STUDIO 630

Studio630 is the research blog of Kyle Rogler. This blog posts articles of work in architecture, urban design, technology, culture, and programming that currently influence me. Currently stationed at BNIM Architects.
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Posts tagged "bicycle"

We swallowed a fly - a cautionary transportation tale: Eric Bunch at TEDxUMKC

Eric Bunch, Director of Education at BikeWalkKC, manages bicycle and pedestrian educational programming and the operations of Kansas City B-Cycle, the city’s public bike share system. Eric also is leading an effort to make KC Public Schools more walkable and bikeable.

bikeyface: fair weather, 21.11.12.

had a good week with some sun and highs of 60°F (15C) in PDX. 

but it might rain a little today (though I hope it won’t). before another few days of sun. 

I think I’ve finally identified a general weather pattern in PDX:

  • few days (like at least 4) of rain. then one day sunshine. followed by another stretch of rain.
  • few days (max 6 or so) of sun, no rain. then rain again before a couple more sunny days.
  • or few days of rain for only some hours of the day, then like 20mins of sun. for a while.

Bikes are fun in the sun but still sensible in the rain.

via newurbanismfilmfestival & citymaus:

Concept for a bike storage system that takes up unused urban spaces. 

via urbanination:

Crowdfunding the Bike Share Revolution in Kansas City

Two years ago on a hot June night in North Kansas City, volunteers and bike advocates gathered on the shop floor of a giant warehouse with stacks of boxes at the back. As the volunteers mingled preparing for the task ahead, Eric Bunch, Sarah Shipley, and Eric Rogers, co-founders of BikeWalkKC, gathered the crowd to inform them of the unique task at hand. Their vision was bold: to transform one of the worst cities for biking into the one of the greatest with a world-class bike share as the catalyst. The goal of the bike share was to construct 90 bicycles that would be part of the new bike share system that would be launching later that year. All of the volunteers were eager to help and after two successful nights all 90 bikes were ready to hit the streets of Kansas City for their debut. It was a story I covered on This Big City  about the amazing power that a local community can have on transforming a city.

A lot has happened in Kansas City since those first 90 bikes were built. A city once devoid of bike lanes is now seeing the construction of the new streetcar line with the second phase being planned and urban pop-up events such as Cyclovia and BetterBlock having shown city leaders the potential of what a revitalized Kansas City can become with sustainable transportation. City plans that call for bike lanes are either being considered for implementation or have already been painted in. There is incredible optimism in the air, in part, thanks to the leadership of BikeWalkKC and the change that the B-cycle Bike Share program has had on the city. With over 9,500 trips in the past two years, B-cycle users have traveled over 30,000 miles offsetting 30,000 pounds of carbon. The bike share has been instrumental in providing local groups with bicycles for tours and sponsoring bike events like the local Tour de Bier that continues to build Kansas City’s bicycle culture. The success of the bike share system now has BikeWalkKC expanding the bike share network to the neighborhoods surrounding downtown Kansas City.

The expansion comes from BikeWalkKC’s early business plan, developed with their sponsor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, two years ago to ensure that the bike share would be able to sustain itself. “B-cycle has chosen to expand now to make the most of a resurgent Kansas City.” says Sarah Shipley, “Bike share has played a big part in recent revitalization in Minneapolis, Chicago, and elsewhere, where it has filled in a gap in local transportation networks: Bike share is for those situations when we need something more convenient than driving and finding parking but faster than walking or taking the bus. B-cycle wants to ensure this benefit comes to neighborhoods, not just the big entertainment districts.” BikeWalkKC has already received federal funding for seven new bike share stations for the southern neighborhoods of Kansas City, one station sponsored by the local philanthropic Kauffman Foundation, and another station is being sponsored by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. These funded bike share stations will help provide much needed bike share stations to the growing neighborhoods south of downtown Kansas City, but BikeWalkKC decided not to stop here. BikeWalkKC had the audacious goal to launch the largest civic crowd-funding to date to bring even more stations to the surrounding neighborhoods of Kansas City.

kcbcycle-gps

This heat map shows the bicycle trips taken in Kansas City over the last two years. 

