plans

Respect for the Cargo Bike Riders of Rio



As you will have seen by now, here at Copenhagenize Design Co. we are currently in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign, raising money to organise a cargo-bike race in Rio de Janeiro, in order to raise the profile of the under-privileged cargo-bike riders of the city. But why do we want to raise their profile? And why do they need their profile raised?

As you may remember, a couple of years ago our partners in Rio de Janeiro, the NGO Transporte Altivo did an extensive cargo bike count of the city. This showed that each and every day in Rio, there are over 11,000 cargo bike deliveries. It also showed how hard they work: loads in excess of 200kg are not uncommon.

Why is this important? Well, Brazil’s economy is growing at breakneck speed, and by 2016 it is set to be the world’s 5th largest economy. Cargo bikes are vital to the cities that power this growth, connecting the country’s otherwise car-clogged urban environments and ensuring Brazil’s powerhouse economy keeps ticking over.

This economic growth has led the middle class population to increase by over 40% but not everyone has been swept along in this great new wave of Brazilian prosperity. Although Brazil has changed drastically, and overall inequality has slightly decreased over the last ten years, there are still large pockets of poverty and deprivation, and Rio is one of the most unequal cities in the world. As the opportunities offered by the city grow, so too does its allure, and so too does rural to urban migration. Rio now has a population of over 11 million but simply can’t keep pace with the level of growth and new arrivals to the city often end up in favelas on the hillsides of the cities, in ‘temporary’ housing that soon becomes their permanent home. It is here where the vast majority of cargo-bike riders come from. Whilst conditions in many favelas have improved a little in the last few years, they are still extremely poor neighbourhoods, where the average monthly income is $180 a month, barely half the official minimum wage.

The prizes for our cargo-bike races, which will be funded by our crowdfunding campaign, will amount to two months’ wages for the victors and in conjunction with local businesses, we will also include household items such as fridges or mattresses as prizes: vital products that with rising prices in Brazil are becoming increasingly unaffordable for the poorer population.

Rio Cargo Bike Culture_2

But of course, it’s not specifically about the winners. Though making a difference to their lives will be fantastic, we’re not doing this to just benefit a small handful of the thousands of cargo bike riders. Merely by drawing attention to the impact of these seemingly modest, but nevertheless significant prizes, helps to illustrate the difference in economic reality between the rich and the poor in Brazil.

But it of course goes beyond prizes.

Firstly the poorer residents will, both metaphorically and literally, no longer be hidden away in the narrow winding streets of the favelas, out of sight and out of mind. It is a lot harder to ignore society’s inequalities when they are right in front of you. As the widespread riots in Brazil last year showed, not everyone has been included in Brazil’s progress, and discontent is rife. Enabling society to see their poorest members in a different light will be a positive step towards increased equality, and towards the inclusion of the cargo bike rider’s neighbourhoods in the plans, hopes and dreams of the new Brazil that any journey round Rio de Janeiro reveals is being constructed at immense speed.

Secondly, the importance of the cargo bike will also be brought out into the open. The cargo bike will no longer be associated with some unseen and faceless ‘underclass’. It will be associated with real people, whose endeavour is admirable and vital. Their cargo-bikes will be recognised as the vital tools for the city that they are.

Rio Cargo Bike Culture_3 Rio Cargo Bike Culture_1

The future of transport, and as a consequence, of the city, will eventually be more about the bicycle than the car. It simply has to be. Rio can barely cope with the present number of cars, let alone any further growth. The cargo bike riders are doing it right. But as well as lacking basic opportunities in their neighbourhoods, they are also lacking even the most basic cycle infrastructure and this is no way to encourage more people to bike.

In our CycleLogistics work we have seen that 51% of all motorised deliveries in Europe could be made by Cargo-bike. Rio has such a high number of cargo-bike journeys that it could be seen as one of the cargo bike capital of the world. But it risks going backwards if it follows the mistakes made by European cities in the past: of a growing middle class leading to growing car ownership, leading to clogged roads, and cities that are not life-sized but instead car-centric, un-liveable and un-loveable. The roads are so congested that a 10km bus ride in the suburbs of the city takes 90 minutes. The widespread protests that took place across Brazil last year were set off by a 20¢ increase in bus fares, showing firstly the precariousness of everyday life in Brazil, but also the massive importance of good transport infrastructure. Cycling is the best way to get from A to B in any urban environment and anything that helps to increase this needs wholehearted support.

Creating a cycling culture in a city does not happen overnight. Car ownership in Brazil is still growing, but reappraising the role of the bicycle in its society can only lead to vast improvements. Cargo-bike riders hold the key to a better Rio de Janeiro, for everyone.

Our race will be held at the Copacabana, one of the most famous locations in Rio de Janeiro. Situating our race here will show the whole city that the cargo bike riders and their neighbourhoods should not be forgotten, and neither should the most useful tool available for creating liveable cities: the humble bicycle.


Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

McGrath To Get Much Needed Improvements!

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.

