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TheCityFix Picks, November 4: Ecobici Expansion, Olympic Park Design Contest, Korean Hybrids

Ecobici bike share of Mexico City announced plans to increase operations next year by 180 new stations and roughly 3,000 new bicycles. Photo by Angelica.

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

Mexico City’s Ecobici bike share announced plans for expansions next year, with 180 new stations and roughly 3,000 new bicycles.

A U.S. amendment’s passing was defeated this week that would have eliminated federal funding for bike paths. The effort was the third of its kind from Republican senators in less than two weeks.

The London City Council and the London Transit Commission announced it is currently working a plan to add a bus rapid transit (BRT) system to the city’s mass transit network. Though, London City Councillor Harold Usher remarked that plans are still in their infancy.

The Twin Cities’ metro transit provider is exploring the feasibility of BRT lines in eleven of its cities’ densely developed corridors.

Urban Development + Accessibility

The winner of Rio de Janeiro’s 2016 Olympic Park design contest was announced. The contest submissions included plans for redeveloping the park space into a mixed use neighborhood following the Olympics proceedings.

A recent study found that 38 percent of private vehicle owners in Ahmedabad, India are hesitant to use the city’s BRT system because they feel it doesn’t reach close enough to their homes.

BNKR Architecture proposed a unique solution to increasing Mexico City’s urban capacity amidst little free space with an underground 1,000-foot, pyramid-shaped “earthscraper.”

ArtPlace offered $14 million in grants for “creative placemaking” projects. The grants are available to non-profits, governments, individuals, and companies.

Air Quality + Climate Change

A new study links recent increases in cyclone intensity around the Arabian Sea to a host of air pollutants, including aerosol accumulation, diesel emissions, and soot.

Amtrak celebrated its 30 million passenger service during the 2011 fiscal year.

GM Korea unveiled the first hybrid vehicle in its Korean segment, the Alpheon eAssist. The compact car offers a 25 percent improvement in fuel economy and a 22 percent CO2 emissions reduction as compared to the standard Alpheon.

Health + Road Safety

Recent disruptions in BlackBerry email, Messenger, and internet services in Abu Dhabi were linked to a 20 percent decrease in traffic crashes.

Exposure to city smog is linked to cognitive deficiencies in children, according to a new study led by Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas of the National Institute of Pediatrics, in Mexico City, and the University of Montana.

The Pennsylvania Senate presented a texting while driving ban to Governor Tom Corbett for enactment. If signed, Pennsylvania will be the 35th state in the U.S. enlisting the ban.

University of Wisconsin researchers uncovered that if U.S. Midwesterners ran half of their short-distance errands by bike as opposed to car, the comparatively healthy active transport change would result in 1,100 deaths being avoided each year, and $7 billion saved in reduced health-care costs.

Communications + Marketing

General Motors China Science Lab recently hosted their 2012 GM Global R&D Symposium in Shanghai. The event primarily highlighted the team’s work on automotive lightweight material and battery research and technology development.

Joining together in the fight against distracted driving, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Ad Council released three Public Service Announcements as part of a new campaign entitled “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.”

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