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NACTO RELEASES GLOBAL STREET DESIGN GUIDE
-> The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the Global Designing Cities Initiative just unveiled the Global Street Design Guide (http://bit.ly/2dmqlaY), the first-ever worldwide standard for redesigning city streets to prioritize safety, pedestrians, transit and sustainable mobility. The guide contains input from 72 cities in 42 countries, boiling ideas down into 21 street typologies and 50 street and intersection layouts, with before-and-after 3D model comparisons. The overall philosophy holds pedestrians in the highest priority, followed by cyclists and transit riders, businesses including street vendors and public service providers, and lastly, people in personal motorized vehicles. http://bit.ly/2dmr5gn
NAT’L ASSOC OF REALTORS: EVERYONE SHOULD WANT MORE WALKABLE STREETS
-> The National Association of Realtors (NAR) encourages the planning and development of more walkable communities where residents can walk, bike and take public transit to destinations. Walkable communities create places where people want to live and visit. NAR’s Spaces to Places blog provided the first 12 of its 50 Reasons Why Everyone Should Want More Walkable Streets. http://bit.ly/2dn5zrG
CALGARY & EDMONTON, CANADA: QUICK BUILD PROTECTED BIKE LANES
-> StreetsBlog reports two years ago, the sprawling Canadian prairie metropolis of Calgary decided to test an entire "minimum grid" of protected bike lanes through its downtown, all at once. Calgary’s $7 million quick-build biking network doubled bike counts almost immediately; at last count they’re up 132 percent across downtown and biking is up citywide by every available measure.
Last week Edmonton’s council voted unanimously to do essentially the same thing, creating a connected system of comfortable bike routes in its downtown. Edmonton is using a new way of improving streets – a "ready, fire, aim" approach that takes advantage of the fact that bike lanes, unlike freeways or railroads, can be tweaked after they’re on the ground. http://bit.ly/2dmTZwP
US DOT ISSUES INTERIM APPROVAL FOR BIKE BOXES
-> Last week, US DOT issued interim approval for bike boxes (http://bit.ly/2dmUXJF), a treatment that positions cyclists ahead of cars at intersections. Dozens of American cities currently use bike boxes and the federal government is now satisfied enough by the results to conclude that they lead to "reductions in conflicts between bikes and turning drivers" and less crosswalk encroachment by both drivers and cyclists. Cities installing bike boxes will still have to submit a request for "interim approval" to the Federal Highway Administration until a final rule is adopted, but now bike boxes will be perceived as less risky by transportation engineers. http://bit.ly/2dmV3kv
SELF-DRIVING MERCEDES TO PRIORITIZE OCCUPANTS OVER PEDS
-> Car and Driver reports the technology is new, but the moral conundrum isn’t: A self-driving car identifies a group of children running into the road. There is no time to stop. To swerve around them would drive the car into a speeding truck on one side or over a cliff on the other, bringing certain death to anybody inside. Mercedes-Benz intends to program its Level 4 and 5 system self-driving cars to save the people inside the car. They say their engineering can prevent most situations from happening, but if they do "you save the ones you know you can save." http://bit.ly/2dmmjiP
SURVEY: SHOULD AUTONOMOUS CARS PRIORITIZE OCCUPANTS OR PEDS
-> A study released by Science magazine found the majority of the 1,928 people surveyed thought it would be ethically better for autonomous cars to sacrifice their occupants rather than crash into pedestrians. Yet the majority also said they wouldn’t buy autonomous cars if the car prioritized pedestrian safety over their own. (Our Driverless Dilemma: http://bit.ly/2dmlBCn. See extended description at http://bit.ly/2dmsWBG)
JAPAN: 92% OF DRIVERS DON’T STOP FOR PEDS IN CROSSWALK
-> Asian Correspondent reports the Japan Automobile Federation observed 10,026 vehicles at 94 pedestrian walkways without traffic lights throughout Japan. They found only 757 stopped at the crossing for pedestrians, which represents a mere 7.6 percent. Japanese law states that when a vehicle approaches a crossing and the driver does not know if a pedestrian is crossing or is about to cross, the driver still has to proceed "at a speed allowing you to stop immediately before the crossing if necessary" (http://bit.ly/2e0leuV). If a pedestrian is about to cross, the driver must "make a temporary stop immediately before the pedestrian crossing". http://bit.ly/2e0ndiQ
LIDZBARK WARMINSKI, POLAND: SOLAR GLOW IN THE DARK PATH
-> Last month the Polish town of Lidzbark Warminski opened an inventive bike path to improve bicyclist and pedestrian safety at night. The path gives off a hypnotizing blue glow in the dark, thanks to a special kind of asphalt. The asphalt is composed of synthetic particles called "luminophores," designed by the European engineering company TPA sp. z o.o. The luminophores absorb sunlight during the day, then transform the trail into the electric blue hue for up to 10 hours at night. While the glow-in-the-dark path is only 328 feet long for now, the town hopes to expand the path after testing it through the winter months. http://bit.ly/2e0FRY9
[See Regional section for College Station, TX chartreuse glow-in-the dark bike facility.]
ENGLAND: AIRBNB-STYLE BIKE-RENTING APP
-> Next City reports the Cycle.land app (http://bit.ly/2dmpqra), launched in Oxford, England last spring, is now expanding to London, Bristol, Brighton, Edinburgh and Cambridge. The platform allows people to borrow bikes from local individuals and vendors, who set their own prices and date ranges. There are cargo bikes for rent, folding bikes, cruisers, road bikes, bikes for kids, bikes with trailers and even a unicycle. Listings range from £0.50 ($0.61) per day up to at least £15 ($18.41)—several bikes are available for £1 or £2 per day ($1.23 - $2.46). In addition to the variety of prices and styles, there’s also less time pressure than with bike share programs, which require users to return bikes to a docking station every 30 minutes to avoid incurring extra charges. http://bit.ly/2dmrzDl
US DOT: 2016 RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM ANNUAL REPORT
-> US DOT released its 2016 Recreational Trails Program Annual Report on the use and benefits of Federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds across the United States. The RTP Database (http://bit.ly/TO0nP3) provides an online record of RTP project data for over 21,350 projects. Users can search the database by state, county, Congressional District, trail name, project name, permissible use category, and year awarded, and print reports from the search results. http://bit.ly/2dmZ2xn
FY 2017 RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM APPORTIONMENTS BY STATE
-> Check out the chart of Recreational Trails Program apportionments for fiscal year 2017 by state (except Connecticut which opted out of the RTP): http://bit.ly/2dmYUhf.
EUROPEAN CYCLE TOURIST INITIATIVES TARGET SENIORS & GREENWAYS
-> Participants from 23 countries attended a conference focused on two European projects: Silver Cyclists and Greenways Outdoor. The Silver Cyclists project seeks to increase the number of senior citizens taking cycle tourism holidays in Europe. Conference participants signed the Charter of Silver Cyclists (http://bit.ly/2dn5Ta8)– a call to European cycle tourism businesses; local, regional, national and European public bodies; and non-governmental organizations and the people of Europe to take advantage of the opportunities that Silver Cyclists provide, treat them equally with other cycle tourists and develop high-quality tourism products for a variety of budgets to cater for them.
The Greenways Outdoor project focuses on the creation and transnational promotion of outdoor tourism products linked to European greenways. The conference also featured the Adventure Cycling Route Network in the US, cycle tourism products developed in Ireland, and the impact of cycle tourism in France. Check out presentations from the conference (http://bit.ly/2d5lVl1).
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