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Monday, December 19, 2011

Walking to "outpace" the grim reaper

Vitals On MSNBC.COM is reporting that Australian researchers have found that older folks who walked at a pace of 3 mph or faster tended to stay alive over a given period of time, versus folks who walked at a slower pace. Thus, 3 mph is considered the pace at which one outruns the grim reaper. Interestingly, 3 mph is a typical pedestrian walking speed at which transportation planning is done. Having communities in which it's feasible to walk to work, school, and various other destinations makes it that much easier to be and stay active for all people. And staying active makes it that much easier to have that 3+ mph pace even as one ages, not to mention maintaining one's independence.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Knoxville Fifth Annual Tour de Lights

The Knoxville Regional Transportation Organization is having the fifth annual Tour de Lights holiday ride tonight, December 15, 2011. This fun ride starts and ends at Market Square downtown, and travels at a leisurely 8 mph or so through several local neighborhoods, for a distance of a few miles. Riders are encouraged to decorate their bikes for the holiday season. In the past, there have been between 200-400 or so participants. Being one of several large group rides put on each year, the Tour de Lights is nevertheless unique in being the ride that takes place at night. It provides a great way to showcase cycling to the community, and to show people that it can easily be done.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

SRTS Network in Tennessee Terminates

Over the past two years, Safe Routes to School Network in Tennessee has been funded through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. That contract ended December 14th, 2011. For that reason, the Tennessee crew has decided to join forces with the Tennessee Obesity Task Force (TOT). They are very excited about the potential to continue to advance the work the network has begun through the shared experiences and resources of the Tennessee Obesity Task Force. In the near future, The Safe Routes to School Network will have a direct link from the TOT website , and an email address through TOT. Until then the state SRTS network’s temporary email address is . The National Partnership’s website will continue and updates for the state of Tennessee can still be found there.

Click on these links for more information (Fact Sheet) about the network, best practices, and its final report

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Better Medicine - 10 Reasons to Keep Fit as You Age

Better Medicine lists 10 Reasons to Keep Fit as You Age. They are
  1. Increasing bone density and limiting osteoporosis
  2. Helping one stay independent
  3. Increasing metabolism
  4. Reducing the risk of falls
  5. Making one more flexible
  6. Gives one a reason to be more sociable
  7. Improves one's mood,
  8. and finally helps one's body.
  9. (#8-#10 are benefits to one's lungs and heart, and the prevention and control of diabetes.)
Now, as they report, much physical activity has been engineered out of the everyday lives of people. It's gotten to a point where for many folks, activity has to be specifically scheduled into one's day. The last item that the article lists, namely parking further away from one's destination and walking, is a good idea. But wouldn't it be much more productive and fun if physical activity could be part of everyday life itself? Having an extensive complete streets network, where people may readily walk or bike to work and to run chores doing the same would go a long way toward achieving such.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

John Daugherty Case Closure

The Oak Ridge (link below) and Knoxville newspapers recently reported the outcome of the case regarding the tragic death of bicyclist John Daugherty in 2009. The three foot law played a critical role in the determination of charges against the motor vehicle's driver who killed John as he rode on the shoulder of the roadway. The driver entered a "no contest" guilty plea t0 criminal negligent homicide. He was sentenced to two years of probation with diversion and 200 hours of community service.

Bike Walk Tennessee board directors Mark Hicks and Jonell Johnson remained involved with the prosecuting Roane County District Attorney General Russell Johnson regarding the use of the three foot law in this case. They also expressed the concern of the bicycling community that similar previous incidences did not result in any criminal charges. Hopefully, this unfortunate case raises awareness of the consequences of distracted, inattentive driving behavior that results in injury or death.

