Here are several pictures of a newly constructed pedway in Toronto – an example of how cities are slowly becoming more pedestrian and bike friendly. This pedway is expected to spur retail and office developments around the Pickering Station.
It was designed to serve both pedestrians and bicyclists, crosses 14 lanes of traffic, is completely glass enclosed, and has elevators in addition to stairs at each of its access points. The $22.5-million project opened in January, 2012 and was constructed mainly at night to minimize traffic disruption.
In October 2012, the Lethbridge City Council was given projected figures of around $60 million to build what seems like a much simpler pedway (no glass enclosure, no elevators) across the Oldman River. Maybe this gives us a bit of hope that it wouldn’t be hard so expensive (?!) to bridge the Oldman after all!
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(US) Alliance for Biking and Walking Releases 2012 Benchmarking Report
The Alliance for Biking and Walking has released its comprehensive report on cycling and walking infastructure, funding, and safety for 2012. The report shows that increasing bicycling and walking are goals that are clearly in the public interest.
Where bicycling and walking levels are higher, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes levels are lower. Higher levels of bicycling and walking also coincide with increased bicycle and pedestrian safety and higher levels of physical activity. Increasing bicycling and walking can help solve many serious problems.
As this report indicates, many states and cities are making progress toward promoting safe access for bicyclists and pedestrians, but much more remains to be done.
Bicycling and Walking Levels
- 12% of all trips are by bicycle (1.0%) or foot (10.5%).
- From 2000 to 2009, the number of commuters who bicycle to work increased by 57%.
- In 2009, 40% of trips in the United States were shorter than 2 miles, yet Americans use their cars for 87% of trips 1 to 2 miles. Twenty-seven percent of trips are shorter than 1 mile, yet 62% of trips up to 1 mile long are by car. Residents of the largest U.S. cities are 1.7 times more likely to walk or bicycle to work than the national average
Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety
- 14% of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. are bicyclists (1.8%) or pedestrians (11.7%).
- In the 51 largest U.S. cities, 12.7% of trips are by foot and 1.1% are by bicycle, yet 26.9% of traffic fatalities are pedestrians and 3.1% are bicyclists.
Seniors are the most vulnerable bicyclists and pedestrians. Adults over 65 make up 10% of walking trips, yet comprise 19% of pedestrian fatalities and make up 6% of bicycling trips, yet account for and 10% of bicyclist fatalities.
Public Health Benefits
Bicycling and walking levels fell 66% between 1960 and 2009, while obesity levels increased by 156%.
- Between 1966 and 2009, the number of children who bicycled or walked to school fell 75%, while the percentage of obese children rose 276%.
In general, states with the highest levels of bicycling and walking have the lowest levels of obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), and diabetes and have the greatest percentage of adults who meet the recommended 30-plus minutes per day of physical activity.
Bicycling and walking projects create 11-14 jobs per $1 million spent, compared to just 7 jobs created per $1 million spent on highway projects.
Cost benefit analyses show that up to $11.80 in benefits can be gained for every $1 invested in bicycling and walking.
2012 Benchmarking Report
According to a Dec. 1st Technology Review article, “The first analysis of data from shared bicycle networks in Europe, reveals some surprising urban cycling patterns In 2005, the French city of Lyon introduced a shared bicycle system called Velo’v that has since inspired numerous other schemes around the world. Velo’v differed from earlier schemes in its innovative technology, such as electronic locks, onboard computers and access via smart cards. The system now offers some 4000 bikes at almost 350 stations around the city. Most residents agree that the system has transformed the city from a grid-locked nightmare to a cyclists dream, with some 16,000 journeys now being completed each day.”
“All this presents researchers with an interesting opportunity. Since its introduction, the system has kept track of the start and finishing location plus travel time of every journey. Today, we get a detailed analysis of this data from Pablo Jensen at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and a few amis. They looked at 11.6 million bicycle trips in Lyon between May 2005 and December 2007. The result is the first robust characterisation of urban bikers’ behaviour, they say…Over an average trip, cyclists travel 2.49 km in 14.7 minutes so their average speed is about 10 km/h. That compares well with the average car speed in inner cities across Europe…”
Source: Technology Review
At least twice as many men cycle compared to women in the US. In contrast, 55 percent of cyclists in the Netherlands are women, 49 percent in Germany. Infrastructure plays a key role….
… A survey conducted by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycling Professionals in the spring of 2010 found that women often shy away from cycling because of safety concerns, such as distracted drivers and a lack of cycling infrastructure. The Women’s Cycling Survey report, published in September of this year, notes that “women from large cities were most receptive to the addition of bike lanes as a means to start/ increase their cycling.” In other words, the better the infrastructure, the more likely it is that women in urban environments will bike.
From Momentum Magazine #49 Nov/Dec 2010 “Cycling’s Litmus Test”
Read editorial @ Momentum Magazine