28 Aug

More data on road reconfiguring to allow non-car transportation access shows positive benefits

The pattern is getting stale. Bike additions and more multi-use road patterns are proposed, people go *nuts* about how it will slow down cars and create chaos and fire off nasty emails full anti-bike rage.

And then it turns out the roads don’t slow traffic down hardly and the whole area’s vibe is much improved and less dangerous.

“The ‘road diet’ on Fauntleroy Way in West Seattle was controversial when it was introduced, to say the least: Drivers, used to being able to speed along four general-purpose traffic lanes, feared that reducing the road to two traffic lanes, a turn lane, and a lane for cyclists would lead to total gridlock and chaos (sample comment from the West Seattle Blog: ‘They want to inconvenience 95 percent of the people who drive on Fauntleroy Way for the 5 percent who use bicycles? This can’t be allowed’).

Well, the data is in, and it turns out, the doomsayers were (once again) wrong.

How wrong? SDOT’s data show that the road diet has dramatically reduced collisions and reduced speeding in general on that corridor. The total number of collisions went down 31 percent after the road was striped for bike lanes and given a center turn lane, and collisions resulting in an injury went down 73 percent. Collisions between cars and cyclists went down to zero. “

(Via Fact: Road Diets Work. | Seattle Met.)

The kicker is, it not only doesn’t really slow down cars, it dramatically helps business and is more valuable by measurable means to business and foot traffic (by definition, right?):

“As Janette Sadik-Khan told the Women’s Bike Forum, businesses on Eighth and Ninth Avenues in New York saw a 50 percent increase in sales receipts after protected bike lanes were installed on the corridor. On San Francisco’s Valencia Street, two-thirds of the merchants said bike lanes had been good for business. If a business has a bike-share station out front, bike-share users are more likely to patronize it.

Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns told the story of a Memphis neighborhood where people, without authorization, spent $500 on paint and made their own bike lanes. Six months later, commercial rents on the strip had doubled, and all the storefronts – half of which had been vacant – were full.

Bike Infrastructure Is a Better Value Than Car Parking

Businesses in some cities are also beginning to see the spatial logic of the bicycle. After all, 12 bikes fit in one car parking space. Providing bike parking is also an extraordinary bargain compared to building structured parking: one parking space in a garage costs at least $15,000 to build and hundreds of dollars per year to maintain, while building a rack for two bikes costs $150 to $300.”

(Via Bicycling Means Business: How Cycling Enriches People and Cities | Streetsblog Capitol Hill.)

18 Aug

Bike rebalancing on Citibike

In its opening months, New York City’s bike share system has found itself locked in a perpetual race against its riders — to remove bikes from fully occupied stations, and to refill stations before the supply runs dry.

Via NY Times.

So they describe dudes running around in trucks picking up bikes and moving them back and forth.

Have they thought about Task Rabbiting this shit? Like, anyone with a Citibike app who’s near a station with too many bikes gets a little glowing message on their phone that offers them what it would cost Citibike to move the bike (take the overall cost and break it down to a per bike, per trip cost) and offer that in cash to whoever balances that bike back.

19 Jun

AARP wants multi-use streets. They have a lobby. Now it gets interesting!

I’ve been saying for a long time now that when retiring baby boomers realize that the auto-only streets oriented world they’d subsidized becomes hard for them to navigate, it will be millenials and retirees both advocating for multi-use streets.

The AARP, one of the largest lobbying organizations in the US, has now thrown it’s weight into people-oriented streets design. Those over-65 commie hippies!

“One of the largest non-profit organizations in the world is on the side of city and suburban bikers. Boasting 40,000,000 members, the AARP represents the interests of people over the age of 50.

With an initiative launched in 2009, AARP called on city planners and public officials to design something it calls ‘complete streets.’

These streets feature sidewalks, transit facilities, signalized crosswalks, and — the kicker— in-road bike lanes.

The concept is not news. But this month an executive at the organization updated AARP members on the idea.

‘For years, U.S. transportation policy has focused almost entirely on construction and maintenance of roads to accommodate more cars,’ wrote Nancy LeaMond, executive vice-president of the AARP. ‘And while cars are obviously critical to our transportation network, they are only part of the equation.’”

(Via AARP Wants More Bike Lanes on Roads with ‘Complete Streets’ initiative | Gear Review | Gear Junkie.)

19 May

The new Indianapolis Cultural Trail for bikes and walking sounds great

If I’m ever able to fit Gen Con on my schedule again, I have to check this out:

“Indianapolis probably won’t get the national and international attention it deserves for the Cultural Trail because it’s a heartland city in ‘flyover’ country far from media centers on the coasts.

But make no mistake: In ambition, aesthetics and follow-through, the Cultural Trail deserves to be mentioned alongside New York’s acclaimed High Line park, Chicago’s Millennium Park and other new paragons of urban place-making.”

(Via The new Indianapolis Cultural Trail is a masterpiece of bike-friendly design Cleveland should emulate | cleveland.com.)