Posts tagged with "Bikes":

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Dockless bike-sharing is coming to NYC this summer

Are bikes slowly taking over the streets of New York? Extra Citi Bikes are being rolled out ahead of the L Train shutdown, ride-hailing company Lyft has acquired Motivate and its bike sharing company Citi Bike, and now the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) revealed further details for their dockless bike-share pilot. Following a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) from the DOT last year, 12 companies vied for the opportunity to pilot a dockless bike-share program in the city. DOT announced earlier this week that Lime, JUMP, ofo, Pace, and Motivate have been chosen to roll the program out. Bikes from those companies will be supplemented in each community by pedal-assist models capable of reaching 20-miles-per-hour courtesy of either JUMP or Lime. The first bikes are expected to arrive from PAce and Lime in mid-July in the Rockaways, Queens, followed by bikes from JUMP, ofo, and Lime in central Bronx and Staten Island later in July. Coney Island will also receive bikes from Motivate later this year, timed to avoid the worst of the summer crowds and construction concerns. The areas chosen for the pilot are out of Citi Bike’s current reach, and each neighborhood will receive at least 200 bikes. As the name suggests, dockless bike-sharing does not require a permanent docking station for bikers to return their rentals to. Instead, riders use an app to find and unlock a bike nearby; once the ride is finished, the rider leaves the bike on a sidewalk, and a fee is charged according to the amount of time spent riding. While each company has a different pricing structure, the DOT estimates that a 30-minute ride will only cost $2. Misplacement of the bikes—and having streets end up as 'bike graveyard' where abandoned bikes litter streets—is a concern that other cities are grappling with. Other regulatory issues surrounding ridesharing and similar transportation alternatives have plagued cities, from Uber to autonomous vehicles to e-scooters. However, it appears that concerns will be assessed during the pilot, as the DOT will “carefully evaluate companies’ compliance with requirements around data accessibility and user privacy” as well as look at the “safety, availability and durability” of the bikes themselves. The DOT’s announcement comes at a time when ride-hailing companies are changing the transportation landscape. In an interview earlier this year, Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi claimed that he wanted Uber to be the “Amazon of transportation,” expanding the range of first-and-last mile solutions. Two of these dockless bike share companies are now owned by major ride-hailing companies—JUMP is owned by Uber and more recently, Motivate (parent company to CitiBike) was bought by Lyft. It’s unclear how dockless bike share will fit within New York’s transportation system and regulations, but DOT will be evaluating the sustainability of the dockless program before moving forward with a permanent program.
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NYC to add more bike lanes in response to surging demand

New York City streets are a decadent mass of pedestrians, cabs, delivery trucks, and the crosstown bus, all scooting somewhere quickly. But even as rideshare apps are pushing more cars on the pavement, there's one green and steadfast transit option that's seeing a surprising surge in popularity.

Right now, the city's streets host 450,000 bike rides per day, an increase of 280,00 trips from 2005. To meet accelerating demand, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) promised on Monday to add 50 miles of painted bike lanes and ten miles of protected paths each year.

Over the last decade, New York has seen an explosion of bike infrastructure. Crain's reports that cyclists now cruise over 1,133 miles of bike lanes, up from a little over 500 miles in 2006. Of those, around 40 percent are shielded from automobiles by concrete or other physical barriers. These are the gold-standard tracks because of the protection they provide relative to painted paths.

But even this relatively robust network can't stop bike fatalities. Nine in ten cyclists killed while riding are killed outside of bike lanes. In response, the DOT plans to ramp up safety efforts in three Queens and seven Brooklyn neighborhoods where many bike fatalities and injuries occur.

Still, officials are optimistic that bikesharing, which was introduced only four years ago, will become further enmeshed in New York's urban fabric. City Councilmember Ydanis Rodríguez, who represents Upper Manhattan and serves on the council's transportation committee, would like to one day see free transfers between Citi Bike, the city's bikeshare system, and the MTA. (An annual Citi Bike membership costs $163.) Citi Bike broke ridership records with more than 70,000 riders on one day in June of this year, while last year, the system logged more than 14 million rides.

