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Monday, May 31, 2010

Is it ALL, NOTHING, or CO-EXISTENCE?

"We still want to minimize the impact on traffic. We're looking for a way to make more room for the cars," says Jim Sebastian, DDOT's bicycle program manager.
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That comment is being met with fierce criticism from some bike advocates.
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"That floors me. Those words (about returning space to cars) should never come out of the mouth of a bike coordinator," said one city bicycle official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.  

Can bikers and drivers coexist peacefully?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thank You Ray LaHood


Bike Walk Tennessee joins advocates across the nation to THANK Secretary Ray LaHood for his support.

Friday, May 28, 2010

National Strategy Meeting on Rumbling

. . The League of American Bicyclists, the Alliance for Biking And Walking, and Adventure Cycling call for a National Strategy on dealing with safety rumble strips.  The Alliance is hosting a teleconference.  Click here to Register.
. . Although Bike Walk Tennessee has reached a reasonable compromise with TDOT on this matter, we must remain vigilant and engaged. Board Members have elevated this matter to these three organizations and insisted on their involvement.
. . Bike Walk Tennessee will be assisting TDOT and their contractor RPM Transportation Consultants in identifying routes important to bicycling.  Please visit our Web Page that provides instructions on how bicyclist can help in this effort.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Vote UP Complete Streets

We just posted a comment on the USDOT strategic plan website in support of their inclusion of complete streets as a safety performance measure. Please go and 'vote up' our comment! https://dotstrategicplan.ideascale.com/a/dtd/42937-8329

The deadline for comment is Jun 15th but USDOT staff are urging people to submit sooner.
Thanks! 
Stephanie Potts, Federal Policy Coordinator
National Complete Streets Coalition

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fantastic Campaign in San Francisco turns Parking Lot into Park

Check out this video documenting the process of turning parking lots into park spaces:



Way to go, San Fran!

Update on the Bicycle Accident in Greene County

The case involving Andrew Chase, the Comcast Cable truck driver who struck and injured cyclist Jay Westbrook nearly a year ago, was to go to trial yesterday. Mr. Chase retained a new lawyer in the middle of the process who was granted more time to prepare. The new trial date is set for Sept. 7. Bike Walk Tennessee will continue to stay abreast of this case and will provide updates as they come along. As I understand it, Mr. Chase has been charged with violating the 3 foot law and aggravated assault. You can read about the accident in the Greeneville Sun.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Memphis' First Bike to Work Day a Success!

Even the NBA was talking about Memphis' Bike to Work week, as two Memphis favorites pedaled around the city this past Friday: "(Memphis) Grizzlies Team Mascot (The) Grizz will escort Mayor AC Wharton by bike from City Hall down Main Street to Court Square for the National Bike to Work Day Rally at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 21."

At Court Square, Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton Jr. addressed a crowd with enthusiastic support for increased biking in Memphis.  Later, he tweeted: "Great Bike-To-Work celebration in Court Sq! Memphis will have many more miles of bike lanes in the next year."

Making a Difference

In an article in the Chattanooga Free Press (click here to read) Troy Ivey, president of the Chattanooga Bicycle Club, noticed all of that happened this year that advanced Tennessee in the League of American Bicyclists' rankings.  He remembered TDOT's effort to add staff members and programs "devoted to bicycle issues" along with the formation of an independent statewide advocacy group called Bike Walk Tennessee (BWT).
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"Those two small things made a difference," Mr. Ivey said.
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This is just a small step.  A LOT more needs to be done and we need help.
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"Clearly one area where improvement is needed is educating the public about safe bicycling and driving practices," TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely said in this same Free Press article.
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Sarah Lovett, Founder and Membership Chair of BWT, has started a program with the Rutherford County Safety Commission that could become an education model for all of Tennessee.  Sarah is taking us that next step.

