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TheCityFix Picks, June 18: Dump the Pump, Slim City Streets, Predict Traffic Jams
Using public transportation could potentially save you upwards to $10,000 a year! Photo by gordeonbleu

Using public transportation could potentially save you $10,000 per year! Photo by gordeonbleu.

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

Dump the pump. The American Public Transportation Association released figures yesterday showing those who use public transit save $9,330 annually.

The United States Federal Highway Administration released a report this week that shows that the number of biking and walking trips has increased two-fold over the last twenty years and now account for 11.9% of all trips made.

If you need a job, high-speed rail may be the answer. A recent study from the United States Conference of Mayors found that upcoming U.S. rail projects will create a substantial number of jobs and $19 billion in economic growth.

Slate.com debuted the Nimble Cities project this week and wants to know what your ideas are for solving the pressing transportation problems of cities around the world. Submit your idea here.

Quality of Life

Urban sustainability is possible and already occurring. To prove it, take a look at what’s been going on in England and Switzerland.

“There’s safety in numbers.” Recent studies show that the number of bicyclists in San Francisco rose by 43%, yet collisions involving bike riders rose by 36%.

Bogotá’s Ciclovía closes 76 miles of roads in the Colombian capital for one day, not every year, not every month, but every week! Read more on how it’s bringing folks from all walks of life together since 1974.

Environment

Yes, we all wish we could use public transportation exclusively, but for many that’s not possible nor realistic. Check out 10 ways to save money at the gas pump from the Mother Nature Network.

A World Bank study released today shows that Brazil will be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 37% between 2010 and 2030, while maintaining economic growth and with no negative impact to jobs.

Public Space

If you ever have visited Buenos Aires’ 12-lane 9 de Julio Avenue, you know how wide avenues in today’s cities are becoming. Michael Bohn demonstrates how recent successful street slimming is not only healthy for the city but for people, too.

Whether you live in Washington D.C. or not, you can suggest where you want Capital Bikeshare stations to be placed within the Washington D.C. area. Visit the interactive site and have your say.

Technology and Innovation

Wouldn’t you like to know when a traffic jam will happen before it starts? IBM will soon release a  modeling system that predicts traffic flow up to an hour before it occurs, with a rate of accuracy about 90%.

So, you need to catch the bus and you have no idea where the closest stop is or what time the bus passes. Well, look no further, OneBusAway has you covered. The application has inspired other open source multi-modal transit applications, such as OpenTripPlanner.

Weeels.org released a new mobile app to encourage taxi-cab sharing in New York City. They’re in beta testing right now – learn more here.

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