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  1.  

    LuisD

    It doesn’t seem terribly accurate, but I applaud the effort and hope they continue to improve the system!

    Some areas rated 2.0 seemed far more safe/pleasant than some 9.0s.
    At least all of the freeways are in the <1.0 category, so it nailed that part!

  2.  

    Bikesolo

    My mistake, retaining wall really?

  3.  

    Bikesolo

    I’m really enjoying the Buffalo Bayou Park path, and it isn’t even finished yet. As for the displayed picture, the little shoulder with the big rocks, next to the path is very problematic since you could really hurt yourself there if you’re not careful. Obviously designed by a non biker. Really should replace those big bonker rocks with gravel, so that if you had to use the shoulder for avoidance it would just slow you down and not wreck you. What were they thinking?? After all this is litigation heaven, are they trying to get sued? Other than that and some other few minor details, everything else is AOK. Regardless, wear your helmet, please.

  4.  

    cralledode

    It is literally ride sharing. Each passenger needs a ride, and instead of getting one just for him/herself, they share it with another passenger.

  5.  

    Daphna

    This might be an accurate algorithm for extrapolating what streets someone would perceive as safe. But what really makes a street safe and what people perceive as safe, are often very different. People might perceive bike infrastructure as adding danger; they often perceive traffic lights as adding safety; in these two cases, their perception would be wrong.

    But this algorithm and mapping still is interesting and can be useful in some ways. A guess a next step would be to overlay a map of perceived safe streets against a map showing where accidents and injuries have happened.

    Anyway, the more tools the better for the safer streets movement. More data and more ways of analyzing it hopefully can be used to push politicians in the right direction.

  6.  

    Daniel

    Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t see any correspondence with how I actually feel on any of the streets I looked at.

  7.  

    laughtiger

    If this is successful, it will still not be “ridesharing” but a shared taxi service. The difference being driver compensation.

  8.  

    peterpan

    You don’t need the trees. The trails along our bayous now are pretty much devoid of trees. You’re just riding at the top edge of the bank and the trees are usually closer to the street if they are there at all. Just need to drink more :-)

  9.  

    Joseph E

    I would like to see a chart like this for the Netherlands, which has an even high rate of bike useage, as well as higher walking mode share, despite no higher use of transit: http://www.fietsersbond.nl/de-feiten/fietsen-cijfers
    25% of trips by bike, 19% walking, 3% transit, 33% driving, 15% carpool/passenger.
    A plurality of 40% of trips are made by bike, from 1/2 mile to 2 miles in distance.
    Bikes are second place to cars from 2 miles to 9 miles; at distance of 9 to 12 miles 5% of trips are still made by bike!

  10.  

    Peterpan

    Agree with country club that we need posted trail rules. Keep to the right and pass on the left are simple no-brainer starters. Amazing how many people walk or job on the left like it’s a street, and groups of two or more who walk side by side across more than half the trail.

  11.  

    Joseph E

    Komanoff, note that on the chart, walking is only moderately less common in the USA, and transit use is similar between the US and Denmark. Cycling makes up most of the difference.
    If the cost of gas or car taxes were the main reason for lower car use, then why would only bike use be so much higher, compared to walking and transit trips?
    Population density is important for walking trips and many other reasons, but it does not correlate well with bike usage. Infrastructure, culture and enforcement are important. See this graph of density vs bike trip rates; http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2011/02/population-density-vs-cycling-rate-for.html

  12.  

    Joseph E

    “What do these charts look like in a country that uses protected bike lanes and other infrastructure to make biking safe and comfortable? I’ll be sharing that comparison (for what I think may be the first time ever) in an upcoming post.”
    I look forward to this. Please be very careful to compare identical statistics.
    In the USA, most surveys about travel ask what mode of transportation was used for the longest distance, which can undercount trips by bike and walking. Some transit trips are overcounted, if transferring to another bus counts as a new trip. And trips can be counted one-way or two-way, doubling or halving the numbers.
    The Netherlands reports 25% of all trips by bike, and 25% by walking, from what I recall, but I don’t know if the same methadology is used.

  13.  

    Alan

    And a geographic overlay, maybe a lot of the high wage and low wage jobs happen in the city

  14.  

