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Monday, August 30, 2010

MPO Wins Second Award for Bike/Ped Plan

In March of this year, the Nashville MPO received the “Grand Award” for Best Small Project from the American Council of Engineering Companies– Tennessee Chapter fir its Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Study. This month this study wins its second award from the Planning Council of the Institute of Transportation Engineers for a comprehensive study that creates a vision for bicycle and pedestrian mobility in Middle Tennessee. This marks the first time ITE has bestowed its Best Project Award on an endeavor focused exclusively on non-motorized modes.

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.

First Annual Report

Bike Walk Tennessee issued its first Annual Report to its members last week.  Click here to download a copy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Selling Advocacy

Pat works the HOT100 selling Bike Walk Tennessee, Walk Bike Nashville, and 3-Foot License plates.

Friday, August 27, 2010

America's Great Outdoors Listening Session Report

Tom and I  were in differing breakout sessions. I drew the good straw. My group oncentrated on topics most dear to BWT plus there was opportunity for new contacts.   Cameron Sholly, Superintendent of Natchez Trace Parkway, and Tony Turnbow, President elect of the NTP association, were there. We had a discussion of cycling safety and policing responsibility. Mr. Sholly stated the Park service was responsible for enforcing the law along the parkway. He also said last year they had a manslaughter conviction of a motorist who killed a cyclist on the Parkway in Mississippi and is proud to say ther have been no deaths on the parkway this year.  Mr. Turnbow stressed the need for cyclist to be visible. He especially likes yellow and dislikes dark green and black.  The NTP management is developing a NTP logo yellow vest they intend to promote for wearing while cycling on the Trace.

Bike Art

When streets speak the truth - found this at Artwork by Peter Drew. Not much more I can say about this one.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

TDOT transportation grant for Depot in Johnson City announced

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

Ride to Promote Civility?

Probably my most favorite Blog (after the Walk Bike TN, of course) is the Commute Orlando Blog. Keri always has great stuff, sometimes controversial, to keep one thinking. But what else is a blog good for? As we know, not all of us ride the same bike lane -- need room for creative discussion.

Now, I think she is her own Troll -- Ride to Promote Civility. Check it out.

The experiment should really get interesting.

Bike Pedestrian Advocacy in NE TN

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

How a Bus Ride Makes You Fit - Realage article

This article describes how taking buses helps make people fit, since people usually end up walking to the bus stop. Walking to the bus stop can go a long way toward the recommended 30 min of exercise 5 days a week. Just as with cycling to and from work, walking to/from a bus stop to commute may appear to take somewhat longer. But one can kill the proverbial multiple birds with one stone. Of course, one can ride a bike to a bus stop if the transit system is set up to handle the transport of bicycles too.
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

CHEAP road diet idea

(just posted to
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

Et Tu Portland? How About Frisco?

We often hear about Portland as one of the most cycling friendly cities in the USA if not the world. I recently subscribed to the podcast of The Bike Show on KBOO in Portland. They interview guests from all parts of the cycling world. The July 7 show includes an interview with the author of the Lonely Planet guide to cycling in Italy. I need to try that sometime.

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

If You Just Connect the Dots

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

Wolf River Greenway A Model for Tennessee Communities

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:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bicycle facility signs

This may be old news to most of you but it is new to me.  The 2009 Manual of Uniform Traffic Devices has bicycle facility signs nicely grouped.  Of especial joy to me was the R4 11, Bikes may use full lane sign.  I'd like to see about a thousand of these posted around Tennessee.

Latest on ABW/PWPB ride to Chattanooga.

It's been a week since everyone should have recieved email and US postal mail about the ride.  So far no replies from interested parties.  On the good side, no bounced emails or returned letters so our membership contact list is good.
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

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rumble Strips for Bicyclists

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.

Making a Difference in Bike Safety

“We are not bicycling experts so we left it up to the bicycling community to tell us what they think are the hazardous ones and the ones they would like to see enforced,” Tucson Police Department Jerry Skeenes said. “We are not going to go out and try to pick some kind of duck pond just to get numbers. We are going to try to enforce something that will hopefully make a difference.”

Strict bicycle enforcement starts today; will focus on dangerous riding habits (click here to read more)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Correlations between obesity and driving, and others

GOOD Magazine recently published a table ranking all 50 states and Washington DC in terms of actual levels of driving, walking, cycling, mass transit usage, and levels of obesity. From their table, I plotted all 10 possible correlations of the variables with each other. Note that the driving rank and obesity rank is opposite that of the other things; i.e. a driving rank of 1 means little driving, while a walking rank of 1 means lots of walking. An obesity rank of 1 means low levels of obesity (in this data, Colorado). Our state is indicated with the extra large marker in these plots.

The strongest correlation is between walking and driving, and is depicted here. The more people drive, the less people walk.

