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Archive for the ‘bicycling’ Category

Recommended Bicycle Lane Widths for Various Roadway Characteristics

July 19, 2014 Comments off

Recommended Bicycle Lane Widths for Various Roadway Characteristics
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 766: Recommended Bicycle Lane Widths for Various Roadway Characteristics presents an analysis of the research and design guidance for bicycle lane widths on existing travel lane widths and parking lane widths. The conclusions are most applicable to urban and suburban roadways with level grade and a posted speed limit of 30 mph and should be used cautiously for the design of roadways with motor vehicle speeds outside of the range of 25 to 35 mph, and in particular for higher-speed roadways.

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The Societal Costs and Benefits of Commuter Bicycling: Simulating the Effects of Specific Policies Using System Dynamics Modeling

July 14, 2014 Comments off

The Societal Costs and Benefits of Commuter Bicycling: Simulating the Effects of Specific Policies Using System Dynamics Modeling
Source: Environmental Health Perspectives

Background:
Shifting to active modes of transport in the trip to work can achieve substantial co-benefits for health, social equity, and climate change mitigation. Previous integrated modeling of transport scenarios has assumed active transport mode share and has been unable to incorporate acknowledged system feedbacks.

Objectives:
We compared the effects of policies to increase bicycle commuting in a car-dominated city and explored the role of participatory modeling to support transport planning in the face of complexity.

Methods:
We used system dynamics modeling (SDM) to compare realistic policies, incorporating feedback effects, nonlinear relationships, and time delays between variables. We developed a system dynamics model of commuter bicycling through interviews and workshops with policy, community, and academic stakeholders. We incorporated best available evidence to simulate five policy scenarios over the next 40 years in Auckland, New Zealand. Injury, physical activity, fuel costs, air pollution, and carbon emissions outcomes were simulated.

Results:
Using the simulation model, we demonstrated the kinds of policies that would likely be needed to change a historical pattern of decline in cycling into a pattern of growth that would meet policy goals. Our model projections suggest that transforming urban roads over the next 40 years, using best practice physical separation on main roads and bicycle-friendly speed reduction on local streets, would yield benefits 10–25 times greater than costs.

Conclusions:
To our knowledge, this is the first integrated simulation model of future specific bicycling policies. Our projections provide practical evidence that may be used by health and transport policy makers to optimize the benefits of transport bicycling while minimizing negative consequences in a cost-effective manner. The modeling process enhanced understanding by a range of stakeholders of cycling as a complex system. Participatory SDM can be a helpful method for integrating health and environmental outcomes in transport and urban planning.

New Report: Every Bicyclist Counts

May 28, 2014 Comments off

New Report: Every Bicyclist Counts
Source: League of American Bicyclists

A terrible string of fatal bike crashes in the Tampa area in late 2011 and early 2012 left the local bike community reeling.

As they shared each awful tragedy with us, we too felt frustrated and powerless. We also realized how little we really knew about the circumstances of serious crashes between bikes and cars, and how woefully inadequate (and late) the available data was at the national level.

For a 12-month period, we set about the grim task of tracking and documenting every fatal traffic crash involving a bicyclist captured by relevant internet search terms. We also wanted to offer a place to remember the victims and raise the hope that their deaths would at least inform efforts to prevent such tragedies in the future.

The result was the Every Bicyclist Counts initiative: everybicyclistcounts.org

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Elizabeth Kiker for compiling much of this data and to the Ride of Silence and Ghost Bike programs that offer so much comfort to the friends and families of bicyclists killed on the road — and a vital outlet for the outrage felt by everyone that rides a bike when they hear of these needless deaths.

Over the course of the project we documented 628 fatal bike crashes, a high percentage of the official number of such fatalities recorded by federal authorities.

Modes Less Traveled—Bicycling and Walking to Work in the United States: 2008–2012

May 8, 2014 Comments off

Modes Less Traveled—Bicycling and Walking to Work in the United States: 2008–2012 (PDF)
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The number of U.S. workers who traveled to work by bicycle increased from about 488,000 in 2000 to about 786,000 in 2008–2012, a larger percentage increase than that of any other commuting mode.

The combined rate of bicycle commuting for the 50 largest U.S. cities increased from 0.6 percent in 2000 to 1.0 percent in 2008–2012.

The Northeast showed the highest rate of walking to work at 4.7 percent of workers, while the West had the highest rate of biking to work at 1.1 percent. The South had the lowest rate of biking and walking to work.

Monitoring Bicyclist and Pedestrian Travel and Behavior

March 24, 2014 Comments off

Monitoring Bicyclist and Pedestrian Travel and Behavior
Source: Transportation Research Board

The circular identifies a selection of recent advancements in bicycle and pedestrian data monitoring pertaining to both traffic volumes and behavioral data. The circular also introduces a selection of ongoing projects expected to contribute to the field of bicycle and pedestrian data.

