Issue #20 Friday, June 8, 2001




Progress on AASHTO Pedestrian Guide?

ADA Doesn't Apply in Lone Star State?

New 600-Mile Bicycle Route Through Maine

Eugene (OR) Offers Neighborhood Grants

Good Bye to David Crites of GADOT..

Cantabrigians Express Themselves

Seen Any Good State Legislation Lately?

New Traffic Calming Web Site

The Shadow Speaks...




Walking for Electricity!

62km of Trails Coming to Edmonton

Two Guilty in Oz over Cyclist Bashing

'N Sinc Serenades Tour De I'Lle (Sort Of)

Lincoln Ped Bridge Costs Too Much

Sheffield (Uk) Cyclists Bopped by Trams

Valet Service Hits S.F. Bay Area Schools






Commentary by Bill Wilkinson


Since 1998, an effort has been under way to develop an

American Association of State Highway and Transportation

Officials' (AASHTO) "pedestrian guide." This was originally

conceived as a companion piece to the AASHTO bike guide

which has been around since 1974. The impetus for AASHTO

action on a ped guide came from the Transportation Equity

Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) sec. 1202,directing the

Secretary of Transportation to work with AASHTO and other

interested organizations to develop guidance on ac

commodating bicycle and pedestrian travel, including

recommendations on amending and updating the policies of

AASHTO relating to highway and street design standards to

accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians._


In response, AASHTO approved funds for a study to be

conducted by the Transportation Research Board's National

Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). The project's

objectives include developing a guide for planning, design,

and operation of pedestrian facilities. This will be

submitted to AASHTO for consideration for publication. An

NCHRP panel was convened (I am a member) to oversee the

project, a contractor was selected, and work began in 1999.

The NCHRP panel has just received and is reviewing a p

roposed final version of the NCHRP guide. If approved, it

will be forwarded to AASHTO. Regrettably, NCHRP does not

intend to publish an NCHRP report from this project (NOTE:

I don't know if this means that they plan to restrict

access to the NCHRP guide itself.)


There has been some ongoing "tension" or, perhaps,

confusion with regard to the relationship between the NCHRP

project and report, and the development of an AASHTO ped

guide. The NCHRP project is intended to produce a report

for consideration by AASHTO. In my opinion, this does not

mean that the NCHRP report has to be acceptable to AASHTO

-- AASHTO can (and likely will) make whatever changes it

sees fit to make in producing their pedestrian guide.


I have argued that the NCHRP report should not be dumbed

down to what it is believed (by some) that AASHTO will

accept; that is for AASHTO to decide. Rather, the NCHRP

report should put forth the best possible statement of how

to plan and design for pedestrian activity as an element of

good street and highway design and operation. I regret that

my opinion on this matter has not necessarily prevailed.

Still, I think the NCHRP report will end up being a good,

if occasionally flawed, guide to how to do it better (if

not always "best") for pedestrians.


Why does this stuff matter? Well, consider that for the

past 25+ years the AASHTO bicycle guide has been the de

facto standard for the design of bicycle facilities.

Similar status will likely be accorded to an AASHTO

pedestrian guide. What complicates matters, though, is that

there is great variation among the various state DOTs

(AASHTO's members) regarding their approach to pedestrian

facilities. Some of this is a due, in part, to the wide

variation in the nature of state highway systems: some

include many local, neighborhood streets, others do not. In

fact, much of the pedestrian activity in this country takes

place on streets and highways or other facilities owned and

maintained by local governments, not state DOTs.


Given this, it is critical that AASHTO ensure the active

participation of representatives of these agencies as well

as professionals within its member organizations (e.g., the

State DOT bicycle and pedestrian program managers) in its

review of the NCHRP report and the development of its

pedestrian guide. It is not appropriate or desirable to

have AASHTO publish a guide for the planning and design of

streets and highways to accommodate pedestrians that serves

only the narrow interests of the collective body of state

DOTs, rather than the much broader interests of local

government agencies and of pedestrians._


* * *

Jim Ercolano, pedestrian coordinator for the New York

State DOT, commenting on the ongoing process of developing

an AASHTO pedestrian guide_


"I was born and raised in the asthma capital of North

America, 'The Bronx,' and I still live with that condition

on a daily basis. I'm sure that the dramatic impact that

the Atlanta Olympic Games congestion mitigation measures

had on VMT, emissions, and asthma rates will begin to

influence public policy. We know that AASHTO is capable of

doing the 'right thing' based on the 1999 Bike Guide update

- so I'm optimistic that we can eventually nurture a

quality product. I admit its kind of discouraging, though,

when a state with the highest number of pedestrian crashes

in the nation (at a cost of approximately $2.5 billion

annually from 383 ped. fatalities and 17,407 injuries in

1999), the highest pedestrian traffic volumes, a $ 30

billion dollar sidewalk-based retail economy with 7 of the

10 most expensive (sidewalk-based) retail rent locations in

the U.S. and 5 of the most expensive in the world; still

hasn't had any opportunity for input into this Pedestrian

Guide. I'll do what I can to get our AASHTO represent

atives' support for greater input into the process. Since

over 80% of non-motorized fatalities and 65% of

non-motorized injuries are pedestrians, we need the best

guidance possible to meet these challenges."

back to top>



Thanks go to Cliff Cox of the Lone Star State for

alerting the pedestrian community to a bit of pending state

legislation that deserves a quick death. This latest

example of legislative brilliance would give local

municipalities in Texas the authority to allow passenger

cars and light trucks to park on a private driveway and

block the sidewalk if the driveway isn't otherwise long



Never mind that this would constitute a violation of the

Americans with Disabilities Act. And, obviously, we can't

expect these good folks to be inconvenienced by having to

park on the street. I suspect, the people who sponsored and

voted for this legislation probably aren't the ones trying

to walk to school in the morning, trying to take a baby for

a walk in a stroller, or trying to get to the bus stop. No,

they're probably worried about getting a ticket for

blocking the sidewalk with their SUVs. Yee-ha, cowpokes!


