Posts Tagged ‘Janette Sadik-Khan’

PlanNYC: Some inspiration from New York City

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

We typically shy away from posts not directly related to Detroit, but this one is too good to pass by.

It’s a video about the non-motorized work being done in New York City being led by Mayor Bloomberg. They have aggressively moved forward with their greening efforts through increased public space, greenways, bike lanes (over 200 miles in 3 years!), and more. One ¬†significant comment was when the Mayor mentioned New Yorkers have increased their life expectancy by reducing crash rates. With Detroit having the second highest rate of pedestrian fatalities among U.S. cities (Atlanta is #1), our efforts could provide that same benefit here.

Link:  PlanNYC

Cities for Cycling: More Coverage

Monday, December 28th, 2009

We recently wrote about the NACTO Cities for Cycling project and its kickoff meeting in Washington DC earlier this month.

This meeting was actually about more than just this new project.

It was hosted by the Brookings Institute and featured Bruce Katz. Katz recently wrote the interesting article, The Detroit Project: A Plan for Solving America’s Greatest Urban Disaster. In DC, Katz spoke of the major upcoming debate on transportation policy. He emphasized the critical importance of advocates continuing to push non-motorized transportation during this period of change.

David Bryne

The next presenter was David Bryne, the front man of the Talking Heads. While he’s been cycling around New York since the 80s, he’s more recently become a bicycle advocate. The League of American Bicyclists summarized Bryne’s presentation.

Byrne began with a photo of Columbia, Md. where his elderly parents now live and are stranded due to the autocentric design of the community. He then went on to highlight some of his favorite books including: Twenty Minutes in Manhattan, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and The Timeless Way of Building. He continued with a photo diary of memorable scenes – both good and bad – of public spaces from his travels around the world on his beloved folding bike.

Bryne’s book, Bicycle Diaries does briefly recount his ride in Detroit. In a recent National Geographic Adventure article, Bryne’s listed Detroit among his eight favorite biking cities in the “Great rides where you least expect it” category.

So when speaking with him in DC after the event, I invited him to return to Detroit and provided our Detroit Greenways Brochure to spark his interest. We’ll see.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer

Our premier bicycle advocate in Congress spoke next and started with his standard question: How many people are stuck in traffic right now on their way to ride a stationary bike in a health club?

Blumenauer gave a brief timeline on bicycle advocacy. What was once considered “desireable” have become “important” and is transitioning to “urgent” and “critical.”

In conjunction with that transition, introduced his Active Community legislation for the upcoming transportation bill. The original push from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy was for an Active Transportation 2010 program where 40 U.S. cities received $50 million over 6 years to increase biking and walking. Detroit applied for this as did Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids. However, according to the congressman, that program smelled too much like earmarks and didn’t make it in the transportation bill.

His new Active Communities legislation would be a competitive $5 to $15 million grant program with a focus on mode shift — getting more people walking and biking.

Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan

The NYC DOT Commissioner presented next primarily on the Cities for Cycling project, much of which we’ve already covered.

Some additional Cities for Cycling goals we forgot to mention the first time include

  • Hosting workshops around the U.S. next year
  • Making sure the next MUTCD is designed for 21st century cities and not just highways
  • Streamline federal regulations for active transportation projects
  • Double active transportation funding

Khan also said that building for bicycles is a matter of customer service and that bikes lanes are a transformative change for cities which benefits more than just cyclsits.

Questions and Answers

A little Q & A followed the three presentations. One person asked if there was still opposition to active transportation.

(more…)

Cycling for Cities: A Detroit Perspective

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Earlier this month, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) started a new Cities for Cycling project with a kick off event in Washington DC, which we were able to attend.

But first, what is NACTO? While the more popular American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is for states, NACTO is the equivalent for large U.S. cities. NACTO has 14 member cities, including Detroit.

Their mission is to “encourage the exchange of transportation ideas, insights, and practices among large central cities while fostering a cooperative approach to key national transportation issues.”

The Cities for Cycling project mission is to “catalog, promote and implement the world’s best bicycle transportation practices in American municipalities.”

Bicycling is good for cities. Providing safe, comfortable, convenient bicycling facilities is a cost-effective way for American municipalities to improve mobility, livability and public health while reducing traffic congestion and CO2 emissions.

Cities for Cycling focuses on implementing world-class bicycle transportation systems through design innovation and the sharing of best practices. American municipalities are increasingly pioneering new designs and adapting international best practices to local conditions. To assist this local-level leadership, the Cities for Cycling project works to share and promote state-of-the-art practices that ensure safe traffic conditions for all modes of travel.

Why Cities for Cycling?

New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner and NACTO president Janette Sadik-Khan also gave another reason for this project. (more…)