The expanded “Due Care” law enacted July 1,2011 increases the penalties for distracted driving that results in injury or death of a person(s). Bike Walk Tennessee drafted the law and secured House and Senate legislative sponsors who shepherded the law through the General Assembly. Bike Walk Tennessee remains committed to creating legislation and promoting enforcement of laws that protects bicyclists and pedestrians who are using the public right of way.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Proposed Federal mandatory sidepath law

The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) is reporting that S. 1813, the Senate draft transportation authorization bill, contains a mandatory sidepath law that would require cyclists to ride on sidepaths on federal land. The LAB article has much more information on why such is a terrible idea. But if you have non-cycling friends who are wondering why such proposals actually do not promote safety, here are a few reasons. First, the vast majority of car-bike crashes take place at intersections. Riding on a sidepath is dangerous for the same reasons sidewalk riding tends to be dangerous. Behavior at intersections is complicated by the presence of a sidepath. Car drivers do not typically look for same direction cyclists passing from the right, when making a right turn (right-hook conflict). Cyclists are also less visible to oncoming traffic, which may be planning to make a left (left-hook conflict). Second, many sidepaths are maintained well below the standards of main roads. Debris tends to accumulate, and cracks and potholes tend to accumulate to a larger degree before remedial action is undertaken. Finally, travel at higher speeds (say anything above 10 mph) is difficult to do safely when riding on even a well-maintained sidepath since there tends to be insufficient room to maneuver. None of these facts are obvious to a non-cyclist. The proposal seeks to get cyclists "out of the way" of car traffic, even traffic traveling at a modest 30 mph. In practice, passing cyclists is something that drivers routinely accomplish within a minute or two at most.

Nashville MPO Delays Award Announcement

Due to questions raised in the November BPAC review of the $2.5 Million that Nashville MPO is awarding for Bike/Ped projects, the MPO staff has requested additional information from applicants and TDOT regarding the grant process.  Considering the tight timeframe, the MPO has decided to push back the awards until January.  Our MPO Executive Board meets January 18th, which means they would likely make the award announcements that day or the next.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Asheville, NC Region Looks to Create Better Bicycling Future

The Land-of-Sky Regional Council, in cooperation with the Southwestern Rural Planning Organization, kicks off a two-year initiative in Waynesville with a $250,000 grant from the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation.“We’re trying to come up with routes that work well within the region to make it possible for people to get around better on bikes and also for tourism,” said Nix, a member of the Regional Bike Plan steering committee and co-owner of longtime Asheville bike shop Liberty Bicycles.

The goal of the project is to coordinate existing local bicycle plans while developing a regional action plan for seven counties: Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, Swain and Transylvania, said Lyuba Zuyeva, transportation planner for the Land-of-Sky Regional Council.

For the entire article go HERE.

Tennessee State Coordinator Sought

UPDATE 12/1/11:

Anthony Siracusa, BWT Director for Memphis Region, has volunteered to coordinate Tennessee's committee during this critical Bike Summit starting on March 20'th and has notified Katie.

State Coordinators fill a vital role at the National Bike Summit. They help schedule meetings with their state's Senators and Representatives before the Summit, and then rally the troops from their states at the actual event. We are currently looking for willing and able volunteers from Tennessee.

If you are interested in playing an active state role at the Summit but are concerned because you've never done anything like this before, don't worry! You will have plenty of help from League staff and from our partners Advocacy Associates. We will help you draft letters for  meetings, schedule meetings, and manage your state's schedule. If you would like to experience the Summit as a State Coordinator, please email Katie Omberg .

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fed Funding for Bike/Ped is Gone, BUT THERE'S MORE

The following is from the League of American Bicyclists

The draft of the Senate’s transportation authorization (S. 1813 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act) has been a bit of a disappointment for cyclists. It reduces funding for dedicated bicycling programs and allows state departments of transportation an opt-out for spending it. However, even aside from funding, there is an egregious clause that has rightly upset cyclists.
Section § 203 (d) (p. 226), the part dealing with the “Federal lands transportation program”, states:
(d) BICYCLE SAFETY.—The Secretary of the appropriate Federal land management agency shall prohibit the use of bicycles on each federally owned road that has a speed limit of 30 miles per hour or greater and an adjacent paved path for use by bicycles within 100 yards of the road.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The Safe Routes to School Partnership has a two-year contract with the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation (RWJ). It ends on December 14th, 2011 and as far as we know is not being renewed. It is by no means a reflection on the momentum that the network has been able to accomplish. We are simply at the end of the contract period. RWJ is reorganizing and re-prioritizing what it is funding.  I would like to request ideas and suggestions for future funding sources through grants, partnerships with other organizations or even funding through businesses, hospital corporation, insurance agencies etc.

