NCBW Newsroom - The National & International Scene
-> According to a Nov.18th League of American Bicyclists release, "Today the League of American Bicyclists announced 55 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC). With this new round, 69 million people live in a Bicycle Friendly Community as the program extends to all 50 states. These new awardees join a leading group of more than 325 communities in all 50 states that are improving health, safety and quality of life in cities and towns nationwide... See the list of all Bicycle Friendly Communities: http://bit.ly/11i4dDZ...
"The BFC program provides a roadmap to building a Bicycle Friendly Community and the application itself has become a rigorous and an educational tool in itself. Since its inception, more than 800 distinct communities have applied and the five levels of the award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze — provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve."
[Note: The next Bicycle Friendly Community application deadline is February 11, 2015. See http://bit.ly/1uGVzL1 for details.]
-> According to an article in the October issue of TrafinNZ (New Zealand Traffic Institute) Newsletter, "In August during the run up to the election, the Prime Minister John Key announced NZ$100 million (US$78.5 million) in new funding will be made available over the next four years to accelerate cycleways in urban centres. Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee said that National recognises that commuting by bike has health benefits and takes pressure off other transport networks, but cycleways in our largest centres are fragmented and offer varied levels of service. "This funding builds on significant investments the government is already making..."
-> According to a Nov. 14th People for Bikes article, "Protected bike lanes are good at making it safer to bike. But they are great at making it safer to walk. As dozens of thought leaders on street safety gather in New York City this morning for the Vision Zero for Cities Symposium, some of them will be discussing this little-known fact: on New York streets that received protected bike lanes from 2007 to 2011, total traffic injury rates – most of which, in New York, injure people walking – fell by 12 to 52 percent...
"Why would bike infrastructure be so good for people walking? It comes down mostly to four factors.
-> According to a Nov.18th City Clock Magazine article, "If urban car ownership levels in the U.S. were the same as Paris, American consumers would have over $450 billion to spend annually on other things. That’s enough to pay for a state of the art city-wide light-rail transit network in 100 cities. All in just one year. In the U.S., car ownership levels are at 809 vehicles per 1,000 people but generally range between 650 and 750 in urban areas. In Paris, it’s 450, Copenhagen – 225, and Hong Kong – 73. Of all the G20 countries, the U.S. is way out in front when it comes to car ownership... Going car free can add $7,000 a year to your discretionary spending...
"Of the more than $9,000 spent annually per person on car ownership, $7,095 leaves the local economy according to AAA... So where does all of that car money go if it’s not leaving the city? One study found that pedestrians and cyclists spend more than drivers through more frequent (but smaller) purchases (Examining Consumer Behavior and Travel Choices: http://bit.ly/1tbQPb0)..."
-> According to a Nov.17th Urbanful article, "Bike lanes are meant to create a safe division between vehicular traffic and cycling traffic. But in many U.S. cities bike lanes may as well be a sign of socio-economic divisions: in some communities, they’re seen simply as a pathway for gentrification. Though cycling advocates are quick to point to the benefits of alternative transit for low-income populations, cities are slow to engage communities about biking (and for that matter, often don’t work to break down some of the cultural and economic barriers that stand in the way). What should municipalities be addressing? Here’s a look..."
-> According to a Nov. 8th BBC News article, "Childhood obesity has become a global epidemic, but it is not easy to treat. Now a scheme proven to help children shed pounds by asking them and their families to make numerous lifestyle changes has been adopted across Denmark.
"A Danish pediatrician claims his pilot project has made a significant breakthrough in the battle against childhood obesity. The scheme, in the town of Holbaek, has treated 1,900 patients and helped 70% of them to maintain normal weight by adjusting about 20 elements of their lifestyles. The way it tackles all aspects of the children's lives - and those of their families - sets it apart from traditional 'small steps' approaches to losing weight...
"At the beginning of the programme, children are admitted to hospital for 24 hours for extensive testing, including body scans to measure their body fat. They also answer a detailed questionnaire about their eating habits and behaviour patterns... The programme requires wholesale changes in lifestyle to defeat the body's natural resistance to losing fat, and each child has a personalised treatment plan which targets 15-20 daily habits [including bicycling or walking to school]..."
-> In a Nov. 13th email message, Jim Sayer, Adventure Cycling Association Executive Director wrote, "Last week, the Bicycle Tour Network held its annual conference in San Diego... there were 26 states who sent people from their tourism bureaus. This is fantastic because, as many of you know, these agencies have a lot of spare coin to promote types of tourism -- and wouldn't it be nice if bike travel were prominently featured?
"Here are a couple of articles that ran in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, and one of the takeaways was that the bike industry needs to figure out how to do a better job recognizing, supporting, and capitalizing on bike tourism.
"Also, Adventure Cycling put out a news release on '10 Indicators' that bike tourism is booming and changing -- lots of links to great studies and stories about the positive impacts of bike travel (10 Indicators that Bicycle Travel and Tourism are Booming — and Changing: http://bit.ly/1F3kX0E). I encourage you to check it out and share it with economic development officials..."
-> Last week I received an email from a doctoral student at SUNY Downstate School of Public Health in Brooklyn. For his dissertation he is conducting research on the connection between specific bicycling practices and traffic crash risk. He needs some cyclists to fill out his survey. It only takes 10 minutes.
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