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Thursday, September 29 2016 @ 01:35 PM UTC

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Prosecuting drivers is most effective way to improve cyclists’ safety, say West Midlands Police

Biking ElsewhereBy Nigel Wynn, Cycling Weekly

West Midlands Police has changed its tactic when it comes to trying to reduce serious injury and death to cyclists on the region’s roads, saying that prosecuting drivers is more effective than running awareness campaigns.

In a comprehensive blog published by West Midlands Police Traffic Unit (WMPTU) last week, the service says that many ‘look out’-stye awareness campaigns miss their intended audience. It says that the most effective way to make drivers more aware of vulnerable road users, including cyclists, is to prosecute them when they commit an offence, including a ‘close pass’ of cyclists.
....


http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest-news/west-midlands-police-prosecuting-drivers-effective-way-improve-cyclists-safety-284043
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Measuring what we value: Prioritizing public health to build prosperous regions

Biking ElsewhereVia Transportation for America

A new package of case studies released today by T4America, in partnership with the American Public Health Association, showcases a range of strategies that metro area planning agencies can use to strengthen the local economy, improve public health outcomes for all of their residents, promote social equity and better protect the environment.

CDC APHA health case studies

Today, we’re launching Measuring what we value: Prioritizing public health to build prosperous regions, four short case studies that extend our previous work on data-driven decision-making for choosing transportation projects.
...

http://t4america.org/2016/09/22/measuring-what-we-value-prioritizing-public-health-to-build-prosperous-regions/

[B' Spokes: Or from what I learned from my involvement in our Metropolitan planning organization: "What gets measured gets done." ]
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FITNESS APP DATA ACCURACY IN COUNTING PED & BIKE COMMUTERS

Biking Elsewhere-> The data collected by the fitness app Strava (http://bit.ly/1WNyrcp) turns out to be a pretty accurate way to get a handle on how many people commute on foot or by bike. Fitness apps like Strava collect data about how people move around using GPS, which is less subjective. Some cities are already using its data aggregation and analysis spinoff, Strava Metro (http://bit.ly/2cQzt4B), for city planning. But fitness apps have their own problems — since the people who use them probably aren’t all that representative of the broader population. To double-check Strava’s tracking data, scientists with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compared it with census data in four US cities: Austin, Denver, Nashville, and San Francisco. (http://bit.ly/2diAWU3) The Strava data tracked pretty closely with what the surveys reported. http://bit.ly/2cnZkUf

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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UT DOT: ADD EXTRA WALK TIME TO SIGNAL DURING PEAK PERIODS

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: Alt headline: Armed crossing guards improve safety. ]

-> The Utah DOT announced its new technology that allows school crossing guards to add an extra 10-15 seconds of "walk" time on a crosswalk signal for students walking and biking to school. This increases safety and allows traffic to continue moving smoothly and efficiently throughout the day. Installation costs about $20 per crosswalk, plus 30 minutes of an electrician’s time. http://bit.ly/2cizX4p

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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BIRMINGHAM, UK: OVERTAKING DISTANCE ENFORCEMENT

Biking Elsewhere-> The Guardian reports on a new cycling safety initiative launched by West Midlands Police, in partnership with Birmingham City Council in the United Kingdom. A plain clothes traffic officer on a bike teams with a colleague in a police car up the road to pull over drivers that give the cycling officer less than 1.5m space (nearly 5 feet) when overtaking (a distance that increases for faster speeds and larger vehicles). That driver will be offered a choice: prosecution, or 15 minutes’ education on how to overtake a cyclist safely. The worst drivers, or repeat offenders, will simply be prosecuted. http://bit.ly/2cCiule

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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ZIPCAR LAUNCHING BIKE-SHARE AT 15 COLLEGES IN 2017, PLANS 100S MORE

Biking Elsewhere-> Car-sharing service Zipcar is partnering with a bike-share company called Zagster to launch bike-sharing services on 15 college campuses. Zipbike won’t officially launch until January 2017, starting with 10 schools and then spreading to a total of 15 by the end of the year. The goal is to make Zipbike the standard for bike sharing on hundreds of campuses nationwide over the next few years. Students and faculty can rent out cars and bikes using one app and one membership. http://bit.ly/2d1L2Jx

[B' Spokes: I think I just got a glimpse of the future.]