Millie Halvorson
Tennessee Safe Routes to School Network Organizer

Friday, November 11, 2011

Is YOUR State Advocacy Doing the Job?

. . Is your State Advocacy organization doing the job?  If you don't know, its time to find out.  Much of the impetus for bicycle and pedestrian friendly infrastructure was driven by federal mandate under previous transportation authorizations like SAFETEA-LU.  With the new Transportation Authorization now in Congress that is about to disappear.  As collateral damage Tennessee's network of Bike/Ped Coordinators is likely to disappear.
. . Is your club or bike/ped organization coupled effectively into your state advocacy org?  Is your state advocacy org coupled effectively into the transportation planning and maintenance organizations in your region, your MPO/TPO, or RPO, the four TDOT regions?  Don't know?  It's probably time to find out!
. . We have benefited from federal mandates for bike/ped policies for a couple of decades, but that is changing and we need to back-fill. It's a job your State Advocacy org should be making pro-active plans to do and a job that certainly requires everyone's support.

. . David "Bud" Laumer, Bike/Ped Coordinator in Arkansas says "The network will be the big loss. Since 1991 the players have been learning their parts and sharing information. So, when rumble strips popped up here I went to the network to find out what others were doing. Betsey Jacobsen in Colorado had advice and alternative designs that we used here. Tom Huber of Wisconsin had more information. That network is part of a contract between FHWA and UNC Chapple HIll that gives us the PBIC--another resource that would be lost...."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Senate EPW Committee Considers Transportation Bill Today

Senate version of the Transportation Bill MAP-21 eliminates dedicated funding for Bike/Ped projects by combining under CMAQ as "Additional Activities.  Under the provisions of this Bill all funding on Bike/Ped focused activities (see below) will be gone in two to three years.  The House version of the Bill totally eliminates that funding.
. . 1) The Safe Routes to School, Transportation Enhancements and Recreational Trails programs would be combined into a new “Additional Activities” program within the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program (CMAQ), with less funding available than the current spending level for the three programs combined.
. . 2) In addition, an expanded list of project types are eligible for “Additional Activities”, including NEPA compliance and land acquisition for wetland mitigation.
. . 3) Finally, the bill allows states to opt-out of spending any money on “Additional Activities” when the non-obligated balance exceeds 150% of the annual funding, and to redirect funds to any activities eligible in the broader CMAQ program. In Tennessee this BALANCE typically runs 2 to 5 times the annual allocation.

Memphis Hightailers Support Advocacy

Paul Rubin and Steve Watson from the Memphis Hightailers Bicycle Club hand a check to Pat Clement from Bike Walk TN for $1250 that was raised from the Bluff City Blues 100 Bicycle Ride held on October 2nd.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cyclists urge DA to Presses Charges

PLEASE BE PATIENT. Video takes about 10 seconds to pull from Channel 4 News. It starts with a short commercial (that is why we can share.)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

California Walking School Bus

CNN is reporting that in parts of California children are participating in a "walking school bus." What's a walking school bus? It is a bunch of children walking to school together, carrying a "bus" that picks up other students along "stops" on the way to and from school. The article points to the very real fact that much of today's infrastructure has has physical activity engineered out of it. Combined with the ready availability of cheap calories, it's small wonder that the overweight/obesity rate there has topped 60%. The rate is not too different in Tennessee. The kids walk around half a mile to and from school every day. Calorie-wise, that would be around 100 or a bit fewer burned each and every day. Time spent walking per child is around 20 min. Could schools in Tennessee do something similar? How far or close to children live to their schools? In terms of time requirements, let's not forget that there are substantial traffic jams at schools each morning and afternoon, so depending on the distance, walking can actually be the faster option, not to mention how such can free up time for parents who otherwise might send their children to and from school by car.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

TE Funds Under Attack AGAIN - Take Action!