Cycling, Health and Safety

December 24, 2013 Comments off

Cycling, Health and Safety
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Many jurisdictions around the world are trying to retain or increase the share of cycling in urban traffic in order to benefit from the many health and transport efficiency benefits. Safety is a key concern and should be accounted for in these policies.

This report of the International Transport Forum’s Cycling Safety Working Group monitors international trends in cycling, safety and policy, and explores options that may help decision makers design safe environments for cycling. Key messages relate to strategic goal-setting for cycling policy and managing crash risks while increasing health benefits. The report also discusses how to better capture crash and bicycle usage statistics. The safety impacts of a wide range of pro-cycling measures are examined in detail.

Study Shows Driving Decline in America’s Cities

December 5, 2013 Comments off

Study Shows Driving Decline in America’s Cities
Source: U.S. Public Interest Research Group

A first-of-its-kind report by U.S.PIRG Education Fund details reduced driving miles and rates of car commuting in America’s most populous urbanized areas, as well as greater use of public transit and biking in most cities.

The report, “Transportation in Transition: A Look at Changing Travel Patterns in America’s Biggest Cities,” is based on the most current available government data. It is the first ever national study to compare transportation trends for America’s largest cities and lists results for each. Among its national findings:

  • The proportion of workers commuting by private vehicle—either alone or in a carpool—declined in 99 out of 100 of America’s most populous urbanized areas between 2000 and the 2007-2011 period averaged in U.S. Census data.
  • From 2006 to 2011, the average number of miles driven per resident fell in almost three-quarters of America’s largest urbanized areas for which up-to-date and accurate Federal Highway Administration data are available (54 out of 74 urban areas).
  • The proportion of households without cars increased in 84 out of the 100 largest urbanized areas from 2006 to 2011. The proportion of households with two cars or more cars decreased in 86 out of the 100 of these areas during that period.
  • The proportion of residents bicycling to work increased in 85 out of 100 of America’s largest urbanized areas between 2000 and 2007-2011.
    The number of passenger-miles traveled per capita on transit increased in 60 out of 98 of America’s large urbanized areas whose trends could be analyzed between 2005 and 2010.

Trends in Walking and Bicycling to School from 2007 to 2012

December 4, 2013 Comments off

Trends in Walking and Bicycling to School from 2007 to 2012
Source: National Center for Safe Routes to Schools

Soon after the establishment of the Federal SRTS Program in 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School launched a data collection system to support local program planning and evaluation and to monitor student commute patterns nationwide. Seven years after the start of the Federal program, the National Center analyzed more than 525,000 parent surveys from nearly 4,700 schools to look for changes in travel patterns and parent perceptions about walking to school.

Two key findings from the analyses include:

  • Walking to and from school increased significantly between 2007 and 2012, from 12.4% to 15.7% in the morning and from 15.8% to 19.7% in the afternoon.
  • The percentage of parents who reported that their child’s school supported walking and bicycling for the school commute rose from 24.9% to 33%. Parents who felt that their child’s school supported walking and bicycling were more likely to have children who used these modes.

Selling Biking: A New Study on the ‘Swing Voters’ of the Street

November 18, 2013 Comments off

Selling Biking: A New Study on the ‘Swing Voters’ of the Street
Source: People for Bikes

San Francisco and Portland are celebrated as two of the best U.S. cities for biking. In fact, one in every 25 American bike commuters lives in one of these two cities.

But even in these cities’ bike-friendly neighborhoods, hundreds of thousands of people — it’s perhaps half the population — have ridden bikes before but rarely use them.

What’s stopping them?

Even if they don’t personally bike, what images make them feel best about bikes and bike infrastructure? And what messages do they feel best capture the benefits of biking to individuals and to the city?

In a first-of-its-kind study funded by the PeopleForBikes Green Lane Project in partnership with transportation departments in San Francisco and Portland, Portland-based advertising and research firms North and Wild Alchemy set out to find out. Using professionally facilitated focus groups and a rigorous web survey of 332 registered voters in the two cities who own bikes but didn’t ride frequently, the organizations gathered one of the fullest portraits yet of the swing voters of the bike world.

Bikes on Trains Campaign Gaining Traction

October 18, 2013 Comments off

Bikes on Trains Campaign Gaining Traction
Source: League of American Bicyclists

Campaigns to get bicycles on commuter trains are cropping up across the country.

We’ve seen recent success in the Bay Area, and there’s been a national push to get Amtrak on board with increased bicycle services.

This week, we’re seeing more positive movement in Chicago, where the South Shore Line rail is planning to announce a bike program by next spring, according to the Chicago Tribune. Last week, a number of local groups, including the Active Transportation Alliance, sent a letter to the rail line operator’s board, requesting bikes be allowed on the trains beginning next summer, with a pilot program phase in spring.

“We’re talking about allowing bikes on their trains, not landing them on the moon, and we hope they will have a final policy allowing bikes in time for peak riding season next summer,” Max Muller, director of government relations and advocacy at the Active Transportation Alliance, told the Tribune.

The League did some research into the issue to help Active Trans make the case in Chicago. We looked into all of the major commuter rail lines across the country, and examined their policies regarding bicycles on board.

