Streets Of Taiwan
And yet they have extremely low rates of cycling related head injuries. Meanwhile, the US is among those countries that lead in both wearing helmets and head injuries. One of the main differences? Serious investments in cycling infrastructure, much of which is segregated or protected from auto traffic.
If you have good infrastructure cycling is safe. If you don’t then you will get hit by a reckless driver and be blamed.
"Will America’s Surging Number of Seniors Have Safe Streets to Be Active?
Angie Schmitt. Feb 11, 2014
America is aging. But our communities are poorly designed for older people.
Some cities are trying to prepare for the coming demographic changes with programs like Safe Routes for Seniors, writes Louise McGrody at Rails to Trails. But McGrody says it’s still unclear whether aging baby boomers will be able to integrate healthy activity into their lives, because of the way our streets are designed. And that has huge implications for public health:”
Photo:Steve, 88, of Yuma, Arizona is still able to ride his trike to the store. Rails to Trails
Don’t think Grandma has the best reaction times and think she should stop driving? Well if there’s good transit and safe bike paths then maybe the transition will be easier.
Those humans in Los Angeles who began walking a second or two after the light was blinking were, after all, violating the “Vehicle Code.” Note that cars, apparently, do not violate a “Human Code.”
As for pedestrian safety, which is the typical stated purpose of jaywalking crackdowns, more pedestrians generally are killed in urban areas by cars violating their right of way than are rogue pedestrians violating vehicles’ right of way. Then there are those people struck on sidewalks, even inside restaurants. What do we call that? Jay-living?
Bike share has played a big part in recent revitalization in Minneapolis, Chicago, and elsewhere, where it has filled in a gap in local transportation networks. B-cycle wants to ensure this benefit comes to Kansas City’s neighborhoods.
The entire Watts-Schreiber family rode one bike in New York yesterday, which raises the question … do they know about taxis? Car services? Hell, even the subway seems preferable to this situation, and the subway is full of swine flu, regular flu, and people from the outer boroughs.
I can’t say I have watched a lot of their movies or anything but I love them because I always see them riding bikes as their normal method of transit. Who says that families require cars? They’ve got backpacks, child seats, everything you need to get from here to there.
new subway station at a large city park in taipei.
Subway stations in America do not look like this.
Making The Economic Case For Cycling-Friendly Cities With Bikeonomics
We all know that cycling is good for us and that it benefits the environment. But if you want to make the case for something, it helps to have numbers to back you up, especially in policy circles.
We’ve covered a few cycling-economics studies here at Co.Exist. But in Bikenomics: How Cycling Can Save The Economy, the Portland-based activist Elly Blue goes further. Her book is comprehensive account of all the ways cycling can save money, boost revenues, and help the economy broadly and locally.
Here are five key arguments she makes:
Health is the biggie. “Bicycle infrastructure makes so much economic sense that it can accurately be described as a health investment,” Blue says. Portland says health savings could allow it to recoup spending on cycling by 2015; by 2030, it could save $600 million a year. Blue argues that short trips by bike are a more convenient way for people to get daily exercise (more realistic than going to the gym all the time). Inevitably, she cites Copenhagen, that pre-eminent cycling city. It expects to save $60 million a year in health costs once its network of 26 cycling “superhighways” is completed.
On average, urban freeways cost $60 million a mile to build. The best type of protected bike lanes cost between $170,000 and $250,000 per mile and need much less maintenance. “Off-street paths cost less than a freeway project would spend on photocopying in a year,” Blue says. Bikeways also create more jobs per dollar than roads, according to one study.
Blue devotes a lot of her book to ways we subsidize car ownership—for example, in providing free parking downtown. “An astonishing amount of space in most urban cores is dedicated to the publicly subsidized storage of private property,” she says. When you throw in roads, many cities give up over half their area to cars: 65% of Houston is paved with asphalt, for example. Cites are losing a lot of potential income, Blue says. “Highways and parking lots represent a massive amount of taxable property that could yield thousands of dollars per lot, per year—representing millions of dollars of lost revenue for cities.”
Studies show that bike parking brings in more revenue than car parking—at least on certain streets. Blue cites a project in Fort Worth, Texas, where 160 bike spaces cost $12,000—about the same as a single car space. Bikers are more likely than drivers to stop and spend, and, of course, you can accommodate more people in the same space. There’s also a potential “green dividend” when people bike about town, rather than driving to suburban malls. Their cash goes to local businesses, not to oil companies and Middle Eastern sheiks. By driving 20% less than other cities, Portlanders contribute $800 million to the local economy, one study says.
The American Automobile Association says driving a sedan costs $9,122 a year on average, not including expenses like parking. Households earning less than $70,000 spend nearly 20% of their income on transport, Blue says. Bikes are much cheaper—just a few hundred dollars a year for maintenance, gear upgrades, and the annualized cost of a bike. She admits people living outside cities face “tremendous” opportunity costs from not driving. But she refutes the stereotypes that cycling need only be for white professionals, Latino laborers, and DUI offenders. Many other people could cycle and benefit from doing so.
In an email, Blue says she wrote the book to give bike advocates stronger arguments than “but bicycling is really healthy and doesn’t pollute.” “I was watching bicycling enter the national conversation as this sort of goofy stereotypical thing that liberals do, like drink lattes and shop at Whole Foods,” she says. “I kept hearing people make economic arguments against bicycling … but bike advocates didn’t have the tools to respond.”
While it has a strong point of view, Blue’s book is rational, fully footnoted—and, in the main, persuasive. There is a clearly a lot of economic benefit to cycling, particularly in and around cities. That doesn’t mean outlawing cars. But it does mean evening up the playing-field in debates. This book should help.
By Ben Schiller
I have definitely missed the daily exercise of biking 7 miles away. It’s currently below freezing with snow. Living in a city that’s hostile toward cyclists I am not willing to risk my personal safety by biking. However, I am looking forward to it warming up (mid-30s is go0d) and the snow melting so that I can get back on the road.
The German city of Hamburg has announced an ambitious plan to create, and link, an amazing 27 square miles of new and existing green space all over the city. The plan, called the "Green Network," will effectively remove all cars from the city centre and promote cycling and public transport - and it is planned to be in place by 2034.
If fully realised, the network will cover some 7000 hectares, over half the size of Boston or San Francisco.
If you can walk to work or take your bike on a daily basis, I think that’s just about the coolest thing that there is. Every morning I listen to the traffic on the radio, and they talk about how they are jammed and I just laugh. I love traffic. I love traffic reports because I’m not in any of them.
Jerry Seinfeld, urbanist.
Pair with a general theory of walkability and these lovely illustrated field guides to biking in European cities.
My dream is to move back to a walkable/bikeable city.
Qualities of a walkable city
These seven urban qualities have not surprised planners and real estate people in the region. Rather it confirms what is already known that people in Stockholm search for walkability and high quality public space.
It’s why the east coast cities are such great places, you’re never too far away from these things.
In today’s world smart growth shouldn’t be considered smart if it doesn’t include green buildings and green infrastructure, if it doesn’t show respect to our historic buildings and local culture, if it doesn’t foster public health, if it isn’t equitable, if it doesn’t pay more attention to stewardship of the earth.
People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities | by F. Kaid Benfield (via atlurbanist)