This BLOG | WebSite | About Us | TN|Rumble

Quick Join Bike Walk Tennesee via Paypal

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Book Reviews

I have recently purchased a couple of books on cycling and advocacy. My goal is in my spare time (ha!) to read both books and summarize them chapter by chapter here. Hopefully this will get some good dialogue going as well.

The first book I'll take a crack at is The Cyclist's Manifesto - The Case for Riding on Two Wheels Instead of Four - by Robert Hurst.

Mr. Hurst is a bicyle messager with over 20,000 hours of cycling in heavy traffic with over 200,000 miles logged on his bicycle. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

Chapter 1 entitled Interesting Times covers the rise and fall of oil/gas prices during 2008/2009. He talks about how Americans are addicted to the automobile and the idea of the independance an automobile gives one.

Mr. Hurst also admits that the bicycle will not solve the worlds energy problems. But on an individual level - the bicycle can transform lives.

Perhaps in Chapter 2 we will get a better understanding of what he means by that.

stay tuned.

Ray LaHood Continues to Defend Bicycles

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who suffered a torrent of criticism from a host of road users this month after declaring ¨the end of favoring motorized transportion at the expense of non-motorized transportation¨, has defended his new bicycle policy in a recent blog post.

¨We know that 90 percent of the people are not going to be cycling to work or around town. But that opportunity and that kind of alternative is something people have said they want....We know that making biking and walking safer creates more livable communities. It makes Americans healthier at a time when the US military has indicated that 27% of recruits are too overweight to qualify for service. It lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It reduces our dependence on foreign oil...¨

Head over to the Transport Seretary´s Blog to read more. 

What do you think--does having a champion for Biking and Walking in the President´s cabinet make a difference for those of us biking and walking here in Tennessee?

Bicycle Safety Workshop at ETSU-Johnson City

As part of ETSU Earth Month the Yellow Bike Program is doing a bike safety program. Contents include:
Do you know how to not to tick people off while on your bicycle?

Want to learn how to commute safely?

What about red-lights and stop signs? Blaze through them?

Can you ride on the sidewalk? And other issues to encourage more student bike commuting.

Thursday, April 29, 2010
7:00pm - 8:00pm
Yellow Bike Shed, on ETSU Campus

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Congressman LaTourette expresses regret

In a new message on his website, Congressman LaTourette (R-OH) expressed regret  at the uproar caused by his questions to the Undersecretary of Transportation about the USDOT policy statement during a recent Congressional hearing.  LaTourette’s comments at the hearing provoked a strong response from advocates.

Update on Jay Westbrook

From: Jay Westbrook

Regarding bike accident last summer (click here for details), Greene county DA charged the driver with the 3ft rule violation/ a misdemeanor and aggravated assault charge/a felony. These are just charges and the trial is sometime in May for a jury to decide. As cyclists we can hope the DA will be aggressive in pursuing this irresponsibility!

Jay, I will share this with some of the founders of Bike Walk Tennessee. I appreciate being kept in the loop on this. Please let me know if there is anything you can think of that we can do to help. It pleases me that the Greene County DA went after the aggravated assault charge in addition to the 3 ft rule violation. At the very least, we can compose an email to Mr. Bell letting him know that we have been updated on the charges (without mentioning names, of course) and will be watching for positive results!

Best of luck, Jonell Johnson

Monday, April 26, 2010

How Healthy is Your County?

Tennessee routinely ranks near the bottom of all States in health matters. However, where you live in Tennessee matters. Click here for more info.

Knoxville Bike/Ped Happenings

Kelly Segars, Principal Transportation Planner for the Knoxville Regional TPO (bike/ped coordinator) shared several very good links for Knoxville area bicyclists and pedestrians.  These resources are definitely worth checking out and visiting regularly.  Lots of good things going on in Knoxville! - has updates on the bicycle program work. - has a calendar of events for May, (Bike Month) which include tons of bike stuff has info on our Commuter Challenge, which encourages people to bike (and transit, etc)
We're also on facebook.

Staying informed on what's going on in your community helps empower you, the advocate.
Pat Clements

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lessons of History

Lest we think we were the first State Wide Advocacy group, David Irvine has sent along this item from his important papers drawer. It is a 1984 issue of "The Seatpost," the newsletter of the Nashville Wheelmen. It also contains the minutes of the Bicycle Federation of Tennessee.  There has been at least one other attempt to revive this  state wide cycling organization since these guys.

What caused these folks to vanish and what can we learn from them?  We have e-mail, the internet, Webex, and cheap long distance. We seem to have more statewide involvement and more attention from the state. Our roads are definitely better for cycling  Are these enough?  Just like the poster in 1984, we need  input from an active membership. Otherwise some advocate in 2020 will be scavenging Google Archives and find our bones. And they had the same pesky logo issue.
I'm optimistic. This time history is on our side.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Call For Help on Musical heritage Trail

This post actually belongs on the State Route Blog but needs as much publicity as possible. Jessica Wilson has requested our help in sorting out sites appropriate for the Musical Heritage Trail. She has planned to get a list of sites from musical historians that we could assess for inclusion into a cycle route. The historians quite naturally have other priorities but did point us in the right direction.  This may be better anyway since our knowledge of cycling conditions will allow some winnowing of sites on the first pass.