Bicycle-Transit Integration in the United States, 2001–2009

October 18, 2013 Comments off

Bicycle-Transit Integration in the United States, 2001–2009 (PDF)
Source: Journal of Public Transportation

This paper analyzes the recent trend in bicycle-transit integration in the U.S. It reviews data from the National Household Travel Surveys (NHTS) to show the characteristics of bicycle-transit integrated trips, where the integrators were from, and to which population groups the integrators belonged. Bicycle-transit integration was increasingly observed in commuters and younger travelers, and became more imbalanced by gender. Results indicate the rise in socio-economic diversity of bicycle-transit integrators, despite a racial gap. There was a clear concentration of bicycle-transit integrators in large and high-density urban areas, where most transit users lived. Evidence does not support that rail attracts more bike access/egress trips than bus. More transit users used bicycles to access/egress in the Pacific, East North Central, and Mountain regions. Given the non-trivial role of bicycles compared to transit in the U.S., the focus on bicycle use and the marriage between bicycle and transit should be further emphasized.

State Helmet Laws (Motorcycles and Bicycles)

August 8, 2013 Comments off

Helmet Laws
Source: Governors Highway Safety Association

Motorcycle Helmets
In 1967, the federal government required states to enact universal motorcycle helmet laws to qualify for certain highway safety funds. By 1975, all but three had complied. In 1976, Congress revoked federal authority to assess penalties for noncompliance, and states began to weaken helmet laws to apply only to young or novice riders.

Currently, about half the states require helmets for all motorcyclists. Most other states require helmets for certain riders, and a few have no helmet law. GHSA urges all states to adopt a universal motorcycle helmet law and vigorously enforce existing laws.

47 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have a helmet law for motorcyclists.

19 states, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have a universal helmet law, requiring helmets for all riders.

The remaining 28 states and Guam require helmets for specific riders.

3 states (Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire) do not have a motorcycle helmet law.

Bicycle Helmets

Fewer states have enacted bicycle helmet laws. GHSA only tracks state laws. However, many localities require helmet use for some or all bicyclists.

21 states, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands have a helmet law for bicyclists below a certain age, generally about 16.

Only the Virgin Islands requires helmets for all bicyclists.

29 states and Guam have no bicycle helmet law.

Analysis of Bicycling Trends and Policies in Large North American Cities: Lessons for New York

April 11, 2011 Comments off

Analysis of Bicycling Trends and Policies in Large North American Cities: Lessons for New York (PDF)
Source: University Transportation Research Center (Region 2)
From report brief (PDF):

This research report reviews trends in cycling levels, safety, and policies in large North American cities over the past two decades. We analyze aggregate national data as well as city- specific case study data for nine large cities (Chicago, Minneapolis, Montréal, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington, DC).

Cycling levels have increased in both the USA and Canada, while cyclist fatalities have fallen. The number of bike commuters in the USA rose by 64% from 1990 to 2009, and the bike share of commuters rose from 0.4% to 0.6%. Over the shorter period from 1996 to 2006, the number of bike commuters in Canada rose by 42%, and the bike share of commuters rose from 1.1% to 1.3%. From 1988 to 2008, cycling fatalities fell by 66% in Canada and by 21% in the USA; serious injuries fell by 40% in Canada and by 31% in the USA.

There is much spatial variation and socioeconomic inequality in cycling rates. The bike share of work commuters is more than twice as high in Canada as in the USA, and is higher in the western parts of both countries. Cycling is concentrated in central cities, especially near universities and in gentrified neighborhoods near the city center. Almost all the growth in cycling in the USA has been among men between 25-64 years old, while cycling rates have remained steady among women and fallen sharply for children.

First Ever Bicycle Friendly Universities Announced – and 2011 BFBs too

April 9, 2011 Comments off

First Ever Bicycle Friendly Universities Announced – and 2011 BFBs too (PDF)
Source: League of American Bicyclists

The first‐ever Bicycle Friendly University designations were announced today at the National Bike Summit. Among the 32 universities that applied, 20 are receiving designations, with Stanford University earning the only platinum‐level award. The program recognizes colleges and universities that create exceptional environments where bicycling can thrive and provides a roadmap and technical assistance to create great campuses for bicycling.

This first class of BFUs shows the wide variety of ways to promoting bicycling on campus from great bicycling facilities like tose at UC-Davis and safe, convenient bike parking at the University of Minnesota, to incentive programs for students and staff to ride at Emory University.  Stanford University stands out for their breadth of programs, including: a great cycling network, education programs like the Bike Safety Dorm Challenge, and bicycling incentive programs that resulted in an extraordinary number of people biking for transportation and recreation. Currently, 21.7 percent of people at Stanford commute by bike.

Also, 55 new Bicycle Friendly Businesses from restaurants to law firms will be receiving awards at this year’s summit. USAA, which is receiving the silver‐level designation, has experienced how bicycling can transform a workplace and surrounding community.

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