Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Mileston In Atlanta: Two Bidirectional Protected Bike Lanes Intersect

Bidirectional protected bike lanes, which put both directions of bike traffic on the same side of a street, aren't ideal. But they can be useful in a pinch.
Like all protected bike lanes, well-designed bidirectionals are more comfortable to more riders than having no bike lanes on busy streets.
This month in downtown Atlanta, something interesting is happening for the first time in the United States: two bidirectional protected bike lanes are crossing each other at a four-way intersection.
Fortunately, both of them are on the "left" side of signalized one-way streets. This is generally the best way to use a bidirectional protected bike lane, in part because it prevents total chaos in situations like this one.
Read the rest of the story here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Why Bicycling Infrastructure Fails Bicyclists

New York City is unquestionably a bike town. According to the city’s Community Health Survey, nearly 1.6 million New York adults—and likely another few hundred thousand kids—ride bikes in the city at least a few times a year. Nearly 800,000 New Yorkers—approximately the populations of New Orleans and Atlanta together—ride bikes several times a month. About 400,000 bike trips are made every day. And 86,000 New Yorkers commute to work or school using bikes. Last Wednesday, more than 56,000 trips were taken on the city’s bike-share system, which covers just 20 square miles; for Citi Bike, that was a daily record.
The days of viewing bike infrastructure as a “creative class” amenity—an infrastructural sugar high for young white transplants, the planning equivalent of cupcake shops and cold brew—are over. That narrative was always B.S.—half of bicycle commuters, according to the census, earn less than $25,000 a year.
Read the rest of the story here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Report: As Cities Add Bike Lanes, More People Bike and Biking Gets Safer

The more people bike on the streets, the safer the streets are for everyone who bikes. This phenomenon,originally identified by researcher Peter Jacobsen, is known as “safety in numbers.” And that’s exactly what American cities are seeing as they add bike infrastructure — more cyclists and safer cycling — according to a new report from the National Association of City Transportation Officials [PDF].
The report is part of NACTO’s research series on implementing equitable bike-share systems. NACTO makes the case that large-scale bike-share systems can improve access to jobs in low-income communities by extending the reach of bus and rail lines, and — citing the safety-in-numbers evidence — that good bike lanes have to be part of the solution. Otherwise dangerous street conditions will continue to discourage people from biking.
NACTO tracked changes in bike commuting, bike lane miles, and cyclist fatalities and severe injuries in seven U.S. cities that have added protected bike lanes and bike-share systems over the past decade or so. In all seven cities, cycling has grown along with the bike network, while the risk of severe injury or death while cycling has declined.
In five of the cities — Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, and Portland — the absolute number of cycling deaths and severe injuries fell between 2007 and 2014, even as cycling rose substantially. In the two other cities — San Francisco and Washington, D.C. — deaths and serious injuries increased somewhat, but not as much as the increase in bicycle commuting.
Read the rest of the story here.

Monday, July 25, 2016

How 7 Cities Got More People Biking

There’s now even more data to suggest that building out bike infrastructure is central to increasing bike ridership and equity. A new survey of seven cities highlights the municipal policies that helped them make bicycling safer for all, including low-income riders and riders of color. The resulting report, “Equitable Bike Share Means Building Better Places for People to Ride,” released Wednesday by the National Association of City Transportation Officials, makes the case for a “safety in numbers” approach to biking: The more people out on bikes, the better.

“People want and need safe places to walk and bike, and safe ways to get to their jobs or schools,” said Carniesha Kwashie, of the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia and the Better Bike Share Partnership, in a statement. “This analysis by NACTO highlights the fundamental fact that building safe streets underscores all approaches to building a more equitable city and society.”
Read the rest of the story here.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The First Details From AASHTO's Draft Bike Guide Look Fantastic

As the most influential U.S. transportation engineering organization rewrites its bike guide, there seems to be general agreement that protected bike lanes should be included for the first time.
review panel appointed by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officialswill meet July 25 to start reviewing drafts of the new guide, including eight new chapters highlighted here in blue:
Read the entire story here.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Virginia Receives Top Honors for SMART SCALE Transportation Prioritization Process

