Issue #15 March 30, 2001




National Bicycle Summit Convenes In DC

Progress In ME Legislative Battles

Americans and Their Highways

Guns Vs Cars: What Threatens Kids Most?

MN Gov. Ventura on Auto Industry

Long Beach Bikestation Celebrates 5th

Car-Free Day Coming April 19th




San Francisco to get Countdown Ped Signals

Raleigh Uses GPS/GIS for Inventory

The Smithsonian on Traffic

Bergen County NJ Links Trails with Bridges

Chinese Take to Car with Vengeance

SF Bike Lane Experiment "Success"




The National Bicycle Summit, organized by the League of

American Bicyclists, convened in the Nation's Capital this

week. Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), co-chair of the

Congressional Bicycle Caucus, greeted delegates on

Wednesday with a call for an annual lobby day to bring

together bicycling interests and members of Congress.

District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams also addressed

the gathering of more than 170 advocates, bicycle industry

representatives, and agency staff - offering specific, tangible 

goals for bicycle accommodations in D.C.  U.S. EPA

Administrator Christie Todd Whitman encouraged delegates to

continue the fight for bicycling at the state and local



Thursday, Lobbying Day, Congressman James Oberstar (D-MN),

ranking minority member of the U.S. House Committee on

Transportation and Infrastructure, rallied the crowd, and

sent delegates to meet with their members of Congress.

Participants discussed issues ranging from bicycling in

national parks and bicycle commuting tax benefits, to safe

routes to school programs and reauthorization of TEA-21.


The Summit finished the week with comments from State

Representative Rick Geist, Majority Chairman of the

Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee (R-79th) and a

ride with members of the Congressional Bicycle Caucus.

For more information: http://www.bikeleague.org

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The Bicycle Coalition of Maine got out the troops to

speak against a bill (L.D. 557) that would have stripped

bicyclists and pedestrians of their rights to the road. The

bill had initially gained the support of the Transportation

Committee several weeks ago, but advocates went to work to

turn the situation around. According to Jeff Miller of BCM,

"On Monday morning the committee was buzzing with all the

calls and e-mails they got and other legislators were

stopping in to urge them to fix this bad legislation." The

Committee then voted to table the bill and it was killed

the next day.


On the "child's right to bike and walk" front, BCM had

worked with representatives to draft a bill protecting

kids' rights to walk and bike to school (L.D. 621). BCM had

been concerned that some Maine schools forbid kids from

walking or bicycling to school. According to Miller,

"Opponents to our legislation argue that it is a local

issue and that schools should be able to dictate whether

kids bike or walk based on their safety concerns. While

concerned about safety, we believe that banning biking and

walking do nothing to solve the problem." The bill is still

being considered.

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According to a new report from FHWA, America's drivers

are becoming more satisfied with their major highways but,

to some extent, less so with the overall highway system

than they were in 1995.


The study, "Moving Ahead: The American Public Speaks on

Roadways and Transportation in Communities," found that 65%

were satisfied with the highways they travel most (15% more

than in 1995) but 20% were unhappy with "the highway

system" (up from 14%).


Drivers suggested they wanted more improvements to "traffic

flow, continued improvements in pavement conditions and

more effective ways to deal with or to decrease traffic

congestion in work zones. Citizens also want highway

projects that are more sensitive to local communities and

transportation enhancements in their communities such as

transit services and bicycle and pedestrian facilities."


On other topics, about 60% of the respondents felt that the

system did a "fair to poor" job of serving the needs of

"most people," including those with disabilities, and

children and young adults who do not drive._ And, with

respect to their choice of where to live, the most

important factor was" ease of driving" (39%) but the

presence of bikeways, paths, and sidewalks (26%) and the

availability of good public transportation (23%) were also

important considerations.

Source: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/movingahead.pdf

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According to a Mar. 26th New Republic column by Gregg

Easterbrook, "My kids attend public school in the suburbs,

so, like any other parent, I cringed upon hearing about the

two high school murders last week in Santee, California.

But though school shootings are a shock and an outrage, I

don't stay up at night worried that they endanger my kids:

Overall, school violence has been declining for a decade,

and homicide by adolescents has been falling for nearly as

long. When I worry about my kids' safety, I think about far

more likely threats: drugs, driving young--or getting hit

by a car while crossing the street.


"In 1999, the year of the Columbine massacre, 28 students

nationwide were killed in schools, while 840 kids under age

20 were killed when struck by cars as they walked, often to

school. But, although school shootings spark a national

outcry and huge government spending, street-crossing deaths

draw no notice and no action. Pedestrian deaths are deemed,

well, pedestrian..."

