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JANE JACOBS’ VIBRANT CITY LIFE ESSENTIALS TRUE FOR 6 ITALIAN CITIES
-> In her 1961 book, "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" (http://bit.ly/1SJzUtc), urban sociologist Jane Jacobs proposed four conditions essential to vibrant city life. Recently, researchers designed a way to test those conditions by mining databases and cell phone records in six Italian cities. (The Death and Life of Great Italian Cities: A Mobile Phone Data Perspective: http://bit.ly/1pgndy8) Their results suggest that Jacobs’s four conditions for maintaining a vital urban life also hold for Italian cities in this era:
- City districts must serve more than one function, in order to attract people at different times of the day and night.
- City blocks must be small and have dense intersections that encourage interaction between pedestrians.
- Buildings must be diverse in age and form in order to support a mixture of low- and high-rent tenants.
- Urban districts must have a sufficient density of people and buildings. http://bit.ly/1Xr87ls
HOW 10 U.S. CITIES USE PUBLIC TRANSIT
-> More than a fifth of U.S. city-dwellers use public transit on a regular basis, according to a recently released survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in late 2015. (http://pewrsr.ch/1qDP7VS) Pew looked at which U.S. adults use public transportation most frequently and where they live. The Greater New York City area tops the list. The city hosting the next largest amount of transit users is Los Angeles. Washington, D.C., Boston and Philadelphia do make the top 10 list. Even though 80 percent of Americans live in urban areas, roughly 45 percent of households still have zero transit access.
By highlighting who relies on public transit the most, Pew also reveals which commuters are likely the most impacted by the country’s aging infrastructure. A 2013 Federal Transit Administration report estimated that "more than 40% of buses and 25% of rail transit around the U.S. are in marginal or poor condition." Since immigrants and lower-income workers rely on transit in greater numbers to get to work, poor transit conditions can hold these groups back economically. http://bit.ly/1qKaIg9
BIKESHARING SAFETY REPORT
-> The Mineta Transportation Institute published a report analyzing the safety data of bikeshare riders in the United States. The "Bikesharing and Bicycle Safety" (http://bit.ly/1Sa8tfX) study found that collision and injury reports are lower than benchmarks for personal biking. Researchers found that rider behavior and bicycle design may be contributing factors to those results.
SHARED MOBILITY TRANSFORMING PUBLIC TRANSIT
-> Research from the American Public Transportation Association explores the relationship between public transit and shared modes such as bikesharing, carsharing and ridesourcing services. The report, "Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit" (http://bit.ly/22N3Fi4), found that shared modes can complement public transit and enhance urban mobility:
- The more people use shared modes, the more likely they are to use public transit, own fewer cars, and spend less on transportation overall.
- Shared modes complement public transit, enhancing urban mobility.
- Shared modes will continue to grow in significance, and public entities should identify opportunities to engage with them to ensure that benefits are widely and equitably shared.
- The public sector and private operators are eager to collaborate to improve paratransit service using emerging approaches and technology.
EVALUATING ECONOMIC & SOCIAL IMPACTS OF CYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE
-> A recent study reviewed options to differentiate and measure longer-term economic and social impacts of investments in new or improved cycling infrastructure, in a mixture of different types of urban and rural areas. The framework provides advice on a robust approach to establish a causal relationship between a cycling investment and specific local impacts, for a range of impact types, including economic, social, distributional and health-related factors. (Evaluating the Economic and Social Impacts of Cycling Infrastructure: Considerations for an Evaluation Framework: http://bit.ly/23Rgk62
CYCLING SECTOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO EUROPEAN JOB CREATION
-> The European Cycling Federation commissioned a study to quantify the contribution of the cycling sector to job creation in Europe. It continues the work of another study initiated by ECF on the cycling economy that estimated the economic benefit of cycling at € 205 billion (US $233 billion) per year for the EU-27 (Economic benefits of cycling in EU 27: http://bit.ly/1TiIXEc). The aim of the "Cycling Works Jobs and Job Creation in the Cycling Economy" study (http://bit.ly/1pgoTYu) is to show that employment in the cycling sector is a co-benefit of investments in cycling, and also a benefit in its own right. The study makes a research-based assessment of the economic value of the cycling sector for the European economy, focusing on jobs and employment. They considered multiple cycling-related activities such as bike retail, bicycle manufacturing, bike infrastructure investment, cycle tourism and bicycle services which employ around 655,000 people.
The study found if cycling’s modal share were to be doubled, more than 400,000 additional jobs could be created, reaching a total of more than 1 million jobs in the cycling economy. The study also came to the conclusion that cycling has a higher employment intensity per million of turnover than other transport sectors, thus offering a higher job creation potential. Furthermore, cycling jobs are more geographically stable than other sectors, they benefit local economies, and they offer access to the labor market to lowly qualified workers. http://bit.ly/1YeT6mD
NHTSA: EFFECT OF ELECTRONIC DEVICE USE ON PEDESTRIAN SAFETY
-> "Effect of Electronic Device Use on Pedestrian Safety: A Literature Review," (http://1.usa.gov/1MC6Ozx) examines pedestrian distraction, driver distraction, and pedestrian-vehicle interaction due to electronic devices. A very limited number of studies have investigated the effect of electronic device use by pedestrians and drivers on pedestrian safety. Even fewer naturalistic observation studies have been performed.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY BUILT ENVIRONMENT IN 14 CITIES WORLDWIDE
-> Research, published in The Lancet, provides a global assessment of the physical activity impacts of living in activity-friendly neighborhoods. It further points to the built environment characteristics of those neighborhoods that make the greatest difference to physical activity. The study drew its sample of 6822 adults aged 18-66 from 14 cities in 10 countries. This landmark research demonstrates that built environment characteristics it identifies could account for 30-60 per cent of the recommended 150 minutes per week of physical activity adults need for good health. "Physical Activity in Relation to Urban Environments in 14 Cities Worldwide: A Cross-Sectional Study" (http://bit.ly/1SStyaK).
IDENTIFYING THE SAFEST INTERSECTION DESIGNS FOR CYCLISTS
-> A project at the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University will study bike lane treatment at intersections to develop standard guidelines for protected bike lane intersections. Researchers will use pooled funds from 11 counties, regional planning bodies, transit agencies and nonprofits around the country, to first create an inventory of intersection treatments. Then they’ll use computer simulations, video analysis, and cyclist surveys to determine the critical thresholds that designers need to consider from one design to another. http://bit.ly/1qWKmHt