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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bike Walk Knoxville

Bike Walk Knoxville, a new chapter of Bike Walk Tennessee is being established. A steering committee met on Dec.9, 2012 to develop a mission, by-laws, and an action plan. Officers will be elected in the near future after by-laws are approved.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Share the Road License Plates being distributed

After years of hard work by the Jeff Roth Cycling Foundation, the first batch of 1000+ Share the Road License Plates are in the process of being distributed throughout the state. (Photograph courtesy of Jim Mead.) Some people have already received letters from their counties informing them about picking up their plate orders. A lucky few have already received their plates by now.

Reaching this point is quite a milestone in terms of cycling advocacy throughout the state. What are future milestones that we can aspire to? In the near future anyone will be able to get such a plate for his/her car (this initial batch of 1000 was by pre-registration only.)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bike racks, bike lanes/greenways on agenda for 2013 in Johnson City

The Livable Communities Development Group of the Johnson City, Jonesborough, Washington County Economic Summit is digging into some specifics on the first of its top six issues areas (see below) for 2013 and beyond: “More interconnected, beautiful and clean bike and walking paths connecting destinations to live,work, shop and play in our community.”

(For the full article, click here: Bicycling update)

 After collaborative discussion, the group is set to work on two tracks, both in close coordination with the City of Johnson City. The first is planning and implementing the purchase and installation of additional bicycle racks around Johnson City. The second is looking comprehensively at the current network of bicycle routes that connect areas of the city, and working toward short, medium and long-term improvements that enhance connectivity and safety for Johnson City’s children and its growing number of adult cyclists.
 “We applaud the City and its staff for the many steps they’ve taken in this regard over the past several years,” Livable Communities facilitator Dan Reese said. “Our goal is to come alongside representatives of the planning, traffic and other divisions within the Development Services Department to keep the desire for continued improvements on the front burner.”
Development Group members are in the early stages of discussions internally and with the appropriate city representatives about both issues… Read more: Bicycling update

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Atlantic Cities Book Review - Walkable City

The Atlantic Cities has an excellent book review on the book Walkable City by Jeff Speck. Numerous other outlets have also reviewed the book. In short, the 10 pieces of walkability are as follows (quoted from the review):

  1. Put cars in their place - design cities around people, not cars.
  2. Mix the uses - mixed use development shortens trip lengths, making them feasible.
  3. Get the parking right - we often have excessive parking requirements, as well as underpriced parking.
  4. Let transit work - have transit go to the busiest areas, and go to the mixed use areas. Aim for 10 minute headways.
  5. Protect the pedestrian - have streets (two-way over one way) that favor slower travel. Parallel parking can "shield" pedestrians from automobile traffic.
  6. Welcome bikes - bikes can calm traffic, benefitting pedestrians and cyclists themselves.
  7. Shape the spaces - make the environment comfortable for walking.
  8. Plant trees
  9. Make friendly and unique [building] faces - have buildings and storefronts that people want to look at.
  10. Pick your winners - with limited resources, it's important to spend such on what makes the greatest differences.

The review's author then goes into some more detail about areas of disagreement such as the pros and cons of pedestrian-only zones, the desirability of green space, and the like. Parking and congestion pricing is tricky, in that newly revitalized downtowns should seek to welcome people coming in and visiting. Regardless, the book promises to be an interesting read.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Proposed James White Parkway Extension in Knoxville

A public hearing will be held at South Doyle Middle School December 6 at 5:00 PM over the proposed extension to the James White Parkway in South Knoxville. The TDOT description of the proposed project and lengthy history is here. The proposed project has drawn significant opposition because of the number of homes that will have to be taken, plus the degradation to the numerous trails and such that have been constructed in the area that would occur were the project to proceed. Parts of South Knoxville do not want through traffic to bypass it by going around Chapman Highway. Here is a partial list of project opponents. The proposed project would cost more than $100 million dollars.

The project is designed to alleviate an expected increase in traffic on Chapman highway in the future. Alternatives that have been proposed are improvements on Chapman Highway. Chapman Highway, being one of the main streets in south Knoxville, can certainly be upgraded in its bike/ped friendliness with sidewalks and bike lanes as part of any overall improvement project.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Robertson County Growth online survey

Online Survey Available for Input on Growth and Development Plan for Robertson County and the cities of Adams, Coopertown and Cross Plains
Survey is in Addition to Four Community Workshops Scheduled December 3-6

Springfield, TN – Residents now have the opportunity to provide needed input on the Robertson County Growth and Development Plan from the comfort of their home or office. Project officials have established an online survey to make the process as convenient as possible. The survey can be found under “Give Us Your Feedback” at  There is also a series of workshops scheduled December 3-6, providing additional opportunities for feedback.
“We can’t stress enough how important the input of residents and business owners is for the success of this project,” said Jonathan Garner, chair of the project’s steering committee. “This plan will affect everyone in some way, so providing ample opportunity to have issues addressed is very important to us.”
               The survey provides a series of 13 questions that allows the participant to answer in his or her own words. Questions range from where new housing should be located to which new industries may be good additions to the local economy. There is also a feedback section to openly address any issue not presented in previous questions. 
Residents are also encouraged to attend one of four Community Workshops to learn more about the plan. The workshops are scheduled for Monday, December 3 through Thursday, December 6.  Consultants with Littlejohn Engineering Associates, Inc. will lead the discussions. See a complete listing of the dates, times, and locations for each workshop on the following page.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Knoxville - North Gay St Redevelopment

Metro Pulse is reporting that a plan to modify north Gay St so that it would have wider sidewalks and traffic lanes, but reduce the number of lanes from 4 to 2, is in its final stages of planning. The plans were started around 2009. Crossing 2 lanes of traffic will be easier than crossing 4 at the same time. Being a heavily biked area, the modifications would make that section of road much more of a complete street. Where else do we have streets that could use some similar sort of "diet?"

