tv [untitled] November 9, 2010 6:30am-7:00am PST
safety what makes people cycle. if people feel safe, and i can guarantee you that a lot of people will not feel safe on a bicycle lane where they could easily get doored or if they are just a little less bit concentrated or make strange movements, they will be in the car traffic and they will be run over. so think about that it will be a lot better idea to remove the parked cars away from the sidewalk and have your bicycle path then between the parked cars and the pavement. i guarantee you that's all people who are latent cyclists will feel much safer. can have the children also on these poik paths where i can guarantee you a lot of parents won't have their children cycle on these bicycle lanes or the mixed traffic. you can say, well, but we have
got these guidelines and so on. then work hard to change the guidelines because i think, and it may be a little bit provocative, but these guidelines prevent real growth of cycling in the u.s.a. and also go for more quality infrastructure solutions. here is a picture taken in the south of netherlands. here, the layout is so much that you are really regarded as cyclists that they have made space for you. the cars know that cyclists have priority. this is a common roundabout situation in the netherlands, also in the village where i live. so this shows that you go for the cyclists. go for cyclists and realize when someone is saying we were
cramped in space like in san francisco, we say, well, you have never been to any dutch town because your roads are so wide. and then they think, yeah, but all these lanes are needed for car traffic. i'll tell you, if you use this traffic model, you should realize that the capacity of your system is not determined by the amount of lanes and the stretches of roads but by the capacity of intersections and you realize that the capacity of these intersections are a lot lower than any capacity of lanes that are on the stretches of roads. so it's only a parking place for cars on to the next traffic light or intersection. so it's only convincing the people to realize that there will be hardly any sacrifice if there will be face given over
to cyclists. one thing and that's also the problem with being in the downturn because there is also safe by numbers. in the netherlands, cycling is inherently more safe than in the u.s.a. because all car drivers are also cyclists. 60% of the people in the netherlands cycle at least three times a week. 80% at least once a week. so all the car drivers are also cyclists and they know as they turn right that there is an 80% chance that they will cut off a cyclist if they don't look. so there is also safety by numbers. one last thing and that is about liability. when i hear about cycling in the u.s., people say, oh, but
cycling is so dangerous. and then we say, no, cycling is not dangerous. cyclists hardly ever cause accidents. cars cause accidents. cars cause facilities and in the netherlands we have the philosophy that car drivers should realize that they're in a machine that can kill. and also from that on responsibility in taking liability. if a car drives over a child on a bike, no matter what happens, he is 100% liable for whatever happens. and even in the other cases, when a car goes in the collision with an adult on a bike, still there is at least 50% liability for the car driver. and when the car driver would
say, but yeah, the cyclists made a very strange movement. then we would say in the netherlands, well, you know that's about cycling. so you should reduce your speed when you see the cycling, you just can't drive on with 40 or 45 miles an hour alongside cyclists because there is always the risk that something strange happens so that's important. jurisdiction. there were initiatives to put in a code, but there was large opposition against it, defacto it doesn't make any difference. well, and one of the things is of course and i heard that the system in san francisco of allotting schools to children
makes it very difficult, but this is a picture from a primary school, start young so do everything to have children biking. ok. [applause] >> thank you, hans. i see supervisor chiu in the back. we are especially lucky today because supervisor chiu wanted to be here with us and say a few welcoming remarks. he happens to be our own german marshall fellow. honorable davis chiu. [applause] >> good morning. it is a real pleasure for me to be here for a number of reasons. first of all, a couple of years ago i was honored to be part of a group of american policy folks that was invited under
the german marshall foundation to go to europe and to meet with policymakers in brussels and other points in europe to share ideas that we had from the united states. and it was a remarkably fruitful exchange and i think many of us that went on that trip brought back ideas to the united states that we are trying to legislate here locally. i'm also excited to see all of you here in part because some of you know, i'm one member of the board that doesn't have a car, that rides my bicycle many days of the week -- [applause] >> and like all of you, i think we are remarkably excited about the fact that the bike plan is moving forward, the fact that today is the start of the trial on market street, the fact that we are really moving our city's biking agenda forward. and i think with those of our friends from europe, we all want to take this to the next level and figure out what are the best ideas that we can adopt from the great cities
around the world. we know that in recent years, i think san francisco with the help of our community advocates from the bike coalition and other advocates were really trying to bike strong and bike hard into the wind and i think finally the wind is at our back. we need the best ideas from around the world to move our great city forward. so welcome to our friends from europe. again, thank you for all of you here in san francisco that care passionately about this and i look forward to working with all of us to move this movement forward. [applause] >> thank you very much, supervisor. our next speaker was an elected member of the brussels parliament representing the green party. she was also minister of social affairs, health, and equal
opportunities in the government before starting her political career in 1993, she worked in the european level in environmental and social organizations for 10 years. as a politician, she focuses particularly on the development of economically depressed areas which despite their assets face challenges like poverty, unemployment, and a lack of development. she believes these neighbors are a key to a vibrant and prosperous brussels. please. >> i'm happy to be here and as far as i could take note is the situation for cyclists as well as in oakland as in portland as in san francisco -- excuse me, i think, yes, important to be again the whole different thing. but as i understand most probably brussels is somewhere
in-between. in the last few years, we managed to raise the amount of cyclists let's say from 1% in 2000 to what today is estimated but how did the countings go, but it's estimated as being 3 1/2%. i have made it as one of my priorities to put the discussion on what we call soft mobility for pedestrians and cyclists to put it on the political agenda and being a deputy for the green party in an assembly of 89 deputies, it has been possible to find an alliance in every political party whether it's the liberal, the socialists, the christian democrats, or the green. so we have been taking initiatives together asking hearings in the parliament and so on. i think it's very important that grassroots organization kansas do their work. i'm still participating in actions when we are doing that in brussels.
