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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.