A ruling by the Supreme Court Monday could limit the transformation of railroad right-of-ways into bike and pedestrian corridors. The 8-1 decision ruled that when a railroad had been abandoned, the right-of-way reverts back to the property owner and its future use is at their discretion.
It could derail plans to construct new rail-trails built on former federal land, especially in the West, while the government could also be required to compensate landowners who have converted rail-trails crossing their property.Tweet
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London has become synonymous with cycling and pedestrian danger, as the city has claimed more than 150 serious injuries or deaths in the past three years. Now the city, led by Mayor Boris Johnson, himself an advocate for cycling and pedestrian safety, is pledging $500 million to radically transform 33 intersections and roundabouts across the city.
Roundabouts at Archway, Aldgate, Swiss Cottage and Wandsworth, among others, will be ripped out and replaced with two-way roads, segregated cycle tracks and new traffic-free public space. The Elephant & Castle roundabout, London’s highest cycle casualty location, will be removed. At other intimidating roundabouts, such as Hammersmith and Vauxhall, safe and direct segregated cycle tracks will be installed, pending more radical transformations of these areas in the medium term.
“These road junctions are relics of the Sixties which blight and menace whole neighborhoods. Like so much from that era, they’re also atrociously-designed and wasteful of space,” Johnson said in a statement. “Because of that, we can turn these junctions into more civilized places for cyclists and pedestrians, while at the same time maintaining their traffic function.”
The move is part of the Safe Streets London campaign, a detailed plan to reduce the number of persons injured on London’s roads by 40 percent by 2020.
Last week Bicycle Times’ Publisher Maurice Tierney and Karen Brooks, the founding editor, mutually decided to part ways.
“I’m proud of the work I’ve done with both Bicycle Times and Dirt Rag, and am excited to go off in new directions,” Brooks said.
“We wish Karen all the best,” Tierney said. “We’re also really excited about the future of Bicycle Times.”
Rotating Mass Media, parent company of Bicycle Times and Dirt Rag magazines, is now looking to fill the position of Editor of Bicycle Times or Online Editor.Tweet
Guest column by Adrian Montgomery
There was a common theme during this year’s Global Fat Bike Summit in Ogden, Utah: fat biking is not a fad. Many statements in Summit presentations were preceded with, “I used to think differently about fat bikes, until I tried one.” The Summit provided the opportunity to throw a leg over the industry’s finest products for the uninitiated to the disciple.
There was a diverse group of attendees at the Summit, an event largely overlooked by the big brands in the Bike Industry. Land managers, enthusiasts and niche product suppliers all huddled up to address access issues, talk best practices for grooming and how to deal with potential user conflicts. Sounds pretty organized for a fad. IMBA was on hand too, and when Mike Van Abel compared the fat bike movement to the early years of mountain biking it was clear that this movement has the wheels to roll-over growth obstacles.Tweet
In the past years nearly 7,000 people have lost their lives in cycling-motorist crashes. The Dear Motorist campaign invites cyclists and motorists alike to visit dearmotorist.com to their experiences by either: taking a pledge or writing a letter to be more aware of their surroundings on the road. The campaign also offers those who may have lost a loved one to a road accident the opportunity to share their story.
At the Women’s Cycling Forum that was part of the National Bike Summit last March, many of us were introduced to a founder of a movement that is helping to fill a crucial gap in cycling: Veronica O. Davis of Black Women Bike. Davis and two friends started the group as a local organization in Washington, D.C., and are building the foundation to take it to the national level. Davis’ efforts are a natural outgrowth of her professional life in civil engineering, which she believes involves “using transportation as a tool to positively affect people’s lives.”Tweet
Our own local advocacy organization, Bike Pittsburgh, has created an innovative ad campaign that we’d like to see implemented all across the nation. Called the Drive With Care Campaign, the aim is to remind automobile drivers that bicyclists are human, too.
From Bike Pittsburgh: “Bicyclists are not obstacles or targets; they could be your friend, nurse, carpenter, or even your favorite football player, Antonio Brown.” (That’s the Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver shown in the ad below.)
The ads feature photos of everyday people next to their bikes, with descriptive words to drive the point home. They’ve been seen on billboards and bus shelters around the city, but the organization would like to expand the campaign’s reach, and even produce television ads.
See more “Drive With Care” campaign posters and donate to the campaign here: bikepgh.org/care. And you can contact Bike Pittsburgh through their website if you’d like information on how to develop a similar public awareness effort in your own town.
Ten intrepid women will embark on a “purposeful adventure” this March, riding 262 miles from New York City to the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C. The group is made up of advocates representing five advocacy organizations: WE Bike NYC, Black Women Bike, Gearing-Up, WABA: Women and Bicycles, and Women Bike PHL.
This is an adventure near and dear to us, as we’ve featured some of these organizations in our pages, and we’ve also ridden to the Summit from our home base of Pittsburgh. It’s also a big undertaking, so the ladies are asking for your support via an Indiegogo campaign.Tweet
As you contemplate your New Year’s resolutions, take some time to build up your 2014 karma! Nominate advocates who have improved biking & walking in your community for a 2014 Advocacy Award.
The Alliance for Biking and Walking holds the Advocacy Awards every year to celebrate the individuals and groups who have demonstrated excellence in the bicycle and pedestrian movement. If you know an advocate (or two or three) who has made a big difference for biking and walking over the past year, please nominate them! Anybody can submit nominations until January 16.
