E-cargo bikes beat delivery vans in city centers, new and improved LA bike lanes, and who’s really in the way

Let’s talk e-cargo bikes.

A new European study shows electric cargo bikes are cleaner and less polluting than typical delivery vans, which isn’t really surprising.

But they’re also faster and more efficient — 60% faster than vans in city centers, resulting in significantly more deliveries per hour.

And they’re even cleaner than electric vans, emitting a full third less carbon — and 90% less than diesel vans.

As an added bonus, they have a far smaller impact on urban congestion.

Here’s what The Guardian had to say

Home deliveries have soared in recent years, spurred by online shopping and the coronavirus pandemic. Vans can travel along clear stretches of road at higher speeds than cargo bikes but are slowed by congestion and the search for parking. Cargo bikes bypass traffic jams, take shortcuts through streets closed to through traffic and ride to the customers door.

“Recent estimates from Europe suggest that up to 51% of all freight journeys in cities could be replaced by cargo bike,” said Ersilia Verlinghieri at the Active Travel Academy at the University of Westminster and lead author of the report. “So it’s remarkable to see that, if even just a portion of this shift were to happen in London, it would be accompanied by not only dramatic reduction of CO2 emissions, but also contribute to a considerable reduction of risks from air pollution and road traffic collisions, whilst ensuring an efficient, fast and reliable urban freight system.”

In other words, cargo bikes for the win.

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Speaking of which, our German correspondent Ralph Durham forwards photos of the the wide variety of work bikes he found on a recent visit to Strasbourg, France.

Starting with a food delivery bike for a Japanese restaurant…

A postal bike…

And what appears to be a bakery bike.

Finally, he sends this photo of an electric flatbed bike towing a trailer, which was picking up food waste from a restaurant for treatment offsite.

But as drivers and NIMBYs keep reminding us, you can’t carry things on a bicycle, let alone make deliveries.

Right?

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Maybe there’s more going on that it seems.

Streetsblog reports on a number of new and improved bike lanes in the LA area, including in Downtown LA, South LA, Koreatown and the San Fernando Valley.

Then again, it seems like nothing is going on outside of DTLA, so anything is an improvement.

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Your old bike could have been a Volvo.

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This is what LA could look like in just two short years with a little more leadership.

Okay, a lot more leadership.

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They should put this on the cover of every driver’s instruction manual and owner’s manual in the country.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Culver City police are still looking for the bike-riding man who assaulted a young woman last month.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. Three innocent people were killed in a violent Burbank collision when a speeding driver slammed into their car on a quiet surface street; the killer driver may have been racing with the driver of another car, who also crashed.

LA City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez calls for redesigning streets to put a stop to street racing. Making them bike and pedestrian friendly helps, too.

 

State

Sad news from San Jose, where a man died a day after he was struck by a driver when he allegedly ran a red light on his bike. As usual, the question is whether anyone saw him run the light, other than the driver who hit him.

 

National

Streetsblog says the new bipartisan infrastructure bill could be better for active transportation than it seems, with hidden clauses within the bill that could benefit bike riders and pedestrians.

They get it. CityLab says if you want safer streets, get rid of dangerously aggressive language in car and truck commercials. But you may have to give up your email address if you want to read it.

Putting a bike rack on your car can significantly reduce your gas mileage. So you might as well just ride your bike in the first place.

Apparently firm believers in thinking small, Civilized Cycles thinks their new ebike could replace your second car. Because replacing your first — or only — car is just a bridge too far for them, evidently.

A 14-year old Washington boy made it all the way across the US on a fundraising bike ride to see the Statue of Liberty, accompanied by his 72-year old grandfather.

A woman in Maine put together a virtual posse and got her stolen bicycle back within days, although the ukulele she kept on the handlebars may be gone forever.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner is turning Eastern Tennessee into the hub for his new bike line. And wants to turn it into what he calls “Carbon Fiber Valley.”

The Cherokee Nation is now accepting applications for next year’s 950-mile Remember the Removal bike tour retracing the infamous Trail of Tears through seven states. But you have to be Cherokee to apply.

 

International

Forget the best ebike. Treehugger considers what would be a good design for both older and beginner ebike riders.

Yes, you can put a bike rack on your car in Costa Rica. Just be sure to mount your bikes correctly.

A new London resident tries the city’s bikeshare for the first time, and it completely changes his view of the city. Let alone how fast he could get around.

You know there’s a problem when seven people have been killed riding their bikes at the same London junction in the past 13 years, where long-promised safety improvements have yet to materialize.

A pair of Bengaluru bike riders are attempting to set a new record by riding 15,000 miles through 29 Indian states and 2 territories in 200 days.

 

Competitive Cycling

More troubles for Britain’s Olympic cycling team, with reports that the radical new design of the team’s track bikes may have been stolen from a design patented by famed cycling engineer and aerodynamicist Richard McAinsh and his Dutch bike brand.

Good news from Tokyo, where BMX cyclist Connor Fields was released from the hospital just five days after a horrific crash during a preliminary heat put him in the ICU with a brain hemorrhage, collapsed lung and broken ribs.

Danish team pursuit cyclist Frederik Madsen finally apologized to the British rider he unceremoniously yelled at after slamming into him while looking down at the track.

 

Finally…

Strap one on your handlebars, and never get bit by another mosquito when you ride. If you’re going to steal a bike, return it with a note saying you’re sorry.

And sometimes, other road users just jump right out at you.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

One comment

  1. Ralph Durham says:

    Thanks for the shout out Ted. I have also seen UPS covered electric trikes here in Munich. Think it might have been a pilot program. All our mail is delivered by bike. They go to drop off locations to pick up the mail.
    Unfortunately most delivery services use vans of various sizes which end up blocking sidewalks and bike lanes where I live in the suburbs.

    The bike racks and drag. Old news. Need to have them off the vehicle when not in use. One point, which I noted on the Consumer Reports site is that the racks shown, and all the ones in the video, are illegal. They block the license plate and usually the taillights. Not allowed here in Germany. They use hitch racks which have integral tail lights and you get an extra rear plate to install on the rack.

    I noticed the same issue with the speeding driver in Costa Rica. His bikes block out safety equipment.

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