Friday, May 21, 2010

2010 Omnium Bike Race Day in Johnson City

We're having an incredible Bike Race/Bicycle Awareness weekend here in Johnson City June 5-6 as part of our Blue Plum Festival. This region wide event includes the "Roan Groan" up to 5,7550 ft. and the Sunday races for categories from "Up to 10 years old to "Professional".

This will be the sixth year for this series of races, but only the second time in downtown Johnson City. The Sanofi-aventis Criterium was a success last year in its inaugural presentation. The spectators enjoyed the European experience of a meal shared while watching an exciting sport. They sat at sidewalk tables at a number of the restaurants on the racecourse while the racers flashed by just eight feet away.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bike Lane Improvements in Rutherford County

The Murfreesboro City Council unanimously approved spending federal stimulus funds to resurface Thompson Lane at its weekly meeting Thursday night. The federal funds will also add a new bike lane.

http://murfreesboropost.com/city-council-approves-thompson-lane-improvements-cms-23028

Rutherford County EMS Bike Rodeo

Saturday May 22 at Stonecrest Medical Center parking lot. Rutherford County EMS day will present a Bike Rodeo from 10:00 - 2:00. Join us if you can!

Education - Tennessee's greatest failing

We have all said the three most important priorities for Tennessee are Education, Education, and more Education.  Whereas, Tennessee did okay in LAB's Bike Friendly State assessment. We ranked so low in education that we were almost off the chart.  May be this is another "less talk" more "action."  Philip found a great series by League of Illinois Bicyclists. (Click here for info)

Planning for bike-friendly communities is becoming more common in major cities, suburbs, and small towns across the country.  Everyday decisions by planners, engineers, and others affect how safe and convenient it is to bike for recreation or transportation.  However, most of these officials have had little to no training on these issues.

So how does Bike Walk Tennessee want to get started at this?

Congressman Blumenauer Demands Attention to Bike Fatalities

Please watch this video, recorded last night, on the eve today's Ride of Silence.

Congratulations to Tennessee

The Bicycle Friendly State (BFS) program links the League of American Bicyclist’s work with federal level and community advocacy throughout the nation and recognizes states that actively support bicycling. The state rankings were first conducted in 2008 and are conducted annually, with all questions and methodology remaining consistent to track states’ progress. The BFS rankings are based on a 95-item questionnaire that evaluates a state’s commitment to bicycling and covers six key areas: legislation, policies and programs, infrastructure, education and encouragement, evaluation and planning, and enforcement.

Tennessee’s 43’rd ranking last year disappointed those working to promote bicycling in our State. In response a lot was accomplished this year both at the State and Municipal level and both in government and advocacy. It was a joint effort of all parties. The improvement was unprecedented click here to find how Tennessee did.

Jessica Wilson (TDOT) took a lot of time and effort this year to complete the survey accurately.  It was reviewed by Pat Clements, Bruce Day, and Tom EvansCopies of it are here.  For a quick summary as to how Tennessee ranked in the individual categories click here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baby step toward LCI

For some time becoming LCI certified has been on my list of things to do some day. Two things have kept me from it:
1. The time required .
2.  I already know everything there is to know about cycling.

Now comes a chance to test reason number 2 in the comfort of my own home in the hours between midnight and sleep usually wasted watching the Weather Channel.  This from Arkansas Tom Ezell.
Bruce

Thinking about taking the Traffic Skills 101 class, but don't have time to sit through hours of Powerpoint slides? One thing the League is experimenting with is offering the classroom portion of this course on-line, and letting the student jump directly to the hands on, bike riding part.
Interested? Go to http://www.bikeed.org/default.aspx, register at the site, and you can take that part on-line in your spare time. Each module has a set of questions (the applicable part of the written exam for Traffic Skills 101). At the completion of the online class, the site will tally up your score (passing score is 70%; 85% if you intend to pursue becoming an LCI yourself), and allow you to print a certificate asserting that you've completed that part of the class.
Next, take your certificate and look up one of the League Cycling Instructors (at the "Instructors" link) who have agreed to participate in the on-line test of the Traffic Skills course. Contact the LCI, and schedule a time and place to take the riding part of the class and the road test... And then you're on your way to Smart(er) Cycling!
This web site is part of a large effort to improve safety training for the 2010 Houston-to-Austin BP MS-150 bike ride. It's been shown to work well, and now it's being made available on a national basis to those facing a time crunch on sitting in class...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Making Tennessee Safe for Bicyclists

