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.