Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 29
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    34
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Groundbreaking research study

    My organization, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, recently released a report, "Active Transportation for America," which quantifies for the first time ever the benefits our nation would realize with increased walking and biking ("active transportation"). The report documents the transportation, energy, climate, public health, and economic benefits of bicycling and walking. Among our findings, we noted that increases in walking and bicycling could lead to between 70 and 200 billion reduced miles driven annually, potentially saving Americans more than $65 billion annually. We released the report to Congressman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) a few weeks ago, calling on Congress to take action in the next transportation bill to provide greater resources for walking and biking.

    More at www.railstotrails.org/ATFA.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Space Coast, Florida
    Posts
    2,423
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    RtT is one of the great organizations in this country, and changing unused railroad beds into trails for walking, biking, horses, etc., is simply one of the great ideas of the last decades. I wish you guys the best of luck in your endeavors. And given that government infrastructure stimulus seems to be in the offing, speeded up trail development might be on the way.

  3. #3
    Share the Road ckeizer77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Glendale
    My Bikes
    Torelli Montefalco
    Posts
    128
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I recently wrote a couple of blog posts about the report. I've read it, and I think Congress needs to read it as well. I posted an open letter to congress today urging them to read and seriously consider the facts of the report. I also forwarded the letter to my representative and senators.
    Corey Keizer
    Share the Road
    15rides.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Ride that pony. fourteenbucks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Central Illinois
    My Bikes
    Schwinn Skyliner
    Posts
    161
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is the sort of studies that need to be more widely known. Where I live in Peoria, IL, there used to be a major railway that cut right through the middle of the city and stopped at the end of downtown. It would be of tremendous economic and social benefit if they converted it to a bike/walk commuter trail. The holdup you ask? The railroad company that holds the rail uses it probably once a month and is waiting to see if there are "future benefits" of having this railroad. Outside of the city, this railroad has already been converted into a 50 mile bike trail, which I ride frequently.
    Schwinn Skyliner - you'd be surprised what I can do with a $200 bike.
    Blogs are useless. Write a real journal.

  5. #5
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    A land that time forgot
    My Bikes
    the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes
    Posts
    18,026
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    'hobby' railroads that qualify the owners for tax breaks if a rail line is in use even occasionally holds some of the rails seen in america hostage in conversion of rail line right of way usage.

    there is a significant gap in completion of a trail network thru Seattle because of one so-called 'hobby' user.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  6. #6
    Ride that pony. fourteenbucks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Central Illinois
    My Bikes
    Schwinn Skyliner
    Posts
    161
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I heard that California was going to try to invest in a high speed train that connected northern and southern cities, and I see the benefit in that, but for rails like I mentioned the highly inefficient diesel engines do more harm than good. The railroad is a dead mode of transportation, society just needs to accept that.
    Schwinn Skyliner - you'd be surprised what I can do with a $200 bike.
    Blogs are useless. Write a real journal.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    medford ma
    My Bikes
    flying pigeon roadster
    Posts
    250
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "highly inefficient diesel engines"? What? For long distance high volume over land transportation, nothing is as efficient as rail. Electric power for trains (see bos-wash corridor, modern tgv) is better than diesel, but both are far more efficient than their competitors.

  8. #8
    Ride that pony. fourteenbucks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Central Illinois
    My Bikes
    Schwinn Skyliner
    Posts
    161
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Okay, I'll give you that argument. Diesel trains are great for large freight distribution. What I meant was a large locomotive pulling 4 or 5 passenger cars. There is a large amount of power for a small load.
    Schwinn Skyliner - you'd be surprised what I can do with a $200 bike.
    Blogs are useless. Write a real journal.

  9. #9
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Southern Florida
    My Bikes
    http://www.theheadbadge.com
    Posts
    22,731
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by fourteenbucks View Post
    Okay, I'll give you that argument. Diesel trains are great for large freight distribution. What I meant was a large locomotive pulling 4 or 5 passenger cars. There is a large amount of power for a small load.
    How "large?" An EMD GP7 that may look "large" to you will be rated around 1,250hp-1,500hp, while a "small" EMD SW1500 will be rated for the same 1,500hp.

