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Monday, January 31, 2011

Classes of bicycle facilities

Yesterday's blog post described the changes in Congress as well as how Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA-52) mentioned in an interview about how he felt cycling is more of a recreational rather than a transportation thing. (As a side note, this Rep. Hunter is the successor of long-term and probably better known Rep. Duncan Hunter.)

Yes, it is true that a good deal of cycling is done for recreational purposes. But a good deal of cycling is also done for transportation, due to its convenience and low price, in addition to the built-in exercise. One who rides for transportation gets a workout just by going where one was going anyway. A variety of facilities exist, and facilities can be classified into three classes.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Congress IS Changing

If bike advocates treat it as “business as usual,” they are likely to loose.  Remember trickle down economics? The Fed has a huge impact on what also happens at the State and municipal level.  The following is not meant to be the politics of “scare tactics.” It’s just making sure everyone knows what’s ahead and plans for how they want to participate in the decision-making process.

Friday, January 28, 2011

New Driver's License Manual Released

I just wanted to let you know that the Tennessee Department of Safety contacted me earlier today to let me know that the new TN  Comprehensive Driver's Manual has been released and is available at testing centers and online at: 

The primary section containing information on Sharing the Road can be found in Section C-3 of the new manual. 

Have a great weekend!
Jessica L. Wilson, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator
TDOT Long-Range Planning

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tell Congress About Bike/Ped

Here is an opportunity to speak up about the importance of pedestrian and bicycle transportation.  Congress is looking for input for the next Transportation Bill. 
Feel free to share this information,
Jessica L. Wilson, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator
TDOT Long-Range Planning

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The importance of integrating networks

For a given amount of bike/ped improvements, it's most useful to integrate the pieces into a large network, as opposed to having smaller disconnected pieces. The reason is that a larger network makes a larger number of trips possible through bike/ped, and the growth curve is non-linear, with increasing benefits for every little additional piece tacked on.

A technical illustration follows:

Friday, January 21, 2011

"New Ciclovia"-car-free Sundays

Gil PeƱalosa of 8-80 Cities will be giving three programs next week, sponsored by Bike! Walk! Northwest Georgia, the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission and the Georgia Department of Transportation.  Gil and his team initiated the "new Ciclovia"-car-free Sundays- today an internationally recognized program which sees over 1.3 million people walk, run skate and bike along 121 kilometers of Bogota's city roads.

There will be two talks and a workshop.  The talks will be at 7 pm on Monday, January 31, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Cartersville and at 6 pm on Tuesday, February 1, at the Dalton City Hall.  The workshop will be from 9 am to 1 pm on Monday, January 31, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Cartersville.  There is no charge for the events.  For more information, contact David Kenemer at 706-295-6485 or

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Job Opportunity - Knox County Health Department

(Information quoted from League of American Bicyclists Email)
The Knox County Health Department is seeking a Health Planner to lead projects focused on the built environment and health.

The application is available here. Deadline is January 28.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thermoplastic Edge Lines

Bike/Walk Tennessee directors Bruce Day and Tom Evans on January 15 tested how compatible grooved thermoplastic edge lines are with cycling, using road bikes with 700x25 tires on a stretch of US 246. The grooved lines presented no problem whatsoever, and they rode on and across them numerous times. Although the lines can be felt, they did not present anything other than the ordinary for a road cyclist.

Grooved thermoplastic road markings may present a more bike-friendly alternative to rumble strips in terms of reducing run-off road crashes. The markings gently alert drivers to reaching the line, and they're not as loud. As an additional benefit, pavement longevity is not adversely affected by them, unlike the case with rumble strips. Bike/Walk Tennessee is proud to have assisted TDOT with this assessment.
Click here for copy of the report.

Friday, January 14, 2011

2011 Tennessee Greenways & Trails Forum

The 2011 Tennessee Greenways and Trails Forum is a three-day educational workshop and your best opportunity to network with parks and recreation professionals and administrators in the state. This year's forum theme is "Building Connections."  Forum sessions will be in Murfreesboro on April 14-16 and will highlight the impact of greenways and trails in our communities and discuss their role in uniting our citizens, improving health and combating obesity, promote economic development and tourism, provide alternative transportation opportunities and connecting people to nature.

Click here for more information and registration! 
Contact Info:
Recreation Educational Services
Jeni Brinkman, Assistant Director

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Job Announcement

Below is a job announcement from the YMCA of Middle TN/Safe Routes to School Tennessee Network.  Contact information for Ted Cornelius of the YMCA is included in the announcement for any questions regarding the position.  Please note that the deadline to apply is this Friday, January 7.
Leslie A. Meehan, AICP | Senior Transportation Planner
Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization

Saturday, January 1, 2011

House votes to extend Federal trails and transportation funding to Sept. 30, 2011

It was very good news to hear in late December that the U.S. House of Representatives had passed H.R. 3082 (Continuing Appropriations Act) to continue the existing SAFETEA-LU surface transportation program. With this action all trails and bike/ped programs will be extended until the end of the current federal fiscal year (Sept. 30, 2011). It is also possible that SAFETEA-LU will be extended an additional year to let the president and Congress elected in November 2012 deal with it. With the incoming congress there is a strong need to make the case that wise investment in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure provides strong economic and health benefits to our country. Quoting Eric B. Beightel, U. S. Department of Transportation Office of Transportation Policy at the National Trails Symposium 2010 in Chattanooga:

"The Transportation Enhancements and Rec Trails programs have provided almost 10 billion dollars to states since 1992 for more than 28 thousand projects. Through the life of the Congestion Management and Air Quality Improvement program almost half a billion dollars have been spent on bike and ped programs.

The Federal Lands Highway Program continues to fund projects that provide access to and within Federal Lands. All of these programs benefit local economies, particularly in rural areas. And no one knows this better than you. The Hatfield McCoy motorized trail system in West Virginia, the New River and Virginia Creeper Rail-Trails in southwestern Virginia, the Paiute ATV trail system in Utah, the Monon Trail in Indianapolis, the growing transportation and recreational trail network here in Chattanooga, and the many trail offerings in urban and rural areas across the country help communities retain jobs, attract visitors and improve the quality of life for residents and tourists alike.

Trails provide transportation choices for communities and promote healthy, active lifestyles. They connect people to recreation and business destinations and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by shifting motorists off congested roadways to more environmentally sustainable modes of transportation."

Mr. Beightel's full remarks can be found here.