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Tuesday, October 21 2014 @ 03:40 AM UTC

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If a picture is worth a 1000 words then how much is an animated gif worth?

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Via Nicola Deiana - Public transportation
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New Pedestrian Maps In NY

Biking ElsewhereBy Aleks Buczkowski, geoawesomeness.com/

...
This year the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) prepared something for them and for us - a new program of pedestrian maps called WalkNYC. ‘The other people’ will get a new set of city maps that will make it easier to navigate the city streets and find nearby interesting places. What we will get are beautiful maps that are a combination of cartography, great design and well-thought-out user experience.

The maps are designed to encourage people to walk, bike and use public transit, and feature all local streets and major landmarks and destinations, as well as bike lanes. Kiosks displays a large map of the streets with a 5-minute walking distance marked as ring, and another map showing the area in relation to a larger section of the city. This is cool but we’ve seen it on many city maps.

But there is one feature which corresponds to the experience of mobile maps rather than old school analogue cartography… The orientation of the maps! WalkNYC uses heads-up orientation rather than north arrow which is one of traditional mapping dogmas. This mean that the orientation of the map corresponds with the direction the user is facing. This is a smartphone-like approach but I love it and it actually makes a lot of sense (similarly to mobile maps).
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http://geoawesomeness.com/somewhere-design-cartography-new-pedestrian-maps-ny/
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State DOTs Brazenly Request a Blank Check to Build More Highways

Biking Elsewhereby Tanya Snyder, Streets Blog

This is a money and power grab.”

“It’s very disappointing and very AASHTO.”
...

AASHTO’s recommendations boil down to one thing: less local control and more power at the state level. They want to wrest control over transit funds from transit agencies. They want more “flexibility” on every front. They want less distribution of funds to officials at the city or regional level — a move Lovaas calls “regressive” since “more and more people, businesses and jobs are becoming centralized in metro areas.”

MAP-21’s one real achievement, a provision allowing some degree of local control over funds for biking and walking, gets targeted in AASHTO’s wish list. AASHTO complains that states aren’t eligible for this relatively tiny pot of money, and demand to get their hands in the cookie jar that’s closed to them.

What’s more, Lovaas noted, AASHTO boldly resists any form of accountability. The association insists that no additional performance measures be implemented until the new ones from MAP-21 can be amply tested out. And yet they want to go full throttle with their agenda to accelerate “project delivery” — basically making an end run around environmental and community scrutiny.

Indeed, AASHTO is positively allergic to performance measures. They want to make sure states aren’t required to fix infrastructure that’s in the worst condition first, though they don’t explain why any other approach would make any sense. Over and over again, they affirm their “steadfast opposition” to “using performance measures as the basis for apportioning or allocating federal funds among the States” — in other words, having any mechanism whatsoever to ensure that they don’t spend billions of dollars on wasteful projects.

Above all, AASHTO says over and over that “the implementation of MAP 21 [and any subsequent bill] should avoid any unnecessary administrative burdens or unnecessary restrictions on State flexibility.” Translation: Hand over a blank check. Nowhere does AASHTO say how it intends to improve the transportation system,
...

http://dc.streetsblog.org/2013/10/30/state-dots-boldly-request-a-blank-check-to-build-more-highways/
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Blaming the victim is not promoting safety

Biking ElsewhereBy Becky Pallack, Arizona Daily Star

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Police and pedestrian safety experts say at least part of the increase is due to pedestrians being more distracted. In the first fatal incident this year, a man was wearing headphones and looking at a handheld device while crossing Valencia Road.

Pedestrians have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings, just like drivers, said Tucson police Sgt. Mary Kay Slyter.

“Pedestrians think, ‘I can see them: They must be able to see me,’ but that’s not the case,’ she said.

Even in a crosswalk, people need to be aware of vehicles around them, she said. “You may be right, but you don’t want to be dead right.”
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http://azstarnet.com/latest/article_b6b099d8-9d9a-5ca0-aaef-82753ca5c0d2.html

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[B' Spokes: I will strongly assert that "you don’t want to be dead right." has done so much harm to our society. What should be said is something along the lines of "Assert and verify." That's what should be done by motoriterist when changing lanes and other situations where there is a potential conflict of right-of-way in fact all road users should follow this principle.

