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TheCityFix Picks, July 2: U.S. Public Transit is Up, World's Worst Commutes, Blue or Black Bike Lanes
Are blue or black bikelanes safer for bikers? Photo by Mikael Tjemsland

Are blue or black bike lanes safer for bikers? Photo by Mikael Tjemsland

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: mobility, quality of life, environment, public space, and technology and innovation.

Mobility

As state and local governments across the United States slash public transit budgets many people are left with any other option but to return to their cars, according to this article from The Guardian.

Madrid has its Metro-related issues this week, but Barcelona is doing swimmingly well with the expansion of the city’s urban rail system: constructing more miles for less money, when compared to other world cities.

Whether he’s riding a bike in a new bike-sharing program or tackling distracted driving, United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood does his job well. The Washington Post has taken notice and profiles Mr. LaHood here.

The Brookings Institution released a report yesterday that indicates that there has been an increase of commuters in the United States using public transit.


Quality of Life

How important is correctly estimating traffic flows for new development areas? Pretty important, but several cities continue to use an outdated methodology from the 1970s that does not take into consideration walkability.

If you had the choice between the two, what would you rather be doing: sitting in traffic or working? Motorists across the world agree – working! IBM released the Global Commuter Pain Study this week and reveals the world’s cities with the worst commutes.

Yes, public transit is good for your health, thanks to reduced emissions, but your walk to that bus stop or metro station does your body good, too!

Environment

As cities replace trees with steel, soil with asphalt, and alter the natural breeze with buildings,  urban spaces tend to be warmer than less rural areas. As this New York Times article suggests, if you can’t stand the heat, get out!

Coca-Cola Enterprises’ carbon footprint has shrunk, thanks to efforts like reducing its mobile fleet’s emission, according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, a project of the World Resources Institute, where EMBARQ (the producer of this blog) is also headquartered.

Public Space

As SeeClickFix has shown us, turning to the public for solutions and recommendations – known as crowdsourcing – is a sound concept for citizen input in urban development. Next American City takes a look at several current examples in California.

Cars have them, why not bicycles? Slate.com takes a look at bicycle highways. With many cities pushing to get more folks on bikes, it makes sense, yeah?

Treehugger this week asks if blue bike lanes are better than black. No matter what, let’s hope those using the bike lanes don’t end up black and blue.

Technology and Innovation

Could trans fats be a component of future fuels for public transit? Three Japanese companies are researching the possibility.

It’s been quite a week for the all-electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla: The company made its initial public offering and announced the U.S. cities in which the cars will debut.

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