Monday, September 1, 2014

Electric Bikeshare in Madrid

Madrid’s bike sharing program finally debut this week, joining other metropolises, such as Barcelona, Seville, Valencia, Zaragoza, and Vitoria, to advance the most sustainable and healthy transport system after walking. More interestingly, Madrid’s brand new bicycles are electric. The chosen name was initially controversial. BiciMad comes from bicicleta (bicycle) and Madrid, and despite some people noticing the double meaning in English, the local council did not get it or actually liked it and decided to go “loco.” It was prophetic, as the first day was a little hectic, with it not working and a fake twitter account helping people better than the official one. Nevertheless the bike sharing system is welcome in Madrid. The Spanish capital is begging for clean air and many social movements have been started in the last few years demanding more space for bikes in the street. Will people in Madrid leave the car to take the bike? The electric motor will probably make the difference. Read more here. 







Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Car producers cycle at work

Faced with a serious transportation problem on its sprawling technical center campus in a Detroit suburb, General Motors Co. has turned to a solution that predates cars – bicycles. GM has launched a bike share program for 19,000 employees at its Warren Technical Center. It will help them navigate the 61 buildings on the 330-acre campus and provide convenient transportation for errands in the surrounding community.   Employees at the tech center might think using bikes to get around is a foreign concept, but they appear game. “This is good for exercise, good for on-campus mobility and a nice way to actually learn more about non-auto transportation,” said John Waechter, designing engineer at the Tech Center. The bikes will compete with walking, a shuttle bus system and cars. Waechter said he thinks cycling will be quicker than walking and have one advantage over driving because he won’t have to search for a parking place. Read more in the LA Times.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The first fully segregated roundabout in London

A breakthrough in cycle safety was unveiled today as work began to create the first fully segregated roundabout in London. Cyclists and vehicles will be kept apart by using raised kerbs and separate traffic lights on the Queen’s Circus roundabout in Battersea. The interchange is not notorious for collisions, but Wandsworth council decided to make the improvements to prioritise cycling and walking as the Nine Elms area is redeveloped. The roundabout is used by thousands of commuter cyclists each day as it lies on Boris Johnson’s bike super- highway 8 linking Wandsworth and Westminster. Its use is expected to increase as former industrial areas of north Battersea are being transformed with the redevelopment of Battersea power station and the relocation of the US embassy.The new roundabout, right, which will also have pedestrian crossings, is the first to attempt to keep cyclists and motorists fully segregated in London. Work is due to be completed next summer. Read on here. 

A day in the life of a City Bike: London & New york

A day in the life of a New York Citibike From an investment  banker at 7.50am to a solar product start-up entrepreneur more than 12 hours later, The Guardian follows the fortunes of a New York Citibike for a day. London, an impression: It is 8am on a warm morning. Waterloo station in London is the city's busiest bicycle hire dock, and this is its busiest time of day. There are no bikes, of course. As quickly as vans unload cycles – 400 of them by 10am – the cycles disappear. We want to know how the cycle hire scheme is used, who rides the bikes, and why. New York, an impression:Our bright blue Citibike, number 0919, starts its day early at the busiest Citibike station, on 42nd Street, outside Grand Central station. Last month, nearly 500 trips started or ended here every day. 7.50am Yuri K, 39, rushes towards Citibike 0919. He just got off the train from Westchester, Connecticut, and is on his way to his office in Tribeca in downtown Manhattan. Read more about New York here and about London here.




A day in the life of a city bike: London & New York



A day in the life of a New York Citibike From an investment  banker at 7.50am to a solar product start-up entrepreneur more than 12 hours later, The Guardian follows the fortunes of a New York Citibike for a day. London, an impression: It is 8am on a warm morning. Waterloo station in London is the city's busiest bicycle hire dock, and this is its busiest time of day. There are no bikes, of course. As quickly as vans unload cycles – 400 of them by 10am – the cycles disappear. We want to know how the cycle hire scheme is used, who rides the bikes, and why. New York, an impression:Our bright blue Citibike, number 0919, starts its day early at the busiest Citibike station, on 42nd Street, outside Grand Central station. Last month, nearly 500 trips started or ended here every day. 7.50am Yuri K, 39, rushes towards Citibike 0919. He just got off the train from Westchester, Connecticut, and is on his way to his office in Tribeca in downtown Manhattan. Read more about New York here and about London here.



Monday, August 18, 2014

New Walking and cycling routes: Increased physical activity

Research in the Connect2 Program provides evidence that improved, high-quality, traffic-free routes for walking and cycling may help to increase overall physical activity levels in the local population and thereby contribute to the primary prevention of a range of noncommunicable diseases. This lends support to recent calls to increase the provision of such routes in local communities. The findings from case study sites may in principle be generalizable to other, similar projects planned within and beyond the Connect2 program. It is plausible that intervention effects will become even stronger as more destinations become connected by a high-quality network that constitutes a higher dose of intervention. Through such improvements to infrastructure (and its supporting evidence base), we hope that communities will progressively realize the substantial health and environmental benefits of making walking and cycling a convenient, safe, and attractive everyday activity. Read more here. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cycling expertise from The Netherlands

A limited number of data on bicycle use in the netherlands can be found in cycling in the netherlands. Less up to date but more extensive: facts about cycling in the netherlands (2001). At the national level new data on bicycle use are compiled annually on the basis of diaries. The data on trends in bicycle use have been analysed regularly. Before that, the english version of the final report of masterplan fiets: the dutch bicycle master plan. The predominant impression of these analyses is one of stability. Bicycle use remains at least at the same level, despite circumstances that on their own would cause a decrease (slight decrease bicycle use nice policy result!). A major factor in this respect are the ever lengthening and ever less cyclable distances in commuter traffic (we have not become more mobile). Gradually these analyses have provided increasingly stronger evidence  in favour of the efficacy of bicycle policies (Evidence in favour of efficacy bicycle policies) and Bicycle policies have mainly long-term effects (Fietsbeleid werkt vooral op de lange termijn), particularly thanks to the data that became available as a result of the Fietsbalans benchmarking by Fietsersbond (Good local policies huge incentive for bicycle use).   Read more here.