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Wednesday, October 22 2014 @ 01:47 PM UTC

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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. 

 



http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDOT/bulletins/ceb80a
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Why 12-Foot Traffic Lanes Are Disastrous for Safety and Must Be Replaced Now

Biking ElsewhereBy JEFF SPECK, City Lab


States and counties believe that wider lanes are safer. And in this belief, they are dead wrong.
...

When lanes are built too wide, pedestrians are forced to walk further across streets on which cars are moving too fast and bikes don't fit.
...

"Yeah, you've got your studies that say that 10-foot lanes are safer than 12-foot lanes. But I've got a pile of studies this high," he insisted, waving at his hip, "that say the opposite."

"Wonderful," I said. "May I see them?"

"No. They're from the early days. I threw them out."
...

http://www.citylab.com/design/2014/10/why-12-foot-traffic-lanes-are-disastrous-for-safety-and-must-be-replaced-now/381117/
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Many drivers ignoring crosswalk law: study

Biking ElsewhereBy Jon Hilkevitch, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Most drivers tracked in a new Chicago-area survey failed to comply with a state law requiring them to stop for pedestrians, a finding that the research's backers attribute to inadequate police enforcement and education on traffic-safety laws.

But the results suggest that driver compliance with the must-stop law may be significantly improved if more visual warning cues are placed at crosswalks.

The survey, conducted by the automobile-alternative advocacy group Active Transportation Alliance, concluded that motorists in the area disregard a state crosswalk protection law more often than they comply with it in many circumstances.

In the observational survey conducted at 52 locations in Chicago and nearby suburbs, 61 percent of motorists did stop for pedestrians at painted crosswalks that also had other safety features, including in-road "stop for pedestrians'' signs, brick or stone crosswalks, raised crosswalks or flashing beacons, according to the alliance, which carried out 208 individual trials, four at each of the locations.

But compliance with a four-year-old statewide law requiring drivers to stop whenever a pedestrian has entered a crosswalk was only about 18 percent on average when the pedestrians attempted to cross a street in a traditional painted crosswalk, the survey found.

And the compliance rate plummeted to almost 5 percent at unmarked crosswalks. Under the law, a crosswalk is present whenever a sidewalk leads into the street, regardless of any markings present.
...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/hilkevitch/ct-crosswalk-survey-getting-around-met-0908-20140907-column.html
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Do Drivers Cover the Cost of Roads? Not By a Long Shot

Biking Elsewhereimage

Via http://streetsblog.net/2014/09/26/do-drivers-cover-the-cost-of-roads-not-by-a-long-shot/
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Good cities need more streets that “fail”

Biking ElsewhereBY DAVE CIESLEWICZ, Wisconsin Bike Fed

How do we measure a successful street?

Well, traditionally we’ve allowed traffic engineers, focused on moving cars, to create that measure. They’ve developed a grading system for streets called “Level of Service” or LOS.

But here’s the problem. If you look at a LOS map of many of the downtowns and neighborhoods that we love the best you’ll see almost nothing but level of service “D” and “F”. In other words, by the measure of moving cars our streets are failing or nearly failing. And if you ranked streets by friendliness to bicyclists and pedestrians the maps would look very different.

At the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference in Pittsburgh last week I heard a compelling argument to forget about LOS in most urban environments altogether. After all, a city is not a place for cars to move efficiently. And if you make it that you’ve almost certainly lost all the things that make your city a good place to be. You’ve destroyed your city in order to save it.

We need to start thinking of cities as something more than impediments to the smooth movement of traffic. MIT engineer Jeff Rosenblum presented a study of one street in Cambridge, which was treated with a road diet – fewer lanes, broader sidewalks, bump-outs at pedestrian crossings, wider terraces. That street moved 20,000 cars a day before this treatment. And afterwards? It still moves 20,000 vehicles a day. By restricting turns and timing stop and go lights the street was made more efficient for cars just as it was made more welcoming for biking, walking, hanging out and just living.
...

http://wisconsinbikefed.org/2014/09/19/good-cities-need-more-streets-that-fail/
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The obesity era

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: I thought this was an interesting read. Can I make a point that exercise is more important than ever after reading this?]
####################################

As the American people got fatter, so did marmosets, vervet monkeys and mice. The problem may be bigger than any of us

http://aeon.co/magazine/health/david-berreby-obesity-era/
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Congress Approves Bill That Will Offer Free Automobiles To Welfare Recipients

Biking Elsewhere"Earnest said in the briefing that the campaign is intended to help unemployed Americans find secure employment, and ultimately will cause the unemployment rate to drop significantly. “Every American deserves the right to possess the ability to get themselves to a good job. Public transportation is very limited for most of the unemployed, especially in rural areas. "

http://empirenews.net/congress-approves-bill-that-will-offer-free-automobiles-to-welfare-recipients/

[B' Spokes: Yes this satire but I think it makes the point if you prioritize just cars and treat everything else as second class this could very well happen in the future.]
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