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Each new round of Bicycle Friendly Community awards is exciting, but today’s announcement is big. With the addition of major urban centers — including Los Angeles, Miami and Nashville — two-thirds of America’s largest cities are now BFCs. Click here for more info.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Help the Alliance

This month for each bike trip you log on the 2 Mile Challenge, Clif Bar will donate $1 to the Alliance for Biking & Walking. The clock is already ticking, and to reach our ambitious goal of 10,000 trips in October, we need your help!

Go to, create a profile, and start logging your trips by bike. You can even download the BikeBrain app to keep track of your trips.

It's an easy way to support the Alliance and state (think Bike Walk Tennessee) and local advocacy organizations.

We're not asking you for a dime, just some good old fashioned pedal power. Thanks for your support!

Jeffrey Miller - President / CEO

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Italian Helmet Hair Not A Problemo

I'm spending a few days in Italy where, at least in the old cities like Florence, bicycles are for transportation and not play. No one was wearing a helmet while cycling in the city center where Michaelangelo once walked and worked. No word on his helmet use. David didn't wear one while slaying Goliath.

Bike Purchases in Italy

However, this is a surprise in any country outside of China. Motor scooters are very popular in Italy and may outnumber bikes in the cities I've seen. I doubt they will lose their love of the car but can you imagine this happening in the US? The auto makers would go mad. They would probably lobby to outlaw bicycles.

I did see some helmet use by recreational riders on Sunday in a small town outside Florence. They were in full kit and riding in the hilly region. I wonder how much our emphasis on helmets discourages ridership by sending a message that its a dangerous undertaking? Obviously the narrow streets of a European city are very different from the US but food for thought none the less.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tennessee Trafic Safety Website

TDOT has a new website devoted to promoting traffic safety.  Motorcycles have their own section. Getting bicycles and pedestrians a spot looks like yet another opportunity for Bike Walk Tennessee.

Alliance Seeks Feedback

. . The Alliance for Biking and Walking is planning its new resources, programming, and training opportunities for 2013 —  and wants your input. They would like your feedback on how they're doing and what they can do better.

Please take a moment to complete our membership survey

. . The survey takes 15 minutes or less to complete. Feel free to have multiple people from your organization take the survey, as this gives us perspectives on different areas where we can provide assistance. 
. . Please take a moment to complete the survey by October 31, and help to ensure that the Alliance is able to help you grow your organization’s strength in 2013 and beyond.
. . 
Thanks in advance for your important and critical feedback.
Mike Samuelson, Member Services and Open Streets Coordinator

Monday, October 1, 2012

Jeremy Leaves the Alliance

. . I am writing to tell you that after five rewarding years, I am leaving my position as Member Services Director at the Alliance for Biking & Walking as of today, October 1.
. . I appreciate the opportunity I have had to work with you. Whether it was through Alliance member services such as coaching, Mutual Aid Calls, Winning Campaigns Training, or strategic planning; all Alliance leaders have touched my life in many, many ways. I am so proud of the Alliance and our work to grow the power of Alliance member organizations, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be part of your success.
. . Together, you have and you will accomplish so much! I am truly honored to have worked alongside the most talented, dynamic and hardworking people.
. . I know that there will still be opportunities to connect with each of you. I plan on continuing work in strategic planning and meeting facilitation, and I’m sure our paths will cross (if nothing else, at the next Enclave Party).
. . To contact me in the future, please email me at I am no longer receiving messages at

My best, 
Jeremy Grandstaff, Member Services Director

Thursday, September 27, 2012

NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide, Second Edition

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has released the second edition of its Urban Bikeway Design Guide. As with its first edition, the guide provides guidance on the design of numerous creative bicycle facilities in an urban environment. I had mentioned the first edition last year, on April 2. Since then, no new full member cities have been added, but Arlington, Cambridge, Hoboken, Indianapolis, Memphis, and Ventura (CA) have become affiliate members. The Urban Design Bikeway Guide offers interesting suggestions on facilities that planners might want to consider implementing.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

FWHA Releases Interim MAP-21 Guidance.

. . Today, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released interim guidance documents and Q&A’s regarding implementation of MAP-21.  The materials are online at
. . FHWA will also hold two webinars – Wednesday and Thursday – to provide an overview of the MAP-21 guidance documents.  All interested members of the public are invited to participate. MAP-21 Implementation Webinars

Thursday, September 20, 2012

840 Grand Fondo

Join Governor Haslam and Commissioner Shroer as they open SR 840 on October 13'th with a BIKE FESTIVALCLICK HERE for all the details.  This ONE TIME event has
  • A fully timed course with a King of the Mountain section.
  • A new major roadway legally closed for cyclist only!
  • Rest stops stocked by Whole Foods Market.
  • 840 Fondo gift bag & t-shirt
  • Post-ride meal & social with music in Historic Leipers Fork.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Webinar on Bike/Ped Investments

Bike/Ped projects are broadly eligible in the majority of MAP-21 funding programs, such as safety (the Highway Safety Improvement Program, HSIP), reduce congestion and air pollution (the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, CMAQ), and broad and flexible programs, like the Surface Transportation Program (STP). Together, they provide huge opportunities for bike/ped investments.

