Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Portland Mayor Sam Adams says Portland’s spent on its bike infrastructure what it would normally spend on a single mile of highway.Portland’s biking infrastructure is the stuff of legends. The city boasts the USA's highest bike commuter rate. You’d think, then, given the strong feelings, that Portland has made significant investments to get a significant infrastructure. But according to Mayor Sam Adams they built their bike network for about the same amount of cash that a mile of highway would set us back.
"You know in 1993 we weren't the bicycling capital of America," he says. "Seventeen years later, for the equivalent cost of a single mile of freeway, we have a bike infrastructure."
Roger Geller is Portland's bike coordinator. Geller said that in 2009, the staff set out to put together an estimated total cost for the city’s bike infrastructure in 2008 dollars.
When all was said and done, they came up with an estimated value of $52 million and adjusted it up to $60 million to be safe. Here’s how they arrived at that figure:
"We assumed that all elements that contributed to the city's bikeway system were reasonable costs to include, even if they were not built for the express purpose of creating a bikeway. For example, we included the cost of pedestrian half-signals and bicycle-pedestrian bridges across I-5, among others. These signals and bridges facilitate crossings for existing bicycle boulevards, even though they were in place before the bicycle boulevards were constructed.
"For multi-use trails we split the construction cost of the trail in half and assigned half the cost to pedestrians. For the Eastbank Esplanade I believe we divided the cost into thirds and assigned one-third of the cost to park development, as much of the construction of that pathway was not about transportation but was also about creating a parklike environment."
To be clear, he added, the network did not actually cost $60 million. It was probably less than that: "The $60 million figure is essentially the replacement value of our network as it existed in 2008 in 2008 dollars. In other words, if the bikeway network disappeared overnight -- and all the elements that contribute to its functionality, whether built by the city's bikeway program or not -- $60 million is approximately what it would cost to replace it all."
The one thing Geller said it didn’t include was city programs that deal with bicycles -- Oregon Safe Routes to School, for example. Even so, the cost of those activities, stretching back to 2004, could be absorbed in the rounding up from $52 million to $60 million, Geller said.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Moore hits back at O'Farrell on cycleways
Sydney mayor Clover Moore has hit back at NSW Opposition leader Barry O'Farrell over his promise not to put more "crazy" bike lanes on Sydney's main roads.
"I am sure his statements will be alarming to the thousands of bike riders who support and use our cycleways every day - freeing up space on roads and public transport for others," Ms Moore said.
Her comments come after the Opposition leader claimed she had "deliberately set out to inconvenience motorists" with the city's 200km bike network.
"Whether you want to come into the city by pogo stick, cycle, jog or whatever, we should encourage everyone to leave their cars at home or use public transport - but that's not real life for people," he said.
"You can't ride your bike to the city each day if you live at Penrith. I think we can deliver better bike access to the city without getting in the way of cars."
But Ms Moore said no traffic lanes have been taken out for cycleways or shared paths and that the numbers of bike riders has doubled and tripled in areas where links have been built.
"The cycleways are there to provide another transport option for those who live close to the city centre," she said."Once the network has been built it will take 300,000 car trips daily of the road - easing congestion and freeing up valuable road space for those who do need to drive."
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
these images are drawn from the pages of an 1899 French Sports Newspaper ("Le Sport Universel Illustré"), this incredible gang of Music-Hall "freaks" riding their bicycles all appeared in a show in a live show in London.
For those of you who do not "parle vous Francais" "Le Pédaleur à la tête de veau" ("calf-head cyclist"), "Le cycliste à la tête de chien" ("dog-head cyclist"), "Le pédaleur-squelette" ("skeletton-cyclist"), "La cycliste barbue" ("bearded-woman cyclist"), "Le cycliste cul-de-jatte" (it's explicit...), "Le cycliste manchot" ("no-armed cyclist").
Monday, March 21, 2011
This bicycle is the first in the world to be created simply by printing it out on a computer, using groundbreaking new technology.
The fully-working cycle, which is made of nylon, is the result of an extraordinary project and is as strong as steel and aluminium but weighs 65 per cent less.