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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FHWA STRATEGIC AGENDA FOR PED & BIKE TRANSPORTATION

Biking Elsewhere-> At Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place last week FHWA unveiled its Strategic Agenda for Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation. The agenda will guide the Agency’s bike-ped work over the next three to five years to help reduce pedestrian and bicycle fatalities and serious injuries by 80 percent in the United States in 15 years, strive for zero pedestrian and bicycle fatalities and serious injuries in the next 20 to 30 years, and increase the percentage of short trips by bicycling and walking to 30 percent by the year 2025. (Short trips are defined as trips 5 miles or less for bicyclists and 1 mile or less for pedestrians.)

FHWA identified capacity building, policy, data and research actions to achieve each of the following goals:

Achieve safe, accessible, comfortable and connected multimodal networks throughout the US
Improve safety for people walking and bicycling
Promote equity throughout the transportation planning, design, funding, implementation and evaluation process
Get more people walking and bicycling.
http://bit.ly/2cZfKjE

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Our Zeal for Child Safety Might be Misdirected

Biking Elsewhereby Amanda Merck.

There is no doubt people are zealous about children’s safety; we are zealous about children’s health.

What if these two groups of enthusiasts worked together?

They would reduce time spent riding in a car:

To reduce unintentional injury and death due to motor vehicle crashes; and
To increase time spent walking and biking to reduce obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Motor vehicle traffic crashes are the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children age 5 through young adults age 24 and the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children ages 1-4, after drowning. Keep in mind, this is with the latest advancements in child safety seats.
...

[B' Spokes: And I'll add for emphases: "That's by in large children *in* cars not out of them biking or walking."]

http://www.communitycommons.org/groups/salud-america/changes/our-zeal-for-child-safety-might-be-misdirected/
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Edward Humes on How Transportation Overkill Is Killing Us

Biking ElsewhereVia New York Times

...
In the transportation world, there’s something called the “first mile/last mile problem.” It’s a euphemism for forms of mass transportation, like the bus or the train, that require riders to go to stations or bus stops. Americans prefer to move door to door. They want to close one door and find themselves in front of another.

This is one of the reasons why we, as a society, are so car-dependent. Only a system built on trucks and automobiles can do this.
...

In terms of public health, the National Safety Council’s data on car crashes showed that in 2015, 38,300 people died and 4.4 million were seriously injured.

Why are the numbers so high?

Because everything we do is designed to produce them. We have fictitious speed limits, because the roads are designed to allow vehicles to travel much faster than stated. We have vehicles capable of achieving far higher speeds than the posted limits. Given this, people go too fast. And speeding, we know, is one of the major causes of fatal crashes.
...

A pedestrian struck by a vehicle going 40 miles an hour has a 10 percent chance of surviving, and one struck by a car at 20 m.p.h. has a 90 percent chance. So when we post a 40-mile maximum speed limit on a boulevard where pedestrians walk, we’re saying that in the event of a crash, a 90 percent mortality rate is acceptable.

These decisions matter. Each of us, over a lifetime, has a one-in-113 chance of dying in a car. That’s crazy, isn’t it? So we bolt extra safety devices onto our vehicles, seatbelts and airbags. Those are all great, but they don’t get to the fundamental problem: We drive way too fast to survive collisions. The bottom line is that speeding is one of the major causes of fatal crashes.
...

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/science/edward-humes-transportation.html

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BOSTON, MA: SOLAR E-PAPER WAYFINDING SIGNS

Biking Elsewhere-> Walking is a popular way to commute in Boston, so public wayfinding signs that update in real-time are especially useful. Working with Visionect, E Ink, and Global Display Solutions, the Mayor's office recently revealed the city's first electronic paper outdoor sign. Situated in City Hall Plaza, the 32-inch solar-powered sign is connected to the cloud. City officials update the display information whenever needed. Electronic ink is visible even in bright sunlight, and the e-paper sign is water resistant, making it perfect for a city with thunderstorms and harsh winters. The sign can be updated in real-time, but is eco-friendly and doesn't require access to an energy grid. http://bit.ly/2bRpxs3

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