    Komanoff

    Interesting data. But I wonder if low HH income is serving as a proxy for millenials who cycle more for youth-related reasons. Can the author look into this?

    Also, Denmark’s high cycling rates shouldn’t be attributed solely to “protected bike lanes and low-speed side streets.” Here’s a fuller and arguably more interesting explanation, from my chapter, “Bicycling,” in The Encyclopedia of Energy (2013):

    “Robust bicycling levels in Northern Europe are … an outcome of deliberate policies undertaken since the 1970s to reduce oil dependence and to help cities avoid the damages of pervasive automobile use. Not only are auto tolls, taxes and fees many times higher than in the U.S., but generously funded public transit systems reduce the need for cars, increasing the tendency to make short utilitarian trips by bicycle. [C]omprehensive cycle-route systems link traffic-calmed neighborhoods in which cycling alongside cars is safe and pleasant. [T]hese policies engendered increases in per capita cycling from the late 1970s to 2005 of 6570% in Germany, 2025% in Denmark and 4550% in the Netherlands. Indeed, the same kind of feedback loops that have held back cycling in the United States nurture it in Northern Europe. Both density and bicycling are encouraged by policies ranging from provision of transit and cycle infrastructures to social pricing of driving; and Northern European states refrain from subsidizing sprawl development. Not only do a majority of Europeans live in cities as a result, but population densities in urban areas are triple those in the U.S.; correspondingly, average trip distances are only half as great, a further inducement to cycle.”

  15.  

    Joe R.

    Car dependency in the US also hinders upward mobility among the lower middle and middle classes. The money spent on a car due to lack of availability of less expensive transportation options could instead be spent on better housing, education, better food, or even put into a savings account for either earlier retirement, or to give your children a nestegg. Of course, this is the way the powers that be want it. They want working people to spend every dime they make on consumer crap like cars/gas/iThingys, then leave nothing to their children. Their children start out at the bottom, with little hope of escape. End result of this policy is multigeneration indentured servitude where the lower classes are providing the labor for the rich to get richer.

    Just a simple thing like cheap mobility can go a long way towards breaking this cycle of perpetual poverty.

  16.  

    Urbanista

    What has not been factored in here is that in a city, a bike is often the quickest and least frustrating way to get from Point A to Point B, whatever one’s income.

  17.  

    Michelle Stenzel

    It’s very strange that riding one’s bike to a place to have lunch with a friend is not considered transportation bicycling under this survey.

  18.  

    salsaman

    In some parts of San Francisco, cars with placards occupy over 90% of the on-street parking, for example: the 200 block of North Point Street.

  19.  

    Wewilliewinkleman

    Poorer households or low wage students. Put an age overlay on it.

  20.  

    David Baker

    This is a reasonable and effective way to reduce placard fraud, and to help people who actually have mobility issues. The level of fraud is over 90%, which is a testament to something!

  21.  

    Jack

    I purposefully only included those who used mobility devices. The reason being if you only include those you still have a supply/demand issue. You have 2.5% of the population trying to park in only 2% of the allotted parking stalls.

    If you can walk a quarter mile you do not qualify for handicap parking; A quarter mile is 1,320. Almost all states and the Federal recommendations have the least restrictive qualification of “cannot walk 200 feet”. All the other qualifications are comparable to or more debilitating than “cannot walk 200 feet”. Federal recommendations can be found here: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=1a5e7b242e59956bfac1f0571dc63226&node=23:1.0.2.14.7&rgn=div5

    One of the main reasons for the skyrocketing number of issued placards is due to many people having them that can walk 200 feet.

  22.  

    High_n_Dry

    Interesting – “… local communities to have more say over what they build and how money
    is used.” Is this a feable attempt to get coservatives behind the Act? Or a legitimate policy change?

    I’d like to assume some requirements for “complete streets” would still be attached to the funding as many communities would go road widening crazy, when permitted.

    My rural hometown of 20,000 has a five lane road that is about three miles long in a populated area that probably sees at most 5,000 vehicles a day. It was widened it in the mid ninetees from three to five lanes, even with great oppostion from the “nimbys”. I shake my head in dissapointment every time I go back to visit.

  23.  

    BBnet3000

    He may be underestimating based on just limiting it to mobility devices, but if people have trouble walking a long distance they can get a legitimate handicapped placard.

