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News & Notes

armadillos2

Image from Cyclehoop

Fast Company: These Recycled Plastic Dividers Can Create A Bike Lane In A Second

Painted bike lanes are safer for cyclists than riding in the middle of the road, but bike lanes that are separated with a curb are even better. For example, one study found that cyclists in separated lanes had 80% fewer accidents than those in regular bike lanes. But it’s often tricky to convince city governments to take the extra, more concrete step of separation. One product from a U.K. design firm aims to help.

The “Armadillo” is a low-slung recycled plastic bump that can be installed along the edge of a bike lane. Set at an angle, the bumps allow enough space for bikes to ride back out into the street if they need to, something that isn’t as easy with a full concrete curb. But it still keeps cars out.


Mashable: London to Test ‘Smart’ Crosswalks

The system, called Pedestrian Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique (SCOOT) uses cameras to figure out how many people are waiting to cross the street and adjusts traffic signals accordingly. So if there is a large crowd waiting, for example, the signal to walk will last longer, giving the crowd more time to cross the street.

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Transport Providence: Petition for bike lanes on Westminster Street

westminster

Image from Google Streetview

This is a guest post by James Kennedy from Transport Providence.

The next mayor must re-envision our city streets by supporting protected bike lanes. Westminster on the West Side is the first place Providence should start the transformation.

Providence does not have cavernous streets like Los Angeles, but many of its streets are much wider than streets in other East Coast cities, but without bike infrastructure. While Philadelphia has buffered bike lanes that are eight feet wide on streets that are around twenty-four feet wide, there are no such lanes on the West Side’s Westminster Street, which is about forty feet wide. The excuse that we don’t have room for infrastructure that will make more people feel safe on bikes has to be set aside.

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News & Notes

The Atlantic Cities: Why Mayors Should Run the Department of Transportation

The transportation issues of the 21st century will be less about building new highways and more about building new transit, about offering more multi-modal options to bike and walk. Transportation policy going forward won’t just be about moving people as far and as fast as possible, but about leveraging transportation in service of economic opportunity and livable communities.

So here is one modest thought about who understands all of this as Obama searches for LaHood’s successor: mayors. There have been three former mayors at the helm of the DOT in the department’s 46-year history, most recently former San Jose Mayor Norman Mineta. As the agency further modernizes its mission, who better to take us there than someone who comes from a city?

I’m not sure I could even understand a world where L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was not our next Transportation Secretary.


The New York Times: America’s Mid-20th-Century Infrastructure

Europeans visiting the Northeastern United States – and many parts of the East Coast — can show their children what Europe’s infrastructure looked like during the 1960s.


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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – November 19, 2012

Regular Meeting • 4:00 PM, November 19, 2012
Doorley Building, 444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor • Providence, RI

Note: Location is different than last month.

  1. Snow Removal/Safety Issues and Regulations and Enforcement (Guest: Peter Gaynor, Providence Emergency Management Agency)
  2. Bike Providence Plan Update (Bill DeSantis, VHB)
  3. Announcement of/outreach for December 13, 2012 Bike Providence Public Workshop
  4. Local Bicycle Regulation Amendments
  5. Allens Avenue Update/BPAC Letter to DOT (Matthew Moritz)
  6. Businesses and Bike Lanes – Letter from BPAC (Jenn Steinfeld)
  7. Issue Updates/Public Comment

Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.

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What Cheer/What Jeer 2011

We’re taking a look back at 2011. What Cheering the good and What Jeering the bad.

whatcheer195 Demolition

You guys all know there are like a dozen cities all over the country that are insanely jealous that we tore down our downtown expressway, right?

Putting aside what happens with the 195 Commission (we’ll talk about that in a minute), it is so totally awesome that the highway is gone. Even without any development happening yet, the Jewelry District has been transformed. Suddenly, with the highway gone, people realize the Jewelry District is on the edge of Downcity. And while the sidewalks aren’t exactly jammed, it is certainly noticeable how many people now choose to walk between Downcity and the Jewelry District, who would not before.

Chestnut Street

Route 195 being torn down at Chestnut Street in the Jewelry District

whatcheerBroadway Bike Lanes / Gano Street Sharrows

Anticipated since at least 2008, bike lanes finally showed up on Broadway in 2011.

