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Friday, May 26 2017 @ 04:39 PM UTC
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Do We Really Want Funding For Bicycle Projects?

Biking Elsewhereby Walker Angell, Streets mn

We hear frequent calls for more funding for bicycling — for painted bike lanes, door zone bike lanes, sharrows, protected bikeways, bicycle parking, giant motor traffic intersections for Trader Joe’s, programs to encourage people to ride and any number of things.

We don’t need all of that special funding. We may specifically not want that special funding.

Asking for funding for bicycle facilities is backwards. It’s inefficient, can result in poor or over-priced outcomes, and sometimes the funding can be sidetracked for projects that have little or nothing to do with making walking and bicycling better and safer.
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We need to think about it differently. Not as bicycle projects or pedestrian projects or people with disabilities projects or guardrail projects, but as one comprehensive transportation and space project. Mitigating the negative impacts imposed by motorists must be a core element of traffic engineering and of every roadway, not an optional add-on.
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When engineers design a bridge, they don’t use a painted line to keep cars from driving off and plunging to their death. NO! They design it from the outset to be safe. Can you imagine if bridges didn’t have guardrails and we had to fight for funding for them?
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Our response is that we’re going to spend 99% of our money making roads smoother and faster for drivers and 1% to improve safety for those endangered by the fast drivers. We protect people from falling icicles and from plunging off of high bridges but not from errant drivers? That’s messed up.
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Rather than start with funding, we should begin with what we should do — build safe roads — and then let the funding follow. If there is only enough funding available to reconstruct 22 miles of roadway to the new safer standards rather than the planned 25 miles of fast, smooth, and unsafe road, then that’s life. If a road cannot be built safe for all of those impacted then it should not be built or reconstructed or repaved.

[B' Spokes: Or how I look at it, we can build those extra 3 miles next year. Over 90% of our projects have the sole purpose of solving so called problems 10 years down the road using inflated numbers and arguably incorrect cost benefits so really those 3 miles of car-centric roads can wait a year.]
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https://streets.mn/2016/12/07/do-we-really-want-funding-for-bicycle-projects/
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U.S. life expectancy declines for the first time since 1993

Health & EnvironmentBy Lenny Bernstein, Washington Post

For the first time in more than two decades, life expectancy for Americans declined last year — a troubling development linked to a panoply of worsening health problems in the United States.
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“I think we should be very concerned,” said Princeton economist Anne Case, who called for thorough research on the increase in deaths from heart disease, the No. 1 killer in the United States. “This is singular. This doesn’t happen.”
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https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-life-expectancy-declines-for-the-first-time-since-1993/2016/12/07/7dcdc7b4-bc93-11e6-91ee-1adddfe36cbe_story.html
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A glimpse into what America might be like if it continues to be car centric

Biking Elsewherehttp://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2052657/opening-beijings-1000km-seventh-ring-road-more-closely

[B' Spokes: The rate that China has embrased America's love of cars along with all the down sides is scary. This article is about a road that is 12 times the size of Baltimore's 82.8 km beltway. More cars and more roads is not the answer.]
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Is Urban Cycling Worth the Risk?

Biking in BaltimoreVia FT Magazine

if you live in a big city, you may have thought about cycling to work. You will have weighed up the pros and cons: the health benefits, the low cost, the speed – versus the fact that you might be hit by an 18-tonne articulated lorry. On balance, you may have decided you didn’t want to take the risk.
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[B' Spokes: A lot of good stuff in here even if you don't need encouragement to get on a bike there is stuff you are probably curious about.]


https://ig.ft.com/sites/urban-cycling/?utm_content=buffera7c35&;
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Baltimore just got bikeshare, and lots of its bikes are electric

Biking in Baltimoreby Jeff La Noue, Greater Greater Washington

A month ago, Baltimore got its first bikeshare system, Bmorebikeshare, and ridership is already high. Forty percent of the fleet is made up of electric bikes that make it easier to go up hills, and as the system expands people are likely to want more of those.
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http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/34382/baltimore-just-got-bikeshare-and-lots-of-its-bikes-are-electric/
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Fatalities In The War On Cars Are Never In Cars