On May 13'th Scott Stevens wrote to TDOT asking what he could do to make the roads in Lincoln County safer for bicycle use after the death of Sharon Bayler. Here is the response.

Mr. Stevens:

First, please accept my condolences for the loss of your friend.

We were made aware of this tragic incident through members of our statewide bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group, Bike Walk Tennessee. This group has been actively working with the Department on ways to make Tennessee a safer place to cycle. I would like to share with you several initiatives that we have developed during the past year to make this goal a reality.

In September of 2009, our agency signed a revision of the State Strategic Highway Safety Plan that, for the first time, includes measures to reduce bicycle and pedestrian crashes and fatalities. As a result, TDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian staff now attend road safety audit reviews where we make recommendations for bicycle and pedestrian safety measures at high crash locations identified through data collected by our Project Planning office. In addition, we worked with the Tennessee Department of Safety to geo-code bicycle and pedestrian crashes and fatalities so that we can better identify these locations. We also worked with the Department of Safety to include a section on ‘Sharing the Road with Bicycles and Pedestrians’, as well as corresponding test questions, for an upcoming revision to the Tennessee Driver’s License study guide and exam.

You mentioned in your letter that you would like to work with TDOT to identify routes that cyclists from Alabama frequent most often, so that they can be better defined as bicycle routes. Bike Walk Tennessee is currently collecting this information for our office as part of an update to our Long Range Plan, and I feel certain that they would welcome your involvement. I am copying the Chair, Pat Clements, to make him aware of your interest. You may also reach him by e-mail at BikeWalkTN@gmail.com.

Again, I am truly sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. Thank you for reaching out during this time of sorrow to help make Tennessee roadways safer for all users.

Please feel free to contact me or the Department’s bicycle/pedestrian coordinator, Jessica Wilson, at 615-741-5025 or Jessica.L.Wilson@tn.gov if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Jeanne Stevens, AICP, Director, Long Range Planning Division

Tennessee Dept. of Transportation

Drivers, bicyclists clash on road sharing

- Number of U.S. bicyclists is increasing, according to government study
- More than $700 million in stimulus funds is being used for bike and pedestrian projects
- Critics question project in North Carolina that would add bike lanes to busy street
- Cities should choose wisely where to add lanes, paths, expert says
(Click here to read more)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What If We Did Away With Traffic Signals?

So what if we stopped paying attention to traffic signals and paid attention to other drivers/bicyclists/pedestrians? Catastrophy? Think again..

Civilized Streets?

Twenty one million motor vehicle journeys are made each day in London. The average speed is 9 mph. Gridlock is a constant and growing threat. There are half a million cyclists using the same roads.

No mode of personal transport is more efficient than a bike in an urban environment. But in using space more effectively than either pedestrians or motor vehicles, the cyclist often attracts unfair criticism from those who have little knowledge of the twilight world between the piety of the pavement and the mad world of the drag strip.

Does there need to be a radical re-evaluation of road space? This will shortly be answered in a paper, Civilised Streets, to be published by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. The following is some of the thinking we hope it contains.

RIP OUT THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS AND RAILINGS - OUR STREETS ARE BETTER WITHOUT THEM

Simon Jenkins The Guardian - Friday 29th February 2008

Drivers and pedestrians negotiating shared space is shown to cut accidents and traffic, yet flat-earth planners won't believe it

Best news this week is that traffic police in Timisoara, Romania, are to have ballet lessons. Videos revealed an "awkwardness and lack of elegance" in their movements, confusing drivers and impairing road safety. Their instructor in pirouettes and pliƩs claims that Swan Lake offers the best role model, a nuance lost on me. Sadly, the police would not be wearing tutus but will perform in standard-issue uniforms.