Please examine the list of sites on the link in Jessica's email quoted below and from that and your personal knowledge of your part of the state, submit sites each of you consider appropriate for inclusion on a Bike Route With a Musical Heritage Theme.  Don't limit yourselves to sites on the list. I notice Trinity Village is not listed and though not my cup of tea, it is a big deal to some of my out of town guests.

From Jessica Wilson:

Do you think you guys at BWT could start researching a list of musical heritage sites?  The historic preservationists folks were extremely tied up for the next couple of months, but said they would be more than willing to look over a list that we developed and add any other sites they knew of.  My former boss at the Center for Historic Preservation edited the TN Encyclopedia of History & Culture, and this would be a great jumping off point.
What would be great is if we started looking at each entry and seeing if we can pinpoint a coinciding site on a map that can be accessed by cyclists.
Jessica L. Wilson, TDOT Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator

Another Bike Sharing Program - Denver

I suppose by now, you see that I like reading about what other cities are doing to become more bike friendly.

Here's the latest

The Denver program is comparable to the bike-sharing networks in Paris and Montreal, and it'll be followed soon by similar programs in Boston and Minneapolis. And remember a while bike, I shared with you about Mexico City. They are launching a 1,114 bike sharing program.

Come on Tennessee - we can do this too.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Linking safe bikeways with urban planning

By the title you might hear a big yawwwwn...on this topic but for those interested in creating communities that are more bike and walk friendly I offer the following. This Saturday in Johnson City we are hosting an Open House and Clean Up Day at our recently acquired 1909 rail depot. Neglected and blighted it now is in the hands of our downtown development authority. It also happens to sit happily on the new greenway for bicyclists and pedestrians leading from the area university to the city center. How did we acquire this new trail head and welcome center?

(1) By passing a TIF (Tax Increment Funding) program in the city and county that captures the taxes on increased property values and directs them into a designated fund that is to be used for financing improvements that bring in more investment dollars.

(2) By instituting storm water runoff fees. These are based on the size of commercial parking areas and are designated for use in flood control and improved water quality of local streams. In our case a creek passes directly under Johnson City's downtown and does not have the capacity to carry large volumes of rain water, thus we have flooding and decreased interest in investment in downtown properties. Additionally the creek receives a great deal of urban run off pollutants including petrochemicals, nitrates (fertilizers), and fecal material. We are now in the process of buying unused warehouses and lesser valued buildings and uncovering this water way, adding riparian filtration areas and tree cover. We expect that there will be a measurable increase in water quality flowing into our lakes and streams and enhanced aquatic life.

Result? Urban green spaces and safe bike and pedestrian links financed by TIF, storm water funds, and debt service. The proposed system will improve the quality of life of those living in and visiting the community without raising property taxes and becomes an incentive for future investment. The system links a university, a regional hospital, a Veterans Administration site, a medical school, a university baseball complex, a new 600 unit apartment complex, a 1908 mill being preserved and developed commercially sitting on 30 acres, a community Senior Center and aquatics complex, a 10.5 mile rail-to-trail project, and our beloved railroad depot.

Good urban planning takes professionals with vision, civic leadership with backbone, and support from the grassroots community of voters and those who believe that infrastructural investment of this nature is both wise and beneficial in the long run. We hope to develop a safer community for those who choose to bike and walk, sit by a stream, jog along a greenway, or rest in the shade of a tree.

TDOT's New Bike/Ped Coordinator

It won't be official until May 2'nd, but everyone is so pleased with the appointment that we're letting out the info.  TDOT's previously TEMPORARY Bike/Ped Coordinator is now PERMANENT.

I believe my director wants to send out a formal announcement to my contact list as soon as the paperwork is approved . . . Or you can just go ahead and post it yourself if you'd like. I was trying to hold off on announcing it on my facebook profile until the paperwork went through, but I just couldn't resist because I'm so excited!!  Jessica L. Wilson

Chattanoonga Bike/Ped Plan Adopted

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County/North Georgia Transportation Planning Organization has adopted the new 2010 Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan as part of its 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan.  Built around the concept of creating complete streets to provide safe and convenient travel options for all road users, this plan highlights:

ü  Regional Sidewalk & Bikeway Recommendations
ü  Project Evaluation System
ü  Policies & Programs
ü  Funding for Sidewalk and Bikeway Improvements
ü  Design Guidelines

Plan documents include an Executive Summary and 5 Technical Memoranda which can be found at

Philip Pugliese, Bicycle Coordinator
Outdoor Chattanooga

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cyclist hit by car near Emory puts spotlight on bike safety

ABINGDON, Va. – J.W. Kiser was pedaling along at about 15 mph near the Emory & Henry campus when a maroon car full of teenagers pulled up right beside him. He thought they were trying – successfully – to scare him.(click here to read more)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Greenway & Trails Newsletter

Click here to download April 2010 Greenways & Trails Newsletter

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On Bike Machines in Guatemala

A few words about my experiences working with a small company making agricultural machines in Guatemala. 

