*[ AT Network: Further to the last post about speed limits from NYC, the
same discussion is happening here. Tomorrow evening, in fact. See the
message below from the West Broadway Community Organization. If you live,
work in or commute through the West End, this may be of particular interest
to you. Apologies for late notice. - Anders ] *
Each year the West Broadway Community Organization holds a town hall
meeting in November to discuss local issues that have particular relevance
to our community. In the wake of several troubling accidents on our streets
involving pedestrians and in response to ongoing calls from community
members asking for information on how to reduce vehicle speeds, improve
cycling infrastructure, and make West Broadway safer for pedestrians,
WBCO’s town hall this year will focus on finding solutions to ongoing
*Thursday, November 28th*
*Multi-purpose room at Gordon Bell Collegiate*
*6:30pm until 8pm*
*Snacks and refreshments served*
Too often, community meetings bring residents and stakeholders together to
‘consult’ or merely ‘talk about’ problems, our hope for tomorrow night’s
meeting will be to offer solutions, document concerns and provide community
members with concrete strategies for improving the livability of this
neighbourhood. It is no secret that over 60 percent of residents in West
Broadway commute without the use of automobile and that a large percentage
of residents are committed pedestrians, transit riders and cyclists; in
this context, with one of the highest population densities in the city, the
need to consider local concerns and work together on solutions is
Please feel free to share this invitation with anyone who lives, works or
volunteers in the West Broadway community.
West Broadway Community Organization
Phone - 204.774.7201 ext 5
Fax - 204.779.2203
<http://greenactioncentre.ca/support/memberships/>[Thanks to Terry Zdan for
sharing. -cheers, Beth]
* * * * *
Council Working to Reduce Speed Limit on City Streets
By Jill Colvin <http://politicker.com/author/jill-colvin/> 11/26 4:03pm
The New York City Council hopes to pass legislation that would reduce the
speed limit on most residential and side streets to 20 miles per hour,
Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced today.
“We are actively working on that bill and our goal is to pass it before the
end of the year,” Ms. Quinn said during an unrelated press conference this
afternoon before the month’s final council meeting. “We’re actively working
on it right now.”
The bill, introduced by Councilman David Greenfield, is aimed at reducing
serous pedestrian injuries and traffic fatalities. Last
148 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents and crashes.
“We are working to fine-tune this life-saving legislation that will slow
down automobiles on narrow residential streets. I am hopeful that we can
get consensus on this important legislation, which will literally save
lives once it is enacted here in New York City,” he said in response to the
But there are complications. The city’s Department of Transportation has
argued the proposal would conflict with state law, which only allows limits
that low if other traffic-calming devices are used. Last Friday, Councilman
Jimmy Vacca, chair of the council’s transportation committee, told
bill was being “tweaked a little bit” and that members were “aiming for 25
miles per hour on narrow, one-way streets.”
Currently, the speed limit on most city streets is 30 miles per hour,
unless otherwise posted. The new regulations would be a boon to
advocates–including those who installed their
limit signs in Park Slope this week–but have drawn grumbles from some
drivers who feel the city’s notoriously gridlocked streets are slow enough.
According to the group Transportation Alternatives, pedestrians have an 80
percent chance of surviving being hit by a car traveling 30 miles per hour
and a 98 percent chance of survival if the car is traveling 20 miles per
The measure is just the latest of several recent efforts aimed at making
streets safer for pedestrians. Later today, the council is expected to pass
another bill, introduced by Councilwoman Debi Rose, aimed at slowing speeds
near public and private schools. The rules would require the city to
install speed humps near at least 50 schools.
“Speeding is the number one cause of deadly crashes in New York City and we
must do everything we can to prevent fatalities,” Mr. Quinn said in a
statement touting Mr. Rose’s bill.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg did not immediately comment on
whether the mayor supports the bill.