Traffic police have long gone out of fashion in British cities. They have been replaced by technology, otherwise known as traffic lights. The common assumption is that this constitutes an advance, a machine being invariably better than a human. This is untrue.

Cut to Professor John Adams of University College London. Meeting Adams is to feel like an Inquisitor grappling with Galileo. He persists in rejecting received wisdom. In his virtual world, white is black, mad is sane and the Earth is round, when everyone knows it is flat. Among other things, Adams has long regarded seat belts and crash helmets as lethal, a menace to public safety. They raise the personal risk threshold and, while making the wearer safer as he drives faster, cause more injury to others. Needless to say, Adams has figures to prove it. He also thinks traffic lights should be banned, along with stop signs, zebra crossings, kerbstones and railings. The reason is not that he is a libertarian nutcase but that they kill people.

Traffic lights force drivers to watch and obey robots rather than other road users - an obedience not enforced to the same degree on pedestrians, skateboarders or cyclists. One result is that zebra crossings are dangerous because drivers are no longer used to eye contact with other road users. Technology makes them drive like zombies.

Traffic lights, like one-way systems, are also hopelessly inefficient allocators of road space. Even in London's busiest streets, half the tarmac is vacant, waiting for a light to release vehicles on to it. Many British streets are so empty they might as well have shops and houses built over them. We build over countryside but treat roads as sacred.

The concept of traffic-light removal is simple. It is that all users of public space adjust their behaviour to that of others, balancing a measure of danger and risk in return for convenience. Drivers undirected by signs, kerbs or road markings are faced with confusion and ambiguity. Since they do not want to cause accidents at junctions, or damage their cars, they reduce their speed and establish eye contact with other users.

I recently watched the result of a traffic-light failure in London's Portland Place. Two things happened. One was that drivers opened their eyes and scrutinised other drivers and pedestrians as the intersection became like an American "flashing amber". The other was that traffic flowed steadily over the crossing without being held for minutes while nothing moved. Drivers instinctively policed the crossing and rationed the road space on their own.

While the concept is not universally applicable, for instance on access to main arteries, it is no longer radical. Across the world, except in Britain, the so-called shared space movement preaches that urban streets should be redesigned for use by all and sundry, motor vehicles weaving their way along them as best they can with chicanes and other devices offering relative protection to pedestrians.

The concept has long been familiar in Italy's historic towns. It has been introduced, at the last count, in 3,500 zones in Germany and the Netherlands, 300 in Japan, 600 in Israel, and in cities as widespread as Lyon, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Melbourne and Portland, Oregon. All have experienced a drop in accidents, and most a drop in journey times. At the now celebrated lights-free Laweiplein intersection in Drachten in the Netherlands, the chief danger is from crowds of foreign experts watching incredulously as traffic merges with pedestrians and separates, unaided by robots.

Why has the concept not caught on in Britain? The reason is simple. Policy is in the hands of traffic engineers. These people deal with road builders, kit manufacturers, consultants and health and safety inspectors. All have large budgets and a vested interest in treating streets as policed corridors of total control. To them, traffic management involves herding pedestrians into cages and hurling vehicles along fast, one-way streets to bring them to a halt at the next stop light or traffic bump.

As a result, road users in cars and on foot in Britain are probably having to travel twice as far as necessary to get from A to B, with controlled crossings and cars negotiating tortuous one-way systems with long waits at lights. This increases traffic volume, causes more accidents, misallocates road space, slows buses and doubles carbon emissions. It is plain dumb. British traffic engineering is stuck in the dark ages, covered in woad and chanting runes about "gridlock".

