Cool video and explanation of why traffic jams occur on otherwise un-obstructed roads, courtesy of New Journal of Physics and the The Lede blog at the New York Times. Apparently the key factor is traffic density. As a multi-modal commuter I see (and participate) in these all the time. The funny thing is that this justifies the smug feeling you’re getting as you blow by the car-muters stuck in traffic – you’re not just going faster, you’re doing your part to reduce vehicle density and pointless traffic jams. Try not to lord it over the trapped-in-traffic though, they’re already frustrated enough.
Chelsea Green Publishing sent us a nice little book about Biking to Work. It’s a quick read and perfect to hand to your co-workers or friends that ask about your commute, urban cycling, and how to do it.
The book is published on 100% recycled paper and processed without chlorine.
Mix 08 is “an intimate opportunity for cutting-edge technical, creative and business strategists to engage Microsoft in a conversation about the future of the web.” Right on and Bike Hugger is attending this year. (I keep trying to avoid Vegas, but it sucks me back in!).
We’ve got Bike Hugger 2.0 in the works, with a refreshed design, more community, and 33% more hugganess. Going into the upgrade process, we’d like to know what you think. So please tell us. What should go into 2.0? How can we give you even more bike hugga?
After putting these Carnac booties on, I thought, “hmm maybe too euro, even for me.” Lycra booties do serve a purpose in Spring weather. They keep the chill off, aero, and keep the feet drier when the roads are wet. These ones though look like Smurf boots, but at least their not White Booties …
Opinions? Are these indeed too Euro or should one always embrace their inner Euro? They also totally don’t match the Modal or Hotspur.
Here’s a great idea – add an option to Google Maps to show bike paths and directions in the same place you’d get driving or public transit directions. It ain’t so yet, but it could be if this petition can catch the attention of Google’s map teams. There are tons of online city bike maps, some already mashed up into Google’s maps like this New York City map. Seeing how nicely it plays puts other city bike maps to shame (Portland, Seattle – warning: Big downloads). Having bike routes available in online mapping apps would be a great step forward for many cities, and a big encouragement for those who might just go by bike with a bit more information.
I recently spent some time trying to figure how to bus down to a city a few miles away and then bike back home. The bus part was easy, but figuring out the best bike route back was a nightmare. I used Seattle’s .pdf based bike maps, but it was pretty hard to see the whole route on a single screen let alone create a cue sheet based on it. My best bet would have been to print it out, lay down several sheets side by side on the floor and mark it off by hand. Sites like Bikely and Routeslip are helpful, if somebody’s taken the time to do it right.
Of course the biggest challenge in providing bike maps for a city like Seattle is that not all bike lanes, sharrow’d streets, or other biking infrastructure links to eachother. The Bike Master Plan will help when it’s implemented, but I don’t know how Google would get around recommending a complete bike route to a location without including ‘get off and walk…’ for some portions of the ride.