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Wednesday, October 26 2016 @ 07:27 AM UTC

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Biking Elsewhere-> The data collected by the fitness app Strava ( 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 (, 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. ( The Strava data tracked pretty closely with what the surveys reported.

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Bikers already 'pay their fair share' for safer streets

Biking ElsewhereBy RANDY LOBASSO, Metro

A lot can go wrong during that process. Especially during the community feedback portion. Oftentimes, those in favor of bike lanes get backlash over wanting something we allegedly don’t pay for. Therefore, the thinking goes, if cyclists want new lanes, they should be taxed and forced to submit to a city licensing program before we even think about installing safety precautions on city streets...

American taxpayers as a whole paid $1 trillion more to sustain the road network than people who drive paid in gasoline taxes, tolls and other user fees.” And in 2012, $69 billion in highway spending came from Americans’ general tax revenue.
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Car Accidents the Leading Cause of Teen Deaths

Biking in BaltimoreBy Amanda Johncola, NBC Philadelphia

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, car accidents are the leading cause of death among 15 to 20 year-olds, killing 1,678 16 to 20 year-olds in 2014.
In 2015, 54% of teen deaths were due to not wearing a seatbelt, in 26% there was alcohol in the driver's system, and 36% of teen deaths were due to speeding.
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#DirectDOT: New Complete Streets Policy for Baltimore

Biking in BaltimoreVia BikeMore

What are we advocating for?

We're advocating that the new legislation be specific and measurable. Here are a few of the requirements in the proposed new legislation (none of which were in the original legislation):

Mandate a “modal hierarchy” of pedestrians first, followed by transit riders, bicyclists, automobiles, and parking. Simply put, the bill will require design to prioritize people who walk, bike, or take transit over people in private automobiles.

Mandate use of the latest urban design standards over the dated manuals currently in use.

Remove the “Motor Vehicle Level of Service” standard, and apply “Multi-Modal Level of Service” methodology, if a level of service standard is used at all. This means adding bike lanes, reducing travel lanes, and making other pedestrian, transit, and bicycle improvements won’t be thrown out of consideration due to potential delays for individuals in personal vehicles.

Mandate travel lane widths at a maximum of 10 feet, except on mapped transit and truck routes, where lane widths may be 11 feet. Many roads in Baltimore have lane widths wider than the standard for highways, which encourages people to drive at higher speeds on these roads. Narrowing the travel lanes will calm traffic and add space for bicycle and walking improvements over time.

Mandate a default design vehicle similar in size to a UPS delivery truck — meaning design streets (that aren't truck or public transit routes) to be optimal for a large delivery van rather than an 18-wheeler. When streets are designed or changed, the city uses a "design vehicle" as the typical road user. Baltimore currently uses a 18-Wheel tractor trailer as the default design vehicle, even on streets where trucks are not permitted. This results in wide travel lanes, soft curbs, and far distances for pedestrian crossings to facilitate truck turns that will never happen on those streets.

Mandate street design that limits visual clutter and remains sensitive to Baltimore's historic character.

While the Complete Streets Bill from 2010 was a step in the right direction, it wasn't specific enough to implement and wasn't made a priority by the administration. This new bill will be a huge step forward for Baltimore, and allow us to catch up to neighboring cities and begin to address the inequity of our roadway planning.
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The secret history of jaywalking: The disturbing reason it was outlawed — and why we should lift the ban

Biking ElsewhereBy RAVI MANGLA, Salon

“chauffeurs assert with some bitterness that their ‘joy riding’ would harm nobody if there were not so much jay walking” (April 7, 1909).
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Going deep with regional leaders on using performance measurement

Biking ElsewhereVia Transportation for America

“Transportation works as a network and fails as a network,” she said. “So why do people think we can fix the network project by project by project? I’m most interested in what is the best suite of projects.” She went on to describe why data matters, but only if you measure the right things. “You should be asking people what matters to them and measure that. If you don’t, you are telling your customers that what matters to them is unimportant. …Data is only useful if it helps you tell a story or make better decisions.”
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Why Self-Driving Cars Don’t Solve the Capacity Problem

Biking ElsewhereBy Emil Seidel, Edgy Labs

“The problem with this approach to self-driving cars is that it repeats the same mistake of the 20th century: seeing the problem of passenger transportation and the problem of car traffic as the same thing, and failing to recognize that older modes can do things that newer modes can’t.”
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Rethinking Traffic Safety

Biking ElsewhereBy Todd Litman, Planetizen

A recent CDC report, "Vital Signs: Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention — United States and 19 Comparison Countries," and Economist Magazine analysis, "America’s Road-safety Record is the Worst in the Rich World," indicate that, despite huge investments in traffic safety programs and safety engineering, the United States has, by far, the highest per capita traffic fatality rate among peer countries.
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Why 12-Foot Traffic Lanes Are Disastrous for Safety and Must Be Replaced Now

Biking ElsewhereBy JEFF SPECK, City Lab

"What's the number one most important thing that we have to fight for?" I said. "You mean, besides corporations being people and money being speech?"

"Besides that."

"Well that's easy: 10-foot lanes instead of 12-foot lanes."

The classic American residential street has a 12-foot lane that handles traffic in two directions. And many busy streets in my hometown of Washington, D.C., have eight-foot lanes that function wonderfully. These are as safe and efficient as they are illegal in most of the United States, and we New Urbanists have written about them plenty before, and built more than a few.

States and counties believe that wider lanes are safer. And in this belief, they are dead wrong.

Here, the takeaway is clear: AASHTO says that 10-foot lanes are just fine—for what it's worth.
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Biking Elsewhere-> A recent Volpe report summarizes their research and recommendations supporting San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency efforts to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety through truck-based strategies. Specifically, this initial report focuses on side guards, which are vehicle-based safety devices designed to prevent pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists from being run over by a large truck’s rear wheels in a side-impact collision. "Vision Zero San Francisco Truck Side Guard Initiative: Technical Assessment and Recommendations"
(See also Volpe’s recommended standard Truck Side Guard Specifications:

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