Note From Bud Laumer

. . Since I am no longer the state bike-ped coordinator and do not need to speak to separate communities in my e-mails, I have collapsed the several Arkansas Google groups into one.  Please note (below) the new address for my Google Group and the address for my webpage
. . If you continue your membership or join, you may see an occasional e-mail related to active healthy community development—walking and bicycling with a little transit on the side.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

TDOT Progress on Bike/Ped Programs

Jessica Wilson has provided a great summary of TDOT objectives for Bike/Ped programs. (CLICK HERE to view it). It offers a great way to see what has been accomplished over the last two years and what might be expected in the future.  If you are an advocate, you need to read this Summary and offer your comments.  Your perspective is very important to the priorities that TDOT and BWT are able to set in an environment of significantly (more than 30%) reduced spending and loss of Federal mandates.

Complete Streets - Memphis

Thoughts After Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2012: Pro Place

"We have crushed the ability of children to move about their own world." -- Mark Gorton, Rethink the Auto

Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2012 left us with a lot to think about.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Knoxville Regional Bicycle Program - Ride Smart Class

The Knoxville Regional Bicycle Program has a free 1-hr class on safely riding one's bicycle on city streets. The class consists of a 5 min talk followed by a slow ride around town. An upcoming session is on Thursday September 27, at 6:30 PM starting at Market Square downtown. A bike and helmet are required. Signups are at the following link.

For beginning riders, taking a class such as this one can go quite a ways toward building riding confidence, as well as avoiding common beginner mistakes. The League of American Bicyclists has their own training courses. What other similar courses exist around the state?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bike theft article

The Atlantic Cities has this article on the problem of bike theft. Bike theft has deterred numerous people from cycling and most especially commuting; after all, besides losing the bike, the commuter is threatened with being stranded at work. Bike theft tends to be a low-priority offense, and it's also incredibly hard to investigate due to the lack of connection between perpetrator and victim.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day 1 Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2012: Pro Place

Today was the first full day of Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2012, and I am grateful to be joined in Long Beach, CA with two other Bike Walk Tennessee directors and 800+ biking & walking advocates and practitioners (several of whom also made the trek from TN).  This year's emphasis is on placemaking- designing places for people.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

. . Most of the time when we ask you to take action, it has to do with a national bicycling issue. That’s the main reason we created—to allow individuals to speak with one powerful, united voice in support of better bicycling in America.
. . Today, however, we need your action for another reason. Our parent foundation Bikes Belong is up for a $250,000 Chase Community Giving Grant. If we win the grant, $125,000 will go to help reach its goal of one million people (we are at 600,000 supporters now) and the other half will go toward our Green Lane Project, a new campaign to fast-track the installation of protected bike lanes in U.S. cities.

Smart Growth for America

Smart Growth America and the Complete Streets Coalition have produced a valuable document "The Innovative DOT" which lays out in detail much of what our stakeholders meetings with TDOT eventually concluded. See this at:

This is an excellent document for your review.

Dan Reese

Friday, September 7, 2012

Knox Walks kickoff September 8

The Knoxville Track Club is sponsoring a fitness walking program starting September 8. They are looking for people to commit to one walk a week for seven weeks, culminating in an entry into the October 28 Crossknox 4 mile walk. Further information is available here.

This and other (hiking) events are listed at the Knoxville News Sentinel's Off the couch: Active options, Sept. 7 and beyond page.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Davidson County District Attorney Sends A Message to Cyclists

Michael Rivas was riding down Old Hickory Boulevard  in May and was killed by an “inattentive“ texting motorist when he was hit from behind, struck the windshield and was thrown over the car. 

Bike Walk Tennessee and Walk Bike Nashville notified the Chief of Police and the District Attorney General that we wanted justice in the case of Michael Rivas. We were ignored. The police department report said the cyclist was riding too far to the left and the motorist was “inattentive”. Apparently they were equally responsible even though one walked away and the other was buried.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

National Women's Bicycling Summit - September 13, 2012

The National Women's Bicycling Summit will be held in Long Beach, CA on September 13 and registration is now open. I've heard it said that there are many more men who ride than women. What are the reasons for such? Speaking of which, there are the claims that drivers tend to give more passing distance if they believe the rider is female; having a ponytail sticking out the back of one's helmet does the trick.

There is an inspiring story at the link that also points to the value bikes bring to people. A Zambian girl was attending school seven miles away from home. Walking took about two hours each way; having a bike enabled her to drastically reduce her commute time, and she would no longer be too tired to attend some Fridays. This difference in speed is applicable to transportation planning everywhere.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Why Do You Ride?

