New York City - John Pucher and Ralph Buehler have a new paper out "Analysis of Bicycling Trends and Policies in Large North American Cities: Lessons for New York."
San Francisco - The bikelash is spreading to San Francisco. "The city recently reversed plans to remove 199 automobile parking spaces along 17th Street in the Mission to make way for a bike lane. Some merchants worried that removing parking would hurt business, and they objected to how they had been informed." Meanwhile, the Golden Gate Bridge Safety Committee recommended a 10mph bicycle speed limit for pedestrian safety. That limit would drop to 5mph in places. Cyclists, who are now the ones complaining they weren't informed beforehand, are unhappy. "According to the Berkeley-based firm Alta Planning + Design, there were 165 bicycle crashes from 2000 to 2009, and speed was cited as a factor in 39 percent of those accidents. Over that same time period, there were 235 reported vehicle incidents, including anything from a fender-bender to a more serious collision, said bridge district spokeswoman Mary Currie."
United States - First AASHTO wanted US Department of Transportation to weaken their guidance on accommodating bicyclists and pedestrians, but now they've withdrawn their request. "This will give AASHTO an opportunity to meet with bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups on May 19 to discuss this issue. It will also allow time for AASHTO’s Board of Directors at our annual meeting in October to discuss this issue and provide policy direction on how best to deal with it."
International- a new study calculates that the head injury risk reduction from wearing helmets is "43 percent, as compared to the previous research finding of 60 percent." Even more damning, the author states that "recent studies show that when head, face and neck injuries are counted together, there is "no net protective effect" from wearing a helmet, because they actually increase the risk of neck injuries." Speaking of head injuries, does using a cell phone cause brain damage? It does if you use it while driving.
Japan - The earthquake showed the resiliency of bicycles and has led to a mini-boom in cycling. “There were many, many people who bought a bike on their way home,” said Kenji Tanaka, secretary general of a bicycle retailers’ association in Tokyo. “Many stores went empty that night.” It just feels good on the bike, generally,” rather than being squeezed into a train, he said.