We also saw the city’s first sharrows show up on Gano and other streets, helping to connect the East Bay and Blackstone bike paths.

Let’s hope we see more bike infrastructure sprouting up on streets all over town in 2012.

whatcheer35 Weybosset Façade

It is going to mean a parking lot, but a parking lot was in the cards all along, we’ve saved the façade for future use and that is going to greatly blunt the impact of the parking lot.

Thanks to the Providence Preservation Society, the Providence Revolving Fund, and all others involved in saving the façade.

35 weybosset rendered

Image: © Chad Gowey 2010. All rights reserved.

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Broadway Bike Lanes (Finally (Almost))

Remember back in April when signs were posted that bike lanes were coming to Broadway? Remember back in 2008 when it was first announced that they were coming? Don’t worry, no one does.

They are here now”¦ almost. Just in time for a snow storm, we have the guides laid down on Broadway’s fresh pavement for bike lanes:

Broadway

Of course, as Car-Free in PVD points out, the bike lanes are in the dreaded door zone. If you ride to the right of the lane, which as Car Free points out, Rhode Island Law instructs cyclists to do, then you are gonna get doored. There is room to stay the the left side of the lane and avoid the door.

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News & Notes

The Art and Science of Designing Good Cities for Walking [Streetsblog]

The article is a great read, but this photo is the best part to me:

Copenhagen sidewalk
Photo from Streetsblog

This Copenhagen sidewalk completely flips the script on the relationship between cars and pedestrians at intersections. Rather than there being a curb, the sidewalk ending, and pedestrians moved into the street via a crosswalk; the sidewalk continues across the road and it is the car that enters the pedestrians domain in order to move through the intersection. Why are we not making all minor side streets have this relation to the main?


Which part of Detroit really needs to be ‘right-sized’? [Grist]

Shrinking city? Really? What this tells me is that an even bigger problem for Detroit than the decline of the Rust Belt economy has been that the fringe of the region has been allowed, more than in most places, to expand, not shrink, and to suck the life and hope out of the inner city. So why aren’t the self-styled progressive responses to “the Detroit problem” addressing this critical aspect of the situation?

Maybe they are, but the only ones I hear and read are about “right-sizing” the inner city — demolishing vacant (and even some occupied) housing, letting vast areas revert to nature or farming, and so forth. Let sprawl, the cause of the problem, be someone else’s issue to address. But, in fact, the areas that are sprawling are where the “right-sizing” most needs to occur.


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Put a cone on the bike lane

This video was all over the interwebs and the Twits and the Faceplace this week, and we got it emailed to us at least a half a dozen times, so it is obviously popular and we’re gonna get a million hits by posting here! Please to enjoy.

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PPAC Square

PPAC Square

Click Image to enlarge

Today the Mayor’s Office held a press conference announcing the designation of the intersection of Weybosset and Mathewson Streets as “PPAC Square.” This is part of the larger Downtown Circulator Project.

Speakers included the Mayor, Director of Planning and Development Thom Deller, Joe Walsh the Chairman of the PPAC Board, and Laurie White of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.

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News & Notes

Projo 7 to 7 News Blog: Chafee takes first step toward casino study

The study would look, in part, at the impact on Rhode Island’s gambling revenue that from the potential of three privately run casinos in Massachusetts, a possible Wampanoag Indian casino in Southeastern Massachusetts, and the introduction of slots at the Bay State’s tracks.

The consultant would be asked to consider the impact, if any, on Rhode Island on a Shinnecock Indian casino at the eastern end of Long Island.

The study would also look at the potential impact on state revenue of allowing table games at both Twin River and Newport Grand — with and without competition from Massachusetts — and what might happen to state revenue if the Narragansetts were somehow able to buy Twin River.


The New York Times: ‘I Was A Teenage Cyclist,’ or How Anti-Bike-Lane Arguments Echo the Tea Party

If you’re itching to write an anti-bike-lane argument (and, if so, line up, because it’s a burgeoning literary genre), you could do no better than to follow the template laid out yesterday by The New Yorker’s John Cassidy in his blog post, “Battle of the Bike Lanes.”

