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M II A II R II K Jan 3, 2011 4:30 PM

Bicycling boosts Wisconsin's economy by $1.5 billion annually


Read More: http://www.bfw.org/education/index.php?category_id=4746

Study: http://www.bfw.org/uploads/media/Val...010%5B1%5D.pdf

Quote:

Investment in a more bicycle friendly Wisconsin pays off. A 2010 study conducted at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that bicycling contributes $1.5 billion to Wisconsin's economy every year.

What does bicycling mean for our local communities and our state? It means:

* 13,200 bike-related jobs

* $535 million in tourism dollars from out-of-state visitors

* reduced health care costs

* a better quality of life

Tourism

Sparta is just one of many Wisconsin places where bicycle recreation generates more than $924 million in economic activity. Sparta welcomes 15,500 visiting bicyclists each year thanks to the Elroy Sparta bike trail. The Wisconsin department of Natural Resources reports that 100,000 people use the trail annually. The Sparta Chamber of Commerce states, ,

"As [Sparta] residents drive by our full parking lots, see vehicles from almost every state in the Union, or see bicyclists downtown eating and shopping, they realize the trail's importance."

Business

World-renowned bicycle brands like Trek Bicycle Corporation, Saris Cycling Group, Planet Bike, Pacific Cycles, Waterford Precision Cycles reside in Wisconsin. Hundreds of locally-owned bike shops and bicycle-friendly businesses support the vitality of local economies. Wisconsin bicycle industry adds nearly $600 million annually to our state's economy.

Health Care

If just the residents of Madison and Milwaukee got enough moderate exercise by replacing some short car trips with bike trips, we could cut healthcare costs by $319 million.

M II A II R II K Jan 3, 2011 4:40 PM

In Denmark, Bikes Have a Seat on Some Trains


http://thecityfix.com/in-denmark-bik...n-some-trains/

Quote:

Taking your bike on public transit can be a huge hassle, or often, not an option at all. Specially designed accommodations for bicyclists are usually severely limited, and on certain bus, train and metro systems, bikes are only allowed on board during non-peak hours.

Denmark’s transit system continues to build its reputation for being bike friendly. Early last year, the Danish State Railways, offered free bike carrying on their trains that serve greater Copenhagen, in an effort to further endorse biking as a legitimate mode of transit. As the blog Copenhagenize.com wrote, “DSB hopes to make everyday journeys easier for Copenhageners and encourage more people to use their bicycle.”

The Danish transit service provider is going a step further by providing bicycle pumps in existing bike compartments. The pumps will be installed starting in the New Year and DSB will double the capacity of “flex compartments” for more bicycle capacity.

The announcement of the new measure for free bike travel on trains came along with a public demonstration that included creative marketing flyers and brochures. We think public art, outreach and good communication is important for sustainable transport, and Copenhagen does it well.



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M II A II R II K Jan 11, 2011 9:20 PM

Early snags for the mayor of London’s pet transport project


Read More: http://www.economist.com/node/178600...60075&fsrc=rss

Interactive Bike Share Map: http://oobrien.com/vis/bikes/?city=london

Quote:

London launched a municipal bicycle-hire scheme in July, with 5,000 bikes scattered around hundreds of docking stations in the centre of the city. Boris Johnson, London’s mayor (and himself a keen cyclist), has been quick to declare the initiative a success, trumpeting the fact that it accounted for 2m journeys in the first five months of operation. The blue bikes—which weigh a hefty 23kg to deter thieves—have become a common sight. Transport for London (TfL), which runs the city’s transport networks, is hoping to expand the scheme and boost cycling’s share of travel in London from its current paltry figure of around 2% of all trips.

But the project has its problems. It has not yet met its original usage target of over 50,000 trips a day, instead peaking at around 24,000 during the summer. There have been frequent complaints of local mismatches between supply and demand, with many riders suffering from the opposing problems of either being unable to find bikes to rent or being unable to find an empty rack to drop them off.

Transport officials point out that these are early days. Once TfL has more data, it says in its defence, it will tweak the location of the racks and the supply of bikes. Alas, its cycling experts were unable to design precisely the system they wanted, as many bike bays were refused planning permission by London’s local councils.

