'Parking is kind of like dark matter in the universe' (Roundup)

Bike Helmet CameraIn the comments to a roundup post last week, Thomas Bowden suggested that helmets “make great mounts for cameras which produce video that can be very useful in court.”

A cyclist in the UK has started doing just that.

He said: “The incident that I filmed last month, a driver drew close alongside me in a narrow road and threatened to kill me.

“It is road rage and, I think, a lack of empathy and understanding of what it’s like to ride a bicycle.

“It is frightening because cyclists are very vulnerable indeed.

“It can be a deterrent, but I’ve got something that I can bring to the attention of the police and offer it as evidence of what has occurred.”

Commute By Bike

Google Bike Directions in OttawaIf you live in Canada, you can now use Google’s Bike-There feature for cycling directions in Vancouver, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Waterloo, Toronto, or Gatineau.

O Canada is right next door to the good "˜ol US of A, but still "” this is the first international expansion of Google's bike directions "” a very cool development "” one we'll hopefully see a lot more of.

Stay tuned to Commute by Bike for an in-depth look at how MapQuest hopes to keep up, or “one up.”

And if you’re really into keeping up with mapping for cycling, you ought to be following Cyclelicio.us (particularly the map tag). Richard is geeking out with mapping APIs, and you can even compare MapQuest and Google biking directions with his proof-of-concept experiment.

Commute By Bike

Seinfeld ClipDo you think that because you commute by bike, that you don’t have to worry about parking? Well now you do.

Researchers estimate that if all of the parking spaces in the US were consolidated into one continuous area, that area could be as large as the size of Massachusetts.

[L]ittle research has been done to estimate the impact parking spaces — where those automobiles spend 95 percent of their time — have on our planet.

“I think it’s a surprisingly unknown quantity,” said Donald Shoup, a UCLA urban planning professor and author of the book “The High Cost of Free Parking.” “[Parking] is the single biggest land use in any city. It’s kind of like dark matter in the universe, we know it’s there, but we don’t have any idea how much there is.”


The group found that parking contributes to greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. In fact, the environmental cost of so many parking spaces can also raise the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per mile by as much as 10 percent for an average car. And, when calculated over the lifetime of a vehicle, the amount of other gases like sulfur dioxide can rise by as much as 25 percent and the amount of soot as much as 90 percent.

The article also contains an embedded Nightline video on the high cost of parking in Manhattan–not including all of the depressing environmental costs. There’s even a Seinfeld clip. Watch. Laugh. Everything’s okay.

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