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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Defining Bicyclists’ and Pedestrians’ Right to Use Public Roadways

Many people believe that nonmotorized modes (walking, cycling, and their variations) have an inferior right to use public roads compared with motor vehicles. This reflects the belief that motor vehicles are more important to society than nonmotorized modes, and that roads are funded by motorists.

Here is a study that investigates these assumptions. It finds that nonmotorized modes have the legal right to use public roads, that nonmotorized modes provide significant transportation benefits, and pedestrians and cyclists pay a significant share of roadway costs. Although motorist user fees (fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees) fund most highway expenses, funding for local roads (the roads pedestrians and cyclists use most) originates mainly from general taxes. Since bicycling and walking impose lower roadway costs than motorized modes, people who rely primarily on nonmotorized modes tend to overpay their fair
share of roadway costs and subsidize motorists.

I highly recommend this as rational for alternative transportation design and planning.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

CDC Promotes Trails for Better Health

The federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) understands that walking and hiking on trails are a good way to get your 30 minutes of physical activity 5 times per week. Trails for Health supports CDC’s Active Community Environments (ACES), an initiative to promote walking, bicycling, and the development of accessible recreation facilities. ACES was developed in response to data that suggest that characteristics of our communities such as proximity of facilities, street design, and availability of pedestrian and bicycle facilities such as trails play a significant role in promoting or discouraging physical activity.For more information refer to the Trails for Health brochure, .

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sept 28 - Bcycle Bike Share Demo in Nashville

Bike Walk Tennessee does not blanket endorse commercial activities.  But this event gives Nashvillians an opportunity to get a look at Bike Share technology and equipment.  If you've never seen this kind of equipment, it's worth stopping by to check it out.  Hopefully if you don't see it now, you'll see bike share equipment installed around Tennessee!

Pat Clements

Saturday, September 25, 2010

People For Bikes Pledge

In recent years, the bicycle industry has stepped up to support our advocacy and education programs like never before. Much of that leadership has come from Bikes Belong, the industry's advocacy and education organization. We realize that we have a common interest in getting more people on bikes more often and more safely, and we know we need every voice we can muster to have an impact at the Federal, state and local level. That's why I am writing to you today to ask for your help.

The best walking cities

This article lists the 20 best walking cities in the USA, according to Prevention magazine. The list of cities is as follows.

Tennessee State Bike Route Survey

. . The Tennessee Department of Transportation is currently gathering information for an update to the state bike route network, and is inviting citizens to complete a short online survey regarding their experiences bicycling Tennessee’s highways.  Input from the survey will help guide the department in developing a comprehensive bicycling network that will assess state routes with respect to bicycle suitability and determine future action items pertinent to the furtherance of the goals of TDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian plan.
. . In 2005, as part of PlanGo, TDOT’s Multi-Modal Long Range Transportation Plan included a Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan element that recommended a statewide bicycle system.  Since that time, the department recognized that changes in infrastructure and data collection necessitate an update to the existing bicycle route network.  In order to provide meaningful connections to cyclists’ destinations, TDOT invites the public to participate in the online survey by new deadline October 30, 2010.  Below is a link to the survey:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Black Hawk Down

Colorado's Black Hawk Board of Aldermen approved an ordinance banning bicycle riding on almost every street in town, including its only paved street. The police are now issuing a ticket to anyone "caught riding" through town. Attempts by Bicycle Colorado to get the ban lifted have failed. The City Council has made it clear that they have no intention of changing their ordinance.

The legality of the ban is now being tested in courts and it is instructional to read the defense brief in complete detail. My guess this ban was initiated by more than a concern for the Bicycle Level of Service on these roads.

Tennessee Titans Game and Walk Week! Nashville Ped Volunteer Opportunity

Bike Walk Tennessee is working with the Nashville Area MPO to locate 10 volunteers to help hand out 5,000 Walk Nashville Week stickers to fans walking to the Titans game on Sunday, October 3rd.  The time commitment is from 10:30am -12pm.  The Titans Fans Walk to the Game Day is an event of the 12th Annual Walk Nashville Week.  Fans walking to the game across the Woodland Street Bridge and Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge are thanked for walking to the game and for getting some exercise.  It is a fun event and the fans enjoy receiving the stickers.  All volunteers receive a free t-shirt.  To volunteer, please email Leslie Meehan, and mention you were referred by Bike Walk Tennessee!

Thank you in advance for your help!

Pat Clements
Bike Walk Tennessee

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Isn't it Ironic?

Jonathan Hiskes, a staff writer, reports in Grist magazine that Maryland's Green Party Senate candidate, Natasha Pettigrew, died two days after an SUV hit her while cycling. Find his article at

Hiskes states that the Washington Post reported that driver of the SUV did not realize she had hit someone until she arrived at home and found the bicycle under her car....she did think maybe she had hit a deer or a dog....the Washington Post article can be found here:

One of the most interesting things Mr. Hiskes pointed out was a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration " car wrecks killed 26,791 drivers and passingers, 4,414 pedestrians, and 718 cyclists in 2008"....kinda of makes you think driving a car is hazardous to your health in more ways than one.

What are "we" going to do about it?

