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Posts tagged "Gabe Klein"

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BIKELASH 2019: What’s the most ridiculous comment you’ve heard in opposition to a bike lane?

I was honored to attend the National Bike Summit 2019 in Washington, D.C. hosted by the League of American Bicyclists.

As usual with that large gaggle of bike riders all in one place it provides unique opportunities to ask pertinent questions about bicycling, and some can even be therapeutic and fun. Like in this case where we asked attendees what was the most ridiculous comment/reasson/lie you have ever heard in opposition to a protected bike lane in your community or state. Could be a citizen, elected official, advocate or community member (or even a member of the media!). The results are hysterical and run the gamut from ugly bollards to a bike path that can magically make birds go extinct!

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Streetfilms and Streetsblog: The First 10 Years

This summer, Streetfilms and Streetsblog celebrated our 10-year anniversary, and to mark the occasion, we created this film looking back at how our reporting and videos have changed streets in New York, the U.S., and cities all over the world.

This film showcases only a small portion of the work that thousands of volunteers and advocates have put in. It begins with the NYC Streets Renaissance, a collection of organizations that banded together in 2005 to rally people around the idea that streets can change, by showing best practices from other cities and photosimulations of what NYC streets could become.

You'll see clips from important Streetfilms like the series on Bogota's Bus Rapid Transit and Ciclovia, as well as recaps of how Streetsblog influenced transportation policy at City Hall, defended the work of transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, and put pressure on Albany to stop raiding transit funds. Getting closer to the present day, we look at why Streetsblog's coverage of traffic crashes matters, the new generation of elected officials working for better streets, and what's next for advocacy in NYC.

A note: This Streetfilm runs over 12 minutes, but if we had the resources it easily be a 90-minute feature documentary. Apologies to anyone left on the cutting room floor and topics not addressed, but perhaps someday we'll be able to make that film!

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How D.C. Cut Traffic Fatalities by 73% in a Decade

We continue to present short videos from our tour around Washington, D.C. with Gabe Klein, the former Transportation Commissioner in our nation's capital.

These are the final two vignettes in our series which focus 1) on the incredible reduction in traffic fatalities in D.C. and 2) the role of fast evolving technologies which has drastically altered transportation in our cities in the last few years - and will so much more in the years to come.

And just in case you missed it, last week Gabe talked about the evolution of how D.C.'s center-running, two-way, protected cycle track came into existence (and who challenged him to put it in!) We re-present that here so we have a nice trio of Streetfilms Shorties for you to ingest!

Gabe Klein's new book, "Start-Up City", is available on Island Press.

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D.C.’s Pennsylvania Avenue Bike Lane Story

Gabe Klein, former Commissioner of Transportation for the cities of Washington, D.C. and Chicago, talks a little about how the center-running, two-way protected bike lane on Pennsylvania Avenue came to be. His book "Start-Up City" comes out on Island Press on October 15th.

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Can We Get Some of These DC Protected Bike Lane Features in NYC?

A few days ago I was in Washington, D.C. for a shoot. After leaving Union Station with my gear I made a beeline to check out the newest improvements to the 1st Street bike lane that runs adjacent to the station. I'd heard it was pretty fab, and upon close inspection, it really is.

The separation on this two-way lane varies between three treatments: 1) a concrete curb, which is substantial and well done and runs about half the length of the lane; 2) A combination of green paint, plastic bollards, and armadillos, which all work extremely well in conjunction; 3) paint and plastic bollards for the long block connecting to the Metro Trail. All of the variations feel comfortable on streets where car lanes are narrow and motorized traffic tends not to exceed the 20 mph range.

I was in town to meet up with former D.C. and Chicago transportation commissioner Gabe Klein, who has a new book debuting this week called "Start-Up City" that you should read. We shot some short vignettes, the first of which is above, where Gabe talks about the genesis of the Pennsylvania Avenue two-way, center-running bike path.

Read more...

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Gabe Klein Talks About Getting Sh*t Done in “Start-Up City”

Streets can be tough to change. Between institutional inertia, tight budgets, bureaucratic red tape, and the political risks of upsetting the status quo, even relatively simple improvements for walking, biking, or transit can take years to pull off -- if they ever get implemented at all.

But a new generation of transportation officials have shown that it doesn't have to be that way. Cities can actually "get shit done," as former DC and Chicago transportation commissioner Gabe Klein puts it in his new book from Island Press, Start-Up City.

Streetfilms and our producer, Mark Gorton, recently got to sit down (and walk around) with Gabe to talk about the ideas in the book, which ties together his career as a transportation commissioner and his experience in start-ups like Zipcar. Start-Up City is filled with advice about how to get projects done quickly while choosing the best option for the public (and, of course, having fun). You can get a flavor for the book in this extensive interview with Gabe.