Some observers wonder whether TfL has fundamentally misjudged the nature of bike demand. Its own feasibility study, published in 2008, acknowledged that the scheme could not afford to cater for the “after-rail” market (ie, longer-distance railway passengers wanting to finish their journeys by bike), lest it be swamped by the number of commuters arriving in London every morning. Docking stations were deliberately placed away from big railway terminals. But rail commuters appear to have piled onto the bikes anyway.

The resulting tidal flow of riders into central London in the morning and then out again in the evening might explain the periodic scarcity of spaces, as it shunts bikes wholesale from peripheral racks to central ones and back again. Serco, the private firm that operates the system, uses lorries to lug bikes across London in order to free up space in crowded racks and resupply depleted ones, but does not always seem able to keep up.

.....

M II A II R II K Jan 15, 2011 3:07 AM

Study: Biking Infrastructure Projects Create More Jobs Than Auto-Based Initiatives


Read More: http://www.fastcompany.com/1717449/s...ed-initiatives

PDF Study: http://www.bikeleague.org/resources/...more_Dec20.pdf

Quote:

Bicycling is cleaner, more efficient, and in many cases more fun than driving a car around the city. Now a study (PDF) from the Political Economy Research Institute says that building bike infrastructures creates up to twice as many jobs than auto-based infrastructure projects.

The study, Estimating the Employment Impacts of Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Road Infrastructure, examined job creation data from 2008 provided by Baltimore, Maryland. The result: pedestrian and bike infrastructure projects create 11 to 14 jobs per $1 million of spending while road infrastructure initiatives created seven jobs per $1 million of spending.

Biking and pedestrian projects require more engineers than construction workers, according to the report. Projects that require more engineers are more labor intensive than simple construction jobs, and often have the effect of creating more supporting jobs. This is, the report explains, because they have "a higher employment multiplier. Projects with higher engineering costs (as a share of total project expenses) will therefore have greater employment impacts than projects with a smaller share of engineering costs."



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staff Jan 16, 2011 4:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 5112285)
In Denmark, Bikes Have a Seat on Some Trains

I didn't know there are trains in Denmark (or the Swedish parts of the Copenhagen-Malmö Axis) on which you cannot take your bicycle.

M II A II R II K Jan 20, 2011 5:33 PM

The Controversy Over Bike Helmets


http://thecityfix.com/qa-with-mikael...-bike-helmets/

Quote:

“Adding highway lanes to deal with traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to deal with obesity,” said Louis Mumford, a cultural historian and city planner, as quoted in a United Nations Environment Programme report. A similar perspective applies to the long-running and contentious battle on the utility of helmet laws in improving safety for cyclists. If bikers get in a crash, helmets are “widely accepted as reducing the severity of head injuries.” But as other bloggers have argued, the question of whether or not to wear helmets is the entirely wrong one to be asking. Policies that require helmets do not necessarily address the broader and more pertinent safety issues for non-motorized transit users.

The helmet debate, in particular, has been fueled by the politics of road space (who “owns” the road?) and a lack of consistent and reliable data on helmet safety. (Grist.org points to some of the major examples of contradictory and inconclusive evidence.)

Ironically, in countries with higher rates of cycling, helmets are rarely worn. These are the same countries that seek to make biking convenient and safe through cycling infrastructure and policy. Take, for example, the Netherlands: cycling was at its lowest in the late 1970s, but at this point, cycling also became the most dangerous. As cycling rates crept up after this decade, corresponding rates of fatalities went down. Urban planners call this phenomenon “The Safety in Numbers Theory”: collision rates decline as the number of walkers and bikers go up.

.....



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Steely Dan Jan 20, 2011 5:45 PM

^ ever since i witnessed a friend back in high school take a header over his bars and collide with a tree head first as the helmet he was wearing shattered into pieces, i've been completely converted to the religion of helmet wearing. if my friend wasn't wearing his helmet that day, he would have either been dead, or at the very least paralyzed. as it was, he had a serious concussion, but went on to lead a normal life.

helmets ALWAYS for me. my brain is the single most important thing i own, it makes no sense to me to not take some very simple minimal steps to try and protect it a little bit.

i won't ride in a car without a seat belt and i won't get on a bike without a helmet. that's just how i roll and no one will ever change my mind on those two things.

