NCBW Newsroom - The National & International Scene
The National & International Scene | Regional and Local Actions | The Research Beat | Resources | Jobs, Grants & RFPs
UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS: PLANNING FOR PEOPLE, NOT CARS VIDEO
-> CityLab reported that StreetFilms has released a new 13-minute film, "Utrecht: Planning for People, Not Cars." It reveals how the Dutch city reengineered itself around the bicycle, with life- and money-saving results. In Utrecht, the fourth-largest and fastest-growing city in the Netherlands, population 330,000, average daily bike trips number 125,000. Today, 98% of Utrecht households own at least one bike, according to the film; half own 3 or more. Nationally, bikes now outnumber people. http://bit.ly/2XAgHUk
WHY ARE US DRIVERS KILLING SO MANY PEOPLE WALKING?
-> Strong Towns reported while some may regard a pedestrian death toll that has grown by 50% in less than a decade as somehow unavoidable, the recent experience of European countries suggests that there's nothing about modern life that means the pedestrian death toll must be high and rising. Europeans have high rates of car ownership and as many smart phones as Americans. It used to be that the number of pedestrian deaths per million population was higher in Europe, but the US pedestrian death rate per million population is now 75% higher than in Europe. Even though walking is far more common in Europe, streets are generally narrower, and in older cities there aren't sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to share the roadway with cars. http://bit.ly/2JlHboX
LAW INSISTS AMERICANS HAVE TO DRIVE
-> Gregory H. Shill in a CityLab article states that in America, the freedom of movement comes with an asterisk: the obligation to drive. This truism has been echoed by the US Supreme Court, which has pronounced car ownership a "virtual necessity." In a sense, America is car-dependent by choice-but it is also car-dependent by law. In an article to be published in the New York University Law Review next year, Shill describes how over the course of several generations, lawmakers rewrote the rules of American life to conform to the interests of Big Oil, the auto barons, and the car-loving one-percenters of the Roaring Twenties. (Should Law Subsidize Driving?: http://bit.ly/2JvUKB0) They gave legal force to a mindset-let's call it automobile supremacy-that kills 40,000 Americans a year and seriously injures more than 4 million. http://bit.ly/2JwHITT
VISION ZERO LINKING POLICE DATA & TRAUMA CENTER DATA
-> Vision Zero Network reported access to comprehensive and accurate data is critical to Vision Zero successfully addressing the public health crisis of nearly 40,000 preventable traffic fatalities annually. A new effort–Vision Zero Injury Prevention Research Collaborative (VZIPR: http://bit.ly/2JlqJVv), being led jointly by the San Francisco Department of Public Health's Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability (SFDPH-PHES) and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG)–is working to fill the data gaps in transportation-related injuries and deaths and ensure that all people, especially our most vulnerable, are counted. Check out the archive of a recent webinar that featured those leading this pioneering and transformative initiative to systematically link police data with data from trauma centers to better capture traffic injuries and fatalities and more fully inform San Francisco's Vision Zero priorities and investments. http://bit.ly/2Jlsiml
DESIGNING ROADWAY INFRASTRUCTURE THRU LENS OF CHILD SAFETY
-> An article published by Meeting of the Minds began; "If you could experience the city from the elevation of 95 centimeters (37 inches)-the height of the average three-year-old child-what would you change?" A session on this topic was part of this year's MOBILIZE, the annual sustainable transport summit of the Institute for Transportation and Development (ITDP). Each panelist also asked some variation on the question, "Why aren't roadway deaths among pedestrians and cyclists framed as senseless and preventable the same way fatal airline crashes are?" http://bit.ly/2XD83EI
TECHNOLOGY CLAIMS TO DETECT "HIDDEN PEDESTRIANS"
-> SmartCitiesWorld reported on Viziblezone (http://bit.ly/2JmPqAZ), which claims that its prototype system can detect pedestrians even hidden behind objects at distances of up to 150 meters (492 feet). Using the wide distribution of mobile devices among pedestrians, Viziblezone transforms them into "smart beacons" that cars can see and then avoid. The solution is designed to operate and save lives under any weather and visibility conditions. Viziblezone is preparing for the mass deployment of its solution for application in both conventional, and autonomous vehicles. It plans to provide the pedestrian detector component free of charge for mobile manufacturers, with a one-time license fee for every unit installed in the cars. http://bit.ly/2JmqtWw
LONDON, ENGLAND CYCLISTS RIDE NEARLY 2.5 M MILES/DAY
-> Streetsblog USA reported London, England's painstaking network of new bike lanes, its refurbished signals at intersections, and its world-renowned traffic congestion policies, all of which are paying off with record ridership. Cyclists in the British capital rode an average of nearly 2.5 million miles per day last year, up 5% from the previous year, according to city figures. Only 27% of cyclists are women and about 85% of cyclists are white, a figure that has changed little since the construction of protected bike paths on roadways. New York City has the same male-female ratio, but unlike London, is seeing cycling numbers start to flat-line because of safety concerns. http://bit.ly/2JoTBwn
COPENHAGENIZE INDEX NAMES WORLD'S 20 TOP BIKE-FRIENDLY CITIES
-> Wired reported the fifth edition of the Copenhagenize Index, a comprehensive and holistic ranking of the world's most bicycle-friendly cities, evaluated and ranked more than 115 cities from around the world using 14 parameters that focus on ambition, culture, and streetscape design. (Read about methodology: http://bit.ly/2XwhwO5.) The top 20 most bike-friendly cities include two in Canada (Montréal and Vancouver), but none in the US. The top five are Copenhagen, Amsterdam; Utrecht, Antwerp, and Strasbourg. Read details about each top city and how more recent actions have put it there. http://bit.ly/2XBw9jl
DUTCH TRAFFIC FLOWS WHEN PEOPLE INTERACT IN A HUMAN WAY
-> Bicycle Dutch posted a one-minute video of an Amsterdam intersection, which got a lot of attention two months ago. It shows many different types of bicycles and people passing by in all sorts of vehicles. To locals, the intersection looks busy but fairly ordinary-meanwhile, to many others, this flow of cyclists and pedestrians was extraordinary. Dutch intersections work a bit differently compared to most other countries. In this post Bicycle Dutch includes the complete five-minute video that shows the intersection from different angles. http://bit.ly/2XCTZuX
DEBUNKING 10 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT BIKE LANES
-> The Guardian reported that it's time to demolish 10 of the most common myths about cycle infrastructure. Perhaps the most common myth is that cycle lanes increase congestion (and thus pollution). The idea of induced demand–the idea that more road space brings more cars–has played out in cities over the course of decades. Bike lanes are a much more efficient use of the same road space; able to carry more people overall, per area. Most compelling of all, of course, is the fact that motor vehicles cause the congestion in the first place, and the only real way to reduce traffic congestion is to have fewer of them on the roads. See the article for the other nine myths, and the points that debunk them. http://bit.ly/2JlHdwY
Get a jump start on this news by subscribing to CenterLines.