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MOST PEOPLE USE PHONES WHILE DRIVING
-> Wired reports a new study indicates that nearly everybody uses their phone while behind the wheel, nearly all the time. Using sensor data from more than 3 million drivers and 5.6 billion miles of trips, driving analytics company Zendrive found drivers are using their phones on 88 percent of their journeys. (Largest Distracted Driving Behavior Study: http://bit.ly/2pz3bU1) The average driver spends 3.5 minutes on the phone per one hour trip, a stat that sounds worse when you realize just a two-second distraction increases your risk of crashing by 20 percent. The Zendrive study does indicate that anti-distracted driving laws are working, to a degree. Of the six states with the lowest levels of distracted driving, four ban hand-held phone use while driving. Only one of the six states where distraction is most deadly (Vermont) has a similar law. http://bit.ly/2pzaWcM

NACTO: ROGUE BIKE SHARE PROVIDERS RAISE CONCERNS FOR CITIES
-> NACTO reports in recent weeks, "rogue" bike share companies have launched, uninvited, in U.S. cities with flimsy equipment and limited or no public notification, posing significant safety risks to the public, and fully divorced from larger transportation planning and municipal needs. Photos from cities in China, where rogue systems are already in place, show junk heaps of broken bikes. People who have used the bikes in the U.S. report that they are of poor quality and often unsafe.

Bike share systems have a strong role to play in a city’s transportation network. But, by starting up without invitation or coordination, these companies have shown that they are not serious about providing bikes as a real mobility option for people. Instead, their actions suggest that they are more interested in media attention and a quick buyout. Such fly-by-night operations put the public at risk. http://bit.ly/2pAKAHw

PHONE DATA HELPS W/ ROAD DESIGN, TRACKING OUTCOMES
-> Government Technology reports traditionally, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency would rely on collision data and count the amount of vehicles that would pass through intersections to judge how traffic and safety has improved. Through Zendrive software, which works in the background and measures rapid acceleration, hard braking, phone usage and excessive speeding, the company can measure the behavior of specific drivers and understand where problem areas are. The "combination of the gyroscope, GPS and accelerometer in all our phones turns these phones into really powerful sensors." The company analyzed more than 1 million miles of driver data on the Mission Street corridor before, during and after the construction and found a 16% average reduction in risky events per 1,000 trips. http://bit.ly/2oMtK5r

BLAMING TRAFFIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS FOR "DRUNK WALKING"
-> StreetsBlog reports the alarming increase in pedestrian deaths should be a wake up call for transportation officials — the status quo approach to traffic safety is failing the most vulnerable people on our streets. Instead we’re getting warmed over versions of the same old victim-blaming messages. This week, the Governors Highway Safety Association issued a press release (http://bit.ly/2oMMykW) telling state DOTs that instead of telling people not to drink and drive, they should tell everyone, including pedestrians and cyclists, not to drink and go anywhere. Being drunk, just like being a sober pedestrian or cyclist, is only a hazard when you’re on streets with motor vehicle traffic traveling at lethal speeds. Victim-blaming messages like this won’t make people safer. http://bit.ly/2oMP378

THE INVENTION OF JAYWALKING
-> A CityLab article presents the forgotten history of how the auto industry won the right of way for cars. Browse through New York Times accounts of pedestrians dying after being struck by automobiles prior to 1930, and you’ll see that in nearly every case, the driver is charged with something like "technical manslaughter." And it wasn’t just New York. Across the country, drivers were held criminally responsible when they killed or injured people with their vehicles. In the automobile’s earliest years, the principles of common law applied to crashes. In the case of a collision, the larger, heavier vehicle was deemed to be at fault. The responsibility for crashes always lay with the driver. The auto industry lobbied to change the law, promoting the adoption of traffic statutes to supplant common law. The statutes were designed to restrict pedestrian use of the street and give primacy to cars. The idea of "jaywalking" – a concept that had not really existed prior to 1920 – was enshrined in law. http://bit.ly/2pz6gUr

TREEPEDIA GREEN VIEW INDEX ONLINE TOOL
-> The Wall Street Journal reports on Treepedia (http://bit.ly/2oM0SdP), an online tool that analyzes millions of neighborhood photos from Google Street View to create block-by-block maps of cities around the world showing where there are trees and where streets are bare. Treepedia, launched by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Senseable City Lab in December, so far has created tree maps of 19 cities across five continents. The MIT team used Google photos instead of satellite imagery to "really measure how much greenery people might see" as they move around a city’s streets, and did not take city parks into account. http://on.wsj.com/2oM27JW

OSLO, NORWAY DOWNTOWN TO BE CARFREE BY 2019
-> CityLab reports Oslo is growing faster than just about any other city in Europe, which means cramped sidewalks, heavier traffic, and worse pollution in a region where air quality can already be deadly. To stanch emissions and smooth mobility for residents, all cars will be banned downtown by 2019. If delivered, the plan would be the first comprehensive and permanent four-wheel prohibition in any major European city. Check out the new STREETFILMS Oslo: The Journey to Car-Free video (11:25 minutes) http://bit.ly/2pAlTLb

WHY COPENHAGEN & AMSTERDAM STREETS LOOK SO DIFFERENT FROM US
-> A CityLab article explores the reasons Copenhagen and Amsterdam streets evolved to become more livable than those in the US. The energy crisis in the 1970s that hit Denmark hard prompted people to return to riding bicycles and demand safety. In The Netherlands, cycle paths were removed in the 1950s and 1960s to make more space for cars. Increasing children’s deaths on the road in the 1970s sparked mass demonstrations that with oil crisis influenced the Dutch government to re-emphasize the construction of safer streets and segregated cycle paths. Check out a brief video, How the Dutch Got Their Cycle Paths. http://bit.ly/2oMAe4p

MEXICO CITY TO DROP PARKING MINIMUMS
-> Mexico City is pursuing a sweeping overhaul of the city’s parking policy that’s expected to do away with minimum parking requirements and generate revenue for transit and affordable housing. If enacted, the reforms could set an important precedent for cities in North and South America. Currently, Mexico City’s building code tips the scales toward driving with strict parking minimums throughout the city for both housing and commercial development, even though cars only account for about 30% of all trips. By reforming the parking requirements, they aim to lower construction costs, make housing more affordable, and subsidize transit through a fee on parking that does get built. http://bit.ly/2pzHiUH

WALKABILITY IMPACT ON TRANSIT’S 1ST & LAST MILE
-> Walkability is one of the keys to high transit ridership, and yet much of the nation’s transit is located in low density, unwalkable places. As a result, the U.S. transit industry faces the need to create "first and last mile" connections to and from transit. The easier it is for people to walk to public transportation, the more likely they are to use it. However, Transit’s first and last miles generally happen outside of transit agencies’ traditional sphere of concern — operating buses or trains — and thus demand sustained coordination with other governmental actors, especially at the municipal level. http://bit.ly/2pzGm2P

DATA & AI HELP BIKESHARE EFFICIENCY
-> The European Cyclists’ Federation notes how bikeshare schemes are managed depends on how well the data is collected, stored and analyzed for operators. Often, the unstandardized and ‘dirty’ data can make it very overwhelming for operators to organize and understand critical intel related to their own Bike Share Schemes. Fortunately, we are at a stage where technology is advanced enough to not only collect, store and present data but also analyze and predict issues and challenges. Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning help to sort and organize vast amounts of information into clean and standardized data, while using real-time intelligence to predict demand and optimize performance for operators. http://bit.ly/2pzNA70

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