The Monday Roundup

Posted by on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:54 am

Streetfilms looks to get ’em while they’re
young with Zozo, the livable streets mascot.

Here’s the news that caught our eye this week:

– Some (very) large companies are finding it beneficial to encourage employees to bike to work, and to stay active in general, in part as a way to control rising health care costs.

– After discovering that nearly half of bicycle deaths in London each year involved freight trucks, the city’s mayor has called for a ban on the heavy, high vehicles, saying they are incompatible with city streets.

– A roving urban planning student is looking at bicycling infrastructure in Europe, and finding a lot to love in some countries, room for improvement in others, and a lot to blog about everywhere–here’s his take on Italy’s bike-ability.

– Scotland’s big cycling advocacy organization has launched a major campaign against electric cars, saying they distract money, energy, and political will from biking and walking.

– After finding out that everyone, regardless of modes, misuses NYC’s bike lanes, the Don’t Be A Jerk campaign is being launched to target people who ride bikes.

– On Staten Island, a bike lane has been removed from a major thoroughfare to make way for a bus lane. People on bikes will be rerouted to nearby multi-use paths that close at dusk.

– A traffic engineer comes clean about the dangers and damage of the road building standards he used to unquestioningly enforce in the name of safety.

– An architect did a survey of the various kinds of custom bicycle businesses he found on the streets of China, including bikes for vending food, dispensing water, and dust collection.

– While heavily investing itself into its image as a developing country that leads in sustainable energy, Chinese cities have been trading in their hordes of bicycles for luxury sedans and nightmare traffic jams, points out a horrified reporter.

– Meanwhile, also in China, a wealthy young man drove into two students who were walking in an alley, killing one, and fled, creating huge rumblings of class-based discontent.

– America Walks, the country’s only national pedestrian advocacy organization, is reinventing itself as a coalition and launching two new campaigns that focus on creating safer streets and increasing pedestrian access to jobs.

– There’s a new livable streets advocate on the block–kids are loving the giant, purple Zozo, who only appears in walkable, bikable urban spaces.

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Stig
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Stig

All Tri-met buses are chained this morning and limited to 25mph due to the threat of snow today. Might cause more leapfrogging, being closer to bicycle speeds.

http://trimet.org/alerts/index.htm

wsbob
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wsbob

There’s some good tidbits in the “… Chinese cities have been trading in their hordes of bicycles for luxury sedans and nightmare traffic jams …” story:

Not exactly sure how the following so called Chinese saying fits the story, but it’s interesting:

“… BEIJING — “In China, we have a saying, ” said the ambassador. “For the sake of a sesame seed, you drop the watermelon.” …”

“But you can’t spend 10 minutes in Beijing without coming to the conclusion that China is hell-bent on pursuing exactly the same development arc as any other decadent, luxury seeking Western country. …

… Millions and millions of bicycles have been traded in for sleek sedans.

And there is not enough room for them. …”

from comments to the story:

“… On a collateral note, has anyone ever explored the smog-clearing benefits of using the lungs of bicyclists and pedestrians as air filters? …” —Silverback66

“… A professor of mine used to talk about how, while China’s average per-capita is pretty low, the population of upper and middle class people is larger than the entire population of the U.S. …” —tonydavisnelson

Opus the Poet
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Noting the traffic engineer’s post, in the town I live in now the streets work very well for moving pedestrians, cyclists, or cars, adding either of the other 2 to the cars is a disaster.

joel
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londons bike messengers have been clamoring for long lorries to be banned from central london for well over a decade – because their (and my) friends and coworkers, and other cyclists, have been killed by them too many times. about time the mayor catches on to what anyone on a bike in london has known all along. too late for joe cooper, paul ellis, mark francis, edward newstead, sebastian lukomski, and calvin simpson.

spare_wheel
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spare_wheel

imo, large trucks should be banned in pdx too. these vehicles have large blind spots that make seeing vulnerable road users nearly impossible (in some circumstances).

Dabby
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Dabby

Tri Met buses should also be banned from portland City streets..

No, really…. banned….