Fascinating look at cycling in 12 cities around the world – from Delhi to
Berlin to New York, Beijing, Rome, Paris, and many more. While some focus
is on the number of cyclist deaths or injuries, what I found most
interesting to hear is the different personal experiences riding in these
major centres. -cheers, Beth
* * * * *
How safe are the world's cities for cyclists?
The deaths of six cyclists in the past two weeks have highlighted the
dangers of taking to London's busy streets. But what is it like to cycle in
other major cities around the world? From Amsterdam to Delhi, our writers
report from the bike lanes
- Richard Orange <http://www.theguardian.com/profile/richard-orange>,
Anu Anand, Philip
, Jonathan Kaiman <http://www.theguardian.com/profile/jonathan-kaiman>,
Pete Jordan, Kim Willsher<http://www.theguardian.com/profile/kim-willsher>
, Shaun Walker <http://www.theguardian.com/profile/shaun-walker>, Lizzy
Davies <http://www.theguardian.com/profile/lizzydavies>, Patrick
, Matt Seaton <http://www.theguardian.com/profile/mattseaton>, Harriet
Sherwood <http://www.theguardian.com/profile/harrietsherwood>, Rory
Carroll <http://www.theguardian.com/profile/rorycarroll> and David
- The Guardian <http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian>, Wednesday 20
[image: Malmo cycling]
Malmö, with its dedicated cycle paths and huge take-up, is something of a
cycling heaven. Photograph: Alamy
When I arrived in Malmö two years ago, it was the free bicycle pumps,
installed in convenient places on cycle paths, which showed me that, when
it comes to cycling <http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/cycling> in
Sweden <http://www.theguardian.com/world/sweden>, Malmö leads the way.
Sweden's third-largest city is laced with 500km (310 miles) of cycle lanes,
more even than in Copenhagen, a short hop across the Öresunds
About a quarter of all journeys in the city are already made by bike. That
is an estimated 100,000 trips a day for the its 307,000 inhabitants.
Stockholmers, by contrast, use bikes for fewer than 10% of trips.
When I take my daughter to day care in the morning on the back of my bike,
the cycle lanes are packed with parents and commuters. Almost all my
friends own cargo
which they use to ferry their young families to day care, or to do the
weekly shop. Remarkably, in the 10 years from 2003 to 2012, the city has
seen only 16 cyclists killed in an accident involving a car.
Olle Evenäs, a traffic planner for Malmö, puts this down to the way the
city has built its cycle lanes. "In Malmö we have two-way cycle lanes,
every single track, which isn't the case in Copenhagen. We never have
painted lanes as cycle tracks; we always have a dedicated surface which is
separated from the car traffic by a divider and up a level from car
The law-abiding nature of the people also helps cut down on fatalities. For
Swedes, cycling in the wrong direction on a cycle path or, worse still, on
a pavement intended for pedestrians, elicits the sort of outrage people in
the UK reserve for those dumping their rubbish on the pavement.
The city continues to try to cut car use, aiming to increase cycling's
share of journeys to 30% by 2018. To do this it has earmarked at least 400m
kroner (£37m) to be spent on various cycling programmes in the years
2012-19. "This is the money we know we have for sure, but we are going to
be spending even more than that," says Evenäs.
[image: Dehli cycling]Cyclists in Delhi must compete with rickshaws and the
city's seven million cars. Photograph: Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty ImagesDelhi
Size is power on India <http://www.theguardian.com/world/india>'s roads and
in the caste system of transport, cyclists rank just a notch above
pedestrians and stray animals. Buses and SUVs rarely, if ever, give way to
lesser mortals. Indeed, pedestrians attempting to cross a road here, even
with children in tow, are invariably honked at while drivers speed
By and large, cycling is not a lifestyle choice for the middle classes.
Rather, it is the default mode of transport for those who cannot afford
anything else. Labourers, deliverymen and semi-skilled workers such as
plumbers and carpenters use bicycles. They are India's struggling masses,
not its moneyed elite.
