Monday, August 30, 2010
The study is unanimously endorsed by the MPO and has led to regional advancement of related initiatives, including: trainings led by national experts on Complete Streets and school siting; project prioritization criteria that heavily weights active transportation; and the establishment of a 15-percent funding commitment to non-motorized modal facilities in the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan.
Learn more, click here.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Governor Phil Bredesen joined TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely and state and local leaders today to announce the award of a $211,963 transportation enhancement grant to Johnson City in Washington County for the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Depot Stabilization project.
Funds for the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Depot Stabilization project will be used to stabilize the historic depot building for use as a railroad museum in conjunction with East Tennessee State University and a recreational trail head. Johnson City grew around the intersection of three railroad lines and their depots. The CC&O Depot is one of two remaining depots and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Now, I think she is her own Troll -- Ride to Promote Civility. Check it out.
The experiment should really get interesting.
Three of the Region 6 board members of Bike Walk TN in Northeast Tennessee Janine Pleasant, Bennet Cowan, and Dan Reese met on Wednesday, August 25 for lunch to discuss a coalition of bicycle and pedestrian groups that would address safety and educational concerns in the region. After a very vibrant discussion over lunch the group decided to pull together interested and involved local leaders in late September to form the Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Group of NE TN. High on the priority list of concerns were advocacy for strict enforcement of current laws, community education directed at confronting inappropriate attitudes toward those who choose to bike, walk or jog, and interventions with local safety officials in charge of sheriff and police departments for better training of personnel. It was felt that by speaking in a concerted voice to local elected officials and staffs the message would be more effective effecting change. A tentative informal gathering of regional leaders is scheduled for the end of September at the home of Dan Reese in Johnson City to formalize the organization and draw up a plan for advocacy. News of the groups activities will be posted on the website of Bike Walk TN in coming weeks.
Monday, August 23, 2010
1. Getting to/from work
2. Saving money on cars/gas/maintenance/insurance
3. Getting the needed exercise, avoiding spending time and money to go to a gym
4. Doing good to the environment
And all that takes place all at once! As Rep. Blumenauer (D-OR-3) asked rhetorically, how many people right now are driving a car to a gym in order to ride a stationary bicycle?
Sunday, August 22, 2010
(just posted to bikeforums.net)
Wanted to get a feel for this road diet idea. Basically, there are quite a few 3/5 lane roads that have an excessive amount of two-way center turn lanes that aren't really used much; for instance, stretches of road exist that aren't full of left turning vehicles.
These stretches of road can be readily repainted to eliminate the redundant turn lane, with minimal widening around intersections where the turn lane does help and putting in bike lanes in the resultant freed space. I have illustrated the concept with a before/after diagram, and the needed widening shown in gray. So what do you all think? Does a minimal amount of road widening cost substantially less than full-scale widening?
Saturday, August 21, 2010
But the interesting segment is an interview with two representatives from the Mayor's office in Portland. Apparently the Mayor had a plan to use savings from sewer construction projects to fund other infrastructure to enhance street drainage via "green streets" (bioswales whatever that is). These plans became known as "Sewer money for bike lanes" and there was blow back against the plans. Even in bicycle friendly Portland it's sometimes a struggle to change public policy.
KBOO Bike Show July 7
This podcast from KQED in San Francisco is a discussion of the transit plan for San Francisco that was held up for four years by litigation demanding an environmental impact study. The man who initiated the lawsuit is interviewed on the show.
Battling Over Bike Lanes
Friday, August 20, 2010
In a recent conversation with a city manager we discussed his views of using various funding sources to connect more of the schools and parks in his small community with accessible paths for biking and walking. It was not a surprise that both residents and developers were asking for these kinds of civic improvements as a way to enhance the quality of life of this city and promote more opportunities to park the car and use healthier means of transportation to go about daily life. Using available stream banks, wet lands area, a rail easement, a box culvert to go under a busy highway, and lots of local machinery and muscle he displayed a keen sense of "We can do it."
This manager is engaged in a possible eight mile linkage along a rural county road which would join two municipalities at parks on the city limits of each and involve cooperation with the county on the obtainment of easements for passage. Given the narrow width and lack of line of sight clearance along these rural roads working with landowners to secure a broader greenway separated from the road itself would be the safest approach. Quietly working with landowners one on one to answer their question and hopefully allay their fears of "strangers in my yard" becomes a priority at this point.