Biking Elsewhereby Dan Savage, The Portland Mercury

If a pedestrian jumped off a sidewalk, ran into the street, pulled a driver out of her car, and inflicted injuries so severe that the driver died moments later in the arms of a passing stranger.... that pedestrian would probably face more severe consequences than the driver who killed Erica Stark:
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[B' Spokes: A better analogy would be if pedestrians were juggling chainsaws and the whoops I just killed someone (http://dearestdistrict5.blogspot.com/2016/04/everyone-plays-part-in-chainsaw-safety.html ). But I do think the author makes a good point, the so called war on cars does not result in cars death, only an inconvenience in parking and perhaps in travel time. On no! People spent a lot of money on a luxury item that is not living up to it's potential like a bunch of spoiled brats. Totally ignoring the real reasons, cars were great when few had them and few drove but to design a city where everyone drives on infrastructure designed and funded by 1950 standard of one car per family. Now driving is a miserable experience, too many cars on the road, so the solution is more cars! Alright it's more no or little accommodations for non driving so people are encouraged by threat of death to drive. And in the end, cars loose unless there is a war on cars and their over use. If cars are indeed are the luxury item people want, then they should welcome paying extra in taxes for first class accommodations while the rest of use make due with what's not set aside for cars. What's that, cars already too expensive so you want other people to help pay for your luxury? Hmm.]

http://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2016/12/06/18730471/fatalities-in-the-war-on-cars-are-never-in-cars
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Why America’s roads are so much more dangerous than Europe's

Biking ElsewhereUpdated by Norman Garrick, Carol Atkinson-Palombo, and Hamed Ahangari, Vox

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Where these strategies have been successfully implemented — New York City, Portland, Cambridge, and Seattle, along with Washington, DC — biking has skyrocketed and traffic fatality rates have dropped at a much higher rate than in other cities. Between 2000 and 2012, there has been a four-fold increase in the number of people biking to work in DC while the traffic fatality rate fell from 9 per 100,000 to 3 per 100,000. More research is needed, but one possible explanation is that protected bike lanes reduce the amount of space dedicated to cars and ultimately slow traffic.
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http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/11/30/13784520/roads-deaths-increase-safety-traffic-us
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ON-CALL DRONES TO LIGHT YOUR WALK OR BIKE HOME

Biking Elsewhere-> If you have to walk or bike down dark streets at night, a U.K. insurance company wants you to be able to call up a small fleet of drones to accompany you—acting as lights that fly with you to illuminate your path home. Fleetlights, a prototype service, is designed to be summoned with a mobile app, and uses someone's phone to go wherever they go. One drone flies ahead, and two fly to the side, each equipped with lightweight, high-powered lights. The service isn't available yet as there are still legal, commercial, and technical details to sort out. The code for the system is available open-source, so others can work on developing the technology. http://bit.ly/2fQEMRK

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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US REPORT CARD ON KIDS’ PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: 21% MEET GUIDELINES

Health & Environment-> The National Physical Activity Plan Alliance has released the "2016 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth" (http://bit.ly/2fPIGwJ). Only 21% of American children are meeting current Physical Activity guidelines. The report card discusses how the U.S. is performing on 10 key indicators and what can be done to improve these outcomes in the future. http://bit.ly/2gwl2DR

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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GPS-ENABLED HOUSEHOLD TRAVEL SURVEYS SAMPLE SIZE

Biking Elsewhere-> The Transportation Research Board report, "Sample Size Implications of Multi-Day GPS-Enabled Household Travel Surveys," summarizes a project that studied the design of household travel surveys. Multi-day travel surveys are now more feasible, given global positioning system (GPS) technology. This project explores if surveys using a GPS device provides less drop-off in response compared to travel diaries. This project also investigates the effects of using multi-day data for developing travel demand models and explores the impact of sample size on multi-day versus single-day surveys. http://bit.ly/2fPYEHk

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

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