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Archive for the 'news media' Category

Bike Lane Removal in NYC – huh?!

Posted by @teeheehee on 9th December 2009

As an act of civil disobedience, some cyclists in NYC have remarked a bike lane on Bedford Ave that was recently sandblasted away.

One of the controversies about this is that the lanes were possibly removed at the request of the Hasidic community living in the area and who may have taken issue with the (type or lack of) garments being worn by (female) cyclists. It doesn’t help that the same NYPost article says “[a] source close to Mayor Bloomberg said removing the lanes was an effort to appease the Hasidic community just before last month’s election.”

Really? This is what our safety is weighed against?

Show ’em how it’s done, people:



Posted in news media, safety, wtf | No Comments »

Fatal Hit and Run in Amherst Over the Weekend

Posted by @teeheehee on 14th September 2009

Little information is available at this time. My condolences to the victims. Hopefully the driver turns themself in. Some comments from the news threads:

I was talking to a friend of mine on Wednesday afternoon about the lack of space for bikers. This is the third death that I know of on that stretch of Montague Road since 1988.

[…] 15 years ago I felt safe, but now that every one is going 50 in 35 while texting and sipping their coffee, its no longer a good place for bikes, no matter how much the laws say bike have just as much right to be on the roads along side of cars and trucks. […]

Posted in news media, sad, wtf | No Comments »

Transportation Energy Intensity

Posted by @teeheehee on 3rd September 2009

For those who are interested in “green” ideas I encourage you to check out this write-up by Alex Wilson (Green Building Advisor) entitled “Transportation Energy Intensity” of Buildings. Via: TreeHugger

I wanted to come up with a metric for the transportation energy use associated with buildings that was parallel to the metric used to measure the energy intensity of a building–for heating, cooling, lighting, computers and other uses. This is commonly reported in thousands of British Thermal Units, or Btus, of energy per square foot per year (kBtu/sf-yr). The U.S. Department of Energy reports that the average energy intensity of office buildings in the U.S. is 93 kBtu/sf-yr. If I could calculate the average energy consumption for commuting using this same metric, I’d be able to show how the commuting energy use compared with the direct building energy use. I called this value “transportation energy intensity.”


How Americans Get to Work

How Americans Get to Work


The results were really interesting. Using these admittedly crude assumptions, I found that office building energy use for commuting averages 121 kBtu/sf-yr. That’s 30% more energy than an average office building uses itself. So it takes more energy to get to and from our office buildings than those buildings use directly!

So, buildings are supposed to be more efficient, but we spend off so much energy getting to these buildings that even the most noble attempt to “green” a living or office space may be countermanded by our transportation expenditures. This is definitely something to consider for improved sustainability.

Alex concluded brilliantly:

For me, even though I live in a rural area, seven miles from my office, this understanding of transportation energy intensity inspires me to get on my bike and enjoy that invigorating (and sometimes mentally productive) ride to work.

Here, here! Riding a bike to/from home/work is an excellent move towards improving one’s own energy intensity – and you’ll develop some fantastic leg muscles in the process.

Posted in bike friendly, news media | No Comments »

Recently Fallen: Two Area Cyclists Struck Yesterday; Hit and Run Suspect Attempts Cash for Clunkers Trade-In

Posted by @teeheehee on 20th August 2009

I have some sad stories to share, but I think they are relevant with the current bike-car-pedestrian unfriendliness currently abuzz in the Boston area.

The first is a TreeHugger article which spreads the story of an alleged hit-and-run driver who killed a cyclist, then tried to trade his car in as part of the Cash for Clunkers program as an attempt to get rid of the evidence. An astute dealer didn’t buy Timothy Kissida’s tale that he had hit a javalina (a medium sized, pig-looking animal) and decided to follow up with a call to the police. The make, model, color, and area of damage to the car was all consistent with the hit-and-run the night before.

Next are a few articles about a Marshfield man who was struck and killed yesterday. Another boston.com article also mentions a cyclist hit in Lowell. I have not been able to find any information on the current state of the Lowell-area, I hope he does not succumb and he makes a complete recovery.

My condolences to the families of 52-year-old Charles Waldrop and 69-year-old Charles L. Campbell; my thoughts go out to the 41-year-old man struck in Lowell.

Update, August 21st:
More sad news folks, the cyclist from Lowell succumbed to his injuries. More info here.

