Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Riderless bike is here to save all urban woes

First there was the April Fools Google video demonstrating the self-driving bicycle.

However, RDRLESS gets the “one-up award” with the notable digs in this spoof video. Some of my favorite quotes include:

“What is unique about our product, is that it completely eliminates the need for a rider.”

“I know should probably ride my bike, its the healthier option. But I love driving  my car to work. …this way, I can do both!”

“It gives me goosebumps to imagine that one day our children will live in a world were no one has to ride their bike, ever again.”

Velo-city 2017, call for contributions

Call for contributions

Scientists for Cycling Colloquium, 12 June 2017,
Arnhem-Nijmegen, The Netherlands

The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), its global network Scientists for Cycling (S4C), Radboud University, Nijmegen (Institute of Management Research – IMR) and the Province of Gelderland (the Netherlands) are pleased to invite cycling researchers from all over the world to participate in the Scientific Colloquium taking place on June 12 prior to Velo-city 2017 Arnhem-Nijmegen.

High quality research papers and/or presentations from all fields of study and disciplinary backgrounds that are relevant to cycling are invited. In addition, a central focus is to foster interdisciplinary networking opportunities for both academics and practitioners involved in research that will strengthen alliances and facilitate the transfer of knowledge to action. The aim is to gather researchers and scientists who are inspired to address and discuss all aspects of cycling in all contexts, including city development, other different mobility contexts and sustainable transport more generally. These domains include but are not limited to, transport planning and policy, transport and traffic, health, engineering and infrastructure, socio-anthropological aspects, logistics, and economics.

Researchers and practitioners involved in research are invited to participate in the Scientific Colloquium—and more broadly in the Velo-city conference—in one or more of the following modes:

  • Full scientific papers (~6,000 words). These will be fully peer reviewed according to academic standards for selected research journals. We have established agreements with the Journal of Transport and Land Use and the Journal of Transport and Health.
  • Extended abstracts (~1,000 words) for researchers to share recent research findings, on-going research, new theories, and exemplary case studies.
  • Panels focusing on contentious and difficult topics to bring together academics and practitioners to confirm and challenge the existing knowledge base, identify research needs, and ultimately inform future research programs.

The deadline for submission for each of the three modes is 15 September 2016. A more detailed description of the submission procedure, deadlines, and additional specifics will follow. Registration costs for researchers participating in the scientific event will be steeply discounted, particularly for those will also be directly participating in the general part of the Velo-city 2017 program.

All submissions will be evaluated by the scientific committee and grouped according to the below themed categories.

Venue scientific colloquium:
DROOMvilla LUX (website)
Oranjesingel 42
6511 NW Nijmegen

S4C Colloquium Nijmegen 2017 Scientific Steering Board

  • Kevin J. Krizek, chair, University of Colorado Boulder & Radboud University
  • Karel Martens, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology & Radboud University
  • Maria Hopman, Radboud University
  • Fariya Sharmeen, Radboud University & Imperial College London
  • Manfred Neun, Chair of the Scientists for Cycling Advisory Board, European Cyclists’ Federation


S4C Colloquium Nijmegen 2017 Scientific Steering Committee and Theme Track Chairs

Planning and policy

  • Karel Martens, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology & Radboud University
  • Susan Handy, University of California Davis
  • Ralph Buehler, Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Engineering and Infrastructure

  • John Parkin, University of the West of England, Bristol
  • Regine Gerike, TU Dresden
  • Peter Furth, Northeastern University


  • Maria Hopman, Radboud University
  • Thomas Gotschi, University of Zurich
  • Bas de Geus, University of Brussels


  • Luis Vivanco, University of Vermont
  • Ruth Oldenziel, TU Eindhoven
  • Peter Cox, University of Chester (UK)
  • Marco Te Brömmelstroet, University of Amsterdam


  • Serge Hoogendoorn, TU Delft
  • Susanne Balm, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences


  • Manfred Neun, Chair of the Scientists for Cycling Advisory Board, European Cyclists’ Federation
  • Erik Verhoef, VU University, Amsterdam
  • Kees van Ommeren, Decisio

Intersection time lapse, Groningen

The autonomous vehicle is coming. Some places will fair with the nature of it better than others. From what on what I filmed in this intersection time-lapse–and based on what I know of the Google Car’s nature of being risk averse, communities like Groningen will likely co-exist with autonomous cars just fine.