Every year, surveys our supporters to understand how bicycling fits into their lives. We have found that some of you are crazy about bikes and ride every day, while others ride occasionally or even not at all. That's what we think is cool about our movement - we represent everyone who is for bicycling, no matter how many bikes they own or what type of riding they do.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

SRTS-TN Has Facebook Page

Safe Routes to School in Tennessee has a new FACEBOOK page.  Visit it by clicking here.  You might want to LIKE THEM while there.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

TDOT Partners With Smart Growth America For Better Transportation Decisions

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has partnered with Smart Growth America to increase its efficiency and ensure the greatest possible return on Tennessee’s transportation investments. As a result, TDOT has compiled a series of recommendations designed to pin down areas for improvement, prioritize projects and streamline processes. Stakeholders from across the state including Bike Walk TN took part in this project and have produced an analysis "Removing Barriers to Smarter Transportation Investments" which can be downloaded HERE.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Another Death in Tennessee

We have received news of another cyclist fatality on the roads of Tennessee.  Alan David  of Crossville was injured on August 12 and died August 17. The driver crossed the centerline and is now charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, second offense DUI, and driving on a revoked license.  Alan David’s  tragedy is now documented on the website Every Bicyclist Counts  maintained by the League of American Cyclists.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Governor Haslam Supports Greenways

Governor Haslam brings federal transportation enhancement funds to Clarksville and voices support for the program. Since states will have new "flexibility" under the MAP-21 transportation bill lets hope his Department of  Transportation follows through in the future.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Advocacy Groups Remain Separate

The Alliance for Biking and Walking, Bikes Belong, and League of American Bicyclists announced late last year that they were exploring the idea of merging into one organization.  Today, they issued the Press Release saying that they plan to coordinate resources, but remain as three separate organizations.  

Bike Share In Memphis

The City of Memphis has recently increased the role of the bicycle in its alternatives for transportation and increased its investment in supporting facilities.  One of tools cities are using are Bike Share programs in order to increase the availability of this mode of travel. The City of Memphis, Livable Memphis, Shelby County Health Department, and the Hyde Family Foundation commissioned Alta Planning + Design to explore the feasibility of Bike Share for Memphis.

The objective of this study is to provide Local Context Analysis to assess the preparedness of the City for Bike Share and to identify potential issues.  Click here to read a copy of their initial assessment. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Not Asking for More Money

. . Bike/Ped advocates are not asking for more federal money for bike/ped projects.  They want to be sure money that is available is used for these applications.  Tennessee has a history of high rescission of Transportation Enhancement and Congestion Mitigation money.  Our Safe Routes to School grants are only obligated at 32%.  MAP-21 increases the risk of loosing available funding.
. . The League of American Bicyclists found "In states with active bike advocacy groups, very little money was sent back." (HINT! on how to protect YOUR interests)
. . Our department of transportation will set the ground rules and choose the projects that are going to be funded.  Advocates must become part of the process and help communities build an inventory of good ready-to-go bike projects.
. . The federal granting process is complicated, messy, and difficult to navigate. America Bikes is developing the tools and resources for advocates so they can speaks loudly and intelligently. 
. . Nearly 400 people participated in "The ABCs of MAP-21" webinar on 8/13/12. Download the recording and slides here

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Safe Routes to School In Action

This is a great blog post by John Harkey about the "bike bus" in East Nashville. John is a member of the Mayor's BPAC in Nashville and a local bike advocate. Francie Hunt is a Walk Bike Nashville board member and is currently serving as interim director. Are there other efforts like this in Tennessee?

Another Tennessee Cyclist Dies

Pierre McReynolds of Memphis was killed by a truck while riding his bike back to Memphis from his job in West Memphis. This is the older bridge crossing the river between Memphis and West Memphis. The accident occurred on the Arkansas side.

Pierre McReynolds Story

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I Am The Engine

I am the engine (IATE) is a community initiative dedicated to connecting the joy of cycling with healthier eating and zero emission lifestyles. Sponsored by Whole Foods Market®, Nissan® North America and Harpeth Bicycles and Industrial Strength Marketing (ISM), IATE will be hosting multiple bike events across Middle Tennessee to inspire new riders and help spark fun, active lifestyles.Visit their website by clicking here.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

840 FONDO Ride

John Schroer, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Transportation, announced that a portion of State Route 840 will open exclusively to bicyclists Oct. 13, for “Eight Forty Fondo Festival.” Fondo is Italian for “ride.” The ride will be part of the opening ceremonies for the final 12 miles of SR 840 that remain unopened. The unopened stretch traverses southern Williamson County. It is scheduled to open to motor vehicles Nov. 2, according to Schroer, who served as mayor of Franklin from 2007 to 2011.

“We're going to have an 'Eight Forty Fondo' on the new section of 840,” Schroer said. “The governor [Bill Halsam] is going to participate, and we want you to come and ride with the governor. [The surface] will be smooth and perfect.”

For more info CLICK HERE

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bike Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System

. . The City of Chattanooga and Alta Bicycle Share announce on July 24'th that the Bike Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System opened to the public last night, providing 300 bicycles in a network of 28 stations throughout downtown and into the North Shore.  It is the first large scale bicycle transit system in the Southeast.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Report - Physical inactivity causes 10% of all worldwide deaths

CNN reports that a report series in The Lancet notes that physical inactivity is just as deadly as smoking or obesity. (Obviously the latter and physical inactivity are also linked.) If inactivity rates drop by 10-20%, then anything between one half to 1.3 million lives can be saved annually worldwide. The authors consider such inactivity to be equivalent to a pandemic.

In the third article of the series, Gregory Heath of the University of Tennessee wrote that "Because even moderate physical activity such as walking and cycling can have substantial health benefits, understanding strategies that can increase these behaviors in different regions and cultures has become a public health priority," and that improvements in mass transit and the walking and cycling environment can produce real benefits. As has been previously mentioned, we have engineered much physical activity out of our lives, but we can reverse the trend. Support for improved cycling and walking infrastructure in our communities have the following beneficial effects.