Dear friends and supporters of walking and biking in Tennessee,  we are once again in an all-points alert due to the Transportation Reauthorization efforts to remove dedicated federal funding for walking and biking.  Action lerts are coming from League of American Bicyclists, Alliance for Walking and Biking,  America Walks, Jeff Roth Cycling Foundation and the effort below from  Please follow the links in the message below and take action to let your Senators Corker and Alexander know your feelings around the "Paul Amendment."  This is one of those times that everyone can do something easy to make a difference.

Thanks, Pat Clements, President, Bike Walk Tennessee

A sobering discussion of our transportation infrastructure.

With the most recent push to eliminate TE in favor of bridge repair highlights the futility of attempting to maintain our infrastructure as it has been built. Better to rethink what infrastructure we need to support.
This video explains the problem better than anything else I have seen.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Urban Bike Design Guide

“This is a guide cities should use,” said Secretary LaHood in front of the Union Station Bike Station. He went on to enumerate all of the exciting things that are happening in cities from New York to Chicago to Portland. The Secretary also said today that he won’t serve a second term as Transportation Secretary — certainly bad news for bicyclists.
Click here for League Announcement

VDOT Publishes New Bicycle Policy Plan

VDOT's Bicycle Advisory Committee has released it Bicycle Policy Plan with the substantial assistance of the VA Bicycle Advisory Committee. Reviewing its contents I found it to "establish a vision for the future of bicycling in the Commonwealth". A great deal of public input was joined with input from key stakeholders and VDOT staff. The plan focuses on policies, procedures, and programs within VDOT authority.

By focusing its resources Tennessee's Department of Transportation could lead in bicycle and pedestrian policy planning for the coming years. A proposed Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee would be critical in producing document and guide such as VDOT's Bicycle Policy Plan.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Roundabouts - pedestrian and cyclist safety

Roundabouts are becoming more common across the state, as their traffic handling capabilities and improved safety become wider known. A single-lane roundabout can handle a traffic flow of around 25,000 vehicles/day with minimal delays, and sometimes can be a cheaper alternative to widening roads. Unlike a traffic light, traffic does not necessarily have to stop; traffic continuously flows more or less. Deadly T-bone crashes are basically eliminated.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Leadership

Bike Walk Tennessee is privileged to announce two new leaders for its organization.  Dr. Caroline Cooley, Director of the Knoxville Region, was elected by the board as its corporate Secretary and Ms. Jenny Park who recently joined us from Chattanooga was selected as the new Membership Chair.  Please join me in welcoming them and offering your assistance in these key positions.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nashville MPO Call for Projects

The Nashville MPO is making $2.5 Million available for Active Transportation Projects.  With October 6'th being the deadline for submission 10 applications were received, requesting nearly $3.8 million - 9 for infrastructure and 1 for non-infrastructure.  The MPO staff will conduct the initial round of analysis, and then forward the applications to the MPO BPAC for your review.  

Active Transportation Call-for-Projects Schedule 
- Day 1: Announce call for projects – Aug 17 
- Day 45: Deadline for Proposals – Oct 6
- Day 60: MPO Staff Scoring, Round 1 Evaluation Complete – Oct 21
- Day 70: MPO/BPAC Joint Mtg - Round 2 Evaluation – Oct 24
- Day 90: BPAC Scoring, Round 2 Evaluation Complete – Nov 17  
- Day 100: MPO/BPAC Joint Mtg - Round 3 Evaluation – Nov 17
- Day 115: Round 3 Evaluation Complete – November 29 
MPO TCC Meeting – December 7 
MPO Board Meeting – December 14 
Project Award Announcements – December 15

Monday, October 3, 2011

News from Knoxville

Update on bicycle news in the Knoxville area:

1754 driver’s education students instructed for spring and fall semesters 2011.

