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Saturday, July 23 2016 @ 01:07 PM UTC

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THE FIVE WAYS ENGINEERS DEFLECT CRITICISM

Biking ElsewhereVia Strong Towns [B' Spokes: Just the headlines]

1. YOU DON’T HAVE A VALID OPINION IF YOU’RE NOT A LICENSED ENGINEER.
2. THERE ISN’T ENOUGH MONEY TO DO WHAT SHOULD BE DONE.
3. WE CAN’T ELIMINATE ALL RISKS.
4. IT IS THE POLITICIANS THAT ARE TO BLAME. ENGINEERS JUST FOLLOW ORDERS.
5. THIS REALLY IS A MATTER FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT, NOT ENGINEERING.

http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2015/10/5/the-five-ways-engineers-deflect-criticism
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Boston Globe Columnist Tweets Out History’s Dumbest Anti-Bike Rant

Biking ElsewhereVia Streets Blog

...
JeffJacoby:
Bicycles don't belong in busy urban traffic. If we stop promoting such risky behavior, fewer tragedies will occur.
...

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2016/06/24/boston-globe-columnist-tweets-out-historys-dumbest-anti-bike-rant/

[B' Spokes: How many deaths by motor vehicle are there but somehow it's the once in a blue moon bicycling tragedy that gets called out. :/ ]
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COMMENT ON FHWA PROPOSAL TO ELIMINATE 11 OF 13 CONTROLLING DESIGN CRITERIA

Biking Elsewhereby Mark Plotz
-> Thirty years ago the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) designated 13 controlling criteria for roadway design for the purpose of ensuring the efficient and safe operation of the National Highway System (NHS). State DOTs were also encouraged to adopt these standards and many did so because, well, bureaucracies are conservative and risk-averse. As a result, the 13 Controlling Design Criteria (CDC) became the law of the land, and whenever a designer wished to deviate from them, he/she had to enter into the process of requesting a formal design exemption, the outcome of which was uncertain—other than knowing it would add delay and cost to a project. The effect is that we got one-size-fits-all designs regardless of context or community wishes.

The Federal Highway Administration is revisiting the 13 criteria and is requesting comment on a proposal to eliminate all but 2 (Design Speed and Structural Capacity) for NHS roadways under 50 mph. Under this proposal it will be

Easier for designers to choose narrower lanes to find space for bicycle facilities or to reduce crossing distances for pedestrians.
Possible for designers to use narrower right of ways to avoid the high costs of land acquisition.
The likely beginning of the end of our wider, straighter and faster design paradigm (Horizontal Alignment, Vertical Alignment, Grade, Superelevation and Lateral Offset) that has yielded deadlier roads and enabled sprawl.
Should the proposed rule change become policy, the percentage of roads affected will be small. That said, the ripple effect could be huge if/when state DOTs follow suit—and why shouldn’t they, as these proposed changes could yield significant cost savings and myriad other benefits.

Be sure to tell FHWA what you think by December 7, 2015. You should write in. This is big. http://1.usa.gov/1KnCm3V

Additional reading:

"Evaluation of the 13 Controlling Criteria for Geometric Design," NCHRP Report 783, 2015. (http://bit.ly/1qsr8Rz)
"FHWA Reduces Barriers to Flexible Street Design," Project for Public Spaces, 2015. (http://bit.ly/1NTcIeZ)
"Design Flexibility for Stronger Communities," USDOT Fast Lane, 2015. (http://1.usa.gov/1Qmv3yA)
"When Livability Projects Meet Eisenhower-Era Design Standards," Streetsblog, 2012. (http://bit.ly/1W3npeb)
A final thought:
For the moment the 13 Controlling Design Criteria remain the de facto law of the land, but remember that under the status quo design exemptions are still a possibility. The Michigan DOT, which has embraced Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS), grants around 600 exemptions annually. The CSS process, which is endorsed by FHWA and AASHTO, is a collaborative, interdisciplinary and holistic approach to the development of transportation projects. For more detail, see http://bit.ly/1MIcBT1 .

