Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bike stuff

Zigo bicycle
1. Springwise reports on the Zigo Leader, a bicycle that's easily convertible into several different forms.

This bike can be easily converted into any of four different modes: stand-alone bicycle; bicycle with front-attached kid trailer; jogging stroller; and traditional stroller. Converting from one mode to another is simply a matter of swivelling casters and attaching or detaching the "child pod" trailer, and can be done in 30 seconds or less, Zigo says. The vehicle also folds easily for storage. Priced at USD 1,349, the Zigo Leader will be available in August direct from the New Jersey-based company or through a network of dealers including bicycle shops and baby stores. It comes 98 percent assembled; shipping is available anywhere in North America, the EU and Australia. Accessories including a rain cover/bug screen and restraint harness can also be purchased.

2. The University of Arkansas is starting a bike sharing program, a kind of subtype that Paul DeMaio of the Bike Sharing Blog calls a "bike fleet." See "‘Razorbikes’ project to offer free pedaling around UA campus," from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

However, I think that differential types of bikesharing memberships could be offered within the SmartBikeDC program. Say that a school like GWU wanted to participate. They could do so by paying for outfitting a couple bikestations on their campus, and the membership for students could be coded with different privileges perhaps (this isn't required). The same thing for the DC Government. DCG employees id cards could have a SmartBikeDC membership allowing them longer use periods to use these bicycles to get around during work hours.

BIcycle sharing in DC

Washington Post photo of a DC SmartBike.

3. The AP story "In China, Bicycles Still A Vital Mode Of Transport," (via the Hartford Courant) that ran in the Express earlier in the week mentioned a "sanlunche" without including a photo.

Here's one, from Anne Giles & Kim Holburn, from "Sanlunche: A photo-essay on small vehicles of China."

Sanlunche bicycle, China

I wonder how one goes about importing a container load of Sanlunches.

4. Speaking of bikesharing, a French commenter on the Velib blog entry from last week mentioned that Velib is being expanded to 30 locations in the suburbs. This piece from the French Diplomatic Service, "Seen from France - Vélib’ : the bicycle reigns in Paris," confirms it.

(Also read this piece from Streetsblog, "How Paris is Beating Traffic Without Congestion Pricing," which discusses the multi-step _plan_ put in place by Mayor Bertrand Delanoë. Private car use has dropped by 20% over the course of the implementation of this plan.)

Imagine if the Washington _region_ could actually settle on one bikesharing system...

5. And Washcycle's mention of the Midtown Bicycle Station on the trail in Minneapolis, in the entry "Union Station Bicycle Transit Center - Green Lighted," makes me realize that my piece "Making cycling irresistable in DC" needed to be even more direct in mentioning that the creation of a bikestation _system_ with cross-membership privileges is in order for the Washington _region_.

If I go to the APA conference next year, I will check out that bikestation. The annual membership is $110. I note that a bikestation has been opened up in Australia, they charge $5-$7/daily, with the justification that is how much it costs to ride transit.

Freewheel Bike/Midtown Bike Center, Minneapolis, bike center sign (resized)

Image from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune roadguy blog.

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