Starting January 2011, all public high school driver’s ed students in Knox and Blount counties have been instructed on bicycle/ motorist rules of the road. The curriculum, developed by Paige and Mike Winck, is taught by bicyclists who are involved with the Knoxville Bicycle Program. The program has been enthusiastically supported by the driver’s ed teachers and schools.

Greenway official opening: The newest Greenway in the Knoxville area, Papermill Bluff, was officially opened by city officials on September 29. It is almost a mile in length, parallels Interstate 40, and connects to the existing Weisgarber Greenway. For further details, go to

Legacy Parks is hosting a fund raising luncheon Friday, October 14, 2011. Governor Haslam will be the guest speaker . “ Legacy Parks Foundation works collaboratively with organizations and governmental agencies in Knox County and the east Tennessee region to expand parks, trails, and greenways as well as preserve open space and promote recreational oppurtunities.” Tickets for the event and further information can be found at

Enjoy the beautiful fall weather and go on a bike ride or hike.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wheelchair fatality in Knoxville

The Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting on a fatality of a motorized wheelchair user who was struck by a right-turning vehicle. The vehicle was turning right onto Kingston Pike from the western end of Forest Glen Drive around 1:30 PM, on September 28, and apparently struck the wheelchair when the wheelchair entered the intersection from the sidewalk. Forest Glen Drive has a stop sign for the car. The crash is still under investigation. Details are sketchy. What are some safety tips for wheelchairs out in traffic, and what can people do to make tragedies like this one less likely to occur in the future? Are wheelchairs more like pedestrians, or more like slow vehicles in their handling characteristics?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Public Meeting on Tweetsie Trail Draws Full House

This from the Johnson City Press Chronicle of 09.28.11 on a Rail-to-Trail project in NE TN. Dealing with property owner's fears of crime and vandalism will always be part of this type of a civic venture. One positive result of this project is that it has united many user group including hikers, bicycle riders, pedestrians, nature lovers, horse back riders, and conservationists in a common voice for investment in livable infrastructure that benefits all.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bike Commuting Increasing Except In South

Study shows slow growth of bike commuting in some areas.

A good article in Atlantic Magazine looks at the growth of bike commuting in various regions. Our culture of using passive transportation is slow to change toward the use of more active transportation modes.

"Converting to bicycle commuting is all the rage in U.S. cities, if the proliferation of blogs devoted to the topic is any indication. But we wanted to know: Just how big have increases in the percentage of bike commuters been in specific cities? Are there regional differences? Cities where bike commuting isn't catching on at all? We surveyed 55 major U.S. cities to see if we could find the answer.  While there are stark differences across individual cities, taken as a group these metros saw an average increase in their percentage of regular bicycle commuters of 70 percent between 2000 and 2009."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thanks for your action

This from Adventure Cycling:

Dear cycling friends, Thanks to many of you, we have made real progress these last two weeks on two major national issues for cyclists: federal support for cycling, and rumble strip applications that threaten to harm important cycling routes. 

First, there is good news from Washington, DC. The US House and Senate decided to extend current law and funding on transportation, including investments in bike facilities, through the end of March 2012. If you contacted your Senators, you made a big difference – they heard from over 50,000 constituents (and possibly many more) that bicycling is a worthwhile and cost- effective investment for transportation and recreation. We will need to make the same kind of push in 2012 to ensure that a modest level of national investment in cycling remains in force.

