Jonathan M. Gitlin: Bike Lanes Need Physical Protection

Ars Technica:

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A study from Monash University in Australia suggests that merely painting bike lanes onto the roads may be counterproductive. The researchers conducted an observational study, gathering data from 60 cyclists in Melbourne, Australia. For a week or two, the cyclists were equipped with sensors and cameras to capture data over the course of their riding. GNSS satellite navigation was used for location, ultrasonic sensors measured the passing distances of objects as the cyclists rode, and cameras allowed the researchers to classify passing events—was the bicycle passed by a vehicle, did the pass happen while the cyclist was in a bike lane, and so on. Over the study period (between April and August 2017) there were 422 trips covering a total of 3,294 miles (5,302km), 91 percent of which were on-road.

Across the entire data set, the researchers identified 18,527 instances where a vehicle overtook a cyclist. Of these, 1,085 happened with less than 39 inches’ (100cm) passing distance between bike and vehicle, a distance that’s considered “close” under Australian law. The majority of passes occurred in areas with 37mph speed limits (60km/h), with an average passing distance of 75 inches (190cm). But those distances were much closer in areas with lower limits (66 inches/168cm in 40km/h zones, 67 inches/170cm in 50km/h zones). Somewhat worryingly, drivers were also more likely to get closer (60 inches/154cm) to cyclists when passing in 100km/h (62mph) zones.

Alma Gullermoprieto: Sunday Car Ban

National Geographic:

JUAN CRISTÓBAL COBO

JUAN CRISTÓBAL COBO

It’s like falling in love all over again; every Sunday without fail, and holidays too, the inhabitants of the car-choked, noise-filled, stressed-out city of Bogotá, 8,660 feet up in the thin air of the Andes, get to feel that the city belongs to them, and not to the 1,600,000 suicidal private cars, 50,000 homicidal taxis, nine thousand gasping buses, and some half-million demented motorcycles that otherwise pack into the buzzing capital of Colombia.

The weekly miracle occurs at an event you could call the Peaceful Community Gathering on Wheels, but is actually named the Ciclovía, or Bicycle Way. Starting at seven in the morning and until two in the afternoon, vast stretches of the city’s principal avenues and highways are turned over to everyone looking to enjoy a bit of fresh air. All kinds of transportation are welcome—bicycles, roller skates, scooters, wheelchairs, skateboards—as long as they are not motor-driven.

Feargus O'Sullivan: Eliminating Cars Parking

CityLab:

This week, Amsterdam is taking its reputation for pro-bike, anti-car polices one step further by announcing that it will systematically strip its inner city of parking spaces. Amsterdam transit commissioner Sharon Dijksma announced Thursday that starting this summer, the city plans to reduce the number of people permitted to park in the city core by around 1,500 per year. These people already require a permit to access a specific space (and the cost for that permit will also rise), and so by reducing these permits steadily in number, the city will also remove up to 11,200 parking spaces from its streets by the end of 2025.

The cleared spaces won’t be left empty, however. As room for cars is removed, it will be replaced by trees, bike parking, and wider sidewalks, allowing Amsterdammers to instantly see and feel the benefits of what will still be a fairly controversial policy among drivers.

Walker Angell: Bicycles Benefits

Streets.mn

Bicycles are arguably the most efficient form of transportation there is. Over 4 times faster than walking and they can carry heavier loads. Bicycling requires much less infrastructure, maintenance, and space than motor vehicles and are massively more affordable for individuals and communities.

Why Minneapolis Has Beautiful Bike Freeways

Heather Smith, writing for Grist:

Heather Smith

Heather Smith

I had been biking around Minneapolis for several days before I realized what was missing. It was a pleasant city, even though I was lost a lot, because most of the bike routes have very tiny signs that are hard to read, if they have signs at all. At night the bike paths were so dark that I worried I might not see an obstacle in the road, even with my headlight on, and I got even more lost, until I just gave up and biked very slowly with my phone in one hand, watching the blue dot that was myself on the map to make sure that I didn’t drift off the path, fall off my bike, and get eaten by bears. Not that there are any bears in Minneapolis.

But none of that mattered, really. Here was the thing that was missing for the first time since I became a bicycle commuter: fear.

Hmm. In the end, people against bikes and public transit are those who follow the dark side.