A second project discussed was the use of a new sewer line easement that would extend from the city treatment plant nine miles to a river. Use of the right of way for public passage would be obtained and the surface would be a multi-use trail providing recreational access to a wonderful natural resource and the bike route of the neighboring county.
Since the county has never been involved in bike route or greenway planning it is important that they be engaged in a conversation on the benefits of supporting alternative linkages. This takes meeting individually with the newly elected group of county commissioners and mayor and building rapport that provides foundation support for a presentation to a commission as a whole. This particular county is blessed to have a new county mayor who looks to improvements in the economic and quality of life of his constituents.
Bike Walk TN's directors and members can be effective in promoting and encouraging local managers, elected officials, and professional planning staffs to be more bicycle and pedestrian conscious. By working locally and regionally as advocates for safe alternative transportation changes can be effected that affect our world. Some days its time to write a letter to a state legislator on an issue but on this particular day a quiet conversation over coffee led to an effort to "connect the dots".
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
It is remarkable to hear that Memphis is initiating a 22 mile greenway along the Wolf River. Beautiful location that I have walked and a real benefit for the community's health and conservation of a natural area filled with beauty.
Construction is under way on the first leg of the $28 million Wolf River Greenway, a significant factor in itself for a city that has never built a linear park at least 22 miles long before, or anything quite like it.
Now for the rest of the story. What's not obvious about the greenway -- a joint project of Memphis Park Services, the Wolf River Conservancy and the Hyde Family Foundation that eventually will stretch from the Mississippi River to Germantown -- is that it is just scratching the surface of a very ambitious dream. More at: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/jul/25/more-than-just-a-trail/
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
For now we will have no organized ride but there is a resource link on our website.
If you are or learn of anyone interested, please direct them to the above link and also to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, August 16, 2010
I was riding the Mississippi River Trail just south of Grafton, Illinois this weekend when I came upon this use of Rumble Strips. It shows a way that rumble strips can be made to benefit BOTH motorists and bicyclists.
Strict bicycle enforcement starts today; will focus on dangerous riding habits (click here to read more)
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
A future trail from Buffalo Mountain City Park in Johnson City to the Pinnacle Fire Tower is being considered. This new multi-use trail would separate hikers and bikers from the ATV users for safety by using alternative contours. At approximately 15 miles this would provide a very close proximity to the 10.5 mile Tweetsie rail-to trail project which will connect Johnson City and Elizabethton. Although in its early planning stages the Bike Walk TN director meeting with the Forest Service representative was very positive and centered on inter connectivity of trails and management by user groups.
The Methodist Christian Camp on Buffalo Mountain is offering part of its 600 acres for a new biking network that will adjoin the Camp. Design and marking will be done by the Northeast Tennessee Mountain Biking(NTMBA).
At Bays Mountain Park in Kingsport there is planned trail work to extend its already extensive mountain biking network. NTMBA is the major player in best practices trail design and construction.
NTMBA is encouraging its members to be aware of and attend the Pro Bike Pro Walk Conference in Chattanooga and will be part of our (in formation) Bicycle Coalition of NE TN.
Bike Walk TN is strongly supportive of effort both publicly and private to provide safe accessible venues for biking and walking in Tennessee. Whether for road or mountain cyclists, hikers in the mountains, or pedestrians just crossing the street we look for ways to improve the world in which we live.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
With that in mind the plans for an organized ride to Chattanooga will be abandoned. No one has shown interest anyhow. I will put together a list of suggested routes and, lodging and stand ready to assist people from the airport since I know of no good way out of BNA on a bike. Heck, I feel lucky to get out of there in my car.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Pro-Walk/Pro-Bike Conference to Host Over 600 Sustainable Transportation Professionals Sept. 13-17, 2010
The conference will bring over 600 people to Chattanooga, making it North America's premier conference on walking, biking, and livability. Attendees will be able choose from over 70 panel sessions on bicycling and walking issues and a host of mobile workshops over the course of the conference.
While, attendees come from all 50 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and further abroad, “regional participation is very important,” says Chattanooga Bicycle Coordinator Philip Pugliese.
“Local attendees are vital to the success of this conference,” adds Pugliese. “As we showcase Chattanooga’s accomplishments for sustainable transportation, we will also be learning from other communities on how best to prepare for the future, both locally and regionally.”
In addition to the regularly scheduled panel sessions and mobile workshops, there will also be a special conference session on creating a more livable Chattanooga, geared towards local leadership, hosted by the Active Living Transportation Network, Choose Chattanooga and the Pioneering Healthy Communities initiative.