Friday, August 13, 2010

New mountain biking and hiking trails in NE TN

Good news for mountain bikers in the area. Talking with the Forest Service trail tech. for the Cherokee National Forest southern region I found that there is trail construction at the Pinnacle Fire Tower on Buffalo Mountain and the construction company is moving toward the base trail head at Unicoi, TN. This will give bikers an up and back trail which I would consider a tough five mile ride. This connects with a trail to the other side of the mountain which is shared with ATV'ers and was the site of last week's Buffalo Mountain Time Trials.

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

Update on Jay Westbrook

I have discovered that the civil suit against Andrew Chase, the Comcast driver who struck and seriously injured cyclist Jay Westbrook in July of 2009, was settled in mediation earlier this summer.

As for the criminal proceedings, I found out that it is likely Mr. Chase's lawyer will file for a pretrial diversion before the Sept. 7 court date. Click here for an explanation of the pretrial diversion. I spoke with the Honorable Berkeley Bell on the phone yesterday and he informed me that It is up to him, as the prosecuting District Attorney, to decide if the diversion will be granted. If he allows the diversion, the charges against Mr. Chase, aggravated assault and violation of the Bicycle Protection Act of 2007, will be postponed for a year. If Mr. Chase keeps his record clean during that period, after paying court costs, his record will be cleared.

I find this to be an unacceptable option and hope that you do, too. Please send an email to the assistant district attorney on the case, Chal Thompson, at You should make reference to State of Tennessee vs. Andrew Chase, case #09CR369. Let him know that you hope that if a a pretrial diversion is requested, it is denied and that Mr. Chase is prosecuted for both charges.

Bike to Chattanooga, change in plans

Thanks to Phil for forwarding me information on the officially sponsored ride from Atlanta to the ABW and PWPB in Chattanooga. They appear to not have one specific organized ride but are providing assistance  to individuals or small groups who plan their own.  Given the many variables this is a great approach. It also obviates some of the pesky legal issues. 

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. 


Cycling hydration

Having just read this article on cycling hydration myths, I would say that I learned a lot. Some of the material about how one is, believe it or not, often already partially dehydrated at the start of an afternoon ride I found out with personal experience. Most of the material is more pertinent to athletes and people who are otherwise riding long distances rather than commuters.

With that fact being noted, since we are still in summer, what are some tricks to beat the heat? Is added hydration the key? Do the same rules apply for those going on a walk out in the heat?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pro-Walk/Pro-Bike Conference to Host Over 600 Sustainable Transportation Professionals Sept. 13-17, 2010

Chattanooga, TN - The National Center for Bicycling & Walking (NCBW) will come to Chattanooga, TN Sept. 13-17 for the Pro Walk/Pro Bike® 2010 conference. This year's theme, Bringing Livable Communities and Regions to Scale, will help attract a diverse representation of community planners, engineers, transportation and elected officials, as well as those concerned with the environment, public health and energy policies.

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 or contact Philip Pugliese at (423) 643-6887 or

Monday, August 9, 2010

Momentum Building for a World Class Bike Culture in Memphis

Memphis has long enjoyed a strong recreational bicycle culture with dozens of races throughout the year.

But in my journey studying bicycle communities across four continents this past year, I was inspired by the diverse qualities of urban bicycle cultures. The opportunity to visit cities replete with bike commuters, bike-based musical events and innovative bike sports illustrated that urban bike cultures are quickly growing across the world.

And Memphis', it seems, isn't so far behind the curve.

Remember Jay Westbrook??

Allow me to refresh your memory about the accident on July 14, 2009 where the driver of a Comcast vehicle swerved onto the shoulder and hit Jay with his rear view mirror while Jay was on a training ride. I get the feeling the folks office of the 3rd Judicial District are hoping that we have all long forgotten! The case has been postponed over and over again. It took until October for the driver to be charged with violating the Bicycle Protection Act of 2007. In April, an additional charge of aggravated assault was added. The case is set for trial on Sept. 7 and we are still watching!

We need to let the DA involved in the case know that we expect the Comcast driver to be convicted of both charges, not only for Jay Westbrook, but for cyclists across the state who have a legal right to share the road with motor vehicles and should be protected when accidents happen involving motorists! If you would like to contact the District Attorney involved in the case, the Honorable C. Berkeley Bell, you can do so by sending him a letter at office of the 3rd Judicial District, 124 Austin St., Suite 3, Greeneville, TN 37745, or by phone at (423) 787-1450.

Reflections from Iowa

When you ride your bicycle for 7 days and 450 miles, you end up with lots of time to reflect on walking and bicycling. I just returned from a vacation to ride RAGBRAI, which is essentially a bike ride across the state of Iowa. This is no “normal” seven day ride. More than ten thousand people ride, riders from across the country and around the world, all ages, men, women, economic brackets. And when you get to the top of a hill, you can look back and all you see is a solid river of bicycles. The experience inspires me to make several comparisons between the states of Tennessee, Iowa and other states.

