TUSTIN, CA (BRAIN) — Despite deep discounts and sales that started earlier than ever, Thanksgiving weekend sales were down for the first time in seven years, according to the National Retail Federation. The Wall Street Journal reported that consumers spent $57.4 billion on Black Friday and the following Saturday, down 2.8 percent from $59.1 billion last year. An online poll conducted by Bicycle Retailer shows that sales over the weekend were down this year for most bike and specialty retailers, with 48 percent of participants reporting that holiday sales are so far slower than expected. Just 13 percent reported better-than-expected sales.
Over at Cykelrepublikken – our Danish cycling and liveable cities NGO – we’ve been asking a long line of candidates in the municipal election five questions about their politics regarding cycling in Copenhagen and Frederiksberg. We’ve been posting their responses for the past couple of weeks on Cykelrepublikken’s Facebook page and on the website.
The posts are in Danish (sorry about that) but after looking at so many responses from so many canidates from the different parties, it is easy to figure out where they stand. Cykelrepublikken has produced the graphic, above, to present a simple visualisation about where the parties stand on the issue of traffic, urban cycling and a liveable city.
The graphic, above, is a Political Traffic Thermometer. The text on the left column reads, from top left:
Reduced Car Parking
Against Harbour Tunnel
For Harbour Tunnel
More Car Parking
Protecting/Subsidising Private Car Ownership
The party that comes out on top is the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), with Morten Kabell as the mayoral contender, closely followed by the Socialist People’s Party (SF). The latter is the party of Ayfer Baykal, the current mayor in charge of Traffic and Environment.
The Danish Social-Liberal Party (Radikale) also finishes above the line.
The left-of-centre Social Democrats have occupied the Lord Mayor post in Copenhagen for over a century but the current Lord Mayor Frank Jensen has outed himself as a supporter of ridiculous harbour tunnels, car parking and all manner of politics that support a reversal of the work Copenhagen has done for the past 20 odd years to become one of the world’s most liveable cities. This is, of course, not a very modern approach compared to other cities.
They appear beneath the line in the graphic, followed by the usual suspects.
With that said, Frank Jensen is not every candidate in the Social Democrat party. There are other, more sensible politicians in the running.
Like Erik Willumsgaard, above. Like many politicians in Copenhagen, a bicycle or cargo bike is the preferred campaign vehicle.
On Tuesday, the people of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg get to choose which century they want to live in.
I ride through this area on a regular basis, and I can attest that this sort of improvement is much needed. Highways don’t belong in neighborhoods.
From Livable Streets:
Thanks to your support over the past three years, we could see much needed improvements to the McGrath corridor from Somerville Ave to Washington Street around the McCarthy Overpass by next summer.
Now, as part of the State’s repair project, MassDOT is planning to make additional surface improvements for people to make it safer and easier to walk, bike, take the bus, and drive, when originally the only plan was to repair the structure.
LivableStreets urged the State to reconsider howthey are investing money in this project. Taking our feedback, the State hired consultants to analyze the possibilities. Last week, data and conceptual drawings were presented to LivableStreets and other stakeholders. The drawings showed new and improved intersections, buffered bicycle lanes, designated areas for buses, improved traffic signals, and the closing of ramps and tunnels.
The new ideas presented are because you wrote letters, volunteered, signed postcards, and attended meetings and spoke up. Now we are closer to seeing these much needed improvements.
Thank you Massachusetts Department of Transportation and City of Somerville!
|Today (top); A vision (bottom)|
We are also now one step closer to realizing the ultimate vision of taking down the outdated overpass to make our communities more connected and livable, and pave the way for more businesses and jobs.
The work is not complete though… We must continue to weigh in on the plans and there will be public meetings this spring.
Together, we can make these changes happen! Join LivableStreets today. Bybecoming a member now, you will contribute to helping make these changes actually happen.
Sometimes you find awesome bikes out on the street. Such as this gem. Just look how classy that ride is! So much to like about this, from the fenders to the chain-ring, to the front fork. I actually stopped and stared at this machine for a good couple minutes.