Full disclosure: Gabe Klein sits on the board of OpenPlans, the non-profit that produces Streetfilms and Streetsblog. This video is made possible by the Knight Foundation.

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Some NEW Parking Streetfilms You May Have Missed

We've recently posted a few parking "best practices" direct to Vimeos for use by Streetsblog that you likely haven't seen if you don't check both sites frequently. (Which Streetfilms wholeheartedly endorses.)

First up: We're big fans of the work of Gabe Klein, the former DOT Commissioner for both District of Columbia & Chicago. While I was filming for a project looking at parking policy, we stopped briefly to chat about some of the innovations D.C. instituted while he was there which made paying for parking more efficient. Since the bulk of these comments were likely not to make it in to our final Streetfilm, we wanted to get it out there as a tool for use in those cities who need to reform their systems.

The second (above) is a short interview we conducted with City Councilwoman Margret Chin for a story by Stephen Miller that appeared on Streetsblog. It's a great story if you love happy endings when the topic is talking about the struggle to eliminate parking minimums in dense cities in the U.S.  Hopefully more developers will follow this logical lead.

And while we are at it, don't miss the above excerpt from our awesome Zurich Streetfilm. We did a number of shorter excerpts so that they are more easily used by advocates and community members. This segment talks about Zurich's "Historic Compromise" which essentially kept the number of parking spaces steady at 1996 levels. Yup, that's not a misprint. Watch how they did it!

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The Rise of Open Streets

Streetfilms has been documenting the open streets movement for over seven years, beginning with our landmark film in 2007 on Bogota's Ciclovia, currently the most viewed Streetfilm of all time.

The next year, Mike Lydon of The Street Plans Collaborative decided to get an open streets event going in Miami, which led to his research for The Open Streets Project, a joint project with the Alliance for Biking & Walking.

Miami wasn't alone. In 2008, there were new open streets events in more than a dozen cities, including San Francisco, Portland and New York. All told, open streets events have increased tenfold since 2006.

"The Rise of Open Streets" examines the open streets movement from myriad perspectives -- how it began, how events are run, how they shape people's perceptions of their streets, and how creating car-free space, even temporarily, benefits people's lives. And it looks not only at big cities like Los Angeles, but smaller ones like Fargo, Berkeley, and Lexington.

We've interviewed some of the most important people in the movement, including former NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and former Chicago DOT Commissioner Gabe Klein, as well as former Bogota Parks Commissioner Gil Penalosa and Enrique Jacoby, from the Pan American Health Organization.

We were proud to partner with The Street Plans Collaborative and the Alliance for Biking & Walking to produce this film, which we hope will encourage even more open streets events throughout the world. Funding for "The Rise of Open Streets" was graciously provided by the Fund for the Environment & Urban Life.

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Riding the Bike Share Boom

Without a doubt, 2013 has been a banner year for bike-share in the United States. Major systems were implemented in New York City and Chicago, and many others debuted or expanded in other cities. In fact, Citi Bike users have biked over 10 million miles and the system is closing in on 100,000 annual members!

The Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) has been studying 25 bike-share systems throughout the world, analyzing which ones perform the best and why. That informed ITDP's Bike Share Planning Guide, which has copious data and fascinating charts to pore over, helping cities create bike-share systems that will thrive.

We were very happy to team up with ITDP to make this Streetfilm. It features a dozen bike-share systems and captures footage from an unprecedented number of bike-share cities in any one film. Enjoy and download the report!

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Highlights from NACTO’s 2012 “Designing Cities” Conference

The National Association of City Transportation Officials' 2012 Designing Cities Conference drew hundreds of city transportation officials from around the U.S. to New York City last fall to share ideas and learn about the latest innovations from places around the country.

As you'll see, the conference featured some nice twists on the usual fare and included many great speakers, including U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the Brookings Institution's Bruce Katz. Among the headliners was NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who nicely encapsulated how some elected leaders are starting to approach transportation in their cities differently than their predecessors:

"Streets are there to transport people. They're not there necessarily for cars they're there to transport people - and there are lots of different ways of transporting people, and in fact one of the original ways was walking. So we've come full circle here - surprise, surprise."

Also, if you haven't already seen it, do not miss Streetfilms' video of the NACTO commissioner's panel, hosted by MSNBC's Chris Hayes. It is 52 minutes of fascinating dialogue between the transportation commissioners from five of America's greatest cities.

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Commissioners’ Panel – Raising the Bar: Building political capital to implement key design initiatives

This panel took place at NACTO's Designing Cities Conference, on October 26, 2012, in New York, NY, and was sponsored by IBM.

