PBIC unveils new white paper series

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has created a new white paper series to expand access to the latest pedestrian- and bicycle-related research, resources, and tools.

The white papers are designed to provide a broad array of information about some of the most commonly requested topics of interest among engineers, public health officials, planners, and advocates. The papers feature the most up-to-date research, resources, and tools on a variety of topics.

PBIC already has completed the first two papers in the series: “An Overview of Automated Enforcement Systems and Their Potential for Improving Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety” and “Using Health Impact Assessments to Evaluate Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans.” Papers on high visibility crosswalks and road diets will be released this summer.

FHWA holds bicycle safety summits in Tampa, Minneapolis

Complete Streets

The U.S. Department of Transportation held two regional bicycle safety summits in April in Tampa and Minneapolis to kick off a new cycling safety campaign.

 “We’re starting a campaign on how to save cyclists lives, how to save cyclists injuries and how to reduce down to zero the number of deaths for people that are on their bikes in communities across America. That’s our goal,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said during his speech on April 11 in Tampa.

The summit brought together federal, state, and local officials, planners, designers, engineers, law enforcement officers, safety experts, and others in the bicycle community to develop innovative ideas for improving bicycle safety.
LaHood cited past campaigns to encourage people to wear seatbelts as an example of how officials came together to change behavior for the better. He encouraged elected officials, law enforcement agencies, cyclists, and other groups to work together to improve cyclist safety by building a culture of respect for cyclists on the road. “We need to develop zero tolerance for people who don’t respect cyclists,” he said.

LaHood also called for cities and states to add bike lanes whenever fixing streets or building new roads. And the secretary, who toured Tampa with Mayor Bob Buckhorn on bicycle, noted the growing popularity of bike share programs.

A video of Sec. LaHood’s speech in Tampa can be found on his blog, http://www.fastlane.dot.gov. The second summit was held April 29 in Minneapolis.

PBIC updates its bike share website

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center continues to offer the latest information and research on bike share programs in the U.S.  The PBIC recently updated its site, www.bicyclinginfo.org/bikeshare, with the latest research and articles on bike share programs as well as a more complete list of locations of bike share programs. The site also now features an interactive map of programs across the country.

The center, which released in September its comprehensive guide to creating bike share programs, “Bike Sharing in the United States: State of the Practice and Guide to Implementation” will continue to update and expand the site as new information becomes available.

The PBIC also continues to maintain a bike share listserv. If you are interested in being added to the listserv, please email James Gallagher at james@hsrc.unc.edu.

HSRC hosts Complete Streets training across North Carolina

Complete Streets

The UNC Highway Safety Research Center, which houses the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, is leading a series of courses to train local and state transportation officials in North Carolina about how to incorporate Complete Streets into their long range planning and transportation projects.

The program is being funded by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which in 2009 adopted a Complete Streets Policy requiring planners and transportation officials across the Tar Heel State to incorporate complete streets principles in all new roadway projects.

So far, HSRC has hosted eight two-day training courses and has sixteen more scheduled throughout the year. To learn more about Complete Streets in North Carolina and the training program, visit www.completestreetsnc.org.

PBIC partners with Bike League for new webinar series

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center has partnered with the League of American Bicyclists to host two webinars on transportation funding and the economic impact of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

The first webinar, held April 9, focused on how to fund pedestrian and bicycle programs and projects under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century law.  Presentation slides and a recording of the webinar can be found at www.walkinginfo.org/webinars.

The second webinar, being held May 7, will discuss the economic impact of bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure. Details on that webinar as well as registration information also can be found at www.walkinginfo.org/webinars.

FHWA adds nonmotorized traffic to monitoring guide

The Federal Highway Administration has updated its Traffic Monitoring Guide to include a section on nonmotorized traffic. Chapter 4 of the guide is intended to “improve the state-of-practice in nonmotorized traffic volume monitoring.”

This is the first time the traffic monitoring guide has included information on nonmotorized traffic. Key considerations for nonmotorized traffic monitoring include the scale of data collection; the location of counts, such as on lower function streets and paths; the duration of counts; and the selection of count technology from a growing number of technologies available.

The new chapter covers technologies available for use, variables and traffic monitoring concepts pertinent to nonmotorized users, and guidance on both permanent and short-duration data collections.

The chapter can be found at: http://fhwatmgupdate.camsys.com/images/TMG_Ch4_aug20.pdf.

Featured Case Study: Chain Reaction: Boston's First Mobile, After-School Bike Shop and Training Center


Several teen employees of Bikes not Bombs, a nonprofit based in Boston, Massachusetts, recognized the need for cheap bicycle repair and low-cost bicycles in low income areas over the course of their involvement with the nonprofit. With the goal of making bicycling more affordable and accessible to children and adults, they created a short video and entered their idea, entitled Chain Reaction, in the "Banking on Youth" competition.


