ELEEP visit in Budapest

I’ve just found a photo from summer. A group of 8 ELEEP members traveled to Budapest in July. The group’s agenda included meetings with top officials from the oil and gas industry, touring a cutting edge waste water treatment facility, and exploring firsthand the remarkable growth in biking as a form of urban transport in the city.

The Emerging Leaders in Environmental and Energy Policy Network (ELEEP) is an initiative of the Atlantic Council and the EcoLogic Institute. ELEEP is the first transatlantic network of mid-career professionals working in or around these fields and serves as a dynamic forum for the exchange of ideas, policy solutions, and best practices between emerging American and European leaders. ELEEP members, aged 25 to 40, come from a variety of professional and academic backgrounds including elected officials, academics, CEOs, legislative staffers, architects, and urban planners.

ELEEP members routinely conduct tours to destinations on both sides of the Atlantic for the purpose of investigating innovative solutions, problematic policies, and cutting edge developments in the environmental and energy fields.

27.07.2012 – With the guests from the Emerging Leaders in Environmental and Energy Policy Network (ELEEP)

Bike and pedestrian safety in Boston

The video is not that fresh but presents the typical issues perceived in the USA. “Bad cyclists” and even worse drivers, the issue of wearing a helmet or not, too much motorised traffic… Consider the people who are riding; you will hardly find children or elderly people on these roads, although in my opinion this is quite normal. When cycling reminds you to a battle for survival than you need strong, young, brave and smart people to prove justification of bicycles, as a mean of transportation. So guys, keep pedaling and improvements will come soon or later!

I do have some personal experiences about cycling in a metropolis and that could be concluded like a good urban cyclist is equipped by many of the skills of the yedis. You can ride with car traffic easily if you pedal strong and only when you are fully aware of what’s going on around you. This personal ‘radar skill’ can be improved over time but if you are thinking about riding the first time than I highly recommend you to check some ‘education video’ from London (videos by Gaz545 and Veloevol).

No matter if you are riding a bike or driving a school bus! Always keep in mind that we share the road and that it is your responsibility to avoid most of the hazards of traffic.
Never forget, sharing is caring !-)

Bike tour on the Hungarian Slovenian borderline

The Hungarian Cyclists’ Club has been invited to Lenti, Hungary by a local NGO called Mocorgók between 14-15 October in order to participate on a study tour followed by a bike tourism workshop. The weather seemed uncertain when leaving the capital at 8AM but my neon-yellow raincoat has slowly but successfully chased the clouds into a safe distance.

Here is a route on bikemap to show you the area:

Bike route 436641 – powered by Bikemap

We stayed at a farm close to the Lenti Thermal Spa where the small city meets the surrounding forests bordered by cornfields and vineyards. The place offers not only bed and breakfast but horse riding, sport equipment and bike rental, guided bike theme tours, fishing, hunting and delicious meals in the neighbourhood’s restaurants. I feel I’ve gained 3 pounds extra in only 30 hours, though I had some gastronomic orgasm while tasting the local fruit distillates (pálinka) and fresh deer stew. Anyway, cycling 25 and 50 kms on these two days has burnt most of the calories so I don’t really need to worry about my shape.

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On saturday, right after lunch we got our trekking bikes from our host Andi and soon we were on the bike path passing next to our accommodation. The route used to be a narrow railway track for the forestry, thus there are no steep climbs but neither an extra wide cross section. Tourism in general is not highly developed in this part of the country. Therefore we rarely met others on the forest’s bike routes so we could ride next to each other and discuss our perceptions.

First of all, road conditions were awful especially where it used to be paved (some 40 years ago) but I quickly realised that these bad roads take us to incerdible places.

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And finally, here comes one of my favourite bike paths ever! Narrow and steep like a snake climbing on a giant tree…
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Reflections From an Engineer on Advocacy for Transportation Reform

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Have you ever felt that communication between politicians, advocates, city planners and department leaders faces huge barriers just because of the very different background and aspects they have? Well, I did and since that I always try to keep in mind, that it’s always the receiver who perceives the message and we shall be aware using the proper language “encryption” to keep a nice and friendly atmosphere around us.

There was an urban and mobility design conference called Pro Walk/Pro Bike: Pro Place 2012 six weeks ago in the United States. Although I have not attended the conference, I think it could be nice for all planners, advocates and other stakeholders to read this feedback letter from Bryan D. Jones (Deputy Director of Transportation Department in City of Carlsbad, USA).

It was published by Gary Toth at the Project for Public Spaces’s blog. The letter partly refers to the venue but has a lot more between the lines.

