Leopold leadership program fellows announced for 2013

The Leopold Leadership Program Based at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, the Leopold Leadership Program provides academic environmental researchers with skills and approaches for communicating and working with partners in NGOs, business, government and communities to integrate science into decision‐making.

The Leopold program just released the list of 20 individuals receiving fellowships in 2013 and I am fortunate to be a part of this crew and the first planner to boot. Read more here and from CU.

Minneapolis bike crash report

Bicyclist-Motorist Crash RateMinneapolis recently released a new report examining bicycle crashes. It is based off of 10+ years of DPS crash data which is pretty limited to begin with. I am pretty sure there is not much new in this report that we did not uncover back in 2006 or 2007 with our analysis of the same data; but, that was not commissioned in-house by Public Works and it was not done by Public Works. So, it is more important for them to be able to listen to themselves.

The Atlantic Cities article covers some popular press elements of the descriptive stats. They claim to see, again, an attribution of or mention of safety in numbers, directionality, and causality. But, as has been pointed out by others, there little to suggest we have anything here other than more people riding and crash rates staying level.

What really is needed is to figure out how to use the count data to uncover more reliable and geographic measures of exposure.

Winter bike to work

winter bike work logoBike to work day in the summer sees all sorts of press, in most all regions of the US. Some places–like here in Boulder, Colorado–accompany it with a winter bike to work day equivalent, which was today. Owing to the 63 degree forecast and the uptick in general interest for cycling, sponsors are reporting record numbers (again). And, my friend Garvin and his son are highlighted in this video.

It is a natural assumption that the winter folks are the more hearty and might have a more natural inclination to do it year round. But the real question is what happens to all the summer bike to work folks? Why the attrition? This is the topic of a research project soon to be undertaken by the ACT Research Group. Stay tuned.

Yale’s Urban Dialogue of Critical Environmental Issues

On January 18, I was in New Haven and it was a privilege to contribute to the Urban Dialogue on Critical Environmental Issues at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. I have never really thought of myself as a forester. But, the school is considering ways to expand into more urban-type things (the school’s name, right now, is a bit of a misnomer) and it could be that human dimensions of transport and urban planning might be among those critical issues that might gain traction. At least we can hope so.

ACT Scholarly Workshop; Daniel Rodriguez of UNC-Chapel Hill, first scholar

photo ofJust announced: the Active Communities / Transport (ACT) Research Group will be hosting its first “Scholarly Workshop;” Daniel Rodriguez, PhD, of UNC-Chapel Hill will be the first distinguished scholar. The workshop will be held April 18-19 on the Boulder/Denver campuses, and is intended to provide insights and feedback on research currently being pursued or proposed by student and faculty members. Students will present their well-developed research proposals to ACT faculty and student members, as well as to Dr. Rodriguez, and receive feedback from the group.

The central purpose of the event is to learn from close interactions with a proven scholar, and to elevate the quality and depth of the group’s work through constructive and critical feedback. In addition, there will be opportunity to reflect on perspectives and experiences about transportation-land use research and scholarship. Please email with questions or further interest.

Active Communities / Transportation (ACT) Research Group at TRB

Members of the Active Communities / Transportation (ACT) Research Group will again be presenting papers at the Transportation Research Board next week in Washington DC.  Please see below for session number and the title of the paper. In addition, the WSTLUR and JTLU meetings are Tues at 3:45 (Hilton, Morgan). Hope to see you there.

357- Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure Investments and Mode Share Changes: A 20-Year Case Study of Boulder, Colorado.

454 – Bicyclist Safety Performance Functions for a U.S. City

640 – Estimating Annual Average Daily Bicyclists: Error and Accuracy

715 – Parking at Sporting Event Stadiums in Denver, Colorado

827 – Missing Links: How Social Paths Can Improve Light-Rail Pedestrian Accessibility

349 – Who Benefits from Rail Transit Investments? Assessment of Rail Access in Denver Metropolitan Area and Implications for Social Equity and Transit Effectiveness



Vanderbilt on Capital Bikeshare

Bicycles are seen in a rack at a bike sharing station January 25, 2011 in Washington, DC. Tom Vanderbilt writes in Slate about Capital Bike-Share. In response to his first question–what city would you have expected would have the best success?—it is not surprising to see that DC takes the cake. The density is right. DC is flat. There are lots of people making small business-type trips across town. There are tourists galore. Weather is usually not prohibitive. But empirically speaking, the analysis reported in the article suggests the the success of stations depend on:

-the age of its nearby population;

-the density of retail outlets (and in particular liquor licenses);

-the proximity of Metrorail stations;

-distance from the center of the system itself;

-essentially, the presence of a lot of white people.

Health tradeoffs (some of them) hitting popular press

The Atlantic Cities has a diddy exposing some of the pollution ill-effects of cycling. But, the larger question is still left open. Even considering the air pollution burden from cycling–and perhaps even the safety risks owing to crashes–is it healthy? We need to look at the larger context. The prevailing evidence, I would argue, suggests that cycling is healthy–overall–because of the physical activity benefits.