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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.