    -Kurt

  10. #10
    Share the Road ckeizer77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Glendale
    My Bikes
    Torelli Montefalco
    Posts
    128
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Uh.... Tangent Check?
    Corey Keizer
    Share the Road
    15rides.blogspot.com

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    34
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks very much for the nice comments on the report and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in general. We're very pleased with the report as well, and will be working hard to ensure that congressional members who need to see the report do so.

    Corey - special thanks for giving the report so much attention on your blog! Hopefully we'll get a groundswell of grassroots support, encouraging Congress to support active transportation in the next transportation bill.

    For the record... we (RTC) very much support rail travel. As I wrote in a recent blog post on the topic:

    "Rail systems are absolutely vital to our nation’s transportation system. Rail travel is an efficient way to move people and goods while emitting a tiny fraction of the greenhouse gases than private automobiles. In fact, much of RTC’s work to promote transportation options for those who cannot or choose not to drive hinges on linking with public transportation. After all, the vast majority of those who access transit do so by walking or biking... Only after a railroad has determined there to be no other feasible use do RTC and local groups work to ensure that the corridor is not lost forever."

  12. #12
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Southern Florida
    My Bikes
    http://www.theheadbadge.com
    Posts
    22,731
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    May I ask what your group's perspective is towards preservation railways and organizations?

    -Kurt

  13. #13
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    9,596
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm not so sure that it's "groundbreaking" to consider that the health benefits of cycling outweigh the negative effects of cycling.

    Both England and Australia have produced reports on the health benefits of active transportation

    http://www.networks.nhs.uk/uploads/0...and_health.pdf

    http://www.cyclingpromotion.com.au/i...pr08V3prf1.pdf

    I was struck by how in the RtT's report, there's hardly a single picture of a cyclist who isn't wearing a helmet when more than half of US citizens do not wear helmets. It doesn't seem too representative of reality, but more of an idealized goal of the author.

    It also begs the question why cyclists are using helmets when pedestrians are not when it has been shown from data supplied to CTC by UK Department of Health, that pedestrians are subject to head injuries at the same rate that cyclists are (30.0 % vs. 30.1 %) and it has been pointed out by the UK's largest helmet testing firm that the protection that a helmet provides is ideal for a pedestrian (http://www.cyclehelmets.org/papers/c2023.pdf)

    Clearly the biggest risk is health problems from not cycling or walking enough, not possible injuries to good health from cycling or walking.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 12-17-08 at 08:51 AM.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
    [SIGPIC]http://www.wulffmorgenthaler.com/striphandler.ashx?stripid=57f6ca71-73a8-42a3-acc4-29e6d333df27[/SIGPIC]

  14. #14
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Green Valley AZ
    My Bikes
    Trice Q; Volae Century; TT 3.4
    Posts
    3,772
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you for your post.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  15. #15
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    9,596
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    Thank you for your post.
    No problem.

    I've always found it odd that there has been a push for protective gear that has never been convincingly shown to be needed, and that push comes directly at the expense of the beneficial qualities cycling provides.

    The UK's National Cycling Strategy Board in their Statement Of Policy: Cycle Helmet Wearing has written,

    Quote Originally Posted by NCSB
    Arguments that appear to disavow the efficacy or utility of cycle helmet wearing, or on the other hand claim it as the major influence in reducing injury to cyclists, are both wide of the mark. In particular, campaigns seeking to present cycling as an inevitably dangerous or hazardous activity, or which suggest that helmet wearing should be made compulsory, risk prejudicing the delivery of those very benefits to health and environment which cycling can deliver: they also serve to confuse the general public about the wider social and economic advantages of cycling.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
    [SIGPIC]http://www.wulffmorgenthaler.com/striphandler.ashx?stripid=57f6ca71-73a8-42a3-acc4-29e6d333df27[/SIGPIC]

  16. #16
    genec genec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    san diego
    My Bikes
    custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
    Posts
    22,568
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    It also begs the question why cyclists are using helmets when pedestrians are not when it has been shown from data supplied to CTC by UK Department of Health, that pedestrians are subject to head injuries at the same rate that cyclists are (30.0 % vs. 30.1 %) and it has been pointed out by the UK's largest helmet testing firm that the protection that a helmet provides is ideal for a pedestrian (http://www.cyclehelmets.org/papers/c2023.pdf)

    Clearly the biggest risk is health problems from not cycling or walking enough, not possible injuries to good health from cycling or walking.
    Wow, peds and cyclists have the same fall rates... I find that amazing. Two feet planted verses two rolling wheels... it just boggles the mind.

