Saturday, November 30, 2013

Mobility management: The smart way to sustainable mobility

Mobility management, often called ‘smartmobility’,is acost-effective instrument for bringing mobility and transport more in line with sustainability. It is complementary to technology and infrastructure measures and it is the additional key needed to achieve sustainable mobility on the local, national and European levels. Therefore current budget cuts should not endanger measures and solutions for sustainable mobility. On the contrary the need for developing and implementing cost-effective measures like mobility management is increasing. It is urgent that we solve the widevariety of sustainability problems caused by transport, particularly environmental, health and social burdens to our citizens. Moreover we need to shift the current unbalanced modal split and decrease the enormous dependency of today’s transport on fossil fuels, which result in high economic costs. The concept of ‘mobility management’ has evolved from these concerns: it is the smart management of mobility needs. Mobility management is a relatively new approach, still in its early stages, but nonetheless developing rapidly in an increasing number of European countries. You can download this  insightful EPOMM book here and watch the CiViTAS MIMOSA video on the same issue below.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Crashes with trucks and vans are mostly caused by the driving style of the drivers.

That is not what Bicycle Dutch thinks, but what is stated on a site of the Dutch national Government. It is clear who the Dutch Government thinks is responsible for these crashes. If you cycle straight-on in the Netherlands, you always have priority over turning trucks. This is the basic rule of priority. But it often happens that drivers of HGVs miss people cycling to their right (legally undertaking the truck or on a cycle path) and that can lead to a so-called “right hook” where a cyclist is crushed by the truck turning right. Because of the nature of the two road users, one with a huge mass and one who is completely unprotected, the consequences of such a crash are very severe, often deadly for the person on a bicycle.Two men on their bicycles wait for a red light while a truck driver makes a right turn. Separate green phases and separate cycling infrastructure makes this safe in the Netherlands. According to that same site by the Dutch Government there are some ways to decrease the number of these particular crashes: “Vehicles can be made safer and the driving style of the drivers can be improved. But infrastructure can be improved as well. HGVs can be banned from urban areas and in city centres deliveries can be allowed only in specific time windows.”

Cycling and Trucks in The Netherlands

Sunday, November 24, 2013

European Cycling Challenge

Bologna challenges Italian and European cities on a cycling contest in May, 2014. The first edition of the European Cycling Challenge was held in 2012, when the Municipality of Bologna launched a challenge at European level in which participating cities competed to measure which city would have covered more kilometers by bike in May. The goal of the challenge, in addition to the fun that didn’t fall short!, was to sensitise people to use bicycles for their commuting, instead of other pollutant vehicles. The participating teams were directly managed by local government, which provided greater value to the initiative and ensured a remarkable visibility. In the first edition, 715 cyclists in 7 teams – including Barcelona and Tallinn – challenged each other, cycling a total of 90,000 km. In 2013 Bologna re-launched the challenge and achieved a result better than expected: 12 participating cities, 3,067 cyclists and 313,000 km cycled ( At the end of the challenge every city organizes a local public event to reward their cyclists. The prizes, all related to the world of urban cycling were purchased by the city or offered by bike shops or large retail stores of sporting goods in exchange for visibility among the participants in the challenge. Bologna is now launching the European Cycling Challenge – 2014 edition, and some cities have already expressed their willingness to join the challenge next May.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Safety in numbers becomes reality for New York

To many, the ingredients for New York City’s bike-share program suggested a sort of sadistic alchemy. Start with notoriously unforgiving traffic. Add thousands of bicycles along the city’s most congested corridors. And see how perhaps the world’s least understanding drivers would cope with the new additions. And one more thing: Many of the cyclists would be helmetless novices — or worse, tourists — careening into and out of lanes with the whimsy of a youngster pedaling through a suburb. As of Monday, though, after more than five months and five million trips, none of the program’s riders have been killed on the bikes. About two dozen injuries, most of them minor, have been reported. Last year, according to the city’s Transportation Department, 18 cyclists were killed in car crashes from January through October, compared with 10 so far this year, though citywide, cyclist injuries have remained consistent. There was one cyclist death this year in the neighborhoods served by the bike-share program, in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, though the cyclist was not riding a Citi Bike. Over the same period last year, there were two bike deaths in these areas. Read on in NYT.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sparkling Cycle Path

The Eindhoven region will receive the first innovative bicycle path in the Netherlands. The 600 metres long bicycle path runs where Vincent van Gogh lived from 1883 to 1885 and will have a unique design comprising thousands of sparkling stones designed by artist Daan Roosegaarde. The bicycle path will be designed by Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans and is part of a joint venture between the municipality of Eindhoven, Van Gogh Brabant, Vrijetijdshuis Brabant, Eindhoven 365 and Routebureau Brabant. The light stones will be used to create patterns in the path that will charge during the day and emit light during the evening. This creates an interplay of light and poetry. The design this way provides a modern interpretation to Vincent van Gogh. Cultural heritage and innovation merge in this new, public landscape. The first impressions were presented during the symposium ‘Leading in Leisure’ on 24 October, an initiative of the Province of Noord-Brabant and part of the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. Read on here.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Good & Bad in the eyes of the elderly

