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TheCityFix Picks, July 30: Istanbul’s Mega Automart, Epe’s Bitty Bike Lane, Toronto’s Open Fares
Toronto is in the middle of a hot debate to change the electronic fare system to an open system. Photo by wyliepoon.

Toronto is in the middle of a hot debate to change the electronic fare system to an open system. Photo by wyliepoon.

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

USA Today profiles Minneapolis, examining how the city deals with traffic congestion by giving daily commuters a range of options, such as public transit, carpooling, biking, and other modes of transportation.

Officials in Delhi debuted the traffic management plan to deal with the foreseen congestion during the approaching Commonwealth Games.

Has a collision course been set? As the Golden Gate Bridge undergoes a seismic retrofit, bike riders and pedestrians will be put in the same walkway.

Taiwan’s high-speed rail system recently announced that 98,815,727 trips had been made up until last week and they expect to hit 100 million in August.

Quality of Life

As a country’s wealth grows, car manufacturers are quick to roll in and tap the market. This week, Turkey saw the opening of Autopia Europia, a shopping center dedicated to everything related to cars, with more than 500 shops and an 800-meter test-drive track.

Chicago suburbanites recognize the stress of the congested city roadways and now demand increased investment in mass transit over roads, according to a Chicago Tribune/WGN poll.

Environment

Moscow is experiencing the hottest summer on record. This week air pollution levels in the Russian capital rose to 10 times the safe level.

UPS has joined FedEx in seeking better fuel economy in its vehicles and has set a goal for itself to improve its fleet’s fuel efficiency by 20% by 2020.

Public Space

The Dutch city of Epe installed what might be the world’s second shortest bike lane: 8.8 feet in length! The British can claim the world’s shortest bike lane.

Los Angeles hosted a design workshop this week seeking the creative input of citizens in the design of the future high-speed rail stations that are set to begin construction in 2012.

The Design Seoul Street project to make the streets of the Korean capital more environmentally and pedestrian-friendly is underway and plans to give a facelift to 20 more streets by 2011.

Technology and Innovation

The Toronto Transit Commission is seeking to upgrade the city’s electronic fare system to an open system, but the changeover has not come without a bit of controversy.

A joint venture between Brazilian and Californian energy firms launched a pilot biofuel bus project in São Paulo. The test fuel consists of 10% sugarcane-based diesel and 90% commercial diesel.

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