    Of course as a ped I only cross streets at intersections... whereas as a cyclist I merge and mix with motor traffic in places other than intersections... all it takes is a slight nudge from a car to send me careening.

    Perhaps I don't need a helmet at all.

  17. #17
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    9,596
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    as with cyclists, I believe peds make poor decisions when crossing roads. And lets not forget people do slip and fall in other situations as well.

    90% of hospital head injury admissions are from falls, MVA's (excluding cyclists) and assault.

    Over 3 times the number of deaths from head injuries happen to people falling on stairs than happen on bicycles.

    Next time you hear a health care professional recommends taking the stairs instead of an elevator for the health benefits, think about this (and the fact that it is still good advice, in spite of the risk, to take the stairs to improve your health just as it is still good advice, in spite of the risk, to ride a bicycle even without a helmet to improve your health)
    Last edited by closetbiker; 11-18-08 at 01:07 PM.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
    [SIGPIC]http://www.wulffmorgenthaler.com/striphandler.ashx?stripid=57f6ca71-73a8-42a3-acc4-29e6d333df27[/SIGPIC]

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    34
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some interesting stuff here.

    Firstly, re: preservation... for some time now we've had strong relationships with preservation groups, and work closely with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. At Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, we house the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC), which is the largest funding source not just for walking and biking, but also for historic preservation.

    Closetbiker raises some good questions. Why is the report groundbreaking? Because it is the first time anyone has quantified (financially) the benefits we as a nation would realize with increased walking and biking. Putting such numbers to the argument is essential to make our case in Congress and sway decision-makers. These numbers (the potential to save Americans tens of billions of dollars) change the game; the vast majority are not aware that walking and biking are anything more than recreational. With this report, we argued that these transportation modes are valid and have strong benefits, and should be recognized and encouraged as such.

    I haven't researched the helmet argument, so can't comment. I will say that we feature cyclists with helmets to promote safe cycling practices. Closetbiker's notes on helmet safety are interesting -- I'll look into them. I wonder if the similar rate of head injuries accounts for severity as well. From personal experience, I'll say that a helmet probably saved my life a few years ago, but I've never fallen and hit my head.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    34
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just saw your last post, closetbiker. Will consider.

    The "over 3 times" stats would be more persuasive as a rate (% of people who fall while walking compared to the % of people who injure their heads while biking) rather than just the number. I'm guessing far more people take stairs than bike.

    Nonetheless, interesting thread to consider.

  20. #20
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Southern Florida
    My Bikes
    http://www.theheadbadge.com
    Posts
    22,731
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by RTC_Kartik View Post
    Firstly, re: preservation... for some time now we've had strong relationships with preservation groups, and work closely with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. At Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, we house the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC), which is the largest funding source not just for walking and biking, but also for historic preservation.
    Sounds like speech-making rhetoric without expressly answering the question.

    -Kurt

  21. #21
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    9,596
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by RTC_Kartik View Post
    ... I'm guessing far more people take stairs than bike.

    Nonetheless, interesting thread to consider.
    It would be good to look into. From the research I've done, about 20 to 30% of the general population consider themselves "regular" cyclists (that being defined slightly differently with each study) and I'd be willing to bet more time is spent on bikes than on stairs. I'm not positive what percentage of people use stairs on a "regular" basis, but I'd bet the time spent on even short rides would be longer than the time people spend on stairs. Just how many flights at a time do/would people climb? Would it seems reasonable that someone would climb stairs for longer than 5 minutes at a time? As an example, my house has stairs and it takes about 10 seconds to climb them. Even if I take the stairs 10 times a day every day (and I never use them that much), that's less than 14 minutes a week. I'm sure even casual, recreational riders ride for longer stretches than that.

    If you're going to look into my claims, you might want to start with the link for the Cycling England report. There is a short section on helmets on page 36, which ends with the statement:

    "This issue is not reviewed here but there are a number of reference sources available".

    It gives reference to a single website

    http://www.cyclehelmets.org/

    Cycling England is a government agency and, in effect, the most authoritative voice on cycling in England, so this could been seen as recognition of CHO as their authority on helmets.