Source: http://www.tnr.com/032601/easterbrook032601.html

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Thanks to Riley Geary of Autoholics Anonymous for

bringing this to our attention... "I've been reading

Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's latest book, _Do I Stand

Alone?_ (2000), and he has some surprisingly forthright

things to say about our over-dependence on the automobile

(page 153):


"I think we'd better find ways to overcome our dependency

on foreign oil in particular, and fossil fuels in general.

We probably could have grown beyond our dependence on

fossil fuels a long time ago, if it weren't for the

automotive industries. They've stopped at nothing to push

us into cars, and limit our transportation options. It's

yet another case of the power brokers of government getting

in the say of what's best for us."


And on light rail:


"I'm convinced that one of the best things we can do to

prepare for the transportation needs of the future is to

invest in light-rail systems. Eventually, we are going to

be forced to find alternatives to combustion-engine

vehicles; it makes sense that we should start working on

those alternatives now.


"The federal government is offering funding to states who

want to put in light-rail systems, and from what I can see,

Minneapolis is desperately in need of one."

Gov. Ventura may be reached at:



home page:


Riley can be reached at riley.geary@zzapp.org or at his

Autoholics Anonymous website:


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According to a recent news release, Long Beach

Bikestation celebrated 5 years turning bicycle

transportation into a reality yesterday. The nation's

first such bicycle-parking facility, the Bikestation

invited one and all to help make their birthday cake

disappear as they celebrate their success. "By helping

improve air quality, freeing up parking spaces for those

who must drive and promoting healthier lifestyles, the

Bikestation has made significant contributions to the

community since its inception," said Los Angeles County

Supervisor, Don Knabe.


Here are a few Long Beach Bikestation facts and figures:


- Cost $125,000 to build, roughly the same as 6 stalls for

autos in a typical parking structure


- Has provided over 50,000 free valet bicycle parks,

  resulting in the elimination of over 300,000 miles of auto



- Can park up to 150 bikes a day


- Developed a free electric bicycle program for residents

  and those employed in Long Beach


After analyzing Long Beach's success, many other cities now

want bike-parking facilities for their communities. Palo

Alto and Berkeley, CA added theirs in 1999, Denver and

Boulder, CO are due to open theirs in 2002 and plans are

being reviewed by the cities of Pittsburgh, Seattle, San

Francisco, Oakland, and Cambridge, MA.

Source: http://www.bikestation.org

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According to a Mar. 29th ENN story, "On April 19, the

Thursday before Earth Day 2001 (April 22), all citizens of

the world are invited to spend a day without their cars in

what is being billed as the first Earth Car-Free Day. The

idea behind Car-Free Day is to encourage people to think

about the problem of motor vehicles and traffic in cities

as they try to get around in a 'car-lite' environment,

according to The Commons, the Paris-based co-organizers of

the event.


"While The Commons and Seattle-based Earth Day Network are

leading the Earth Car-Free Day effort, the event has no

official sponsor, uses no tax dollars and is 100 percent

volunteer-based. The grass-roots approach is intended to

empower citizens to take the battle against global warming

into their own hands. Carbon dioxide, the most prevalent of

the greenhouse gases that cause the Earth to warm, is

spewed primarily from more than 700 million cars that

travel the world's roadways..."


For the rest of the story:


For more info on the event:


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Note: We've just improved the News section again, giving a

more complete version of most stories, as well as

comprehensive links to the original. --JW



According to a Mar, 28th story in the San Jose Mercury,

"the California State Automobile Association (CSAA) is

leading an initiative to install countdown clocks in some

of San Francisco's busiest intersections. The program --

the first of its kind in the city -- will focus on

intersections near San Francisco City Hall and downtown."


Atle Erlingsson, spokesman for CSAA, says "This is going to

be a tremendous tool. Pedestrians aren't going to have to

guess how much time they have to run across the street."

The City will be retrofitting 14, 10 of which will be

funded by CSAA and four by the city at a cost from $5,000

to $7,000 per intersection.


The signals are part of a citywide effort to improve

conditions for pedestrians. "In San Francisco last year, 32

people were killed, and more than 800 are injured annually

in pedestrian accidents. So far this year, three

pedestrians have died while trying to cross the street..."



Search: http://www0.mercurycenter.com:80/resources/search/

Title: Intersection timers aim to improve safety for S.F.