In Manhattan they did anyway, with the help of more pedestrians and higher transit rates, as well as the new bike share program.
After several blocks in the heart of Times Square were pedestrianized and protected bike lanes were added to five avenues in the middle of Manhattan, motor vehicle traffic is actually moving more smoothly than before, according to the latest release of NYC DOT’s annual Sustainable Streets Index PDF.
The report, which gathers data from the MTA, the Taxi and Limousine Commission, and DOT’s own counts, also shows that the volume of traffic entering Manhattan has basically stayed flat since 2009. At the same time, transit ridership has started to rebound from the recession and service cuts.
Even with population and employment levels increasing after the recession, car traffic into the Manhattan CBD declined 1.7 percent in 2011. Since 2003, traffic volumes are down 6.5 percent, while transit trips to the area have increased 11.3 percent.
The annual report incorporates numbers on bike-share usage. Between the Memorial Day launch and August 26, Citi Bike riders made more than 2.5 million trips covering more than 5.5 million miles. There have been eight crashes involving Citi Bikes, none causing injuries classified as serious. Of stations sampled during the final two weeks of July, the busiest included those near hubs like Grand Central Terminal and Union Square.
Read the rest of this fascinating article here. It seems obvious that if you take a bunch of people out of cars and instead they take public transit/ride a bike/ or walk that traffic would move better, but its always nice to see some real world data to prove it.
What I think is the real take home from this study is that peoples lives are improving. They are being more healthy (even public transit is healthier than driving). They are saving money, they are reducing their impact on the planet, and even the people who are still trapped in their cars are happier because traffic is moving smoothly. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they were happier as well. Its a win win win win.
People defend cars, and get very upset when you try to make it harder to use them, but they really have so very few benefits and so very many drawbacks. I think what we are seeing is that this fact is finally sinking in.
Thanks Ben for the heads up on this.
The “Tour’s De” just keep rolling with the Tour De Somerville!
This Saturday, October 19th, the Somerville Bicycle Committee holds its
21st annual Tour de Somerville.
This year’s theme is “Over, Under, Around, and Through”, featuring the
city’s many bridges, tunnels, overpasses, and underpasses. We know of at
least 40, which is a lot for a city of just 4 square miles. Our tour route
will cross, or at least pass by, as many of these as possible.
Meet at 10 am at Seven Hills Park, behind the Holland Street MBTA entrance
in Davis Square. We’ll depart promptly at 10:15. The ride will be about 13
miles long, mostly flat, and will end by 1 pm.
Somerville police will help escort the ride. We will have a rest and
refreshment stop about halfway through, at Blessing of the Bay Boathouse on
Shore Drive, with snacks from Redbones.
The tour will visit the sites of two bike path projects now under
construction: the Somerville Community Path extension between Cedar and
Lowell Streets, and the Wellington Undercarriage (a new boardwalk under
Route 28, linking the Mystic River paths at Assembly Square to Shore
In case of steady rain, we’ll postpone the ride to Sunday, October 20, same
starting place and time.
A tentative route map is at http://goo.gl/maps/EYBJG . Because the route
passes through many construction projects, it is subject to change, even at
the last minute.
Our Facebook event is at https://www.facebook.com/
The City is circulating this flyer about bike lanes coming to Freeport and shared lanes on Ashmont and Adams.
Mayor Menino’s Boston Bikes
Bike Lane Installation on Multiple Streets
Fall 2013 or Spring 2014
THE CITY OF BOSTON WOULD LIKE TO INFORM YOU THAT IT PLANS TO INSTALL BIKE PAVEMENT MARKINGS ON ADAMS STREET, ASHMONT STREET AND FREEPORT STREET.
The City of Boston will be installing the following types of bike facilities:
Shared lane markings – Shared lane markings are pavement markings that designate the road for shared
use between cyclists and drivers. Adams Street and Ashmont Street only employ shared lane markings.