Political support for sustainable transportation initiatives is a precursor to success. The combination of agency champions, political champions and savvy advocacy groups is coming of age across the nation. Not all cities have all three and diverse agency structures determine the alliances needed to garner support. Visionary mayors and elected officials must be there to open doors and communicate your agency’s objectives to their constituents.

This session explores the political dialogue which governs local transportation initiatives. How can your agency build credibility and support without causing sticker shock? What are the key milestones of success and how can you work with the press to reinforce your accomplishments?

Moderator: Chris Hayes, Host, MSNBC’s UP w/ Chris Hayes  Featuring: Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation, Gabe Klein, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Transportation, Ed Reiskin, Director of Transportation, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Tom Tinlin, Commissioner, Boston Transportation Department and Rina Cutler, Deputy Mayor of Transportation and Utilities, Philadelphia.

Selected highlights from the panel are below:

09:00 - Ed Reisken "we need to make public transit accessible, reliable and enjoyable"
11:30 - Gabe Klein  talks about young people and transportation's vitality to a city
15:14 - Rina Culter on "Money Matters"
17:23 - Tom Tinlin "Mayor Menino has said, 'The car is no longer king in Boston' "
23:50 - Gabe Klein talks gas prices in Netherlands vs. U.S. and transportation infrastructure
31:03 - Janette Sadik-Khan - "We need to find partners in creating public spaces in NYC."
33:30 - Chris Hayes refers to cars as "speeding machines of death"!
36:56 - Janette Sadik-Khan: "in New York, two-thirds of New Yorkers get around without a car, less than half own a car"
48:21 - Chris Hayes asks the panel about public criticism from the media and giving advice to future commissioners.

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The “Cities for Cycling” Roadshow Rocks Chicago

"Cities for Cycling" is a project of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) to document, promote and implement the world’s best bicycle transportation practices in American cities. As part of the Cities for Cycling program, bikeway design experts take their show on the road, using the streets of different U.S. cities as their classroom and the new NACTO design book as their guide.

"The NACTO Guide is a really important step for cities to say it is okay to be different then a rural area. We are not better…we are just different and we would like to apply these different principles," says Chicago Commissioner of Transportation Gabe Klein.

Streetfilms brings you these highlights of the Chicago stop on the tour, where representatives from the transportation departments of NYC, Portland and San Francisco shared lessons from developing bike infrastructure in their hometowns.

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Kinzie Street: The First of Many Protected Bike Lanes for Chicago

In his campaign for mayor, Rahm Emanuel pledged to make Chicago a more bike-friendly city. And in office, he set his sights high, aiming to construct 100 miles of protected bike lanes in his first term.

His team wasted no time. Chicago DOT installed the city's first protected bike lane on Kinzie Street before Emanuel's first 30 days in office were over. Leading Emanuel's DOT is former Washington, DC DOT Commissioner Gabe Klein, who clearly understands the connection between safe streets and the health of a city.

Last month Streetfilms traveled to Chicago to speak with the commissioner, ride on Kinzie Street, and bask in the city's cycling excitement.

And one piece of local trivia. The Blommer Chocolate Store is right on the Kinzie Street protected bike lane and boy does it smell good. It figured prominently in my all-time favorite response to an interview question about biking.

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Secure Bike Parking at Union Station

Washington, D.C.'s Bikestation is one of the sleeker and more fully-featured bike parking facilities that Streetfilms has ever seen. Located at Union Station, the Bikestation provides secure parking for more than a hundred bicycles, offers repair, rentals, lockers, and a changing room. Members get 24/7 access.
Have a look and see how D.C. has made their biggest transit hub even more multi-modal with top-notch bike parking.
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The Capital’s Colossal Contraflow Cycle Track

While we were down in Washington, DC for the National Bike Summit, Streetfilms got the chance to check out some of the innovative bike infrastructure.
Tops on our list: the city's first protected, contraflow lane for bicyclists. The district DOT has redesigned 15th Street NW between U Street and Massachusetts Avenue to accommodate two-way bike traffic on a one-way street. Northbound cyclists get a shared lane moving in the same direction as car traffic, and southbound cyclists ride in a parking-protected lane. The treatment has also slimmed down the street, removing a vehicle lane and calming traffic.
DC transportation officials say that when designing this protected bike lane, they looked to New York and Montreal for inspiration. Additional use of contraflow lanes could help make critical new connections in New York's bike network, like the gap between Park Slope and Fort Greene that Brooklyn CB 2 recently asked DOT to take a look at. Although not captured in the video DC has just finished a lower tech contraflow lane on Champlain Street in Adams Morgan (See images below). So hopefully some of that inspiration will flow back up the Acela corridor to NYC.
champlain 1champlain 2