Second, as you may know, Adventure Cycling has been working hard over the last two years with national and local groups to make sure that rumble strips are used appropriately and not in ways that destroy the ability of cyclists to use important rural and suburban roads for

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Riding in the dark

With the start of autumn almost upon us, the daylight hours are getting fewer. Unfortunately, with increased hours of darkness, crashes like the one that killed David Perkey are more likely when cyclists are out in the dark. He was apparently hit by a hit-and-run driver, and subsequently killed. While hit-and-run is never acceptable, the report states that he was riding without lights or reflectors. It's possible to ride safely in the dark, provided that proper equipment is used. More important than what lights to have, is to have working front and rear lights to begin with. Reflectors and other reflective gear is good, but they by themselves are not enough. They only are visible when light is directly shining on them, whereas an actual light shines regardless. Headlights are typically mounted on handlebars or atop one's bike helmet. Some cyclists prefer to have both. They range from cheap "be-seen" sorts of lights, all the way to extremely powerful (comparable to car headlight) systems used for mountain biking. Taillights typically mount on the seat post or rear rack, although there are also bar end taillights available. The latter may provide a sense of width to traffic. Numerous flash patterns are available, although I personally feel that the vast majority of flash patterns are "cute" but don't really add to safety. Since one cannot readily tell if a rear light has failed, it's preferable to have at least two rear lights for a degree of redundancy. So, what lights do you use and recommend? I use a converted 2AA cell Maglite (with a 140 lumen LED mod from terralux) mounted with a twofish lockblock for my front light, and a planet bike superflash for the rear. Being somewhat interested in electronics myself, if people would like to learn about additional details about bicycle lighting, I would be glad to provide a primer. But ultimately, having working lights for all (street lights, reflective clothing, and reflectors are never enough) is way more important than what specific lights to have.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bike Funding at Risk

. . All of the funding for active transportation--walking and biking--is proposed to be cut. This is the biggest threat to healthy active lifestyles since 1991. No more coordination to ensure that YOU have the choice to walk or ride a bike to get where you want to go. Just take the car and shut up--that is the message. We need to help the OK Senator see the public health value of choice here--Imhoff is leading the charge--and our delegation needs to get the message.
Let your congressional delegation know how you feel and what is at stake.
Bud Laumer

Monday, September 5, 2011

Red-light cameras no longer used for non-stopping right-turns

The Farragut Press Enterprise is reporting that red light cameras in town will no longer be used to enforce the requirement that vehicles come to a complete stop at a red light before turning right due to legislation passed by the state legislature. While the so-called rolling stop remains illegal, only actual law enforcement on scene will be allowed to enforce such. The cameras will continue to be used for citing straight through red light running and running red lights on left-turns. Cameras can now enforce right-turn violations only where right-turns on red are explicitly prohibited. Does this looser enforcement of right turns on red increase the dangers facing pedestrians?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Walking/Cycling for weight loss - calories burned

How many calories do people typically burn walking and cycling? How realistic can working these activities into our daily lives help people lose excess weight? I did a quick survey of an online guide to obtain some numbers.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


. . Y'all have done a great job at getting national attention for Ms Tryon, but it is important this incident become a positive for everyone and we don't overdue our concern and turn it into a negative.
. . This matter now has the attention of Andy Clark at the League of American Bicyclists who has assigned several people to work with the police chief and the National Safe Routes to School Partnership.
. . Jeff Miller at the Alliance for Biking and Walking has been following closely. And, the National Director for Safe Routes to School is researching further action.  It is an important issue to all and I am sure Ms Tryon will get good support from these people.
. . Plus the Directors of Bike Walk Tennessee are helping.
. . I believe everything will work out fine as long as we remember our primary interest is the well being of the 5'th grade girl who wants to ride her bike to school.  Both the mother and the policeman acted with sincere concern for the girl.  We don't want to push people into hard positions that make them forget the best interests of the young girl are everyone's priority.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Arrested for Riding Bike to School