Bike lanes – Bike lanes are sections of road designated for exclusive use by cyclists. Freeport Street is a combination of shared lane markings and bike lanes. On Freeport Street, green paint is occasionally used to highlight the bike lane through complex intersections.
Why install bike facilities? These bike facilities are designed to support bicycle traffic within Dorchester and along major commuting corridors. All facilities are part of the Bike Network Plan.
What about safety? Bike facilities make the roads safer for all users in the following ways:
Designate a safe riding zone for cyclists;
Encourage cars to drive at slower, safer speeds;
Encourage cyclists to bicycle more respectfully and predictably; and,
Make pedestrians and drivers more aware of cyclists.
What are the project limits and scope?
Adams Street: Bowdoin Street to Neponset Avenue
Ashmont Street: Dorchester Avenue to Neponset Avenue
Freeport Street: Dorchester Avenue to Tenean Street and Tenean Street from Freeport Street to Conely Street
When does installation happen? Work typically takes place during the day or night over 1-3 days.
Will parking be impacted? No parking will be removed along any of the roadways.
Will traffic be impacted? No travel lanes will be removed and traffic will not be impacted.
Contact Nicole Freedman, Bike Programs Director, 617-918-4456, email@example.com
Boston Bikes is part of Mayor Menino’s vision for a vibrant and healthy city that benefits all its citizens. It seeks to make Boston a world-class bicycling city by creating safe and inviting conditions for all.
Looks pretty cool, and they are pretty close to their goal. I am digging this movement towards fashionable, city bike based, transportation oriented cycling. I am thinking in a couple years we will start seeing cargo bikes, city bikes, parents with kids on bikes, and a lot more diverse population of folks riding to work. To the future!
Check them out if you see something you like.
Thus, we can draw the following conclusions:
Roof racks commonly hold your bike in one of two ways: by clamping the front axle, with the wheel off; or by clamping the frame. With frames getting thinner and featuring more complex shapes, and three different mountain bike front axle standards to contend with, a third option is needed. Yakima has a solution: clamp the front wheel. It works.
The HighRoller holds the bike by holstering the front wheel in place. Once the front of the wheel is inserted into the adjustable wheel tray, a second arm squeezes the wheel from the back. This second arm features a ratchet mechanism that quickly grabs the wheel so the bike’s weight is taken. At this point, a small dial, placed low down for easy access, is used to further tighten the clamping mechanism.?
The rear wheel is then clipped in place via a long ratcheting buckle that can be adjusted from either side. To release the bike, you simply loosen the dial and use the red quick-release button to disengage the one-way ratchet mechanism on the second arm, making for a quick exit.
Push the red button for a quick release
The wheel arm is easily adjusted via a tool-free clip and has stepped positions for common wheel sizes, starting from 20in. We had no problems carrying road bikes and 29in mountain bikes at the same setting, although there is a separate position for 700c wheels. With a load limit of 23kg and space for 3in-wide tyres, the HighRoller will easily handle a gravity-orientated bike.
As much as we love the clamping system, the HighRoller isn’t without its flaws. The mounting bolts can’t be accessed when the wheel arms are down or holding a bike, protecting the rack, but?the tool-free installation makes theft that little bit easier. (To increase security, you could replace the tool-free install nuts with normal hardware that requires a spanner.)?
More importantly, the only theft?assurance for your bike at coffee time is a?steel cable lock (the lock cores are sold separately for US$35 a pair, providing the option to have a whole range of Yakima products on one key).?With a more refined and secure locking system, this rack would have scored even higher.?
Lock the rack to the rail – a built-in locking system would be cleaner and less temping for theft
Something else to beware of is that the HighRoller sits higher than other racks, which could be an issue if you’re height-challenged with a tall car. With a frontal profile that’s larger than other options, it may not be the best wind-cheating rack, but nor is it a beast. At 120kmh, the empty rack remained whisper quiet when combined with our Prorack Whispbar crossbars.
Finally, the HighRoller does come at a cost. However, the lifetime warranty and design that isn’t limited by axle standards or frame shapes means a long product life.