This guy rode 450 miles.
The Iowa ride shows that bicyclists come in every size, shape, age and color. Bicyclists riding road bikes, mountain bikes, Penny Farthings, unicycles, antique bikes with wooden wheels. Some people I saw created the initial thought – can they really be riding for the entire week on that bike? Yes, they can. I believe that too many Tennesseans automatically decide that they can't walk or bicycle that far for a variety of reasons. I'm too old. I'm too fat. Well, the oldest Iowa rider was over 80. Did he decide one day he was going to ride, jump on his bicycle, and take off across Iowa? No. But he did have to make the decision to try.

Iowa road conditions are terrible. The freeze thaw cycles create horrible cracks that run perpendicular to the road and in the same direction of travel. The first is quite uncomfortable and the later is extremely dangerous. Many Tennessee roads have hard rideable shoulders, while most Iowa shoulders that I witnessed were loose gravel. Tennessee was ranked 3rd in the country for the quality of our roads. Most cycling hazards are either gravel or debris in the roads - not dangerous cracks. To support the comparison, riding in Little Rock, Arkansas and feedback from friends in other parts of the country reveal similar crummy roads.

Tennessee has mild weather. Do you think Iowans train for that ride in the winter?  Probably not.  Only a few months a year do we have weather that's too hot or too cold for the casual riders.   To reinforce that weather has nothing to do with bicycle friendly, Bicycling Magazine ranked Minneapolis, MN #1 this year.  We have long shoulder seasons for amazing bicycling. But would a cross-state ride in Tennessee draw 10,000 riders? Probably not, at least not right now.

Iowans have miles and miles of corn and soybeans for scenery.  Almost all the roads intersect at right angles. The wind blows unobstructed across the flat terrain so in one direction there's a good chance you'll have strong wind in your face.  Tennessee has amazing scenery and curvy roads. Our rolling hills, variety of trees, rivers, rocks and terrain make for beautiful bicycling.  As the seasons rotate, we get a changing landscape as well.  I give the advantage again to Tennessee.

So, why is Tennessee ranked 49th by the Alliance for Biking and Walking, and 46th by the League of American Bicyclists up until this year?  Why did we tie Alabama for 2nd place in obesity?  We have wonderful assets and weather that Tennesseans should be out enjoying.  We don't have many good excuses.

Dust off that old bike.  Take that walk to the store.  In the process, meet those neighbors you haven't met yet. You're not too old.  You're not too fat.  Your bike isn't too old.  Start slow and you'll find much joy in making that step towards an active lifestyle that includes walking and biking.

Pat Clements

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Trail Towns and Bicycle Tourism

Johnson City's Development Authority recently purchased a 1908 railroad depot which has been a poster child for urban blight. With creative insight that depot is being transformed into a center for local history, place to gather for coffee, and local goods and crafts vending space, and bicycle rental and repair facility. Most importantly the depot is turning into a Trail Head for urban and rural trails that are being planned and built in the region. What makes this so exciting is the city and area are being transformed into a version of what is called a "Trail Town". Capturing trail-based tourism based on the Trail Town concept has been modeled in many areas of the country and has provided a boost for local economies, increase concern for bicycle safety, and a change of attitude among the driving public for bicyclists.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Commissioner Nicely: Working To Improve Community Bike, Pedestrian Connections

by TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely
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

Bike Commuting New Zealand style

Growing numbers of Kiwis (New Zealanders) are choosing to take to their bikes and fight for road space with trucks, buses and cars. But as the country goes cycle crazy, commuters and hobbyists are making a concerted plea for safety to improve.

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:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Nashville Dedicates Bike Racks

The Metropolitan Government of Nashville Davidson County is dedicated to improving bicycle infrastructure because of our past and current political leadership. Mayors Phil Bredesen, Bill Purcell and current office holder Karl Dean have all been supportive of improved bicycle facilities. Nashville contains miles of greenways and bike lanes as a result. The creation of Shelby Bottoms greenway as an extension of Shelby Park in East Nashville by Mayor Bredesen is just one example. During the term of Mayor Purcell a pedestrian bridge was constructed across the Cumberland River extending the greenway to the Percy Priest Dam. Mayor Dean created a bike sharing program that will operate out of the Shelby Park Nature Center. Similar projects have been completed and are in planning across the city. Mayor Dean also appointed a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

Mayor Dean recently led a ride around the Shelby Bottoms Greenway (go to Mayor’s Events, then July, then Mayor’s Bike Ride) to recognize the cleanup after the flood and the role of greenways as flood plain. Shelby Park and the Bottoms were both under water during the May floods in Nashville. Several board members of Bike Walk Tennessee accompanied the Mayor on the ride.

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.