Tuesday, March 18, 2014

France Offers Money to boost Bicycle Commuters

Could you imagine being paid to ride your bike to work? $1.00 for every two miles of your commute . . . Yes Please!! France is introducing this incentive, along with 24  other initiatives aimed to increase bicycling to work in France. The “Plan Velo” proposal, introduced last week, is aimed to help curb pollution and promote bicycle commuting. Ireland and other European countries already have similar programs in place to great success. At the moment, companies must reimburse employees some of their travel costs, paying rail or bus season tickets plus a mileage allowance for those who drive to work. (ed. note -The program to offer incentives for bicycle commuters is still an idea from the French government at this stage, note that Paris is offering a 25% rebate against the purchase of electric-bikes). An allowance for bicycle commuters is the next logical step. 

France, Paris in particular, is experiencing a pollution problem, forcing officials to issue health warning to the elderly and pregnant woman. In response, the transit system is offering free rides to abate commuters traveling by car. The solution is not so simple for a country with deep cycling roots, after WWII, France embraced the automobile. On Monday, thousands of citations to defiant car drivers with the wrong number-ending license plate were issued. Political opponents and car associations criticized the restrictions, saying it would be tough to police and would be seen as a political ploy.

France is especially vulnerable to air pollution because it is 60 percent dependent on diesel cars. In the 1960s, the French government and industry made a strategic assertion that diesel engines were less polluting, and would gradually supersede, unleaded gasoline. For nearly two decades, France has been aware of its mistake. Diesel engines are more polluting than their counterpart, the gasoline engine.  Fumes from diesel cars, as well as industrial emissions and agricultural fertilizers, are blamed for increasing the micro-particles in the French atmosphere to dangerous levels. This situation is not unique to France but is rather an unintended consequence of modernization, especially in nations that are quickly developing.

Here in San Diego, we do not have the pollution problems of Paris or our close neighbors north of us, Los Angeles. To continue to have clean, healthy air, we should think about solutions to decrease our dependence on single passenger automobiles, and look at more sustainable alternatives like riding our bicycles and public transportation.


by Joel Flood

Friday, March 14, 2014

California residents biking & walking twice as much

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) just released its comprehensive California Household Travel Survey. Results show that the percentage of California residents walking, bicycling, and using public transportation doubled since 2000. About one quarter of household trips surveyed on an average day were taken by sustainable transportation.  California residents may be choosing transportation options for a variety of reasons including awareness/concern of health and climate change, and the availability of safe solutions. Safe solutions are dedicated bicycle paths, bicycle lanes, and pedestrian walkways. The full 147 page report is available here- http://dot.ca.gov/hq/tsip/otfa/tab/documents/chts_finalreport/FinalReport.pdf

As cyclists and as our numbers increase, we can agree that more bicycle awareness on roads is needed. We continue to advocate for the rights of bicyclists and are looking for new members to help us in the cause- SDC Bicycle Coalition Membership

Why are you riding your bicycle and do you feel the results of the report are representative of you and the people in your lives?

by Joel Flood

Monday, March 10, 2014

CicloSDias San Diego in the Springtime

San Diego is beautiful in the Springtime and with Spring arriving quickly, let’s celebrate my favorite season with a free open-street event, CicloSDias San Diego, on Sunday March 30th! CicloSDias welcomes everyone in San Diego to walk, ride, stroll and enjoy our streets.  Approximately 2.5 miles of city streets in Pacific Beach will be opened to families, pedestrians, cyclists, joggers, skateboarders, and anyone else interested in using this public space in a new way. This is our second year of the creating a car-free neighborhood day, and we are proud to join other cities around the United States and the World.
CicloSDias shares a common message with all residents- we want a clean, healthy, and vibrant San Diego.

Ride your bike, walk, meet your fellow San Diegians and if you can, please help us keep this great event happening by volunteering, donating, or fundraising.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Evaluation of San Diego's First CicloSDias Open Streets Event

The recently released Evaluation of San Diego's First CicloSDias Open Streets Event indicates that 84% of randomly sampled San Diego residents support improving bicycling infrastructure; and 62% still support improving bicycling infrastructure even if it means removing a lane of traffic or parking. The study also shows the importance of bicycle advocacy in San Diego, as only 46% of randomly sampled San Diego city residents rated existing bicycling infrastructure as good or very good.

The 23 page report highlighted the success of the inaugural CicloSDias Open Streets Event and included recommendations from attendees-

by Joel Flood

City of San Diego to form a Bicycle Advisory Committee- Join us in support on March 4th at City Council

The City of San Diego is to form a Bicycle Advisory Committee - Join us in support on Tuesday, March 4th at 10 AM! The San Diego City Council will take action on it’s consent agenda on Tuesday to officially form a Bicycle Advisory Committee for the City. This is a significant development for all who ride and is part of the recommendations, which were previously approved, in the Bicycle Master Plan Update. The Bicycle Advisory Committee will allow for advocates and citizens to provide valuable guidance to the city as they continue to implement the plan to provide a safer, more accessible, and bike-able city. Please join us at Council Chambers at 10 am next Tuesday. Thanks for your support!