A large group of people cycled through the town of Vught last Friday. Accompanied by the Vught alderman for traffic, a council member and the senior traffic policy maker. Together they were on a tour to visit good and bad cycling infrastructure. At least good and bad in the eyes of this very specific group of people cycling: the elderly. Dutch elderly people cycle a lot. There are more elderly than before and they cycle more often and also further. Sounds good, but it came with a price: more than half of all cycle deaths last year were people over the age of 65, an incredible figure! In 2012, 200 people cycling were killed in the Netherlands, but of those 200 no less than 108 were over the age of 65! It becomes even more mind-boggling when you consider that 60% of all bicycle crashes with serious injuries were single vehicle crashes. No motor vehicle, no other cyclists, not even a pedestrian was involved. Dutch elderly seem to just fall off their bicycles and they often sustain severe injuries or they even die. Dutch traffic experts are trying to find out what the cause of this all is. And once the cause is known if they can do something about it. Read on in Bicycle Dutch.

Nice goes telematics

Nice, the Mediterranean seaside resort and France's fifth largest city, is embarking on a year-long smart city proof-of-concept. It's partnering with Cisco and several companies involved with sustainable urban development through an alliance called Think Global. The project, "Connected Boulevard," is testing multiple applications such as smart parking, waste disposal, lighting efficiency and environmental monitoring. All of them build on information generated by approximately 200 wirelessly connected devices and sensors deployed along the 800-yard-long Boulevard Victor Hugo. "The goal is to define new applications, usages and business models," said Olivier Seznec, chief technology officer for Cisco France. In particular, the municipal government seeks to document specific ways in which these applications -- and others not yet defined -- may generate cost savings or new revenue for this city of about 550,000 inhabitants. That information is necessary to help justify a deeper investment. Read on in Greenbiz.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Portland cannot keep up with demand

The city of Portland, Oregon, has reached the impressive milestone of 100 bike corrals. That's 9 years after the first one was installed, and the city expects to reach 150 within 5 years and has 98 additional applications under review. As far as I know, that's a lot more than any other city in the US, though I hope that others will give Portland some competition. Why are bike corrals so great? Because in a dense urban environment, the are very space-efficient; where 1 or 2 cars could park, dozens of bikes might fit. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) said that their bike corral program "has helped Portland businesses increase on-street customer parking ten-fold." That's 163 car parking spaces swapped for 1,644 bicycle parking spaces! They also allow cyclists to park right in front of where they're going to eat or shop, making cycling more convenient. And in their own way, they're great marketing for bikes. People see these big clumps of bikes and get used to the idea that cycling is something normal. Read more in Treehugger and check out this great short-film by our friends at Streetfilms.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Reliable, frequent and intermodal mobility in Stockholm

Stockholm, the capital and largest city of Sweden, is a beautiful and well planned city and known for its setting among island waterways.  It has a vibrant café and nightlife scene and is full of parks as well as cycling and walking tracks.  It is an easy city to get around, possessing a 100-station metro system and complimentary network of trams, buses, light rail, and commuter trains.  What makes Stockholm’s transit system so good is its intermodal functionality, that is, the ease with which its riders can switch from a subway to a tram or commuter train, using the same fare card and with little walking or waiting.  The most important accomplishment of the public transportation system in Stockholm has been its high degree of reliability, frequency, and intermodal connectivity.  The commuter and city rail lines coalesce with the trams and buses in nearly seamless transfer points, making for short walks between modes.  Waiting is minimized by the high frequency and reliability of the rail and bus modes, and stations and bus shelters each contain standard, localized schedules and maps. Read more in Sustainable Cities Collective.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Submerged Bicycle Bridge in Haarlem

The city of Haarlem wanted to create a barrier free passage where a main arterial route for motor traffic and a main cycle route along a river bank crossed each other’s paths. But there was no space for an overpass, and a tunnel right next to a river was not such a great idea either. So designers came up with the plan to lead the cycle route through the river under the approach span of the two existing drawbridges for the arterial road. A perfect idea, but there was just one small problem: there was not enough clearance, the bridges were almost 30 centimetres or a little under a foot too low. So what do you do? That was not so hard in a country full of civil engineers who specialize in dams, dikes and flood gates: you simply lower the cycle route below the water level so that there is enough head room for the people cycling there. In the video you can see that it is heavily used by all types of people cycling on a variety of bicycles. The city of Haarlem can be proud to have created one more barrier free cycle route in the Netherlands. And cycling under the water level on a cycle ‘bridge’ is a unique experience, even in the Netherlands. Read and see more at Bicycle Dutch.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Car driving is the new smoking

