Here’s a great collection of aerial European landscapes by Alex MacLean, “Energy Landscapes: An Aerial View Of Europe’s Carbon Footprint“, Yale Environment 360.
The summer calendar is jam packed with city-friendly events that have been helpfully compiled by Bike Auckland. Summer of bike love – Go By Bike Day and other upcoming events. This week includes the following bike-related events:
Go By Bike (bike-to-work day) 10 February.
Bike Love-in @ Silo Markets 12 February.
Bike Rave, 14 February.
And on biking, here is an article from the Bike Lobby™ claiming that 70% of American mayors would like to see better provision for cycling on city streets. Caitlin Giddings, Most Mayors Agree—Add More Bike Lanes Instead of Parking, Bicycling.
In terms of infrastructure priorities, one in five mayors also listed “bicycle friendliness” as a top three area for new infrastructure spending. And when given the opportunity to spend a hypothetical unrestricted small grant on an infrastructure project, bike/pedestrian projects emerged as the top choice—ahead of parks, roads, and city buildings. (For a hypothetical unrestricted large grant, “roads” was the top choice—but, encouragingly, only after “mass transit.”)
While Portland Oregon has been a poster child for progressive, people-first city planning and design the mode share for cycling has been stuck at around 6% for several years now. The city is now taking the sensible step in requiring high quality, separated facilities on streets with more than 3,000 vehicle a day. Michael Andersen, Portland Is First U.S. City to Make Protection Default for All New Bike Lanes, StreetsBlog USA.
The key is to build our system well, to build it to be safe, and to strive for the highest quality bikeways possible.
There is a growing body of research and experience across the U.S., North America and the world demonstrating the effectiveness and desirability of protected bicycle lanes to encourage more bicycle transportation. It is also a key element of our Vision Zero strategy for people when riding bicycles. That is why I am asking our engineers, project managers and planners to make protected bicycle lanes the preferred design on roadways where separation is called for. I am asking for this design standard for retrofits of existing roadways as well as to new construction.
And from the the state that brought us the Katy Freeway here is one Texas politician now talking some sense. New Houston Mayor to Texas DOT: Wider Roads Mean More Traffic City Lab, Eric Jaffe.
Mayor Sylvester Turner told a told the Texas Transportation Commission that it was time for a “paradigm shift” away from the ineffective approach of widening highways:
This example, and many others in Houston and around the state, have clearly demonstrated that the traditional strategy of adding capacity, especially single occupant vehicle capacity on the periphery of our urban areas, exacerbates urban congestion problems. These types of projects are not creating the kind of vibrant, economically strong cities that we all desire.
Susanna Rustin, Car fumes are killing us. So why isn’t anyone telling us not to drive?, The Guardian.
In October it became illegal to smoke in a car with a child, while Dame Tessa Jowell, runner-up in the Labour mayoral selection contest, made a big thing of her plan to ban smoking in parks. Yet when there is a bad pollution episode no one tells people to stop driving, as the mayor of Paris did last year. Instead, people with asthma are warned not to go out. It’s as if, rather than banning smoking in public places in England in 2007, the government had advised people wishing to avoid lung cancer to stay away from pubs.
Good news and bad news from Australia. Australians aged 80+ are now more likely to drive than 18-24 year-olds! Roy Morgan.
Over the past eight years, the proportion of Australians aged 80+ who get behind the wheel has steadily increased—while 18-24 year-olds have become less inclined to drive. For the first time, in 2015 the oldies surpassed the youngsters as the more likely group to drive: 69% of 80+ (up from 59% in 2007) compared with 68% of 18-24 (down from 72%).
Removing centrelines make streets safer and slows vehicles. This is well understood and standard practice in the Netherlands. We covered this story a year ago. If safety wasn’t motivation enough, think of how much money could be saved on the routine re-painting of centrelines across Auckland.
Linda Poon, Can Removing Centerlines Make Roads Safer? CityLab.
The agency is currently testing centerline removal on at least three roads with a speed limit of 30 mph, and the results so far show promise, according to the report. TFL found that drivers slowed down, on average, by five to nine miles per hour. Researchers also observed that speeds were particularly lower when drivers were passing oncoming traffic.
Behind this demarking lies the concept of “shared space” and “naked streets”, developed in the 1990s by the late Dutch engineer, Hans Monderman. He held that traffic was safest when road users were “self-policing” and streets were cleared of controlling clutter. His innovations, now adopted in some 400 towns across Europe, have led to dramatic falls in accidents. Yet for some reason Monderman’s ideas remain starkly uninfluential in the world of “big” health and safety, especially in Britain.
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