How to make American cities bike-friendly

June 19, 2018 by  
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If you live in a city, riding a bike can be a great option to get you where you need to go. More and more people are opting for bicycles instead of cars, but most American cities are lagging behind when it comes to offering safe roads for bicyclists. Many cities ban cyclists from riding on the sidewalk and expect them to share the road with passing cars. What can we do to encourage American cities to be more bicycle-friendly? America’s best cycling cities Not all cities fall short when it comes to bike-friendly roads — some of the best cycling cities in the world are right here at home. Atlanta took some of its unused urban railways and created “The BeltLine,”  a 22-mile-long loop for pedestrians and bicyclists. City planners are extending it another five miles in the coming year, and more than a million people have used it since its opening. Chicago has dedicated bike routes to help keep cyclists safe and out of the way of passing drivers. Baltimore has an electric-assisted bike-sharing program to make it easier for riders to navigate the sometimes-hilly terrain. Related: San Francisco bike shop lets you trade in car for e-bike Moving away from car dependence Most people don’t think twice about hopping in a car and driving to work, even if work is only a few miles down the road. We need to change our underlying infrastructure to move away from car-dependent transportation. That’s not to say we all need to stop driving our cars — people who commute long distances, carry cargo or transport other passengers will find it difficult or impossible to do these things on a bicycle. Infrastructure changes give cities more control over traffic — both vehicles and bicycles — and allow them to separate or prioritize one or the other, depending on the conditions. Just adding bike lanes to the sides of existing roads isn’t enough — nor is expecting bicyclists to share the road with nothing to separate them from motorized vehicles. Related: 6 cycling accessories every bike commuter needs Separating cars and bikes When it comes down to it, a bicycle is never going to win in a fight with a car. In 2015, more than 800 cyclists were killed in accidents with vehicles. That’s more than two accidents every single day. The easiest way to prevent these collisions is to keep cars and bikes separate. Bike lanes with planters or plastic bollards provide a barrier between cyclists and drivers and may help keep people safe. Cities can install a temporary setup for a reasonable amount of money to study how well it works, and if it turns out to be a good option for the city, city planners and officials can move forward from there. Learn from cycling cities When transitioning American cities to be safer for cyclists, planners can turn to cities around the world for inspiration.  Europe has great ideas when it comes to making cities more cycling-friendly. For the Netherlands recently opened an 11-mile cycling highway that connects the cities of Arnhem and Nijmegen. This is a “fast path” for bicycling commuters between the two cities. There are slower roadside paths as well for intercity travel. It isn’t just the infrastructure that the Netherlands has changed — it’s the “ psychology of the commute .” By giving cyclists a direct and convenient route that keeps them separate from cars, it has allowed more people to ride bikes. The bicycling highway has even encouraged people to reconsider transportation for their regional trips. Cycling is one of the best things we can do to help reduce our carbon footprint , so it’s important to make crowded cities safer for people who choose to leave their cars at home and opt to use bicycles. It’s better for your health and better for the environment, as long as we can keep cyclists safe during their daily commutes. City planners should stop thinking about cars and start focusing on public transportation and cycling as the primary forms of transportation for their citizens. Via  Atlanta ,  Biz Journals ,  Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center ,  Wired  and  CityLab Images via Vishal Banik , Paul Krueger (1 , 2) , Daniel Lobo  and Jonny Kennaugh

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How to make American cities bike-friendly

New elevated cycleway in China soars over traffic

February 1, 2017 by  
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Even China is getting on the bike wagon with a soaring new cycleway in Xiamen. The 4.7 mile-long bike path is 16 feet higher than the road at its tallest point, and allows for rapid, clean transportation through the city, connecting six public transportation centers. Over 2,000 bikes per hour can travel on the new aerial path. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1sxEUEnQ4A Curbed reports the elevated bike lane is China’s first and the world’s longest. It is 16-feet-wide and includes both a pedestrian path and bike lane. Part of the path stretches beneath an elevated road utilized by rapid transit buses, which now serves the double purpose of keeping bikers dry in the rain. 30,000 lights adorn the cycleway so people can ride safely at night. There are 11 entries, which provide access to two subway stations and 11 bus stations. Related: London mayor announces plan for two new bike superhighways The aerial bike lane provides a green transportation alternative for people in three business areas and five major residential areas, and is now open for a month-long trial. Locals already seem to enjoy it. One resident, Chen Yimin, told Xinhua the commute from home to work on the bike path only took 10 minutes, which is the same amount of time it would take to drive. Another local, Wu Xueying, said at first the height was intimidating but the guardrails made biking high above city streets feel safe. Xiamen City Public Bicycle Management said during the trial period, the bike lane will be open from 6:30 AM till 10:30 PM for private and public bicycles. When finished, it will be equipped with on-ramp gates that will shutter if the cycleway is too full. Xueying told Xinhua, “It’s nice to ride a bicycle under the blue sky in the sunshine.” Via Curbed and Xinhua Images via screenshot

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New elevated cycleway in China soars over traffic

