NCBW Newsroom - The National & International Scene
-> According to recent People for Bikes announcement, "This month, PeopleForBikes celebrates an important milestone: reaching one million individual supporters. It's a meaningful number that will help boost bicycling in a variety of ways, but it's just a start. We're still early on the journey of making bicycling safer and more appealing for everyone...
"When we launched the PeopleForBikes campaign in 2010, we recognized that tens of millions of Americans ride bikes and value the many benefits that bicycling brings to their communities and our nation. We also recognized that only a tiny percentage of them had ever expressed support for bicycling to the public officials who make crucial decisions that affect riding. We are now closing this gap.
"In the coming months, PeopleForBikes will increasingly mobilize our supporters to weigh in on local, state and federal issues and opportunities that shape the bicycling experience. We'll continue to make these calls-to-action clear and efficient. In cooperation with our many partners, we will succeed in getting elected officials to act because we've not only gathered compelling talking points but also an impressive number of supporters. We're gaining real clout..."
-> According to a Sept. 24th Winter Cycling Blog post, "[A]t Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place Pittsburgh, attendees got an overview of the challenges associated with winter maintenance practices, good examples from snowy U.S. cities and an introduction to best practices established in the FHWA Guide for Maintaining Pedestrian Facilities for Enhanced Safety. In this post, we are sharing highlights from the breakout session, which was titled 'Stepping Stones to Year-Round Bicycling & Walking: Tackling Winter Maintenance.'
"First it is important to understand the FHWA 'Guide to Maintaining Pedestrian Facilities' is significant in the realm of winter active transportation because it is one of the first national guides focusing exclusively on maintenance from the perspective of safety. The guide defines safety as the reduction of crashes between pedestrians and motorists and reduction of trips, slips and falls. The purpose of the guide is to "identify effective and exceptional practices, along with barriers for pedestrian and facility maintenance." Ciara Schlichting, AICP, Director/Senior Planner at Toole Design Group, presented an overview of challenges and best practices from the guide..."
[Bonus: See other Winter Cycling Blog winter maintenance posts at http://bit.ly/138KEyW. See more about winter walking and bicycling in the Regional and Resources sections below.]
-> According to a Dec. 11th Project for Public spaces blog, "Davie Village, a lively and diverse neighborhood in Vancouver's West End, has a rich cultural history as the LGBTQ capital of the city. After area residents made clear to the City their desire for more public spaces in which to gather, meet friends, and hold events, VIVA Vancouver-a City of Vancouver program dedicated to transforming Vancouver's streets into vibrant pedestrian spaces-initiated a pilot project that would breathe new life into this treasured historical and cultural neighborhood.
"By closing down a city block from July 2013 to September 2014, VIVA, in partnership with their colleagues from the West End Community Planning Team, successfully transformed the area into a playful and functional pedestrian space called the Heart of Davie Village Plaza (also known as Bute Street Plaza)... Relying on a 'Lighter Quicker Cheaper' approach to creating this space, VIVA sourced some relatively low cost items like paint and street furniture and worked closely with local volunteers to help make the transformation a community affair...
"The Heart of Davie Village Plaza project is an important example of how community members, the City, and local businesses can work together in creating streets that benefit people. While the pilot project ended in September of this year, the VIVA Vancouver team is reviewing feedback from more than 500 residents, local businesses, visitors, and stakeholders about the impact of the project and the feasibility of long-term change..."
-> According to a November Latest News from the Transport Research & Innovation Portal article, "On 7 November 2014, the European Commission officially launched the enhanced ELTIS website (http://bit.ly/13amjYZ), Europe's main observatory on urban mobility... The ELTIS web portal supports local and regional authorities to tackle urban mobility challenges, bringing together all the experiences and resources of EU-funded projects related to the development and implementation of urban mobility plans.
"ELTIS integrates all relevant information, publications and tools. It presents detailed case studies on urban mobility initiatives across Europe and provides a platform for users to exchange ideas and collaborate. It also includes an up-to-date overview of EU legislation and support programmes relevant to urban mobility. The Platform also supports the further development of SUMPs - Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (http://bit.ly/1wDYMM0) and the tools required for their successful application by local planning authorities. It provides in-depth information on how to develop and implement such plans, with relevant guidelines, resources and a database of cities already involved."
-> According to a Dec. 12th Community Architect blog, "There is hardly a city left in America that doesn't have a Complete Streets policy, and Baltimore is no exception. Unfortunately, while talk is universal, action is much harder to find... I sat down and made a list of items that should be done in a city that is truly pedestrian friendly. Many of these items could be implemented, well, like tomorrow or the day after, because they are neither expensive, nor rocket science.
1. No right on red anywhere in the central city or where pedestrian traffic is heavy...
-> According to a recently published Austroads report, "This report contains 15 case studies showcasing low cost interventions that have successfully encouraged cycling in Australia and New Zealand. The National Cycling Strategy aims to double the number of Australians who ride a bicycle. Engineers and behaviour change specialists are implementing a range of innovative low-cost infrastructure treatments and encouragement strategies which aim to encourage more people to use active transport modes. The case studies were compiled with the intention of forming part of new resource on the Australian Bicycle Council website. The case studies project directly relates to priority six (guidance and best practice) of the National Cycling Strategy 2011-16 and aims to illustrate what is possible and provide inspiration to planners and practitioners."
-> According to an Oct. 23rd ICLEI release, "A unique event will take place in Johannesburg from 1-31 October 2015, during South Africa's Transport Month. The City will be organizing the world's second-ever 'EcoMobility World Festival 2015' (http://bit.ly/1uURQ91) - a month-long car-free city district event. The project will visualize an ecomobile future for residents and visitors in Johannesburg.
"'We want to close off certain streets in Sandton, our second largest Central Business District (CBD) to car traffic and instead use these lanes for public transport, walking, cycling and other forms of EcoMobility during the entire Transport Month in October next year (2015)', announced the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Parks Tau...
"The EcoMobility World Festival will mobilize and raise local and international support for ecomobile alternatives to fossil-fuel transport. The EcoMobility World Festival will showcase the new Rea Vaya bus rapid transport scheme and public transport, cycling and walking friendly infrastructure that the city is constructing in the Sandton CBD..."
-> According to a Nov. 24th Project for Public Spaces article, "Communities of any size can create celebrated public spaces. I know it's true because I've seen it first hand - this month I had the pleasure of participating in the recent Smart Growth Tour put on by the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute. During this tour, I got to explore some of Colorado's Front Range communities that have made major investments to become more walkable and livable...
"After this tour, however, I've come away believing that any community, no matter the size, can make positive changes to become more comfortable, walkable places....Walkability isn't a rural versus urban issue - wherever vehicle speeds are high, wherever we don't see other people walking, wherever the buildings all look the same - there is a starkness that detracts from the community. This can happen anywhere. And no matter how small your community, you can afford to address the problem. In fact, you can't afford not to..."
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