: PeopleforBikes

The older DC’s first two protected bike lanes get, the more spectacular their results seem to become.

Freshly compiled bike counts from June 2013 show that the number of people biking in the 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue lanes during peak hours has grown seven times faster than the citywide average since April 2010. Continue reading

What a Great Pilot Bike Lane Project Looks Like: 3 Best Practices

Cheap and flexible: A pilot protected lane project on Multnomah Street in Portland. Photo: Green Lane Project

Cheap and flexible: A pilot protected lane project on Multnomah Street in Portland. Photo: Green Lane Project

From Calgary to Seattle to Memphis, the one-year pilot project is becoming the protected bike lane trend of 2014.

Street designers looking to use the design have been putting down their digital renderings and picking up plastic posts and barrels of paint, city staffers from around the country said in interviews this week. Continue reading