  24.  

    Ben Fried

    First sentence was left over from an earlier draft. Thanks for catching.

  25.  

    Moses von Cleaveland

    No mention of 6he NY Times article regarding high-speed rail?

  26.  

    kenney.sleater

    well thank god hipsters are moving into these poorer areas and gentrifying them…soon they will get their fair share of transportation resources….now poor people will only hafta worry about mental health issues, substance abuse problems, dysfunctional single parent families..etc.

  27.  

    jarendt

    Some people are able to walk without a mobility device but cannot walk far because of illnesses like arthritis, COPD, and cancer. About 7% of the population has difficulty walking a quarter mile.
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/disability.htm
    Yes, abuse is rampant, but designating the proportion of people who can use disabled spaces and the number of spaces based on need for a mobility device doesn’t match up with all the varieties of mobility limitations people have.

  28.  

    Jack

    Only about 2.5% of the population uses a mobility device. Of that 2.5% only .5% use a wheelchair/scooter. Stats taken from: http://dsc.ucsf.edu/publication.php?pub_id=2&section_id=4

    Statistics show there is rampant abuse of disabled placards. Yet there is very little being done to address the issue. Requirement of all paying at meters does not address the overall issue. It merely masks the problem by simply removing a location where abuse can occur. Rest assured those that were committing fraud at meters will continue to do so at Walmart, Costco, Target, the Mall, the Grocery Store, the Post Office, etc.

    ADA regulations require about 2% of parking spaces in a large parking lot to be designated as disabled parking. Finding a disabled parking space becomes very problematic for the 2.5% mobility device users when you have 20% of the population willing to use the 2% of designated disabled parking spaces.

    You may have masked the issue at pay meters. But you have done nothing to address the real fraud/abuse of disabled placards.

  29.  

    Alex Brideau III

    “Since 2002, tax increases to support public transportation have won twice as often as they lost in Missouri. … [I]n Missouri, [ballot initiatives to fund transit] fail almost as much as they win.”

    I’ve re-read this a few times, and these statements appear to contradict each other. Can the author offer some clarification?

  30.  

    Alex Brideau III

    “In some parts of the city, cars with placards would occupy 20 percent or more of the on-street parking.”

    Imagine if this article looked at Downtown Los Angeles. We’ve got that 20% beat, hands down.

  31.  

    Coffee Partier

    Taxes seem to be a dirty word yet no one can find alternatives to pay for things we need. Perhaps we should take a page from the Frank Lunz program and change the word ‘Taxes’ to ‘Revenues’.

    Let’s try it.

    “Last night, Missourians decided overwhelmingly to accept a ballot initiative that would have raised the sales revenues by three-quarters of a cent to pay, almost exclusively, for roads they need. It was the largest revenue increase in the state’s history.”

    I don’t know about you but I feel better already.

  32.  

    anon_coward

    NYC the drivers get a lot more bloodthirsty in the lower income areas, at least outside of manhattan. i don’t know why, but it’s like they are trying to prove how important they are and everything belongs to them

  33.  

    tony365

    LA is giant grey Traffic car centric shit-hole thats insanely expensive, and has lots of terrible ”fast and furious” jerks who think that movie is real. even in “”moneyed hoods” I see asshole’s in sports cars driving 50mph + on residential streets. This is a f-ing joke of a city.

  34.  

    davistrain

    So it’s not just the US–even in “social-democratic” European countries, “He who has the gold makes the rules.”

  35.  

    2UrbanGirls

    If there were a more equitable distribution of resources throughout the entire city, complete streets, etc. minorities aka low-income constituents wouldn’t be at such a great risk.

  36.  

    voltairesmistress

    Years ago I lived as an exchange student with a conservative German family. The father explained to me why poorer sections of the town (18,000 people) lacked streetlights and had sand-packed alleys or cobblestones, while the wealthier ones had lights, asphault, and sidewalks: the wealthier deserved more services and infrastructure because they paid more taxes: this was “fair.” I think this explains pretty well why there’s a direct relationship between the quality of walking environments and pedestrian fatalities: politicians deliver goods to the socially powerful, because they fear retribution, need their votes, and hear their voices. In addition, the wealthier one is, the more time someone in the family has to contact political officials or advocate for services. The poorer one is, the less time one has to devote to non-economic welfare issues, and the less likely one’s voice will be listened to when one does ask for improvements to the neighborhood. This study showing an almost one to one relationship between pedestrian fatalities and a neighborhood’s concentration of impoverished residents seems to prove this.

