Industrialized Cyclist Notepad


20 mph speed limits in Park Slope
November 25, 2013, 09:36
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A nice bit of civil disobedience here:

Calling it “a gift to the city,” a group of activists changed the speed limit in Park Slope this weekend by hanging rogue 20 mph speed limit signs along Prospect Park West.

Safe streets activists with the group Right of Way installed the signs on Saturday night around 10pm. Organizer Keegan Stephan says the group was motivated by recent pedestrian deaths — and statistics showing a lower speed limit save lives.

“A pedestrian hit by a car going 20 mph has a 95% chance of survival,” he said, who added that a WNYC map showed the city could lower the speed limit to 20 miles per hour across two-thirds of city under current state law. “We don’t understand why they’re not, (so) we took it upon ourselves.” 

He said the signs are also a way of showing support for a bill currently under consideration by the New York City Council. When introduced last month, Intro 535 aimed to lower the city’s speed limit to 20 miles per hour. But last Friday, Council Member Jimmy Vacca, who chairs the Transportation Committee, told WNYC “the bill is being tweaked a little bit.” He said “we’re aiming for 25 miles per hour on narrow, one-way streets.”

(Stephan’s reaction to that news: “That’s disappointing.”)

via Activists Take Brooklyn Speed Limit Into Own Hands, Install 20mph Signs in Park Slope – WNYC.



Beyoncé Bikes
August 6, 2013, 21:41
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Beyoncebikes

“…It’s amazing how I’m able to ride around on a bike. People kind of see it’s me but since I’m on a bike, they think, ‘No, it’s not her.’ And by the time they realize it’s me, I’m already gone.”

via Gets It: Beyoncé Bikes to Barclays | Streetsblog New York City.



Citibreach
July 23, 2013, 20:14
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May not amount to much.

One possible interpretation of this story:

A system that is already proving to be ‘safe’ despite a barrage of pre-launch propaganda needed more bad press.

The security breach was discovered and corrected “at the end of May” and affected 1,174 customers who signed up for $95 annual memberships to the program, said Seth Solomonow, a spokesman for the city Department of Transportation, which launched Citi Bike and controls all of the system’s communications to the public.

He did not explain the delay between the identification of the security flaw and notification of affected users.

According to NYC Bike Share LLC, a local subsidiary of system operator Alta Bicycle Share, an “error log” containing personal data on Citi Bike account holders was “briefly accessible” on the system’s website on April 15. The error was corrected as soon as it was discovered, NYC Bike Share President Michael Jones said in the letter.

via Citi Bike Accidentally Exposes Customer Credit Card Information – Metropolis – WSJ.



Friedersdorf on Rabinowitz

That’s right, Friedersdorf.

There is no one in America who objects more consistently than me to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s initiatives: This is a man who favors stop-and-frisk, racially profiling and spying on innocent Muslims, restricting the size of soda New Yorkers can buy, salt limits, a trans-fat ban, and a pervasive surveillance state. Left up to me, no one like Bloomberg would ever exercise political power. My disdain for his paternalism and disregard for civil liberties is what inclines me to defend his bike initiative. It is the least “totalitarian” major initiative that Bloomberg has undertaken, yet is denounced with some of the strongest language. If the critics were merely expressing their personal displeasure at the prospect of cities better suited to bike travel (or doubts about the efficacy of a particular policy aimed at making cities more bike friendly) that would be fine. Instead they co-opt the language of freedom and oppression, as if orienting cities toward automobiles is natural and libertarian, while bike shares and bike lanes are harbingers of tyranny. 

That is vapid, paranoid, philosophically incoherent nonsense. By frivolously trafficking in it, I fear that Rabinowitz and friends will diminish all warnings about liberty and government overreach. Even the boy who cried wolf was invoking the specter of an actually frightening creature.

via The Paranoid Style in Bicycle Politics: A Bicoastal Freak-Out – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic.



New Yorker’s CitiBike Cover

Painfully slow rollout of NYC’s Citibike rental scheme is here, maybe. Lock up your daughters!

Interesting the artist put a helmet on the outside rider. Wonder if he/she was told to do that.

via http://publicbikeshare.com/2013/05/28/public-bike-share-a-picture-says-1000-words/

newyorkercitibike



No Bailout for Better Place

I wrote a little about this company’s scheme for swappable batteries and recharging stations in The Cyclist’s Manifesto, the book I wanted to call 1000 M.P.G. Noted the similarity of their scheme to what was working in NYC in the 1890s with Pope’s electric hansom cabs.

Better Place was situating itself to capitalize on the eventual demise of gas guzzling auto companies. But when certain key gas guzzling car companies tried to go paws-up, Dr. Obama and Co. stepped in and — Clear! — hit ‘em with the paddles. Priorities.

FORTUNE — Electric car company Better Place is planning to file for bankruptcy within the next several days, Fortune has learned.

The move will come seven months after the ouster of charismatic founder Shai Agassi, and five months after his successor — Evan Thornley, CEO of Better Place Australia – also departed.

via Exclusive: Better Place to file for bankruptcy – The Term Sheet: Fortune's deals blogTerm Sheet.



Citi Bike hotter than Bieber

The NYC bike share saga has been interesting and is still unfolding. No doubt there are myriad individuals and groups working to undermine it and exerting pressure in various ways. Sure ‘bike sharing’ sounds swell to you and me, but how does it sound to the Transit Authority? The taxi companies and drivers? The tour bus operators? The rich, elderly, politically-connected pedestrians who hate bicyclists with a passion? And when it’s all said and done Citibank, of all zombie institutions, holds the keys. So …

Don’t count your NY bike share chickens before they hatch.

In a sign of excitement about the city’s new bike share program, which is set to launch next month, Citi Bike sold out of its first 5,000 memberships in less than 30 hours.

via Citi Bike sells out 'founding' keys in 30 hours | Crain's New York Business.



NYC Bike Sharing system supposedly starting next month

Maybe. Previous launch was delayed for rather mysterious reasons. Keep an eye on it.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the first 293 docking stations have begun to appear. Most of them will at first be in Manhattan.

The DOT hopes to eventually expand the program to include 600 stations and 10,000 bikes.

via Sadik-Khan: NYC Bike Sharing System Set To Launch Next Month « CBS New York.

“Most of them will at first be in Manhattan.” — a sentence published by a major news organization.



NYC Energy Benchmarking Report for Non-Residential Properties

As part of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, Finance is required to publish a benchmarking report that shows the Energy Utilization Index (EUI) and Energy Star ratings of city government buildings.

via NYC Energy Benchmarking Reports.

The Seagram Building (1958) scored a 3. Out of 100. I wrote a paragraph about this influential building in Art of Cycling.



More Bike Rental Headline Scaremongering

Whereas, if you look at the actual facts presented in this USA Today article, the bike share program in question is incredibly safe.

Washington’s Capital Bikeshare program began in September 2010, has grown to include more than 1,500 bicycles and recently recorded its 2 millionth ride. At the same time, bicycle-related accidents have increased on city D.C. roads.

Bicycle-related accidents have increased from 312 in 2009 to 601 in 2011, according to the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. Pedestrian-related accidents also rose from 657 in 2009 to 935 in 2011.

Chris Holben , a bicycle program specialist for the District Department of Transportation, says Washington has actually become safer since the number of people riding their bikes has increased. He said only 24 Bikeshare crashes have been reported to police since the program stated.

So that’s roughly 1 reported crash per 100,000 trips! And even those are likely to be minor crashes. Oooh, danger. Hope they’re all wearing their helmets…

Now check out the headline:

via Bike sharing stokes conflict between drivers, cyclists – USATODAY.com.




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