In 2012, according to India's National Crime Records
a total of 168,301 people died on its roads. In New Delhi, that includes 78
cyclists and 501 pedestrians. There are nominal cycle lanes on some of the
capital's main thoroughfares, but with seven million cars jostling for
space, those lanes are often cannibalised by motorised rickshaws and
scooters, leaving no safe space for bicyclists. Cyclists rarely wear
helmets and there are no viable emergency services to ferry accident
victims to hospitals.
In recent years, some intrepid middle-class Indian and foreign expatriate
cyclists have begun to brave Delhi's roads. Recognisable by their expensive
bicycles, helmets and high-visibility vests, they can sometimes be spotted
along the quieter avenues of colonial New Delhi. One company, Delhi by
has even set up two-wheeled tours through the narrow, twisting lanes of the
old city. But they start before dawn, before cars, motorbikes, cycle
rickshaws, pushcarts, cows and the ever-present crush of pedestrians appear.
If cycling in London <http://www.theguardian.com/uk/london> is dangerous,
Delhi is like having a near-death experience every single time.
[image: Berlin cycling]Cyclists are well-catered for in Berlin, but it
still saw 15 cyclist deaths in 2012. Photograph: Adam Berry/Getty ImagesBerlin
In many ways, Berlin is a cyclists' paradise. Most major roads have clearly
marked cycling lanes, either on the pavement or on the road itself. The
age range of cyclists is broader than in London: with old ladies and kids
sharing lanes with bike couriers in Lycra, road behaviour tends to be less
aggressive. Some major junctions even have a special set of traffic lights
for cyclists, allowing them a head start ahead of motorists.
That doesn't mean there are no problems. Fifteen cyclists died in 2012,
seven of them through collisions with lorries; 4,533 more were injured over
the same period. According to the German Cycling Club (ADFC), one of the
most common causes of accidents are cars turning into side streets at high
speed and cutting off cyclists in the lanes to their right. Berlin's many
tram lines can also be a hazard: the track grooves are perfect for trapping
the wheel of your average city bike.
In spite of being notoriously cash-strapped, Berlin has taken steps to make
cycling safer. This month, the city authorities launched an online survey
in order to help identify trouble spots. On radsicherheit.berlin.de, users
can mark dangerous junctions, blocked paths and road potholes, as well as
recording "near-misses" that they didn't log with the police at the time.
But Berlin also expects its cyclists to stick to the rules more than London
does. One reason for this is self-policing: try going down a cycling path
on the wrong side of the road, even in an alternative district such as
Kreuzberg, and you will soon be bellowed at by other cyclists or by
pedestrians. Cycling offences are not just punished with on-the-spot fines:
any fine over €45 (£37.50) also comes with points that show up on your
driving licence (which means that, in theory, you can end up with points on
your licence before you have even passed your driving test).
And, unlike Britain, Germany <http://www.theguardian.com/world/germany> has
a drink-drive limit for cyclists: a blood alcohol content of 0.16%, though
some regions have recently tried to lower the limit to the same as that for
cars (0.05%). This also explains the German word for a shandy: *Radler* or
"cyclist", because it just about keeps you sober enough to stay on your
[image: Beijing cycling]Beijing hopes to have a quarter of its residents
cycling by 2015. Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images Beijing
Beijing was once a city of bikes. Now it's a city of traffic. There are
more than 5m cars in Beijing, and they have transformed its once-generous
thoroughfares into a noxious, honking mass.
Cycling helps me rise above the noise. I bike 5km (3 miles) to work every
day, weaving through Ming dynasty-era alleyways, gliding past shadowy
government offices, darting among flatbed tricycles hauling mysterious
metal tanks. The Chinese capital is notorious for its air pollution, and my
commute isn't always pleasant. But when the smog lifts and the city snaps
into focus, it's the highlight of my day.
Along with the freedom comes a fair amount of risk. According to official
statistics, cyclists were involved in more than
of China <http://www.theguardian.com/world/china>'s 67,759 traffic
accident-related deaths in 2009. Scooters blast through red lights; cars
park on the pavements. Nobody wears a helmet.