but you need that. you need an efficient administration but you also need that political support. i will give you a brief presentation of how it is like in brussels. this should work, ok. so i think i already told you a bit of what i feel, a politicians elected member should do. of course, we have regulations to vote, to discuss laws and permits. we have a budget to control and in that budget, you will see our mobility policy. you can have your own expenses on infrastructure work, for instance, but in brussels, we also have an important policy on financing groups, social groups who are working on the issue. and i believe we should never forget to work on equity
because we have those big social differences within our town. this is just shortly a slide that shows you what already has been polled, that denmark and the netherlands, they are in fact far ahead of all of the other european countries and belgium is somewhere in-between making an effort but for sure also at this trip, i have been able to learn a lot from my european colleagues in denmark and in the netherlands. brussels is in the heart of europe and i think it's also has been a very good thing that there is european regulations, although at this moment, european regulations are mainly on achieving certain environmental standards. let's say pollution by co2 and particles. but that has helped us as we had too high air pollution in brussels as it was sanctioned by the european union that we really could stress on
alternative mobility. we don't wait until european legislation or regulation coming up. we also have no brussels, no belgium, but european towns, towns in europe, trying to find one another and to press, to put pressure on mayors and regional ministers to commit themselves to invest in bicycle policies. so those towns can learn from one another. as i told you, brussels, i have found several similarities with the two towns i have been getting to know now yesterday and today. we have about one million inhabitants. brussels is 10 to 10 miles on distance and i agree with what has been told here that that is
in favor of promoting cycling because the distances are never too long, although we also have a difference of height. i mean, like amsterdam is plat as a pancake we would say. brussels does have some, well, ups and downs. an important issue politically is that we have -- we are, in fact, giving big gross national product to the country, 20%, although we're only 10% of the population, but yet most workforce is coming from abroad, from flounders, from outs. so they are coming in at 9:00 in the morning and the workers are again leaving to the north or the south of the country in the evening and we have ourselves a population with also considerable amount of people who live in poverty. there is about 20% of
unemployment. we do have for 20 years now our own regional parliament and government and i'm very proud of that because i really think that we have been able as politicians to put brussels solution on the brussels scale thanks to that legislative power we have. you see we have been quite ambitious. we voted already in 1997 a resolution in the parliament saying 10% of all mechanical transport should all be by bike. we also held a summit on road safety and, there again, we referred to a european and that wanted to have only half of the fatalities over a period of 10 years. quite important because many people don't cycle because they feel it is not safe. and often they're right, but
you have groups like here of pupils being guided by their parents and also supported in a first phase by the local police to go together to school. it's called bike pooling to school and so parents join in as volunteers, but there is also the local authorities and regional authorities, it's part of the program to make this possible. we had the resolution in 1997 to go for more cycling, but the first bicycle plan was in 2005. there is a new plan coming up and there is also a new pedestrian plan for the first time. we don't have yet, but we are also going to have pedestrian plan. as i mentioned already, road safety is also on the agenda. yet having a plan and having it
put into practice is -- i don't have to tell you, two different things. we have had that hearing in the brussels parliament asking for the results of the plan and in fact it was quite frustrating. as you can see, painting lanes was going forward. we made quite good progress there. we have cycling routes 18 being planned and we only have four of them. that was in 2007. in 2009, there are only four of the 18 routes being really, well, operational. one of the big problems we have had and so i'm optimistic for the near future, but it was we had a great plan. we did have money in the budget, but we did not have enough people in the administration that could really, well, make it happen.
and quite recently, two years ago, in that period, by the way, they really decided that we should enforce the administration because it's really, you need to work on it before you can realize what you would like to -- before you can realize, for instance, this one of the typical brussels road coming into brussels. you can see there is an industry on the left and the right, but the infrastructure is really very scary for even for daily cyclists as i am. what we are quite doing and it is also quite important if you were a town, let's say, taking off with the bicycle policy is that we have been very successful in organizing events and in setting upestal programs. of course, my criticism and the parliament was like take care.
you have a big responsibility because of the events and because of the educational program, you invite people to take the bicycle on the street on a regular day, you have a big risk because your infrastructure is not yet there. so that was part of the political debate. still, i am willing to defend that policy that organizing events, this is in front of a mayor bank in the heart of brussels where the employees have been invited to come to work not by a car and to have a taste, as it says, of another mobility. it is part of the european car-free day which is organized every year, september 22, i believe it's similar to what you have in may, bike to work event. i really think those are good references. people maybe only have one day but a good experience of an alternative way to travel.