For this ground-breaking campaign, BikeWalkKC turned to long-time friend and local tech start-up Neighbor.ly.Neighbor.ly was developed as a crowd-funding site specifically designed to help support civic projects and community initiatives. “Unlike most bike share systems around the world, Kansas City B-cycle is locally owned and operated. We would like to keep it that way. That’s why we’ve turned to the community to raise funds for our expansion.” Sarah Shipley noted on why B-cycle choose to launch a campaign on Neighbor.ly. The campaign will fund additional bike share stations for other neighborhoods such as Westside, the historic Brookside neighborhood to the south, and the historic Jazz District of 18th and Vine. If the campaign is successful, this will be the largest civic crowdfunded project to date and radically transform Kansas City’s public transportation infrastructure.

Each neighborhood has its own page under the master campaign. This is in part to a strategy BikeWalkKC has implemented since the beginning of the bike share operation. When the first 90 bicycles hit the streets, they were equipped with a GPS to track the bike’s movement and location through the city. While helping prevents thefts, its main intent was to track where the most demand for new stations would be in the future. Tracking a year’s worth of data revealed key nodes where people would often travel to that did not have bike share stations and those locations were integrated as a part of the campaign.

The individual pages for each location also allow for the various neighborhoods to develop their own campaigns within their communities to bring civic infrastructure to their location. “In this way, everyone has a little piece of the pie…When all of this is over, when we have our bike-share system, we’ll have worked for this as a community” says Sarah Shipley. It is this community aspect that BikeWalkKC takes great pride in and is reflected in the support the community has for its bike share.

You can check out the progress of the campaign on BikeWalkKC’s page on Neighbor.ly. With about a month left in the campaign, BikeWalkKC still has a way to go but the future looks bright.

by Kyle Rogler

via ThisBigCity

As political ideas fracture along cultural lines, pundits and politicians are finding cyclists to be a convenient new “them” in the eternal us-them struggle. Even if conservatives don’t all agree that riders are metrosexuals, they “see bikers as obnoxious, rude hipsters,” says Sam Schwartz, former New York City traffic commissioner.

Conservative politicians know that simply opposing causes like environmentalism appeals to the base. At the extreme end, this leads to some positions that almost defy belief—“I love that smell of the emissions,” said the former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, while riding a motorcycle—but bikes represent more of an everyday rebuke, a quiet reminder that your car isn’t the only way to get around.

In this respect, Rob Ford isn’t just a mess. He is a visionary—perhaps the first candidate to win an election in part by fanning public annoyance at those reckless, entitled, tax-and-spend bicycle riders. As new bike lanes make their slow incursions into downtown traffic patterns, it’s reasonable we can expect more such victories. It might seem frustrating for bike supporters, but there is one consolation: In politics, you get attacked because you matter.

bostonglobe, 15.12.13.

via citymaus:

Making The Economic Case For Cycling-Friendly Cities With Bikeonomics

We all know that cycling is good for us and that it benefits the environment. But if you want to make the case for something, it helps to have numbers to back you up, especially in policy circles.

We’ve covered a few cycling-economics studies here at Co.Exist. But in Bikenomics: How Cycling Can Save The Economy, the Portland-based activist Elly Blue goes further. Her book is comprehensive account of all the ways cycling can save money, boost revenues, and help the economy broadly and locally.

Here are five key arguments she makes:

HEALTH COSTS

Health is the biggie. “Bicycle infrastructure makes so much economic sense that it can accurately be described as a health investment,” Blue says. Portland says health savings could allow it to recoup spending on cycling by 2015; by 2030, it could save $600 million a year. Blue argues that short trips by bike are a more convenient way for people to get daily exercise (more realistic than going to the gym all the time). Inevitably, she cites Copenhagen, that pre-eminent cycling city. It expects to save $60 million a year in health costs once its network of 26 cycling “superhighways” is completed.