Last winter, I was riding to work when I collided with an auto-rickshaw.
They are the sharks of the city's bike lanes – vault-sized motorised boxes
that are almost as powerful as small cars, but are not required to play by
the same rules. It was on the wrong side of the road. I veered left; the
driver veered right; I hit the side of the carriage and fell over. The
driver, a middle-aged man with oily hair, decided to play the defensive –
he was clearly from the countryside, and if the accident was serious, my
medical bills could have wiped out his savings. He pointed his finger at
me, yelling. A crowd began to gather. I shot him a middle finger and
pedaled away, my right knee bleeding, my handlebars askew.
In 2010, the Beijing government announced hopes that by 2015, nearly
a fourth of the city's residents would use cycling as their primary mode of
transportation. It doesn't seem likely. The city is too much of a sprawl,
its traffic too unruly.
There are other reasons, too. On Monday night, I returned to a restaurant
where I had parked my one-speed Giant overnight, only to find it missing. A
passerby saw me looking, and asked how long I'd left it outside. "Too long,
I guess," I said. "You should know better," she replied. "This is China."
[image: Amsterdam cycling]Amsterdam has long had a reputation for 'traffic
anarchy', but if it's chaos, it works extremely well. Photograph: David R.
Frazier Photolibrary/Alamy Amsterdam
Over the course of my 11 years of daily biking in Amsterdam, I have never
worn the helmet I brought with me from the US. No one needs a helmet here.
Instead of putting the onus on the cyclists to protect themselves, in
Amsterdam the onus is on society to provide a safe environment to ride in.
Here, everyone bikes: the young, the old, the tourists. It usually takes me
less than an hour to spot three pregnant cyclists.
I had never realised how stressed I was while biking in America until I
biked with relative ease in Amsterdam. Despite the decades-old reputation
of Amsterdam's cyclists for being "traffic anarchists" – riding through red
lights, biking without lights at night, and so on – it is a chaos that
works incredibly well.
Most motorists here are also cyclists, which enables them to better
anticipate the behaviour of cyclists in traffic. Driving instructors teach
new motorists to use their right hand to open their door, which forces the
driver to turn, putting them in a better position to see if a cyclist is
approaching from behind.
Amsterdam is by no means perfect. Cycling fatalities do occur – estimates
say about six a year - but on nothing like the scale that they do in the
British capital. And the Dutch do not rest on their laurels with the
infrastructure they have created over the past 30 years. I am always
pleasantly amazed by how the city continues to be improved.
[image: Paris Cycling]Paris has taken its Vélib' scheme of hire bikes to
its heart. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian
Paris is extremely proud of the fact it was the first capital to introduce
a city-wide free bicycle scheme. Known as
a combination of the words *vélo* (bike) and *liberté* (freedom), it was
introduced in 2007 by Socialist mayor Bertrand Delanoë. Now approaching
retirement, Delanoë considers it one of the great triumphs of his term in
office. By 2012, when Vélib' was celebrating its fifth birthday, there were
around 23,000 of the heavy grey bicycles in circulation, more than double
the number when it was launched. There are now 1,700 bicycle "stations" –
1,400 of them in Paris itself and 300 in surrounding towns. In 2007, there
were just 750. Under the Socialists, the French capital has installed 652km
(405 miles) of dedicated cycle routes for the 224,000 Parisians who have
signed up to Vélib', a figure that will rise to 700km by the end of 2014.
Launching several thousand bicycles onto the city's roads in 2007 caused
widespread safety concerns, but they have proven largely unfounded. While
cycling around the Arc de Triomphe can be a perilous exercise, with cars
coming from all directions following the now largely outdated "priorité à
droite" <http://www.vendee-guide.co.uk/priority-a-droite.htm> rule, the
number of accidents involving cyclists between 2007 and 2012 was relatively
low: 12 have died, eight of them while using a Vélib'. More than 660 have
been injured, according to police, though most of the injuries were
reported as "not serious". In 2010, 43 people died in accidents on Paris's
streets and boulevards: two cyclists, 18 pedestrians, 17 motorcyclists and
scooter riders and six vehicle drivers or passengers, according to the
Paris Préfecture de Police. In 2011, not a single cyclist
Accident investigators say because there are more cyclists around, other
road users have become more used to them and are giving them "greater
The rules of the road – "I don't ride on the pavement, I respect traffic
lights and stop signs, I don't carry passengers and I don't ignore no entry
signs" – are posted on each Vélib' bike.