  1. Improved health,
  2. Decreased cost - I had mentioned that a car cost $11-$22 per day
  3. Improved environment,
  4. Decreased congestion,
  5. Improved community, with people being more neighborly and social,
  6. and Decreased dependence on foreign oil.
And all of these benefits take place at the same time making such investments a wise use of resources, provided that the money allocated for such is spent wisely.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Economic Benefits of SRTS

On July 26, 2012, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership is hosting a free webinar at 1PM CDT on How Safe Routes to School and Active Transportation Can Improve the Economies of Local Communities. Expert speakers discuss specific research on how bicycling and walking can boost local economies and save communities money.

Highlights include:
•  Economic benefits of increasing physical activity and improving walkability and the built environment
•  How bicycling and walking has saved money in selected communities
•  How much money is actually spent on bicycling and walking in comparison to other transportation modes
•  A Q&A session via a chat function with webinar attendees.
Register here:

SRTS Annual Report

National Partnership's 2011 Annual Report is Now Available

We are pleased to share the Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s 2011 Annual Report, showing how the National Partnership is creating safer streets and routes, improving communities and promoting physical activity for children and their families all across America. The Annual Report shows our work focused on four main strategies – federal advocacy, state and regional policy change, local technical assistance, and engaging families and sharing best practices – and how we are continuing to catalyze and lead the Safe Routes to School movement nationwide. + READ MORE

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Smart Growth America - Nashville Report

Nashville was featured in Smart Growth America's email as a city that has successfully redeveloped its Riverfront. The riverfront has now become "an asset for revitalization efforts" and is a place that people want to go to, rather than simply go by. The fact that Rick Bernhardt, a Nashville planning executive, remarked that "Not any one of the downtown attractions can succeed on its own, but the synergy from different elements, along with the locals and tourists creates something special" points to the importance of good planning. This development took decades, and has helped to revitalize downtown.

Out in Knoxville, a similar process has occurred and is ongoing with its own riverfront. I believe the same is occurring in Chattanooga, and perhaps Memphis and elsewhere as well. Note how although such growth does not automatically tie into bike/walk things, the development of urban landscapes inherently favors biking and walking.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gerald Eddlemon Ride Across Alaska - Record Set

Congratulations to Knoxville cyclist Gerald Eddlemon has recently completed a ride across Alaska from south to north, going from the Pacific Ocean to Arctic Ocean, in record time pending verification from the Ultra-Marathon Cycling Association.

His report to the Smoky Mountain Wheelmen is reproduced below in its entirety.

Friday, July 13, 2012

What's Happening at TDOT?

. . What's happening at TDOT is a question that most advocates now have after the passage of the Federal Transportation Act of 2012. There is little doubt that bike/ped is going to see some significant changes in the support this agency is able to give to favorite projects once funded via Transportation Enhancement and Safe Routes to School mandates.
. . Even though personnel at TDOT have not received federal guidelines and may not see anything for many months, advocate leadership is setting up discussions with TDOT to be prepared for the most likely future of their current and longer range funded programs.
. . Got questions?  Comment to this blog post and we'll do our best to get some answers.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Calling ALL Advocates

. . Congress has passed the FederalTransportation Act of 2012.  For the most part it was a disappointment for biking and walking advocates who anticipate major changes in priorities in government agencies.  Funding levels have dropped from 40% to 70% for active transportation and resource mandates have been eliminated.  Federal guidance that validated these forms of alternate transportation is seriously weakened. If progress is to continue,advocates at the national, state, and local level must step up and make a commitment.

Monday, July 9, 2012

New TN SRTS Advocacy Organizer Named

On July 9'th Christy Smith begins work as the new TN Advocacy Organizer for Safe Routes to Schools. She replaces Rebecca Wynd who had to resigned for personal reasons.
Her email address is

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bike-Sharing Stokes Conflict

. . This story in USA Today outlines the battle between car drivers and bicyclists is becoming more pronounced as bike-sharing programs spread across the country. The programs, in which people rent bicycles for short periods of time from self-service kiosks, have grown across the country creating an influx of new bikers — including many tourists and first-time riders unaccustomed to local traffic patterns — can lead to safety problems that are hard to blame on just bicyclists, pedestrians or motorists.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Trend: Generation Y Driving Less

Reuters is reporting that generation Y (people aged 16-34) is driving less than previous generations. There was a 23% drop in vehicle-miles travelled in the last decade, (10,300 down to 7,900 vehicle-miles) with people flocking to mass transit and bicycles. More than a quarter (26%) of them lack a driver's license, up 5% from that a decade ago.

David Jacobs of The Tombras Group here in Knoxville points out several possible reasons for the trend. Factors include the high cost of cars, the lack of the "cool" factor, environmental concerns, as well as improvements in electronic communication with cell phones and the like. This shift away from an auto-centric system by the young would have drastic implications on the design and maintenance of our roads in the coming decades.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Joint Statement on New Transportation Bill

The America Bikes coalition — representing the nation’s leading bicycling and walking groups — and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership oppose the new transportation bill, which would nationally cut funding for biking and walking projects by 60 to 70 percent.
We are deeply concerned that bicycling and walking programs suffer large and disproportionate cuts in funding in the new bill. Programs that save lives and dollars are eliminated.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Heat wave with 100+ degree temperatures

The Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting near record-high temperatures Friday across the state. The all-time record temperature was broken in Nashville at 109 (was 107). Chattanooga hit 106, tying its all-time record. Same with the Tri-Cities at 102. Knoxville tied its June record at 102 as well. Oak Ridge broke the June record at 104. The Tour de Rocky Top, taking place today (Saturday June 30) had its century ride (100 miles) cancelled this year due to the heat for safety reasons.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Transportation Bill out of Conference Committee

The new Transportation Bill is out of Conference Committee and approval is expected in both chambers. A Summary of details important to Bike/Ped is shown below. Visit the America Bikes website over the next several day for further elaboration.