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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NHTSA 2014 SUMMARY OF MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES

Biking Elsewhere-> NHTSA released its "2014 Summary of Motor Vehicle Crashes" (http://1.usa.gov/291QBWd). The portion of nonoccupant (pedestrian, bicyclists, and other cyclists) fatalities increased from 13 percent to 18 percent between 2005 and 2014. On average, a pedestrian is killed in a motor vehicle crash every 108 minutes, and one is injured about every 8 minutes. Using 2010 data, the most recent available, the tangible economic cost for pedestrians' crashes is $11.5 billion and for bicyclists' crashes is $4.4 billion. The comprehensive costs, including quality of life factors, are $65 billion for pedestrians' crashes and $21.7 billion for bicyclists' crashes. http://1.usa.gov/291QBWd


from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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The little yellow bicycle button that gets the attention of city leaders

Biking ElsewhereBy Paul Mackie, and Adam Russell, Mobility Lab

Swedish company Hövding – best known for its bicycle airbag-helmet, which was explosively modeled at a Transportation Techies meetup in 2015 – is back in the news with the release of another bike product that puts a modern spin on a classic function.

The yellow handlebar buttons, called “Flic” buttons, combine the best of so many things needed to advocate for safer bicycling streets: a practical technology that allows riders to easily take action and note where they feel unsafe.
...

http://mobilitylab.org/2016/06/15/yellow-bicycle-button-attention-city-leaders/?utm_content=bufferfa5d4&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
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Program lets Boston commuters drive some, cycle the rest

Biking ElsewhereBy BOB SALSBERG, Tucson.com

BOSTON (AP) — Traffic is crawling bumper to bumper on Soldiers Field Road, a major artery leading to Cambridge and downtown Boston, as Mark Rabinsky parks his car near the Charles River, takes out his bike and prepares to cycle the rest of the way to his job at Harvard University.

"My ride is all along the river. It's such a beautiful ride every morning," said Rabinsky, one of a small but growing number of commuters who avoids the last few miles of rush hour gridlock by utilizing Park & Pedal.
...

http://tucson.com/lifestyles/program-lets-boston-commuters-drive-some-cycle-the-rest/article_3c8af680-65fb-5596-b86c-d12b343e4fa5.html
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Cartoon: If people treated their homes like they treat the earth

Biking Elsewherehttp://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/17/1364819/-Cartoon-If-people-treated-their-homes-like-they-treat-the-earth
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Virginia approves its first transportation plan based on a new system of scoring and prioritizing projects

Biking Elsewhereby Dan Levine, Transportation for America

Following the release of the first list of recommended projects back in January, today’s approval from the CTB marks the first complete cycle of a brand new process created by the legislature a few years ago to improve the process for selecting projects and awarding transportation dollars — all in an effort to direct the new money to the best, most cost-effective projects with the greatest bang for the buck.
...

http://t4america.org/2016/06/14/virginia-approves-its-first-transportation-plan-based-on-a-new-system-of-scoring-and-prioritizing-projects/
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Slower Speed Limits Give Cities a New Attitude About Biking, Walking, Breathing

Biking ElsewhereBY ANNA CLARK, Next City

Edinburgh, Scotland, is rolling out a 20 mph speed limit on 80 percent of its roads. (Photo by Martin Abegglen)
As more U.S. cities embrace the Vision Zero approach to curtailing traffic and ensuring pedestrian safety, there’s plenty of compelling data in favor of slow roads coming out of Edinburgh, Scotland. The numbers show how lower speed limits can change drivers’ attitudes about bicyclists — and even let city-dwellers breathe a bit easier thanks to air quality improvement.
...

https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/slow-speed-limits-cities-edinburgh-20mph
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NINE FOOT TRAVEL LANES IN PRACTICE

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: Yes Roland Ave with the state not allowing anything less than 10.5 foot lanes so we got a really skimpy Bikeways I am looking at you. 9 foot travel lanes exist are safer IMHO just fine for use that is not an major arterial road. See:]

http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2015/10/12/nine-foot-travel-lanes-in-practice
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