Category Archives: transit

Cargo Bike Spotted…

…in semi-suburban Pacific Palisades. The bicycle revolution is slowly making its way to Los Angeles…
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Build it and They Will Ride: The Importance of Bicycle Networks

While the bicycle shed is an important conceptual planning tool, it is meaningless without the physical development of bicycle infrastructure. Therefore, each bicycle shed should not be conceived in isolation, but as part of a regional bikeway network. This network should be designed to connect people to important destinations—schools, neighborhood centers, regional centers, open space, and of course, local and regional transit systems.

In general, the bicycle network should be comprised of many bikeways types. These include, but are not limited to shared-use paths, shared lanes (sharrows), bicycle boulevards, bicycle lanes, and physically separated bicycle lanes—sometimes called cycle tracks.

Before assigning bikeway types, the unique characteristics of each thoroughfare and its urban context must be considered holistically. This includes analyzing street width, street type, existing land use and urban form, density, traffic control devices, posted speed limits and actual travel speeds, and traffic volume.

But while the existing conditions of each thoroughfare are important, the urban context is rarely static. Therefore, considering the desired character and urban context is critical to the selection process, as context-specific bikeways can help strengthen a more immersive, accessible, and equitable urban environment. Continue reading

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Why We Can’t Resist Bicycle Infrastructure

It is becoming increasingly clear that we won’t be able to avoid moving to a new economy, one in which carbon constraints and increasingly scarce petroleum resources are going to demand dramatic changes in the way in which we transport ourselves and even the very structure of our cities. But like any economy, the new one that’s coming is going to need the infrastructure that will make it work. Part of that means letting go of our habitual attitude to infrastructure investment that is predicated on growing motor vehicle use, and accepting one in which continual reductions in car use are brought on by making the use of sustainable transport more attractive. Under such a model, bicycle infrastructure would be a key component of Canberra’s transport budget. It’s a far cry from the current situation.
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Case Study: Groningen, Netherlands

The future of carbon-free transport lives strong in Groningen. This Dutch city of 185,000 proves that bicycle transportation can reign supreme: people there make about 150,000 trips by bicycle every day.

Bicycles and pedestrians entirely rule the medieval-era city hub, cruising along on car-free dedicated pathways and short cuts with no traffic signals in some instances. But people also commute on bikes in large numbers from suburban housing spread out around the city to downtown jobs, via a ring-and-spoke network of paths. Overall, 37 percent of area commutes are made on bikes.

Boasting an official town bicycle planner, Groningen has created an infrastructure it refers to “continuous and integral,” which includes massive surface and underground bicycle parking facilities, dedicated bike paths, and two-way bike lanes even on one-way auto streets. Continue reading

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Pedaling Toward a Post-Carbon Future

In 2008, according to the U.S. Census, 720,000 Americans commuted to work by bike–43 percent more than in 2000. It would be nice to say that the growth was driven by a concern for the climate, but the main reason is economics. “People bike because it’s fast, cheap, and easy to get around,” says Penalosa, “not because it’s good for the environment.” Christopher Leinberger, a land-use strategist at the Brookings Institution, notes that people who are auto-dependent spend 25 percent of their income on transportation, compared with 9 percent for those who walk, bike, or take public transit.
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