Poland unveils glowing bright blue bike lane that’s charged by the sun

October 5, 2016 by  
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Poland just unveiled an amazing new bike path that glows bright blue at night! The path near Lidzbark Warminski is illuminated by phosphor, a synthetic material that lights up after it’s charged by sunlight. Studio Roosegaarde’s Starry Night bike lane inspired TPA Instytut Bada? Technicznych Sp. z o.o to create the glowing bike path. TPA Sp. z o.o. president Igor Ruttmar told Gazeta Wyborcza that the material in the bike path can emit light for around 10 hours. Each day the path collects the energy that enables it to glow at night. Board of Regional Roads in Olsztyn director Waldemar Królikowski said the luminous bike path is meant to improve the safety of people biking at night. Related: Twinkling solar bike path inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night pops up in the Netherlands According to Next Nature Network , the luminophores, or ” particles ” in the bike lane material can emit a variety of colors, and the designers picked blue to best fit in with the surrounding landscape. They also researched the sustainability of the materials they utilized, and how to make the materials as cost effective as possible since the bike lane does cost more than traditional lanes. While the Starry Night bike path provided inspiration, the technology utilized in the Polish bike lane is quite different from the Van Gogh-themed lane. Studio Roosegaarde’s bike lane drew on LEDs powered by a solar array and ” light-collecting paint .” TPA Sp. z o.o.’s bike lane doesn’t require any power sources. The bike lane is still being tested, as it is not known how long the lane will last before it begins to wear out. Via Next Nature Network and Gazeta Wyborcza Images via TPA Sp. z o.o.

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Poland unveils glowing bright blue bike lane that’s charged by the sun

Could this solar-powered bike lane in Korea inspire other countries to add one?

April 9, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. And solar panels run through it. This video, shot by a drone, shows a stretch of highway in Korea featuring a solar-powered bike lane that running right down the middle. While the lane is offset and looks safe with barriers, it is also protected with solar panels. The lane runs from Daejeon to Sejong, a distance of around 20 miles (32 km), which is a few hours’ drive from the capital city Seoul. It’s a fantastic idea if it works, it could lead the way for similar commuting-style bike lanes in the future. Via Carscoops Images via YouTube screengrab Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: grade-separated bike lane , how to make a safe bike lane , korea bikes , korean bike lane , korean solar panel bike lane , safe bike lane , solar bike lane , solar bike path , solar panel bike lane

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Could this solar-powered bike lane in Korea inspire other countries to add one?

Facebook signs on Frank Gehry to design two more buildings for their California campus

April 9, 2015 by  
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Facebook is still getting settled in their brand-new headquarters designed by Canadian architect Frank Gehry , and they must really ‘like’ it because they’ve got plans in the works to add two more buildings to the campus. The San Francisco Business Times reports that Facebook has proposed plans to the Menlo Park City Hall for two more blocks of social media presence, to be situated just west of the new HQ. The new additions will reportedly add 90,000 square meters (968,750 square feet) of work space for Facebook employees. Read the rest of Facebook signs on Frank Gehry to design two more buildings for their California campus Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Facebook , Facebook headquarters , facebook headquarters expansion , facebook hq expansion , Facebook Menlo Park headquarters , Frank Gehry , frank gehry architect , franky gehry-designed buildings , mark zuckerberg

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Facebook signs on Frank Gehry to design two more buildings for their California campus

New, cheap, flexible aluminum battery charges in just one minute, won’t explode

April 9, 2015 by  
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Researchers at Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy have unveiled a new aluminum-ion battery that could one day replace the lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries we use to power pretty much everything , from our watches to our tablets and our electric vehicles . The aluminum battery can be produced more cheaply than current alternatives, is not quite so bad for the environment as alkaline batteries, and unlike Li-ion batteries, it won’t explode —”even if you drill through it.” Read the rest of New, cheap, flexible aluminum battery charges in just one minute, won’t explode Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aluminum battery , Battery Charging , battery fire , battery life , battery safety , charging times , flexible battery , lithium ion battery alternative , renewable energy grid storage , solar battery , stanford battery

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New, cheap, flexible aluminum battery charges in just one minute, won’t explode

The Blue Diversion Toilet is an off-grid portable potty that filters waste water for washing

April 9, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of The Blue Diversion Toilet is an off-grid portable potty that filters waste water for washing Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: affordable sanitation , bill and melinda gates foundation , blue diversion toilet , clean water access , developing world , Eawag , eoos , off-grid sanitation , off-grid toilet , portable toilet , poverty sanitation , Solar Power , urine fertilizer , water filtration , water purification , water reuse

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The Blue Diversion Toilet is an off-grid portable potty that filters waste water for washing

Protestors Temporarily Block the Removal of Toronto’s Jarvis Street Bike Lane

November 15, 2012 by  
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Photo: Carlos Osorio / Toronto Star The city of Toronto clearly underestimated the passion of cyclists when it decided to remove the popular Jarvis Street bike lane . When large street scrubbing trucks showed up on Jarvis Monday to remove the bike lane, crews encountered dozens of bicyclists who chose to literally use their rights and lie down to protect their safe traffic lane. It wasn’t long before the police were called to crash the party. Read the rest of Protestors Temporarily Block the Removal of Toronto’s Jarvis Street Bike Lane Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: arrests , bicycles , bike lane removal , bike lanes , david miller , Jarvis Street , Mayor Rob Ford , police , toronto

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Protestors Temporarily Block the Removal of Toronto’s Jarvis Street Bike Lane

What Gets Measured Gets Managed: Cracking The Tracking of Bikes and Pedestrians

October 31, 2011 by  
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Clever system picks up the bluetooth signals from cellphones to monitor how many people are using a street or sidewalk or bike lane.

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What Gets Measured Gets Managed: Cracking The Tracking of Bikes and Pedestrians

Why Energy Scarcity Makes Economic "Recovery" Impossible (Video)

October 31, 2011 by  
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Business-as-usual is fundamentally broken. Chris Martenson argues we have to develop alternative solutions. Lot’s of them.

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Why Energy Scarcity Makes Economic "Recovery" Impossible (Video)

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