One of the few progressive councils in Britain, London's Kensington and Chelsea, has bold politicians leading from the front. The deputy leader, Daniel Moylan, studied shared space abroad and designated Kensington High Street as an experiment (as if it needed one). Railings and crossings were removed. Pedestrians were encouraged to cross where they chose. Bicycle racks were placed on the central reservation. The whole street was tidied.

The effect over two years has been a dramatic cut in accidents, down 44% against a London average of 17%. Pedestrians and wheelchair users are no longer dragooned behind railings. Drivers have slowed and pedestrians look at drivers rather than traffic lights. Moylan did not have the courage to remove all lights, but perhaps that will come with the extension of the scheme to Exhibition Road. The experience has been a success.

What pushed the Kensington High Street scheme was an eagerness by businesses to make their street more attractive against competition from malls. They wanted, as Moylan puts it, "to get away from the idea that streetscape is essentially an exercise in safety engineering". His latest report tells of the need to overrule health and safety officials, who seemed uninterested in evidence that accidents would fall. As for engineers in general, they seem to care only about "making it harder for road accident victims to bring successful litigation against highway authorities". Because of this opposition, Moylan is gloomy about his efforts being imitated elsewhere in Britain. The pro-accident vested interest is too strong. Like Adams, he thinks officialdom would rather people died than admit it was wrong.

Certainly the concept of people and vehicles sharing the road, and thus rendering it safer and more efficient, is counter-intuitive, because vehicles are regarded as inanimate thugs that do more damage than bicycles and pedestrians. But vehicles are driven by people with eyes, who only become dangerous when treated as automatons. That is why shared space has saved thousands of lives across Europe in the past decade. It also saves pollution, time, money and policing costs. It is a no-brainer.

In Britain the flat-earthers deny evidence and cry that the great god traffic would "grind to a halt" if streets were shared and traffic lights were abolished. Yet as Galileo told the Inquisition, "Eppur si muove", and yet it moves.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Say "Goodbye" to signed Bike Routes!

State and local engineers, planners, administrators, and elected officials are concerned about incurring liability for injuries suffered by bicyclists riding on public roadways designated as bikeways, and those concerns may also result in hesitation to create additional marked bikeways.

Read Legal Research on Liability Aspects of Bikeways

Monday, May 10, 2010

Greenways and Trails TIDBITS

Click here for the May 2010 Edition of the TIDBITS.
 
Robert (Bob) E. Richards, CPRP
Greenways and Trails Program Coordinator

What can we do about cars parking in bike lanes?

I would like to share a blog post by my friend, Robert Hendry, about a problem I have seen across the state. Perhaps we can come up with some solutions about how to improve this situation.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Florida's Rumble Strip Answer

For your interest and amusement, I found some really good rumble strips in Florida.  They were ~3 inch discs, ~1 inch in height, glued into the middle of the right-hand paint stripe and appeared to be composed of small glass beads (like the paint stripe) glued into a matrix and put down at the same time as the stripe I think.  A periodic break in their sequence every 20 feet or so would have been the only improvement I would want.
Ben Cowan
It's Bicycle in Sunday in Seattle and Washington Blvd is closed to Seward Park. Safe time for individuals and families get out, ejoy the weather, and ride. This would be a good campaign for Parks and Rec Depts across the state of Tennessee.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

State Advocacy Organization - what's the point?

I've been following a major issue for advocates in Florida - a terrible bill was passed through state government and awaits the governor's signature - HB971.  The bill allows for golf carts and motorized vehicles on greenways.  It forces bicyclists to use the bike lanes, marginalizing them as roadway users if/when this bill is signed by the governor. 