-  The new Bill follows Senate MAP-21 very closely with most of Cardin/Cochran intact.
·         - All Bike/Ped Funding still consolidated as Additional Activities in CMAQ with nothing dedicate specifically to TE or SRTS
·         - 60 to 70% has been cut from funding that typically went to Bike/Ped
·         - Additionally, States can Opt-Out of 50% of funding eligible for Bike/Ped
·         - Current funding continues until Sep 30’th, and then this Bill is the law from Oct 1, 2012 to Sep 30,2014
·         - Bike/Ped Coordinators are still required, but SRTS Coordinators are optional
·         - The SRTS, TE, and Bike/Ped Clearinghouses are gone.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Attack on Knoxville cyclist - case under investigation

Knoxville cyclist David Thomas was attacked by a motorist riding on Magnolia Avenue, and received surgery for his injuries. The case is under investigation, and anybody with information about the case should contact the Knoxville Police Department. Details of the attack are currently sketchy. What are ways in which cyclists and pedestrians can be better protected from criminal attack?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sevierville receives $423,833 for Phase II of greenway system

Sevierville has received a $423,833 grant from the state for finishing its currently planned greenway system. This money will be used for a greenway connecting the Eastgate area to the LeConte Medical Center. Downtown Sevierville will be connected to Pigeon Forge. The Mountain Press report is located here. More details are available to print subscribers. The governor's office announcement is located here. Does anyone have additional data on the length of the greenway, and/or a map of where the greenway will go?

Saturday, June 23, 2012


The League of American Bicyclists mourns the loss of the more than 700 cyclists killed in traffic crashes each year. This site honors those cyclists and to ensure that their death is not in vain. It is a memorial, a gathering place, and home for everyone that has lost a friend or family member. We’ll also be using the data to highlight trends, particularly dangerous locations, safer driving techniques, and more. This site as a virtual ghost bike; as a continuation of the annual Ride of Silence; as a voice speaking up on behalf of all cyclists and attempts to capture all U.S. cycling deaths starting from January 1, 2012.
- How the League Is Helping
- If You are Involved in a Crash
- How You Can Help

Friday, June 22, 2012

More Tragedies on Tennessee Highways

The BWT blog previously commented on recent bicycle vs automobile incidents and they continue on our highways.

Hit and Run in Murfreesboro

Donald E. Faulkner, was riding his bicycle in Murfreesboro on June 15 and was hit from the rear by a motorist speeding though an intersection.  This is the original story on Donald Faulkner  and video of the hit and runThe vehicle did not slow down or stop but the incident was caught on video.  The viciousness of the attack (yes it was an attack) is clear. Murfreesboro police seem to be vigorously pursuing the perpetrator and have located the vehicle. The owners have already hired a lawyer.  Donald is still in Vanderbilt Hospital as this is written. Unlike Michael Rivas or Stacey Floyd or Kate Richardson we hope he will be able to tell his story. The vehicle has been found  and seized  ( and also  here).

Death in Livingston

The importance of education and training of bicyclists, especially the young, cannot be made more strongly than in a case where the cyclists are riding at night without lights. This is clearly unsafe and illegal but it’s a tragedy  nonetheless. Does an automobile driver have any responsibility in a case like this? The website Every Bicyclists Counts has posted about the death of James LeFew .

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

HUGE Boost for Harahan Bike/Ped Bridge

Congressman Steve Cohen announced on 6/19/12 the City of Memphis has received a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) IV Discretionary Grant worth $14,939,000 for the Main Street to Main Street Multi-Modal ConnectorProject -- the region’s most ambitious and impressive bicycle/pedestrian project to date.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Congratulations! Jeff Roth Cycling Foundation 3-ft plates will be a reality

I just heard that the Jeff Roth Cycling Foundation has, after much hard work and over a period of years, finally achieved the necessary 1000+ license plate signups for the plates to go into production. The plates will go a ways toward educating the public on the rights and responsibilities of cyclists on the roads. There is still time to sign up for a plate if one hasn't done so already; however, the initial window is closing soon. More details are available at their website.

Friday, June 15, 2012

New AASHTO Guide Helps Designers Meet Bicyclists Needs

More than a quarter of the U.S. population over the age of 16 rides a bicycle. For transportation officials, bicycling remains an important mode of transportation that is growing in popularity due to its environmental advantages, convenience, energy efficiency, health benefits, and cost effectiveness.
. . Local, state, and federal transportation agencies are responding to the increased popularity of bicycling by implementing a wide variety of bicycle-related projects and programs. The Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, 4th Edition released earlier this month by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials gives transportation designers and builders sound guidance on ways to incorporate bicyclists into the roadway environment.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Train the Trainers - Bicycle Safety Programs

It is with great pleasure that the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) Safe Routes to School program invites you to participate in two Bicycle Safety Education Training Workshops this July.  A Train-the-Trainer workshop will be held on July 17 and A Basic Bicycle Safety Workshop will be held on July 18.