Do we see a potential for these machines in Tennessee, or has American farming changed so fundamentally in comparison to the conditions in Guatemala that bicimaquinas serve little to no purpose?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Founders meeting April 11, 5:30 pm

Anyone not getting an invitation please email me.  Last month some of  the recipients did not get an invitation, presuably due to an ISP considering the Webex broadcast as spam and filtering it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Motor City to embrace Bicycling?

According to an article in the Detroit Free Press "The bike lanes are part of a larger greenways effort in southeast Michigan, supported by groups including the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Kresge Foundation, to create a system of non-motorized community links that tie together neighborhoods, parks and other amenities through pedestrian and bike paths."

Click here to read more of the Detroit Free Press article.

It seems a lot of unlikely places are dragging out their outdated long range tranportation plans and reworking them to include bike lanes.

Click here to read about Dallas.

And even Abu Dhabi is getting in on the act:

I guess we all want to be cool like NYC...

Making Neighborhoods Back into Neighborhoods

While this article is long and rambling - I found it interesting that even in Seattle - people struggle to find that sense of community within their own neighborhoods. But by making neighborhoods more more walkable, sociable, sustainable, and safe - maybe - just maybe we can get that freedom back that you and I had as kids. read more by clicking here:

I think David Roberts hits the nail on the head with his wrap up statement: 

" of the biggest challenges in years ahead, as we attempt to densify and green our communities, will be retrofitting existing neighborhoods to increase walkability, sociability, sustainability, and safety. It's worth a minute of anyone's time to ponder how they could make their own surroundings more amenable to spontaneous, non-commercial, human-scale social interaction."

Isn't that what we are ultimately trying to accomplish through Bike Walk Tennessee? More greenways, green spaces, connectivity within our neighborhoods - be it with footpaths, bike paths, or safe roads for cycling.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

US Bicycle Route and Music Heritage Trail

Recently, I sat in on a meeting with bicycle advocates from Bike Walk Tennesse, Outdoor Chattanooga, Elle Colquitt from Mini Adventure Series, transportation consultants from RPM Consultants, and the Tennessee bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, Jessica Wilson, to talk about a myriad of opportunities for Tennessee bicycle routes, including a Music Heritage Bike Trail from Memphis to Nashville. . . .
. . .This will make route development much easier as will the work by an extraordinary bike route developer named Bruce Day. . .
. . .Another state is primed for implementation. As they say, "Tennesse is America at its best!"

Click here to read Adventure Cycling Blog, plus a picture of FOGBEES on first Red Boiling Springs ride taken by Ed Thomas.

Monday, April 5, 2010

City Pays $98,000 to Critical Mass Cyclists

New York City agreed Tuesday to pay tens of thousands of dollars to five cyclists who filed a lawsuit saying they were harassed during the monthly cycling group-ride Critical Mass — including one man seen on videotape being shoved off his bicycle by an officer. As part of the settlement, the city will pay the cyclists a total of $97,751, with each plaintiff receiving $500 to $30,000 apiece and their lawyers receiving a total of $35,000. (click hear to read more)

How about Testilying (click here)

Blog Element for Bike Walk Tennessee

This BLOG is established for sharing of information by Founders and selected contributors.  You can add messages, pictures, videos, etc along with links to other Web Content.
If you need help in figuring this thing out, please add a comment to this POST and we will give you some guidance.

Andy Clark Responds

I've been called many things as I ride to and from work every day in our nation's capital, but a harbinger of economic that's a first!
As I think back to major economic catastrophes of the last 40 years, I am having a hard time finding any tell-tale trace of bicycle tire tracks. On the contrary, my recollection of significant recent economic crises is that they are invariably caused by our predeliction for foreign oil - the 1973/74 oil embargo; 1988 oil crisis; 2008 gas price increases quickly followed by the mortgage and foreclosure crisis that piled unsustainable housing costs on top of budget-busting suburban commuting costs. (Click here to read more)

Andy Clarke, President, League of American Bicyclists

Sunday, April 4, 2010

National spotlight on bicycling and pedestrian accommodation
Contact Your Governor Today
Support the U.S. DOT Policy Statement on Bicycling Accommodations
On March 15, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the Departments' new Bicycle Policy Statement that heralds the end of second-class treatment for cyclists.
The statement reaffirms the language that is written in the current federal surface transportation law and demonstrates his leadership in this area. This is an important step in completing bicycle and pedestrian networks all over the country.
Please contact your Governor today to urge them to ensure that your state department of transportation is following the letter of the law. Thank you for your assistance in this important matter.

Two weeks ago, (read more) Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood climbed on a table and told a group of bike advocates that federal transportation planners were finished raising the almighty auto above cyclists and walkers.