[image: Moscow cycling]Moscow's bike-hire scheme works well in summer – but
is mothballed for the harsh winter months. Photograph: Christian
Petersen/Getty Images Moscow
With 10-lane highways cutting through its centre, roads covered in snow and
ice for much of the year, and drivers who – to put it charitably – do not
always obey the letter of the law, Moscow has never been much of a city for
cyclists. Those who can afford a car brave the legendary traffic jams,
while those that cannot use the ruthlessly efficient metro system.
In recent years, however, as the chaos of post-communist wild capitalism
has subsided and thoughts have turned in some quarters to issues such as
quality of life and urban planning, bicycles have become a more visible
part of Moscow's fabric. This year, a local equivalent of Boris bikes was
even introduced, with the Bank of Moscow funding 1,000 bikes and 74 rental
points across the centre of the city. It was free to use them for up to
half an hour, and just 60p for an hour after that, for those who paid an
initial registration fee. The bikes have been removed with the onset of
winter, but over the summer season nearly 50,000 Muscovites registered for
Nevertheless, the bikes were still mainly used for cycling along Moscow's
embankments, through its newly renovated parks and along the pedestrianised
boulevard ring that runs through the centre. Actually using a bike as a
means of getting from A to B along normal roads is still a matter for the
brave and the foolhardy, and cyclists on the roads are a rare sight indeed.
[image: Rome cycling]Rome's cyclists hope that their bike-friendly mayor
can deliver. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images Rome
With its fabled seven hills, cobbled streets and notoriously chaotic
traffic, Rome is not an obvious cycling paradise. A bike-sharing scheme
launched in 2008 has been an abject failure. And, for what it's worth,
helmets and hi-vis have never been included in any Italian's
Despite the risks to both health and image, however, many Romans are
choosing to brave the roads and get on their bikes. For the first time in
decades, more bikes were sold than cars in the recession-hit Italy of 2011,
a trend reflected predominantly in the north but also on the
traffic-clogged streets of the capital.
Many of those who do brave it insist the city's off-putting image is
unfair: it is hard for cars to speed around the narrow, winding streets of
the historic centre, they say. Moreover, Roman motorists, whatever their
other defects, are used to looking out for people on two-wheels - it's just
that those wheels tend to belong to a Vespa or Piaggio.
But tragedies, of course, do happen. Last year, five people died in
accidents involving bicycles, according to the city authorities; one person
the year before that; three in 2010, and four in 2009. In July, a
60-year-old man called Domenico Calabrò was fatally injured in a collision
with a car on the city's south-eastern outskirts.
The man who now finds himself at the centre of the city's cycling future is
the mayor, Ignazio Marino, who was elected in June and has repeatedly
spoken of the need to make Rome a more bike-friendly capital. He says he is
considering various projects in order to boost cycle use, including the
creation of parking lots for 10,000 bikes, a new, more successful
cycle-sharing scheme, and 20km more cycle paths to add to the patchy
existing network. Marino is himself a keen cyclist, often seen whizzing
around town, security staff in tow, on a white Lombardo. Even for him,
however, it hasn't been straight-forward: in July, he fell off.
Cycling activists are pleased that their new "first citizen" is a
bike-lover, but are still waiting to see if he will keep his promises, says
Fausto Bonafaccia, president of the BiciRoma association. "The cycle path
situation is improper for a city like Rome, the capital of Italy, where
vegetation, disjointedness and potholes represent daily obstacles for those
who want to travel by bike," he says.