  37.  

    GetHubNub

    This is a racist sounding article and shouldn’t have been posted.

  38.  

    ladyfleur

    “Expanding roadway capacity” is considered sustainable and “extensions to transit lines” isn’t? That in a nutshell is what’s wrong with traditional transportation policies. What are they thinking?

  39.  

    Patrick Kennedy

    Funny thing about this statement: “The program is designed to encourage planning and foster growth and development in and around historic downtowns and Main Streets, infill areas, and along passenger rail lines and at stations,”

    If you look at the focus areas from the call for projects, it’s all highway side: http://www.nctcog.org/trans/sustdev/landuse/BestSouthwestTransportationCommittee_PM_06.18.09.pdf

  40.  

    C Monroe

    Her lottery winning for low income housing is exactly what the Chicago HUD office has as a program. It is giving vouchers to low income residents to live in ultra luxury Lake Shore apartments. This hurts the image of HUDs whole low income program. Why should a middle class working person help a lower income working class to be able to live in a apartment that the middle class person could only dream of?

  41.  

    Justin

    Jeff’s constant use of “Von Spreckelsen” was just so lol. I could not get enough of it. I just kept laughing each time he mentioned it, just sounded and seemed sooo funny, ahh Von Spreckelson! xD

  42.  

    Susan Wheeler-Deichsel

    Argh indeed tirpakma.

  43.  

    aslevin

    Based on stories from friends and friends-of-friends, BWB is definitely a thing. I suspect it’s an extra-problem for younger AA and Latino men who get stopped for trivia because cops want to stop young men of color.

  44.  

    therealD

    Yeah that is san Antonio. Not Austin I travel between both all the time. Its sunken part of 35 right by downtown near San pedro.

  45.  

    tirpakma

    Argh – yet another version of the proposed downtown streetcar route published here . . . with no scale to alert readers / viewers to the limited area
    that would have been served (1mi radius) or the numerous stops planned
    (more than 15) for the projected $280m system.

    The map also fails to highlight the existing rail right-of-ways that more
    or less encircle the downtown area and could connect the main sports
    arena (2 miles east), the airport (6 miles north) and numerous other
    key sites with downtown.

    The proposed streetcar route was a component of VIA’s 2011 long-range plan
    for 29 miles of (major) road-based light rail – which appears to ignore existing and more direct rail right-of-ways (and established rail / traffic crossing points) as well as less busy alternate surface streets.

    Approximately $17.2m was reportedly spent by VIA in staff time and meetings for the now shelved downtown streetcar plan. In Quebec in 2008, $12.2m
    launched an eight electric mini-bus program that is now in its 6th year
    of operation and which serves more than half of the projected annual
    ridership of San Antonio’s proposed streetcar project across a similar service area.

    Perhaps a commitment to trackless electric public transport (and distributed
    solar power generation) three years ago or more could have lured the Tesla gigafactory to San Antonio (and away from Reno)?

    Regardless, at least San Antonio now has the opportunity to improve sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and waiting facilities across the public transport system with the remaining funds. There’s also the chance to take over the downtown riverboat lease (expiring in October 2015) to make this a
    viable form of public transport. . . along with adding (for now) an airport BRT and expanding and converting to electric the existing trackless downtown ‘trolley’/ minibus system.

  46.  

    Guest

    Argh – yet another version of the proposed downtown streetcar route
    published here . . . with no scale to alert readers / viewers to the limited area
    that would have been served (1mi radius) or the numerous stops planned
    (more than 15) for the projected $280m system.

    The map also fails to highlight the existing rail right-of-ways that more or less encircle the downtown area and could connect the main sports arena (2 miles east), the airport (6 miles north) and numerous other key sites with downtown.

    The proposed streetcar route was a component of VIA’s 2011 long-range plan
    for 29 miles of (major) road-based light rail – which appears to ignore existing and more direct rail right-of-ways (and established rail / traffic crossing points) as well as less busy alternate surface streets.

