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Links to some of the best research and reading about alternative transit, curated to intrigue and inspire you.
NEWS + RESEARCH SOURCE: VISON ZERO NETWORK
Vision Zero is a goal to end all roadway deaths. In the US, the country with the highest rate of roadway deaths, the Vision Zero Network is helping communities across the nation mobilize to address the crisis of 40,000 traffic fatalities a year in this country, and millions more injuries.
RESEARCH: DENSITY PROMOTES WALKING
Walkable neighborhoods matter most in helping people reach recommended levels of physical activity. Walkable work environments and pedestrian friendly social spaces (e.g., downtown areas) also help to improve physical activity. But walkable residential areas, where amenities are nearby, have the biggest impact.
TOOL: WALK SCORE
How easy is it to live without a car in San Marcos? The Walk Score website provides an easy way to evaluate a community's transit accessibility. On a scale of 100, neighborhoods and urban areas are scored based on how easy it is to live life using pedestrian and cycling amenities.
The Union Square area of Manhattan receives a walk and transit score of 100, and a bike score of 91. By comparison, San Marcos, TX receives a score of 38 for walking and 43 for biking.
RESEARCH: WHEN DRIVERS MEET CYCLISTS
What happens when automobiles meet bikes on the road? What does psychological research say about the aggressive behaviors cyclists perceive among drivers? The articles linked below explore the "dehumanizing" attitudes that drivers demonstrate toward cyclists and the factors influencing near-miss incidents between bikes and cars, underscoring the importance of driver education and the need for infrastructure that is safe and supportive of cyclists of All Ages and Abilities (AAA).
RESEARCH: HELMETS ENDANGER CYCLISTS
A research presentation suggests that cyclists who wear helmets may increase their own risk of accident or injury. Not only do mandatory helmet laws decrease rates of cycling among the general public, research findings suggest "helmeted cyclists suffer a higher rate of upper body limb injuries than non-wearers." Researchers further estimate that helmet use in the studied areas increased accident rates by more than 40%.
RESOURCE: PARKING OR CYCLING
Plans to add protected bike lanes are often viewed in oppositional terms: more bike lanes mean less parking, less room for cars. It bears asking: Is that such a bad thing?
This 2015 article published by CityLab links to twelve separate case studies from around the world, where street parking was turned into more road space for bicycles. As it turns out, cyclists make more trips to the store, and, over time, inject more money into the economy.
RESEARCH: APPS + AUTOMATION AREN'T THE SOLUTION
Judging by the internet hype, a fleet of self-driving/automated taxis will soon solve all of our traffic, congestion, and parking woes. But behavior modeling suggests otherwise. Though ride-hailing apps are more commonly used by people with higher incomes and education, evidence also suggests they increase total vehicle miles travelled. To reduce traffic, we must reduce total vehicle miles travelled—by promoting ride- or car-pooling, or alternatives like biking, busses, or walking.
TOOL: THE ARROGANCE OF SPACE MAPPING TOOL
Cycling advocate Mikael Colville-Andersen proposes a simple way to study our streets: discover the transportation modalities your city values by color coding them by use. He encourages us to adopt a common sense approach to studying our streets. If you've ever wondered why more people don't walk or bike, then study how much of the street has been designated for cyclists or pedestrians.
RESEARCH: BIKE LANES AND THE ECONOMY
Replacing car parking with bike lanes can be controversial. But worries about economic and traffic impacts are likely unjustified. A growing body of research suggests "neutral to positive" impact of replacing car parking with bike lanes. High-density areas stand to benefit most from increased bike access.
Do you have ideas for improving your neighborhood streets with bike lanes, street trees, sidewalks, etc. but just don't know how to show it? Then check out Streetmix - a free collaborative civic engagement platform where you can design, remix, and within minutes, easily share your ideas for neighborhood street improvements.
NEWS + RESEARCH SOURCE: COPENHAGENIZE
One of the leading urban design firms for sustainable transportation planning, Copenhagenize has developed an international reputation for their focus on cultivating human-centered (not car-centered) cities.
Their news archive contains articles on a few of their best projects, community engagements, research, and other nuggets of inspiration.
TRUTH IN TRANSIT: PART 2
"Truth In Transit" was a curated discussion about non-car transit, recorded live in the fall of 2019. MoveSM is proud to host the archived recording in its library.
In part 2, host Nick Williams creates a discussion among the panelists using audience questions as a starting point.