Bicycling is one of the healthiest and least expensive modes of transportation, so why is bicycling not more prevalent in low income urban areas? In Boston, many low income neighborhoods have low rates of bicycle usage, likely as a result of the lack of access to good quality inexpensive bicycles and bicycle repair and a lack of bicycle facilities.


Chain Reaction

Conceived by the Consumer Bankers Association and Ashoka Ventures, the “Banking on Youth” competition organizes local funders to provide small grants to youth projects around the country. Using the bike repair capacity and infrastructure already in place within the Bikes not Bombs organization, the Chain Reaction founding members proposed a mobile bicycle repair shop that would refurbish and sell bikes and would also provide low-cost bicycle maintenance. In contrast to other community-based bicycle cooperatives, Chain Reaction is a mobile initiative and can set up their repair station in moments, allowing mechanics to reach populations not served by bicycle shops. In June 2012, Chain Reaction was awarded a seed grant of $1,000 by Citizens Bank through the “Banking on Youth” competition to expand their program. Based on the fact that the program has the potential for a large impact, but is mobile, uses youth mechanics, and has a low start-up cost, the funding has the potential to really expand the program and increase the program’s impact.

With the system for processing donated bikes already in place as part of the Bikes not Bombs organization, the main cost in starting the Chain Reaction initiative was purchasing tools and bike stands. Following a fundraiser to build tool stands out of PVC pipe, this cost was mostly offset, while parts were usually obtained from donated bikes. The normal bike repair process at Bikes not Bombs is to strip down the entire bike and use all new components. For Chain Reaction, most of the serviceable components on donated bikes are reused or left on the bike, though the organization does purchase new tubes, tires, chains, housing, cables, and brake pads. Labor costs are also not onerous, as the hours needed for the youth mechanics are shifted from another Bikes not Bombs program and, as youths age out of the program, new youth mechanics are brought in from other Bikes not Bombs programs every year. As such, tools and materials were the only major expenses in starting the Chain Reaction initiative.

Despite relatively small startup costs, organizers were wary of expanding too quickly to avoid overextending the program. Apart from providing low cost bikes and bike maintenance, one of the goals of the initiative is to build and establish the capacity in the community to continue the program. With three or four neighborhoods without access to a bike shop, limited labor hours, a short timeframe, and a small budget, the teen organizers needed to manage their funding carefully and ensure that their focus is on helping people learn bicycle mechanics in order to continue the Chain Reaction initiative in the future. To help develop this capacity, the program included a “Learn-It, Earn-It” element, whereby bike owners team with a mechanic and learn how to fix their bikes free of charge.

Chain Reaction mechanics decided to base their initiative out of the Boys & Girls Clubs in Roxbury and Dorchester, which not only provide adequate space, but are also accessible and safe locations for residents of these communities, particularly children. By partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs, Chain Reaction was able to work with a reputable organization in the eyes of the community and to garner community trust and support for the program.

The teen organizers were quick to recognize that not only did these communities lack bicycles, they also lacked bike locks and helmets and even places to lock their bikes. The group began to work with the city and other funders to find helmets and locks; Chain Reaction is able to sell helmets and locks for $10 each, due to this partnership. If $10 is still too expensive, a similar program to the “Learn-It, Earn-It” model exists, so people can work for a helmet. Bikes not Bombs and the City of Boston have a good working relationship and often cooperate to meet the needs of potential cyclists who don’t have the means to purchase a bicycle, helmet, or lock.

A secondary goal of the initiative is to educate people about bikes, with the hope that people will bike more and will become politically active in demanding bike facilities in their neighborhoods. The first question, after becoming a bicycle owner, is often “where can I safely ride and park my bicycle?” Without facilities that safely accommodate bicyclists, it is difficult to motivate people to ride. By including the message of public participation and emphasizing the need for local pressure to demand bicycle facilities, Chain Reaction is not only providing bicycles, but also building a political base to support bicycling in the city. Sarah Braker, a Youth Development Specialist with Bikes not Bombs, mentioned that the organization was uncomfortable with the traditional “build it and they will come” rhetoric and wants to encourage the beneficiaries of the program to advocate for more bicycle facilities in their community, a bottom-up, instead of top-down, approach.


Chain Reaction

Overall, the Chain Reaction program has fixed roughly 40 bikes and sold at least 20 since the program began in early 2012. Over the life of the program, it gradually became clear that the original start price of $80 was too high for many people, so most bicycles are sold for between $40 and $60. All maintenance and refurbishing work is completed by youth mechanics. The organizers also noticed that many of the repairs were very simple, from flat tires to loose quick releases. People were often just one small repair away from a working bicycle.

