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TheCityFix Picks, October 22: BIXI in Toronto, Bike Racks from Parking Meters, Airbags for Cyclists
As parking technology advances, the demise of the traditional parking meter precipitates. Photo by Tripp.

As parking technology advances, the demise of the traditional parking meter benefits cyclists. Photo by Tripp.

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

Jerusalem is inaugurating four of six planned bus rapid transit (BRT) lines in the ancient city. The BRT will initially operate along an eight-kilometer route and cut travel time by 30 percent to 40 percent.

BIXI is going to Toronto! The city had set a November 30 deadline to get 1,000 membership pledges in order to bring the widely popular bikesharing program to the city. Once launched in 2011, 1,000 bikes will be available at 80 locations.

Wednesday was Car Free Day in South Africa. Free bus service was offered to the public in Johannesburg in the midst of reports from officials that the city’s bus rapid transit system is underused.

Quality of Life

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) launched an initiative called “Connecting the City,” which seeks to enable cyclists to comfortably get around the city on a network of crosstown bike routes.

Transportation experts in Beijing are making a call to reduce traffic on the Chinese capital’s roadways through a form of congestion pricing.

A new report on Australian cities has recommended free off-peak travel on public transport and charging drivers for how much they use their cars.

Environment

London’s congestion pricing policy has been altered so cars that emit less than 100 gram per kilometer of carbon dioxide will not be subject to the congestion charge. It replaces the “alternative fuel discount,” which stirred controversy for being too broad.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration seek the public’s advice about the vehicle fuel economy label’s redesign. The two designs in the running will provide additional information to consumers purchasing new vehicles.

Eurostar will invest more than one billion dollars to acquire 10 new cleaner-running trains and to refurbish the entire existing stock. With the overall popularity of the rail service, the potential impact on European transportation emissions could be great.

Public Space

After 75 years of existence, the parking meter’s time has possibly expired, according to Slate’s Tom Vanderbilt.

Ottawa is ahead of the game and is using the parking meter’s abolishment to create bike racks out of 500 of 4,000 decommissioned machines along the Canadian capital’s streets.

Double-parked vehicles, cycling in the wrong direction, pedestrians wandering into the lane, and police and city vehicles are among the obstacles cyclists face in New York’s bike lanes, according to a recent study.

A new proposed zoning system in Jakarta, Indonesia seeks to regulate on-street parking in an effort to reduce vehicle traffic flow by applying higher parking fees in high-traffic areas. The goal is to encourage people to leave their vehicles at home and make use of public transportation.

Technology and Innovation

Swedish designers have created a cycling “collar” with an airbag concealed inside. When sensors detect a crash, an airbag instantly inflates around the cyclist’s head to form a helmet.

China has taken the lead on developing high-speed trains, currently holding the top speed record and a 500 kilometer-per-hour train currently in development.

Motorists in Dubai can now see traffic congestion in real time through the Dalili Navigation system, introduced by the emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority. The RTA will soon also allow commuters to pay road tolls via their iPhones.

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