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We can't keep adding cars to our roads. Is it time to say goodbye?

Biking ElsewhereBy Anthony James, World Economic Forum

The average car is stationary 96% of the time. That’s a fairly consistent finding around the world, including in Australia. A car is typically parked at home 80% of the time, parked elsewhere 16% of the time, and on the move just 4% of the time. And that doesn’t include the increasing time we spend at a standstill in traffic.

Bill Ford, executive chair of the Ford Motor Company, says we’re heading for “global gridlock”. And he’s not alone in saying we cannot simply keep adding more cars to our roads.
...

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/02/why-it-might-be-time-to-ditch-your-car
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We are the bicycle lobby. We are coming for your parking.

Biking Elsewhereby Comrade Rosovvy, City Pages

[B' Spokes: A bit tongue and cheek but has a point.]

...
Where once you could park eight feet in front of a business to purchase a hanging plant, we sons and daughters of the morning star will force you to walk one additional city block on sidewalks like a poor person. Your spirit will be crushed and your very feet will cry out for mercy.
...

http://www.citypages.com/arts/we-are-the-bicycle-lobby-we-are-coming-for-your-parking/422843924
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- COUNTDOWN PEDESTRIAN SIGNALS WITH AND WITHOUT THE FLASHING HAND FIELD STUDY

Biking Elsewhere(http://bit.ly/2jw8c9X): This study found statistically significant decreases in pedestrians who were still in the crosswalk when cross traffic was released at three of the four sites when the Flashing Don’t Walk was removed from the clearance phase. An increase in the number of pedestrians running was detected at some of the sites during the Countdown Pedestrian Signal alone condition. Removing the FDW signal from the CPS could result in an increase in the number of pedestrians who reach the opposite side of the crosswalk without interfering with cross traffic.

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

[B' Spokes: So basically the flashing (don't walk) hand that comes on too early for most pepole (so most ignore it) doesn't work as well as a simple count down.]
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PED SAFETY ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS GUIDE

Biking Elsewhere-> The “Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations: A How-To Guide“ (http://1.usa.gov/1GYHe2B) provides tips and guidance on how States and communities can effectively deploy pedestrian safety enforcement operations to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities. It includes a summary of promising practices, guidance on planning and implementing an operation, a discussion of several considerations and variations, recommendations regarding the evaluation of pedestrian safety programs, and a series of case studies. The guide also contains an Appendix with sample forms and other useful information.

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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WIDER LANES MAKE STREETS MORE DANGEROUS

Biking Elsewhere-> A new study (Narrower Lanes, Safer Streets: http://bit.ly/1AJVv2q) reinforces the argument that cities need to reconsider lane widths and redesign streets accordingly. In a paper to be presented at the Canadian Institute of Traffic Engineers annual conference, author Dewan Masud Karim presents hard evidence that wider lanes increase risk on city streets. Looking at the crash databases, Karim found that collision rates escalate as lane widths exceed about 10.5 feet. Roads with the widest lanes — 12 feet or wider — were associated with greater crash rates and higher impact speeds. Karim also found that crash rates rise as lanes become narrower than about 10 feet, though this does not take impact speeds and crash severity into account. He concluded that there is a sweet spot for lane widths on city streets, between about 10 and 10.5 feet. [http://bit.ly/1eOgWVR]

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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COURT FINDS WI DOT USED INFLATED FORECASTS TO JUSTIFY ROAD EXPANSION

Biking Elsewhere-> On Friday, the U.S. Eastern District Court upheld claims in a lawsuit filed by 1000 Friends of Wisconsin and cut off federal funding for the beleaguered Highway 23 road expansion project between Fond du Lac and Plymouth. The Court agreed with the land use organization that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation used unsupported, inflated traffic forecasts to justify the project. The Court ruled that the project is ineligible for federal funding until documented accurate traffic forecasts can be made that justify expanding the highway. The state can now either go back to the drawing board and do verifiable forecasting or scrap the expansion plans. The ruling does not stop the state from building the project using only state funds. [http://bit.ly/1Q6pdoX]

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Why are cities allowing bicycle theft to go virtually unpunished?

Biking ElsewhereBy Tom Babin, Los Angeles Times

...
In Los Angeles and virtually every city in North America, bicycle theft has almost become a crime without consequence, so widespread that it is treated less as a problem and more like one of the costs of urban life. Thieves can quickly cut locks on a target that serves as its own getaway vehicle, sell their ill-gotten goods to fencers for pennies on the dollar, and rest assured they will almost never be busted. Law enforcement officials, busy with other priorities, rarely commit to sustained campaigns to bust theft rings or even pursue arrests.

Accurate data on bike thefts are difficult to come by. The FBI reported 210,905 bike thefts in the U.S. in 2014, a number that likely severely undercounts the true scope of the problem. An analysis by the Oregonian in Portland found that arrests occurred in just 2% of reported bike thefts in that city. The same study found as few as 70% of thefts are even reported. Cycling advocate J Allard spent several years researching bike theft and couldn’t find a single person in North America who had a full-time job dedicated to stopping the problem.

Despite this general apathy, there are serious consequences to bike theft. A 2014 federal government survey found the most likely group of people to ride a bike to work are those earning less than $10,000 a year. For such working poor who have no other means of getting around, bike theft is more than an inconvenience: It can wipe out a livelihood.
...

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/livable-city/la-ol-bicycle-theft-20170421-story.html
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The (Irrational) Criminalization of Walking

Biking ElsewhereBy Scott Doyon, Place Makers

...
The point is that we’ve progressed to a moment in time where walking is seen almost as a novelty or action of last resort and where our accommodation of and reliance on automobiles has resulted in a regulatory environment in which the act of walking is increasingly stigmatized and disincentivized, thus making the assertion that few people walk an increasingly self-fulfilling prophesy.
...

http://www.placemakers.com/2017/05/16/the-irrational-criminalization-of-walking/

[B' Spokes: There is even a link to a book (PDF) you can download.]
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Walking across the street is becoming more dangerous

Biking ElsewhereBy Changez Ali,  AP via Washington Post

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Last year was the deadliest year for pedestrians in the United States since 1996, according to a report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, which collects and analyzes data from state highway safety offices.

Preliminary data show that 5,997 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents, an 11 percent increase from 2015, the report says.

The increase is part of a longer-term upward trend: Pedestrian fatalities increased 12 percent between 2006 and 2015 from 4,795 to 5,376, even while the total number of traffic fatalities decreased by 18 percent from 42,708 to 35,092 during that period. Pedestrians now account for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities [B' Spokes: That's 22.9% of all traffic fatalities for Maryland].

“Survivability is greatly improved in cars but the human body has not changed, so humans are as susceptible as before,” said association spokeswoman Kara Macek.

Driver and pedestrian error are a factor in many accidents. But recent research also blames a lack of engineering for safe walking environments -- and two studies published in the past year say that’s particularly true in low-income and immigrant neighborhoods.
...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/walking-across-the-street-is-becoming-more-dangerous/2017/05/17/b5e89d1a-3b35-11e7-a59b-26e0451a96fd_story.html
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Traffic laws and street design are not working

Biking Elsewhereby Leslie Reed, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


[B' Spokes: The conclusion is the most profound.]

...
"These results suggest that people are making judgments about appropriate bicycling based on their own experience," Piatkowski said. "And that's a problem. It means traffic laws or street design are not working."

http://news.unl.edu/newsrooms/today/article/study-reveals-a-wild-west-with-rules-of-the-biking-road/
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