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Posts tagged "NACTO"

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How to Build a Thriving, Equitable Bike-Share System

Bike-share has the capability to expand access to jobs and transit for communities in need of better transportation options -- but only if the system is set up and operated in an equitable way. Our latest collaboration with the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) examines how to build a thriving, equitable bike-share system.

At the end of June, the Better Bike Share Conference brought together advocates, employers, and experts in the field to share ideas and strategies about how to improve access to bike-share. We interviewed a dozen leaders about what bike-share systems are doing to overcome barriers to use, and what more needs to be done.

NACTO has some great resources available for people who want to take a deeper look at issues of bike-share and equity, including papers on:

This Streetfilm features footage of nearly a dozen bike-share systems, but primarily Indego in Philadelphia, Citi Bike in New York, and Capital Bikeshare in DC. As part of the filming, I got to ride along with Black Girls Do Bike NYC for a Citi Bike tour from Bed-Stuy to Red Hook in Brooklyn -- you can see more scenes from that ride in this short.

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It’s an Awesome Array of Austin Streetfilms Assets!

When I visit any city, even like I did in October to attend the NACTO Conference (see below), I attempt to do as much documentation I can in the limited time I have away from any work or speaking commitments I have.  In Austin, I was able to cobble together a really nice look at what is making bicycling there so much more popular (see above!)

Occasionally, even one long shot can be really helpful and inspiring. One night after finishing a 30 mile ride with the Austin Social Ride (you can see scenes in the top Streetfilm) I came upon something I did not know: 6th Street in Austin, the city's nucleus of loud live music, is closed to cars at least two or three nights per week providing a pedestrian paradise. It was glorious, after shooting this video I went back to my hotel room and came back at 1am just to walk around and watch people.

And finally, just in case you didn't get enough of the awesome 3rd Street cycle track in Austin in the above film (or just need some excerpted footage as a tool to show your community or city) here's nothing but montage of cyclists enjoying the safety of the lanes.

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Austin: The Most Bike-Friendly City in Texas

I was in Austin a few months ago for the NACTO Designing Cities Conference. While in town I was able to put together this look at what the city is doing to improve bicycling, including the dazzling 3rd Street curb-protected bikeway. Also captured on camera: many bike paths along the Colorado River, car-free nights on 6th street, and the ridiculously long Halloween Social Ride, which is an exhilarating weekly nighttime bicycle excursion with hundreds of people that manages to follow traffic laws to a T. (I did all 30 miles on a heavy B-Cycle -- there were quite a few hills!)

The timing was excellent, because near the end of 2015 the League of American Bicyclists declared Austin a gold status bike-friendly city, the first city in Texas to claim the honor. So let Streetfilms take you on a tour of the bike lanes, greenways, floating bridges, and bike-friendliness of Austin.

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NACTO Previews the “Global Street Design Guide” at Designing Cities 2015

In October, NACTO held their 4th annual "Designing Cities" conference with a record 650+ attendees from all over the world. This year's event was in Austin, Texas which showcased many of the recent transportation improvements the city has done, including the new 3rd Street protected cycle track which you can see via this link.

As usual the event focussed on what people can learn from best practices in cities all over the United States & the world featuring plenary speakers such as Janette Sadik-Khan and Philadelphia Mayor Micheal Nutter as well as panels, city tours and the NACTO Camp which is an unconference which allows attendees to propose their own topics for discussion.

One big highlight of 2015 was the announcement of the impending release of the "Global Street Design Guide" which is the culmination of years of NACTO research in 46 diverse cities around the globe. Much like their "Urban Street Design Guide" in the U.S. which helped change the playing field for cities and states wanting to move away from highway design manuals for re-making streets, the new guide hopes to do the same for cities across the world.

As Janette Sadik-Khan explains, "It is a new operating code for cities across the world to use in redesigning their streets, rethinking their streets and implementing safe streets that work for everyone."

The Global Street Design Guide can be pre-ordered at the following link on the NACTO website.

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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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NACTO’s “Cities for Cycling”

"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 U.S. cities.

In this Streetfilm you'll see how a typical visit can inspire, enlighten and energize city leaders & advocates.  During bike month, experts from the transportation departments of NYC (Jon Orcutt), Portland (Roger Geller) and San Francisco (Timothy Papandreou) came to Boston to talk about bike infrastructure in their cities and how they accomplished innovative change to their streetscapes.  Thru public presentations, private meetings with city officials, and bike ride audits, the "Cities for Cycling" road show is poised to be an informative, powerful tool for governments.

In addition, NACTO is in the process of developing a dynamic on-line Urban Bikeway Design Guide which will showcase the engineering techniques being deployed by NACTO members to make bicycling safer, more comfortable and more convenient. This guide is due to be released later this year, but they already are hosting many useful resources for bike planners.

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Boston Rising: Boston Bikes’ Nicole Freedman

The Boston metro area has always had plenty of cyclists.  But other than some fantastic greenways like the Minuteman Trail, riding along the Charles, and some ahead-of-its-time traffic calming & bike lanes in Cambridge, cyclists have had very little to crow about.  In fact, it wasn't uncommon to hear murmurs that Boston was the worst cycling city in the U.S.

But that's all slowly changing. Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino hired Nicole Freedman - a former U.S. National Champion and 2000 Olympian - as his "bike czar" to head up Boston Bikes in late 2007. Though there is still quite a ways to go, Boston is rising from decades of bike rust and planning to make its city more bike-friendly. Recently, the Mayor told a gathering of cyclists at Boston's first "Bicycling Safety Summit" in April, "The car is no longer king in Boston."

While Streetfilms was in town with NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) we got to spend a few minutes with Nicole in between her busy schedule to file this report.

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Earl Blumenauer talks transit, stimulus, bikes and Obama

Moments after he delivered the keynote address to the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), Oregon's Rep. Earl Blumenauer, head of the Congressional Bike Caucus, met with us for this exclusive one-on-one chat.

Streetsblog Editor-in-Chief Aaron Naparstek talks with the congressman about the current federal stimulus bill and how advocates can better engage their leaders. Of the new White House team, which has not shown much energy in pushing transit or livable streets issues thus far, Mr. Blumenauer states:

"...just because [people and advocates] may feel more comfortable with this administration - it doesn't mean they should let up on the pressure."

Amen. This is an important year people, let that sentence stick in your noggin for the next 324 days.