Both bicycle safety training events will be held at the TDOT Region 3 Facility, 6601 Centennial Blvd, in Nashville, TN. For more information and registration on these bicycle safety-training events, please see the enclosed brochures or visit the website at

Diana Benedict, TDOT Safe Routes to School Coordinator

Monday, June 11, 2012

Send Instructions to Conferees

Dedicated federal bike/ped funding is on the line as Congress confers on the next transportation bill. Please use the action letter in LAB link to alert your members and contacts, and tell Congress to preserve local control over funding for biking and walking. Be sure to include the Take Action link to the League of American Bicyclists' Action Center as well as the sample action letters — one for House conferees, one for Senate conferees, and one for non-conferees. 
Not sure which letter to use? Check the list of conferees for the House and Senate.

Thank you!
Jeff Miller

Whose Roads? Evaluating Bicyclists’ and Pedestrians’ Right to Use Public Roadways

Roger Millar of SmartGrowth America shared an exceptional study on bicyclists and pedestrians right to use public roadways from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute. In Tennessee Bike Walk TN is advocating for the rights of those who choose to use alternative modes of transportation.
"Many people believe that non-motorized modes (walking, cycling, and their variants) have less right to use public roads than motorists, based on assumptions that motor vehicle travel is more important than non-motorized travel and motor vehicle user fees finance roads. This report investigates these assumptions. It finds that non-motorized modes have clear legal rights to use public roads, that non-motorized travel is important for an efficient transport system and provides significant benefits to users and society, that less than half of roadway expenses are financed by motor vehicle user fees, and pedestrians and cyclists pay more than their share of roadway costs. Most funding for local roads (the roads pedestrians and cyclists use most) is from general taxes, which people pay regardless of how they travel. Since bicycling and walking impose lower roadway costs than motorized modes, people who rely on non-motorized modes tend to overpay their fair share of roadway costs and subsidize motorists.

Although pedestrians and cyclists do not pay special road user fees, they do help pay for the sidewalks, paths and roads. Only about half of roadway expenses are financed by user fees. Half of all roadway costs are financed by general taxes, which people pay regardless of how they travel, and this portion is increasing. Although a major portion of highway expenses are financed by motor vehicle user fees, they fund only a small portion of local roads and traffic services. Because they are small and light, pedestrians and cyclists impose much smaller roadway costs per mile of travel than motor vehicles. Motor vehicle use also imposes a variety of external costs, including parking subsidies, congestion, uncompensated crash and environmental damages. Because they tend to travel fewer miles per year, they impose far lower total costs per capita than motorists. As a result, people who drive less than average tend to overpay their fair share of transport costs, while those who drive more than average underpay. As a result, pedestrians and bicyclists tend to subsidize motorists." Link to the entire study can be found HERE. © 1995-2012 Todd Alexander Litman All Rights Reserved

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Proposed Concord Road (SR-332) Project

The Farragut Press Enterprise is reporting that the proposal to widen Concord Rd (west end of SR-332) from Turkey Creek Rd to Northshore Dr is running into opposition. The road would go from two lanes to five, with bike lanes and a sidewalk on one side of the street. A asphalt greenway would line the other side. Opponents of the project have raised objections over the amount of land (and a home) that would have to be taken. In addition, there is the argument that development in the area has come to a standstill, and that the widened road would end at two lane Northshore Dr, which is arguably a busier road.

The west (actually north) end of the proposed project (going beyond Turkey Creek Rd) has previously been widened to include sidewalks on both sides, but no bike lanes, and has a 40 mph speed limit. The stretch in question currently has a 30 mph speed limit, but has no sidewalks, bikelanes, or parallel greenways. Many drivers exceed the 30 mph limit there. Certainly sidewalks would provide a means for people living in the area to more readily walk to the rest of town, including other neighborhoods, Kroger Marketplace, The Little Gym, and beyond. The bike lanes unfortunately would not extend past Turkey Creek Rd, although the road itself is actually quite ride friendly due to the presence of two lanes on each side.

Would going from two lanes to five (with probable higher speeds) be better or worse for cyclists? As previously mentioned, sidewalks would benefit pedestrians. Long term plans call for a greenway paralleling Northshore Dr to improve connectivity throughout the area. In this era of tightened budgets, could improvements short of going to five lanes be made that would not be so expensive and potentially disruptive?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ride with Elected Officials

                  L-R, Council Members Mark Campen, Duane Grieve, Nick Pavlis, George Wallace

Over 50 eager bicyclists participated in the Ride with Elected Officials on May 7, 2012. The ride included some of the Knox County and Knoxville City Greenways including Ten Mile Creek and Jean Teague Greenways.  Knoxville City Council members George Wallace (at large seat A), Nick Pavlis (1st district), Mark Campen (5th district), and Duane Grieve (2nd district) rode their bikes in the event. Other participating cyclists representing  local governments included: Bob Whetsel, director of Knoxville Redevelopment; Jim Hagerman, director of Knoxville Engineering; ; Lori Goerlich, Knoxville Greenways coordinator; Doug Bataille, director of Knox County Parks; Jeff Welch, director of Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO); Kelley Segars and Ellen Zavisca, TPO planners responsible for bike and pedestrian programs.
The City Council members enjoyed the ride and spoke with various citizens who rode along with them. At West Hills Elementary the physical education teacher discussed the Safe Routes to School Program and how the greenway is a critical link for children walking and biking to school. The bike route signs for the West- East Knoxville route which includes Ten Mile Creek and Jean Teague greenways have just been erected by city engineering and Jim Hagerman was pleased to see them. The greenways serve as corridors for active transportation as well as recreation.
After the ride, Earthfare provided refreshments.  Jeff Roth Foundation and Bike Walk Tennessee offered information about their organizations. They both advocate for safe and accessible bicycle facilities. Information regarding the economic and health benefits of implementing a Complete Streets policy was given to each City Council member by Caroline Cooley.
This first bike ride with Elected Officials was well received by all participants. The Elected Officials expressed interest in potential future events showcasing other area greenways.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Article: Why America's Love Affair with Cars is No Accident

