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Fwd: [lacbc-planning] John Pucher talk at UCLA today

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  • Richard Risemberg
    Of interest, from an LA advocacy group mailing list: ... -- Richard Risemberg http://www.bicyclefixation.com http://www.SustainableCityNews.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2012
      Of interest, from an LA advocacy group mailing list:

      Begin forwarded message:

      > From: Kent Strumpell
      > Great presentation, good turnout. Of course many of us have heard much of this before, but still, it was good to hear it well-compiled by a respected and passionate academic on the subject.
      > My notes below.
      > Kent
      > ------------------------
      > John Pucher talk at UCLA Lewis CenterTransportation Lecture Series
      > Oct. 31, 2012
      > Promoting Cycling and Walking for Sustainable Cities:
      > Lessons from Europe and North America
      > Introduced by Martin Wachs
      > Pucher (Rutgers Univ) has a book that just came out, City Cycling (and affordable at $17). Much of the presentation was from the book.
      > Cycling is the most sustainable transport mode
      > Cited a litany of well-known benefits: environmental, health, infrastructure cost, personal cost, etc.
      > Better cost benefit ratio than other modes.
      > A study shows personal health benefits of walking and cycling more than offset added time spent cycling, in healthy years added to life.
      > Countries with low rates of obesity are correlated with high levels of active lifestyles, including cycling.
      > Public policy more than anything else is responsible for this.
      > It IS possible to increase. levels of cycling
      > In fact, many of the cities with highest levels of cycling have had their most significant increases occur in the past 20-30 years (on the order 2-5X). Same is true of US cities.
      > Canada rate of bike commuting is 3X US, despite climate. Reason: more compact land use patterns.
      > 27% of trips in US are 1 mile or shorter; 41% shorter than 2 miles.
      > Euro cities far exceed US in bike-ped use for these short trips, even controlling for other factors.
      > Only 10% of bike trips in Denmark are recreational.
      > Women and cycling
      > 55% of bike trips in Denmark are by women.
      > Positive correlation between cities with the highest levels of cycling and % of cyclists who are women. *** The lesson: ask women what they want and give it to them!
      > In No Europe, as people age, their rate of cycling goes up. In NL, ages 70-84 make 23% of their trips by bike.
      > Goal: Make walking and cycling safe for everyone.
      > Safety is key
      > Injury and fatality rates are many times lower in No. Europe despite far higher % of trips made by bicycle than in US.
      > While both regions saw a drop in injuries and fatalities in recent years, US drop was far less than Europe.
      > As levels of cycling increase, injury / fatality rates drop dramatically (probably due to increased visibility and empathy of motorists who cycle). This phenomenon seen in No. American cities too.
      > Collisions between motor vehicles and bikes and peds, at speeds over 30km / 20mph there is an exponetial incr. in cyclist and pedestrian fatalities.
      > *** 60-80% redux in child fatalities where traffic calming present (good factoid for Michigan Greenway outreach).
      > Separated bike facilities
      > The degree to which bikes are separated from cars correlates with high levels of women cycling.
      > The US cities with highest levels of cycling also have the most availability of separated bikeways, also bike facilities on bridges.
      > *** Without extensive networks of separated bikeways, we'll be stuck with low levels of bicycle usage.
      > Public policy to spur cycling and discourage auto travel were prominent in No. Europe, such as:
      > - better bike facilities
      > - integrating bikes w/ transit
      > - education, enforcement
      > - measures to discourage driving, etc.
      > - German law requires motorists to proactively anticipate possible hazardous behavior of cyclists and peds and take steps to avoid injuring them, or will be found liable if they collide.
      > Practices and innovations in various cities
      > Montreal has the largest cycle track system in No. America
      > Quebec bike and ped paths locate the peds closer to waterfront attractions than the bike path (maybe that's why our beach path has so many bike-ped conflicts?)
      > Dutch make wide use of raised speed tables (one photo looks like they use separate pavers on top of asphalt to create the raised section; a cost effective way to implement?)
      > Berlin has ~ 5000km of traffic calmed streets or roads w/ bikeways and has achieved 10% bike mode share.
      > Portland uses a diagonal bike crossing through an intersection, all cross traffic stopped like a scramble, triggered by sensor or button.
      > Variation on a bike box: cyclists allowed / encouraged to move ahead of stop bar in bike lane, so motorists can see them better.
      > Illuminated bollards pulse in progression to show best bike speed to sync your speed with signals
      > Big woonerf symbol applied to pavement in some countries.
      > Portland has the most bicycle boulevards in the US (possible examples for Michigan Greenway)
      > Bike corrals: in many commercial districsts where they've been installed they've seen a boost in customers and merchants are clamoring for them.
      > Integrating bikes with transit
      > Bikes on board transit vehicles, secure parking, bike share (Monteal saw a big boost in biking when Bixi was introduced).
      > Best bike stations are full service (like SM bike center).
      > Bike parking areas should have direct ramp access to platforms, bus stops, streets.
      > Traffic education is crucial
      > *** Much more emphasis needed on how motorists can avoid endangering bikes and peds.
      > Compulsory traffic safety lessons for all school. children (3rd and 4th grade) in many Euro countries, sometimes with a test at completion by a real cop.
      > Encourage promotional events like street closures, bike to school, bike to work, rides for seniors, social rides
      > Implementation strategies
      > - publicize both individual and societal benefits,
      > - ensure citizen participation in all stages of planning and implementation to assure community support.
      > - develop long range plans and update them regularly.
      > - implement controversial policies, projects in stages.
      > - combine incentives for cycling when disincentives for driving are introduced.
      > - build alliances with politicians, cycling orgs, and other bike friendly groups.
      > - coordinate advocacy and planning with local state and fed orgs (and agencies?)
      > Re question about use of helmets, Pucher cited the test a guy did where he donned various outfits to see how he'd be treated by motorists. A grey haired woman w/out helmet weaving a bit got the most room; male with helmet in lycra on expensive bike got treated worst.
      > --

      Richard Risemberg
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