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Tuesday, April 21 2015 @ 02:39 PM UTC

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How I Became an Urban Monster in Just 10 Minutes

Biking ElsewhereA car is often—even usually—the wrong tool for the job in a dense urban setting. And using the wrong tool makes you frustrated and impatient.

By SARAH GOODYEAR, City Lab

<a href="http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/12/how-i-became-an-urban-monster-in-just-10-minutes/384128/">http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/12/how-i-became-an-urban-monster-in-just-10-minutes/384128/</a>;
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[B' Spokes: After being car free for 2 decades and just starting to drive again, I can relate to this article. Those of you that drive everyday I have no idea how you manage. Luckily I can still do what I need to do most days by bike so I am managing just fine.]
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AARP LIVABILITY FACT SHEET SERIES

Biking Elsewhere-&gt; According to the October FHWA's Fostering Livable Communities Newsletter, &quot;AARP Livable Communities has partnered with the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute to create the AARP Livability Fact Sheet series, a package of comprehensive, easy-to-read livability resources (<a href="http://bit.ly/1vTfVSE">http://bit.ly/1vTfVSE</a>;). The fact sheets can be used by community leaders, policy makers, transportation planners, citizen activists, and others to learn what makes a city, town, or neighborhood a great place for people of all ages...

&quot;Each fact sheet in the 11-part series is a four-page PDF document that can be read online or printed and distributed... Each fact sheet follows the same structure: introduce the subject; address and resolve any myths and misconceptions; and then provide relevant advice, tips, and success stories...
&quot;The series covers the following topics: Bicycling, Density, Economic Development, Form-Based Code, Modern Roundabouts, Parking, Revitalization Without, Road Diets, Sidewalks, Street Trees, Traffic Calming.&quot;

Source: <a href="http://1.usa.gov/1nwROWQ">http://1.usa.gov/1nwROWQ</a>;

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling &amp; Walking.
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RESEARCH: DRIVER BEHAVIOR AT CROSSWALKS

Biking Elsewhere-&gt; According to a Dec. 10th CMAP article, &quot;The Active Transportation Alliance surveyed driver behavior at 52 marked and unmarked crossing locations around Chicago and in neighboring suburbs to better understand the relationship between compliance with the state law requiring motorists to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and crosswalk type or design. (Illinois Drivers Must Stop for Pedestrians Law: Observational Study of Motorists' Compliance: <a href="http://bit.ly/1z2XL2j">http://bit.ly/1z2XL2j</a>;)

&quot;The study involved crosswalks with no pavement markings, crosswalks delineated by traditional pavement markings (two striped lines defining the crosswalk), and crosswalks with additional safety features such as in-road &quot;stop for pedestrians&quot; signs, textured or colored surfaces, raised crosswalks, or flashing beacons. The survey found that compliance was lowest at unmarked crosswalks, where only 5 percent of motorists stopped for pedestrians. Eighteen percent of drivers stopped for pedestrians at traditional painted crosswalks. Compliance was highest at the crosswalks enhanced with other safety features, where 61 percent of motorists stopped for pedestrians.&quot;

Source: <a href="http://1.usa.gov/1wEZU1Z">http://1.usa.gov/1wEZU1Z</a>;

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling &amp; Walking.
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WASHINGTON, DC REQUIRES MULTI-FAMILY SECURE BIKE PARKING + RETROFITS ON DEMAND

Biking Elsewhere-&gt; According to a Dec. 12th APBP Member Listserve posting from Jessica Zdeb, &quot;The Council in Washington, DC just passed a rule in follow up to the 2007 Bicycle Commuter and Parking Expansion Act that requires residential buildings of 8 units or more to provide secure bike parking at a 1 to 3 ratio. It might not sound that exciting, but tenants may request retrofitting of an existing building, and spaces must be provided within 30 days of the request. Retrofits require the lesser of the 1 to 3 ratio or enough to meet the requested demand.

&quot;Note that all spaces required are preferably indoors, but if not feasible, shall be secure, covered and adjacent to the building. Some savvy developers are already exceeding this minimum here, but it is now the law of the District. See all associated documents of the rulemaking here: <a href="http://1.usa.gov/16rBWxA">http://1.usa.gov/16rBWxA</a>;

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling &amp; Walking.
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[B' Spokes: We need the same rule here, including businesses. (I'm tired of stores that have made their (handicap parking) sign poles unusable for bike parking with a cement casing.)]
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US DOT SECTY. FOXX ANNOUNCES NEW PED AND BIKE SAFETY INITIATIVE

Biking Elsewhere-&gt; According to a Sept. 15th League of American Bicyclists article, &quot;Last week in Pittsburgh, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, announced a groundbreaking agenda by US DOT (U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Announces New Initiative to Enhance Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety: <a href="http://1.usa.gov/1wB3N8T">http://1.usa.gov/1wB3N8T</a>;) to address the safety of people who bike and walk in all 50 states.

&quot;'Safety is our highest priority and that commitment is the same regardless of which form of transportation people choose, including walking and biking,' Foxx told the more than 1,000 attendees at the Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference. '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.'

&quot;Rolling out over the next 18 months, the 'Safer People, Safer Streets' Action Plan (<a href="http://1.usa.gov/1tMPtJa">http://1.usa.gov/1tMPtJa</a>;) commits the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to identify the causes of bicycle and pedestrian crashes and to work with practitioners, elected officials and advocates to find solutions to reduce injuries and fatalities...&quot;

Source: <a href="http://bit.ly/1ARxqR5">http://bit.ly/1ARxqR5</a>;

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling &amp; Walking.
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The new wonder drug? Cycling, some advocates say

Biking Elsewhereby Shaun Courtney, Urbanful

...
image
Images courtesy of 105MM and British Cycling

[This and more]

http://urbanful.org/2014/10/24/new-wonder-drug-cycling-advocates-say/
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Cars vs Bicycles – The Motorist’s Warped View Actually Reveals the Problem

Biking ElsewhereVia The Warrior Factor

...
Five key grievances were made in an editorial in Melbourne’s major newspaper, the Herald Sun, today. Some are actually genuine. The problem is that the motorist’s fury is poorly directed. The true culprit is decades of government inaction, over zealous nanny state regulations, and an obsession with turning cyclists into “vehicles”.