Velo Mondial hardly ever joins anti propaganda for cars. Giving sometimes attention to the negative effects of car driving however is approriate. We have often complained about the negative impacts of our car culture, but Chris Bruntlett, writing in Vancouver magazine Hush, goes much further, calling them selfish, anti-social, unhealthy, and destructive. He says that it is time to start treating cars as the 21st century version of smoking; and picks up on Mikael Colville-Andersen's idea of warning labels for cars. with his own up-to-date designs. Bruntlett notes how wasteful and inefficient cars are:Let’s face it: when someone gets into a car, they are entering a bubble. Not just a physical bubble of metal and glass, but also a figurative one, where all logic and reasoning is barred from entering. They seem oblivious to the simple truth that the motor vehicle is the most inefficient mode of transportation ever devised. Without thinking, they squander millions of years of stored solar energy to haul around two tons of metal, fibreglass, machinery, and electronics, along with their meager frame. This machine demands a colossal amount of space: 300 square feet when parked, and 3,000 square feet when moving at 50 km/hr. As a result, we carelessly hand over vast chunks of our public realm to the parasitic automobile; space that could be put to much better use. Read on in Treehugger.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A quest from London to Amsterdam

Walnut Studiolo

Walnut from Cineastas on Vimeo.

Mobility management for events

The summer season is typically a period filled with festivals and musical events. Managing thousands of people going to the same location within the same time period, is a real challenge for event organisers, public transport operators and local authorities. However, improving accessibility by sustainable transport modes is worth the effort: it allows more people to visit the event, avoids large traffic jams, offers more comfort for all visitors and contributes to a greener image of the event (e.g. Velo-city 2013 is a Green Event). In the Brussels Capital Region (B), event organisers are obliged by law to create a travel plan for events with more than 3000 visitors. Soon the requirement will be mandatory for events from 1000 visitors also. The city of Ghent (B) has developed the website Gent Evenement to assist event organisers setting up a sustainable event. The major part of the information pertains to sustainable mobility, helping event organisers creating a mobility plan. But the biggest challenge posed by an event in Europe must have been the London Olympics 2012. Read more about it in the latest EPOMM e-update.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Thriving in the Ecosystem of a Megacity

In the future, megacities must be considered as independent ecosystems, where progress and prosperity are determined by the interaction of various factors. These new interrelationships will effect every resident of a megacity. Collaboration, coordination and transparency will enable the creation of the innovative and high-quality goods and services of the future.
I believe that urbanization will be a defining characteristic of the 21st century. But how will we cope with the upheavals it will unleash – and is already unleashing – on the political and economic levels? And what role can logistics play in helping to ensure that the megacities of today and tomorrow run smoothly? In his blog entry The Future of City Logistics, professor Eiichi Taniguchi of Kyoto University presciently defined city logistics as: “The process for totally optimizing the logistics and transport activities by private companies in urban areas, considering the environment, traffic congestion, and energy consumption.” By Martin Brown who is Program Director for City Logistics within Deutsche Post DHL's Solutions & Innovation team.

Get Britain Cycling [With a Dutch Touch]

The 'Get Britain Cycling' inquiry  is an initiative of the 'All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG)', a cross party body with members in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, with the aim “to enable more people across the UK to take up cycling, cycle more often and cycle more safely by interviewing or receiving written evidence from expert witnesses on the obstacles that must be overcome and suggesting concrete, effective measures to be undertaken by central and local government as well as the wider world of business and the third sector”. Too many people in the UK feel they have no choice but to travel in ways that are dangerous, unhealthy, polluting and costly, not just to their own wallets but also to the public purse. Urgent action is required to address Britain’s chronic levels of obesity, heart disease, air pollution and congestion if we are to catch up with other countries in the developed world. There is an alternative. When more people cycle or walk, public health improves, obesity reduces and roads become safer. By changing how
people travel, we can create places where people want to live, workshop and do business. Cycling needs to be not just a personal option, when we decide how to travel for work, school or leisure. Read the report here.