Posted in news media, sad, wtf | 2 Comments »

Road Design: Boston.com op-ed, MassBike response

Posted by @teeheehee on 19th August 2009

You, my few readers, may recall the recent Boston.com article on Boston’s unruly riders, or the op-ed that left a particular vomit-taste in any cyclist’s mouth. Finally we may have something sane to consider and discuss: roads are designed to kill (which is another op-ed.) Excerpt:

I took a photograph of the scene where I had found the runner. When I showed this picture to friends from Sweden they asked, “This is where you live? This is your neighborhood? Your streets are designed to kill people.’’ They said that the thin painted white lines at the intersection could not be seen at dawn, nor was there a raised bump to or a narrowing of the road to demarcate the intersection and slow down traffic. They said the speed limit should be 30 kilometers per hour (about 18.6 miles per hour) or less if we wanted pedestrians to have much of a chance of surviving. They also said traffic lights increased the number of deaths because people often speed up when the light turns yellow.

 

When Sweden removed red lights from intersections and replaced them with traffic circles or rotaries, death rates at these intersections fell by 80 to 90 percent.

This is the closest article I’ve yet seen that seems in line with Liveable Streets: the engineering is directly related to the use of the system. The usual discussion page is also available.

In addition to this op-ed there is a letter in response to the Unruly riders article as written by MassBike. (Here is the discussion page.) Concluding excerpt:

By all means, let us build better roads, which lead people into safer behavior by design. But each of us can help make everyone safer now, today, by more often following the rules of the road whether driving, bicycling, or walking.

We need more of this!

Posted in news media, traffic | No Comments »

Boston Bike Sharing Vendor Selected

Posted by @teeheehee on 12th August 2009

Just got this link from a coworker: Vendor selected for Boston area bike-sharing program. For a peek at what we might expect, check out their website for the Montreal program.

With a vendor selected I wonder how long it will be before we start to see some bikes on the streets.

Posted in bike friendly, news media | No Comments »

Ask Not What Boston Can Do For You

Posted by @teeheehee on 7th August 2009

An article today on Boston.com, Boston’s unruly riders, challenges red light runners, sidewalk riders, and wrong-way infringers. Here’s the summary:

Boston has launched a high-profile campaign to become a friendlier city for cyclists. Now the question is whether bicyclists will become friendlier to Boston.

There is the usual “discussion” page which seems surprisingly tame in the initial posts (I’m only up to page 2.) Anyone recognize themself in the video? Also, I had thought Nicole made it well known she didn’t like being called a ‘czar’. Why does everyone still call her that, then?

Posted in bike friendly, news media, safety, wrong | 2 Comments »

Boston Bike Sharing

Posted by @teeheehee on 29th July 2009

There’s an article today on Boston.com introducing a bike sharing proposal. (There’s also a sweet video with Nicole Freedman performing a small track stand in rainy conditions while waiting in traffic.)

From the article:

Over the next few weeks, officials expect to name the company with which they would negotiate a contract on how to run the system. They hope the program will lead to tens of thousands of people saddling up in Boston daily.

Bike sharing is the next step. The city envisions making available between 1,000 and 3,000 bikes at stations 300 or 400 yards apart, located at subway and bus stops, main squares, tourist sites, and across city neighborhoods.

This makes me wonder, would I ride my bike around as much if there were publicly accessible ones available? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, either way I’ll be very happy that a program like this will be made available.

Posted in bike friendly, news media, personal view, traffic | No Comments »

Weekend Roundup 20090322: Stories

Posted by @teeheehee on 22nd March 2009

This will wrap up my overloaded three-part weekend roundup: stories.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bike friendly, news media, ride | No Comments »

Boston: less horse- and bike-police units

Posted by @teeheehee on 4th March 2009

Right on the heels of yesterday’s news that Boston is looking to bring a bike sharing program to the city: Boston police could cut horse (and bike) unit(s), lay off recruits to help fill budget gap. Emphasis mine, things missing from the title.

Now, I realize this is the Commissioner’s idea where the bike share program is the city’s, but come on – this doesn’t look like a consistent message!

You’re going to need more bike units, not less, to help keep our community safe from the raging vehicularists. The best way to know the issues is to submerse yourself in them, keep the bike cops! How are you going to know what we cyclists deal with in our city travels if all of your officers are riding around in (costly) steel-reinforced cars or SUVs? And how is that saving money, again?

Posted in news media, personal view, rant, sad | No Comments »