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Sunday, February 14 2016 @ 05:51 AM UTC


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Urban sprawl as a risk factor in motor vehicle crashes

Biking ElsewhereAbstract

A decade ago, compactness/sprawl indices were developed for metropolitan areas and counties which have been widely used in health and other research. In this study, we first update the original county index to 2010, then develop a refined index that accounts for more relevant factors, and finally seek to test the relationship between sprawl and traffic crash rates using structural equation modelling. Controlling for covariates, we find that sprawl is associated with significantly higher direct and indirect effects on fatal crash rates. The direct effect is likely due to the higher traffic speeds in sprawling areas, and the indirect effect is due to greater vehicle miles driven in such areas. Conversely, sprawl has negative direct relationships with total crashes and non-fatal injury crashes, and these offset (and sometimes overwhelm) the positive indirect effects of sprawl on both types of crashes through the mediating effect of increased vehicle miles driven. The most likely explanation is the greater prevalence of fender benders and other minor accidents in the low speed, high conflict traffic environments of compact areas, negating the lower vehicle miles travelled per capita in such areas.
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Biking Elsewhere-> The GAO (U.S. Government Accountability Office) reviewed pedestrian and cyclist safety data and challenges in addressing pedestrian and cyclist fatalities and injuries as a growing percentage of all traffic fatalities and injuries. This report (Pedestrians and Cyclists: Cities, States, and DOT Are Implementing Actions to Improve Safety: examines: (1) trends in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities and injuries from 2004 through 2013 and characteristics of these fatalities and injuries; (2) safety initiatives selected states and cities have implemented and their views on challenges in addressing this issue; and (3) actions taken by DOT to help improve safety.

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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How to grade what's next to the street

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: It is my belief that what is next to the road is just as important as the bike/ped facilities on the road (ROW.) A short proof is biking or walking by the "auto mile" lots of shiny cars all packed in brightly colored parking lots, one right after another. That's a miserable walking or biking experience. On the other side, a tree lined street without every scrap of space dedicated to storage of unused automobiles, that can be a rather nice walking/biking experience, even with out facilities for biking or walking. In short, when we get what's next to the road wrong the more we need facilities for biking/walking. So that's why I am sharing this article with you.]
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10 Tired Traffic Myths That Didn't Get a Rest in 2015

Biking ElsewhereBy ERIC JAFFE, City Lab

[Just the headings, read the article for more info.]

1. More roads mean less traffic
2. More transit means less traffic
3. Bike lanes make traffic worse
4. A wider road is a safer road
5. The next lane over is moving faster
6. Everyone else’s bad driving is the reason for traffic
7. You need to get lots of cars off the road to reduce traffic
8. Removing an urban highway would be a traffic nightmare
9. There’s no downside to cheap gas
10. Drivers pay the full cost of road maintenance
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Biking Elsewhere-> Vision Zero is a multi-pronged approach to the complex problem of street safety. We know that speed is a common factor in traffic fatalities and severe injuries — especially for people biking or walking. And one of the key lessons learned from the early adopters of Vision Zero in Europe is that speed reduction must be a top priority if we are serious about the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries. Vision Zero proponents are exploring Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) as a means to increase capacity to control deadly speeding. A new report (Automated Speed Enforcement Implementation: Survey Findings and Lessons Learned From Around the Country: includes a wealth of real-world examples of success with safety cameras that help manage speed: "ASE has been found to be an effective tool that over 130 communities throughout the country have implemented to improve safety for all road users." For instance, Washington D.C. had a reduction in drivers speeding more than 10 mph over the speed limit from 1 in 3 to 1 in 40 — and reported a 70% reduction in fatalities.

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

[B' Spokes: IMHO You would not know that speed cameras are effective tool around here with all the bad press they have been given.]
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PEDESTRIANS AND CYCLISTS: Cities, States, and DOT Are Implementing Actions to Improve Safety

Biking ElsewhereWhat GAO Found

Pedestrian and cyclist fatalities and injuries represent a growing percentage of all traffic fatalities and injuries. For example, pedestrian fatalities comprised 10.9 percent of all traffic deaths nationwide in 2004, but 14.5 percent in 2013. Cyclists represented 1.7 percent of all United States traffic deaths in 2004, but 2.3 percent in 2013. Estimates of pedestrian and cyclist injuries also grew during this same time frame.
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APL Awarded Silver Bicycle Friendly Business Award

Biking ElsewhereThe Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, was awarded a Bicycle Friendly Business silver award by the League of American Bicyclists on Dec. 9.

Recognized for its investment in bicycling to promote employee health and social responsibility, APL has an active cycling club and, for bike riders, offers showers, locker rooms, secure parking and personal fitness financial incentive.

Recently, the Lab quadrupled its bike parking capacity and introduced a bike share program. With the announcement of 43 new and renewing BFBs today, APL joins a group of more than 1,090 local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies in 49 states and Washington, D.C.

“Cycling is one of many activities we encourage to contribute to the health of our staff members, which is terrific for our organization,” said Maria Cimilluca, head of the Facilities Maintenance Department at APL. “Our bike share program has been a big success in promoting a fun and active atmosphere on our campus. We aim to make APL a welcoming place for cyclists.”

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U.S. Gov’t. May Get More Serious About Cyclist/Pedestrian Deaths in 2016

Biking ElsewhereBY JOSH COHEN, Next City

In December 2014, U.S. Representatives Rick Larsen, Eleanor Holmes Norton and Peter DeFazio voiced concern that the number of pedestrians and bicyclists in the U.S. being seriously injured or killed was on the rise, while traffic deaths and injuries as a whole were declining. More specifically, they worried that over-engineered roads meant to help cars move faster were a leading cause. To see if their suspicions were true, they commissioned a Government Accountability Office study.
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Fossil Fuel Subsidies Outweigh Renewable Energy Subsidies by 40 to 1

Biking Elsewhere"The organizations released the report on Dec. 3 as the UN COP21 climate debates continued. “The analysis shows that the Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States account for some $80 billion per year in public support for fossil fuels, while their total pledges to the Green Climate Fund only amount to $2 billion per year,” the report stated."
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'Drivers stuck in traffic: stop moaning'

Biking ElsewhereBy Dennis Wright

"If you want to drive your car, then by all means, go ahead - I don’t disagree with the right to move around the city in whichever way you want. But don’t moan about it when you finally reach your destination after sitting in the same traffic which has been gridlocking our city for decades now."

[B' Spokes: How long are we going to keep promoting car only transportation that hasn't gotten any better in decades? At best there is a short improvement that is near equal in time to the traffic delays that the construction "to make it better" took. Think about it, billions spent on short sections of car centric road widening projects that at best are only a improvement that last a year.]
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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

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