Monday, August 12, 2013

'Love English Cities [With a Dutch Touch]'

David Cameronhas announced the largest injection of public money into cycling in England, with support from Britain's most successful Olympian, Chris Hoy. The £77m fund is designed to promote cycling in eight cities in an effort to put Britain on a level footing with countries known for higher levels of cycling such as Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. The cash will pay for upgrades and other improvements to help cyclists at 14 locations on the trunk road network where major roads have been identified as posing an obstacle for bike journeys. The £77m, divided between Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford and Norwich, will help improve existing cycle networks and pay for new ones, creating segregated routes in some areas. Greater Manchester (£20m), West Yorkshire (£18.1m) and Birmingham (£17m) will receive the bulk of the funding. The government said it takes the total new funding for cycling, including local contributions, to £148m between now and 2015, and investment in the eight cities to more than £10 per head per year, the base figure recommended by the all-party parliamentary ccling group and national cycling charity CTC.Read on in BBC News UK and in The Guardian.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


The Cyclotel concept was created by Pouchulu in 2007. After a long research it started to be developed in 2012. It is the first hotel chain in the world designed exclusively for cyclists. Each hotel is placed along cycling routes and close to major train stations. The Cyclotel offers a different, new way of visiting Europe while cycling, introducing the idea of green holidays, creating short, medium or long-range trips in specialized hotels where cyclists can sleep with their bikes. Bicycles are 100% eco-friendly… represented here in a 100% green building: the first industrialized hotel not consuming electricity from the public grid. Each Cyclotel is part of one cycling route chain; some are built close to train stations. Round, light, modular, made of light materials, the Cyclotel is inspired in Victorian structures, following bicycle's "aesthetics": tensors, bolts, bright colours, polished details. Rooms are made of high-tech pre-fabricated panels mounted on site in a few days. Each hotel can be re-located, becoming mobile if necessary when mounted in conservation areas. Energy and illuminating systems run with low-voltage in a high ecological approach. This enterprise is supported by the Dutch Embassy Buenos Aires, the City of Amsterdam, the City of Eindhoven, the ANWB (Royal Dutch Touring Club), the TU/e Technische Universiteit Eindhoven and many cycling organizations.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

One more time: Why Cycling & The Netherlands?

There are more bicycles than residents in The Netherlands and in cities like Amsterdam and The Hague up to 70% of all journeys are made by bike. The BBC's Hague correspondent, Anna Holligan, who rides an omafiets - or "granny style" - bike complete with wicker basket and pedal-back brakes, examines what made everyone get back in the saddle.Even before they can walk, Dutch children are immersed in a world of cycling. As babies and toddlers they travel in special seats on "bakfiets", or cargo bikes. These seats are often equipped with canopies to protect the children from the elements, and some parents have been known to spend a small fortune doing up their machines. As the children grow up they take to their own bikes, something made easier and safer by the discreet cycle lanes being wide enough for children to ride alongside an accompanying adult. And, as the Dutch are not allowed to drive until 17, cycling offers teenagers an alternative form of freedom. Cycling is so common that I have been rebuked for asking people whether they are cyclists or not. "We aren't cyclists, we're just Dutch," comes the response. The bike is an integral part of everyday life.

Making a 1960s street grid fit for the 21st century

Today’s Sustainable Safety policies ask for a type of street design that is completely different from what was actually built in the 1960s, also in the Netherlands. So can you re-design streets that were built in a time when the car got all the space it needed, and more? Can you change those streets to meet the objectives of today’s safety and traffic management policies? And can it be done within reasonable budgets? Well, yes, Utrecht proves that it is possible!As part of a much larger plan to redevelop a 1960s housing estate in Utrecht, the street grid in this neighbourhood called ‘Overvecht’ will be completely updated to the 21st century Dutch standards. The new street grid will make the area safer, more attractive and more liveable. The city achieves this by concentrating the main motor traffic flow better and in fewer designated streets and by changing many other streets into 30km/h (19mph) zones to give more and a safer space to people walking and cycling. The plans are currently executed and a number of former main streets was already narrowed to exactly half their original 1960s width. In the publication “Looking at Overvecht” the Utrecht alderman explains. Read on in the fenominal Bicycle Dutch.

Monday, July 22, 2013

French Mobility Plan to Change Cycling Perception

A new French cycling mobility plan is expected to be published by the end of the year. It focuses on improving conditions for cyclists and promoting cycling through financial incentives. The French government has recently decided to highlight cycling in its mobility programs in line with innovative mobility plans across Europe. The project was initiated by the previous administration but put on hold when Francois Hollande commenced office. Now the French ministry for ecology, development and energy has decided to green light the project.Headed by Dominique Lebrun, a committee with industry representatives, cyclists and government officials has been formed. The key themes of the project are to promote new means of mobility while creating incentives for cycling to work. In order to encourage cycling, programs could be created where employers would provide a financial incentive to their employees for cycling to work. The plan follows a recently passed transport law in France which aims at creating secure areas in train stations for cyclists to store their bikes safely. This mobility plan looks very promising and could be a step in the right direction stimulate cycling in France. Read on in Bike Europe.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cycling has become mainstream