This article goes into some detail about how pedestrians were marginalized as part of a campaign on the part of certain car companies. This marginalization took place over a period of decades, to the point where pedestrians are sometimes seen as a nuisance, or unpredictable factor, in traffic engineering as documented in an earlier Slate article. The term "jaywalking" came to denote a scofflaw, with the implication that the road was primarily or even solely for cars. Thankfully, there is pushback in recent years with the complete streets idea, and the "bold" idea that ultimately streets are for people rather than any single mode of transport.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Making Tennessee Safer While Remembering Fallen Cyclists

We all know there is some risk in riding a bike on a public road although it’s not nearly as dangerous as your average citizen may think, especially for an experienced rider familiar with safe riding techniques. The primary threat of serious injury is the people in those large two ton vehicles that don’t consider sharing the road.  Some of them are opposed to bicycle driving but I think most are just unthinking.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bicycle Friendly State Rankings

Tennessee holds in middle of the pack in the 2012 League of American Bicyclists ranking of Bicycle Friendly States. (Click here) . In 2010 Tennessee rose 19 points from 43'rd to 24'th.  In 2011 it dropped three positions to 27'th, but received a Bronze Award recognizing efforts by TDOT and advocates.  This year the state rose one position to 26'th. The LAB's Top Tip for Improvement is "Include Bicycle Safety in Tennessee Strategic Highway Safety Plan."

Other opportunities for improvement are:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Protect Walking/Biking Funding

Action Alert Banner
Ask Your Member of Congress to Protect Walking/Biking Funding in the Transportation Bill.   
Red Take Action Button

Friday, May 11, 2012

Overwhelming Support for Bike/Ped Funding

Today at a press conference on Capitol Hill, America Bikes announced the findings of a recent Princeton survey, which shows that more than 80 percent of Americans favor maintaining or increasing federal funding for sidewalks and bike lanes.

For more information on the survey and to download the results, visit the America Bikes website.

The survey results are astounding - and bipartisan:  

SRTS National Partnership Hiring in TN

Help us find a high-quality State Advocacy Organizer
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership
is looking for an energetic and dynamic professional to work as the state advocacy organizer in Tennessee. Applications
are due on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. PT. The anticipated start date for the position is Monday, June 4, 2012. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bike Kitchen Organizing in Johnson City

Announcing Feed Your Hunger (JC Bike Party/Little City Bike Collective Event) 

May 24th, 2012 from 3pm-2am meeting at Galaxy Lounge (down town Johnson City).  
Want to volunteer or make a donation?  
About the JC Bike Party/Bike Kitchen and the Mission 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Afterschool Program Gets Kids Biking

Boys On Bikes is an after-school program that teaches kids bike safety and gets them out several times a week for exercise and fun. This program at Southside School in Johnson City is led by the school's physical education teacher and supported by local businesses. Other elementary schools are considering taking on this model as a unique way to let kids have a safe and healthy alternative after-school activity.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

JOIN Us for Tennessee's 1'st Bike Summit

The inaugural Tennessee Bike Summit will be held in Chattanooga, May 2-4.  Transportation officials, government leaders, planners, engineers, public health officials,  advocates, and others, are invited to attend to join the discussion on transportation, people, and places. THE MAP

There is no fee to attend the Summit, but registration is required.  Visit for complete information.

The 2012 Tennessee Bike Summit will serve as an opportunity to share successes, challenges, and strategies for moving Tennessee forward as a bicycle-friendly state. Join us for exciting sessions and mobile workshops!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dogwood Arts Festival Bikes and Blooms Rides

As part of the Knoxville area's annual Dogwood Arts Festival, there will be two sponsored bike rides this year. The first is on Saturday April 28 at 9:00 (departing at 10:00 AM) at Springbrook Park in Alcoa, for 10 or 20 miles and is sponsored by Cycology bicycles in Maryville. The other ride is on Sunday the 29th, and is at 2:00 PM leaving from Ijams Nature Center. These fun rides help showcase what regular people can do on a bike.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Two wheeled pedestrians.

This image taken while cycling the Music City Bikeway today. Definitely two wheels but move like pedestrians. Are we missing a constituency?  Photo taken at the northeast edge of Nashville's Bicentennial Mall.

Federal Funding 101

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is hosting a free webinar:

FEDERAL FUNDING 101: An overview of the basic federal funding process for walking and bicycling and Safe Routes to School.

THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2012; 2-3pm eastern/1-2pm central/12-1pm mountain/11am-12pm pacific


Transportation funding can be a complex and confusing process, from applying for money and completing paperwork and forms, to the ‘obligation’ process which can take years to complete. Understanding these systems can help you to better navigate and advocate for federal funds that can increase bicycling and walking.