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SWEDEN'S GENDER-BALANCED SNOW-CLEARING POLICIES
-> CBC News reports Stockholm and other Swedish municipalities have adopted a "gender equal plowing strategy" that prioritizes sidewalks, bike paths and bus lanes ahead of streets frequented by drivers when snow falls. It's an attempt to spend more public dollars on women, who are more likely to travel by foot, bicycle or public transportation. An interview with the vice-mayor of Stockholm provides more details. When they get 2-4 centimeters of snow (3/4 -1 1/2 inches), Stockholm starts plowing on the pedestrian and cycle lanes. "We know if you sit in a car and if there's 10 centimeters of snow (about 4 inches), it's no problem driving your car," said the vice mayor, "But are you walking in 10 centimeters of snow? It's more difficult. That's why we prioritize those walking, cycling or taking public transportation." http://bit.ly/2Bf5PE3
15 MOBILITY COMPANIES SIGN SHARED MOBILITY PRINCIPLES FOR LIVABLE CITIES
-> SmartCitiesDIVE reports last week 15 of the world's leading mobility companies signed the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities. These 10 principles aim to provide a uniform vision for making cities more livable through aligned mobility priorities. These companies pledge to plan cities and mobility together; prioritize people over vehicles; support the shared and efficient use of vehicles, lanes, curbs and land; engage with stakeholders; promote equity; lead the transition toward a zero-emissions future and renewable energy; support fair user fees across all modes; aim for public benefits via open data; work toward integration and seamless connectivity; and support that autonomous vehicles in dense urban areas should be operated only in shared fleets. http://bit.ly/2sdwnTr
AUSTRALIA: 2 OUT OF 3 KIDS DRIVEN TO SCHOOL + "CAR POTATO" COMMUTERS
-> The Sydney Morning Herald reports a new survey suggests more than 2 out of 3 Australian children and teenagers are being driven to school. The figures showed more than 50% of parents believed it was important that children be able to walk to school without an adult, but fewer than one-third believed it was safe for them to do so. Some 64% of parents reported driving their school-aged children to school most days. The survey also found children whose families had a household income between AUS$55,000 and $100,000 (US$43,348-$78,815) were more likely to cycle to and from school (20%) than those living in households with lower incomes (15%) and those in more affluent families earning over $100,000 (15%). http://bit.ly/2BdnZGm
In reporting the results of its survey, the LiveLighter public health campaign noted "Australians are unhealthily car-bound ‘car potato' commuters, with almost three out of four adults usually travelling to work or study by car. Worse, parents are passing on their car dependence to their kids, with almost two in three Australian children (64%) being driven to school most days." http://bit.ly/2BebKcu
THE POPSICLE TEST OF CHILDREN'S FREEDOM & MOBILITY
-> CityLab describes children's everyday freedoms as their ability to travel safely on foot or bike and without an adult in their neighborhood—to school, to a rec center, to a park. The "popsicle test," in which a child can walk from their home to a store, buy a popsicle, and return home before it melts, is one way to measure this ability. Children's infrastructure means the network of spaces and streets that can make a city child-friendly and encourage these everyday freedoms. http://bit.ly/2FJ78Ko
AARP PERSPECTIVE ON E-BIKES
-> AARP Livable Communities reports e-bikes make cycling a more practical option for getting around by providing a boost to get up hills or give older bones and weary muscles a bit of a break. E-bikes allow older adults to continue riding more years and ride longer distances. About 1% of the 17.8 million new bicycles sold in the US in 2016 were electric. By contrast, 6 million e-bikes were sold in Europe, accounting for a quarter of all sales in leading bicycle-using nations such as the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Germany is saving billions of euros by building bicycle highways as a solution to traffic congestion for trips of 5 -15 miles where they expect 10-15% of motorists using e-bikes instead. http://bit.ly/2Bcgz5Y
[See Regional section for Providence, RI's planned e-bike share program.]