But when you stress that the victim should not be dead right you are stating the more vulnerable road users have no rights. The police are reluctant to charge at fault drivers because it's just common sense that drivers will not yield to you... Think about that for a moment, because something is a known fault, by a majority of motorists it now becomes lawful for drivers to behave that way and unlawful for pedestrians to follow the law. :/

Even worse, when it becomes "dangerous" for pedestrians to cross in a crosswalk with a walk signal because of turning traffic and non sopping right-turn-on-red motorists. And safety "professionals" go OMG look at that ill behaved pedestrian trying to cross in that situation, doesn't he know that he may be required to jump out of the way at a moments notice?

So when pedestrians do notice they no longer have the right-of-way in intersections and they are own for safely crossing the street, it comes down to what's safer, 1) Crossing where you are expected to yield to traffic coming from all the points on the compass in chaotic patterns (drivers rarely use turn signals) or 2) Crossing where you are expected to yield to traffic that is predictable and only traveling in two directions.

So mister "don't be dead right", look what you've done, you have just strongly encouraged jaywalking. :( ]
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Your Commute Is Now Your Gym dot com

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By Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious
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The secrets of the world's happiest cities

Biking ElsewhereBy Charles Montgomery, The Guardian

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Peñalosa insisted that, like most cities, Bogotá had been left deeply wounded by the 20th century's dual urban legacy: first, the city had been gradually reoriented around cars. Second, public spaces and resources had largely been privatised. This reorganisation was both unfair – only one in five families even owned a car – and cruel: urban residents had been denied the opportunity to enjoy the city's simplest daily pleasures: walking on convivial streets, sitting around in public. And playing: children had largely disappeared from Bogotá's streets, not because of the fear of gunfire or abduction, but because the streets had been rendered dangerous by sheer speed. Peñalosa's first and most defining act as mayor was to declare war: not on crime or drugs or poverty, but on cars.

He threw out the ambitious highway expansion plan and instead poured his budget into hundreds of miles of cycle paths; a vast new chain of parks and pedestrian plazas; and the city's first rapid transit system (the TransMilenio), using buses instead of trains. He banned drivers from commuting by car more than three times a week. This programme redesigned the experience of city living for millions of people, and it was an utter rejection of the philosophies that have guided city planners around the world for more than half a century.

In the third year of his term, Peñalosa challenged Bogotáns to participate in an experiment. As of dawn on 24 February 2000, cars were banned from streets for the day. It was the first day in four years that nobody was killed in traffic. Hospital admissions fell by almost a third. The toxic haze over the city thinned. People told pollsters that they were more optimistic about city life than they had been in years.
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Is urban design really powerful enough to make or break happiness? The question deserves consideration, because the happy city message is taking root around the world....
...

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/01/secrets-worlds-happiest-cities-commute-property-prices
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Only cyclists run red lights... right. [video]

Biking Elsewhere
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A loud bell-ding of approval for Australia’s first cyclists party

Biking ElsewhereAustralia’s first political party dedicated to cyclists is up and riding. I welcome this move: it’s high time we had a party defending us

By Gary Nunn, The Guardian

The “terrorists in lycra” have organised and now, they want your vote.

Australia’s first political party dedicated to cyclists and their interests has launched a membership drive. May I be the first to whip off my biking gloves to applaud. Its launch website asks: “Why has cycling been demonised, politicised and criticised so often in the media and by government officials?”
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http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/15/australia-cyclists-party
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The value of high visibility clothing on fast roads [video]

Biking Elsewhere
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Scottish Parliament to debate 'Strict Liability' usage

Biking Elsewhereby Mark Sutton, Bike Biz

Cross party support for law which places onus on motorist to prove they were not at fault in a collision with cyclists or pedestrians
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The motion reads: "That the Parliament believes that the number of fatalities and injuries to pedestrians and cyclists on Scotland's roads, including in the Lothian region, is unacceptably high; recognises that the Scottish Government has funded a number of national cycle safety initiatives; notes that versions of a strict liability rule exist in the civil law of many European countries; notes that a number of walking and cycling organisations support the introduction of such a law in Scotland; understands that a petition by Cycle Law Scotland on this topic has secured over 5,000 signatures; considers that a stricter liability rule could have positive benefits for the safety of more vulnerable road users as part of a package of measures, and would welcome further debate on this proposal."
...

http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/scottish-parliament-to-debate-strict-liability-usage

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