Despite their low cost relative to cars, and emissions-free crunchy-green aura that renders bicycles anodyne in most quarters, New Yorkers haven't embraced bike culture universally. On the Upper East Side last year, residents objected to bike lanes near a school, worried that speeding cyclists could mow down young ones. Though those crosstown lanes were ultimately approved, out in Corona, Queens, longtime Community Board 4 member (and unrepentant xenophobe) Ann Pfoser Darby called bike lanes in her neighborhood a waste of money, claiming they would be empty after President Trump deported the area's undocumented immigrants.

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An interactive bike share map finds beauty in the chaos of commuting

With few exceptions, biking in urban centers is a harrowing experience even for seasoned riders supported by healthy cycling infrastructure. To help citizens casually analyze the chaos, two German visual designers created a new kinesthetic map of bike shares that imposes harmony on street-level discord via evocative maps that illustrate how the shares shape urban infrastructure. The designers, Till Nagel and Christopher Pietsch, compiled GPS data from bike shares in three major cities to create cf. city flows, an interactive visualization of cycling mobility. Visitors to Potsdam's Urban Complexity Lab can compare mobility in London, Berlin, and New York on side-by-side screens. In New York, for example, colorful dots flagellate along Manhattan's grid smoothly until they reach a barrier between Midtown and Central Park South that shoots them back downtown. Viewers can zoom out to see evocative macro movements; zero in on select individual stations to observe color-coded incoming (green) and outgoing (orange) journeys; or access a "small multiple" view that juxtaposes data from different city districts. The designers visualize the trips by sizing base maps comparatively, extracting ridership data, and calculating optimal bike routes (more information on the project's methodology can be found here). In Berlin and London, the city's organic layout is more apparent as the designers tease out commuting patterns to and from business districts and most-visited neighborhoods. Compared to the 35,000 trips represented on the London and New York maps, Nagel and Pietsch explain that Berlin's less-than-2,000-trip map looks relatively sedate because most residents own their own bikes, while bike shares are geared towards tourists and leisure activities.
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3,000-mile-long bike path coming to the East Coast

The East Coast Greenway Alliance (ECGA) has already completed almost a third of the 3,000-mile-long path, which would ultimately connect 15 states. The ECGA uses its resources to fund and organize local groups and volunteers to build sections of the path. The Durham, North Carolina-based organization has highlighted that this approach fosters a feeling of community ownership of the path while taking advantage of local knowledge in planning and executing its construction. The growth of the path can be piecemeal, but 834 miles are already in place, and the ECGA hopes to add another 200 miles in the next 4 years. When complete, the path will run from Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida, and could be used by locals or serious cross-country travelers alike. More details on the ECGA can be found here.
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New York City’s Citi Bike bike-share system expands into New Jersey

Bike sharing is a trend that is taking the country by storm of late as Jersey City, New Jersey, jumps on the biking bandwagon installing 35 docking stations for 350 bicycles. The new Jersey City bike sharing setup will work in sync New York City's system and will have the same pricing scheme. Likewise, membership to either system overlaps with the other, so bikes can be used across both cities. Docking stations have been placed near PATH stations and spread over the city and into the suburbs. In fact, nearly every neighborhood will have one. Subsequently the distances between docking locations is longer than that compared to the system in NYC. In New York, Motivate, the group behind the scheme, focused on core areas and then dispersed docking locations later on. Speaking to the Jersey Journal, Mayor Steve Fulop said, "We wanted each of the areas in the city to have access right from the start. That was a priority." Dispersing the docks so widely is a risk however, as commuters may be put off cycling the longer distances. Fulop though expressed his excitement for the system to be integrated city-wide. “It’s not very often that a city gets a completely new public transit system, a new way to enjoy the outdoors and stay active, and a new link to New York all at once, but that’s what we have today with Citi Bike,” Fulop said in a press release. “This is something that will connect every corner of the city. We have bike stations in every ward.” Part of the appeal of the biking scheme is that it doesn't require any public money for operating subsidies. Like in NYC, Citi Bike Jersey City is funded by private sponsorships and user fees. Motivate president and CEO Jay Walder said: “Thanks to Mayor Fulop’s visionary leadership and the support of terrific sponsors, the Citi Bike program is now a seamless regional transportation network improving commutes on both sides of the Hudson.”
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Bike to work without the smog: the Clean Ride Mapper helps Canadian cyclists find quieter, less polluted bike routes