When in 2000 Velo Mondial decided to strive for cycling plans in 150 cities in 75 countries, we could never expect that today more than 500 cities in 49 countries host advanced bike-sharing programs, with a combined fleet of over 500,000 bicycles; less countries, but more cities. Bike-sharing cities are finding that promoting the bicycle as a transport option can lead to more mobility and safer streets for all. It certainly has come a long way since 1965, when 50 bicycles were painted white and scattered around Amsterdam for anyone to pick up and use free of charge.  Velo Mondial awarded it's inventor Luud Schimmelpenninck the 'Sustainable Mobility Pioneer Award in 2008 for it. Copenhagen's famed Bycyklen ("City Bike") program, which has been an inspiration to many cities, finally closed at the end of 2012 after operating for 17 years with more than 1,000 bicycles. It is set to be replaced by a modern system in 2013. Large-scale bike sharing's early shining star was the Vélib' in Paris. Vélib' was launched in 2007 with 10,000 bicycles at 750 stations, and it quickly doubled in size. Read more in Bike Europe.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Cape Town goes Green

Following the successful trial of green painted cycle lanes in a section of Bree Street, the City of Cape Town has made a decision to demarcate all cycle lanes that are in roadways by painting them green. This colourisation helps to promote safety and awareness of other modes of transport such as vehicles and pedestrians. The outcomes of the trial period included the following: Vehicles generally refrained from parking on the green surface, thereby blocking the cycle lane (which had been a problem in the past);The surface is clearly defined and therefore can be enforceable should vehicles illegally park across the cycle lane;The green paint provides a skid resistance and durable surface for cyclists;The application is labour intensive therefore Expanded Public Works Programme workers can be employed when new cycle projects are implemented;Durability of the surface reduces regular maintenance requirements.  With the city-wide non-motorised transport (NMT) infrastructure programme being rolled out, more colourised cycle paths will be implemented. Read more here.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Oceans and oceans of bicycles in Amsterdam

While cities like New York struggle to get people onto bikes, Amsterdam is trying to keep its hordes of bikes under control. In a city of 800,000, there are 880,000 bicycles, the government estimates, four times the number of cars. In the past two decades, travel by bike has grown by 40 percent so that now about 32 percent of all trips within the city are by bike, compared with 22 percent by car.
Applauding this accomplishment, a Danish urban planning consultancy, Copenhagenize Design, which publishes an annual list of the 20 most bike-friendly cities, placed Amsterdam in first place this year, as it has frequently in the past. (The list consists mostly of European cities, though Tokyo; Nagoya, Japan; and Rio de Janeiro made the cut. Montreal is the only North American city included.)
But many Amsterdamers say it is not so much the traffic jams like those at the morning ferry that annoy them most, but the problem of where to park their bikes once they get to where they’re going, in a city with almost more water than paved surfaces. Read on in the NYT here. To tackle this problem Velo Mondial has designed a Low Lijn: Lounge & Bicycle Garden that the city debates now.

Friday, June 7, 2013

30km standard urban speed limit; Vote Now

Speed limits of 30km/h (20mph) save lives. Since the first 30km/h zone was started as a pilot project in the small German town of Buxtehude in 1983, numerous 20-mph zones throughout Europe have proven their worth. Wherever these zones come in, the number and the severity of accidents is reduced considerably. A limit of 30km/h (20 mph) in all residential areas improves air quality, as far fewer exhaust gases are emitted, making an important contribution to public health. 30 km/h (20 mph) limits are an inexpensive and popular way to improve safety, cut pollution and encourage smarter travel choices. They lead to improved traffic flow and less congestion. People can move without fear. And so we want to achieve these benefits for the whole of the European Union. What is our vision? 30 km/h shall become the standard speed limits for villages, towns and cities with local authorities being able to decide on exemptions. We want the commission to come up with a proposal to introduce 30 km/h speed limits.  We are determined to make every effort to collect the more than 1 million signatures needed within one year from at least 7 different member states of the EU. Velo Mondial signed, why don't you (although they ask a lot, be brave and make a change ! Sign now!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New York's Citi Bike has a lift off!

Five years ago, the New York City Department of Transportation signaled its interest in creating an extensive bike-share system “to accommodate a wide range of potential short trips.” Now New Yorkers have that system at their fingertips. With today’s launch of Citi Bike, there’s a new travel option in the mix – 6,000 bikes at 330 stations that will extend the reach of the transit system and expand access to the point-to-point convenience of bicycling.“I am thrilled to declare that as of this moment, Citi Bike, the largest bike-share network in the country, is officially launched,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced at a press event outside City Hall this morning. Touting a 75 percent reduction in the cycling injury rate over the past decade and the improved safety outcomes for pedestrians along the city’s protected bike lanes, Bloomberg said that “Citi Bike will make our streets safer,” and reiterated the city’s commitment to ramp up to a 10,000 bike/600 station system. The culmination of intense study, planning, and public outreach, the bike-share launch marks the birth of a new transit network. Read on in Streetsblog.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Promoting cycling in the USA