The bill has apparently been attached to DUI legislation that allows repeat offenders to get their licenses back and is supported by MADD.  It apparently slid through and is now waiting for Governor Crist to sign it.  The only option for Florida cyclists is to request the governor veto it

Now, if this were Tennessee, and Bike Walk Tennessee is successful in building its membership and communication network, we can hopefully detect this kind of thing and help the Tennessee walk/bike community resist any such thing.  Can you imagine mopeds zipping along through Shelby Bottoms in Nashville, golf carts along the Tweetsie Trail when it's complete, or mopeds circling Stones River Battlefield in Murfreesboro? 

In the mean time, we'll keep working, and I hope we can count on you for your support.  Florida, we hope you get your veto and send your legislators back to work to fix it.  BWT will be studying your case as a lessons learned after this is over.  We wish you well.

Pat Clements
Nashville, TN
PS - I'm sure Forrester is mumbling "I told you so."

Bike Lanes Installed on Pennsylvania Avenue

The nation's capital has rolled out the red carpet for bicycles. 

One mile of bike lane has been recently been installed on Pennsylvania Avenue, perhaps the nation's most significant roadway, while adjoining roadways in the DC downtown have also received new bike facilities.   

(courtesty of bikeleague.org)
Read what the League of American Bicyclists Andy Clarke has to to say about the new developments.

The car owners's insurance association, AAA, also released a document with their opinions on the potential impact of the new bike lanes.  Their ideas are attached below.

Given that as many as 5 bicycles often occupy the same space as a single passenger car, are AAA's claims that an increase in bicycle traffic capacity will overall traffic congestion?  Might new bicycle riders attracted by safer facilities actually improve the flow of traffic?


AAA News Release
5/3/2010

REMOVAL OF TRAFFIC LANES ON PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE FOR BIKE LANES DRAWS IRE OF MOTORISTS

NEW BIKE LANES COULD MAKE A BAD THING WORSE
IN DOWNTOWN WASHINGTON, SAYS AAA
Protected Bike Lane Project Would Remove Six Miles Of Traffic Lane;
New Bike Lanes Won't Entice District Motorists Out Of Cars, AAA Poll Shows

WASHINGTON, D. C.  (Monday, May 3, 2010) – Pennsylvania Avenue has a new look. Over the weekend, D.C. transportation work crews converted two traffic lanes on “America’s Main Street”  into bike lanes, and, as a result, city traffic could become even more congested in downtown Washington and further increase commuter frustration with insufficient road and highway capacity, warns AAA Mid-Atlantic, which is encouraging commuters and District motorists to voice their concerns about the proposal.

Bike lanes will also be built on four other major streets in the city’s busiest corridor.

“If you build it, will they come?” It is unlikely the addition of new bike lanes in Washington’s Central Business District will entice most motorists out of their cars or attract more residents to bicycling to work. That’s according to the findings of AAA Mid-Atlantic’s latest survey of District motorists.

 “Given current levels of motor vehicle traffic in downtown D.C. and the depth of frustration with gridlock during daily work trips, many motorists are wondering why this plan made it to the drawing board in the first place,” cautioned John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs.

“In the minds of many motorists and commuters this plan abounds with problems. Although they understand that a vibrant city like Washington needs to have a healthy mix of bikers, walkers, motorists and mass transit users, they think this plan is counter-intuitive.”

If given final approval, the pilot bicycle lane project would remove six miles of traffic lanes along five major thoroughfares in the city’s Central Business District, including two traffic lanes on a mile-long stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue, from the White House to the U. S. Capitol building.

 In addition, one lane of automobile traffic in Northwest Washington will be removed from 9th Street, 15th Street, L Street and M Street, under the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) proposal. The 30-day public comment period for the project closes 12 days from now.

Polling shows some residents already have some misgivings about the proposal.  In fact, 53 percent of District residents say bike lanes and other added bicycle perks will not make them more likely to bicycle to work on a regular basis, the 2010 AAA Transportation Poll ® shows. Even so, 20 percent of surveyed AAA members in the District said the changes would compel them to become regular bicycle commuters.

