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Friday, October 20 2017 @ 11:23 PM UTC
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Sweden's Smart Speed Bumps

Biking ElsewhereVia Core77

If you think about it, it's strange that cars are sold that vastly exceed speed limits. The highest speed limit anywhere in America is 85 m.p.h., yet we can freely purchase cars capable of doing double that amount. While governments could mandate that all cars come with speed governors, none are willing to take such a draconian step.

Instead societies devise primitive, external methods to prevent people from speeding. Perhaps the most inefficient is the pursuit-ready policeman who must sit in an idling cruiser, manning a radar gun; that's a waste of both manpower and resources, even if tickets bring in revenue. It would be better if people were simply motivated to not speed in the first place, rather than wasting everyone's time and money with your average pull-over situation.

A Swedish company called Edeva has designed a better anti-speeding system. They designed the Actibump, a sort of smart speed bump:
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Join the 20th Walk to School Day!

Biking in MarylandCHAPEL HILL, N.C. (August 11, 2016) - Grab you backpack and lace up your shoes, it’s time to register for International Walk to School Day! On October 5, students, families, school and community partners, and mayors around the country will bring light to safety concerns, celebrate the benefits of walking, and mark a special occasion - the 20th celebration of Walk to School Day in the USA.

In 1997, Chicago’s Mayor Daley and Los Angeles’ Mayor Riordan walked with students to school. Since then, hundreds of mayors have hit the sidewalks in October.

As a way to celebrate this event, the National Center is working with the US DOT’s Mayors Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets to encourage mayors nationwide to join the 20th Walk to School Day celebration. Walk to School Day offers a unique opportunity for mayors to talk about their commitment to child and youth pedestrian and bicyclist safety and to discuss how to make their communities more walkable.

Also new this year, we've streamlined Walk to School Day registration so no account log in is required and the process just takes a few steps. Walk to School Day event registration is free and open to individuals and organizations holding an October event in the United States.

Events that register on the Walk to School website,, will be displayed on an interactive U.S. map on the website, where neighboring communities, media and other organizations can identify who is walking in their area.

For more information on Walk to School activities in the U.S., visit

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Biking Elsewhere-> According to calculations, Portland, OR area’s drop in car use frees up $138 million in their local economy every year. Multnomah County auto registrations per resident are down 7 percent since 2007. Using a conservative estimate, by not owning 38,501 cars that they would have owned in 2007, Multnomah County residents are saving $83,855,178 each year to spend on other things. As of 2014 Portland-area residents are also driving about 8 percent less than they did in 2007, saving another $53,945,366. This shift happened with hardly anyone noticing. Not only has 7 percent of per-capita car ownership and 8 percent of per-capita driving been eliminated from the economy without overall ill effects — the local economy has been booming. See details at

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Biking in Maryland-> According to a National Conference of State Legislatures the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), includes a new grant program to decrease bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities and injuries. The 22 states where bicyclist and pedestrian traffic deaths exceed 15 percent of total annual statewide traffic deaths will be eligible for approximately $14 million in annual grant funds under Section 4005. The grants may be used to train law enforcement personnel about state pedestrian and bicycle safety laws, to fund enforcement campaigns related to them, and to fund public education campaigns for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

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

[B' Spokes: And Maryland is at 24.5%, just a bit higher than the 15% required to quilify.]
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Biking Elsewhere-> For the past year, Bike Batman has waged a one-man battle against bike theft in Seattle. The unidentified cyclist has become a hero by returning 22 bicycles to their rightful owners, and in at least a dozen cases, the police also have arrested the alleged culprit. Like his namesake, Bike Batman lives a double life. By day, he is a married engineer in his 30s. In his free time, however, he is precisely what this city of fixies and fast-fingered thieves so desperately needs.

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Biking Elsewhere-> As fire apparatus has become super-sized in the United States it has also has become more expensive. The average price of a Type I engine costs $400,000 to $600,000 and a 100-foot aerial ladder is over $1 million. With traffic congestion and rush-hour gridlock plaguing many of large metropolitan areas and winding streets littered with parked cars common in suburbia, there is now another aspect for public discussion regarding super-sized fire apparatus: how wide should the streets be in our cities? Do we need big and expensive trucks on the road for mostly medical calls and car wrecks? Fire apparatus used in Western Europe are highly maneuverable on the narrow, winding streets, and have a much smaller apparatus footprint than American rigs. Fire departments in Europe and Asia are using smaller rapid response vehicles as primary tools in their urban firefighting deployment strategies.

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

[B' Spokes: And because of these too big trucks some fire departments are actively engaged in fighting bike lanes and safer narrow travel lanes.]
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How the human body would have to be built to survive a catastrophic car crash

Biking Elsewhere[B" Spokes: I will maintain that the perception that cars are safer than cycling is only valid for cycling speeds. Rev cars up to 40 mph or above and the human body has a hard time coping with the forces in a crash... That is unless you are designed like this fellow:]
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Murder Machines: Why Cars Will Kill 30,000 Americans This Year

Biking ElsewhereThere’s an open secret in America: If you want to kill someone, do it with a car. As long as you’re sober, chances are you’ll never be charged with any crime, much less manslaughter. Over the past hundred years, as automobiles have been woven into the fabric of our daily lives, our legal system has undermined public safety, and we’ve been collectively trained to think of these deaths as unavoidable “accidents” or acts of God. Today, despite the efforts of major public-health agencies and grassroots safety campaigns, few are aware that car crashes are the number one cause of death for Americans under 35. But it wasn’t always this way.

[B' Spokes: A very good overview of the history of the automobile and the battle for public space. Not to mention how speed was put ahead safety.]
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What if young people had a say in planning?

Biking Elsewhere"Young people feel a lot of issues very viscerally, because some issues directly impact their everyday lives. I recall one situation where some high school students became very interested in zoning once they realized that it determined whether they could get somewhere without their parents. They were interested in making sure that there were things of interest to them that would be within walking distance."

—Susan Santone, founder and executive director of Creative Change Educational Solutions on the value of engaging youth in planning processes. Planning Magazine:

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Sometimes the Safer Street Design Option Is the Less Expensive One

Biking Elsewhereby Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

One idea is as simple as enhancing crosswalk visibility with paint, instead of the expensive, hard-to-see treatments at some Dallas intersections: [B' Spokes: Even our red brick crosswalks are expensive and there is nothing that shows they improve pedestrian safety over something like bold hatched crosswalks.]

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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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