NCBW Newsroom - The National & International Scene
-> According to a Nov. 20th BikePortland.org article, “Here's a secret you won't hear often: The United States has many cities where biking is far more popular than in Portland... They're called college towns. And it's time for urban planners to stop ignoring how well they work and start learning from them...
“Here's why colleges are terrific at encouraging biking, and what Portland and other cities should be learning from them:
-> According to a Dec. 2nd The Atlantic Cities article, “...New York, of course, is not the only city built on a grid. Similar schemes could be found as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. But Manhattan's design was the exemplar for what became the default pattern of American cities. Still, not all grids are created equal. Some shape a walking-friendly streetscape. Others, not so much. Over at the Strong Towns blog, Andrew Price, a software developer by day who blogs about urbanism, has been writing about the math of the grid and what it reveals about a city's economic productivity and walkability.
“Price has created a "street area calculator," that allows you to plug in a street width and block size. Using this tool, you can come up with some basic figures to compare different grids and how they apportion a city's land...”
-> According to a Dec. 2nd article, “Walking advocacy carries its own set of needs around communications and marketing. What works for messaging bike-friendliness may not work for messaging walkability. From touting vibrant main streets to elevating the health benefits of regular exercise, a unique set of messages can be best for effective walking advocacy.
“On a recent Alliance Mutual Aid Call, leading walking advocates discussed their hardest-learned lessons about effective messages to communicate the urgent need to boost walkability. Check out the below notes for an overview of all we discussed...”
-> According to a Dec. 2nd Strong Towns article, “First, let me thank all of those people who participated in our #BlackFridayParking event. (We have all heard how our massive parking lots are sized for ‘the day after Thanksgiving.' We want to show just how ridiculous that is. We invited Strong Towns advocates from all over the country to take pictures of parking lots last Friday and then post them to Twitter.) Absolutely amazing. We tracked pictures of unused parking lots from all over the country and shared them worldwide. The response was incredible. This needs to be an annual event until these ridiculous parking policies are rescinded...
“So why did we do this event? Michael Roden succinctly stated one of the main reasons. ‘Let's hope #BlackFridayParking convinces policy makers to start filling in overbuilt parking lots with useful, income generating development.'
“We literally can't afford all of this unproductive space. When you look at the Big K and Jimmy's Pizza we featured in last week's post (http://bit.ly/IGAWcT), the major difference in the financial productivity of the properties is the amount of land devoted to parking. Storing cars is very expensive. The only thing more expensive is building parking spaces to store cars and then have them never be used. What a waste! Can you imagine Wal-Mart building an entire row of their store and then leaving the shelves empty?...”
-> According to a Nov. 26th Washington Post article, “One in 10 Americans move every year, and the Census Bureau thinks it can make it a little easier for them to decide where to land. On Tuesday it debuted Dwellr (http://1.usa.gov/1bfu4gd), a mobile app that sifts through census data to come up with a list of 25 places that could be a user's dream location. It starts by asking 11 questions. By the sea or near the mountains? Big city or small town? Prefer to walk around or drive? Neighbors who are retirement age or millennials with college educations? And what kind of climate is ideal?
“Ultimately, it comes up with 25 places that most closely fit the user's preferences, based on data that the census has collected through the annual American Community Survey. With each city come statistics on its demographics, socioeconomic conditions and housing stock...”
-> According to a Nov. 27th European Cyclists' Federation article, “Last year in Italy the number of stolen bikes reached 320,000 and the fear of having their bike pinched ranks second among the causes preventing Italians from choosing cycling as a means of commuting, coming just after that of getting run over by motorized vehicles. These are some of the findings of a survey conducted in 2013 by FIAB, Italy's ECF-affiliated cycling lobby group, the results of which have been presented last week.
“Following the surge in the popularity of bicycle commuting in Italy..., FIAB organized a conference on bike theft for the 65th anniversary of the film Bicycle Thieves (Italian: Ladri di Biciclette), one of the masterpieces of Italian neorealist cinema.
“Among the data (mostly national) presented, it is interesting to note that the number of bicycles stolen accounts for 8% of the 4m bicycles currently circulating in the country. Raising awareness on the issue was one of the objectives of FIAB – an objective that has certainly been accomplished. The aim is to have municipalities adopt plans to deter bike theft.
“Some solutions FIAB came up with in the conference included:
-> According to the Dec. 2nd American Bicyclist Update emailed e-newsletter, “The League of American Bicyclists' Annual Survey helps us understand the needs and priorities of America's bicyclists, and whether we are effectively meeting those needs. This survey is open to both members and non-members, whether you are familiar with the League and its programs, or not.
“As an incentive for you to fill out our survey, one person will be chosen at random to receive $150...”
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