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Posts from the "Streetfilms" Category

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National Bike Summit 2014: United Spokes

Usually I limit conference wrap-up videos to right around four minutes in length. But there were so many great (and funny!) moments at this year’s National Bike Summit, it was important to pack in all of the coverage we could grab.

So sit back and enjoy many of the faces and fun that made this year’s #NBS14 a big hit.

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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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In Portland, Every Day Is Walk and Bike to School Day

In many areas of the country the statistics are bleak — only a small fraction of children bike or walk to school. But Portland has bucked the trend: The number of kids using their feet to get to school is up 25 percent since 2006!

Portland makes it happen through a unique blend of infrastructure, planning, and outreach. They have a growing network of low-traffic neighborhood greenways. By 2015, 80 percent of all Portland residents will be within a half mile of one. Communities also frequently schedule “bike trains” and “walking school buses” to encourage kids and their families to bike or walk to school. One of the more incredible parts of these programs: Fifth grade student volunteers trained by the Portland police help younger students cross the street to get to school in the morning. That’s right, NYC, no crossing guards on corner after corner.

Last month, Streetfilms got to bike to school along with the family of new Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat. We also got to walk with Kristen and Dan Kaufman (of PDXK-TV) and their kids. Although the United States has a long way to go to make walking and biking to school the norm again, get motivated — because if Portland can do it, your city can too.

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Portland’s Multi-Modal Nexus, Featuring the Largest Bike Valet in America

Portland’s South Waterfront is developing into one of the best new walkable urban neighborhoods in America. From one spot, you can grab the Portland Streetcar, ride the Portland Aerial Tram to Oregon Health and Science University, walk across abrand new pedestrian bridge, bike on a protected bikeway, or park your bike at the largest daily valet bike parking facility in the country.

It’s a nexus of multi-modal transportation. And to see it in action from high above on the aerial tram is thing of beauty. Thankfully you don’t need to go there this instant because we made this Streetfilm. We got to talk to Kiel Johnson, the owner of Go By Bike, about the numbers of bikes his valet business parks, the services it offers, and its unique location.

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Bicycle Anecdotes From Amsterdam

Here we present our final — and most informative — Streetfilm from Amsterdam. It provides a nice cross-section of commentary on life in the City of Bikes. If you’d like to skip directly to a certain section, use this table of contents:

0:17 Rejecting the Automobile
2:15 A bike system that works for everyone
4:05 There’s a science to what looks like “bicycle chaos”
5:55 Coming to The Netherlands from the United States
7:33 Dutch Bicycle Culture

Make sure you check out our other Streetfilms from Amsterdam: No, Amsterdam is Not “Swamped” By BikesAmsterdam Draws Bike Boxes to Organize Bike Parking, and Some Things You Might See While In Amsterdam.

I still find it amazing that a five-year-old in Amsterdam can ride straighter and with more confidence than the average U.S. adult!

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More From The Netherlands: Bike From Assen to Groningen

If you haven’t seen the latest Streetfilm, Groningen: The World’s Cycling City, you should check it out. Like, now! It has broken every single Streetfilms viewing record — nearly 40,000 plays in just the first week.

One of the folks featured in that video is David Hembrow, who has been reporting on cycling in the Netherlands for many years via his blog, A View from the Cycle Path, which you will want to devour. He also leads group bike tours of many cities in the Netherlands.

I was very fortunate to spend some time with him, and we got along famously. Above is a video with highlights from our 20 mile bike journey from Assen to Groningen. It’s only a small taste of what you’ll experience in the Netherlands, but I think it will leave you craving more.

David recently put up a blog post to accompany the Groningen Streetfilm, which is full of references to a wealth of information about the city. Good stuff!

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Groningen: The World’s Cycling City

It’s no secret that just about anywhere you go in the Netherlands is an incredible place to bicycle. And in Groningen, a northern city with a population of 190,000 and a bike mode share of 50 percent, the cycling is as comfortable as in any city on Earth. The sheer number of people riding at any one time will astound you, as will the absence of automobiles in the city center, where cars seem extinct. It is remarkable just how quiet the city is. People go about their business running errands by bike, going to work by bike, and even holding hands by bike.

The story of how they got there is a mix of great transportation policy, location and chance. You’ll learn quite a bit of history in the film, but essentially Groningen decided in the 1970s to enact policies to make it easier to walk and bike, and discourage the use of cars in the city center. By pedestrianizing some streets, building cycle tracks everywhere, and creating a unique transportation circulation pattern that prohibits vehicles from cutting through the city, Groningen actually made the bicycle — in most cases — the fastest and most preferred choice of transportation.

Read more…

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A Look at Pittsburgh’s Bike Parking and Presumptive New Mayor


The future looks bright for Pittsburgh for 2014. As they prepare to host the Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place conference next September, last week Project for Public Spaces held a one-day summit in advance of next year’s big event.

One thing Pittsburgh is doing is creating some innovative and fun bike parking facilities. As you’ll see from the video, we present three types, including a converted space in a parking garage decorated in a “Space Invaders” theme, an extremely unique and secure bike parking facility that repurposes shipping containers, and bike parking corrals outside some very busy restaurants.

Pittsburgh City Council Member Bill Peduto delivered a great speech to help kickoff last week’s conference. He won the Democratic primary for mayor and is the overwhelming favorite to win the post in less than two months. He has a very impressive grasp of transportation issues and has been a huge fan of Streetfilms for years. Understanding just how important livability is to a city, he can hit the ground running on transportation. I think the next four years in Pittsburgh could be groundbreaking.

I caught a few minutes of Peduto’s remarks, in the video after the jump. And check out short films of two Pittsburgh bike and pedestrian bridges here.

Read more…

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A Montreal Intersection Morphs Into a Wonderful Neighborhood Space

On a Bixi bike excursion to get some ice cream in Montreal, my wife and I stumbled upon the intersection of Fairmount Avenue and Rue Clark, recently upgraded with colorful new street furniture, traffic calming treatments, and a two-way protected bike lane. The space is teeming with street life. When you arrive at this lovely place your first instinct is to stop, sit down, and enjoy.

This intersection is a prime example of how a neighborhood street should cater to people. All local streets should strive to make pedestrians feel welcome, slow traffic speeds with physical infrastructure, and provide art and greenery wherever possible.

Since we were only there for a short time and could dig up only scant information online, I don’t have much backstory to share about how this space was created. If anyone can provide more info in the comments, please fill us in.