Could you be arrested for allowing your 5'th grade child to ride her bike one mile to school?  That certainly seems crazy as we try to encourage active life styles for our kids.  That certainly seems crazy as we try to promote safe routes to school programs.  That certainly seems crazy as we talk of an obesity epidemic amongst our children.  But that is what police in Elizabethton Tennessee are threatening.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Clarksville car/pedestrian crash - lessons to be learned

The latest car/pedestrian crash in Clarksville, as reported here, and here, highlight some of the issues surrounding Fort Campbell Boulevard. Fort Campbell Boulevard is a massive 7-lane arterial that is built up on both sides. The second article points to the lack of crosswalks and six pedestrian fatalities over the past two years on that road. Even at signalized intersections, there was only 14 s to cross the seven lanes before the light changed back to red. The reporters noted that they had to run across in order to make it through on time.

A quick calculation shows that for a typical walking speed of 3 mi/hr, 14 s is enough to cross only 5 lanes, for typical lane widths of 11-12 ft. It could be that the small amount of time allocated to the pedestrian phase of the light cycle is another example of car-centric design; after all, every additional second for pedestrians means one less second for cars. Improvements in crossings and crosswalks are desired there of course. Does the road actually need all seven lanes with its hazards? What is its daily traffic? Should the traffic be calmed?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Typical lengths of organized bike rides

For organized road cycling events, there are a series of typical distances that travel to complete them. Since cycling is generally considered an endurance event, a variety of distance choices are available for the rider, from beginner to advanced rider.

Typical ride distances (all approximate) are as follows:
8 mi/13 km - for fun and beginner rides
12 mi/19 km - longer beginner ride
20-25 mi/32-40 km - first "serious" distance ride distance; frequently used as a short ride to train for longer rides
35 mi/56 km - moderate distance ride
45 mi/72 km - longer distance ride
62.5 mi/100 km - the metric century Most people, with appropriate training, can ride such. Achieving such is nevertheless a personal milestone.
70 mi/112 km - slightly longer than a metric, for a bit of additional challenge
100 mi/160 km - the full century; quite a challenge, considered the longest typical 1-day endurance event
130 mi/200 km - the double metric
190 mi/300 km - the triple metric
200 mi/320 km - the double century

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The importance of contacting local officials

Recently, I saw that a bike lane was painted on Lovell Rd in Knox County that was to the right of a right-turn only lane as part of its widening project. Earlier, I had found that a pedestrian push signal was non-functional on Northshore Dr, also in Knox County. For the first case, I contacted Kelley Segars at the Knoxville Regional TPO (Transportation Planning Organization) about the issue. She was quickly able to make the relevant inquiries, and had the problem corrected - the bike lane was terminated before the intersection in question with a "Share the Road" sign to be erected since there is no bike lane beyond that point anyhow. In the second case, an email to engineering soon resulted in the defective signal being repaired.

Bike/Walk advocates should report cases of substandard designs and malfunctioning signals to the relevant people. Sometimes we can notice specific things before others do, and improve the bike/ped scene for all.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Good Article on Transportation Funding Recission

The state Department of Transportation recently gave back $50 million including funds for bike and ped projects. Tom Humphrey (a long time reporter on state government) writes about it here.

See the comments from the lobbyist for the road builders. I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry or both.

The House Republicans are proposing that bike and ped projects not be mandated to states in the new transportation authorization. Here is what we can expect.

In fact, Startwalt suggests that enhancement funding could be shifted to filling the gap in road-building funds.

This is what we can expect in the future.

So You Want to Advocate? Basics Part 1

One of Bike Walk Tennessee's goals is to serve communities that wish to organize and advocate for better conditions for walking and biking.  Maybe you've finally decided you want to make a difference in your community?  We have a few tips to get you started.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Nashville MPO Announcement

Announced today: An extremely important pedestrian safety project for Nashville. Hat-tip to Bike Walk Tennessee for their advocacy efforts in getting the need for sidewalks along this dangerous corridor (with high transit use & low vehicle ownership) on the radar of decision-makers.