Day 6: NACTO & BBSP & Cities for Cycling Roundtable

by: Farrah Daniel, Better Bike Share Partnership Writer

On June 15, the National Association of Transportation Officials and BBSP kicked off the third annual BBSP Bike Share and Cities for Cycling Roundtable. This year, the roundtable welcomes the host cities of Baltimore, MD; Alexandria and Arlington, VA; and Washington DC

Due to COVID-19, things will look a little different this year — the roundtable has gone virtual! While it will be a shift from previous years, 2020’s two-week virtual event will still create plenty of space for city practitioners to “connect for a peer learning opportunity to discuss the changing landscape of shared micromobility, and explore how increased ridership might impact bike lane design and bike infrastructure,” writes NACTO.

Between the panels, interactive workshops and design exercises, participants will walk away with “new tools and implementation techniques to build better bike networks, as well as brainstorm process changes and challenges for managing and regulating shared micromobility.”

It’s important to note that the roundtable is only open to those working directly for cities, with the exception of two public events that welcomes everyone. But to keep you in the loop, BBSP will be regularly sharing mini-blogs about the daily events and what they entailed — let’s continue with day 6!

Day 6

Designing Lanes for Biking and Rolling

Workshop Objective: Learn more about NACTO’s evolving resource, Streets for Pandemic Response & Recovery. During this session, you’ll hear directly from cities that have delivered their own version of bike and roll lanes and other bike-related projects since the pandemic.

Some Takeaways:

At “Designing Lanes for Biking and Rolling,” participants learned from experienced engineers who manage the City of Toronto’s bicycle program and San Francisco’s Slow Streets programs, key elements in those cities’ COVID-19 response and recovery frameworks. NACTO shared its new design support resource, Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery.

Toronto’s designers shared tips for how to rapidly roll out a citywide 40-km protected bike lane network with infrastructure meant to last one year, such as simplify the markings process by repurposing entire existing motor vehicle lanes rather than moving lane lines around. San Francisco’s program manager talked about how its Slow Streets program built from a core of streets in the neighborhoods that sustained deep cuts to transit service during the height of the pandemic, and is now a broader program responding to widespread interest in having more space for safe movement in neighborhoods.

Vitally, the two cities emphasized that the need for a pandemic response has slowed the development of some types of infrastructure while speeding the implementation and demand for others; San Francisco was able to implement dozens of Slow Streets, even as it faced challenges in protected bike lane quick-build implementation, while Toronto had exactly the opposite experience.

Managing the Regulatory Environment

Workshop Facilitators:

  • Joel Miller – Seattle
  • Amanda Woodall – Chicago
  • Mary Vo – Austin
  • Giz Andargeh – Washington DC

Workshop Objective: From managing sponsorships and determining permit fees to mandating distribution requirements and programs for financial access, this discussion and interactive exercise with peer cities focused on developing bike and scooter share regulations to tackle mobility goals.

Some Takeaways:

  • High level: cities are thinking through different approaches to managing bike and scooter share to meet city goals.
  • On issues with sidewalk blocking: Cities should be thinking through where the issues originate (Operator or User) and address accordingly. Maybe a need for additional education or incentives for proper parking.
  • On permit fees: Advice to cities is to work backward from what needs to be funded (software, enforcement, etc.)
  • On ensuring the distribution of vehicles to areas outside of downtown: Station-siting and distribution requirements are key. Plus, cash access and non-smartphone options are also critical to breaking down financial barriers
  • Multiple operators versus single provider: While single-provider systems provide benefits towards management and enforcement, multi-operator models provide durability. A big question moving forward will be the ability for some operators to provide a long-term commitment and reliability for cities and users during this quickly changing landscape.

The webinar also included a breakout activity!

Done with the Day 6 recap? Check out the other recaps to see what the roundtable had to offer:

To stay up-to-date with this event, keep up with our daily blogs and follow the hashtag #2020BikeRoundtable on Twitter!

The Better Bike Share Partnership is a JPB Foundation-funded collaboration between the City of Philadelphia, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the PeopleForBikes Foundation to build equitable and replicable bike share systems. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or sign up for our weekly newsletter. Story tip? Write farrah@peopleforbikes.org.