This BLOG | WebSite | About Us | TN|Rumble

Quick Join Bike Walk Tennesee via Paypal

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.