I might suggest that we can focus on changing to a culture of Active Transportation by changing the language and conversations. We need to identify and LISTEN to what our allies’ and perceived enemies’ objectives are. We should not just be talking, but SHOWING how effective our alternatives are through implementation—even at a small scale—with consistency, which can build a lot of momentum. However this requires us to CONNECT PEOPLE. A title I might suggest for 2014–I heard this “connection” discussion in April Economides presentation about her team’s success in Long Beach with Bicycle Friendly Business Districts. She changed perceptions by changing the language and conversations with people that were against bikes. While her passion is green stuff, she understood the passion of many of the business owners was also “green” $tuff! She spoke with them about the pro$perity of welcoming bike riders into their business districts, and did a lot of listening to their concerns and objectives.

 

Get yourself a coffee and click to read the full letter from  Bryan D. Jones.

‘Bike to Work!’ campaign videos

Here comes an overview of Hungarian ‘Bike to Work!’ campaign videos. There are some really nice points in some of them. It’s nice to consider also that at the end the bicycle turns to be part of the traffic (jam) and not a sport equipment anymore like in the first one.

The first video ad for the campaign. September 2008.


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Everyone can bike to work! September 2009.

Everyone can bike to work! September 2009.

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Video contest was announced for the 2010 Spring campaign.


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September 2010. “Bike from work! – The priest”

“Convience your colleague, too!” September 2010.


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Bike to work! The wall of fame. July 2011.

Werk >> The kick-off flashmob at Gellért square (BP) – HCC has announced a Bike to Work! Minimal campaign, when no budget was available. October 2011.


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The lack of phisical activity can be cured! March 2012.


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Don’t let traffic rule your mornings! September 2012.

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Stickers of the Critical Mass Budapest

My colleagues often smile on me when seeing newer/bigger/brighter stickers in my suitcase, so now I would like to present you some nice stickers from Budapest, the city with “the biggest Critical Mass” – according to Wikipedia !-)

I hope you enjoy the the historical overview of the Critical Mass Budapest Movement (2005-2013?)

The first Critical Mass Budapest in 2005

Critical Mass Budapest 2006 with Chuck Norris

“Chuck Norris won’t be here, because he eats cars. But he lets you go out protesting.”

Bike protest on Earth Day, 22 April (Saturday)

“It would hurt me if you would not come. I don’t like to be disappointed.”

The protests quickly became familar get togethers as shown on the sticker from 2007.

“Critical Miss – Ride your bike every working day! R U coming?”

The biggest Critical Mass protest was in 2008.

Several designs were printed.

For many of the citizens Critical Mass means the opening of the cycling season.

“The real car-free day” – bicycle protest transportation

April 2009.

September 2009.

“Choose bike!” – 2010 was the year of the elections in Hungary

in cooperation with the Critical Moms

April 2011

April 2011

April 2011

“You have a bike? What are you waiting for?” September 2011.

“The spring, when you also sit on the saddle” – The last protest was organised in April 2012.

Transport Learning Seminars

We are learning something new each day. Right now I’m in Eger (H) to participate in a seminar called Transport Learning. The topic for today: street design, streetscape and traffic calming. Sounds impressive!

The instructor is Octavia Stepan, from the University of Bucharest and I’m already waiting for the practical training planned for tomorrow. !-)

Anyway, it’s time for a glass of the blood’s wine after the class.

The Hungarian Cyclists’ Club had a p2p meeting at the time of the Critical Mass 2012 April.

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We had a pleasant time in Budapest. Our guests from Riga, Eindhoven, Gotheborg, London and Parma were all amazed of the spectacular bike lifting after the bike parade.
They still ask a lot of question from me about the background of the CM rally. It seems to be a quest for others how and why 30-60 thousand people get together on their bicycles…
And my number one hint still is to keep politics and commercials away from the movement! ;-)

Budapest cycle network 2011-2012

It was an enourmous work but incredibely useful for mobility and cycling NGOs and thus indirectly for the whole municiplity of Budapest. Sagan, activist of the Critical Mass movement has taken photos for two years in order to give up-to-date “street view” on all cycling facilities in the city. (Notice: Google has not yet started their street view feature in Hungary.)

As a transportation professional I personally appreciate his great job as from now on I can save lots of hours at my job and save some gigabytes on my hard drive.

Here comes the link for Sagan’s 4761 photos organised in 38 folders. Will be nice to see them back 20 years later :))

foto by saganbp

Originally posted (in Hungarian) at Critical Mass