"Road safety <http://www.theguardian.com/world/road-safety> … does not meet
the minimum standards befitting a civilised country and cyclists are always
at risk of having an accident in the Roman traffic."
[image: Cairo cycling]Cairo's most fearless road users must be its bakery
delivery cyclists. Photograph: Carsten Koall/Getty Images Cairo
Tell a local that you cycle in Cairo, and more often than not you will be
met with a wide-eyed stare. Driving a car is dangerous and frustrating
enough, with 42 annual road deaths per 100,000 Egyptians, according to the
World Health Organisation<http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/road_traffic/countrywork/egy/…>.
Britain has just 2.75.
Cairo's roads are
with cars paying little attention to road markings, and gridlocked streets
common by mid-afternoon. Lane discipline is not a recognised concept,
drivers often reverse down multi-lane highways, and cars will not stop for
pedestrians seeking to cross a road until they step out into the speeding
In this environment, there is little concept of cycling as a means of
getting across the city. Needless to say, there are no cycle lanes. Many
deliverymen do use bikes to pedal around their neighbourhoods – perhaps
Cairo's most fearless road-users are the cycling bakers who careen through
traffic jams balancing vast trays of bread on their heads. But very few
commuters cycle, put off by the perceived danger and the lack of
infrastructure. For some professionals, bikes are associated with the
working class, and so have a social stigma – while some female cyclists
report harassment from passersby.
But the city's few energetic bike advocates say that cyclists are slowly on
the rise. When the Cairo Cycling Club was founded five years ago, it had
just four members. Now it organises weekly recreational group
quieter districts that have sometimes attracted hundreds of cyclists.
In two provincial cities near Cairo, the authorities are planning to
encourage more cycling<http://stpegypt.org/images/NGO%20Fayoum%20workshop_apr2013.pdf>
some main roads.
There are no exact figures, either for the number of Cairene cyclists or
the number of annual cycling-related fatalities. But Ahmed el-Dorghamy, one
of Cairo's most vocal cycling proponents, says there are more than 20,000
users of Egyptian online cycling groups.
"The idea we want to get across is that it's not just a sporting activity,"
hetold the BBC <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21629907> last year.
"It can also be a means of transport in some areas of Cairo."
[image: New York cycling]New York's busy streets might seem daunting, but
things are improving for cyclists. Photograph: Joseph Mcnally/Getty
If you commute by bike in New York City, you are still regarded by
colleagues as something of a daredevil. And if you don't wear a helmet,
they frankly think you are reckless. Mind you, this is a country where they
wear helmets for the game they call football (which, actually, does have a
serious head-injury problem).
But perceptions lag behind reality. New York has become a much more
cycle-friendly city over the past decade or so of the Bloomberg
administration. Cyclist fatalities have held steady over that time: in a
good year, perhaps just a dozen; in a bad year, double that number. But
bike use has tripled since 2000 and, with several hundred miles of new bike
lanes put in, it is still growing fast. So, according to the City's
"cycling risk indicator", the danger of serious injury has plummeted by 73%
(between 2000 and 2011).
And New York is truly a bikeable city. Manhattan and the other boroughs are
reasonably flat, and car ownership is the lowest of any American city. The
views can be spectacular, whether you are flying down one of the big
avenues in a canyon of Gotham skyscrapers or taking the riverside bike path
along the Hudson on the west side. Earlier this year, the city got the
Citibike bike-share scheme, our equivalent of Boris bikes. Despite teething
troubles, the five-month-old rollout is mostly judged a great success – not
least because it has not yet resulted in a single fatality.
Not everything is rosy. Transportation Alternatives<http://www.transalt.org/>,
NYC's leading pro-bike campaign, has worked hard recently to make more of
an issue of how poorly fatal accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists
are often investigated by the NYPD. Just last weekend, an article in the
New York Times asked provocatively: "Is it OK to kill cyclists?" But I take
heart simply from the fact that the question is being asked: the mindset
My main tip from the mean streets: just watch out for the yellow cabs –
they never pull over to drop people off, and passengers will fling the
doors open on either side.