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Smart Scale, Virginia’s data-driven prioritization process to fund the right transportation projects that generate the greatest benefit for taxpayers, received the State Transformation in Action Recognition (STAR) award from the Southern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments.Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 10.55.37 AM.png
The Southern Legislative Conference, holding its annual meeting in Lexington, Kentucky, represents the interests of 15 states and aims to encourage intergovernmental cooperation on policy issues among its members.
“This STAR award reflects how SMART SCALE is transforming the way Virginia selects, funds and builds transportation projects,” said Governor McAuliffe. “In Virginia, we are no longer allowing politics and subjective wish lists to drive decision making - we are using data to prioritize and build the right projects to promote economic growth and a higher quality of life. I am proud that the Southern Legislative Conference has recognized SMART SCALE as an innovation in government that will make every transportation dollar work better for Virginia taxpayers.”
Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne said, “The STAR award is the result of an intensive collaborative effort, made possible by Governor McAuliffe and bipartisan support of the General Assembly, to bring localities and regional bodies across the state together to develop an outcome-based scoring system of transportation projects, the only one of its kind in the country. It took an intensive staff effort led by Deputy Secretary of Transportation Nick Donohue to create and implement the process.”
Last month, the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved $1.7 billion in funding to build 163 projects that were selected through the Smart Scale process, which became law as House Bill 2 in 2014. The projects, now included in the Six-Year Improvement Program, are fully funded through all phases of project development and construction. 
Smart Scale stands for System for the Management and Allocation of Resources for Transportation, and the key factors used in evaluating a project’s merits: improvements to safety, congestion reduction, accessibility, land use, economic development and the environment.
The Southern Legislative Conference gave Smart Scale top scores based on its creative approach to solving problems and issues, far-reaching benefits and solutions, ability to transfer best practices to other states, and overall success in operating effectively and efficiently.
For more information, visit

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Jim’s Journeys … Traveling the TTA Highway

Jim Zarling, a member of the Charlottesville-based Transportation Training Academy (TTA), Virginia’s
LTAP, recently began a series of visits to various regions throughout the Commonwealth. He’s meeting with transportation colleagues across the state,
listening to their issues and helping to identify resources to address their needs.

The TTA offers practical and relevant training opportunities, including newly-
launched online courses such as the upcoming Technical Writing for Transportation Professionals. The TTA also provides training programs ‘on the go’ to bring programs and activities directly to your organization or locality. The TTA’s brand new safety circuit rider (SCR) program assists local agencies with resources and
expertise to identify, diagnose and solve traffic safety problems.

Watch for information about when Jim will be traveling to your location. Or contact
Jim at to schedule a visit. Read on for Jim’s first message from
the TTA highway:

Greetings from the road!  

After a successful Advanced Work Zone class in Bristol in June, I spent time visiting
some of our colleagues in the southwest corner of our great state.  It was wonderful
to meet with people face-to- face and, of course, it was great to drive through one of
the most beautiful parts of Virginia.

I learned that transportation workers are really interested in finding out more about
the TTA and what it can do to help them do their jobs more effectively. We talked
about extending services into rural areas and ensuring that technical assistance is
available in every corner of the state. The role of Virginia’s LTAP (our Local
Technical Assistance Program) is to make sure that local transportation service
providers have all the tools and skills they need to make our roadways safe. As I
journey to other parts of the state, I’ll be bringing you the most current information
about all of these resources.

I’m looking forward to seeing you soon.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

America’s Walking Renaissance

America Walks and the Every Body Walk! Collaborative are excited to announce the release of a new book, America’s Walking Renaissance. The book, written by Jay Walljasper, Kate Kraft and Heidi Simon with a forward by Tyler Norris of Kaiser Permanente, examines how nine cities, suburbs and towns across the US are getting back on their feet to embrace walking and become more walkable.
America’s Walking Renaissance is a journey across the US, taking a look at walkable cities of all shapes and sizes and providing resources and information on the growing walking movement. The book highlights the hard work being done by passionate individuals to encourage more people to walk and to create more walkable places. Walking is the gateway to increased physical activity, and a stimulus to safer, more livable and equitably prosperous communities.
This new book will serve as an important look back at the progress made to encourage walking across the US and, hopefully, a guide and inspiration for those just getting started on the path to walkability.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Which Road Users Make The Greatest Demands On Our Tax Dollars?

