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New Crowdsourced Bike Safety Map: BikeMaps.org

No Comments Topics: Commuting, GPS/Mapping Systems, safety Written by Melanie Colavito
New Crowdsourced Bike Safety Map: BikeMaps.org

Anything that combines two of my favorite things - geography and bicycling - is something I can't help but share with you all! Hooray for bike maps! Earlier this month, at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, geography professor Dr. Trisalyn Nelson launched a new bike mapping website called BikeMaps.org. The website is a crowdsourced bike safety map that allows you to track things such as crashes, bike thefts, danger zones, and near misses. The map legend items include: citizen collision report, citizen near miss report, cyclist hazard, official collision report, and bike theft. There are also general alert areas, information about rider volume in a given area, as well as infrastructure (at least in Victoria) and an incident ...

 

‘Transportation Colonialism’ and Inequality

No Comments Topics: Advocacy, Tananarivize Written by Ted Johnson
‘Transportation Colonialism’ and Inequality

  Before coming to Madagascar I spent a lot of time organizing my storage unit -- and getting pulled into the kind of distracted, time-consuming reminiscing that happens whenever I get near all my old junk. I came across this booklet: "Transportation Patterns in Nairobi & Programs to Improve Opportunities for Bicycling " published by the International Bicycle Fund in 1989. I sent away for this booklet more than 20 years ago, the last time I was preparing to go live in Africa. And I'll be damned if it doesn't read like a laundry list of all my favorite bike advocacy topics -- except I'm usually writing about cycling in the United States of America. Here are some highlights: And they're not just my pet ...

 

Why Aren’t More US Women Riding Bikes?

12 Comments Topics: Commuting, Musings Written by Melanie Colavito
Why Aren’t More US Women Riding Bikes?

An article recently came out in The Guardian titled, "The reason fewer US women cycle than the Dutch is not what you think it is." This title grabbed my attention immediately, as it was meant to do, and I began to wonder if there was something I already thought about this matter as the title of the article suggested. The subtitle was even more enticing, "American women aren't being put off by a lack of bike lanes but by lives that are disproportionately filled with domestic chores." Honestly, I hadn't given much thought to specifically comparing female bicyclists in the U.S. and the Netherlands. But if I had to guess, I would think that Dutch women cycle more than U.S. women largely ...

 

Unusual Bike Commuting Needs

7 Comments Topics: Commuting, Commuting Gear, Commuting Stories, Family Cycling Written by Dara Marks Marino
Unusual Bike Commuting Needs

In some past lifetime, long ago, in other words, before I had a child, bike commuting was pretty much what it sounded like: riding my bicycle to get from point A to point B and back again. I used racks and panniers, front and rear. Simple.

Then I had a child. And bike commuting looked a lot more like this:

Now that my daughter is 6 and in first grade, and now that I am working on my Masters degree, bike commuting suddenly looks more like this:

I know, I know. Don't say it. Don't post it in the comments. I realize I am driving my commuter bike on my roof around town.

...

 

Tananarivize’ – Bike Commuting in Madagascar’s Capitol

2 Comments Topics: Commuting, Tananarivize Written by Ted Johnson
Am I wearing  helmet? Only  my hairdresser knows for surePhoto: Ted Johnson

After a week in Madagascar, I finally got a bike! I rode home to my apartment, taking selfies all the way. That week without a bike served me well. I spent some time on foot, in taxis, taking small public transportation buses (taxi brousse), and bumming rides from various colleagues with their SUVs. I observed how motorists interacted with people on bicycles and with pedestrians. The traffic appeared anarchic at first -- intimidating even. There does not seem to be any clear sense of right-of-way at intersections and roundabouts. I don't know if there's a traffic light anywhere in this entire city. I have noticed one sad, impotent, stop sign on a main road. I'm possibly the only person who has ever ...

 

Ebola and its Rival Killer: Cars

3 Comments Topics: Commuting, safety, Tananarivize Written by Ted Johnson
It would be their safest model

Note: This was written on September 21, 2014 Not too long ago I announced that I would be working in Madagascar for a number of months. Well here I am, in Madagascar. I arrived today. Ever since that announcement the one topic that has come up repeatedly has been... Can you guess it? Ebola!   Almost to a person, I have been asked whether I'll be near the Ebola outbreak; they caution me to be careful not to get Ebola; they tell me (incorrectly) that Ebola has now spread to Madagascar; they offer to pray to keep me safe from Ebola. And it's no wonder why. Ebola is spreading across the entire world -- the word, not the disease. No word has so thoroughly penetrated the English ...