FREKI Jan 25, 2011 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by staff (Post 5127706)
I didn't know there are trains in Denmark (or the Swedish parts of the Copenhagen-Malmö Axis) on which you cannot take your bicycle.

Neither did I...

All I can think of is trains to and from other nations - like Germany where the ICE trains may not have the capacity for bikes that all Danish trains ( be it regional, various metro systems or national /Inter City ) have


On some routes that get crowded it is advised to reserve a seat for the bike as well as yourself, but the space is there..


Maybe the reporter was unsure and decided to take the easy way rather than looking into it.. :shrug:

northbay Jan 25, 2011 10:14 PM

a new bike path:

Quote:

New green trail under BART moving forward
By Chris Metinko
Oakland Tribune
Posted: 01/25/2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Updated: 01/25/2011 01:03:56 AM PST

http://extras.mnginteractive.com/liv...rt_GALLERY.jpg
A southbound BART train leaves the Oakland, Calif. skyline behind,... (D. Ross Cameron/Staff)

The areas below elevated BART tracks are not normally known for their picturesque beauty, but Alameda County's transportation agency is hoping to change that.

The Alameda County Transportation Commission is moving forward with a plan to build a 12-mile bike path under the elevated BART tracks between Oakland and Hayward.

The project -- called the East Bay Greenway -- would offer a landscaped, car-free corridor from just north of the Fruitvale BART station all the way just south past the Hayward station. A pedestrian trail also would be included in the project, which cuts through four jurisdictions -- Oakland, San Leandro, unincorporated Alameda County and Hayward.

...

While not all the funding is in place, the plan is moving along.

...

The trail would run parallel to some Union Pacific rails, but O'Brien said there are no plans to remove or alter the path of the rail lines.

"We're not going rails to trails," he said. "We're going trails with rails."

O'Brien said the project would do more than just make cosmetic improvements to areas not typically known for their beauty. He said the trail -- which would cut through five BART stations -- would run by some of the most densely and underrepresented areas in the county.

...

He said current estimates have the project costing $30 million to $35 million. Despite the price tag, he said the trail could be built if the right state and federal money comes through.

"We'll be championing this project," O'Brien said.
source: http://www.insidebayarea.com/top-stories/ci_17163502

electricron Jan 25, 2011 10:53 PM

I like trails near rails, with or without bike paths. A common complaint you hear from passengers is how hard it is to get to and from the train stations. A trail answers a part of those complaints paralleling the rail corridor.

Adding bikes to the equation lengthens each station's reach into the communities. Which can only be good for ridership.

northbay Jan 26, 2011 12:38 AM

^excellent point. i think they just stole the idea from our smart train plan ;)

i hope the landscaping will cover the graffiti-ed areas of the pillars, but i doubt it will.

tallboy66 Jan 26, 2011 2:17 AM

You know when a bike isn't a transportation device? When it has a flat tire.

http://apps.detnews.com/apps/history/index.php?id=21

M II A II R II K Jan 26, 2011 5:27 PM

For Bikesharing, Forget Stations; All You Need Is a Phone


Read More:http://thecityfix.com/for-bikesharin...ed-is-a-phone/

webike: http://webikedoyou.com/

Quote:

A small start-up near Washington, D.C. has started what it calls “the first stationless smart bike sharing program in North America.” And all it took to get the system up and running was some bikes, U-locks and mobile phones.

In the fall of 2007, Allie Armitage and three classmates at the University of Maryland, College Park, just outside of the nation’s capital, decided to design a campus bikeshare program for their “Systems Thinking” course. Armitage says one team member, Vlad Tchompalov, had just seen the new bikeshare systems in Paris and Berlin and thought they could implement a smaller-scale version on their 37,000-student campus. They figured that a system with stations would be a huge step up from the communal “yellow bike” programs in places like Portland, Ore. that failed because the bikes were left unlocked and most were stolen.

