What We’re Reading: Buses, Bikes, and More

  • Author: A Conrick
  • Date: March 15, 2018

Bus infrastructure has long been an afterthought, and many areas have felt the crunch of funding cuts and a lack of support from local officials.  However, cities are beginning to use low-cost and flexible pilot projects to show that changes to bus infrastructure don’t have to be costly, disruptive, or time-consuming to make a difference.

This week, CityLab highlights the use of eco-friendly quick build bus platforms that allow for planners and mobility professionals to test infrastructure improvements before making permanent decisions on whether or not they’re the right option for their community. The New York Times also discusses how New York has used simple fixes such as GPS Traffic Signal Priority for buses to improve reliability and travel time.

Unfortunately, safety is actually getting worse for those that choose (or have no other options than) active modes such as walking or cycling to get around.  Cyclists are also surprisingly unsafe given the high rates of helmet use here in the United States. In fact, it may be the emphasis on helmet use that leads to this harm. By framing the discourse on helmets, it moves the blame onto cyclists instead of the actual cause – cars.

Investments in bikeshare infrastructure even show how less dense areas can outdo their urban neighbors in filling out their mobility networks. Baltimore, Maryland’s bikeshare program has faced crippling delays and political resistance, but the city’s suburban counterparts have moved in the opposite direction -  have made major investments in cycling infrastructure and are viewed as cycle friendly communities, showing that supporting bikes benefits any type of community and providing examples for how similar suburban areas can follow suit.

Another exciting trend is the growth of sanctioned tactical urbanism programs in small communities. Both Snellville, GA and Fayetteville, AR  actively engage and include community members in urban planning and design decisions. They provide a great example for other small communities on how to better include their residents in improving their mobility networks.

Perhaps an alternative, fun perspective of mobility issues can engage some areas in thinking about access. Check out Google Map Japan’s new "Pup View” which offers a dog’s eye view of the city of Odate in Japan, and how the city’s famous dogs move around.

Image Credit: SupportPDX, Flickr, CC BY 2.0


We’d love to hear from you!

Have more mobility news that we should be reading and sharing? Let us know! Reach out to Sage Kashner (kashner@ctaa.org).

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