A nice guide from PRESTO that focuseson developing and nurturing cycling cultures in cities. The guide is informed by lessons learned from their own work promoting cycling in 5 differenct cities with varying levels of cycling culture.
The starter city section is relevant to London!
One of the reports key recommendations for starter cities looking to improve local cycling levels is unsurprisingly the provision of adequate and credible infrastructure which is the best possible promotion for cycling.
This document is the final report of the European PRESTO cycling project, summarising its main achievements and recommendations from 33 months of experience and practical knowledge in building cycling cultures in five European cities…with different cycling conditions, modal splits, starting situations and local challenges…
This document sums up our main recommendations for different aspects of cycling infrastructure, cycling promotion and pedelecs, structured by “starter”, “climber” and “champion” cycling cities. It is intended for local and regional authorities across Europe, bicycle retailers, European institutions and NGOs, or anyone who is working on building a cycling culture…
PRESTO activities ran from May 2009 to January 2012 and focussed on the three pillars:
• improved infrastructure planning
• targeted promotion to encourage the use of bicycles
The five PRESTO cities – with their varying levels of cycling – are Bremen, Germany; Grenoble, France; Tczew, Poland; Venice, Italy; and Zagreb, Croatia. Together, they provided an ideal testing ground for some creative measures for “starter”, “climber” and “champion” cycling cities and enabled us to learn some lessons which we can now share with you…
Cool! Cycle bus it to school!
Some lucky Dutch schoolchildren can now put their seemingly endless energy to good use, by powering their own school bus. Dutch company De Café Racer produced an eco-friendly bicycle-bus that is steered by an adult and pedaled by up to 10 children.
The bright yellow bus is designed for riders aged 4 to 12, and its stability and high visibility provide a safe, early introduction to cycle commuting in a country where bicycling is a way of life and 95 percent of teenagers bike to school at least some of the time.
The bus has a base speed of 10 miles per hour, and a motor for backup if the students are too tired to pedal or need help with hills. Other features include a music player and a canvas cover for shelter on rainy days. There’s even a bench seat where two additional children can sit back and enjoy the ride. —Kate Malongowski
Photo: Kate Malongowski/ Yes!
Photojournal: Cycling Infrastructure in Portland, OR
It’s no secret that Portland leads the way for innovative bicycle infrastructure among US cities, but many cities still seem reluctant to take note of their successes. The above photographs were taken during a recent trip and begin to illustrate the prevalence of a deeply embedded cycling culture. The cost of such infrastructure is negligible and the dividends are endless.
A few notes:
- There are no gaps in designated bike routes, meaning that cyclists are not exposed out in the middle of a busy road after a mile or two of bike lanes or road demarcations. Continuity has been thoroughly designed.
- There is debate in Portland as to the value of their infamous green bike boxes. Whether or not the added safety is immediate, it does raise awareness and foster a culture of coexistence for motorists. There is immense value in this, as riding on a normal road feels much safer in Portland than other cities simply because one knows the motorist is much more likely to be courteous to cyclists. They’re used to it. Culture is important.
- Bike racks are more than niceties, they are vital for encouraging the average person to ride. I’d venture to guess there isn’t a single commercial block in Portland proper without bike parking of some type, and many have small shelters built to protect bikes from rain. Even better is the on-street bike parking that has become a desirable asset for local businesses, as so many more customers can be accommodated in a smaller space.
- The bike boulevard concept can’t be captured in a single photograph, but it is perhaps the greatest innovation to come out of Portland’s infrastructure. A bike boulevard is a road designed first and foremost for cyclists using a combination of traffic calming measures (low speed limits, shallow speed bumps, curb extensions, cyclist-only cut throughs) and markings (wayfinder signs, sharrows, lanes, brightly colored intersection markings). The end product is a marvelously peaceful bicycle route with the added benefit of quieter streets for those who live on them. This holistic street design can and should be replicated.
Note: I’ve turned on the photo reply option, please feel free to submit your own photographs of excellent bike infrastructure!
I was interested to read the comments made by jahnnasbrain on this post, who has firsthand experience of cycling in Omaha as a former resident of the city! However, despite the signs arising out of laziness, they are visible form of cycling endorsement by the city and offer a clear reminder to drivers that they should expect cyclists to take the lane when required.
MAY USE FULL LANE:
These signs are laced all along designated bike routes in Omaha, Nebraska (among other cities). A simple, effective reminder to motorists that cyclists have the right to safety via full visibility.
A new report from the Passenger Transport Executive Group on land use planning and transport! Nothing new but good reading!
The report…highlights the Government’s forthcoming National Planning Policy Framework as a key tipping point for whether transport provision for new development will be an afterthought (with all the sprawl and congestion that implies) or whether transport and land use planning will be integrated in a way that ensures green, smart and efficient development.
In highlighting good and bad practice from the UK and beyond, the report shows how much the functioning of towns and cities can be improved when transport is central to land use planning. It concludes: ‘…the evidence leads to one compelling conclusion: where sustainability of transport is an integral consideration in the land use planning process, non-car modes of travel become dominant, but where development proceeds without due regard to transport considerations then car dependence is the outcome.’
The report recommends ‘three golden rules’ for future planning policy
- All major development should be public transport centred
- All major development should aim to achieve a design where car journeys are a minority of mode share
- Development should primarily occur as infill, or at least adjacent to, major centres
The report also calls for local authorities, and Local Economic Partnerships, to be encouraged to proactively draw up highly sustainable masterplans for development sites of key significance – including for new Enterprise Zones. More widely planning processes (like those for major planning applications) should universally include the bodies responsible for local transport.
This is a brilliant idea! It helps to market cycling as trendy, accessible and convenient and also serves as a hub to allow cyclists meet other cyclists!
The Bicycle Library is a new project that offers people the chance to borrow bicycles instead of books. The headquarter is a double-decker bus in London (UK) where there’s a variety of bicycles, each designed to adapt to all urban conditions. You can ask suggestions to the “Librarian”, test the bike for a few days and even buy it direct from the manufacturer.
Take it to the streets.
Interesting read from the ITDP! This report was referenced in the National Geographic article below. Paper reviewing European parking practices….good series of strategies and case studies!