But when they approached the university about installing the bikesharing stations, they hit a wall – of bureaucracy. “To install the stations we needed approval from three department heads,” Armitage says. “And to even get our plans in front of them we had to get the support of everyone working under them.” They went to their faculty advisor, Dr. Gerald Suarez, for advice. “And he said, ‘Well, what if you don’t have stations at all,’”Armitage says.

Following the advice from their professor, Armitage, Tchompalov and their classmates Yasha Portnoy and Brad Eisenberg developed software that lets users check out and return communal bikes with text messages – without having to use any sort of station. Operating under the name weBike, the team refurbished 12 bikes with the help of a local youth program. With these bikes they began a pilot program at the University of Maryland campus in September 2009.

The group locked the 12 bikes to various bike racks and posts around campus with standard combination-protected U-locks and then listed the bike locations on the weBike website. To check-out a bike, students texted the bike’s ID number to weBike and weBike generated an automatic text back with the combination to unlock the bike. The students could have the bike for up to 30 minutes before having to lock the bike back to a rack or post at a location on campus and text the bike’s location and ID number to weBike. If the bike wasn’t returned within 30 minutes, weBike’s system would text the user once an hour until the bike was returned. The weBike team would check in on the bikes and make needed repairs (though customers could text “damage” if a bike needed to be fixed) and periodically change the combinations on the locks.

.....

fflint Jan 26, 2011 8:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by northbay (Post 5139388)
^excellent point. i think they just stole the idea from our smart train plan ;)

i hope the landscaping will cover the graffiti-ed areas of the pillars, but i doubt it will.

Actually they're just copying the several-mile long bike/ped trail under the BART elevated rails running through Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito and Richmond--the Ohlone Greenway.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2726/...93778c10_z.jpg
image http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2726/...93778c10_z.jpg by pbo31 at flickr

M II A II R II K Jan 27, 2011 6:34 PM

Bike boulevards use street grids to boost two-wheeled travel


January 27th, 2011

By Robert Steuteville

http://newurbannetwork.com/sites/all...s/nun/logo.png

Read More: http://newurbannetwork.com/article/b...d-travel-13959

Quote:

Portland, Oregon, has adopted the ambitious goal of increasing bicycling from the current 8 percent of all trips to 25 percent in the next quarter-century — a change that would reduce personal transportation costs, improve health, and cut greenhouse gas emissions. The city plans to provide trails, lanes, or streets designed for bicycling within a half-mile of at least 80 percent of residents. Currently only about 25 percent of Portland residents are within half a mile of bike facilities, and even that number represents an impressive accomplishment for a US city.

Portland has created more than 300 miles of bicycle facilities in the past 25 years. Among the most effective are “bicycle boulevards” or “neighborhood greenways.” A bicycle boulevard is a shared street with no specific bike lanes or paths. These streets have low motor vehicle volume and speed, and they possess enhanced landscaping (more street trees are planted, for example) and traffic-calming features. Automobile traffic is diverted at key points to keep volumes low. Stop signs are eliminated or “flipped” (shifted to the cross-street) to give traffic on the bicycle boulevard the right of way. Crossings are installed to get bicyclists and pedestrians across busy intersections, and special signs and pavement markings are installed.

“People go out of their way to use these routes — they are very attractive,” says Jennifer Dill, a researcher and professor at Portland State University. Portland currently has 30 miles of built bicycle boulevards, which carry approximately 10 percent of bike traffic in the city. Another 30 miles of these boulevards are funded, and an additional 58 miles are planned. Besides Portland, bicycle boulevards have been created in Eugene, Oregon; Arcata, Berkeley, Emeryville, Palo Alto, San Luis Obispo, and Pasadena, California; Tucson, Arizona; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Ocean City, New Jersey; Syracuse, New York; and Vancouver, British Columbia, according to Mia Birk of Alta Planning.

.....



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lawfin Jan 27, 2011 9:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 5133169)
^ ever since i witnessed a friend back in high school take a header over his bars and collide with a tree head first as the helmet he was wearing shattered into pieces, i've been completely converted to the religion of helmet wearing. if my friend wasn't wearing his helmet that day, he would have either been dead, or at the very least paralyzed. as it was, he had a serious concussion, but went on to lead a normal life.

helmets ALWAYS for me. my brain is the single most important thing i own, it makes no sense to me to not take some very simple minimal steps to try and protect it a little bit.

i won't ride in a car without a seat belt and i won't get on a bike without a helmet. that's just how i roll and no one will ever change my mind on those two things.