*Matt Seaton* *is the Guardian's former cycling columnist and is now an
editor at the New York Times.*
[image: Tel Aviv cycling]Tel Aviv's flat, wide-open spaces are ideal for
cycling. Photograph: Bloomberg via Getty Images *Tel Aviv*
It is flat, sunny and boasts a sweeping promenade hugging long golden
beaches. There are 120km of cycle paths threading throughout the city,
1,500 public bikes for hire at an hourly rate, and 3,000 bicycle parking
slots. Welcome to Tel Aviv, cycling heaven.
That, at least, is the city council's vision. As part of a plan to turn Tel
Aviv into a car-free city, it has promoted two-wheel transport, with the
introduction two years ago of Tel-O-Fun, an Israeli version of Boris bikes,
available for hire at around £8 for two and a half hours. A network of
cycle paths has been established along roads and through parks, and an
annual city bike ride attracted 20,000 participants in September (though 42
cyclists were injured). Helmets are encouraged, but not a legal requirement.
According to a poll last year, 14% of residents say it's their main form of
But not everyone is in heaven. "A lot of the cycle paths are just painted
areas of the pavement, interrupted by bus stops and with pedestrians
wandering over them," says Ruthie Pliskin, a PhD student who cycles to
university every day. "Even the paved ones along the roads are often
blocked by parked cars. They're very narrow, and sometimes it's not even
clear which direction you are supposed to cycle."
Despite the city council's efforts, Pliskin says cycling is still a
dangerous activity in Tel Aviv. "But it has the potential to be a great
cycling city – even if you do need eight showers a day in the summer."
*Los Angeles <http://www.theguardian.com/world/los-angeles>*
Drivers rule Los Angeles, yet on balance the city is surprisingly safe for
cycling. An expanding network of bicycle lanes is slowly making parts of LA
friendlier to two wheels, turning a once eccentric form of transport almost
About two cyclists are killed in traffic-related collisions in LA county
each month, out of a total population of 10 million. Per capita, that is a
lot better than many other big population centres in the US and elsewhere.
The bad news is that 3% of road accident fatalities are cyclists, way above
the US's national figure of 1.7%.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa became evangelical after he fell and broke his
arm swerving from a taxi that cut him off on Venice boulevard in 2010.
Within two years the city built 123 miles of new bikeways, nearly eight
times the rate of the previous 40 years. There are now more than 430 miles
of bike paths across the city. Not all cheered. Hollywood complained that a
bright green, 6ft-wide lane, which runs for 1.4 miles through downtown's
historic core, ruined the area's utility as an Anytown, USA, location.
Worse, camera lights reflected the green on to everything else, including
California's governor, Jerry Brown, rejected a law obliging motorists to
give cyclists at least 3ft of room while passing, or slow down. But
advocacy groups such as the LA County Bicycle Coalition, and rider packs
known as Midnight Ridazz and Wolfpack Hustle, and programmes such as
CicLAvia, appear to be slowly winning the argument. LA's new mayor, Eric
Garcetti, has pledged to continue bike-friendly policies.
You still need strong nerves to cycle here. About 22 cyclists a year are
killed or badly hurt in LA's epidemic of hit-and-runs – there are 20,000
cases annually. Veterans warn that one of the most perilous places is
Beverly Hills: few lanes and inconsiderate drivers.
[image: David Byrne cycling]David Byrne riding his bike in New York.
Photograph: Sam Polcer Why I like cycling in New York City
By David Byrne
I ride everyday in New York City unless it's pouring rain or snow or the
roads are icy – and that's actually not often. I now know where the
protected bike lanes are and I will go a block or two out of my way to use
them. The protected ones make a huge difference, though the occasional
delivery or municipal vehicle parks in them. Even the non-protected
the ones in green and white paint that run alongside the traffic – feel
much more secure. Having used bikes in London, I'm used to a lack of road
space being allocated to cyclists. But it is, yes, a little scary sometimes
back in London.
