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CENSUS: 2016 BIKE COMMUTER NUMBERS DOWN
-> The League of American Bicyclists reports Census estimates released last week from the American Community Survey show the total number of US bike commuters fell slightly in 2016 for the second year in a row. (Where We Ride: http://bit.ly/2ymvR4b) The percentage of commuters who take a bike most of the way to work remained the same in several major cities several cities and fell in several others. However, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, Detroit and Cleveland posted all-time highs. http://bit.ly/2ymi0Ly

GOOGLE CROWDSOURCING NEIGHBORHOOD BUSINESSES ACCESSIBILITY
-> CityLab reports Google is making its Maps feature more useful for people with mobility challenges. Google Maps already indicates if a location is wheelchair accessible. Its latest campaign will crowdsource data from its 30 million Local Guides worldwide, who contribute tips and photos about neighborhood establishments in exchange for points and small prizes. The company is calling on them to answer 5 simple questions when they submit a review for a location. But as simple as the questions seem—Is there wheelchair-accessible seating? or Is there a wheelchair-accessible elevator?—answering them requires careful attention to detail. Google has sent out a tip sheet to help its physically-abled members answer those questions. (How to Answer Wheelchair Accessibility Questions: http://bit.ly/2wurlDM) For instance, having an elevator only makes a building accessible if the series of facilities leading to and from it are also accessible. http://bit.ly/2ww21gz

[Editor- Use the handy Google tip sheet to assess accessibility of any building.]

PARIS FRANCE: MOTORIST BACKLASH IN RESPONSE TO ANTI-CAR POLICIES
-> The debate around cars in Paris, France has become heated as a motorists’ campaign published Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s direct phone number. The backlash is in response to Paris having adopted some of the most systematically anti-car policies of any major world city, with a pro-bike, pro-pedestrian ethos. Older cars have been banned from the roads during weekdays, part of an ongoing plan to remove more polluting vehicles from the city. The lower quays of the Seine, until recently one of the busiest east-west routes across the city, have been pedestrianized, while the Rue de Rivoli, the next major east-west axis to the river’s north, is due to have its car lanes reduced as well. Car space is being slashed in many major squares, while car-free days have been introduced annually as a form of publicity campaign for a future without automobiles. The overall declared goal: to reach a point where the city is essentially car-free—a potentially reachable goal in a country, which plans to ban gas-fueled cars by 2040. http://bit.ly/2f165Oq

PARIS, FRANCE: CAR-FREE DAY TO PROHIBIT MOTORISTS ON ALL ROADS
-> Huffington Post France reports Paris, France’s annual car-free day (Journée sans Voiture) will be Sunday, October 1, 2017. The entire road network of the capital will be prohibited to motor vehicles from 11 am to 6 pm. Last year, the event involved only 45% of the capital’s streets. The idea is to show that the city can be lived in a different way, without a car. http://bit.ly/2yoIjAP

MONTREAL, CANADA ANNOUNCES CAN$150M IN CYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE
-> CBC News reports Montreal, Canada has announced an investment of CAN$150 million (US$122.11 million) over 5 years to develop the city's cycling infrastructure. The goals of the investment include: more connectivity for downtown cyclists; more bike parking; and the promotion of cycling as a safe, effective and comfortable way to get around. The plan is part of the city's Vision Zero approach to safety. http://bit.ly/2ww84l8

BRITISH CITIES REDUCE TRUCK TRAFFIC VIA POOLED DELIVERIES
-> Core77 reports on how British cities are reducing truck traffic even as deliveries increase. Since the British do more shopping on the internet than almost anyone else in the world, the increased demand to deliver packages was clogging urban streets with delivery trucks, adding both congestion and pollution. British cities have begun requiring pooled delivery: competing companies to stop their trucks outside of the city limits, then consolidating all of those packages onto a lesser amount of trucks which are then allowed into the city, traffic is reduced. Regent Street in the West End of London has cut delivery traffic by almost 80% since firms there started combining deliveries in 2008. The last-mile delivery vehicles thus operate over a very limited range. This is ideal for electric vehicles that can thus remain close to their recharging home base. http://bit.ly/2jhlafT

MOBILE APP TRACKS DANGEROUS DRIVERS NEAR SCHOOLS
-> A StreetsBlog USA article asks just how bad are the drivers that zoom past your children’s school while they’re walking to class? A new map from the driving behavior analytics company Zendrive can give you a better read. The Zendrive mobile app tracks driver behaviors like speeding, hard stops, and usage of mobile devices. Overall, Zendrive found that students at urban schools tend to be more exposed to dangerous driving behaviors. http://bit.ly/2wvOHJ5

US PAYS $7.3B/YR FOR AFFLUENT PEOPLE TO DRIVE TO WORK
-> StreetsBlog USA reports the US government spends $7.3 billion a year paying affluent people to drive to work. The culprit is the commuter tax benefit, an annual subsidy that mainly offsets parking costs for people who drive to work. The people who benefit the most are high earners who drive into the US’s biggest, most congested cities and can write off the maximum $255 per month in tax-free income. The tax break for car commuters is not only regressive, it also generates traffic at exactly the worst time — rush hour — and in exactly the worst places — the central areas of major cities, according to a new study from TransitCenter and the Frontier Group. (Who Pays For Parking? How Federal Tax Subsidies Jam More Cars into Congested Cities, and How Cities Can Reclaim Their Streets: http://bit.ly/2wvx5gg) http://bit.ly/2wv7Yu9

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