“Downtown Washington experienced the worst congestion in the region during the last decade, previous studies by local transportation planners show,” Townsend noted.  

“If implemented, this plan could make things worse. Lane closures must be approached with extreme caution to avoid excessive traffic delays and the diversion of motorists into neighborhood streets, increasing cut-through traffic in peak periods.”

What’s past is prologue,” providing an object lesson about such impacts,  some D.C. motorists and taxi drivers complain. They still point to the impact of the decision 15 years ago to close a two-block stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House that carried 29,000 vehicles a day. 

 As predicted, it increased traffic congestion in downtown Washington during rush hours, some critics grouse. The Secret Service closed the six lane avenue from 15th to 17th streets to motor traffic in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing. Since then, increased security concerns and terror threats have prompted officials to reduce lane width and remove parking spaces around some federal buildings, observed AAA.

Each inauguration day the 1.2 mile-long stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue down from the United States Capitol building to the White House becomes the “Promenade of Presidents.” It will be retrofitted with a “bicycle facility,” allowing bicyclists to travel down the center median, according to DDOT. Here’s a snapshot of the impacted streets and length of the proposed protected bike lanes:

o        Pennsylvania Avenue NW from 3rd Street NW to 14th Street NW (1 mile).
o        9th Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to K Street NW (0.7 mile).
o        15th Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to W Street NW (2 miles).
o        L Street from 11th Street NW to 25th Street NW (1.3 miles).
o        M Street from 15th Street NW to 29th Street NW (1 mile).

 Under the pilot project, the “barrier-protected” bike lanes will be separated from vehicular traffic by either a lane of parking or buffer zone. Cyclists will still be permitted to travel in regular vehicle travel lanes in Downtown DC.

“Although bicycling is an increasingly popular way to get to work in the District, the question  is whether the proposal will exacerbate the commute for the vast majority of workers in Downtown Washington, constricting already clogged traffic arterials, and causing even more delays during peak travel periods in the District’s most highly developed area,” the auto club spokesman said.

 “Motorists are concerned that congestion will become even more pronounced because reductions in lane width generally trigger reductions in traffic flow, travel times and capacity. That’s the biggest issue.”

On average, 2.3 percent of District workers bike to work, according to 2008 data from DDOT. That’s 7,066 bicyclists daily. In contrast, 12 percent walk to work. Even so, 39 percent of employees in the District drive to work alone, while 21 percent ride to their jobs in carpools and vanpools.

Another 40 percent use some form of mass transit, including Metrorail and Metrobus. Although advocates of bike lanes tout their safety benefits and impact on organizing the flow of traffic, some planners still debate the best approach for adding the lanes to existing roadways, commented Townsend.  

 The proposed bike lane project carries a price tag of $1.2 million and is slated for completion during 2010.  The regional Transportation Planning Board (TPB) has identified the “protected bike lane pilot project” as  one of four “new regionally significant projects” designated for inclusion in the 2010 long-range transportation plan. The 30-day public comment period will end at midnight on Saturday, May 15, 2010. 

 Commuters can submit their comments to the TPB online, or by or by phone at (202) 962-3262 or TDD: (202) 962-3213.  As of Spring 2010, the District boasts a total of 1,200 lane miles, including 44.7 miles of bike lanes and 56 miles of bike trails.  DDOT contends it will evaluate the effectiveness and impacts of the bike lane pilot project before deciding whether to make it permanent.

AAA Mid-Atlantic advocates on behalf of its nearly four million members in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. It provides a wide range of personal insurance, travel, financial and automotive services through its 50-plus retail branches, regional operations centers, and the Internet.  For more information, please visit our web site at www.AAA.com          
###

Return to News Release Index
Contact: John B. Townsend II
Phone: (202) 481-6820

Contact: Lon Anderson
Phone: (202) 481-6820

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The importance of good followers

This stolen from the Commute Orlando Blog.

