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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It’s so much worse than we thought.

Today, the House releases its transportation bill, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act. We expected the bill to be bad news for biking and walking, but we didn’t think it would go so far as to reverse all progress we’ve made over the past 20 years.

With a vote coming this Thursday, please take action TODAY — Tell your Representative to preserve biking and walking in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Click here to contact your Representative through the League of American Bicyclists Action Center.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

House Bill Kills Bike/Ped Funding

Biking and walking are under attack in the House — please take action TODAY!

Next Thursday (Feb 2), the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will vote on the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, a bill that eliminates crucial funding for biking and walking. The following Representatives from Tennessee are members of this committee and are in a key position to save dedicated funding for biking and walking.

Click here to send a message directly to your Representative using the League of American Bicyclists' Action Center — and please forward the link to your members and supporters.

    Memphis MPO Seeks Public Input for LRTP

    Memphis MPO now seeking public input for Long Range Transportation Plan: 

    The Direction 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) can be accessed and downloaded from the Memphis MPO website at:
    . The public comment period begins on January 17, 2012 and runs through February 17, 2012.

    Local Parks and Rec Fund Grants

    The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is now accepting applications for Local Parks and Recreation Fund grants to help communities create and expand parks and recreation services. The department is contacting local communities about the grant availability, and will host a series of workshops throughout the state on Monday, Feb. 13 to help communities understand the application process. The application deadline is June 29, 2012.

    "Gov. Haslam proposed and the General Assembly approved restoring the funds for this program to help local communities purchase lands for parks, natural areas, greenways and recreational facilities," said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau. "These grants are specifically designed to help local communities improve their green spaces and we are pleased to provide this funding for the benefit of Tennessee's citizens."

    Monday, January 23, 2012

    2012 Benchmarking Report on Biking and Walking

    In a new report, Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2012 Benchmarking Report, the Alliance for Biking & Walking ranks all 50 states and the 51 largest U.S. cities on bicycling and walking levels, safety, funding, and other factors.

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    Bike Party in Johnson City

    Hey! We're having a bike party in Johnson City.

    Who: Volunteers primarily from Johnson City and the greater Tri-Cities area. This month is our first ride, so it is undetermined how many riders we will have. Our call is for a Critial Mass. We always need more help! What: JC Bike Party is made up of all types of bicyclists and human-powered transportation advocates who celebrate and build community in a monthly ride that must be experienced to be understood. When: Last Friday of every month. The ride starts at 4pm and will last until 8pm with stops along the way. Where: Each month an optimal route is chosen by some of JC's most enthusiastic cyclists. We are starting off small. This month's ride will be no longer than 5 miles and will focus on the southeastern part of town. Hit it where the Heart is ;) Why: To build community through bicycling! To help spread bike safety for bicyclists and motorists alike. Bike Parties give the public a closer look at what their community has to offer, even if they do not ride everyday. How: We have seven basic rules to keep the ride safe. We ride legally and follow all traffic rules. We have many volunteers (called BIRDs -Bicycle Information Resource Directors!) who help to lead and direct the ride itself – please listen to their helpful instructions! Stay far away from anyone who appears inebriated, and encourage them to go home safely – they will likely hurt themselves or others and/or get a nasty ticket before the night is out. BRING: Everything to make your bike legal and safe! Lights (a white front light is required by law, as is a red rear reflector) We ride rain or shine, so bring weather-appropriate clothing. Helmet (not required by law for adults, but always a good idea) Snacks and water – the rides are long, you will be tired! Stay healthy and hydrated! Repair kits/tools (or a friend who will share) Lock (in case you want to stop somewhere-after party?) WHY HAVEN’T YOU HEARD OF THIS? We honestly have no idea. Get invovled and/or Get intouch:

    The Green Lane Project

    The Green Lane Project is a new initiative from Bikes Belong aimed at catalyzing the installation of protected bike lanes and similar facilities in U.S. cities. The project will work with six leading U.S. cities over the next two years to create on-the-ground models from coast to coast.

    The application process will open in early February and close in early March, with a kick-off planned in Chicago in May in conjunction with National Bike Month.

    Learn more about this program from Martha Roskowski, Green Lane Project director, during an Alliance informational call on Monday, January 30 from 2 - 3 p.m. Eastern.

    To make sure you receive the call agenda and other materials, register by Friday, January 27 at 5 p.m. EST.

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Changing Kid's Lifes with bikes

    Thirty-year-old Daniel Furbish has found his calling: working to change kids’ lives, one sprocket at a time. He teaches inner-city kids to build bicycles. WPLN’s Kim Green visited his class at a Nashville youth center and has this story, of how Furbish aims to give his students power beyond mere locomotion.