    I should mention that my point is simply - that to cycle is to lengthen life via cycling's inherent health building qualities.

    I didn't mean to denigrate helmet use, however, I find it very interesting that the perception is, to be safe on a bicycle, wearing helmet is important, when in reality, safety on a bicycle is far more complex and has little to do with wearing a helmet.

    One of the first times I considered how much cycling does to reduce brain injury was in 1998 on an Alberta radio phone-in program when a doctor called in and reported that there are on the order of 10,000 brain injuries suffered annually in the province. Some 80% of these are due to strokes and heart attacks, with the remaining 20% being traumatic brain injuries. Only about 50 (0.5%) or so will be a result of bicycle fall or collision. He said, as cycling can result in many physiological changes that lead to a reduction in the risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack, it may be counterproductive to emphasise the numbers of cycling related brain injuries, and the health risks associated with cycling.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 11-25-08 at 10:17 AM.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
    [SIGPIC]http://www.wulffmorgenthaler.com/striphandler.ashx?stripid=57f6ca71-73a8-42a3-acc4-29e6d333df27[/SIGPIC]

  22. #22
    Dogs like me. Ajenkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    361
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To be honest, I would rather see the rails converted back into...rails. There is a desperate need for an efficient mass transit infrastructure in this country, which a revived railway would create (or re-create, as the case may be.) Multi-modal commutes are probably the wave of the future, with the bicycle only one mode of several. And there really is no need for an additional infrastructure for bicycles, the roads are already there. Modification of the roadways might be helpful (not as in more bicycle lanes, but as in traffic calming measures to slow motorists).

    Rails-to-trails? Not so useful. Too slow, too dangerous.

  23. #23
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    34
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ajenkins, Rail is, like I said, critical to our nation's transportation needs. See my point above -- we work to convert rails to trails only after the rail company has deemed further use impractical. We then work with local groups to preserve the corridor - once lost, it would be lost forever.

    BUT - not useful... slow... dangerous?? Explain?

    Interesting thoughts on helmets, closetbiker. I'm passing this all off to our research team to look into further. Thanks for flagging it. I do think that you're right that the personal health benefits of cycling are truly necessary in a largely sedentary culture.

    cudak888 - then I guess I didn't understand your question. Clarify? Thought you were asking about preservation. I'm not familiar with rail-specific preservation, if that's what you're asking about.

  24. #24
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    9,596
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    ... From the research I've done, about 20 to 30% of the general population consider themselves "regular" cyclists (that being defined slightly differently with each study) and I'd be willing to bet more time is spent on bikes than on stairs. I'm not positive what percentage of people use stairs on a "regular" basis, but I'd bet the time spent on even short rides would be longer than the time people spend on stairs. Just how many flights at a time do/would people climb? Would it seems reasonable that someone would climb stairs for longer than 5 minutes at a time? As an example, my house has stairs and it takes about 10 seconds to climb them. Even if I take the stairs 10 times a day every day (and I never use them that much), that's less than 14 minutes a week. I'm sure even casual, recreational riders ride for longer stretches than that....
    I was checking one report I have from the NHTSA on bicycle use

    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/staticfiles...les/810972.pdf

    and it says on page 30 that, the average bicycle trip taken on the most recent day of bicycling was 3.9 miles.

    I'm not sure what the average speed of the average rider would be, but if a ball park guess is 12 mph, that would make a 4 mile ride 20 minutes in length. More time than my 14 minutes on the stairs.

    Now if there were 3 times as many people on stairs as bikes (unlikely, because that would put 60 to 90% of people using stairs on a regular basis) the risk would simply be equal for both groups.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 11-25-08 at 10:56 AM.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
    [SIGPIC]http://www.wulffmorgenthaler.com/striphandler.ashx?stripid=57f6ca71-73a8-42a3-acc4-29e6d333df27[/SIGPIC]

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    620
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Here in VA

    HI,
    there are many rails growing weeds in VA that cut thru the Center of town from one end to the next town, what a awsome idea to provide a trail to bike riders that dosen't involve cars.
    So many miles of unused rails that could be used. Even if they only put a paved trail next to the rail, for bikes and other use Many have 20 feet on both sides of un used paths.

    Doug

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •