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Saturday, November 01 2014 @ 01:03 PM UTC

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How to Decide If You Can Live Without a Car

Biking ElsewhereBy Eric Ravenscraft, Life Hacker

Cars are a way of life in the US (and around the world). While most of us enjoy the freedom they offer, their costs can be a burden on the budget. Not everyone can live without that red mark in the ledger, but we'll help you find out if you might be a candidate.
...

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-decide-whether-you-can-live-without-a-car-1651713372
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GHSA's sensational report

Biking ElsewhereB' Spokes: The WashCycle dissects the Governors Highway Safety Association report that cycling fatalities are up but while true is misleading along with other info from the report.

http://www.thewashcycle.com/2014/10/ghsa-study.html
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"We have chosen not to actively support Cherokee Schill's case" - LAB

Biking ElsewhereLAB's response here: http://bikeleague.org/content/schill-case-what-now

B' Spokes: Let's say there are a range of responses we could expect expect from LAB, I am fully sympathetic as to why LAB has not cranked it up to 11 on this case but zero support? OK maybe one on the scale, as they did do a nice blog post on riding with Schill. But still we have all faced harassment from motorist and there are too many police officers who seem to think the cyclist is always at fault no mater what. The attitudes behind this case are universal and should be addressed.

If gun safety was like bicycle safety, it would be illegal to stand in front of a gun.

What is needed is a change of attitudes, a public relation campaign if you would. It is not right that the fastest mode of travel has the unspoken "right" not to be delayed in the slightest even though they could easily make up that delay but slower modes of transportation should not mind going even slower. Half hour or loner detours, no problem since they were going slow to begin with. :/

Next can you imagine the Climate Change folks saying, "Climate Change right now only adversely affects polar bears so there is no national concern and we will take no action." Or the Anti-Fracking groups going "Fracking only has a local effect so there is no national concern so we will take no action." So why are we allowing LAB to basically say the same thing? This is not so much about winning a court case which will have very little impact on all of us no mater which way it goes but about changing societies thoughts about cars and bicycle riders. Cars won the world over in the 1960's and we are seeing all the collateral damage their preponderance has done. We need a national organization to help reverse this trend and not keep on ignoring it every time it crops up!

Even if they looked at as a found opportunity for example if they did something like "Join now and we'll contribute $5 to Schill's defense fund." That would have been a heck of a lot better than never mentioning she needed help raising money to defend our rights to the road. I am trying to say there are lots of opportunities for LAB to do more than what it is currently doing, LAB trying to defend their actions is too much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving just recommending a good doctor after you got ran over by a drunk driver but refusing to do more because of no national concern.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi
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BFC STEVE: MY RIDE WITH CHEROKEE SCHILL

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: I try to be a polite cyclist by going out of my way to find routes where I will be the least bother to motorists but once and a while I have to take the lane on a car centric street, not all that different from Cherokee Schill. Well OK most of the time when I do it, it's a much shorter distance and not every day but still I would love to see LAB support cyclists right to use public roads. I sort of understand why they have not done so in the past (while I don't know for sure this is my guess) in advocacy circles there is such a thing as the "unsympathetic character" so if you have an arrogant cyclist who thinks they own the road...

Gawd, that is such a loaded summary, it is a lot like "Have you stopped betting your wife?", trying to defend that just gets you deeper into trouble. My point here is it is not the "unsympathetic character" that is at issue here but the "unsympathetic framework" that we are forced to work our way out of that is the issue. And that framework has to go! And it would be lovely if LAB would finally take up cyclists right to use the public roadway. So if you know someone at LAB please mention politely that you would love to see LAB involved in this case.

In this article it goes into someones first time riding this road and their trials in trying to be a polite cyclist on the return trip.]
*************************************************************************
by Steve Clark, Bike League

I used to think I was about as fearless and empowered as any cyclist out there. Then I rode with Cherokee Schill.
...

http://bikeleague.org/content/bfc-steve-my-ride-cherokee-schill
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It’s Happening: Washington State Revises Traffic Forecasts to Reflect Reality

Biking Elsewhere

by Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

Washington State has revised traffic projections downward, to reflect changing patterns. Image: Washington State via Sightline

The Washington State Office of Fiscal Management has revised its traffic projections downward to reflect changing patterns. Graph Washington OFM via Sightline 

The amount that the average American drives each year has been declining for nearly a decade, yet most transportation agencies are still making decisions based on the notion that a new era of ceaseless traffic growth is right around the corner

...

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/10/21/its-happening-washington-dot-revises-traffic-projections-to-reflect-reality/

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Portland Shows How to Get More Bang for Your Traffic Safety Buck

Biking Elsewhere

Three road diets in Portland have prevented a total of 252 collisions. Image: Bike Portland

Three road diets in Portland have prevented a total of 525 collisions. Graphic: Bike Portland

State DOTs like to justify hugely expensive highway-widening projects, like Milwaukee’s $1.7 billion Zoo Interchange, partly on the grounds of safety. But if we really want to get a big bang for our transportation safety buck, fixing city streets makes a lot more sense.