Your nominations will be considered by a panel of leaders in the biking and walking movement. Winners will be recognized on March 3 at the 2014 Advocacy Awards ceremony in Washington, DC.Tweet
I guess it wouldn’t be too much of a generalization to say that cyclists are more likely to lean left than right. After all, the Boston Globe’s Jordan Michael Smith points out, they are more likely to live in cities and away from the more conservative car-culture of the suburbs. But while cyclists have been fighting for decades for recognition, both on the street and in the legislatures, a new level of vitriol level against them might just be a sign that they have arrived.
Particularly in America, the bicycle is emerging as a new conservative front in the culture wars. In May, Wall Street Journal commentator Dorothy Rabinowitz called bicyclists “the most important danger in the city”; in Colorado’s last governor’s election, a Republican candidate said a local bike-sharing program “could threaten our personal freedoms.” A columnist for the conservative Washington Times declared D.C. bike-sharing programs to be “broken-down socialism”; radio pundit Rush Limbaugh said he “won’t care” if his car door knocks over a cyclist.
As health and government officials have begun peddling bicycles as healthy, environmentally responsible alternatives to cars, and cities and towns spend money on new bike infrastructure, conservatives have started to sense a new target. They have begun to deploy “the bike” as a bogeyman in political debates—cast in a role anywhere from physical annoyance to a genuine threat to the American way of life.
What do you think? How to bicycles fit in the right vs. left, conservative vs. liberal debate? Share your thoughts in the comments below.Tweet
If you ride in our nation’s capital, you may have noticed some friendly messages popping up in the city’s extensive bike lane network:
MORE BIKE LANES
THANK YOU FOR BIKING
But who was creating these tags? Were they street art or vandalism?
The bright, encouraging—twee, if you’d like—tone of BA’s stencil art has a purpose. “We want more people to bike,” she says. “We want bicyclists to smile and know they’re appreciated. We want bicyclists to smile at other bicyclists and road users. Most importantly, we want D.C. to be a safe place to ride a bike.”
The City Paper chats with the artists, and looks at how the rapid rise in popularity of cycling in the city has had its growing pains.Tweet
I’m not sure what a lorry is, but it sure looks a lot like a truck. All kidding aside, in this video from the Greater London Metropolitan Police, a local cyclist and a driver explain how each can take better steps to avoid crashes. They then take turns in each others’ place to see just how dangerous riding near one of these vehicles can be if you’re not visible. After the rash of incidents in London recently, hopefully it can help save some lives.Tweet
The Adventure Cycling Association‘s nationally recognized awards program acknowledges exemplary contributions to the success of bicycle travel. There are four awards:
- The Pacesetter Bicycle Travel Award recognizes individuals, groups, businesses, and organizations that have consistently demonstrated extraordinary commitment, dedication, and service to the advancement of Adventure Cycling’s mission of inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
- The June Curry Trail Angel Award honors an individual or group encountered during a bicycle tour who made the cyclotourist’s journey easier or possible by helping the cyclist through an act of goodwill.
- The Braxton Bicycle Shop Award honors bicycle shops throughout the nation that go out of their way to provide unique or exemplary services to bicycle travelers.
- The Adventure Cycling Volunteer of the Year Award is our way to say ‘Thank you’ to Adventure Cycling volunteers who are helping us inspire others to travel by bike.
NPR did a profile this past week about LA Bike Trains, a service that helps new cyclists feel more comfortable on the road by arranging commutes in groups. An experienced conductor leads the group along safe roads and the pack of cyclists inherently leads to more comfortable riders and better visibility.
Since launching L.A. Bike Trains in May with just a few routes and no budget, the system has grown to a dozen volunteer leaders, covering Los Angeles by bike by as much as 20 miles per trip each way, like the route from Silver Lake to Santa Monica.
Still, bike trains are far from seeing mass adoption.
Herbie Huff, a policy researcher at UCLA, says there are lots of obstacles to taking part in bike trains. Instead, Huff thinks infrastructure like bike lanes would be a bigger winner, or a concept like bike sharing could be an easier entry point.
“In order to go on the bike train, you need to already have made a commitment,” Huff says. “You need to already have a bike.”
More than 1,000 cyclists clogged the streets in front of the city’s transportation offices last week to highlight the dangerous conditions on the city’s streets. Six cyclists have died in the past two-weeks and tensions are riding high. Organizers are demanding that 10 percent of the city’s transportation budget be spent on cycling infrastructure.
Too often the death of a cyclist at the hands of a driver is labeled an “accident”, even when the driver is at fault and faces penalties.
Lloyd Alter of Treehugger takes a look at the language used in the media and how it shapes public perception of cycling.
Streetfilms has released it’s latest, and final, dispatch from Amsterdam, and provides a nice cross-section of commentary and how-to from the City of Bikes.
Some of the major themes the film touches on are how the city rejected car culture in the 1970s as traffic deaths were mounting, how the bike system is not a jumbled pile of chaos as it appears to tourists, and how despite all the bikes, the city doesn’t really have much of a “bike culture”.
Streetfilms produces short films showing how smart transportation design and policy can result in better places to live, work and play.Tweet
The roads in the East County region outside San Diego are some of the most beautiful anywhere, and naturally they are popular with cyclists. But someone isn’t too happy about their presence, and has posted a sign on private property condoning hitting cyclists.
ABC 10 News in San Diego picks up the story from here:Tweet
Today, the League of American Bicyclists announced 91 new Bicycle Friendly Businesses (BFB) from across the country, extending the program to 43 states and Washington, D.C. Rotating Mass Media, our parent company we share with our mountain bike magazine, Dirt Rag, joins 90 other businesses as 2013 awardees. These new awardees join a trendsetting group of more than 600 local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies across the United States that are transforming the American workplace. Read the full storyTweet