Author: Putsata Reang

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According to an article in the CAMPO NEWSLETTER

(Fall/Winter 2000), "THANKS IN PART TO AN $80,000 GRANT

applied received from the Governor's Highway Safety Program

last year, the Capital Area MPO now has a data file of the

locations of all of the sidewalks and paved greenways

within its planning limits. This information was collected

by an innovative technique marrying global positioning

system (GPS) technology and an old form of transportation:

the bicycle. A GPS receiver mounted on a bicycle was the p

rimary means of collecting data on more than 4,000 miles of

street and over 900 miles of sidewalk, which were

subsequently entered into an ArcView database.

Additionally, handicap accessibility, width, pavement type,

and condition were noted for each sidewalk segment. The

contractor, W.K. Dickson, is applying for a national

engineering excellence award for the project. Prior to this

project's completion, municipalities in Wake County either

had no accurate mapping of sidewalks in their area or had

no maps showing linkages outside of their jurisdiction.


CAMPO is now planning an update mechanism for this database

as well as developing a web-based bicycle and pedestrian

facility map."

Info: William Summers at (919) 831-6785

Source: http://www.raleigh-nc.org/campo/newsletter2.htm

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According to a story in the April issue of the

Smithsonian, "Consider how traffic bedevils modern America:

we collectively waste more than 4.6 billion hours stuck in

traffic and burn enough gas to fill 134 supertankers each

year. One study suggests that parents spend twice as much

time behind the wheel during the week as they do with their

children. Viewed merely as a physical flow, a traffic jam

seems as simple as water moving more slowly through a

constriction-a problem that appears easy to fix. But even

adding a lane to a highway, for reasons no one quite

understands, sometimes creates new tie-ups. For decades,

the behavior of heavy traffic has stymied a think tank's

worth of highway engineers, city planners, fluid

dynamicists and social scientists. Traffic, like weather

and the stock market, turns out to be surprisingly complex

and devilishly unpredictable..."


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According to a Mar. 28th story in the Bergen County

Record, plans are underway to link nearly 11 miles of

existing trails in the area via three new bridges and an

interchange underpass. The multi-million dollar project has

been a priority with local cyclists since 1991, when they

began pressuring County Freeholders to make it happen.


To get to this point, however, required obtaining

easements, condemning one small property, getting State EPA

approvals, and, of course, securing the money (over $1.3

million). Construction is scheduled to start in

approximately 2 months.


As Linda Krauss, president of the 1,600-member Bicycle

Touring Club of North Jersey, put it, "It's a great way to

get kids out on their bicycles in a safe environment. For

younger riders, it's a great way to start out."

Source: http://www.bergen.com:80/region/pmbike2001032851.htm

Search: http://www.bergen.com:80/search.html

Title: Bridging bikeways over the highway

Author: Richard Cowen

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According to a Mar. 27th story in the Atlanta

Journal-Constitution, China is falling in love with the

car. Good news for car manufacturers, like GM, Toyota, and

others, who are gearing up to feed the new frenzy. And the

Chinese government is "spending like never before on

highways, broad urban avenues, and landscaped expressways."

They are also trying to boost car sales with "cheaper

loans, lower taxes, and regulatory changes."


Car ownership is well beyond the reach of most Chinese, and

only a small number of China's 1.3 billion people drive.

But a new class of entrepreneurs and professionals have

taken to the car with a vengeance and the number of private

cars grows by 30% a year. Three million are already on the

road and sales in China's financial centers are climbing by

200 percent a year.


For China's cities, the results are predictable, if

alarming: traffic jams and some of the world's worst smog.

"Beijing's narrow lanes are stuffed with honking,

exhaust-belching traffic at rush hour. A police radio

station broadcasts bulletins on how to avoid chronic

congestion. In the countryside, roads are devouring scarce

farmland, environmentalists warn..."



Search: http://stacks.ajc.com/

Title: China is falling in love with cars

Author: Joe McDonald

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According to a Mar. 23rd story in the San Jose Mercury

News, the City of San Francisco has just completed a pilot

study of bike lanes on a busy in-town street and the

results are promising. Since the City striped the lanes,

bike use on Valencia Street has risen by over 140% (from

88/hour to 215/hour). San Fransisco's Board of Supervisors

are expected to make the test permanent within the next two

weeks and, eventually, to expand the system dramatically.

According to Supervisor Mark Leno, "A citywide system is



At a recent hearing on the project, more than 50 cyclists

showed up in support of creating a more complete system.

"Valencia Street is wonderful, but to really make bicycling

an attractive option, we need to fill in the gaps," said

Leah Shahum, of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. "We're

not trying to have a bike lane on every street, but we do

want to connect the dots."