BIKE INFRASTRUCTURE IS CHEAP, AND CREATES JOBS

On average, urban freeways cost $60 million a mile to build. The best type of protected bike lanes cost between $170,000 and $250,000 per mile and need much less maintenance. “Off-street paths cost less than a freeway project would spend on photocopying in a year,” Blue says. Bikeways also create more jobs per dollar than roads, according to one study.

PARKING

Blue devotes a lot of her book to ways we subsidize car ownership—for example, in providing free parking downtown. “An astonishing amount of space in most urban cores is dedicated to the publicly subsidized storage of private property,” she says. When you throw in roads, many cities give up over half their area to cars: 65% of Houston is paved with asphalt, for example. Cites are losing a lot of potential income, Blue says. “Highways and parking lots represent a massive amount of taxable property that could yield thousands of dollars per lot, per year—representing millions of dollars of lost revenue for cities.”

LOCAL ECONOMIES

Studies show that bike parking brings in more revenue than car parking—at least on certain streets. Blue cites a project in Fort Worth, Texas, where 160 bike spaces cost $12,000—about the same as a single car space. Bikers are more likely than drivers to stop and spend, and, of course, you can accommodate more people in the same space. There’s also a potential “green dividend” when people bike about town, rather than driving to suburban malls. Their cash goes to local businesses, not to oil companies and Middle Eastern sheiks. By driving 20% less than other cities, Portlanders contribute $800 million to the local economy, one study says.

CARS ARE EXPENSIVE—PARTICULARLY FOR PEOPLE OF LOW INCOME

The American Automobile Association says driving a sedan costs $9,122 a year on average, not including expenses like parking. Households earning less than $70,000 spend nearly 20% of their income on transport, Blue says. Bikes are much cheaper—just a few hundred dollars a year for maintenance, gear upgrades, and the annualized cost of a bike. She admits people living outside cities face “tremendous” opportunity costs from not driving. But she refutes the stereotypes that cycling need only be for white professionals, Latino laborers, and DUI offenders. Many other people could cycle and benefit from doing so.

In an email, Blue says she wrote the book to give bike advocates stronger arguments than “but bicycling is really healthy and doesn’t pollute.” “I was watching bicycling enter the national conversation as this sort of goofy stereotypical thing that liberals do, like drink lattes and shop at Whole Foods,” she says. “I kept hearing people make economic arguments against bicycling … but bike advocates didn’t have the tools to respond.”

While it has a strong point of view, Blue’s book is rational, fully footnoted—and, in the main, persuasive. There is a clearly a lot of economic benefit to cycling, particularly in and around cities. That doesn’t mean outlawing cars. But it does mean evening up the playing-field in debates. This book should help.

By Ben Schiller

GPS data shows where B-cycle members ride around Kansas City
Bike share is taking transportation planning to a whole new level! With GPS on every B-cycle, bicycle travel patterns can now be visualized and analyzed in new ways. City planners, traffic engineers, and advocates have powerful new information about where people are biking, and where to focus resources and investments for new infrastructure, traffic enforcement, and education.

GPS data shows where B-cycle members ride around Kansas City

Bike share is taking transportation planning to a whole new level! With GPS on every B-cycle, bicycle travel patterns can now be visualized and analyzed in new ways. City planners, traffic engineers, and advocates have powerful new information about where people are biking, and where to focus resources and investments for new infrastructure, traffic enforcement, and education.