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From Livable Streets:

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McGrath to become more livable!
You voiced your opinion and Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) listened.

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.

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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.

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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. 

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With the addition of a new intersection and improved crossings, you would be able to walk and bike along McGrath and get from one side of McGrath to the other safely and more easily, unlike today.

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.

New Bike Facilities Coming To Dorchester

The City is circulating this flyer about bike lanes coming to Freeport and shared lanes on Ashmont and Adams.

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NOTIFICATION

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.

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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, nicole.freedman.bra@cityofboston.gov

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.

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Philadelphia to launch bike share in 2014

PHILADELPHIA, PA (BRAIN) — Plans are underway to unveil a bike sharing system in Philadelphia in the fall of 2014. Mayor Michael Nutter has committed $3 million of the city’s capital budget toward bringing the system to life, and a request for proposals is anticipated this fall. The program is expected to cost between $10 and $15 million, which will be raised from state and federal transportation grants as well as private sponsors

Serotta lays off 40% of workforce, planning shutdown

CEO says “funds never came” after merger with Blue and Mad Fiber SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (BRAIN) — Serotta has laid off 40 percent of its workforce and is planning to shut down production in the next two weeks, CEO Bill Watkins told BRAIN on Wednesday. The company was recently merged with Blue Competition Cycles and Mad Fiber Wheels to become part of the Divine Cycling Group.

Putting a bow on PressCamp 2013 …

PARK CITY, UT (BRAIN) — The fifth edition of Lifeboat Events’ PressCamp wrapped up last week as a total of 30 editors, representing 37 media titles, sat down for their final meetings with more than 60 brand representatives serving 26 companies and 31 brands.

By admin on June 24, 2013 | Bike News, Electric Bike, Safety
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Montgomery to leave Scott Sports next month

SUN VALLEY, ID (BRAIN) — After nearly nine years with Scott Sports, Adrian Montgomery is leaving the company on July 10, he and the company announced late Thursday. “It was a very hard decision to leave Scott,” said Montgomery

Boardman Bikes appoints North American sales director

SEATTLE, WA (BRAIN) — The British bike brand Boardman Bikes has appointed its first North American sales direct, Fletch Newland. Newland has worked for FSA and Cervelo in the past

This Just In: McGrath To Get Cyclist/Pedestrian Upgrades!

Way to go everyone!

From Livable Streets:

———————-

?

You voiced your opinion and Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) listened.

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 how they 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. 

?

With the addition of a new intersection and improved crossings, you would be able to walk and bike along McGrath and get from one side of McGrath to the other safely and more easily, unlike today.

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. By becoming a member or donating now, you will contribute to helping make these changes actually happen.

 

Thank you,

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Jackie Douglas, Executive Director

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PS -Come celebrate this news and much more at our 3rd annual Spring member meet and greet on April 18!

BikePark Wales construction to begin in February

BikePark Wales have announced that construction of their first-of-a-kind facility is due to begin next month. The park will be based at Gethin Woods, near Merthyr Tydfil, and aims to be the UK’s premier mountain bike destination with trails to suit all abilities and styles of riding. It will also be the UK’s first large commercial bike park.

Using specially adapted vehicles and a new access road, BikePark Wales is set to offer the largest uplift service in the UK, with a capacity for 75 riders. Other plans include a visitor centre with a cafe, bike shop, rental area, Mojo?suspension service centre and pump track. A full time trail crew have been selected to maintain and continually develop the trails, something other trail centres in the UK have often struggled with.

Due to be completed in the autumn, BikePark Wales is a project that dates back to 2008. The team realised that the UK, and South Wales in particular, was desperately in need of a facility of this kind to take the sport to the next level.?

Plans have outlined that within five years the area will feature 14 different trails to suit all abilities. BikePark Wales are keen to note that not all of these trails will be built before the park opens, but they envisage that a good number will be open by late 2013.

BikeRadar have been informed that roughly 40 percent of the trails will be blue graded (moderate), with 30 percent red (difficult) and 20 percent black (severe). Plus, there’ll be a green (easy)?kids’ loop and top-to-bottom family trail. A few of the trails will be best suited to downhill bikes but the majority will be rideable on mid-travel trail machines.

An architect's impression of the visitor centre at bikepark wales:

An architect’s impression of the visitor centre

The people behind the idea are Cognation – a partnership between Neath Port Talbot, Merthyr Tydfil and Caerphilly county borough councils and?Forestry Commission Wales. The build is being handled by Back-On-Track,?owned by Rowan Sorrell who’s previously worked on trails at Lee Quarry (Lancashire), Gawton (Devon), Llandegla (North Wales) and the Forest of Dean (Gloucestershire). Rowan is also a?director at BikePark Wales.

The funding is being footed by the European Regional Development Fund, with the rest coming from the Welsh Assembly and partner organisations. Sponsors will include Mojo Suspension/Fox Racing Shox, Swift Credit, Shimano,?Mountain Biking UK?, iXS and Answer.

For more information and further updates on this exciting project, head over to?ChopMTB.com.