TheCityFix Picks, December 9: Australian Helmet Laws, Transport Talks at Durban, Peruvian Health

Australian cycling rates would surge if current helmet laws were repealed, a new study finds. Photo by KayVee.INC.

Welcome back to TheCityFix Picks, our series highlighting the newsy and noteworthy of the past week. Each Friday, we’ll run down the headlines falling under TheCityFix’s five themes: integrated transport, urban development and accessibility, air quality and climate change, health and road safety, and communications and marketing.

Integrated Transport

The Pakistan province of Punjab will receive more than 575 new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses by the end of January 2012, announced the Lahore Transport Company Chairman Ahmad Hassaan.

Public transportation ridership in the United States has increased for the third quarter in a row. A three-quarter consecutive increase has not happened since 2008.

The Sixth Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Forum in Asia was recently held in New Delhi, India. Among the speakers were EMBARQ Director Holger Dalkmann, and EMBARQ India Director Madhav Pai.

If Australia’s laws requiring cyclists to wear helmets were removed, Sydney’s cycling rates would surge, reports a new paper from the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney.

New estimates from Pike Research predict that total global investment in intelligent transportation systems will reach a cumulative $13.1 billion through 2017.

Urban Development + Accessibility

With the help of a $403.2 million federal grant, the Amtrak Wolverine train line connecting Detroit and Chicago is set for three to four years of construction to begin this summer, which will ultimately result in faster and smoother train service.

The U.K. government postponed its decision on whether or not to build a high-speed rail running from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

The composition of drivers in the United States has changed considerably in the past three decades, with a higher proportion of individuals 70 years of age and older driving than individuals between 25 and 29 years of age.

The Latin American Association of Integrated Systems and BRT (SIBRT) released a collection of technical reports on Latin America’s most modern public bus systems for use in improving mass transit services throughout the region.

Air Quality + Climate Change

Transportation fuel demand in developing nations is forecasted to grow by roughly 300 percent by 2050, the World Energy Council (WEC) stated this week.

Toyota Motor Corporation began taking orders in Japan for its new Prius PHV, with aims to sell between 35,000 to 40,000 units in Japan in 2012.

Holger Dalkmann among other international experts discussed the transfer of climate-friendly technologies and measures in the transport sector at a side event during the Durban Climate Change Conference.

Health + Road Safety

New York City MTA is increasing its on-bus cameras and driver partitions in the interest of improving driver and passenger safety. The city’s public transit agency plans to have cameras on 426 buses by spring, compared to its 195 cameras currently in operation.

Sixty-four mayors across Peru agreed to implement a set of seven concrete initiatives to improve road safety in their respective jurisdictions. The participating mayors are all part of Healthy Municipalities and Communities, a program promoted by the Peruvian Ministry of Health.

Men over the age of 45 are most likely to crash their vehicle on icy and snowy roads, a new study finds. The study adds that this demographic’s likelihood of crashing increases even more if the man is driving a four-wheel-drive pickup truck.

Communications + Marketing

Streetfilms added to its collection of transport-related films with a video highlighting Chicago’s first protected bike lane, located on Kinzie Street.

The National Complete Streets Coalition sponsored a seminar for communities participating in the Communities Putting Prevention to Work program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among its notable takeaways was Norm Steinman of the Charlotte Department of Transportation communicating that sidewalks and bike lanes comprise only 3 and 4 percent, respectively, of street construction costs.

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