Yeah.....it is probably the single dumbest thing I do and worst for me.....not wearing a bike helmet....I really should get one.

I am just so used to not wearing one....I have to break through that behavioral inertia

M II A II R II K Jan 27, 2011 10:12 PM

Enviro Law Experts: Review For Bike Lanes a Waste of Taxpayer Money


January 26, 2011

By Noah Kazis

http://www.streetsblog.org/wp-conten...logo-sblog.gif

Read More: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/01/2...axpayer-money/

Quote:

You know something’s amiss when you hear Republicans calling for more red tape and government bureaucracy, as Staten Island Council Members James Oddo and Vincent Ignizio did earlier this week with their call to require environmental review for all new bike lanes. But let’s indulge Oddo and Ignizio and take their proposal seriously for a moment. Does it have any merit? We asked some top legal and planning experts for their opinion, and they agreed: Bike lanes generally don’t and shouldn’t need to go through environmental review.

Oddo’s office didn’t respond to Streetsblog’s request to see the letter outlining his proposal, but it seems as though he would have to pass new legislation. It’s fairly clear that under current law, striping a bike lane generally doesn’t require environmental review. There’s a presumption that small street changes like signage are exempt from environmental review, said Columbia Law School professor and environmental law expert Michael Gerrard. Specifically, the law exempts the “installation of traffic control devices on existing streets, roads, and highways.” Pavement markings are included in the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, suggesting that bike lanes fall under that exemption.

Even if bike lanes aren’t categorically exempt, continued Gerrard, a given project may not be predicted to create a significant enough impact to require environmental review. That determination would be made, in this case, by the city DOT. Bike lanes not only don’t need to go through environmental review, they shouldn’t, said former DOT First Deputy Commissioner Sam Schwartz, now the head of Sam Schwartz Engineering. “EIS laws and guidelines were established to protect the environment. If an action is not likely to meet the threshold set by regulation (and few if any bike lanes do), then why waste a ton of money?” Schwartz said. “Ironically, it would probably mean more work for my firm, but it’s a waste of taxpayer money.” “No bike lane would fail an environmental review,” said Michael King, a principal at the transportation planning firm Nelson\Nygaard.

.....

vid Jan 27, 2011 11:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 5142158)
Yeah.....it is probably the single dumbest thing I do and worst for me.....not wearing a bike helmet....I really should get one.

I am just so used to not wearing one....I have to break through that behavioral inertia

Eventually you'll get so used to wearing it that not having one will feel weird. I once forgot my helmet before riding my bike and instantly I felt like something was wrong, it was disorienting and somewhat distressing until I realized what it was. :P

Rizzo Jan 28, 2011 5:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 5142158)
Yeah.....it is probably the single dumbest thing I do and worst for me.....not wearing a bike helmet....I really should get one.

I am just so used to not wearing one....I have to break through that behavioral inertia

I'm glad you recognize that I hope you do soon. I felt the exact same way you did, and I loved the freedom of not having a helmet on my head. But I was one of those stupid people once, and I paid for it. Had a steel C-channel rammed into my forehead when my front wheel (which had been tampered with) pulled me into the railing near the LSD bridge lakefront trail. I now have a permanent scar on my forehead that is still noticeable despite that the accident happened back in early July. I will have plastic surgery soon which should entirely remove it.

It really sucked. For anyone out there who think helmets look goofy...trust me...I was embarrassed after the accident to go outside since the whole left side of my face was destroyed. Then there was the headaches, and I couldn't turn my head right for 8 months.

vid Jan 28, 2011 11:12 AM

When I was little at camp, about 2 hours away from the city, a little girl was riding her bike, hit a pothole in a dirt road, flew over the handle bars and cracked her head open on a rock. Since then, the owners of the camp site have banned biking without helmets.

I don't know if she died or not but it was horrific.


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