Registration is open now. Standard rates apply through Tues., Aug. 31. Early bird discounts are available through Sun., Aug. 15.
To learn more about the conference or register, visit www.bikewalk.org or contact Philip Pugliese at (423) 643-6887 or email@example.com.
Monday, August 9, 2010
|This guy rode 450 miles.|
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
posted August 4, 2010
Take a look around next time you are traveling and you will likely notice that more citizens are bicycling and walking as means of transportation in Tennessee. Folks are embracing bicycling and walking for a variety of personal reasons. These reasons often include saving on ever-increasing fuel costs, improving one's health, or because it is their only transportation option. Walking and bicycling also provide an opportunity for communities to achieve larger goals such as attracting new business and tourism, increasing neighborhood safety, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality, and increasing overall quality of life for residents.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation continues to make progress in its efforts to promote a multi-modal transportation system for Tennessee which includes opportunities for citizens of all ages and abilities to safely bike and walk to their desired destinations. In the past year alone, we have worked to adopt new bicycle-friendly rumble strip standards, revised our Strategic Highway Safety Plan to include bicycle and pedestrian safety as a major goal, offered bicycle and pedestrian design classes to our engineering staff, and worked with stakeholders to cost-effectively accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians in our construction, resurfacing, and roadway safety projects. Additionally, our Transportation Enhancement and Safe Routes to Schools programs have distributed millions of dollars in grants to local communities in order to build sidewalks, bikeways, and greenways, and to encourage children to safely bike and walk to school.
Back in May, the League of American Bicyclists announced its annual bicycle-friendly state rankings and Tennessee improved from 43rd in 2009 to 24th in 2010. This is a marked improvement, but there is still much work to do. One area deserving more attention is education of the public regarding safely sharing the road with all users. Our staff is currently working with the Tennessee Department of Safety to increase awareness by adding a share the road section to the Tennessee Driver's License manual and by airing a 'Share the Road' message on the motor vehicle network located in the state's regional driver service centers.
Finally, it is critical that we continue to move forward in our efforts to accommodate all users within our transportation system so that our citizens can experience the freedom and mobility to safely arrive at their destinations. This multi-modal approach to our initiation and execution of projects will help keep all Tennesseans in motion.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Riding into Wellington on one of the capital's busiest entry roads, cyclists must dodge 15 lamp-posts and a bus stop. The route from Kaiwharawhara is described as "embarrassing" by the Cycling Advocates Network, yet it is a road that more and more commuters are opting to pedal along.
Others cycling into the city from different directions face varying conditions. On Oriental Pde there is the option to share the footpath; along Adelaide Rd there is the option to share the bus lane. Along other routes, there is a narrow space, not quite a lane, marked out by a broken yellow line and interrupted by drains or parked cars before coming to a complete stop.
Local authorities nationwide are grappling with ways to accommodate cyclists on streets where they have traditionally been squeezed to one side. With more people choosing to ride their bikes, the pressure is on to prevent more people getting knocked off their saddles. Around the world, schemes to make cities, suburbs and cross-country routes safer are being introduced to improve what is on offer for existing cyclists, and to attract more to what is a healthy, affordable, environmentally friendly form of transport. Yet in New Zealand, councils are complaining about budgets for such initiatives being squeezed.
Cycling Advocates Network project manager Patrick Morgan says that although New Zealand's thinking on transport is about 30 years behind the rest of the world, Wellington in particular is falling behind other centres. City council figures show that on an average day in March 2000, 746 people cycled into the city between 7am and 9am.
By March this year, a decade later, that figure more than doubled to 1644. While Mr Morgan acknowledges that in that period there have been some marked improvements, he says the council is still balking at making tough decisions such as removing car parking spaces to introduce cycle lanes. More from my bicycle friends in New Zealand at: http://can.org.nz/article/dompost-safety-the-trickiest-link-in-cycle-chain
Monday, August 2, 2010
This commitment was recently strengthened when Mayor Dean dedicated a public art project that illustrates the city’s promotion of art and bicycling. The Metro Arts Commission initiated a project that allowed artists to create twelve art themed bicycle racks. I attended the dedication ceremony at the Demonbreum Street roundabout where the center of attention is a large microphone representing the Music City heritage.
Metro Arts Council Executive Director Jennifer Cole promised more of the artist-designed racks in Nashville. Although many bikers consider their ride to be art it may not be so apparent to non-bicyclists. There is even a controversy about the usefulness of some giant tomatoes as a lockup. There is no doubt that these sculptures represent both Nashville and its’ commitment to cycling.