Michael Andersen at Bike Portland reports that three local road diets completed between 1997 and 2003 cost a combined total of just $500,000 and have prevented more than 500 collisions:

...

http://streetsblog.net/2014/10/14/portland-shows-how-to-get-more-bang-for-your-traffic-safety-buck/

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ISABELLA, 12 YEARS OLD: NEW DESIGN STANDARD

Biking Elsewhere-> According to a Sept. 10th Streetsblog article, "...What if every new bicycle facility were built with the intent of being useful to a young girl? If it were, wouldn't it be good enough for the rest of us, too? That's why, at the Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference this week, we're launching a new concept to help guide our work. Build it for Isabella (http://bit.ly/1ujWIan).
"Isabella ... is 12. She likes cartwheels, Instagram photos with her best friend, and ice cream cones. Sometimes she even likes school. But without someone to drive her around, she can't enjoy those things, because of the way her neighborhood's busier streets are built. The ultimate goal of the Green Lane Project and, we'd argue, of all modern bicycle infrastructure is to let Isabella go where she wants. Not every bike project will be able to serve Isabella. Some streets are just too narrow. Some budgets are just too thin.
"But if any new bike project isn't good enough for Isabella, we would argue that it should have a pretty clear reason why not. As Green Lane Project Director Martha Roskowski wrote in January, it's time to stop building black diamond bike lanes..."
Source: http://bit.ly/1o2gbqc
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ONE EASY THING ANY CITY CAN DO TO BE MORE PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY

Biking Elsewhere-> According to an Oct. 7th Wired article, "There are many ways cities can make their public spaces safer and more inviting for pedestrians... But there is one easy, cost-effective, and quick thing just about any city can do to make themselves more pedestrian-friendly: Use building and landscape details to make people feel welcome and comfortable.
"The idea comes from a report by the non-profit SPUR (originally called the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association), which laid out seven ways to make any city more pedestrian-friendly. (See summary at http://wrd.cm/1vNpr6j) Most of the ideas required big changes to existing infrastructure, but this one is dead simple...."
Source: http://wrd.cm/1y1J8vh
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GLOBAL SHIFT AWAY FROM CARS: SAVE $100 TRILLION, 1,700 MEGATONS OF CO2, 1.4 LIVES

Biking Elsewhere According to a Sept. 17th Science Daily article, "More than $100 trillion in cumulative public and private spending, and 1,700 megatons of annual carbon dioxide (CO2) -- a 40 percent reduction of urban passenger transport emissions -- could be eliminated by 2050 if the world expands public transportation, walking and cycling in cities, according to a new report released by the University of California, Davis, and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). Further, an estimated 1.4 million early deaths could be avoided annually by 2050 if governments require the strongest vehicle pollution controls and ultralow-sulfur fuels, according to a related analysis of these urban vehicle activity pathways by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) included in the report...
"The report, 'A Global High Shift Scenario: Impacts And Potential For More Public Transport, Walking, And Cycling With Lower Car Use, is the first study to examine how major changes in transport investments worldwide would affect urban passenger transport emissions as well as the mobility of different income groups... "
Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140917073300.htm
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U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Announces New Initiative to Enhance Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety

Biking Elsewhere
image

DOT 81-14
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Contact:  DOT Press OfficeT
el.: (202) 366-4570 

U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Announces New Initiative to Enhance Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
DOT to launch nationwide safety assessment of key bike/ped routes 

PITTSBURGH – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced a new initiative to reduce the growing number of pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and fatalities through a comprehensive approach that addresses infrastructure safety, education, vehicle safety and data collection.  The 18-month campaign will begin with road safety assessments conducted by U.S. Department of Transportation field offices in every state, and will produce multiple resources to help communities build streets that are safer for people walking, bicycling, and taking public transportation. Secretary Foxx made the announcement at the Pro Walk, Pro Bike, Pro Place conference, the largest gathering of, transportation engineers, city planners and professional bicycle-pedestrian safety advocates and practitioners in the country. 

“Safety is our highest priority and that commitment is the same regardless of which form of transportation people choose, including walking and biking,” Secretary Foxx said.  “This initiative is aimed at reversing the recent rise in deaths and injuries among the growing number of Americans who bicycle or walk to work, to reach public transportation and to other important destinations.”  

Injuries and fatalities of pedestrian and people bicycling have steadily increased since 2009, at a rate higher than motor vehicle fatalities.  From 2011 to 2012, pedestrian deaths rose 6 percent and bicyclist fatalities went up almost 7 percent. 

The new pedestrian and bicycle safety initiative will promote design improvements to ensure safe and efficient routes for pedestrians and bicycles, promote behavioral safety, and provide education to help individuals make safer travel choices. The initiative will also encourage vehicle safety by drawing on current crash avoidance technologies to alert motorists to the presence of bicyclists and pedestrians. 

The initiative will begin when the Department’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) field offices survey routes for pedestrians and cyclists with local transportation officials and stakeholders to understand where and why gaps exist in the non-motorized transportation network and strategize on ways to close them.  Gaps are areas where the risk of a crash increases due to the lack of sidewalks or other safe infrastructure. The Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will participate in assessments to gain understanding of non-motorized crashes involving truck and trains.  

Among the many resources the Department will provide will be a guide to creating “road diets,” in which roadways with lower traffic volumes are redesigned to add space for bicycle riders and pedestrians.  Studies show that road diets reduce all traffic crashes by an average of 29 percent, and when used on rural highways that pass through small towns, they can reduce crashes by almost half – 47 percent.  Additional resources will help practitioners incorporate small safety improvements into many road projects, address “last mile” safety for people taking buses and trains, and make it easier for jurisdictions to count and plan for people traveling by foot and bicycle. 

The Department will work with local officials, advocacy groups, and safety organizations to help champion the use of the new resources by practitioners, law enforcement, and safety organizations.  It also will convene meetings with practitioners and researchers about practices and policies that have been barriers to creating safer streets for non-motorized users. 

The initiative will also focus on improving pedestrian and bicycle routes that provide access to bus stops and train stations.  Research has shown that lower income communities have disproportionately higher rates of pedestrian deaths, as well as less safe pedestrian infrastructure, despite higher reliance on non-motorized modes and public transportation. 

Click here for additional information on the pedestrian and bicycle safety initiative. 

 



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