In urban canyons where tall buildings on both sides occlude sunlight, pollution, too, is prevented from dispersing. The Clean Ride Mapper is an interactive map that allows cyclists to choose quieter cycling routes with reduced traffic and pollution levels. After inputting starting point and destination, users are shown three color-coded routes—green being the cleanest (as measured by cumulative exposure to nitrogen dioxide and ultrafine particles from fuel combustion), blue the most direct, and red the quietest as gauged by average traffic density the cyclist is likely to encounter. The map is powered by a dataset of air quality indices acquired over four years using $60,000 air-quality sensors attached to bicycles ridden by Montreal residents. While the routes occasionally overlap, there are times where cyclists must choose between an expedient journey or a roundabout ride for the sake of reducing pollutant deposits in the lungs. Maria Hatzopoulou, the creator of Clean Map Rider, claims that these detours are rarely longer than one kilometer (0.6 miles). Assistant professor of civil engineering at McGill University, Hatzopoulou created the online tool for cyclists in Toronto and Montreal as a project for the Transportation and Air Quality Research Group. “On certain days, some of Montreal’s most popular cycling paths, such as the one along the Lachine Canal, are also the most polluted because of wind patterns and proximity to highways,” a news release from the university stated. Considering its on-the-go user base, an obvious shortcoming of the fledgling tool is that there is no smartphone app, and users must click around—with repeated zooming in and out—to approximate their origin and destination rather than inputting an exact address. However, the map’s finer points are in the social pressure it exerts on cyclists to contemplate the smog they inhale every day. Clean Ride Mapper’s news release further cautions that traffic intersections fraught with idling cars also tend to be epicenters of pollution in cities. A similar project led by Columbia University in partnership with New York’s local NPR station, is being executed in New York City, whereby dozens of cyclists will be recruited to don air-quality sensors to accumulate data on bikers’ exposure to air pollution.
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Guy Hollaway Architects announces world’s first multi-story indoor skate park in UK seaside town; calls it “controlled adrenaline facility”

In a bid to keep restless youth from fleeing the sleepy seaside town of Folkestone, UK, for more hedonistic pastures, Guy Holloway Architects has conceptualized what is allegedly the “world’s first” multi-story indoor skatepark. The concept aims to create a larger skateable area without increasing the building footprint, and opening up new stunt possibilities by combining different floor heights. Those who dabble in trial cycling, boxing, and wall climbing are covered, too. guy-hollaway-architects-multi-storey-skatepark-folkestone-designboom-04 Although the architects concede that installing continuous graded floors will be “an engineer’s nightmare,” with adequate planning, the facility can become not only an exemplary urban sports center but also an architecturally impressive edifice. guy-hollaway-architects-multi-storey-skatepark-folkestone-designboom-03 Four stories will stand above ground. Below grade will be a subterranean boxing ring—the soon-to-be domicile of a local boxing club. Two undulating floor plates create a series of giant skateable bowls on the upper floors, whose sculptural form is visible from below. Brave skaters and bikers can plunge 16 feet to the level below. Meanwhile, the building’s outer skin will be transparent to communicate the hive of activity within. For the less adrenaline-inclined, ramps and industrial lifts are provided. The building, according to Hollaway, is a “controlled adrenaline facility.” The undulating surfaces provide ramps, moguls, and ledges for executing nosegrinds and tailslides, resulting in a cave-like entrance hall supported by curving concrete columns. “As you come in you’ll see the belly of the blow above you and hear the wheels of skaters above your head as well,” Hollaway told Dezeen. Collaborating with skatepark designers and “famous skaters,” the British architect is designing the building to lure beginners as well as top-notch talent. The team has bandied about ideas to replicate the best parts of the world’s skateparks and transplant them indoors.“We see this as an opportunity to put Folkestone on the map. To the best of our knowledge, this has never been done anywhere else in the world,” said Hollaway. The skatepark will occupy the site of a former bingo hall in the center of Folkestone, which is currently undergoing regeneration plans after its popularity spiked last year by dint of the Folkestone Triennial arts festival. Of the role his skatepark could play in this goal, Hollaway explained to Dezeen: “If you make childhood more meaningful through education, sport, and recreation, then it’s more likely they’ll invest in their town in the future and stay and maybe bring up their children in that town—that is what true regeneration is about.” If designs are approved, construction is set to begin in September this year and finish in 2016.
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Ride Chicago’s new elevated park and bike path, The 606, with this time-lapse video