IKEA freight bikes

Ikea freight close Ikea freight bike farIn Groningen, the Netherlands, owing largely to the student population and the bicycling-centered nature of everything, IKEA got on board with the ability to self deliver one’s products. For roughly $5 per hour, one can rent a freight bike to deliver new sofas, desks, tables, etc.  to your apartment. Furthermore, IKEA is a ridiculously close 1.7 km from the center of town. That’s taking it up a notch.


Understanding the magic

…and there I was, at an intersection just on the north side of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It was a random Friday evening in January; about 28 degrees (F) with a sleet rain gently falling. It was here and at a few other places during my walk to the city center where I tried to peal back the layers of the onion. I wanted to further understand Amsterdam’s cycling success.

I used to say that mild weather was a contributing factor, but as I could no longer take video because my fingers were too frozen and I could hardly make out images of bikes from cars owing to the rain and dim lights (see below), I was prompted to further uncover other explanations.  It was not impressive that Amsterdamers biked in the rain and bad weather. We knew that. What was impressive was the shear numbers of people doing so on a Friday evening (after work) in dark and miserable conditions.

Then I came across this–a powerful (yet somewhat related) distillation of what is going on.  I am glad I am not the only one who is mildly confused. The quest continues.




Museum of Parking, mountain west style

CU-Boulder is joining the ranks of other universities by opening the rocky mountain branch of the Museum of Parking.  The signature branch from the University of Minnesota documented here, albeit of the surface parking variety.

As has been reported on and extolled by the Transportationist, this is exciting news for those in the local Museum-going community. [the following is adapted from the Transportationist:] The new facility will help 21st century university faculty, staff, and students study the details associated with the storage of cars, as practiced in 20th century America, taking advantage of CU’s location in a dynamic setting–but this time in a facility intimately connected with the practice of American sports (football). The site will be a living laboratory, not just for the observation of other people parking cars in the traditional mold, but also enabling students and visitors to park cars, by themselves, for a more than a small fee. The value for transportation engineering courses is immeasurable.

The ‘tour’ and the buzz – Utrecht

Even on the other side of the country (almost), here in the Netherlands (admittedly, a very small country), one can feel the buzz of the Tour de France that will be starting in Utrecht on Saturday.

The tensions between sport cycling and city cycling still persist in Holland, but in a different way that is difficult to pin down. Either way, here is yet another attempt for Utrecht to put their stamp as the ‘capital of the bicycle kingdom.’ Its all good (love the sarcasm), though a bit overdramatic.


Bike sharing woes

From an intellectual or research perspective, there is room for me to support bicycle-sharing systems more than I do currently. But my perspective is strongly shaped by personal experiences. In four cities in four different countries over the past four years, I have tried to use four different systems. I have been denied on all accounts.

  • I tried to do use the system Paris. The machine would not take my credit card because it did not have the requisite ‘chip.’
  • I tried to use the system in Seville. The access machine for pod accessible from my hotel was not functioning at the time.
  • I tried to use the system in London. No bikes available at my pod.
  • On Tuesday, I tried to use Capital Bike share in DC. 24 hour memberships were not available owing to software system upgrades. Then, I read the below (thanks to Chuck Kooshian @ CCAP for sending).

Am I missing something?


Capital Bikeshare to offer limited service as upgrade gets underway

By Dana Hedgpeth February 3 at 9:54 AM Follow @postmetrogirl

The popular Capital Bikeshare program is expected to offer limited service as its operational software that powers the system goes through a major upgrade.

It is the first time in the Washington are program’s four-year history that it has done such a significant upgrade, officials said. It promises in an announcement that the upgrade will “improve the user experience for our members.” The new software is also expected to allow the bike service to “begin testing new equipment for future expansion.”

For bike riders who use the program, the upgrade process will cause some inconvenience. The software work begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday and is expected to last from 16 to 24 hours. During that time, there will be a “significant impact” on users of the system, Capital Bikeshare said. Those temporary changes include:

  • No credit cards can be used at Capital Bikeshare stations.
  • Users of the program who have annual, monthly or daily key memberships will not be able to rent bikes from the same station more than once when the upgrade is underway. Users can rent bikes from one station and drop them off at the same or another station.
  • New memberships and renewals will not be available on the bike share Web site,
  • There will be no updates for Web sites, maps and mobile apps on whether bikes are available.
  • Capital Bikeshare stations will not offer the “time credit” feature.

Users of the Capital Bikeshare program are encouraged to check on Twitter and Facebook for updates or changes in the process, according to the program.

The bikeshare program has become increasingly popular in the D.C. area. In Montgomery County, the program had about 35,000 trips in its first year, exceeding the expectations from county officials by almost 50 percent.