Search: http://www0.mercurycenter.com:80/resources/search/

Title: Success of Valencia bicycle lane helps make case for

city system

Author: Putsata Reang

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And now for something completely different...


A colorful traveling exhibition that "traces the elusive

quest for a practical human-powered vehicle, from fanciful

'self-acting' carriages of the 18th century to the stunning

surge of the modern bicycle in the 1890s. In between,

special attention is devoted to the breakthrough

'boneshaker' bicycle (late 1860s) and its majestic

offspring, the fleet but flawed highwheeler (1870s and



Currently the exhibition is in Lexington, MA, (until APRIL

22, 2001) then it goes to Norwalk, CT, for a June 2 through

Sept. 16th stay. It will be in New York City from October

to March and then will travel to Springfield, MA, for an

April 1 to June 30 showing.






A lecture by Victor Dover of DoverKohl that says, in part

"...The city-form experiment gone awry is suburbia. There

are at least three 'suburbias.' The first is found in

sub-urban sprawl. The second is found where the old city is

being changed into suburbia. The third is a sub-urban

mentality that accepts and perpetuates the sprawl paradigm

uncritically. All three need surgical, meticulous repair..."




An interesting quiz and comparison of "Conventional (so

called mixed-use) P.U.D. vs. Authentic integrated-use

community" by Victor Dover & Samuel Poole . Includes

additional questions to use in your community.





An October, 2000, draft prepared for the FHWA and Minnesota

DOT. "Emphasis will be placed on urban traffic conditions,

such as heavy congestion, and on performance in a wide

variety of mounting

configurations. In addition to motorized traffic detection,

detection of bicycles, pedestrians, and trains will be






Prepared by ITE, this report contains information on the

In-Roadway Flashing Light Crosswalk Warning System,

including its history, description of devices and

installation, activation methods, and other uses.

Publication No. IR-105 (20p.). Members $15.00, non-members

$20.00 In the ITE online bookstore: http://www.ite.org/



What a grand concept! Asheville's Play Streets are governed

by the following City ordinance...

Sec. 19-58. Driving on play streets.

(a) The traffic engineer may declare any street or part

thereof a play street and place appropriate signs in the

roadway indicating the play street. When so declared and

indicated, no person shall drive a vehicle upon any such

street or portion thereof, except drivers of vehicles

having business or whose residences are within such closed

area and then any such driver shall exercise the greatest

care in driving upon any such street or portion thereof.

(b) On those days when conditions are suitable for

coasting on snow or ice, no person shall drive a vehicle

upon any street or parts of streets when signs are erected

giving notice thereof. This subsection shall not prevent

the use of any streets by drivers of vehicles having

business or whose residences are within such reserved

areas, but any such driver shall exercise the greatest care

in driving upon any such street or portion thereof at any

such time. (Code 1965,  28-50)




February 20-22, 2001: Australia: Walking the 21st Century:

An International Walking Conference, Perth, Western

Australia. Info: John Seaton, Metropolitan Div., Dept. of

Transport, PO Box 7272 Cloisters Square, Perth, W.

Australia - 6850, voice: +61 8 9313 8680 fax: +61 8 9320

9497 e-mail: jseaton@transport.wa.gov.au




March 4-8, 2001: 29th International Conference on

Making Cities Livable, Savannah, Georgia. Info:

Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard Ph.D.(Arch.), IMCL

Conferences, P.O. Box 7586, Carmel, CA 93921,

voice: (831) 626-9080, fax: (831) 624-5126

website: http://www.livablecities.org/savannah2.html


March 25-28, 2001,17th Annual ITE Spring Conference:

Improving Transportation Performance and Productivity,

Monterey, CA. Info: ITE, 525 School Street, SW, Suite 410,

Washington, DC 20024 USA , voice: (202) 554-8050 fax:

(202) 863-5486, email: ite_staff@ite.org

website: https://www.ite.org/conference2001/sixdays.asp


March 28-30, 2001: National Bike Summit 2001, Washington,

DC. Info: League of American Bicyclists, 1612 K

Street NW, Suite 401, Washington, DC 20006-2082 voice:

(202) 822-1333 fax: (202) 822-1334 email:


website: http://www.bikeleague.org


March 30, 2001: Renewing Sustainable Urbanism: Performance,

Potential, and Proposals, School of Architecture,

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Info:

Bettie Hall, Planning Department Secretary, at 804-924-1339

or bhh@virginia.edu

website: http://arch.virginia.edu/~sch-docs/announce/


April 2-8, 2001: National Public Health Week - "Healthy

People in Healthy Communities."