Chicago's long-awaited bikeway and elevated park, The 606, opened last weekend (on 6/6, no less) to a rush of pedestrians and cyclists who were eager to test out the new 2.7-mile trail after years of planning, design and construction. The public park remains extremely popular in the sunny week following its debut. https://vimeo.com/130217662 Formerly called the Bloomingdale Trail, the former railroad has been likened to New York City's High Line, but it is quite different—the 606 is as much a highway for bikes as anything else, due in part to its having been largely funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) improvement program. For those who haven't had a chance to visit the trail, Steven Vance of Streetsblog snapped this time-lapse video of a recent bike ride that covers the length of the trail, which runs through the West Side neighborhoods of Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Wicker Park, and West Town. (Vance is also a contributor to AN.) https://instagram.com/p/3tlNEuERTh/ Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates led the design of the trail, which slopes slightly at various points throughout its length to slow bike traffic and suggest spaces for community events. Several access points connect the elevated trail to parks and city streets below. Meanwhile with The 606 up and running, affordable housing advocates are worried the popular park could help swell the tide of gentrification sweeping out longtime neighborhood residents. https://instagram.com/p/3t4zaOCP0J/
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The next generation of bike share programs is taking shape in Birmingham, Alabama

A biking first for the Western Hemisphere is about to hit the streets in Birmingham, Alabama. While the American south is better known for its legacy of car-first sprawl, Birmingham city leaders hope a new bike share program will get residents and visitors to pedal their way on two wheels for short trips in the city's core—and they're getting an "assist" from a new prototype in Canada. Traditional bike share programs include tougher-than-usual bikes able to handle the abuse of the general public. According to a report in AL.com, Birmingham's bikes will feature built-in electric-assist technology that uses small motors to help the weary pedaler make it up steep terrain. But Birmingham officials have been touting the city's flat topography among the selling points for the system, so the "assist" could end up replacing the footwork outright. The electric-assist bikes "were included to lessen barriers to using the system for people not as experienced with hillier areas of the city," the website reported. Whether or not the new system is used for its health benefits or simply falls back on its ability to reduce congestion, improve air quality, and provide a transportation alternative to city residents, Birmingham plans to launch 400 bikes and 40 kiosks across the city's core this fall—a good size system for a city of 212,000 people and a region of 1.14 million. The plan calls for 100 of those bikes to be electric assist. Birmingham chose Quebec, Canada–based Bewegen Technologies on Monday to supply the bikes and kiosks after a number of companies submitted proposals in January. The city's economic development agency, REV Birmingham, will administer the program. Funds come, in part, from a $2 million federal CMAQ grant aimed at mitigating congestion and improving air quality. The city is chipping in another $400,000. Operating costs are expected to come from member payments and corporate sponsorships. Bewegen—named after the Dutch and German word for "to move"—launched their prototype electric bike at a conference in Pittsburgh last September and plans pilot projects in Quebec and Portugal later this year. The company's CEO, Alain Ayotte, was one of the founders of Montreal's Bixi bike share, and served as President and CEO of Public Bike System Company (PBSC) which has supplied major systems in New York City, Chicago, and Washington, DC. PBSC went through a drawn out bankruptcy in 2014, about a year after Ayotte left the company. In an interview with the Bike Share Blog, Ayotte discussed his vision for the future of electrified bike share:
Conventional bike-sharing was a good start, but has many limitations. The modal share numbers speak for themselves. They limit the impact that bike-sharing can have on the urban transportation mix of a city. This also limits the pool of riders and the types of use they can get out every trip. I believe that shared pedelec (electric-assist) vehicles are truly the missing link in urban mobility and will soon become the norm.
The system's pricing structure is still being worked out, but it will include annual memberships and credit card options for short term rentals. The city is crowdsourcing the kiosk locations and plans to launch a website and smartphone app later this summer. Decals will be placed at proposed kiosk locations and citizens can text their thoughts about each one to system organizers. While this system is novel for its use of electric-powered bikes, bike share is not new in the south. Cities like Atlanta, Nashville, Louisville, and Chattanooga have launched, or are planning, systems of their own. The nation's first bike share program began in Washington, D.C., in 2010 and dozens more programs have popped up in cities large and small across the country.
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Cleveland delays $25 million lakefront bridge for pedestrians and bicyclists

