An occasional update on items from the Velo-city.

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BEST ITEMS OF THE YEAR

In the opinion of Sustainable Cities Collective, five of the Best Bicycle Blog Posts of 2011:

Making Cycling Safer – What Does the Research Tell us?

Radically Rethinking Cycling in London

The Future of Bike Sharing Schemes in the United States

Indonesia’s Biggest City gets its First Bicycle Lane

Amsterdam’s Bicycle Network – No Magic Pill but Still a World-beater

And, since it’s that listy time of year, here are Grist’s 10 Cycling Myths Debunked.

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ELECTRIC ADD-ON

Here’s another approach to electric assist:

The motorized trailer quickly hooks onto an existing bicycle, pushing it to speeds of up to 19 mph (30.5 km/h), for a distance of about 12 miles (19 km) per charge. When you want your regular ol’ human-powered bike back, you just unhook it and go.

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HEALTHY NEWS 

Guess what – physical activity makes you (and your city’s budget) healthier.  Studies show it!  Like this one:  Do Health Benefits Outweigh the Costs of Mass Recreational Programs? An Economic Analysis of Four Ciclovía Programs, published in the Journal of Urban Health.

… researchers determined the direct health benefit (DHB) … and then calculated the cost–benefit ratio by dividing the total direct health benefit derived from each Ciclovía program by the total costs of each program.

The results of all this number-crunching showed that these programs are definitely worth the investment because they reduce health costs and allow people to live longer — and therefore more economically productive — lives.

The real point is that Ciclovia-type programs – mass-participation bike rides – are incredibly cost effective, which is something cities need to keep in mind when axing budgets.

The researchers used their findings to compare the relatively low cost ciclovia events with other methods of encouraging physical activity in cities…

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Meanwhile, New York City just released this startling finding: “New York City will record the fewest annual traffic fatalities since records were first kept in 1910. ”

How come?

Traffic calming projects, street redesigns, and safety upgrades installed by the Department of Transportation during the past decade have resulted in improved safety throughout the five boroughs.

In 2011, the department made safety upgrades to 60 miles of streets, including more than 20 miles of street redesigns and implemented the city’s first Neighborhood Slow Zone in the Bronx, creating the first 20 miles per hour speed limit. Additionally, the department introduced new electronic speed boards in all five boroughs that display the speed of passing motorists and expects to bring additional Neighborhood Slow Zones online.

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DAILY DOSE 

Something from the Europeans to encourage daily cycling:

PRESTO is about competence building in cycling policies. The project aims to offer a set of tools for technicians to create cycle friendly urban environments, to implement sound cycling plans and to start up targeted promotion campaigns. Besides the local activities in the five PRESTO cities are meant for the people, to encourage the use of bicycles also among elderly or those who live in very hilly areas.

 

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