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Annals of Cycling – 46

March 16, 2012

Items from the Velo-cities and the progress they’re making – or could.

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GOING DUTCH

Showing Americans how to do the best cycling infrastructure in the world:

From Streetsfilm:

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HELP BORIS BIKE

The Guardian is formulating a “Manifesto for a Model Mayor” – with lots of suggestions for Mayor Boris.

Cycling and walking have had to wait their turn in this fortnight-long crowdsourcing project. Why? Two reasons. One, because cycling issues in particular attract comment thread contributions of a very high standard, so I’ve saved that treat for near the end. Two, because if London were a truly cyclist and pedestrian-friendly city it would look, sound and feel radically different. Just imagine. After all, imagining is a part of what our model mayoral manifesto is about.

London specific, obviously – but it’s true about the comments (327 at last count) – with some interesting perspectives now that the city has bike-sharing.

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HOW PORTLAND WANTS TO BE BETTER THAN US

As part of GOOD Ideas for Cities Portland, a team from THINK.urban presented its idea for creating a system of bike highways that run throughout the city. Instead of relegating cyclists to side streets and bike paths, the new bikeways would take over major Portland thoroughfares, making bikes more visible and creating more direct routes that would shorten ride times.

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A SIGN OF THE TIMES 

The cover of a glossy insert in the Globe and Mail says a lot about what style-makers think is stylish:

Doubt she has a helmet, though.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Erik Griswold permalink
    March 16, 2012 12:46 pm

    And why should she have to wear a helmet?

    You may want to try and pick up a Sunday New York Times this weekend if it includes their “T Magazine”

    http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/going-dutch-and-danish/

    From:

    http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/category/urban-biking/?ref=t-magazine

  2. Guest permalink
    March 16, 2012 3:35 pm

    She also doesn’t have her feet on the base of the pump, so she has only pressed down once. But the pic is about fashion (The Style Issue) – not substance.

  3. Guest permalink
    March 17, 2012 12:05 pm

    “She” is a model and not actually riding a bicycle, so of course it’s doubtful that she’s wearing a helmet at that moment. However, plenty of stylish people who ride bicycles without sacrificing their stylishness do choose to wear helmets, as the options broaden significantly every year and it is entirely possible — for both men and women — to coordinate your helmet aesthetically with the rest of your attire.

    Please don’t buy into and encourage the stereotype of all stylish people as being anti-helmet– that does nothing positive to help the efforts of those of us who are trying to show that you do *not* have to give up your identity to ride a bicycle, even if that includes wearing a helmet.

  4. Tessa permalink
    March 18, 2012 12:49 pm

    Onto Portland’s cycle highways – sounds great overall, and worth stealing. In particular starting on Kingsway would be perfect, as diagonal routes such as Kingsway and Sandy in Northeast Portland make for much quicker trips and make cycling much more attractive if done right.

    There are a few omissions on that project, though, in particular at the intersections. Frankly, a bike signal isn’t enough. There has to be something in the design of the roadway itself that makes cyclists much more obvious to drivers and cycling much more safe. This is something European engineers do very well, even in small cities far from Copenhagen, and currently North America is far behind on.

    I also don’t for the life of me understand the necessity to build a two-way cycle track on one side of the street rather than one-way cycle tracks on each side of a street. I don’t see how that is safer, and it’s certainly not what’s done in European cities where cycling is mainstream. I never saw it once in a street setting in Copenhagen, only in fully off-street, i.e. park-like, settings. Maybe there are benefits in some cases, perhaps on one-way streets for cars, but I haven’t seen any literature on that or heard anything to explain the preference in North America for this style of cycle path.

    But advocates are right to focus more on main streets now. Yes, I much prefer cycling on back streets like 10th Avenue, but that’s not always an option everywhere, and it’s also often not as direct, and if you improve safety on major streets like Kingsway (or 1st Avenue, with all that extra room east of Nanaimo), they will become much more friendly and attractive for cyclists.

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