It also became clear that there are a lot of misconceptions about who wants to bike and why. One major concern is that there are not nearly enough bike racks in Boston. Without a safe and convenient place to park a bike, people don’t feel comfortable biking, something that the Chain Reaction organizers are aware of. By using the program to educate people about bikes, they hope that residents of these low income neighborhoods can mobilize as a political force to petition the city to install more bicycle infrastructure.

Chain Reaction organizers, as mentioned before, are stretched relatively thin with three or four neighborhoods without access to a bike shop, limited hours of operation, a short timeframe, and a small budget. However, costs continue to remain low, with graduating youth mechanics replaced by other youth mechanics from within the Bikes not Bombs organization. With increasing participation in the program in low income neighborhoods, organizers are hopeful that the program will continue and eventually be sustained by the community itself.

The program has received plenty of local media attention in Boston. With this increasing media exposure, the program looks likely to continue in Boston, while other communities are surely taking notice. The Bikes not Bombs organization hopes that the positive experience that youths take from the program will influence them to begin similar programs in other communities.

More Information


New Resources

The following resources have been recently added to the PBIC Online Library, a centralized, Web-based collection of pedestrian- and bicycling-related materials. To search the library, please visit www.walkinginfo.org/library or www.bicyclinginfo.org/library.

Midsize Cities on the Move: A Look at the Next Generation of Rapid Bus, Bus Rapid Transit, and Streetcar Programs in the United States: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4782

A Distance-Based Method to Estimate Annual Pedestrian and Bicyclist Exposure in an Urban Environment: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4783

Injured Cyclist Profile: An In-Depth Study of a Sample of Cyclists Injured in Road Crashes in South Australia:  http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4784

Travel Behavior and Mobility of Transportation-Disadvantaged Populations: Evidence from the National Household Travel Survey: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4785

The Conspicuity of South Australian Cyclists: Implications for Safety: http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4786

Evaluating Pedestrian Safety Improvements: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4787

Smart Growth and Economic Success: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4788

Metropolitan Area Transportation Planning for Healthy Communities: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4789

Guide Information for Pedestrian Facilities: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4790

Pedestrians and Cyclists on Major Roads: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4791


May is Global Youth Traffic Safety Month

The National Organizations for Youth Safety has declared May to be Global Youth Traffic Safety Month. Learn more at http://noys.org. As part of that, there are several youth-oriented events taking place.

May 8 is the national Bike-to-School Day, sponsored by the National Center for Safe Routes to School. So far, more than 1,165 Bike-to-School Day events are planned. You can find more information at http://walkbiketoschool.org.

The Zenani Campaign, which was created in memory of 13-year old Zenani Mandela, Nelson's Mandela's great-granddaughter who was killed in a crash, and which aims to makes roads safer, is sponsoring the Long Short Walk ‘n Roll. The event encourages people to photograph themselves taking short walks in their communities and post the photos online. Learn more at http://www.makeroadssafe.org.

Also, the United Nations has declared May 6-12 Global Youth Road Safety Week.

Safe Kids Worldwide is hosting a Facebook photo contest

Safe Kids Worldwide is seeking submissions for its Facebook photo contest as part of the Long Short Walk ‘n Roll safety campaign. To enter, simply take a picture of you walking and holding a Safe Kids signboard, then upload the photo to Safe Kids’ Facebook page.  Learn more at www.facebook.com/safekidsusa.

Get ready for Bike-to-Work Day

Bike to Work Day

May 17 is the League of American Bicyclist’s national Bike-to-Work Day.  The number of people commuting by bicycle daily grew 39 percent between 2000 and 2010, and that number is expected to continue growing.

To find a Bike-to-Work event in your area, go to: http://www.bikeleague.org.

And to learn more about how to commute by bicycle or how you can host a Bike-to-Work Day event, go to http://www.biketoworkinfo.org.

PBIC team receives inaugural award during Active Living Research Conference

The CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and Active Living Research granted its 2013 Award of Excellence in Safety Research to a team of Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center researchers for their presentation, “Countermeasure Cost Database for Pedestrian and Bicycle Treatments.” It is the first time the award has been presented.

The study was produced by PBIC Director Charlie Zegeer, and PBIC staff Max Bushell, Brian Poole, and Daniel Rodriguez. The study will be available on PBIC’s website in the near future.

Walk Friendly Communities opens its next round of applications

The Walk Friendly Communities program is taking applications from May 1 through June 15. Applications can be found at http://www.walkfriendly.org.

America Walks offers new report on the benefits of walking

America Walks has produced a new report further detailing the benefits of walking. “A Walking Revolution: A Movement Making Americans Happier and Healthier” highlights the value of walking and walkability as it relates to health, business, community, schools, and the environment.

