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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Portland - "for the equivalent cost of a single mile of freeway, we have a bike infrastructure."

Politifact Oregon has rated the claim mostly true, with the note that the mile of freeway refers to urban freeway. Due to the tight budgets of government at all levels these days, it's important that bike/ped funds be spent wisely. Being able to build or convert streets to world-class complete streets without spending a lot is doable, as Portland shows. Its high modeshare (8% of the people there refer to their bike as their primary commute vehicle, versus ~1% elsewhere) shows that the demand is there, if the infrastructure gets built.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Knoxville downtown pedestrian struck by turning vehicle

It was just reported that a woman was struck at the intersection of Church Avenue and State Street. She was crossing with the light in the crosswalk, when a vehicle turned into her.

Looking at a map of the intersection, where Church Ave is two-way and State St one way, it appears that the most likely scenario is that the car driver did not notice her when she crossed. Now, the car was turning, and since the pedestrian had a green, it follows that the car must have had a red light.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Knoxville Regional TPO Bicycle Rack Grant Program

The Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) has a bicycle rack grant program, that make it so that any private business or non-profit, or other agency can get one standard upside-down U-shaped bike rack installed for just $21. (Additional racks are available at full price.) Non-profits and community service agencies may be eligible to have the $21 waived. The counties for which the program applies are Knox, Blount, Jefferson, Anderson, Loudon, and Sevier. The racks install into existing concrete. The steps for an installation are as follows (quoted courtesy of the Knoxville TPO):

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Safe Pathways for Students Bill Progresses

Safe Pathways for Students bill and its amendment passed the TN Senate Transportation Committee yesterday.  It goes next to the Senate Finance Committee. 
Safe Pathways to School - HB1061/SB1083 would put $50 from each speeding ticket written in an active school zone into a program to fund education, encouragement and enforcement activities that make it safer for kids to walk and bicycle to school. 

Congestion Pricing

Moving Beyond the Automobile: Congestion Pricing from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

State Legislation Would Impare Bike/Ped Safety

A new legislative proposal would allow motorists to turn right at a red light without stopping. This news report from Johnson City shows the danger in allowing this kind of driver behavior for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Controversal Bike Lanes

“When I become mayor, you know what I’m going to spend my first year doing?” Anthony D. Weiner said to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, as tablemates listened. “I’m going to have a bunch of ribbon-cuttings tearing out your [expletive] bike lanes.”  Click here to read the whole story.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Traffic Safety Coalition

The Traffic Safety Coalition (TSC), is a grassroots organization comprised of public safety professionals, law enforcement officials, victims’ advocates, health care professionals, and academics who have all come together to support a media/communications campaign to educate the public about the detrimental effects of red-light running in communities across the United States.  Our campaign is looking to demonstrate how the use of traffic safety cameras has proven to be a critical tool for local law enforcement agencies efforts to reduce violations and crashes while keeping pedestrians and bicyclists safe.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Simplified Planning for Bike/Ped Facilities.

. . To improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities in your home town the first place to start is with a plan and design. In a recent survey of Tennessee cities Bike Walk Tennessee found only about 5% had any form of Bicycle and Pedestrian plan for their community.
. . Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB) in consultation with the Virginia (VDOT) and Fairfax County departments of transportation have prepared an award-winning new guide that outlines ways bicycling proponents can get involved in the process of designing, approving, building, and retrofitting roads to accommodate bicycling. Although geared for Virginia, many of the ideas contained in the report could be applied to Tennessee.
. . Their 28-page Guide to Reviewing Public Road Design and Bicycling Accommodations for Virginia Bicycling Advocates simplifies and streamlines the confusing road design process with easy-to-follow flow charts, handy check lists and explanations that make sense to folks who don't have a masters degree in urban planning.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

United States Bicycle Route System

. . The United States Bicycle Route System (USBRS) is gaining support daily. Click a state to see the most up-to-date state status on the project. The National Corridor Plan identifies 50-mile wide corridors, both prioritized (numbered) and un-prioritized (faint brown corridors). The Plan can change, based upon state opportunities and interests, with new corridors or realignments. As corridors turn into routes, the lines will go from wide swaths of color to defined routes. Links to U.S. Bike Route (USBR) maps, state bike maps and informational websites will be provided as they become available.
. . TDOT enlisted a consultant to expand the state bicycle route network. Once TDOT approves the network, it will be sent to local Bike/Ped Coordinators and Bike Walk Tennessee for review. Bike Walk Tennessee is partnering with TDOT to implement routes that fall within the National Corridor Plan, visit Coast Down Hills to see the draft routes. USBR 25 will be the first route implemented and will coordinate with Kentucky.
. . For more information or to volunteer, contact Bruce Day from Bike Walk Tennessee.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

UnitedHealthcare - Half the Country to have diabetes or prediabetes by 2020

This report states that if current trends continue, half the United States population will have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes by the year 2020. Not only is such a life limiter, but it would also be a tremendous waste of money. In 2009, the average health-care cost of a diabetic person was $11,700 versus $4,400 for everyone else, and was $20,700 for diabetes with complications. The report notes that the overall monetary cost of the diabetes/prediabetes comes out to $3.35 trillion over ten years.

So, what do these facts have to do with biking and walking? Actually a lot. Often people with prediabetes can make their metabolism revert to healthy levels through increased physical activity, and the loss of excess weight. Walking and biking can be great ways to work in such physical activity, whether as part of an exercise routine or as part of everyday transportation. The construction of complete streets would make such a realistic option for more people, and isn't really so expensive when these health costs are considered. As mentioned previously on this blog, a representative once asked how many people are currently driving to a gym in order to ride a stationary bike?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sorry I Didn't See You?

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. _ Look closely at this picture. This is what the motorist failed to see when he hit Ernie Wu at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29. Wu, CEO and president of ERC Inc., was riding to work in the pre-dawn darkness when the motorist struck him on a stretch of Drake Avenue with a quarter mile of visibility, no rain, no fog, street lights and no other traffic on the road. (reprinted by permission of Morgan)

Bike Racer Teaches Bicycle Safety to Preschoolers

We were fortunate February 16, 2011 to have Jeremiah Dyer teaching bike safety to 60 preschoolers at the First Presbyterian Church Pre-School. He discussed the importance of not only wearing a helmet but also why the proper fit can reduce or prevent serious injuries. He sent home to their parents an informational brochure on proper helmet fitting and basic safety tips! To be a part of the lives of tomorrow's great cyclists, share the enthusiasm of riding, and encourage young people to take up a safe and exciting form of exercise are some of the reasons for these kinds of classes. We hope to sponsor more in our area and include all ages.