Cassidy’s post – which has already been called “a seminal document of New York City’s bike lane backlash era” – helpfully includes all the requisite rhetorical tactics, thus providing an excellent blueprint. (You might even say “boilerplate.”) These include:

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News & Notes

U.S. Should Consider $1 Gas Tax, CEO Hess Says [Bloomberg]

The U.S. should consider imposing a $1-a-gallon gasoline tax and boosting average auto fuel economy to 50 miles a gallon to help avert a global energy crisis, the head of oil company Hess Corp. said.

“As demand grows in the next decade, we will not have the oil-production capacity we will need to meet demand,” Chief Executive Officer John B. Hess said in a speech today at CERAWeek, a Houston conference held by IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates. “The $140-per-barrel oil price of three years ago was not an aberration — it was a warning.”

Wha?


Taking Back the Street [The TransportPolitic]

The fact that street space is about more than just automobile movement has yet to be recognized by a big swath of the population.


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Streetfilms: Floating Parking

Streetfilms posted this video about floating parking and separated cycletracks.

In this configuration, parking sits away from the curb with a buffer between it and a bike lane that sits against the curb. This configuration protects cyclists from auto traffic on the roadway while also creating a buffer to keep drivers and cyclists from conflict in the “door zone.”

We could do this on Broadway quite easily.

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Streetfilms MBA: Bicycling


Streetfilms has launched a new series of videos, Moving Beyond the Automobile. As Streetfilms releases each video in the series, we’ll be posting them here for you to enjoy.

For the second chapter in our Moving Beyond the Automobile series we’ll take a look at bicycling. More and more people are choosing to cycle for at least part of their commute in cities across the world. Leading the way in the United States, Portland, Oregon is up to a daily bike count of 17,000 riders! For this video we spent some time with leading thinkers in New York, San Francisco and Portland to discuss the direct relationship between providing safe cycling infrastructure and the number of people biking. The benefits of cycling are simple. Biking helps reduce congestion, air pollution, meet climate action goals and makes for healthier communities.

(Note: This series is made possible by funding from The Oram Foundation’s Fund for The Environment & Urban Life.)

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News & Notes

Tea Partiers See a Global Conspiracy in Local Planning Efforts [Next American City]

Some might say that the Tea Party’s platform contains some contradictions. It seems that they’re—like most people, really—willing to ignore those spending programs from which they benefit directly. The subsidization of suburbia is one of these beneficial spending programs, too. But the nature of this subsidy is so diffuse that it’s hard to point at directly—cheap petroleum, tax incentives for homeowners, DOT money that goes straight to highway funds, etc—so that it is now taken for granted, a mere part of the “American way of life” that only really existed for maybe two and a half decades following World War II.

The Motorist’s Identity Crisis [Planetizen]

When a Los Angeles bus rider asked presidential candidate George W. Bush about transit improvements in 2000, Bush responded, “My hope is that you will be able to find good enough work so you’ll be able to afford a car.” Bush was undoubtedly sincere. Like many Americans—probably most—he saw a bus (like a bicycle) as a nothing more than a pathetic substitute for a car.

Bike Lanes: A One-Way Path To Controversy [WBUR-Boston]

Then there’s Charlestown, which received its first set of bike lanes on Main Street this fall, only to have those lanes scrubbed from the street this week when the neighborhood council complained.

Maybe that is the solution to Atwells. Complain that people are getting hit by cars and have the city close the street. Wha? It wouldn’t work that way?

NYC Will Try Out Taxis to Provide Access-A-Ride Service [Streetsblog]

In a bid to cut costs and improve transit service for New Yorkers with disabilities, the MTA and the Taxi and Limousine Commission will pilot a program to have yellow cabs provide Access-A-Ride service. The program could benefit everyone who rides subways and buses too — if it proves effective at curbing the cost of Access-A-Ride, the federally-mandated service which has been eating up an increasingly large portion of the MTA’s budget and putting strain on other aspects of the transit system.

New York’s Access-A-Ride is similar to RIPTA’s RIde Program.

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Videos: London Bicycle Superhighways

London recently launched a series of what they are calling, Cycle Superhighways along roads in the city. Below are some videos of the superhighways in user by gaz545 from YouTube:


Barclays Cycle Superhighway Route 7 – Colliers Wood to The City


Barclays Cycle Superhighway Route 3 – Barking to Tower Gateway


Cycle Super Highway Route 7

Via GOOD

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