The Challenge: Only 1% of all daily trips in the United States are made by bicycle, including fewer than 1% of trips to school by children younger than age 16. However many more trips could be made by bicycle, as 40% of trips made in the United States are shorter than two miles. Make an impact: Recognizing this potential, many government agencies and public health organizations are starting to advocate for increasing bicycling as a way to improve people's health and reduce air pollution, carbon emissions, congestion, noise, traffic dangers, and other harmful effects of car use. Understanding the most effective strategies cities can use to increase bicycling is important. What the findings are about: This brief summarizes the available evidence about strategies for increasing bicycling levels, including on-street bike lanes, off-street bike paths, and other bicycling infrastructure and educational programs, and offers related policy implications.  You will find your copy here: "How to Increase Bicycling for Daily Travel". Authors: Jennifer Dill, PhD, Portland State University; Susan L. Handy, PhD, University of California, Davis; & John Pucher, PhD, Rutgers University.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cycling in Hyderabad

Hyderabad Metropolitan Area which is witnessing a spurt in privately owned vehicle numbers and subsequent rise in pollution is in need of a Bicycle Master Plan. The Comprehensive Transportation Study (CTS) taken up on behalf of Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority to suggest solutions for transportation issues has underscored the need to promote bicycling and make the city ‘bicycle-friendly’. Advocating a Bicycle Master Plan, the CTS report called for a wide network of cycle routes and facilities and making bicycle policy an integral part of transportation system policies. The quality of urban environment has deteriorated seriously owing to noise and air pollution and inadequate road safety, the report compiled by LEA Associates says. Most pollutants present at the street level originate from motor vehicles, it points out while adding, “there is a definite need to make the city bicycle-friendly”. The Bicycle Master Plan has been proposed as a document with ‘long-range planning for developing bicycle infrastructure in the city with emphasis on designating and expanding bike routes, fostering a safe environment for cycling and promoting bicycling as a viable transportation option’. Read on in The Hindu 

Cycling in Athens

Thousands of Greeks took to the streets of Athens and dozens of major cities nationwide on Sunday in a colorful protest, different than the ones against austerity staged often over the past three years. Riding their bicycles throughout the central districts of cities, entire families from toddlers to white-haired pensioners, participated in the 6th Panhellenic Bike March requesting measures to boost "sustainable mobility." "We open a path to life" was the main slogan of the events organized by cyclists groups, which included happenings on road safety and music concerts. "Amidst the economic crisis, the state should offer citizens alternative solution to the costly and environmentally un-friendly car use," read banners and leaflets distributed to passer-bys on Syntagma square in front of the parliament. "The government must lower the prices of tickets for means of public transport and offer people more and safe bike routes across cities," Yiota Panagopoulou, an activist who joined the group "Moms on the Streets" told Xinhua. "Our aim is to persuade more and more people to leave their cars at the garages and start riding bikes to go to work or meet friends for fun," Stefanos Xenos, a political engineer who has done so over the past two years, said. Source: Shanghai Daily

New York learnt from the best

There is a hopeful prediction, kicking around in cycling circles as New York City’s bike-share program nears its introduction to a skeptical public: Soon enough, the thinking goes, the scheme will prove so popular that New Yorkers will insist they invented it. Not quite. When Citi Bike is introduced in New York on Monday, it will resemble a sort of cycling stew — bulky bikes to match the behemoths of London, a pricing model that resembles Washington’s and pliable station hardware borrowed from Montreal. And when Citi Bike personnel “rebalance” the supply of bikes by truck, they will be emulating cities like Paris, where rental riders’ joy in gliding downhill has not been matched by their determination in pedaling back up. “What we’ve tried to do,” said Jon Orcutt, the policy director for New York’s Transportation Department, “is take the best of each system.” The administration compiled a report studying programs from five cities — Barcelona, Montreal, Paris, Toulouse and Washington — weighing how characteristics of each might translate in New York. To make the comparison complete, go to Velo Mondial's 'Pas-Port to Cycling' for the World Bike Share Map. Read on in the New York Times.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Bike Racks are also 'Parking'.