Back in 2012, BikeWalkKC started out with 90 bicycles built by volunteers and 12 stations downtown with the vision of creating a world-class bike share network in Kansas City (A story I covered in Kansas City Residents build their Bike Share Scheme on ThisBigCity.net). After two very successful years, BikeWalkKC is expanding its bike share network to the neighborhoods surrounding downtown Kansas City. With federal funding for 7 new bike share stations, 1 station sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation, and another station sponsored by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art the southern neighborhoods of Kansas City will be a new destination for the expanding bike share. Yet it does not stop there, BikeWalkKC is using the civic crowd-funding site Neighbor.ly to fund additional bike share stations to neighborhood to the west like Westside and Westport, the historic Brookside neighborhood to the south, and the historic Jazz District of 18th and Vine. If the campaign is successful, this will be the largest civic crowdfunded project to date and radically transform Kansas City’s public transportation infrastructure.

Spread the word to your friends and colleagues about the campaigns and donate at Neighbor.ly

Want to know how the Dutch design their intersections so that they’re friendly for cyclists? Then check out this video. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you actually care about something and you put thought and intent into it.

via brandondonnelly:

(via thisbigcity)


Rush hour with cyclists and pedestrians making up the bulk of the movement in central Copenhagen, Denmark.

For North America to accept and integrate bicycle use into our transportation systems it is important to understand what is standing in the way.

To this day, we are faced with a biased mainstream media portrayal of cycling. We are faced with politicians pandering to people in their cars who are far too hesitant to take the aggressive steps needed to build a complete network of safe bicycle infrastructure. We are faced with a bicycle industry that continues to push the agenda (and products) that cycling is merely a sport or a hobby.

National media outlets continue to portray “cyclists” as a homogeneous group of lawbreakers who must attain an unrealistic, ideal behavior before being granted designated room on our streets. On June 27, 2013, Canada’s National Post ran a widely circulated story that liberally tossed around the hideous word “scofflaw” yet provided no statistical evidence to back their claims that “too many” riders are disobeying the law. While these news stories continue to use anecdotal evidence to support their claims researchers are seeking the truth. A recent study conducted by Portland State University found that 94 percent of riders obeyed red lights – a fact that media outlets conveniently overlooked.

Too many politicians and city leaders have yet to understand that creating safe bike infrastructure requires building a complete network as well as altering laws to favor travel by bike, foot, and transit. There is a glimmer of hope in cities like New York, NY, and Chicago, IL, but elsewhere change is too slow, too small, and often completely non-existent. Forcing riders to compromise their safety in order to share space on our streets with drivers will never lead to civilized cycling.

For potential and existing riders, the bike industry has yet to deliver quality bikes and accessories that cater to people using their bicycles for transportation. In Europe, a majority of bicycles on the street come fully equipped for daily use. There, major brands like Giant and Raleigh provide bicycles off the shelf with lights, fenders, chainguards, kickstands, and racks. Yet in North America there seems to be little movement within the industry to even recognize this segment of the market.

Despite these dominant societal forces working against us, there are changes (many within the past three years) that give us hope.

Strong political leadership in Chicago and New York has quickly brought significant and wide-sweeping change. Chicago added 27 miles (43.5 kilometers) of protected bike lanes in just two years and has ambitious plans to reach 100 miles (160 kilometers) by 2020. New York launched North America’s largest bike share and within the first month sold more than 100,000 daily, weekly, and annual memberships. In these cities, leading lifestyle transportation bike companies like Linus, Biria, and PUBLIC are providing the right products for these new urban landscapes. Will the North American industry learn from these small brands or will they miss the boat on what may be the largest opportunity we have ever seen?

Mia Kohout, editor-in-chief, Momentum Magazine. 09.09.13.

via citymaus:

 vs. Cars is a feature-length, in-progress  that hopes to be part of the global movement by shedding light on the city’s car-centric past and bike-friendly future. Learn more and join the cause at the Bikes vs Cars Kickstarter Campaign website. 

The Onderdoorgang Rijksmuseum

Coolest urban bike way ever?

via thegreenurbanist:

Hovenring, a suspended bicycle roundabout in the Netherlands, designed by ipv Delft.

Photos via My Modern Metropolis

Plans via Visual News

via fishstickmonkey:

(via humanscalecities)