As I pointed out earlier this week, everyone that shops in Fort Collins pays to maintain our local roads (though it’s possible that bicyclists and transit users might pay a little more into the pot than motorists). But the flip side of that same coin leads one to ask: “Which road users make the greatest demands on those tax dollars?” Roads need to be maintained. But some vehicles cause more wear and tear than others, requiring additional maintenance.
There’s a measurement system used by street engineers called the “Equivalent Single Axle Load.” By estimating the types of vehicles that will be on the road, and their frequency of use, engineers can get a sense of how long the road surface will maintain integrity given a certain type of road surface (asphalt, cement, etc.). Heavy use areas may require more expensive, but longer lasting, surface materials, while light use areas will do fine with cheaper materials.
Speed also plays into the equation. In general, a vehicle traveling twice as fast will do twice as much damage to the road. If you think about driving behind someone on a gravel road, you’re more likely to have rocks kicked up into your windshield if they’re traveling quickly than if they’re moseying along at a gentle pace. That’s because they’re exerting more force with the wheels of their vehicle when they’re moving faster.
Read the rest of the story here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Atlantic Gateway Web Page

About the Project
The Atlantic Gateway project will significantly improve more than 50 miles of the I-95 corridor from Fredericksburg to the Pentagon with multi-modal travel options, including expanded passenger and freight rail and extended 95 Express Lanes to the north and south. 
Key Benefits
  • Transform travel conditions on one of the most congested corridors in the country, connecting people to jobs and stimulating economic growth
  • Unlock critical bottlenecks, improving  safety, reliability and capacity for freight, commuter and passenger rail service, both short and long distances   
  • Ease congestion and decrease travel time for commuters by providing them a reliable trip from Fredericksburg to the Pentagon and points in between 
  • Move more people with new travel choices throughout the corridor
Project Summary
  • 14 miles of new rail track along CSX rail corridor, including approaches for a new Long Bridge over the Potomac River
  • 95 Express Lanes extended seven miles to the north to the Pentagon and 10 miles to the south to Fredericksburg, improving access to the Pentagon and alleviating backups at the current southern terminus
  • New southbound bridge on I-95 across the Rappahannock River
  • Expanded bus service in the corridor
  • 1,000 new commuter and 50 new truck parking spaces
  • Technology upgrades for improved travel time and incident response
  • Pavement for autonomous vehicle enhancement; this will provide the infrastructure to test and deploy driverless cars
  • Ownership of the S-line, an abandoned rail corridor that runs from North Carolina to the Richmond area; the S-line is necessary for high-speed rail
More Information

Monday, July 11, 2016

Virginia's Newest Transportation Map Is Available

RICHMOND, Virginia – A new official state transportation map is fresh off the press and on the shelves of welcome centers across the state.
“Even though we have technology at our fingertips practically all the time, the map’s popularity remains high,” said VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick. “Maps always come in handy, especially when the GPS isn’t working.”
Along with providing the latest road information in the commonwealth, the map places a focal point on the Chesapeake Bay region of Virginia, paying particular attention to the area’s historical background, recreation opportunities and economy. 
It also highlights tourism attractions, wine and craft beer, and oysters, which the region is widely known for.
Dating back to the 1600’s, the Bay area was populated with thriving Native American communities. It was home to diverse wildlife and fertile soil, and was the location for the second permanent English settlement in the Americas. 
With the passage of time, port towns were established along the coast and the Bay’s rich bounty of oysters and blue crab led to a thriving fishing industry. 
Today, that region continues to be the heart of Virginia’s coast.
The latest map features the latest travel routes to help you plan your next road trip. It can be found at Virginia’s welcome centers, and is available by request at rest areas and VDOT offices across the state. 
The map can also be ordered or printed from VDOT’s website at

Friday, July 1, 2016

Can Sadiq Khan Stand Up to Bike Bashers and Make London a Cycling City?

My regular bike commute to work comes in two very distinct parts, a split which epitomizes the rapid changes to cycling in London. The beginning and the end – Walworth Road and Farringdon Road for those who know the city – are an experience familiar to cyclists in the capital for many years: a slightly gung-ho rush of mingling with the buses, cabs and construction trucks.

But for one, blissful mile in the middle, this all changes. Those of us on two wheels are funneled onto a brand new, billiard table-smooth bike lane, separated from the metal behemoths by a raised curb, cosseted with our own mini traffic lights.
This is the first completed section of Boris Johnson’s much-heralded north-to-south cycle “superhighway”, among a series of dedicated bike routes created by the now-departed mayor. In the coming months it will gradually expand all the way to King’s Cross.
Read the rest of the story here.