We used to do scary quite well in NYC, but we've mostly gotten over it. One
does have to beware of limo and hire-car drivers who feel they are carrying
people more important than us, and watch out for New Jersey plates, as
they've rarely seen cyclists and pedestrians where they come from. Bike
delivery guys riding the wrong way are another hazard, but maybe they'll
fall in line eventually as well. NYC is easy – it's dense and fairly flat.
The new bike-share program needs to expand and is already hugely popular. I
see men in suits using it, so for me that means the whole thing has passed
the tipping point and resistance is futile – best now to figure out how to
make it all work.
A precedent setting announcement supporting active transportation corridors
for schools. Hopefully we will hear more announcements like this city wide!
I compiled a two page backgrounder on history of AT initiatives in Fort
A lot of work is occurring in the community- as has been city wide. Great
PLEASE NOTE: While not 'officially announced' yet - the Green Action Centre
and communities of Fort Richmond / University Heights and U of M were
involved in the development of a Community Walking and Cycling map:
The format is almost identical to the Winnipeg cycling map - except with far
more detail (ie: locations of crosswalks / lights / heated bus shelters /
sidewalks, etc) Hard copies are available at the Green Action Centre and at
many locations in Fort Richmond / south Pembina businesses. The map was
supported by the Province / City / Green Action Centre and many other
organizations. It is my hope that many communities will want to develop
their own detailed AT map!
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Jackie Avent
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2013 1:20 PM
Subject: [At-network] City Infrastructure Announcement Blazes Trails for
Winnipeg School Children
Today's Active Transportation infrastructure announcement is a promising
step forward in creating safe, active corridors for students to travel
actively to and from school.
The investment in school-based infrastructure is precedent setting and
exciting - highlighting the benefit of wide-spread community engagement and
consultation done by Green Action Centre through the Bike Walk Roll Fort
Richmond Project. This was on the coat-tails of the School Travel Planning
pilot project where we worked with all neighbourhood schools.
Jackie Avent | Active and Safe Routes to School
<http://greenactioncentre.ca/> Green Action Centre
3rd floor, 303 Portage Avenue | (204) 925-3773
Green Action Centre is your non-profit hub for greener living.
<http://greenactioncentre.ca/support/memberships/> Support our work by
becoming a member
/> Find us here
While slides from a webinar are not always helpful without the recording to
go with it, today's APBP webinar on "Is there safety in numbers for
cyclists and pedestrians?" is an exception.
It all seems to be common sense conclusions but they provide the research
to back up the important role that larger volumes of cyclists, road design
and the presence of bike infrastructure play in reducing crash rates.
Two clarifications to note: first, crashes here refer only to motorists and
peds or cyclists (not bike/bike or bike/ped) and second, there is an error
in Luis M.'s conclusion slide (63 of 85). The blue line should read "Rates
without refuge island" and the red line is "Rates with refuge island".
[This is one of those good news items that is tucked into the newspaper and
easy to miss!]
Bylaw to enforce closures
CITY hall hopes to have a bylaw in place to allow police to enforce Sunday
street closures along bike routes.
It turns out the prohibition of driving vehicles on Sundays on Wellington
Crescent, Scotia Street, Wolseley Avenue and Lyndale Drive couldn't be
"There was a challenge at some point that motivated our people to get this
done," public works committee chairman Justin Swandel said. "There was a
technicality that didn't actually allow it to be enforced."
The public works committee instructed civic administration to draft a bylaw
and get approval for proper signs to be posted along the street routes. The
new bylaw will allow motorists to travel a distance of one block on the
bike routes on Sundays. Motorists travelling farther will be ticketed, once
the bylaw is passed.
The committee was told posted signs will replace most of the barricades,
which will result in a savings.
The signs have to be designed and approved by the Highway Traffic Board
before they can be erected and the new bylaw goes into force.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 20, 2013 B2