Many American cities are growing to the idea that they need to do a much better job handling their stormwater runoff at ground level. In Indianapolis, they decided to not only do that but significantly green the city along its newly opened Cultural Trail. The 8 mile separated biking and walking route loops thru the heart of the downtown and as you'll see in this short (expanded from our larger work) Karen S, Haley, the Executive Director of Indianapolis Cultural Trail, tells us a little about the substansial and verdant bioswales they installed.
Imagine if these became standard for roads in some vulnerable-to-storms- U.S. cities?
The Oregon legislature is considering passage of a law that would allow bicycle riders to treat stop signs as yield signs. These "rolling stops" would allow bike riders to preserve some of the momentum they depend upon for efficient travel, just so long as they don't infringe on the safety and rights of others.
The law is based on one that's been successful in Idaho for the last 27 years, so it's come to be known as the "Idaho Stop" law.
There's some controversy - and whole lot of misunderstanding - surrounding the proposed Idaho Stop law. I thought I could clear some of it up with the magic of animation.
Music: "Celebrated Shoo Fly Galop" by W.L. Hayden, performed by Lucas Gonze (soupgreens.com and gonze.com). Used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.
UPDATE: This particular piece of legislation failed to make it to a vote: http://bikeportland.org/2009/04/20/no-idaho-stops-in-oregon-law-fails-to-win-necessary-support-17477 However, the notion of lightening regulation on bikes hasn't gone away entirely, most recently turning up in the "gut and stuff" placeholder language of a law that would allow people on bikes to proceed were a stoplight not to sense them: http://bikeportland.org/2011/02/02/false-alarm-on-idaho-stop-law-47209
And the idea of Idaho Stop has proven popular all over the world, as is indicated at least in part by the continued spread of this video, which was originally meant only for the eyes of Oregon legislators and citizens, to convince them of the common sense behind this law.
With the MK1-E we set out to do the impossible: Create a beautiful, unique, and life changing cargo trike that is easy to use, and thrilling to ride. The result is our game changing patented Built To Tilt™ driving system. And a range of small but essential details. We hope you’ll like it as much as we do …
In May, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, a protected bike & pedestrian trail connecting some of Indy's most popular cultural institutions, had it's long-awaited public coming out with a ribbon cutting and celebration. It could be the biggest bicycling infrastructure achievement in North America and yet it's still practically a secret. Hopefully after experiencing our Streetfilm, that will change.
As you'll see it runs eight fantastic miles through the heart of the downtown and features beautiful stone work, green landscaping and bioswales for containing stormwater runoff. There is great signage and design with an eye for maximum safety. In many places along the trail, parking and/or a car travel lane was converted to fit the lanes in. But most importantly, the trail features ample room for both cyclists and pedestrians (most of the time in separate environments) to move about in a major city whether they are commuting, exercising, running errands or just going for a afternoon jaunt.
It's fun and very safe and people of all ages using it. It's the kind of thing Gil Penalosa's 8-80 Cities organization preaches to the world.
Across the U.S. we have cities such as NYC, Chicago and San Francisco doing tremendous work installing many innovative miles of protected lanes with inexpensive materials. Although the Cultural Trail cost quite a bit, it's nice to imagine that in the near future we'll want to make these lanes more permanent and rideable. And for that we need not look to Europe, we can go check out Indianapolis.
Note: Please don't miss our associated Streetfilm on Indy Mayor Greg Ballard AND a short looking more in-depth at the bioswales and storm water management system along the Cultural Trail.
Without a doubt 2013 has been a banner year for bike share in the United States with large systems implemented in New York City (Citbike) & Chicago (Divvy) and many others debuting (or expanding their size) in cites big and small. In fact, Citibike now boasts over 10 million bike miles travelled and is inching closer to 100,000 members! Geek out and follow the progress at that link.
The Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) has been studying 25 bike shares throughout the world analyzing which ones succeed most and why. That's led to ITDP's Bike Share Planning Guide which has copious data and fascinating charts to pour over in order to help cities and systems continue to thrive and give plenty of advice to those planning bike shares of their own.
We were very happy to team up with ITDP to make this Streetfilm. It features footage of a dozen bike shares from around the world and represents an unprecedented amount of video in any one short film. Enjoy and download the report!