Bicycles & Pedestrians

Infographic: Bicycle Statistics in the US


A nice summary of bicycle ridership in the United States, as well as information pretaining to bicycle related fatalitities in 2008 and investment in bike-ped infrastructure. The Bay Are has done well - San Francisco is ranked Gold for bicycle friendly and Oakland is bronze. (via CFIRE)

The Guardian discusses cycling safety in London

Were Cycle Superhighways designed to encourage 'vehicular cycling'?

This week's Guadian Focus Podcast discusses whether or not Boris Johnson's cycling superhighways have really improved cycling for the London area, in light of yet another cycling death. A study from 2010 questions shows that fatality rates did not drop between 1992-2006. Here's a map of cycling accidents in London between 2000 and 2008. Despite Johnson's proclamation fo 2010 being "London's year of cycling," ultimately cycling success will depend on public safety

Friday Seminar - Robert Schneider on Choosing a Travel Mode

This Friday's TRANSOC seminar features Robert J. Schneider, Ph.D., UC Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center and UC Davis Sustainable Transportation Center, presenting on "How Do People Choose a Travel Mode? Factors Associated with Routine Walking and Bicycling."

Walking and bicycling can increase the livability and sustainability of communities, but the automobile remains the dominant mode of transportation in most metropolitan regions in North America. To change travel behavior, a greater understanding of the mode choice decision process, especially for walking and bicycling, is needed.  

This presentation will summarize research on factors associated with walking and bicycling for routine travel purposes, such as shopping. Mixed logit models showed that walking was associated with shorter travel distances, higher population densities, more street tree canopy coverage, and greater enjoyment of walking. A limited sample of bicyclists suggested that bicycling was associated with shorter travel distances, more bicycle facilities, more bicycle parking, and greater enjoyment of bicycling. Respondents were more likely to drive when they perceived a high risk of crime, but automobile use was discouraged by higher employment densities, smaller parking lots, and metered on-street parking. Interviews provided the foundation for a five-step theory of how people choose travel modes: awareness and availability, basic safety and security, convenience and cost, and habit.

Ampelmännchen turns 50.

Berlin 2007: Ampelmann

50 years ago today, the most iconic traffic light for pedestrian crossings debuted in German Democratic RepublicAmpelmännchen or "Little Traffic Light Man." On this day in 1961, traffic psychologist Karl Peglau introduced the novel design to improve predestrian safety


In several studies, he concluded that many of the 10,000 traffic deaths between 1955 and 1960 could be attributed to one thing: Pedestrians had to follow the same traffic lights as cars. When it was foggy, the red-yellow-green lights did not offer sufficient orientation for visually impaired pedestrians. According to Peglau, they provided the opposite, and were a safety risk. He estimated the economic damages of this problem in the GDR reached up to 155 million deutsche marks in 1959.

"Clearly distinguishable guiding signals" were meant to address this. A friendly red man with thick, outstretched arms would prompt pedestrians to stop, and a lively green man in mid-stride would denote the appropriate time to walk. Peglau provided personal characteristics in order to "appropriately provoke the desired pedestrian behavior through emotion," giving them pug noses, fingers, ears and mouths.


After the Reunification of German, the iconic Ampelmännchen was quickly introduced to West Berlin and continues to be a symbol of the unified city. 

Get Down with Bicycle Safety

Avid readers know that this week was International Walk to School Day in the USA, part of the Safe Routes to Schools program. Bicycle safety has always been an important component of safe routes to schools, even way back in the 80s. Here's is an old school jam from an after school special circa 1989. You dig?

Word. Though safe bicycling is still important, even for adults. Listen to this rhyme king tell you all about the need for proper illumination. 

Stay safe out there. 

International Walk to School Day and Safe Routes

going to school

Today International Walk to School Day in the USA. Did you know that? You probably did. Everyday can be walk to school day through the work of the Safe Routes to School program, a multidisciplinary coalition with members from transportation, public health, and housing. Their report, Getting Students Active through Safe Routes to School: Policies and Action Steps for Education Policymakers and Professionals, contains information about how schools can implementa a safe routes program and things to consider. The TransForm report, Bringing Safe Routes to Scale, which focuses on the Bay Area. SafeTREC researchers Jill Cooper and Tracy McMillan published a report last year that evaluated 10 low income schools


Friday Seminar - Paul Waddell on Pedestrian Scale in Transportation Models

pedestrian crossing

This week's TRANSOC Friday Seminar feature Paul Waddell from the Department of City & Regional Planning at Cal. He will be present, "Addressing the Challenge of Representing the Pedestrian Sclae in Transportation Models". 

Transportation models have used zonal geography and coarse representations of the transport network to represent the spatial environment for trip origins, destinations and routes.  But the coarseness of the zonal geography and transport networks is inconsistent with the level of detail needed to represent walking and bicycling adequately.  This also has implications for the representation of transit, which is so dependent on walk access at origin and destination of transit trips.  This talk addresses recent work underway as part of projects funded by NSF and MTC, to develop an analytic and visualization capability at a level of detail of parcels and local streets.  Preliminary development of an integrated database, model system, and visualization platform yields early insight into strategies to more fully represent pedestrians and bicyclists within land use and transportation models and planning.

The seminar will be on September 30th, from 4-5 pm in 406 Davis Hall. Cookie Hour preceeding, as usual, in the library at 3:30 pm. See you there!

NYC announce their bikeshare program

 A bike share station (photo by Kate Hinds)

Today it was announced who New York City picked for their bikeshare program. The winner is.... Alta Bicycleshare! The same group who run the Capital Bikeshare in Washington DC, New Balance Hubway in Boston, Barclay's Cycle Hire in London, and Bixi in Montreal. The announcement included the launch of a new website for people to suggestion possible station locations. 

Transportation Nation was there to report on the launch, including some great pictures

19th century cyclists paved modern roads

Cyclists and Pedestrians

From the Guardian's Bike Blog - Who could advocate for flat, paved roads before there was a critical mass of automobiles and moroting associations? In the UK and US, it was cycling organizations!

Many motorists also assume that roads were built for them. In fact, cars are the johnny-come-latelies of highways.

The hard, flat road surfaces we take for granted are relatively new. Asphalt surfaces weren't widespread until the 1930s. So, are motorists to thank for this smoothness?

No. The improvement of roads was first lobbied for – and paid for – by cycling organisations.

Of course, the automobilization of these (and other) countries changed the way planners approached roads, but this is an interesting bit of history nonetheless. 

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