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Monday, August 29 2016 @ 09:42 PM UTC

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Sweden's Smart Speed Bumps

Biking ElsewhereVia Core77

If you think about it, it's strange that cars are sold that vastly exceed speed limits. The highest speed limit anywhere in America is 85 m.p.h., yet we can freely purchase cars capable of doing double that amount. While governments could mandate that all cars come with speed governors, none are willing to take such a draconian step.

Instead societies devise primitive, external methods to prevent people from speeding. Perhaps the most inefficient is the pursuit-ready policeman who must sit in an idling cruiser, manning a radar gun; that's a waste of both manpower and resources, even if tickets bring in revenue. It would be better if people were simply motivated to not speed in the first place, rather than wasting everyone's time and money with your average pull-over situation.

A Swedish company called Edeva has designed a better anti-speeding system. They designed the Actibump, a sort of smart speed bump:
...

http://www.core77.com//posts/55392/Swedens-Smart-Speed-Bumps
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PORTLAND, OR AREA DROP IN CAR USE FREES $138M/ YR

Biking Elsewhere-> According to BikePortland.org calculations, Portland, OR area’s drop in car use frees up $138 million in their local economy every year. Multnomah County auto registrations per resident are down 7 percent since 2007. Using a conservative estimate, by not owning 38,501 cars that they would have owned in 2007, Multnomah County residents are saving $83,855,178 each year to spend on other things. As of 2014 Portland-area residents are also driving about 8 percent less than they did in 2007, saving another $53,945,366. This shift happened with hardly anyone noticing. Not only has 7 percent of per-capita car ownership and 8 percent of per-capita driving been eliminated from the economy without overall ill effects — the local economy has been booming. See details at http://bit.ly/2bhziyb

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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SEATTLE, WA: BIKE BATMAN RETURNS STOLEN BIKES

Biking Elsewhere-> For the past year, Bike Batman has waged a one-man battle against bike theft in Seattle. The unidentified cyclist has become a hero by returning 22 bicycles to their rightful owners, and in at least a dozen cases, the police also have arrested the alleged culprit. Like his namesake, Bike Batman lives a double life. By day, he is a married engineer in his 30s. In his free time, however, he is precisely what this city of fixies and fast-fingered thieves so desperately needs. http://wapo.st/1Rmw9cg

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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ARE AMERICAN FIRE TRUCKS TOO BIG?

Biking Elsewhere-> As fire apparatus has become super-sized in the United States it has also has become more expensive. The average price of a Type I engine costs $400,000 to $600,000 and a 100-foot aerial ladder is over $1 million. With traffic congestion and rush-hour gridlock plaguing many of large metropolitan areas and winding streets littered with parked cars common in suburbia, there is now another aspect for public discussion regarding super-sized fire apparatus: how wide should the streets be in our cities? Do we need big and expensive trucks on the road for mostly medical calls and car wrecks? Fire apparatus used in Western Europe are highly maneuverable on the narrow, winding streets, and have a much smaller apparatus footprint than American rigs. Fire departments in Europe and Asia are using smaller rapid response vehicles as primary tools in their urban firefighting deployment strategies. http://bit.ly/1LxFbHv

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.

[B' Spokes: And because of these too big trucks some fire departments are actively engaged in fighting bike lanes and safer narrow travel lanes.]
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How the human body would have to be built to survive a catastrophic car crash

Biking Elsewhere[B" Spokes: I will maintain that the perception that cars are safer than cycling is only valid for cycling speeds. Rev cars up to 40 mph or above and the human body has a hard time coping with the forces in a crash... That is unless you are designed like this fellow:]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3700578/Victoria-s-new-road-safety-ambassador-Graham-body-survive-car-crash.html
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Murder Machines: Why Cars Will Kill 30,000 Americans This Year

Biking ElsewhereThere’s an open secret in America: If you want to kill someone, do it with a car. As long as you’re sober, chances are you’ll never be charged with any crime, much less manslaughter. Over the past hundred years, as automobiles have been woven into the fabric of our daily lives, our legal system has undermined public safety, and we’ve been collectively trained to think of these deaths as unavoidable “accidents” or acts of God. Today, despite the efforts of major public-health agencies and grassroots safety campaigns, few are aware that car crashes are the number one cause of death for Americans under 35. But it wasn’t always this way.
...

http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/murder-machines/

[B' Spokes: A very good overview of the history of the automobile and the battle for public space. Not to mention how speed was put ahead safety.]
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What if young people had a say in planning?

Biking Elsewhere"Young people feel a lot of issues very viscerally, because some issues directly impact their everyday lives. I recall one situation where some high school students became very interested in zoning once they realized that it determined whether they could get somewhere without their parents. They were interested in making sure that there were things of interest to them that would be within walking distance."

—Susan Santone, founder and executive director of Creative Change Educational Solutions on the value of engaging youth in planning processes. Planning Magazine: http://bit.ly/2aayNty


from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Sometimes the Safer Street Design Option Is the Less Expensive One

Biking Elsewhereby Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

...
One idea is as simple as enhancing crosswalk visibility with paint, instead of the expensive, hard-to-see treatments at some Dallas intersections: [B' Spokes: Even our red brick crosswalks are expensive and there is nothing that shows they improve pedestrian safety over something like bold hatched crosswalks.]
...

http://www.streetsblog.net/2015/02/02/sometimes-the-safer-street-design-option-is-the-less-expensive-one/

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AAA: Most Drivers Have Engaged in Aggressive Driving

Biking Elsewhereby TOM COSTELLO, NBC News

...
"We've all heard the old adage, we all say things we don't mean when we're angry. Well, when you're behind the wheel, you do things you wouldn't otherwise do when you're angry," said Jake Nelson, director of traffic safety advocacy and research with AAA.
...

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/aaa-most-drivers-have-engaged-road-rage-incidents-n608836

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The idiocy of traffic studies

Biking ElsewhereVia Urban kchoze

...
This approach basically views congestion, even during the peak hour of the day, as a catastrophic failure in a way similar to a bridge falling down. It also assumes that there is no externality to overdesigning an intersection, of using longer traffic signals, of having a higher number of wider lanes, wider medians, the only drawback is the cost...
...

The result is that such an intersection forms a barrier to pedestrian and bicycle travel. The resulting roads that accompany these intersections are often large enough to make mid-block crossing a dangerous proposition to say the least, confining pedestrians to crossing only at rare intersections, often necessitating detours taking 5-10 minutes on foot... just to get on the other side of the road.

These externalities are ignored, it is considered to be "conservative" to spend more on a road with better vehicle capacity no matter the impact on quality of life of residents, on alternative modes of transport and on the financial sustainability of developments. This approach and the assumptions that support it make traffic studies a self-fulfilling prophecy: over-designing roads while neglecting non-car travel ensures that almost all trips in the area will be made by car, confirming the initial assumptions of quasi-universal car use, because cars are the only mode of travel the road design caters to.
...

http://urbankchoze.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-idiocy-of-traffic-studies.html
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