AAA Wants to Block Spending on Greenways and Trails

The American Automobile Association want to remove all Greenway and Trail funding from the federal highway budget. The president of AAA Mid-Atlantic recently advocated for the elimination of existing federal dollars that help build bicycle and pedestrian trails and sidewalks. These funds have helped create more than 19,000 miles of trails, walking and bicycling facilities across the country—likely including your favorite nearby trail.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cumberland Trail Events: Fall 2010- Spring 2011

September 25-26: National Public Lands Day event (NPLD), volunteers needed to help with bridge and trail repair in the Tennessee River Gorge segment of the Cumberland Trail.  Volunteers will meet at 8:00am ET at the Signal Mountain parking lot.  Please register with the CTC for this event, , or 931-456-6259.  

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Courtesy on the Roads - by Kelley Segars

Here is an email that I received a while back from Kelley Segars, our excellent transportation planner at the Knoxville Regional TPO on sharing the road with cars and trucks. The email is reproduced with permission, and what she spells out should be applicable throughout the state.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Virginia anti-cul-de-sac policy

This artcle from the Washington Post describes Virginia's new rule on cul-de-sacs; any new subdivision must have "through streets linking them with neighboring subdivisions, schools and shopping areas." The article goes into quite a bit of detail on the pros and cons of the cul-de-sac setup. Basically the pros are a quieter environment for those living on it, and possibly some increase in safety since anyone who's not from a neighborhood will look out of place within it. The cons are increased traffic, which leads to increased paving costs, not to mention the isolation and car dependence such setups foster. The increased traffic gets jammed onto arterial roads, which then become unsafe and/or gridlocked. In addition, they tend to isolate neighborhoods from each other, leading to a loss of a sense of community.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Working So You Can Bike

. . Jeff Miller of the Alliance for Bike and Walking recognizes Philip Pugliese of Outdoor Chattanooga and Director of Bike Walk Tennessee (BWT) for sponsoring this year's Leadership Retreat. Besides this event he was also responsible for Pro-Walk/Pro-Bike meeting in Chattanooga. He was a VERY busy man this week. Philip also thanked Jeff for his help in the formation of BWT.
. . EIGHT directors of BWT joined the Leadership Retreat this time, making it the largest contingent. They paid ALL their own expenses saving the organization finances to use on programs for promoting biking and walking.
. . The meeting was very rewarding for everyone and reinforced everyone's suspicions that BWT was making good progress.
. . Prior to the Leadership Retreat, BWT held its FIRST Annual Membership meeting also at Outdoor Chattanooga.
. . Subsequent to the Retreat several of the Directors remained and participated in meetings of Adventure Cycling and Pro-Walk/Pro-Bike.

Congratulations Knoxville for Becoming a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community!

The League of American Bicyclists has just awarded Knoxville it's bronze level award for being a bike-friendly city. The award was earned in large part due to the hard work of the Knoxville Regional TPO and its wonderful transportation planner Kelley Segars, along with the local bike advisory committee and hundreds of area cyclists. To date, the only other city in the state that has earned the award is Chattanooga since 2003. A complete list of bike friendly communities is available here (PDF).

The level of progress made in recent years is wonderful, but there is still much to be done both in Knoxville and elsewhere. Major projects are underway in Memphis under Mayor Wharton. Also, let's not forget smaller communities and towns such as Farragut and Oak Ridge, where bike lanes and sidewalks are parts of substantial construction taking place.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chuck Anderton - Bike/Walk Commuter

There was an article in the August 2, 2010 edition of the Bearden West Side Shopper-News (online edition not available) about Chuck Anderton, who is an electrical engineer at KUB (Knoxville Utilities Board) in downtown Knoxville. He has "walked, run, or biked" to work for the past 42 years, and his last sick day was in 1981. His commute ranged from 1 to 7 miles each way, depending on where he lived. He bikes from April to September, where there is light both ways. The other days he tends to walk, even though it does take a while. Needless to say, he's a very healthy individual.

One of the big draws of urban living is being close to most of the things going on, and of having an easy, short commute. Interestingly, truly urban areas have bikes and cars move at roughly equal speeds which means that facilities such as bike lanes are unneeded in such areas. For instance, Gay St in downtown Knoxville is considered one of the finest places to ride.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pedestrian Safety and Mapping Traffic Incidents-One Example

Gainesville, FL has created a program to map specific traffic incidents involving pedestrians. The model would be of great help in also identifying bicycle incidents and areas where improvements are needed.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Annual Meeting Announcement

Dear Bike Walk Tennessee Members,
Thank you for your membership in Bike Walk Tennessee. Your support has been vital to our success. The organization is still in its infancy yet in the first year we have had several successes. Among them are:

Monday, September 6, 2010

Walk Your Way to Nicer Teeth - Realage article

A recent realage article located here suggests that those who are active walking tend to not only have better cardiovascular health, but also better dental health. The cause may be that active walkers have less inflammation, which leads to healthier teeth.

As mentioned previously, walking is an excellent way to travel short distances. It does not require any special equipment, and can be very relaxing. Designing streets so that they are easily walkable would go a long way toward encouraging this most basic form of transport.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Reasons to support biking and walking for almost all political philosophies

With the recent article claiming that (paraphrasing) cyclists are part of a communist plot to turn the country into a third world country, I thought I would list the reasons why it makes sense from a variety of political sides to support cycling and walking. Sure, that article was extreme, but more moderate variants of such are not unheard of.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bicycle Street Art

Here are some great examples of more inspired bike art seen on streets across the country.

enjoy the show!