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.
Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Va. this week launched Capital Bikeshare, touted to be the largest bike-sharing program in the United States (once the full fleet of bicycles and stations is deployed in late October.)
The Australian Government needs to spend AU$20 billion annually towards public transit to keep up with demand and make it a dominant mode of transport, according to a recently released report.
In India where towns are “the size of European nations,” increased use of waterways, light rail, footpaths and cycling lanes are more sustainable than new roads, which are frequently washed away by monsoons, according to The Times of India.
Traffic congestion in Dubai has hit a new high, despite massive road infrastructure projects and improvements to the emirate’s mass transit system. Delays in roadwork appear to be the main cause of commuters’ woes.
Motorists in Moscow apparently did not know that September 22 was World Car Free Day, a global initiative for the use of alternative transportation. The day was marked with one of the Russian capital’s worst traffic jams.
A major avenue in Athens, Greece was temporarily transformed into a car-free zone for pedestrians and cyclists recently, in an effort to promote non-motorized transportation in the Greek capital during the 2010 European Mobility Week.
Quality of Life
Road deaths across the Carribean nation of Jamaica are down markedly below the 300 target set for the year, according to the country’s National Road Safety Council.
Prosecutions for careless driving have been cut in half in Britain, according to a government study measuring the effectiveness of traffic cameras.
Dubai’s Public Transport Day is set for November 1. Transit card holders will be able to ride the emirate’s metro, bus and water bus systems free of charge.
Sydney looks to Amsterdam as a model for dealing with the Australian capital’s congested roadways that are no longer an issue in the Dutch capital due to the bike’s popularity.
Air pollution blankets Hong Kong and is stagnating the city’s economic growth. The smog must be dealt with soon for development and public health’s sake, according to the city’s chamber of commerce.
NASA has delivered new maps indicating the levels of air pollution around the globe. More than just images, the maps use computer modeling to determine how much particulate matter is in the air.
Thousands of people are making use of the new bike lanes to downtown Vancouver. Despite the controversy surrounding the installation of the new lanes, the number of bicyclists on the segregated pathways has quadrupled.
Ottawa and Gatineau in Canada, possibly spurred on by Vancouver’s bike lane success, are exploring the potential of increasing the number of bike lanes in the two Canadian sister cities.
It may be a bit premature to say, “Watch out Copenhagen and Amsterdam!” but New York City is on the right path to becoming a two-wheeled haven, according to the Downtown Express.
The Bicycle Master Plan, approved by Milwaukee Common Council this week, lays out 170 miles of new cycling infrastructure such as lanes, boulevards and paved trails throughout Wisconsin’s largest city.
The Seattle Department of Transportation released a map detailing the best walking routes in the city for residents and visitors alike.
Technology and Innovation
India’s first fully computer-controlled and battery-operated personal rapid transport system is set to launch in January 2011 in Amritsar, Punjab. The elevated system hopes to ease traffic congestion on the city’s chaotic roads.
Dublin is set to follow the lead of Madrid and install free wireless Internet service on the city’s buses and trains in effort to become a “smarter city.”