i have been showing just one hour go, to go, the guidelines in english, it's our regional administration. they're very proud of it. i took one copy and showed it to some of you just this morning. it's really giving guidelines to our locate authorities on how to have the infrastructure done in a proper way and it's facilitating, it's giving more confidence to our local civil servants who also have to implement certain rules because our roads, you have regional roads and you have local roads. so for some regional administration has to take care for the locality administration. so this is mainly a guideline that has to support local administrations in their work. and why do local administrations need this? because there is a regional
regulation that says that all our local authorities need to have a local mobility plan. i heard this morning about a problem like neighbors complaining when things have to be changed and the whole debate that is coming up then. but i think we have it similar because it's our local mayors who sometimes are hesitating to put into practice -- that's one of the reasons why those cycling routes sometimes get stuck, because you have a regional cycling route, but local authorities, we have 19 in brussels, local authorities do have to give permits for that. there is a lot of criticism on that and i heard my dutch colleague say one hour ago, you can get stuck because at local levels people don't like it, although your regional plan is to be so good. that's true. on the other hand, i think that
it's a good democratic process to really to go at the low-cal level and convince people why it's good to have those new infrastructureses. this is one of the typical, in old belgium towns you would find it now, it's the flow of cycling. it's what you do if you have a one-way road and you make it accessible for cyclists. we knew at the federal level, at belgium level that this regulation was coming up and in parallel in the brussels parliament, we voted a law if you will implement this new belgium law of accepting cycling on those one-way streets, if you do that within two years' time, we will finance half of the cost to do so. and that was a regional law who
was, in fact, encouraging putting the federal law into practice and that's how come that you will see in almost every one way street like you see there on the left that cyclists are admitted. on the right hand, you have example of lines and i have seen that already here as well. as a cyclist, i like the advanced stoplights and i make much use of it. i was already one of those cyclists who was contraflow cycling. it's a good thing and i can tell my kids that it's allowed to contraflow cycle. a policy of permits is another instrument we have just to, well, to mainly used to limit the parking places for cars. we prefer to have parking
places for bicycles. of course, there is still -- but that's -- we're only at the beginning. this is called the viking bridge. i'm sure while you have seen the slides in the netherlands, it's very popular there. there are many more investments in our neighboring country to do so, but we are making a start and it's a nice project because it crosses a highway, so it's really very well to use. regional biking service points serve two aims. one is of course, the people who want to bike, to rent their bike, to have it repaired. on the other hand, it's part of a social economic project, so, therefore, it's also an initiative that i find personally very important. these are people who are unemployed but get into a working program in the bicycle service points. i think with this presentation,
i hope i have given you a glance of how we in brussels try to enforce the cycling patrol and i don't think i have to tell you that it's of benefit for all of us, for our health, for a better neighborhood and also -- and that's a good thing, and also firms, banks, more and more are happy to put cycling in their mobility program because it's good for their image. if you come to brussels, you will see bicycles, for instance, indicated like this is the group. this is the bank. they really take it as an advertisement and part of their policy to show they are progressive because they have their employees on the bike and i think that will help us very much in the choices we make. so i would like to just thank
you for your attention. [applause] . >> thank you very much. unless you have some clarifying questions, we will go on to the next speaker, and i believe is mr. nils jensen. he is a senior traffic planner working with strategies and planning in the traffic department of copenhagen. he is educated as a landscape architect starting his career in the danish cyclist federation in the late 1970's, has worked with cycling research projects at the danish technical university, has conflicted to national danish cycle planning and has been involved in european union projects on zero and low-emission vehicles as well as cycling benchmarking. he has been the coordinating of a car-free cities conference and another conference in copenhagen. nils. >> i'm very happy to be here today and i'm going to talk
about planning for a wide range of users, not just for the strong cyclists. i'm not too familiar with this. it's very easy. just keep to the right. in our cycling policy, we present a starting point for the policies for cycling, what we call the transport quality and we are looking at safety, of course, which are the statistics, but we also very much looking at the sense of safety or the sense of security that you feel safe, that the cyclists feel safe and that's
not just the strong cyclist, but cycle groups, different cyclist groups should feel safe when they cycle in traffic. then we look at the traveling speeds which is important because we are competing with the cars and public transport. we are looking at health aspects and we are looking at how you experience the city and its life, how you're being part of the city scene and then we're looking at comfort, and all of these things make up the transport quality. we have a very ambitious political goals by now because we got new politicians and they say that we want 50% share of commuting by bicycles to workplaces and education in copenhagen and we used to aim for 40%. so it's really a challenge.
and the two other goals is safety and the feeling of safety. the copenhagen infrastructure, the backbone of the infrastructure, that's the cycle tracks along the major roads. we have been building those for 100 years, actually. it's not just something which was done overnight. the kind of cycling infrastructure we have which are green which are much more reasons. i won't go into the structure here and what we are aiming at, but i want to show you how this cycling track is designed because you have very strong, you have a curb separating the cyclists from the cars, but you also separate the
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