Thursday, April 26, 2012


Is a new way of life emerging in the USA?

“Unfortunately for car companies,” Jordan Weissmann noted  in a couple weeks back, “today's teens and twenty-somethings don't seem all that interested in buying a set of wheels. They're not even particularly keen on driving.” Now a major new report from Benjamin Davis and Tony Dutzik at the Frontier Group and Phineas Baxandall, at the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, documents this unprecedented trend across a wide variety of indicators. Their two big findings about young people and driving: - The average annual number of vehicle miles traveled by young people (16 to 34-year-olds) in the U.S. decreased by 23 percent between 2001 and 2009, falling from 10,300 miles per capita to just 7,900 miles per capita in 2009. - The share of 14 to 34-year-olds without a driver’s license increased by 5 percentage points, rising from 21 percent in 2000 to 26 percent in 2010, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Young people are also making more use of transit, bikes, and foot power to
get around. In 2009, 16 to 34-year-olds took 24 percent more bike trips than they took in 2001. They walked to their destinations 16 percent more often, while their passenger miles on transit jumped by 40 percent.Part of the reason for this shift is financial, but also a new way of life emerges.  Read on here.

Utrecht from above

Monday, April 23, 2012

If New Yorkers were to decide

As New York City prepares for the arrival of its public bike-sharing program in July, most of the intrigue has been over where and how these bikes will be placed in the city. Although none of the locations has been set in stone, the city Department of Transportation offered a sneak peek last week at where about four dozen bike stations might be placed along the West Side of Manhattan. Most of the stations were placed on streets, like the east side of Broadway every couple of blocks from Columbus Circle to Pennsylvania Station. A smaller number of stations are to be situated on sidewalks. A small number of bike stations were placed in parks, like Hudson River Park between 39th and 40th Streets. Officials with the Department of Transportation, who presented the preliminary map of kiosks at the transportation planning committee for Manhattan’s Community Board 4, have said the program will have 10,000 bikes that riders can pick up and drop off at 600 stations, mainly in Manhattan’s central business district. New Yorkers have offered their own suggested locations by voting on sites on the department’s Web site and by attending workshops held by community boards this spring. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pas-Port to Mobility Phase 1

Velo Mondial proudly presents the CiViTAS MIMOSA Search Engine. You can now, with great ease, find policy documents on many issues of urban mobility. You will also find an overview of products that are relevant to your policy research. The promis: 'With one push of a button', becomes true with the self explanatory Search Buttons. Soon you will find related information on Consultants, News and Academia; all accessible with the same simple push of a button. And as usual: access is free for all! The search engine will find its base in Pas-Port to Mobility, 9 websites in one portal, disseminating as many aspects of urban mobility as possible: The ‘Urban Mobility Embassy’ is a Service Desk; The 'Urban Mobility Lab' offers a process for sustainable urban mobility Planning; ‘Showcasing' is a supporting site; ‘Experience by Peers' positions cities with expertis; "The ‘Studio' gives access to Innovation; The ‘Publisher’ provides news in articles, web TV, pictures, blogs and websites; The 'The Consultancy' is the Portal to Solutions;'The Factory' is the Portal to Products; The ‘Academy' is overviews Knowledge and Good Practice.
Click here to open booklet

Friday, April 13, 2012

Love London, Go Dutch

When the steed is stolen?

As cars zipped along Treat Boulevard in the pouring rain Tuesday, a steady stream of people added flowers, teddy bears and personal notes to a sidewalk memorial for Solaiman Nuri and his daughter Hadessa. Mr. Nuri and his two daughters, Hadessa, 9, and Hannah, 12, were riding their bicycles Saturday morning when a 17-year-old high school student driving a white Cadillac Escalade jumped the curb, sheared off the top of a fire hydrant and crashed into the family before hitting a building. Mr. Nuri, 41-year-old, died at the scene; Hadessa was pronounced dead at the hospital. Hannah survived with minor injuries. The driver, who witnesses said was speeding was arrested a few days later. The tragedy has shaken Concord, a city of 122,000 in suburban Contra Costa County. Like many suburbs, Concord was designed with one vehicle in mind: the car. Wide six-lane thoroughfares invite fast-moving traffic and leave little room for bicyclists. Today the city has less than three miles of painted, on-street bike lanes. Concord, with 277 bike crashes and 4 bicycle fatalities between 2005 and 2010, is not considering replacing car lanes with bike lanes using a classic non-argument: It would cause a lot of congestion. Read on in the New York Times.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Electric Youth