2010 Alliance Leadership Retreat

Uniting Bike & Ped Advocacy Leaders from Across North America! Building Your Organization: Growing the Movement
  • Early registrations cost $395 for Alliance members, $475 for Non-Members, and must be received by June 30, 2010
  • Regular registrations cost $450 for Alliance Members, $530 for Non-Members
  • Looking for Scholarships?

    • The Alliance will have limited additional scholarship opportunities available for the Alliance Leadership Retreat. Apply here. Deadline to apply is May 20.
    • Hot off the press: In partnership with the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, we are able to offer Susie Stephens Advocacy Scholarships to leaders of Alliance member organizations for $100 off Pro Walk / Pro Bike® registration (which follows the Leadership Retreat). While the normal Pro Walk / Pro Bike® rate is $600, you can apply for the reduced rate of only $500. Apply here. Deadline to apply is May 20.
Registration includes meals, three nights of lodging, over sixteen different workshops, strategic discussions, bike polo and Frisbee fields, a boat trip, and an opportunity to connect with advocacy leaders in your field. This retreat brings advocates together to connect, build relationships, and share knowledge that will propel your efforts to transform your community into a great place to bike and walk

Want more info?  Click here .

America Bikes Releases New State Fact Sheets

Working with America Bikes (the national coalition of bicycling organizations and leaders working on the federal transportation bill), the Alliance for Biking and Walking has a key new resource for local advocates and decision makers. These 2-page fact sheets distill the Alliance's nearly 200-page Benchmarking Report into a very user-friendly format for each of the 50 states, comparing key benchmarks at the state level against the national average. This is a great tool to share with decision makers at the local, regional, state, and federal level. Click here to check out how Tennessee compares

Monday, May 3, 2010

Goodlettsville Bike/Ped Plan

The final Goodlettsville Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan will be presented at a public meeting tonight at 5pm at the Goodlettsville City Hall? The plan can be viewed at www.bikepedplan.com.

Leslie A. Meehan
, AICP
| Senior Transportation Planner
Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization

Let's Go For A Ride


More Than 200,000 a Day Now Cycling, Data Suggests
Build it and they will ride. That’s the message conveyed in the latest annual estimate of the number of bicyclists in New York City by Transportation Alternatives, which found roughly 236,000 New Yorkers riding each day in 2009, up 28 percent from 185,000 daily riders the year before. ( read more . . .)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Congrats to Board Member Dan Reese

Good news! I've been hired as Project Manager for the RR Depot preservation/greenway trail head project here in Johnson City. I'll be riding my bike six blocks to work every day, and getting paid to put an old facility into good use. Guess this is what its like to be Anthony Siracusa on the road...
Dan

Seattle biking walking and other thoughts

Next week I'll be in Seattle with my wife. She's doing the conference thing and I'm out and about meeting with the leaders of the Bike Alliance of Washington to talk about items like their Transportation Advocacy Day and their extensive membership program. Hope to make time to meet with King County Metro Transit on elements like their Bike+Bus Program. These excursion are one way I find out what is working with communities and organizations in the bike/ped world and always return with fresh ideas to share.

Our last venture was in Quebec around Montreal and Mont Tremblanc areas where we rode parts of the 4,000km Le Route Verte and met with organizers of Velo Quebec who have encouraged the use of the bicycle, whether for tourism purposes or as a means of clean and active transportation, so as to improve the environment and the health and well-being of citizens.

Two years ago we were fortunate enough to visit in Wales, UK and get to know the incredible Sustrans organization. This UK-wide charity supported network's vision
is a world in which people choose to travel in ways that benefit their health and the environment. Riding and walking in the rural areas and villages was the common mode of transportation and we learned how transport planning can effectively integrate alternative modes of movement in a highway and road system. Paths and trails criss-crossed the country and access to these is protected by law.

We have a lot to learn in Tennessee and borrowing models from other areas is to me one way to enrich the quality of life in our state. I'll be blogging along next week as the journey continues.