    Click Here for more info

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    JOB Announcement

    The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is hiring a state advocacy organizer in Tennessee who will build and maintain a network of diverse partners to achieve three main policy objectives: (1) Leverage funding for bicycle and pedestrian construction projects including Safe Routes to School and Transportation Enhancements funds, (2) Facilitate additional street-scale improvements through Complete Streets policies and other mechanisms and (3) Advance joint-use agreements. Policies must benefit lower-income communities and improve the built environment to increase physical activity to help reverse childhood obesity. Applications are due on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. PT.  The position begins on March 1, 2012.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Pedestrians Hit by Traffic TRIPLES

    Serious injuries involving pedestrians wearing headphones have more than tripled since 2004, a U.S. study showed. Researchers from the University of Maryland found that people often were hit by vehicles because their music blocked out horns or sirens alerting them to danger. In 70 percent of cases, the headphone-wearing pedestrians died as a result of the injuries they sustained from being hit by traffic.

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    Knox County Pedestrian Fatality - Safety Lessons?

    The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that a pedestrian was struck and killed while on a walk in her neighborhood on January 4. Time of the crash was sometime after 5:00 PM. The driver claimed that the sun got into his eyes, causing him to not see the couple in the street. This particular tragedy raises questions of staying safe around sunrise and sunset. Some people have argued that it's best for cyclists and pedestrians to avoid being in the street around these times, due to the blinding effect of the sun on drivers, especially on east/west routes. Avoiding these times may not be too difficult with slight tweaks in one's schedule being sufficient. On the other hand, how much added danger is there in reality from the sun during these times?

    FULL Time Position for SRTS

    Safe Routes to School National Partnership 
    The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is hiring seven state advocacy organizers
    (one per state) in California, Florida, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee. Applications are due on Thursday, February 2nd, at 5:00 p.m. PT. The California position begins February 13, and the other six positions begin on March 1.

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    2012 Chattanooga, TN LCI Seminar

    Location: 200 River Street   Friday, April 27, 2012 To Sunday, April 29, 2012
    Location: Outdoor Chattanooga 200 River Street, Chattanooga, TN 37405
    Coach:     Preston Tyree
    Hours:     5-9pm Friday; 8am-one hour after sunset Saturday; 8am-3pm Sunday 
    Registration fee: $200

    We will be holding Traffic Skills 101 Sessions later in January and February and on demand for potential participants for this course.  Please contact me if you have any questions.

    Philip Pugliese, Bicycle Coordinator
    Outdoor Chattanooga, 200 River Street, Chattanooga, TN 37405
    T 423.643.6887   M 423.322.1489 Fax 423.643.6885

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    New BRAT Spring Ride

    Join us for the BRAT spring ride (River & Lakes Tour) April 20th-21st to knock the dust off your bike and get the winter blues right out of your legs. Come see what makes the Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee so great. If your not sure you can handle our 7 day event in the fall the spring ride is a great chance to see what a multiday tour is like. Click here for more details.

    Friday, January 6, 2012

    More on RWJF Grant Renewal

    I just wanted to share the news with you all that Tennessee was one of 7 states chosen by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for continued funding! This means the Tennessee Network will be funded for the next 3 years. The state network organizer position will become a full time position and the network organizer will be a direct employee of the National Safe Routes to School Partnership. Therefore the position will be advertised and the National Safe Routes to School partnership will have an application and interview process to select the state network organizer. I will forward details about the position and interview process as soon I receive them, probably by next week.

    This is wonderful news for the state of Tennessee to be chosen for this continued funding which was based on the momentum and success of the state network! I believe having a full time dedicated network organizer will help the network to be even more successful in achieving the goals set forth by RWJF and the National Partnership. It has been a great joy to serve as the state network organizer in 2011 and I will continue to be involved with the network as much as possible. Please let me know if you have any questions about this new funding opportunity and new direction for the Tennessee State Network!

    Millie Halvorson


    Boulder, CO (January 5, 2012)– The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has provided a three-year renewal grant of $2,999,725 to the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) National Partnership. The grant will support the Partnership’s efforts to advance SRTS, a federal program that creates safe, convenient and fun opportunities for U.S. children to walk and bicycle to and from school.
    This program will help a generation of children to become more active and healthy through the construction of lasting street-scale improvements that will result in more walking and bicycling,” said Deb Hubsmith, director of the SRTS National Partnership. “We are grateful for the RWJF’s generous support, and look forward to working with many partners to help reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in the next three years.”

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012


    Nominations for two year term Bike Walk Tennessee directors are now being accepted and can be submitted until January 31, 2012. Positions for both regional and at large directorships are open. Please click here for further details. Email nomination to Carey Rogers, Nominations Committee Chair, at

    Please consider nominating yourself or someone with an interest in advocacy for non-motor- ized transportation. Tough times are ahead and we need new people.

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    Happy New Year: "Death by Degrees" bike ride

    From the board of directors of Bike/Walk Tennessee we would like to wish everyone a happy new year as we ring in 2012. There is a ride organized by Knoxville locals Gary and Helen Picou on New Years's Day named the "Death by Degrees" ride. As its name suggests, the ride is one that goes for the number of miles in degrees that are present at the start. So, if say it is a warm 60 degrees at the start, then the ride is a 60 miles ride. On the other hand, if it's an utterly frigid 0 degrees, then the ride is cancelled. A tamer option exists for riding the number of kilometers in derees Celsius. Setting ride distances based on temperature is quite creative. Are there other creative rides out there with an element of chance?