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NACTO-VOLPE CENTER: OPTIMIZING LARGE VEHICLES FOR URBAN ENVIRONMENTS REPORTS
-> The National Association of City Transportation Officials and the US DOT's Volpe Center released a pair of in-depth reports that detail the effects of vehicle design on street safety, and the opportunities that public agencies--as significant purchasers of large vehicles--have to reduce traffic fatalities with improved vehicle design. (Optimizing Large Vehicles for Urban Environments: Downsizing: http://bit.ly/2C7sPox; and Optimizing Large Vehicles for Urban Environments: Advanced Driver Assistance Systems: http://bit.ly/2C5A0Ob)

Large vehicles--including fire trucks, waste management vehicles, and freight trucks--make up only 4% of the US vehicle fleet, but account for 7% of all pedestrian, 11% of all bicyclist, and 12% of all car and light-truck fatalities. As overall traffic fatalities slightly declined, fatalities involving large trucks increased 9%. http://bit.ly/2C5N3ih

[See Quotes R Us for more details.]

EUROPEAN CLIMATE STRATEGY FAILS TO COMMIT TO CYCLING MODAL SHIFT
-> The European Cyclists' Federation (ECF) reports "Achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through a socially-fair transition in a cost-efficient manner" -- is the key sentence in the European Long-Term Climate Strategy that the European Commission published last month. ECF strongly welcomes this goal, as commitments are in keeping with the environmental motivations that a large proportion of the 250 million European cyclists they represent hold. Quadrupling the modal share of cycling in the EU could reduce C02(e) emissions by 555 million tons by 2050, roughly equivalent to the C02 (e) emissions of the whole of the UK and Ireland combined for 2015. ECF regrets the Commission yet again failed to explicitly commit to modal shift in passenger transport. http://bit.ly/2C858wo

BUCHEON, KOREA PED-CENTRIC TRANSPORTATION POLICY RESULTS
-> Institute for Transportation & Development Policy reports the City of Bucheon, Korea (pop. almost 900,000) followed the car-centric trajectory of many of the world's cities in the 1970s, resulting in major traffic congestion. Over the past decade, Bucheon has fundamentally changed its transport model. In 2010, the city government implemented a groundbreaking "pedestrian-centric transportation policy." It prioritizes pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users through these goals: (1) improve walkability; (2) create green networks and urban forest; (3) expand cycling paths; and (4) increase the use of public transportation. As a result of this policy, passenger cars decreased by 3.2%, while the number of pedestrians and cyclists increased by 5% and 15%, respectively. Traffic volume decreased by about 90%, improving safety and preventing over 600 crashes in 2017, and the average air quality improved by 13%. http://bit.ly/2C8GHPl

MADRID, SPAIN BANS ALL BUT ZERO EMISSIONS VEHICLES DOWNTOWN
-> The Guardian reports Madrid, Spain has banned polluting vehicles from its city center--only vehicles producing zero emissions will be allowed to drive freely downtown. The plan, known as Madrid Central (http://bit.ly/2C7Sg9q in Spanish), establishes a low-emissions zone that covers 472 hectares (1,166 acres). All petrol vehicles registered before 2000 and diesel ones registered before 2006 are banned from the area, unless they are used by residents of the area or meet other exemptions. The goal is to cut nitrogen dioxide levels by 23% in 2020 and put people -- rather than the internal combustion engine -- at the heart of transport policy. http://bit.ly/2C6OSvr

CYCLISTS SPEND 40% MORE IN LONDON, ENGLAND SHOPS THAN MOTORISTS
-> Forbes reports new research from Transport for London (TfL), England claims that people walking, cycling and using public transport spend 40% more in neighborhood shops each month than motorists. (Street Appeal: The Value of Street Improvements Summary Report: http://bit.ly/2LdCb4S) The research was conducted in areas of London, which have benefitted from Dutch-style streetscape improvements, such as the addition of cycleways. In those areas improved -- such as Bromley -- the number of people walking in the streets increased by 93%. People also spent more time in the street, with a 216% increase in activity such as going into shops and cafes. Thanks to the increased -- and improved -- footfall, retail rental values increased by 7.5% and there was a 17% decline in retail vacancies. http://bit.ly/2LbQLdj

DOCKLESS MOBILITY MORE ACCESSIBLE TO PEOPLE OF COLOR
-> FHWA's Human Environment Digest highlights a report from Populus that found dockless bike and scooter share programs may expand access to transportation options and improve mobility in underserved communities. (Measuring Equitable Access to New Mobility: A Case Study of Shared Bikes and Electric Scooters: http://bit.ly/2LbRb3h) The report focuses on the deployment of dockless bicycle and scooter share programs in Washington, DC, and finds that use of dockless programs may be more equally distributed along racial lines than use of traditional, docked bike share programs.