The report can be downloaded at http://www.americawalks.com.

UN releases pedestrian safety manual

The United Nations Road Safety Collaboration has released its global manual for addressing pedestrian safety concerns. “Pedestrian Safety: A Road Safety Manual for Decision-Makers and Practitioners” is designed to help engineers, planners, law enforcement officers, public health professionals, educators and others implement pedestrian safety measures around the world.

You can download the manual at: http://who.int/roadsafety/projects/manuals/pedestrian/en/index.html.

Portland State offers new bike planning and design course

Portland State University’s Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation is offering a new comprehensive bicycle planning and design course. The course, being offered Aug. 25-29, is an intense training session on the latest bikeway plans and designs. For more information or to register, go to http:// http://www.pdx.edu/ibpi/upcoming-courses.

Representatives call for fewer bicyclist deaths

Sixty nine members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking that the Department of Transportation set a goal to reduce bicyclist deaths nationwide.

The bipartisan letter, which was written following meetings with representatives during the annual Bike Summit, was led by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Howard Coble (R-NC), and included signatures from representatives from 25 states and the District of Columbia.

Health and Transportation Subcommittee has new Facebook group

The Transportation Research Board’s Health and Transportation Subcommittee has created a new Facebook group to keep subcommittee members apprised of the latest news and research focused on health and transportation. To join, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/trbhealthandtransportation/.


Pedestrian and Bicycle Issues in the News

The following is a brief compilation of pedestrian- and bicycle-related news stories from around the world. Web links to the following news stories are time sensitive, so some stories might not be accessible after the initial publication date without required registration.

BU, Menino to increase bike safety on Comm. Ave.
The Daily Free Press
Mar. 19, 2013

Bike Safety and bike protection take the back seat to construction
Spartan Daily
Mar. 20, 2013

Road rules: Improve bicycle safety
Myrtle Beach Online
Mar. 19, 2013

Mayor pushes funds to boost bicycling
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Feb. 7, 2013

Outdoors: New program to benefit bike, pedestrian policies
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Mar. 22, 2013

Cyclists, motorists struggle to co-exist on metro roads
The Atlantic Journal-Constitution
Mar. 21, 2013

Commuter cycling stays flat in ’12
New York Times
Mar. 21, 2013

Pedestrian accidents more deadly in men
New York Times
Dec. 24, 2013

Students get involved in pedestrian safety project
Redwood Times
Mar. 18, 2013

Sharing transit spaces with others
North Adams Transcript
Mar. 22, 2013

Complete Streets: Traffic program adds pedestrians, bicyclists to the equation
Sun Sentinel
Feb. 25, 2013

Bike-friendly budget good news for area cyclists
Our Windsor
Mar. 6, 2013

County signs on with city to seek bike-friendly designation
Moab Times-Independent
Mar. 21, 2013

Cleveland is slowly becoming a more bike- and pedestrian-friendly town
Mar. 10, 2013

‘Every Lane Is A Bike Lane'
LA Weekly
Mar. 19, 2013

Will vehicular cyclists and the “right to park” trump safer streets in Boston?
DC Streets
Mar. 19, 2013

Bike and walk trails planned
Ridgefield Press
Mar. 19, 2013

A town's ‘walkability' can breed success
Sky-Hi News
Mar. 11, 2013

Industry leaders tour DC’s protected bike lanes
Bicycle Retailer
Mar. 5, 2013

NCDOT seeks comments on statewide bike, pedestrian plan
News & Observer
Mar. 10, 2013

Bicycling means business: How cycling enriches people and cities
DC Streets
Mar. 8, 2013

Volvo invents bicycle detection system
USA Today
Mar. 10, 2013

Raleigh bike riders get more room to roam
Mar. 2, 2012

Upcoming Events

Women's Transportation Seminar National Conference (May 15-17): http://www.walkinginfo.org/training/events/details.cfm?id=644

National Association of County and City Health Officials Annual Conference 2013 (July 10-12): http://www.walkinginfo.org/training/events/details.cfm?id=672

Streets as Places (June 13-14): http://www.walkinginfo.org/training/events/details.cfm?id=670

6th Making Cities Livable Conference (June 17-19): http://www.walkinginfo.org/training/events/details.cfm?id=640

Mobility and Road Safety in an Aging Society (June 19-20): http://www.walkinginfo.org/training/events/details.cfm?id=671

International Bicycle Urbanism Symposium (June 19-22): http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/training/events/details.cfm?id=697

Association for Commuter Transportation 2013 International Conference (July 27-31): http://www.walkinginfo.org/training/events/details.cfm?id=673

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

730 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Campus Box 3430
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3430
Phone: 1.888.823.3977
Fax: 919.962.8710