MAKING SPACE FOR E-BIKES ON THE STREETS & IN THE LAW
-> Streetsblog USA reports electric bicycles are growing in popularity. But the laws regulating e-bike use have to catch up. In many places there's ambiguity about the types of e-bikes that are allowed, and where people can ride them. In Washington state, advocates are working with state legislators to clarify the rules for e-bike operation on streets and trails. Some e-bikes are more powerful than others, and move too fast for bike lanes shared with slower cyclists. See the chart that classifies access and use by the type of assistance an e-bike provides and the maximum assist speed. http://bit.ly/2ErnbiW
LOW COST LEADING PEDESTRIAN INTERVALS SAVE LIVES
-> CityLab reports a leading pedestrian interval (LPI) is traffic intervention that can save lives, at low cost and takes little time to install. These streetlights give walkers a head start before drivers venture into an intersection—most people wind up at least halfway into the crosswalk where they're more visible to drivers before drivers are allowed to go straight or make turns. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle have all boosted the number of LPIs in busy intersections since adopting "Vision Zero." However, New York City leads with LPIs at nearly 20% of its signalized intersections, a total of 2,483 across the boroughs. The average cost to reconfigure a crosswalk for an LPI is $1,200. They don't require any trench digging, concrete pouring, or lane closures. Sometimes new push buttons and controllers are needed; often engineers simply study local traffic patterns and reprogram existing lights. One paper published by the Transportation Research Board found LPIs could reduce pedestrian-vehicle collisions by as much as 60%. http://bit.ly/2BeexlR
A QUICK-AND-DIRTY FIX FOR SIDEWALKLESS STREETS
-> Streetsblog USA reports the most basic necessity for a walkable street is a sidewalk. But a surprising number of urban streets lack dedicated paths for walking, and cities often struggle with the expense of adding concrete. Seattle, WA has found a way to get a safe walking space on the ground quickly for a fraction of the price: a "protected walking lane." It's a makeshift sidewalk built using just paint and concrete bumpers. Seattle officials report one "protected walking path" cost $26,000 to construct. The full sidewalk construction is estimated at $300,000. http://bit.ly/2En2uVv
SPEED CONTROLLERS TO CAP FRENCH SPEEDERS TO SPEED LIMIT
-> The Local reports speed controllers are among several strategies the French government announced it would implement to make roads safer for drivers and pedestrians. Beginning in 2021, the government will make it possible for speeding drivers who have had their licenses suspended after being caught going 40km/h (24.8 mph) over the speed limit to continue driving as long as they fit an automatic speed control device to their car, which would effectively cap their speeds according to the limit of each road. http://bit.ly/2Er2jbM
STATE STRATEGIES TO REDUCE TRAFFIC FATALITIES & INJURIES + PREVENTION COST SAVINGS CALCULATOR
-> The National Governors Association (NGA) released its "State Strategies to Reduce Highway and Traffic Fatalities and Injuries: A Road Map for States" (http://bit.ly/2ErjgCP) developed with assistance from the Governors Highway Safety Association. This report will help states identify and deploy proven countermeasures to reduce crashes and injuries.
This guide is complemented by the CDC's newly redesigned online calculator, which gives state decision-makers a tool to quantify the injuries prevented, lives saved, and cost savings associated with these countermeasures. MV PICCS 3.0 (Motor Vehicle Prioritizing Interventions and Cost Calculator for States: http://bit.ly/2EshcL2), pronounced MV "picks," can help state decision makers prioritize and select from a suite of 14 effective motor vehicle injury prevention interventions.
NEW ZEALAND: 15 INTERVENTIONS TO REDUCE TRAFFIC DEATHS & SERIOUS INJURIES
-> A recent article in the TRAFINZ Newsletter from New Zealand lists 15 interventions to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries. These include strategies and policies related to safe roads and roadsides, safe speeds, safe vehicles, safe use of the transportation system. http://bit.ly/2senEAm
INSTITUTIONALIZING CONNECTED ALL-AGES BIKE NETWORKS
-> PeopleForBikes reports on the big trends in bike infrastructure in 2017 by highlighting key developments that show connected all-ages biking networks have become institutionalized. These include federal policy recognizing traffic means people not cars; a new system scores bike networks; a national guide offers a formula for which bike lanes need protection; and votes opt for low-stress bike networks. http://bit.ly/2BdyeKB
BOLLARDS PROTECT OR THREATEN PED & BIKE SAFETY?
-> American Trails questions the safety and efficacy of using bollards as protection for pedestrians and cyclists. They state "trails are all about freedom of movement while bollards are a potentially fatal safety hazard. And is it a fair trade to prevent possible deaths by vehicular terrorism while guaranteeing that joggers and cyclists will be seriously injured by running into unexpected obstacles? We do need to evaluate our most used, and exposed urban trails for safety. But it's also a good time to look at how we use bollards and barriers as common management tools." http://bit.ly/2BJ66Qy
A bill in Congress, the "Stopping Threats on Pedestrians (STOP) Act" (H.R. 405: http://bit.ly/2BJ5Vom1). It would create a new USDOT grant program to fund the installation of traffic barriers, including bollards and planters to keep vehicles away from bicycle paths and pedestrian areas.
MAASTRICHT, THE NETHERLANDS NEW 3,000 BIKE UNDERGROUND PARKING
-> Bicycle Dutch reports Maastricht, The Netherlands (population 123,000) opened a bike parking garage on the first day of 2018 with room to park 3,000 bicycles. It is guarded, has a repair service and parking your bicycle is free for the first 24 hours. Two 30-meter-long (98.4 feet) travelators (one going down and one going up) give an easy access to the parking garage at 5.5 meters (18 feet) below the surface. In addition to the two-tiered racks, there is room for 80 cargo bikes, tandems, bicycles with baskets or the heavy e-bikes. The Maastricht facility has a completely separated room for 40 mopeds or scooters. Check out photos and a video tour at http://bit.ly/2BIVf9f.
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