BIRD SUGGESTS HOW CITIES SHOULD RESPOND TO E-SCOOTERS
-> Governing asked David Estrada, a top policy expert from Bird, the company that started the scooter craze, how cities can better respond to the sudden scooter influx and how they should regulate scooters. He suggested a city should start from the perspective of, 'Let's use these to replace cars,' as that's where cities and Bird align. He also suggested addressing the safety problems that are real, like if the scooters are not parked well enough, or people are riding on sidewalks. Those cities that focus on solving those problems with the right kinds of regulations are the ones they align with. The biggest safety issue usually is that people don't feel safe enough riding a scooter in the streets, and the bike lanes don't feel like they're protected well enough or marked well enough. http://bit.ly/2LgLdOQ

E-SCOOTERS THROWN INTO LAKES, RIVERS AND OCEAN
-> Slate reports in October alone, cleanup crews fished more than 60 electric scooters out of Oakland, CA's Lake Merritt. In Portland, OR, the 17 scooters that ended up in the Willamette River since August prompted a website to count them: http://bit.ly/2C6kGAV. In Los Angeles, CA maintenance workers have reported seeing scooters tossed into the Pacific Ocean. One reason so many of these vehicles are ending up in lakes and rivers might be that some people just find them enraging, or at least annoying enough to hurl into the nearest body of water. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power electric scooters, commonly contain nickel that can leach out into the environment. In high concentrations, nickel is a dangerous pollutant for aquatic life. http://bit.ly/2C47Lzk

PSYCHOLOGICAL BARRIERS TO USING PUBLIC & ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION
-> Mobility Lab reports there's a gap between people understanding that they need to change part of their lifestyle and actually getting them to do it. When it comes to transportation, our behaviors negatively impact everybody's mobility. On top of creating options, transportation planners and advocates must understand the psychology of the choices we make. Considering the psychological hurdles humans face in adapting their behaviors, it's necessary to make sustainable transportation the best option in the most obvious way, and make choosing the best option the easiest choice, just as the perceived convenience of driving oneself door to door appears that way now. http://bit.ly/2LalBTw

COMMUNITIES PRIORITIZE TRANSIT-WALKABILITY COLLABORATION
-> America Walks released the Transit-Walkability Collaborative case study series. (Four Communities That Prioritize Transit-Walkability Collaboration: http://bit.ly/2LbWUpL) It gives an intimate look inside the interactive work being done by both public transit and active transportation organizations to improve safety, walkability, and access to transit in 4 different communities. These communities strengthen local economic development, create opportunities for vulnerable and underserved residents, and enhance community resilience.

FRIEDBERG, GERMANY INSTALLS ELVIS PRESLEY TRAFFIC LIGHTS
-> CNN reports traffic lights featuring Elvis Presley's likeness have been installed in the German town of Friedberg where Presley was stationed in while serving in the US Army. A red image of Presley standing at a microphone tells residents and tourists to keep their blue suede shoes parked firmly on the sidewalk, while a green silhouette of the singer showing off his signature gyrating moves lets people know that it's time to rock walk 'n' roll. https://cnn.it/2La81zw

THE ONION: LANES FOR CYCLISTS TO RECOVER FROM BEING HIT
-> A satirical article in The Onion states that in an effort to improve riding conditions for the city's long-neglected bikers, Los Angeles, CA officials announced a $10 million plan to add lanes for cyclists to recover from getting hit by drivers. The initiative would provide cyclists with 4 feet of space on all major Downtown streets to look in horror at compound fractures, check for concussions, or simply lie motionless on the cold ground and bleed out. http://bit.ly/2C6lupr

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