Wednesday, November 4, 2015

How Cities Can Harness the Benefits of Shared Mobility

Sharon Feigon is the executive director of the Shared-Use Mobility Center, a national public interest organization working to foster collaboration in shared mobility and extend its benefits for all. Communities both large and small have begun to use shared mobility combined with transit as an effective tool to cut auto congestion and emissions, provide first and last-mile connections, and expand access to jobs and a better quality of life for their residents. As these new services proliferate, however, city governments have also found themselves playing catch-up as they try to manage their growth and balance varied goals such as preserving safety, ensuring equitable service and allocating parking and use of curb space. To address these issues, the Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC) recently convened a unique cross-section of public sector transportation leaders, private sector innovators and community representatives in Chicago for the 2015 national shared mobility summit Move Together. The summit’s 500 attendees included mayors, transit agency officials and department of transportation executives from across the USA. Read more here.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Bike Sharing System in Seoul; 20.000 in 2020

After the big announcement about a new, city-wide public bicycle sharing system last year, we have seen very little about the news about the system. Now stations for the public bike sharing system were set up and it is going to be run a trial from September 19 to October 14. The official opening of the service to the public is October 15. Thanks to Philip for the tip about the sudden appearance of stations! He posted pictures about the new system in the Kojects Forum and gave me many helpful information. It made me curious and so I begun to work on this post and visited Sinchon to get a sneak peek at the new public bike sharing system in Seoul.The city published in August a 585-page master plan about the bicycle infrastructure. I knew that the bicycle department of Seoul was very busy but 585 pages, wow! It begins with an examination of the existing bicycle infrastructure and introduces then all details of the bicycle plan. Currently, there are a total of 733.4km bike lanes. 124.4km are bike-only lanes and the large majority (600.2km) are shared paths between cyclists and pedestrians. Read more here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Don't doubt you planners and engineers: Dutch roundabouts are the way to go!

Dutch roundabouts are terrifying. At least in the eyes of foreign planners and engineers. Dutch road users, including the most vulnerable ones – people walking and cycling – prefer roundabouts over signalised intersections. And so do Dutch planners and engineers, who know that roundabouts have proven to be a lot safer than traditional intersections. The reconstruction of a lot of those Dutch intersections into roundabouts is getting more and more attention abroad. It is so good to see that e.g. the Americans are no longer only occupied with on street cycle lanes. They get it that paint is just not good enough. It is all about protected bike lanes now. And more and more the protected intersection as well. Planners and engineers now understand how necessary it is to connect stretches of roads with protected cycle lanes with well-planned intersections. They are studying protected intersections all over North-America. A number has just been finished or are under construction: Davis (CA), Austin, Salt Lake City and Boston. Read and see much more here! The great video below of Bicycle Dutch is a manual how to deal with Dutch roundabouts.

Salt Lake City street removes parking, add bike lanes and sales go up!

Protected bike lanes require - like car lanes- space on the street, and removing curbside auto parking is one of several ways to find it. But whenever cities propose car-parking removal, retailers understandably worry. A growing body of evidence suggests that if bike lanes and parking removal are part of a general plan to slow traffic, everybody can win. In an in-house study of its new protected bike lane, Salt Lake City found that when parking removal was done as part of a wide-ranging investment in the streetscape — including street planters, better crosswalks, public art and colored pavement — it converted parking spaces to high-quality bike lanes and boosted business at the same time. On 300 South, a street that's also known as Broadway, SLC converted six blocks of diagonal parking to parallel parking and also shifted parallel parking away from the curb on three blocks to create nine blocks of curb-and-parking-protected bike lanes on its historic downtown business corridor. So what happened? Along the project, sales rose 8.8 percent, compared to 7 percent citywide. 

Should bike helmets be compulsory? Lessons from Seattle and Amsterdam

Every day, Elizabeth Kiker cycles to her work through the streets of Seattle. As the executive director of a big bicycle club, she wants to show people that you don’t need fancy gear to ride a bike – so she rides in her skirt and office shoes. But she does wear a helmet. If she didn’t, she would risk a $102 (€90) fine. Five thousand miles to the east, Marco te Brömmelstroet cycles to his job as director of the Urban Cycling Institute of the University of Amsterdam. The wind is blowing freely through his hair. “Cycling without a helmet is something I take for granted, I never give it any thought,” he says. “But it does amplify the feeling of ultimate freedom.” In Amsterdam, adults don’t wear helmets while riding city bikes – they don’t even consider it an option. Helmets are mainly worn by tourists and expats, whom the Dutch regard with bemusement, even ridicule. They know their country is a very safe place to ride a bike: in the Netherlands, the number of cyclists killed per travelled mile is the lowest in the world. Read on here.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Bike Sharing in the northernmost capital of the EU: Helsinki

The Finnish capital Helsinki will see the start of a brand new bike sharing scheme from early summer 2016 onwards. The initial fleet will have 500 city bikes and 50 bike stations. The aim is that the bike fleet will consist of 1500 bikes and 150 stations in 2017. Helsinki City Transport's city bike scheme is now at the stage of assessing offers by three possible service providers. The first consortium is made up of Nevia Oy and Nextbike GmbH. The second one pools together Clear Channel Finland, Smoove SAS, Moventia and Helkama. The third consortium is joined by Suomen kaupunkiautot Oy (City Car Club), Tracetel SA and Unicom Consulting Oy. The board of Helsinki City Transport decides on the service provider in October-November. A part of the procurement process is to evaluate the usability of the city bike systems proposed by the potential service providers. In the evaluation, impartial users rate the bikes offered by the providers. The evaluations given by the user groups will be scored and will count towards the final procurement decision. Bringing a city bike system to Helsinki supports the city's vision of enlarging the share of biking within the public transport system.Bike sharing is a citizen-centred effort and the experiences of users are therefore a key element in the procurement process. Cyclists can use the new system after registering with their Helsinki Region Transport travel card. The system is meant to complement the collective public transport chain. Read more here.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Why “Copenhaginize” Sydney when Amsterdam holds the next clues?

For me Australia’s Radio National is like coffee in the morning, brushing my teeth before bedtime, and leather soled shoes. So I’ve been especially chuffed on those times when they have called me. This time it is to do an interview with Marianne Weinreich of the Danish Cycling Embassy who would be packing her bags right now, I suppose, for the Sydney Rides Festival where she is the drawcard. Clover Moore and Fiona Campbell have fought like trojans to make Sydney a place I now visit with my folding bike… in fact a place I’m happy to visit! As far as I am concerned the city of sydney municipality has already been “Copenhagenised”.  I would be asking if Sydney should even be talking about Copenhagenising when Copenhagen is looking to the Netherlands for ways to move forward. Ask any bike buff just back from their Grand Tour of bike cities and they will tell you cycling in Amsterdam seemed more carefree and natural. They can’t tell you why, but they hardly saw cars! Read more here.