Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rivendell Bicycle Blog Entry from Jan 18

...Cars are banned from the streets in the ultra-upscale Ginza shopping district in Tokyo on Sundays. Let's spread that one around.

...Bikes are green transportation and all, but people don't give up their cars because they're green. Unpeel the top layer of green and you'll see the real reasons. They don't own a car. A car's too expensive to park, or spaces are too hard to come by. Their license has been suspended or they don't have one. They want exercise. Pedaling relieves stress and they arrive at their destination invigorated but not sweaty. Commute time is training time. There are lots of reasons to ride instead of drive, but I don't believe greenness is one of them. Maybe avoiding guilt, but that's guit-avoidance, not greenness.

The problem with greenness as an incentive is it's too weak and deferred. No one person's single commute has a measurable impact on the health of the planet. Cumulatively, yes; singly, no---because we're talking about measurable effects. This doesn't mean don't ride and be green. It means if the goal is to get more people riding, the incentives to ride and disincentives to drive have to be in place, and both of those things are more powerful when they're immediate and dramatic, and weak when they're not. Show me a deferred, barely perceptible consequence that's shared by billions that's more influential than an immediate and dramatic personal one, and I'll give you a million of anything, as long as I have it to give. If not, no dice! (This sort of statement, in the old days, would be taken for what it is. In modern times, it feels sort of like sticking my arm down a dark shaft in a jungle in Borneo and wiggling my fingers for an hour or so.)


To read the whole post go here
(this is stolen, err... we mean appropriated from Rivendell Bicycle Works Blog, check it!) 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Calculator for the Climate -- Bike to Work does Save!

You can figure out how much money you would save and how much carbon you will keep from dispersing amongst us mere mortals if you rode your bike to work:.

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Federal-State-Local Policy on Bike Routes

Here is an update on the latest policy about bike routes...
The following was submitted by Les Miklosky of Laguna Beach, CA

In support of "Give Bikes a Route" by Justin Gresh: The new policy for mobility from our Federal Department of Transportation gives equal consideration to pedestrians, bicycles, buses and private automobiles. Adopting this policy into the LB City General Plan would be the first step to bringing bike lanes to Laguna. If adopted, approved and implemented by the City, the new policy would construct a mixed mode transportation system in Laguna Beach and relieve the traffic congestion we experience in our automobile saturated town. For every commuter you accommodate safely by walking, biking, and busing, you eliminate one car and free a parking space. Optimally, imagine if 75% of the commuting traffic in Laguna began walking, biking or busing across town, auto congestion and demand for more parking would vanish. For the remaining commuters and contractors who must drive, the relief from traffic congestion would be refreshing.

Our Department of Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood took a progressive stand in May of this year, he said “People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized. We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians. And we are encouraging investments that go beyond the minimum requirements and provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.”

At the state level effective January 1 2011, AB-1358 is legislation that mandates equal consideration be given to four modes of mobility for cities and towns in California.

At the local level, Long Beach appointed a committee to advise their city council on urban planning issues. On December 1, 2010, the Sustainable City Commission for Long Beach voted unanimously to support Class I separated bicycle, pedestrian and ADA (American Disabilities Act) access on the new Gerald Desmond Bridge. In Dana Point the city has adopted traffic calming as city policy. Evidence of their work are the bike lanes in town, in the harbor and on PCH but stopping at the Laguna boundary.

In Laguna the Task Force for Complete Streets advises our city council about balanced mobility, the same mobility infrastructure Long Beach and our neighboring cities have already built. Compared to Dana Point and Corona del Mar, Laguna is years behind on implementation.

For Corona Del Mar and Newport Beach their city council take advice from a Bike Safety Committee formed by local residents. At their motto is "a new vision of urban life where people matter more than motor vehicles".

Last week the city of Newport Beach declared they intend to become the most bike-friendly city in all of Orange County. Mr. Gresh already knows how Laguna Beach ranks on that score.