In a very short time, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to show the world that they are just as virtuous, well-intentioned and offended by sloth as people in Copenhagen or Geneva or any other of a number of cities where mindful living and wonderful yogurts reign. The city’s long-anticipated bike share program is scheduled to make its debut in May, allowing New Yorkers to pick up and deposit rental bikes at hundreds of locations, most of them, so far, in some of the wealthiest neighborhoods. Anyone waking up on a Sunday morning in TriBeCa, finding nothing in her refrigerator and hankering to go to Smorgasburg in Dumbo, Brooklyn, for instance, will now be able to do that with relative ease. So is this really the time to complain — this, a moment when progressive policy has had such an obvious victory? Virtually everything about the city’s growing bike culture has prompted vigorous argument and even fury. Now that the metal stalls and kiosks where bikes will be stationed are turning up in parts of Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan, the theater of operations in the war among cyclists and drivers and pedestrians has expanded and multiplied and bred new factions, even though the bike share program itself has been shown to have widespread support in polling. Read on in the New York Times. Velo Mondial says: Bike Racks is also 'parking', just for more people.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bike Share: Ready for Research

More than 500 cities in 49 countries host bike-sharing programs, with a combined fleet exceeding 500,000 bicycles, according to new research from Earth Policy Institute. Paris’ landmark Vélib’ program, which was launched in 2007, now has company as cities around the world turn to bike-sharing—distributed networks of public bicycles used for short trips—as a way to enhance mobility, alleviate automotive congestion, reduce air pollution, boost health, support local businesses, and attract more young people. In the United States, more than two dozen cities have active public bike-sharing programs, including Washington, DC, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Boston, Miami Beach, Denver, Madison, and Ft. Worth. EPI’s Director of Research, Janet Larsen, points out that the number of American bike-sharing cities is set to double in the next couple years as large programs roll out in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, and San Francisco, among others. New York City will become the nation’s biggest program, though at an ultimate 10,000 bikes, it pales in comparison with the mega-programs in China that boast up to 90,000 bikes. Find your full overview of Bike Sharing systems in Velo Mondial's PAS-PORT to Cycling.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bicycle Highways in Amsterdam

What is a bicycle highway? The big difference between a bicycle highway and a bike lane in Copenhagen is that highways are maintained and prioritised just like normal roads are.This means the bike paths are as straight as possible, making them faster. Normal bike lanes usually meander where there is space available for them, which may prove cumbersome to cyclists. The paths are also broader and during winter, snow will be removed from them, as with regular roads. Everyone said there have to be better bike lanes, better lighting next to the bike paths, it has to go fast and the snow must be removed quickly; this is what the Danes are trying to address, making some long bicycle highways where you can ride safely in good lightning and where the necessary equipment is close to you. Comfort has also been thought through, with air pumps placed every 1.5 kilometres. And when you get closer to the city centre, traffic lights have been coordinated in “green waves” so that cyclists who keep a speed of 20 kilometres per hour will only meet green lights.Velo Mondial adds that these bicycle highways resemble very much standard bicycle paths in The Netherlands. Read on in EurActive.

Bicycle Highways In Copenhagen

Bicycle highways, a new transport experiment, are spreading fast across the European Union, notably in Denmark, Germany, Sweden and the UK.In the suburbs of Copenhagen, a bicycle highway project launched in April last year has proven a hit with the city's commuters. Authorities plan to open 28 bicycle highways in total.According to its promoters, bicycle highways should be rolled out across the EU, especially in a time of crisis as they can help governments save on healthcare costs. The bicycle network is currently saving the Danish state an estimated €40 million per year in health costs, with only a relatively small amount of money going to building and maintaining the highways. Lars Gaardhøj, chairman of the Environment and Green Growth Committee in the capital region of Denmark, told EurActiv that the bicycle highways targeted commuters who traveled more than five kilometres to work or school. Studies have shown that over distances more than five kilometres, people tended to choose other means of transport, like buses or cars, he said. Read on in EurActive.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Electric Oldies

The number of e-cyclists in the Netherlands has reached one million in 2012. Ten percent of all cycling kilometres (which total 1.3 billion km per year) are done by pedelec. Of all people in The Netherlands of over 60, 10% now own a pedelec. One fourth of all cycling kilometres made by this age group are on a pedelec. This also applies to women of 46-60 years. Pedelec ownership is even somewhat higher for this group than for the seniors, namely 13%. The number of cycling kilometres ridden by those aged 60 and above has risen remarkably in recent years, and this is particularly the case for women. Women in this age group cycled 50% more kilometres in 2010 than they did in 2000. This was not only because there were more people aged 60 and above, but also because of the advent of the pedelec. Each pedelec was found to be used for an average of 31km per week. This is significantly more than the 18 kilometre average for regular bikes. While the number of kilometres cycled on a normal bike decreases with advancing age, the number of kilometres cycled on a pedelec remains unchanged as the cyclist gets older. The Cycling Council also investigated how fast people cycle on a pedelec. The average is 18.7 km/hr (a bit slower for those aged 60 and above). That is certainly not very fast. Read more here.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Crossrail for the bike in London