To assist in planning public health week activities, read

and/or download the National Public Health Planners Guide:


and the 2001 Planners Guide Supplement


(PDF files).

Single printed copies available by mail for $5.00. To

order, call (301) 893-1894.


July 3-6, 2001,Environmental Design Research Association

(EDRA) Annual Meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland. Info: EDRA,

P.O. Box 7146, Edmond, OK 73083-7146, voice: (405)330-4863

fax: (405)330-4150, email: edra@telepath.com

website: http://www.telepath.com/edra/home.html


August 3-5, 2001, Bikefest 2001 - LAB's National Rally,

Altoona, PA. Info: League of American Bicyclists, voice:

(202) 822-1333, email: bikeleague@bikeleague.org

website: http://www.bikeleague.org/rallies/rallies.html


August 16-18, 2001, First National Congress of Pedestrian

Advocates, Oakland, CA. Info: AmericaWalks, email:


website: http://americawalks.org/news/congress/


September 13-16, 2001, Rail~Volution, San Francisco, CA.

For more information go to:



September 17-21, 2001, Velo-city 2001, Edinburgh/Glasgow,

Scotland. Info: Meeting Makers Ltd, Jordanhill Campus, 76

Southbrae Drive, Glasgow G13 1PP, Scotland, voice: 0141 434

1500 fax: 434 1519, e-mail: Velo_city@meetingmakers.co.uk

website: http://velo-city2001.org/


September 21-22, 2001, New Zealand Cycling Conference 2001,

Chateau on the Park, Christchurch. Call for Papers out now.

Info: NZ Cycling Conference, PO Box 237, Christchurch, NZ,

voice: 03 371 1472, fax: 03 371 1864. email:



September 26-29, 2001, TrailLink 2001: the 3rd International

Trails and Greenways Conference, St. Louis, MO. Info: Rails-

to-Trails Conservancy, voice: (202) 974-5152,

email: rtcconf@transact.org

website: http://www.railtrails.org





The City of Cambridge has an opening for an experienced

engineer / project manager to manage a successful traffic

calming program. The project manager will design

innovative roadway improvements, manage a consultant design

contract for larger traffic calming projects, make public

presentations, and work with the community to implement

traffic calming projects. The project manager will work

closely with other city departments and coordinate the

inclusion of traffic calming improvements into roadway

reconstruction projects. Salary range: $36,464 to $51,599

with benefits. For more information, contact: Rosalie

Anders, Cambridge Community Development Dept., 57 Inman

Street, Cambridge, MA. 02139, Voice: (617) 349-4604 Fax:

(617) 349-4633 TTY: (617) 349-4621. Review of resumes will

begin on April 16, 2001



The Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) is looking

for a grassroots coordinator to expand our outreach and

assistance to groups working for transportation change on a

state and local level. The coordinator will work with

advocates from across the country to develop and

disseminate model reform campaigns. Salary in the low to

mid 30s, based on experience. For more information,

contact Barbara McCann at BMCCANN@transact.org



"Clean Air Transportation Communities: Innovative Projects

to Improve Air Quality and Reduce Greenhouse Gases." *

Solicitation notice for innovative pilot projects to reduce

transportation-related emissions of criteria pollutants and

greenhouse gases, by decreasing vehicle miles traveled and

increasing use of cleaner technologies. * Eligible

recipients are state, local, multi-state, and tribal

agencies involved with transportation/air quality and/or

climate change issues. * EPA requests submission of an

informal "Intent to Apply" by March 14, 2001. *

Instructions for submitting "Intents to Apply" and final

proposals are found in the solicitation. * Proposals must

be postmarked by April 24, 2001. * Four two-hour

conference calls have been set up to answer questions on

the RFP at the following times: March 6 at 3:00 p.m.

(EST), March 7 at 2:30 p.m. (EST), March 27 at 3:00 p.m.

(EST), and March 29 at 2:00 p.m. (EST). For the first

three dates, call (202) 260-1015, access code 6898#; on

March 29, call (202) 260-8330, access code 7731#.

Contact: Mary Walsh, phone:_(734) 214-4205 or

email: walsh.mary@epa.gov

More information (and a downloadable PDF or WPD file of the

Solicitation) available from:





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Contributors: Bill Wilkinson, Peter Moe, Chuck Shimmin,

Michael Moule, Riley Geary

Editor: John Williams Send news items to: john@montana.com

Director: Bill Wilkinson


National Center for Bicycling & Walking 1506 21st St NW,

Suite 200, Washington D.C. 20036 Voice: (202) 463-6622

Fax: (202) 463-6625

Email: ncbw@bikefed.org


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