    Approximately $17.2m was reportedly spent by VIA in staff time and meetings for the now shelved downtown streetcar plan. In Quebec in 2008, $12.2m launchedan eight electric mini-bus program that is now in its 6th year of operation and which serves more than half of the projected annual ridership of San Antonio’s proposed streetcar project across a similar service area.

    Perhaps a commitment to trackless electric public transport (and distributed
    solar power generation) three years ago or more could have lured the Tesla gigafactory to San Antonio (and away from Reno)?

    Regardless, at least San Antonio now has the opportunity to improve sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and waiting facilities across the public transport system with the remaining funds. There’s also the chance to take over the downtown riverboat lease (expiring in October 2015) to make this a
    viable form of public transport. . . along with adding (for now) an airport BRT and expanding and converting to electric the existing downtown trolley system.

  47.  

    Guest

    Argh – yet another version of the proposed downtown streetcar route
    published here . . . with no scale to alert readers / viewers to the limited area
    that would have been served (1mi radius) or the numerous stops planned
    (more than 15) for the projected $280m system.

    The map also fails to highlight the existing rail right-of-ways that more
    or less encircle the downtown area and could connect the main sports
    arena (2 miles east), the airport (6 miles north) and numerous other
    key sites with downtown.

    The proposed streetcar route was a component of VIA’s 2011 long-range plan for 29 miles of (major) road-based light rail – which appears to ignore existing and more direct rail right-of-ways (and established rail / traffic crossing points) as well as less busy alternate surface streets.

    Approximately $17.2m was reportedly spent by VIA in staff time and meetings for the now shelved downtown streetcar plan. In Quebec in 2008, $12.2m launched an eight electric mini-bus program that is now in its 6th year of operation and which serves more than half of the projected annual ridership of San Antonio’s proposed streetcar project across a similar service area.

    Perhaps a commitment to trackless electric public transport (and distributed
    solar power generation) three years ago or smore could have lured the Tesla gigafactory to San Antonio (and away from Reno)?

    Regardless, at least San Antonio now has the opportunity to improve sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and waiting facilities across the public transport system with the remaining funds. There’s also the chance to take over the downtown riverboat lease (expiring in October 2015) to make this a
    viable form of public transport. . . along with adding (for now) an airport BRT and expanding and converting to electric the existing downtown trolley system.

  48.  

    Guest

    Argh – yet another version of the proposed downtown streetcar route
    published here . . . with no scale to alert readers / viewers to the limited area
    that would have been served (1mi radius) or the numerous stops planned
    (more than 15) for the projected $280m system.

    The map also fails to highlight the existing rail right-of-ways that more or lessencircle the downtown area and could connect the main sports arena (2 miles east), the airport (6 miles north) and numerous other key sites with
    downtown.

    The proposed streetcar route was a component of VIA’s 2011 long-range plan for 29 miles of (major) road-based light rail – which appears to ignore existing and more direct rail right-of-ways (and established rail / traffic crossing points) as well as less busy alternate surface streets.

    Approximately $17.2m was reportedly spent by VIA in staff time and meetings for the now shelved downtown streetcar plan. In Quebec in 2008, $12.2m launched an eight electric mini-bus program that is now in its 6th year of operation and which serves more than half of the projected annual ridership of San Antonio’s proposed streetcar project across a similar service area.

    Perhaps a commitment to trackless electric public transport (and distributed
    solar power generation) three years ago or smore could have lured the Tesla gigafactory to San Antonio (and away from Reno)?

    Regardless, at least San Antonio now has the opportunity to improve sidewalks and waiting facilities across the public transport system with the remaining funds. There’s also the chance to take over the downtown riverboat lease (expiring in October 2015) to make this a viable form of public transport. . . along with adding (for now) an airport BRT and expanding and converting to electric the existing downtown trolley system.

  49.  

    chekpeds

    After all they want a smaller government… Let’s give it to them and some !

  50.  

    chekpeds

    I wish the highway trust fund would dry up and surface transportation be returned to city and states , with the accompanying budget. Then, and only then, New York City and many other cities where – soon- 80 % of the US population will live, will cease to be hostage to policies dictated by Texas, Arkansas, Montana or North Dakota. It would make the road lobby work 50 times harder, and let local users dictate where transportation funding goes.
    What’s wrong with that ?