Electric City: What Academic Research Tells Us About the Future of E-bikes

Electric City: What Academic Research Tells Us About the Future of E-bikesElectric bikes are not only heaps of fun to ride, they have the potential to transform how we commute. Understanding that potential is the job of The Future of the Bike, a collaborative research project that examines how innovations in bicycle technology and city planning can support urban sustainability in New Zealand. The project’s most recent study, Electric City, took a close look at e-bikes in Auckland and just what impact they might have on the city’s transport systems. Ross Inglis asked Research Fellow Dr Kirsty Wild to motor through the study:   Bike Auckland: Why the interest in e-bikes? Kirsty: We haven’t had a lot of research in New …
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Bike lanes and businesses: When the numbers do the talking

Bike lanes and businesses: When the numbers do the talkingIf we had a dollar for every time we’ve been told that removing traffic lanes and car parking to make way for cycle lanes will kill local businesses, we could just about fund the lanes ourselves. It’s a classic barbecue assertion. And, like any other dodgy assertion, it withers in the face of the data. Where to go for that data? One place is Toronto, which studied the economic impact of a protected cycleway in Bloor Street, a major east-west corridor. The Bloor Street story goes back to late ‘70s, when advocates first started lobbying for bike lanes on the street. It wasn’t until 2016 that a pilot lane was …
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Walk or bike your way to better health says new NZ research

Walk or bike your way to better health says new NZ researchWe campaign for a more bike-friendly city for all sorts of reasons – it’s fun; it’s a smart and cheap way to add transport capacity to existing roads; it’s a brilliantly efficient way to address our climate change imperatives… and of course, going by bike is actively good for you. The health angle is boosted by recent news that New Zealand kids are becoming less and less active and independent – and more and more adults aren’t even meeting the basic minimum recommendations for physical activity. In that context, creating cities that give people the chance to walk and bike for everyday travel is a public health no-brainer. This is borne out …
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Fear’s fair – but how rational is our risk assessment?

Fear's fair - but how rational is our risk assessment?Keen to ride your bike around town, but worried it’s a risky business? You’re not alone, and that’s why we work for safer streets for people on bikes. But hold up! When you crunch the numbers, even under current conditions, riding a bike is not nearly as dangerous as you might think, compared to other things we get up to. As reported in the NZ Herald, new research from a team led by Prof. Alistair Woodward at the University of Auckland shows that biking is about as safe as doing DIY around the house. We’re glad to be able to share Alistair’s own blog post on the project (also published at Sciblogs)…. “It is too dangerous” is the reason given most commonly for …
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Heading in the right direction? Experts put Auckland in context

Heading in the right direction? Experts put Auckland in contextLukas Adam has recently finished a spatial planning degree at Oxford Brookes University in the UK, and is moving back to Auckland to put theory into practice. As he discovered in his dissertation research, planning for cycling in spread-out cities like Auckland is mostly about infrastructure, but you can’t ignore the context… What’s the single biggest barrier to seeing more people on bikes in dispersed cities like Auckland? Safety (both real and perceived). What is the most effective approach for improving safety? Building physical infrastructure. Will ‘carrots’ alone be enough to encourage more people to bike? Probably not. Can’t we just cut and paste what they have done in the Netherlands? Not really. These were some of the messages gathered …
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On habits, habitats, and happy communities – a report from the Asia Pacific Cycle Congress

On habits, habitats, and happy communities - a report from the Asia Pacific Cycle CongressBikes and bike people poured into Brisbane recently for the 2015 Asia Pacific Cycle Congress, which attracted around 230 delegates from Australia and New Zealand, and a keynote speaker from San Francisco. This year’s focus: the economic benefits of cycling, links to the health sector, and new opportunities for the biking industry. Claire Pascoe, NZTA’s Senior Cycling Adviser, was lucky enough to attend, and soaked up tons of bike news to share with us. Here’s her report: It was a refreshing (and unfamiliar) feeling to take along a presentation on behalf of NZTA that was a truly good news story of such a significant scale – “Yes, you heard right, we’re investing around $400 million …
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Bikes love local businesses – time for more vice-versa?

Bikes love local businesses - time for more vice-versa?Of all the arguments in favour of encouraging city cycling, perhaps the hardest for some people to swallow is that bikes are good for business. Why? Because many business owners believe that parking and cars  – rather than the people who arrive in cars – are the main source of their business. Parking, in particular, is a sacred cow of epic proportions, and it’s an article of faith among some retailers that taking away parking spots to improve safe passage for people on bikes will result in the rapid decline of any nearby business. But the research firmly says otherwise. This article looks at a recent collation of 12 studies on …
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