Looking back at Pro Walk/Pro Bike; Tokyo Government getting serious about number plating cyclists; Americans support transit over new roads; and more

* Pro Walk/Pro Bike took place last week in Long Beach, California, and of course Cascade was onsite to learn, share, and network with other bicycling non-profits. Founded in 1980 by the National Center for Bicycling & Walking, Pro Walk/Pro Bike is the leading international conference on walking and bicycling. Max reported from the conference, and our Principal Planner, Tessa Greegor, was honored by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) with the “Young Professional of the Year” award.

Elly Blue (left) & April Economides (right) At Pro Walk-Pro Bike (Image courtesy of Pro Walk/Pro Bike)

* La.Steetsblog posted a nice piece about Walknomics and Bikenomics based on the presentations by Elly Blue and April Economides’ presentations at Pro Walk/Pro Bike.

Following the Pro Walk/ Pro Bike conference, the first-ever National Women’s Bicycling Summit took place on Thursday, Sept. 13. With a goal to gather leaders and galvanize action to get more women riding, the Women’s Summit brought together hundreds of women and was a huge success, according to Carolyn Szczepanski, Communications Director at League of American Bicyclists.

* According to a new poll by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Americans support transit over new roads.   When asked what would solve traffic problems in their community, 42 percent of Americans say more transit. Only 20 percent say more roads. And 21 percent would like to see communities developed that don’t require so much driving. Two-thirds support local planning that guides new development into existing cities and near public transportation.

*A Texas jury decided last week that the driver who struck and killed two bicyclists will not be charged with a felonyMy San Antonia reports.  Gilbert John Sullaway Jr., 43, was facing up to 10 years in prison if found guilty for criminally negligent for colliding with, and subsequently killing, a married couple on a tandem bicycle in October, 2009. The collision outraged the bicycling community and the verdict is likely to do the same.

Increase in ridership brings lower crash rate in Philly. The "safety in numbers" phenomenon seems to be working in Philly as traffic crashes involving bikes in Philadelphia have fallen from a high of 1,040 in 1998 to 553 in 2010. Safety experts believe that motorists become more alert to cyclists when there are more of them.

* In cool gadget news this week, PSFK shares news about a new bike helmet sticker that will call for help if it detects a fall.  ICEdot (In Case of Emergency) has partnered with SenseTech LLC to develop a helmet-mounted impact sensor. The innovative wireless sensor — which looks like a plain, yellow sticker — can detect motion, changes in forces, and impacts that occur when the rider has fallen. It then communicates with the ICEdot app on the user’s smartphone using Bluetooth and automatically alerts their emergency contact with a GPS coordinate of the fall and how severe it was.

* The Atlantic takes another look at bike theft and why bike theft is so hard to stop. According to the article, Transportation Alternatives has estimated that upwards of a million bikes get lifted annually (although most aren't reported). And the F.B.I. values stolen bicycles and their parts at $350 million a year.  The article concludes that cities aren’t properly equipped to catch bike thieves, so “riders might do well to ask themselves what part they can play in deterring the behavior”.

* According to a Washington Post article, the first automobile accident in U.S. history is said to have been recorded in New York in 1896 when a car collided with a bicycle.  There are now 250 million registered vehicles on U.S. roads, and Americans are buying almost 16 million bikes a year. About 700 people a year die in bike accidents, and 45,000 are injured. Recreational and competitive cycling have soared in the 21st century, and the number of people commuting by bike is estimated to have increased by 43 percent since 2000. Bikes seem to be everywhere, and with them, frustration has grown among many drivers who already feel pinched by the congestion that often creates nightmarish commutes. In the article, author Ashley Halsey II, explores  what drivers should know about sharing the road with bicyclists (and vice versa).

BikePortland.Org/Caters News Agency

* Portland super bike mom receives media attention.  Emily Finch, mother of six, has been receiving quite some media attention for trading in her SUV for a super-sized bike.  Emily pedals around Portland in a cargo bike with various carriers and seats to carry her 6 kids, ages 2 through 11. Between the bike, the kids, their gear and the groceries, she’s often carting about 550 pounds.

* Remember our blog post about Tall Bike Bobby –  who set out on a mission to raise awareness about the practicality of bicycling by riding his tall bike from Vancouver, BC to Los Angeles, Calif? While his adventurous trip isn’t over yet, it looks like Bobby will be sharing his story at Ted Talk UCLA.  Bobby said he will likely present the talk as a how-to guide for tall bike touring in the hopes of inspiring others to undertake “crazy trips”.

* Tokyo is getting serious about number plating cyclists.  The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is seriously considering making it a requirement for all cyclists to display a large number plate on their bicycles. Under the proposed law cyclists will be required to pay a fee to register their bicycles, and then will be bound by law to notify authorities when they change address, sell, or dispose of their bicycle as is the case with motor vehicles. Government officials say the plan hopes to achieve a number of goals including reducing the number of illegally abandoned bicycles, lowering rates of bicycle theft, and preventing cyclists from riding in a dangerous manner.

* Kid learns how to ride a bike, gives motivational speech:

Anne-Marije Rook's picture
Anne-Marije Rook