A market survey, for which 30,000 households in the Netherlands were interviewed, reveals that the advent of electric bikes is turning the Dutch bicycle market upside down. This multi-client survey asked who is already owner of an electric bike; who’s to buy one; why people are buying e-bikes and what they consider important when buying an e-bike. Despite the fact that already some 700,000 are sold the survey says that the market will continue to grow in the coming years. The large-scale market survey reports that in particular buyers in the age group under 55 years are about to enter the e-bike market. They will present a boost in sales. The survey says that in the next years over 40% of the e-bike sales will take place by consumers who are younger than 50 years. This is an increase of 15% compared to the current market situation. In its press release Sparta cheers: “Finally the e-bike market is rejuvenating!” In larger cities the rejuvenation is expected to take place a little faster than in the rest of the Netherlands, but will be noticeable everywhere. The new e-bike buyer intends to use his bike regularly; about half of them even daily. In particular for short city trips (about 75% of all cases). Read on in Bike Europe. The complete report is available at TNS NIPO.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Oceans and Oceans of Bicycles

Two weeks ago Amsterdam announced the start of a campaign with a stricter enforcement of bicycle parking restrictions around Leidseplein. To “tidy up” this central square that has a number of theaters and a very high number of bars and restaurants. They all support the campaign. In principle, parking your bicycle on the public roads is permitted everywhere in the Netherlands under the road act from 1994. A municipality can however designate specific areas where restrictions are in force. They can either be restrictions in time of parking that is allowed (ranging from 30 minutes to 28 days) or that bicycles can only be parked in specific parking racks or areas. Cyclists that leave their bicycles for too long or outside the racks risk confiscation by the local government. Mostly the bike can be retrieved for a small fee. More municipalities have taken measurements for so-called concentration areas. High on the list of popular destinations are railway stations. With 40% of the train travelers arriving by bicycle the stations in the Netherlands have huge problems with the number of parked bikes. The four-story parking facility in front of Amsterdam Central station may be the most photographed facility in the Netherlands. Read More in Bicycle Dutch.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Squaring the Triangle in Los Angeles

Something is happening in Los Angeles, a city that embodies the cliché of car-bound congestion and suburban anomie. The megalopolis is wriggling out of the straitjacket of concrete avenues that, by condemning its residents to travel only in metal shells, wrapped them in loneliness and frustration. Almost suddenly--or so it feels--the city is snipping its way out of a restraining urban fabric that bound it to the car and stitching a chic and even sexy costume that lets it move freely, walk, run, even dance, in its travels. We have a long way to go before we can feel truly free and confident, but at least we can move again! From traffic jams we're moving to jam sessions--on real estate once reserved for speeding wheels. One of the first freedoms was CicLAvia (patterned after the ciclovías of Bogotá) where ten miles of streets are closed to cars and opened to unarmored human beings moving joyously and freely under their own personal power--cycling, walking, skating, dancing, running. We went trepidatiously into the first, in 2010--Could this ever work in LA? Will everyone hate us for even trying?--but tens of thousands responded with a wordless Yes! as they crowded into the liberated avenues. More CicLAvias followed, each drawing more happy people than the one before--and another is due this month! Read More Here.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Safer BraIn

At the end of the project 'Safer BraIn',Velo Mondial presents this random article on vulnerable road user safety in the New York Times. "Thor Batista, the 20-year-old son of Brazil’s richest man, was driving back one night in March from a meal at a steakhouse in the mountains above Rio. He was on a highway at the steering wheel of his father’s $1.3 million sports car, a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. Wanderson Pereira dos Santos, 30, who lived in a shack at the highway’s edge and worked unloading trailer trucks, was on his bicycle, on an errand to buy flour. His wife was preparing to bake a cake. They were celebrating her birthday. When Mr. Batista’s McLaren suddenly smashed into Mr. Pereira dos Santos, killing him instantly, it was clear that more than the two men collided on that stretch of highway. Two Brazils also met head-on: one in which a small elite live with almost unfathomable wealth, and another in which millions eke out an existence on the margins of that abundance. “There have been so many people run over that I’ve lost count,” said Caubi Lopes, 49, a manual laborer who knew Mr. Pereira dos Santos and lives near the site of the car crash. Read on in NYT.  Safer BraIn developed  innovative methodologies and tools for planning, designing and maintaining safe infrastructures for Vulnerable Road Users in Brazil and India.