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will create a “Crossrail for the bike” as part of his plans for a nearly £1 billion investment in London cycling. The route will run for more than 15 miles, very substantially segregated, from the western suburbs through the heart of London to Canary Wharf and Barking. It will use new Dutch-style segregated cycle tracks along, among other places, the Victoria Embankment and the Westway flyover. It is believed to be the longest substantially-segregated cycle route of any city in Europe. The Mayor said: “The Westway, the ultimate symbol of how the urban motorway tore up our cities, will become the ultimate symbol of how we are claiming central London for the bike.” The Mayor today announced that the main cross-London physical legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games will be a proper network of cycle routes across the city. As in the public transport system, London’s "bike Crossrail" will lie at the heart of a new bike "Tube network." Over the next four years London will open a range of high-quality new cycle routes parallel to, and named after, Tube lines and bus routes, so everyone knows where they go. Read on in Greater London Authority.  And in 'Cycle London City Blog' of Bike Biz

Friday, March 8, 2013

New Kickstand Sessions

The Kickstand Sessions are an exciting and comprehensive master classes that were launched in North America in Spring 2012. The aim is to bring together groups with world class expertise in the areas of bicycle planning, policy, and culture. They create locally relevant solutions and actionable steps for building bicycle cultures and increasing sustainable urban mobility. Cities with established bicycle cultures enjoy increased traffic efficiencies, infrastructure savings and more liveable communities. Years of research in using bicycles as transportation has shown the importance of sound planning and policy methods but also the value of effectively communicate those ideas. Now, more than ever, bicycles are at the forefront of planning and we are keen to ensure this practical, simple, and economical mode of transport is here to stay. Participants of Kickstand leave with a stronger understanding of best practice bicycle-related implementations, how to market them, and an opportunity for a continued partnership with both Dutch and Danish experts. Velo Mondial highly recommends these master classes to those who prefer hands on working together with Dutch and Danish experts  rather than listening to lectures. Next sessions.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Milan Congestion Charging Impressive Results

The Mobility Agency of the city of Milan, AMAT, has just released the results of “Area C”, the restricted traffic zone and congestion charge scheme in the centre of Milan, one year after its introduction. In 2012, motorised traffic decreased by 31% comparing to 2011 data when the former pollution charge system "Ecopass" was in force. This means that on average 41.000 vehicles are no longer entering the city centre on a daily basis. Occasional access accounts for 81% of detected vehicles, which pass through the gates less than 10 times per year. Another relevant fact is the use of private cars by the residents within the Area C boundaries: 70% of these vehicles did not use more than the 40 free coupons they receive per year. Area C revenues accounted for €20,3 million of which €13,2 million (all the net profit) has been directly reinvested in the public transport network to increase service frequency, and for extending the bike sharing system BikeMI in the suburbs.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Making cycling glamorous

While most business travelers still use car, limousine and shuttle van services provided by their hotel, there are a growing number of options. The Affinia Dumont and Affinia Shelburne in Manhattan offer complimentary teal and yellow bikes, complete with helmets and front baskets to stow briefcases. Business travelers use the bikes to maintain their fitness regimen on the road, do some sightseeing and to commute to meetings, said Alex Spektor, general manager at the Affinia Dumont. “Some tell me that biking to the meeting instead of riding in the back of a taxi helps them arrive with a clear mind,” he said. The hotel started the program with 10 bikes in May, will be adding 10 more this year, and is introducing the program at other properties. Bicycles can also be rented via Conrad Concierge at the Conrad New York near Wall Street and electric bicycles are available at the Conrad Miami.Four Seasons hotels in the busy cities of Mumbai and Guangzhou also lend bicycles to guests, along with guidance about roads to ride. For guests who want to move a bit faster, the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze in Italy rents Vespas and the Circus Hotel in Berlin offers hourly and daily Segway rentals to its guests. Read on in NYT.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cheaper Chinese Bicycles?

This spring the European Commission has to conclude three trade issues with China for bicycles which are currently under investigation. As the outcome of these investigations could have a big impact on the bike sector in Europe, Bike Europe made an overview on what’s to come the next few months. In 2011, the European Union renewed the 48.5% anti-dumping duties on imports of Chinese bicycles for the third time. The duty was first introduced in 1992 and shall thus go into its 20th anniversary this year. In the meantime however, the European Union is carrying out no less than 3 additional investigations into Chinese bicycle imports. Only 5 months after having reaffirmed the anti-dumping duties against Chinese bicycle imports (October 2011), the European Commission initiated an interim review of these measures. The main reason for this review was that the Commission had found that the circumstances on which the measures were based, had changed. The Commission explicitly mentioned the abolition of the export quota system in January 2011, which until then stood in the way of market economy treatment for Chinese companies. Read on in Bike Europe. Velo Mondial is happy with these developments since it will make cyling more accessible.