Scientists in Bristol designed the bike on a computer and sent it to a printer, which placed layers of melted nylon powder on top of each other to build-up the machine.
photo by Adam Thompson
The humble bicycle is the most energy efficient transport ever devised, yet government funds to support it in Australia are running dry. ABC
Thursday, March 17, 2011
New research from Monash University* has shed light on the causes of collisions and near misses involving cycle commuters. 13 adult cyclists in Melbourne were given helmet-mounted video cameras and asked to film 12 hours of commuting each over a four-week period.
In total, 127 hours and 38 minutes of usable footage was obtained. 54 'events' were captured on film – two collisions, six near-collisions (where rapid evasive action by the cyclist was needed) and 46 other incidents (where some collision avoidance was required).
The cameras also recorded the road position and behaviour of the cyclists – including head checks, reactions and manoeuvres. The aim was to identify risk factors for both cyclists and motorists.
In 88.9% of cases, the cyclist had been travelling in a safe/legal manner prior to the collision/near miss. Most happened at or near a junction (70.3%) and most were caused by sudden lane changes by the motorist, with sideswipe the most frequent cause (40.7%).
The motorist was judged at fault in the majority of events (87%), and 83.3% of drivers didn't realise the danger they had put the cyclist in – or at least didn't show any reaction. Riders who frequently looked over their shoulders to check for other traffic were the most successful at avoiding collisions.
While they both happened in cross traffic, the two collisions were very different. One was deemed to be the fault of a motorist, while in the other case the rider was cycling unsafely. In both cases the driver didn't see the cyclist.
Three of the six near-collisions involved trucks, at least five of the drivers didn't see the cyclist, and at least four of the incidents were deemed to be the motorist's fault. The vast majority of all types of incident (87%) happened where there was no traffic control, such as traffic lights or signage. 4x4 drivers were particularly likely not to see the cyclist (85.7%).
The authors of the study concluded that there was a need to improve driver awareness of cyclists and other road users, and to encourage motorists to use their indicators for longer. They also called for greater consistency in cycling facility design. In addition, they highlighted some things cyclists could do to improve their safety on the roads.
These include checking to the left more often (in countries where you ride/drive on the left, the tendency is to look right more often than left because vehicles in left-hand side roads should give way and are thus seen as a lesser threat), riding more defensively around cars and being particularly vigilant when it comes to drivers turning left at junctions, especially if they're in a large vehicle like a 4x4 or lorry.
* 'Naturalistic Cycling Study: Identifying risk factors for on-road commuter cyclists' by Marilyn Johnson, Judith Charlton, Jennifer Oxley and Stuart Newstead at Monash University Accident Research Centre in Melbourne (54th AAAM Annual Conference, Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine, October 17-20, 2010)
Via Bike Radar
Officers believe building their new five-gear vehicle, which has a top speed of 20 miles per hour, will help combat anti-social behaviour.
The white car cost over £1,000, has full Hampshire Constabulary livery and a roll bar to protect the driver in the event of a crash.
However, police admit that even if they are pedalling furiously they are unlikely to be able to apprehend anyone other than "those with a zimmer frame".
The car will be entered into the British Pedal Car Grand Prix on July 11 in Ringwood, Hants.
PC Keith Waller, who will pilot the vehicle, spent 40 hours painstakingly building the replica car with children aged 13 to 16 at Ringwood Comprehensive School.
He insisted that getting involved with the project allowed police to show their "fun side" and made them look "cooler" and "more approachable".
But he also admitted it had made him a laughing stock as people drew comparisons with him and Mr Plod from cartoon series Noddy from Toytown.
PC Waller, a 51-year-old father of two, said: "The pedal car grand prix is a fantastic event which brings the community together.
"Getting youngsters involved gives them something to focus on at lunch and after school, so they are not out there committing anti-social behaviour.
"I have been able to reach out to the students and make the police more approachable. It makes me look cooler, we all have fun and the children can come and talk to me.
"There have been a few students who have viewed the project with suspicion but, generally, the response has been tremendous.
Source : Telegraph.co.uk