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Pasadena's Bicycle plan

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Jan. 2nd, 2002 | 10:54 pm

So I was reading pasadena's bicycle plan, so I can figure out what routes are reasonably safe for improving my biking distance, and I stumbled accross the following rather interesting table.</p>
Table II-1
Modal Split Distribution for Urban Travel In Europe and North America
</p>
Country
(ranked by bicycle use)
Percent of Trips by Travel Mode
(all trip purposes)
 
Bicycle
Walking
Public Transport
Auto
Other
  Netherlands30185452
  Denmark202114423
  Germany (Western)122216491
  Switzerland102920383
  Sweden103911364
  Austria93113398
  Germany (Eastern)82914481
  England and Wales81214624
  France53012476
  Italy52816429
  Canada11014741
  U.S.A.193843
</p>I wonder if the information contained therein has any bearing on why europeans have lower incidences of obesity than americans?</p>Also by my anti-automobile standards of "good and evil" The only listed european "country" that's "evil" is Eastern German. (Though france was close.)</p>The standard was that the total sum of bicycling, walking, and public transit was greater than or equal to the percentage of urban trips taken by car. (In france they were equal.)</p>Another useful bicycling fact.</p>According to a survey of 1200 members of Washington bicycle clubs they found that the bicyclists averaged 8 accidents per million miles ridden on streets with bike lanes, versus 19 on minor streets, 23 on major streets, and 28 on bike paths. </p>I wonder what the rate of accidents per million miles are for cars.</p>

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Comments {8}

Jon

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from: oddhack
date: Jan. 2nd, 2002 11:36 pm (UTC)
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Lacking data, but I suspect a pretty strong correlation between increased population density and decreased car use. Anecdotally compare Boston and NYC vs. LA and Silicon Valley in the US.

Of course various govt. incentives / disincentives / priorities can strongly affect the distribution too.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jan. 3rd, 2002 12:03 am (UTC)
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Again according to the same report:</p>
European cities are more centralized; but even in the United States, 49% of all urban trips are 3 miles or less, 40% are 2 miles or less, and 28% are 1 mile or less. These distances can be easily covered by bicycle. The main difference in bicycle use is the difference in how cities design and operate their streets.
</p> One of the other interesting studies refered to by the pasadena plan was the following:
In its 1993 National Walking and Bicycling Study, the Federal Highway Administration examined the factors that encourage bicycle use. They found that climate, population, size, and density were insignificant factors and concluded that only two factors were significant: the strong presence of a university and whether more than 35 percent of the major streets had bike lanes. They concluded, "it seems fairly clear that cities with very few or zero miles of bike lanes are not generating much interest in bicycle commuting." Those cities above the threshold had ten times the bicycling as those cities below. The study also found bicycle use increased as the proportion of streets equipped with bike lanes increased beyond the 35 percent threshold.
</p> So to a large degree bicycle use does seem to be largely determined by city planning.</p> Another example they refered to is the city of Muenster in Germany where they have 32% of all trips being done by bicycle. To achieve that they have a large list of policies encouraging bicycling over walking, like expensive parking, and providing direct paths for bicyclists and pedestrians through residential areas while forcing cars to take a longer route.

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Jon

(no subject)

from: oddhack
date: Jan. 3rd, 2002 12:27 am (UTC)
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Does it say anything about density impact on mass transit? That's where I'd expect a more pronounced effect than on biking.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jan. 3rd, 2002 01:09 am (UTC)
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No it didn't being a report on bicycling.

Though I'm under the impression that that there's a relationship between population density and mass transit, though I can't actually point at anything to support that belief.

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[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

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from: artemii
date: Jan. 3rd, 2002 09:27 am (UTC)
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sweden has the lowest auto numbers.
further proof of why i *heart* sweden.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jan. 3rd, 2002 12:53 pm (UTC)
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I'd be pretty happy with any of the non-english speaking countries.

After throwing out england & wales, canada, and the u.s. the mean was 42%. Including those three countries drags the mean up to 50%

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from: redtangent
date: Jan. 3rd, 2002 03:41 pm (UTC)
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I can't help but feel the cost of fuel (which is apparently much cheaper in North America) has had a significant influence on car use in America and thereby affected usage of other forms of transport.

I would guess this rather than anything else is the biggest influence as to why Americans use cars so much.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jan. 4th, 2002 02:01 am (UTC)
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That's one reason...

But people also have this belief that they're supposed to live in a house seperate from everyone else, which is one of the things that helps create suburban sprawl. And once you've got sprawl you're pretty much wedded to needing a car to go anywhere.

Not only are there the variable costs of fuel and maintenance, there's also some huge fixed costs attatched to owning a car. Like purchasing it and paying for insurance.

Another detail is once you've started using your car for most of your trips, because of the loss of physical condition, it becomes harder to walk or bike.

Also apparently there was a rather successful effort by car manufacturing companies to market the idea of a car as a status symbol. Even now cars are one of the most heavily advertised products.

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