THE MOTORIST

The road was made for cars. It’s a road that’s slowly being shrunk and chopped up so bike lanes and Lycra-friendly nooks can be carved into parking spaces across the city. As a motorist I don’t mind sharing the road. With other cars. But cyclists often take things too far, and I’m not just talking about their leg grooming habits. Some of the things they do on the road simply drive me mad. So here they are.

1) WHEN YOU TAKE UP A QUARTER OF A LANE YOU MIGHT AS WELL TAKE UP THE WHOLE LANE
...
2) DON’T TOUCH MY CAR
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3) YOU CAN SEE ME INDICATING SO WHY PULL UP NEXT TO ME?
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4) YOU WANT ROAD? OBEY ROAD LAWS
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5) YOU GO SLOWER THAN CARS SO DON’T PRETEND YOU’RE A CAR
...

<a href="https://warriorfactor.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/cars-vs-bicycles-the-motorists-warped-view/">https://warriorfactor.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/cars-vs-bicycles-the-motorists-warped-view/</a>;
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[B' Spokes: Some of the responses here are great. Keep this kind of thinking in mind so next time an anti cycling letter appears in the paper we can call it out for what it is.]
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Injustice at the Intersection

Biking ElsewhereBy Benjamin Ross, Dissent

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The rules for pedestrian crossings nationwide are set out in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, known to specialists as the MUTCD. Chapter 4C specifies when red lights can be installed. One rule concerns vehicle traffic that approaches busy highways from a side street. It takes 240 cars in four hours to justify a traffic signal.

Under the same conditions, at least 300 people must walk across the main road before a red light can be installed. A pedestrian, in other words, counts for four-fifths of a driver.*

Even then, no signal is allowed if there is another light within 300 feet. This distance is considered a short enough detour to impose on pedestrians, even though, at a steady pace, a 600-foot round trip on foot takes two-and-a-half minutes. Drivers’ time is valued quite differently: engineers classify an intersection as “failing” if an average car is delayed in rush hour by a minute twenty seconds.
If pedestrians don’t use the crossing because it is unsafe, moreover, no light may be installed. Determining where to install traffic lights by counting people who step onto a dangerous highway, critics point out, is like deciding whether a bridge is needed by observing how many people swim across the river.

Absent a traffic light, might Cobb County at least paint simple crosswalk stripes at the Nelsons’ bus stop? No, it may not. The 2009 revision of the MUTCD banned new crosswalk markings on roads where heavy traffic moves faster than 40 miles per hour—just the sort of environment where the only people likely to walk are those who cannot afford a car.

The ostensible rationale for this edict rests on a little known and less enforced provision of traffic law. In most states, a pedestrian crossing the road at an intersection with no traffic signal always has the right of way, whether or not there are stripes on the pavement. Pedestrians, therefore, should need no help getting across the street. In theory, markings exist only to prevent collisions by warning drivers of the need to stop. But in a massive federal study, researchers observed that, in practice, “very few motorists stopped or yielded to pedestrians either before or after marked crosswalks were installed” at intersections with no traffic light.

This much, surely, was already obvious to anyone who’s ever navigated the suburbs on foot. But the study’s conclusion was somewhat more surprising: on roads with four or more lanes, pedestrians were more likely to be hit by drivers in a marked crosswalk than when crossing at a corner without crosswalk markings.
...

They concluded that the absence of stripes makes it safer to walk across wide roads.

Not only does this defy common sense, but the highway officials’ own behavior contradicts it. Their safety campaigns never advise pedestrians to avoid striped crosswalks and cross at unmarked intersections.
...

<a href="http://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/injustice-intersection-suburbs-traffic-engineering-poverty">http://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/injustice-intersection-suburbs-traffic-engineering-poverty</a>;
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DECLINING WALKABILITY: BIG ROLE IN CHINA'S OBESITY PROBLEM

Biking Elsewhere-&gt; According to a Nov.17th CityLab article, &quot;In China's rapidly changing urban landscape, the Chinese middle class may be bearing the greatest burden when it comes to the connection between the way their cities are being built and rates of obesity, a new study suggests.

&quot;A paper recently published in the journal Preventive Medicine (Walking, Obesity and Urban Design in Chinese Neighborhoods: <a href="http://bit.ly/1xmYmcW">http://bit.ly/1xmYmcW</a>;) examines the connections between obesity, income, and the built environment in two of China's major cities, Shanghai and Hangzhou. The research team is headed up by Mariela Alfonzo, an assistant research professor at the NYU School of Engineering and a Fulbright scholar who has spent years developing measures of walkability in the United States and is now expanding that work to China.

&quot;Alfonzo and her colleagues found that, as in other countries, there is a link between neighborhood designtheir walkabilityand levels of physical activity among residents. They also found, however, that the relationship between income, obesity, and physical activity is not a linear one in China. There, the poorest and the most affluent were both less likely to be obese than the middle class...&quot;

Source: <a href="http://bit.ly/1EYEg9n">http://bit.ly/1EYEg9n</a>;

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling &amp; Walking.
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Poll: Support for Active Transportation Funding Is High Across Party Lines

Biking Elsewhereby Tanya Snyder, Streets Blog

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image
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http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/12/08/poll-support-for-active-transportation-funding-is-high-across-party-lines/
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