An iconic pedestrian bridge planned for downtown Cleveland has been delayed, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Steven Litt. Originally planned to be ready in time for the Republican national convention in 2016, the $25 million steel bridge would connect the northeast corner of Cleveland's downtown Mall to an open space on the shores of Lake Erie between the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Great Lakes Science Center. Passing over two other designs, the Group Plan Commission also indicated a preference for a cable-stayed bridge designed by architect Miguel Rosales of Boston. But now the bridge, which will accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians, won't be complete until 2017, officials said. Cleveland and Cuyahoga County each agreed to pitch in $10 million for the project. The state of Ohio will pay the remaining $5 million.
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Cleveland looks to link lakefront and downtown with soaring pedestrian bridge

Cleveland's lakefront attractions and downtown have long been estranged neighbors, not easily accessed from one another without a car. The city and Cuyahoga County plan to fix that, offering a 900-foot bridge for pedestrians and bicycles that will hop over railroad tracks and The Shoreway, a lakefront highway built in the 1930s. The $25 million bridge takes off from the downtown Mall, touching down between the I.M. Pei–designed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center, designed by Boston's E. Verner Johnson. Another Bostonian is heading up design duties for the new bridge. Miguel Rosales' firm Rosales Partners hatched three design schemes with the help of Parsons Brinckerhoff. The final design has not been selected, and regional officials say it will come down to community input. Construction is expected to begin May 2015, wrapping up by June 2016. But before that, public authorities are seeking comment from the bridge's eventual users by hosting a free public meeting from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 13, in the County Council chambers on the fourth floor of the county administration building, 2079 East Ninth Street, Cleveland. All the options are visually striking. Whether suspension, cable-stayed, or arched, the bone-white bridge wends through renderings made public last week, framing the Cleveland Browns' lakeside FirstEnergy Stadium. As the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Steven Litt wrote, the bridge fulfills a longtime goal of planners and urbanists in northeast Ohio:
Creating a bridge from the Mall to North Coast Harbor and lakefront attractions including the Rock Hall has been something of a holy grail in Cleveland city planning for nearly two decades. Yet until now, the city has been unable to mobilize support and fund the project. The city failed three times in recent years to win a federal grant for the project under the TIGER program, short for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery.
But now, Litt wrote, the city and county each agreed to kick in $10 million, which led the state to close the $5 million gap. A 2013 city-county partnership and the news that Cleveland would host the next Republican National Convention apparently provided the incentive they needed to take on the project, which officials said will be complete by the convention in 2016. The three design options are as follows: The suspension bridge option: The cable-stayed option: The arch option:
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Seattle’s bike share program, Pronto, launches today!

In the last few years, urban bike sharing has popped up all across the United States: in cities like Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Miami, San Francisco, and Chicago among others. Finally Seattle is getting it's first bike sharing program, Pronto Cycle Share, today. The program, operated by Portland-based Alta Bicycle Share, opens with 500 bikes distributed to 50 stations throughout downtown and central Seattle, with many near grocery stores. Stations will hold between 12 and 20 Arcade Cycles. There are short term passes available: 24 hour and 3-day passes ($8 and $16 respectively), with an annual membership starting at $85. Trips under 30 minutes are unlimited; after that there are additional usage fees. Riders can borrow free helmets, with pick up and drop off at every kiosk. And there will be automated helmet vending machines, but they aren't ready yet. For now, it's an honor code system. And yes, the helmets will be sanitized. Alaska Airlines is the major brand sponsor, at $2.5 million for five years. So what's next? There are plans to expand to the Central District in 2015. More info about Seattle's new bike share program on Pronto's website.