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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Should Cyclists Have to Stop at Stop Signs? @citylab

Image jennyrotten / Flickr
jennyrotten / Flickr
San Francisco has a well-deserved reputation as a city that’s willing to experiment with urban policy. Now that reputation is being put to the test, as legislation that would change the way police deal with cyclists and stop signs makes its way through the city’s Board of Supervisors.
The ordinance, known as the Bike Yield Law, would instruct cops to treat cyclists who roll slowly and cautiously through stop signs as their lowest enforcement priority. It would, in essence, permit the so-called Idaho stop, in which a person on a bike is allowed to approach a stop sign, check for conflicts with drivers and people on foot, then roll through without coming to a complete halt—essentially treating it as a yield sign.
The Idaho stop is called that because it’s been the law in that state since 1982. Idaho, including its largest city, Boise (population 214,000), has served as a large, ongoing experiment in how well this practice works, at least in places with relatively low density. The answer is, apparently, quite well.

[Keep reading at CityLab]

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Salt Lake City Cuts Car Parking, Adds Bike Lanes, Sees Retail Boost @StreetsblogUSA

The new 300 South, a.k.a. Broadway. Photos: Salt Lake City.
Michael Andersen blogs for The Green Lane Project, a PeopleForBikes program that helps U.S. cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets.
Protected bike lanes require space on the street, and removing curbside auto parking is one of several ways to find it. But whenever cities propose parking removal, retailers understandably worry.
A growing body of evidence suggests that if bike lanes and parking removal contribute to a street with calmer traffic and a better pedestrian environment, everybody can win.
In an in-house study of its new protected bike lane, Salt Lake City found that when parking removal was done as part of a wide-ranging investment in the streetscape — including street planters, better crosswalks, public art, and colored pavement — converting parking spaces to high-quality bike lanes coincided with a jump in retail sales.
On 300 South, a street that’s also known as Broadway, SLC converted six blocks of diagonal parking to parallel parking and also shifted parallel parking away from the curb on three blocks to create nine blocks of protected bike lanes on its historic downtown business corridor.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Lack of transport retailers a barrier to everyday biking in Vancouver @vancitybuzz


It may come as a surprise to many, but the North American bicycle retail industry is struggling. Badly. Despite many cities shifting public policy towards establishing the bicycle as a regular, everyday form of transportation, U.S. retailers recently reported a decline in sales for the 14th consecutive year, while the number of bike shops fell by 18%, and the amount of sales floor square footage has remained essentially stagnant.
While many reasons have been given for that falloff, we firmly believe the theory that most manufacturers and retailers are selling “the wrong bikes for the wrong reason.” Nowhere is that more apparent than here in Vancouver, where manufacturers, retailers, advocates, and city officials continue to conflate the worlds of sport and transportation cycling, to the distinct detriment of the latter.

[Keep reading at VancityBuzz]

SEE THE WORLD 5: Where the Mountains go (Trailer)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Leg Work: Cyclists have the right to ‘control the lane’ for safety | Portland Press Herald

I recently saw a man bicycling smack in the middle of the main travel lane on one of Portland’s busiest streets, with a line of cars trailing behind.
In cycling lingo, this is known as “taking the lane” or “controlling the lane.” And it seems to be a growing trend, especially in urban areas.
Bicycle safety experts say that controlling the lane is the safest way for cyclists to position themselves under a variety of scenarios. Some even recommend it as a default position for those riding in city traffic.
This is a controversial idea, because it forces motorists to slow down. It also is counterintuitive to believe that one would be safer riding amid cars and trucks rather than on the road’s edge.
As a slow, cautious cyclist, I often feel scared controlling the lane, even under conditions when I have no choice, such as taking a left turn or continuing straight through an intersection where one lane turns right.

5 Anti-Bike Arguments That Should Be Retired @citylab

Image Jim Pennucci / Flickr
Jim Pennucci / Flickr
It’s time to move beyond the misguided war between bikes and cars. Doing so requires all parties on urban streets to acknowledge that city mobility is a collective problem without an either-or answer. In the spirit of a healthier such discussion, we’ve culled from this excellent list of anti-bike arguments that should be put to rest, compiled by Lindsey Wallace at streets.mn, as well as a recent longer list from Adam Mann in Wired.

1. Cyclists break the rules

If breaking the law is a knock against cyclists, then it’s a knock against everyone who uses city streets. Some bike riders do run red lights (though it’s often because the signal doesn’t recognize them) or pop onto the sidewalk(though it’s often because they don’t have bike lanes). Then again, drivers are no strangers to blowing lights—one in 10 run reds in New York City—and doing so is the most common cause of crashes in U.S. cities.
So sure, some cyclists are just jerks. That’s true of any group of humans. What must be recognized with regard to bike riders is that much of what’s mistaken for jerky behavior is better attributed to the frustrations of city travelers long denied space on urban streets.

[Keep reading at CityLab]

2015 UCI Road World Championships - Onboard Men's U23

Sunday, October 4, 2015

How to Make Coffee While Bike Touring - PathLessPedaled.com

Inside the Dirty, Dangerous World of Cyclocross @MaximMag

Inside the Dirty, Dangerous World of Cyclocross

It's gnarly, it's muddy, and it's the fastest-growing sport on two wheels. Can you survive cycling's crucible?
On the Sunday afternoon when he should be resting, Jeremy Powers instead takes the road to the left, and soon his bike hums over the gently sloped lane, the stunning but foreboding forests of Western Massachusetts crowding the path and humidity curdling the air, until he sees the pavement rise before him, rise and curve and rise again, epically, endlessly. His pedaling slows and then nearly stops—so steep is the incline—and now he’s up off the saddle and pumping, the bike swaying wildly with each downward stroke. He has already this morning done the lunges and box steps and side crunches that he hates, movements that strengthen his comically slim core but will leave him with a soreness that lasts until Wednesday. He has also already gone on a five-mile run. And yet the notorious King’s Highway—the kind of relatively empty but challenging path that abounds in this region, which is why he chose to live here—seems uniquely torturous today, each push of the legs an attempt to reestablish not so much a good pace as just forward movement. No one has reached Powers’ level in the cycling world, let alone his highly unusual subspecialty, without answering a question he often poses to those who ask his advice: “How much do you want to suffer?”

The Benefits of Slower Traffic, Measured in Money and Lives @citylab

Case Studies on Transport Policy
In May 2014, three school kids in New Brunswick, New Jersey, were hit by a car on Livingston Avenue while in the crosswalk. They were each injured—one seriously—and rushed to the hospital. A cell phone video taken at the scene is pierced with anonymous screams.

Fortunately, according to news reports, the kids recovered. Unfortunately, the trauma they and their families endured is all too common on the streets of U.S. cities. What makes the situation in New Brunswick so much more regrettable is that city leaders knew about the safety hazards on Livingston Avenue but hesitated to change traffic patterns for fear of offending drivers.