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"
NATIONAL BICYCLE SUMMIT CONVENES IN DC
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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PROGRESS IN MAINE LEGISLATIVE BATTLES
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
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AMERICANS AND THEIR HIGHWAYS
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
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GUNS VS CARS: WHAT THREATENS AMERICAN KIDS MOST?
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,
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MINNESOTA'S GOV. VENTURA ON THE AUTO INDUSTRY
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
"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:
Riley can be reached at email@example.com or at his
Autoholics Anonymous website:
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LONG BEACH BIKESTATION CELEBRATES 5TH ANNIVERSARY
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.
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CAR-FREE DAY COMING APRIL 19TH
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
"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
SAN FRANCISCO TO GET 14 COUNTDOWN PED SIGNALS
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..."
Title: Intersection timers aim to improve safety for S.F.
Author: Putsata Reang
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RALEIGH NC USES GPS/GIS FOR PED/GREENWAY INVENTORY
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
Info: William Summers at (919) 831-6785
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THE SMITHSONIAN ON TRAFFIC
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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BERGEN COUNTY NJ LINKS TRAILS WITH BRIDGES
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."
Title: Bridging bikeways over the highway
Author: Richard Cowen
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CHINESE TAKE TO CAR WITH A VENGEANCE
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..."
Title: China is falling in love with cars
Author: Joe McDonald
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SF BIKE LANE EXPERIMENT DEEMED "A SUCCESS"
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."
Title: Success of Valencia bicycle lane helps make case for
Author: Putsata Reang
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And now for something completely different...
THE BICYCLE TAKES OFF: 1865 - 1900 FROM BONESHAKER TO BOOM
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..."
"WHERE WOULD YOU PREFER TO LIVE?"
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.
"EVALUATION OF NON-INTRUSIVE TECHNOLOGIES FOR TRAFFIC
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
"IN-ROADWAY FLASHING LIGHTS AT CROSSWALKS: AN
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/
"ASHEVILLE (NC) PLAY STREET ORDINANCE"
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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: email@example.com
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:
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
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
August 3-5, 2001, Bikefest 2001 - LAB's National Rally,
Altoona, PA. Info: League of American Bicyclists, voice:
(202) 822-1333, email: email@example.com
August 16-18, 2001, First National Congress of Pedestrian
Advocates, Oakland, CA. Info: AmericaWalks, email:
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
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,
JOB > TRAFFIC CALMING PROJECT MANAGER
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
JOB > GRASSROOTS TRANSPORTATION COORDINATOR
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
GRANT > FEB. 2001 RFP FOR CLEAN AIR COMMUNITIES
"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
More information (and a downloadable PDF or WPD file of the
Solicitation) available from:
TO SUBSCRIBE TO CENTERLINES: send a blank email to
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Contact firstname.lastname@example.org today!
COPYING: We encourage you to copy our content as long as
you identify the source in this way: "from CenterLines, the
e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling &
Contributors: Bill Wilkinson, Peter Moe, Chuck Shimmin,
Michael Moule, Riley Geary
Editor: John Williams Send news items to: email@example.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
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