Thanks go to Ellen Vanderslice of America Walks for pulling

together the following information on how to address this

matter in a constructive way:


This bill is on Texas Governor Rick Perry's desk. The bill

will automatically become the law in UNLESS the Governor

VETOES it BEFORE JUNE 18th. If you can -- PLEASE contact

the Governor's office ASAP and ask him to VETO HB 674.


Contact Information:

Citizens' Opinion Hotline

1-800-843-5789 for Texas callers

(512) 463-1782 for Austin and out-of-state callers

711/(512) 475-3165 TDD

Fax to office of Governor: (512) 463-1849


Mailing Address:

Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 12428, Austin, Texas



Here are some links for more information:


For the text of the bill, go to

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/ and do a search on HB 674

The Governor's site: http://www.governor.state.tx.us/

To e-mail Governor Rick Perry follow the link from the Governor's

site or cut and paste this long URL:



Why am I asking you to take action today? The sidewalk

should be the place where pedestrians have priority. This

law puts us on a slippery slope: once you make the sidewalk

completely impassible, why have a sidewalk at all? Please

join me in spreading the word, and ask Governor Perry to

VETO HB 674. ---Bill Wilkinson

back to top>



According to a June 6th news release, "Bicycle riders

across Maine, or those visiting Maine on vacation, can now

get information on bike tours along the East Coast Greenway

from an Internet website maintained by the Maine Department

of Transportation. "These 618 miles of new bicycle routes

in Maine are a significant accomplishment, representing 20

different public meetings held last year to provide input

on these routes," explains John Balicki, MDOT's pedestrian

and bicycle coordinator. "Now people who want to ride some

of Maine's section of the Greenway can get detailed tour

information before they leave home or en route." Maine's

East Coast Greenway Bicycle Route extends from Kittery to

Calais, mainly along existing roads with a few off-road

paths included where possible.


For more information, go to:


back to top>



The Eugene (OR) City Council offers Neighborhood

Matching Grants (NMG) as part of an ongoing program to

encourage people to collaboratively identify and actively

participate in ways to make their neighborhood better. Each

year, the City of Eugene offers $100,000 in grants for

projects of varying sizes.


In addition to concerts and park beautification projects,

the Grant program has helped fund such efforts as the West

Eugene Bike Path Beautification, the Whiteaker Urban

Sustainability Project, a Speed Abatement Plan for North

Polk Street, and a Traffic Calming Project on West 28th



For more information, go to:


back to top>



Effective June 30th, David Crites, the Georgia

Department of Transportation's Bicycle Pedestrian

Coordinator will be leaving his position and moving to

Charlotte, N.C., where his wife will take a new job. As

David puts it, "It has been an interesting 4 years here at

the Department and I will miss the challenges and rewards

of being the Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator."


Were sorry to see David go and hope he keeps involved (we

hear Charlotte has a lot of bike/ped action going!). Bill

Wilkinson of the NCBW said "David will be missed... a lot!

He's made real progress on helping the Georgia DOT develop

a new awareness of bicycling and walking as modes of

transportation, and of bicyclists and pedestrians as part

of the agency's clients. This kind of organizational change

is at the core of what 'agency advocacy' is all about. Many

thanks for all you're hard work, David!"

back to top>



"What do Julia Child, Robert Parker, and Florence Ladd

have in common? They all walk to get around Cambridge! The

City of Cambridge's new and exciting 'Express Yourself'

marketing campaign highlights well-known Cantabrigians

talking about why they walk, bike, or take the T instead of

driving. The ads also feature jazz singer Wanetta Jackson

riding the T, and humorist Jimmy Tingle and Harvard

professor Harvey Cox on their bikes."


The ads included in the "Express Yourself" campaign can be

seen at:


back to top>



Our friend, Leslie Robbins of the National Conference of

State Legislatures, could use some help. She writes,


"NCSL is a bipartisan organization serving lawmakers and

staffs of the nation's 50 states, the commonwealths, and

territories. NCSL offers research, publications, consulting

assistance, meetings and seminars to its constituents. As a

policy associate in the Prevention Projects Program, I help

educate our constituents about physical activity and

obesity issues. I am looking for recent and innovative

state legislation (bills or statutes) that is supportive of

physical activity/physically active environments (e.g.,

bicycle-friendly and walkable) and obesity prevention. I

will pass this information onto our constituents via our

website and our publications."


So, if you know of something in your state that either

passed or should have passed (!), please send information

to Leslie Robbins at leslie.robbins@ncsl.org. Thanks for

your help!

back to top>



The Federal Highway Administration inaugurated a new Web

site dedicated to all the known and/or electronically

publicized transportation programs and studies that pertain

to traffic calming. The site has info on the objectives of

traffic calming; traffic calming measures; links to traffic

calming programs; links to other related agencies; a list

of recent studies; and a list of upcoming events.


Go to:

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/tcalm/index.htm .

back to top>



According to our latest secret message, "the plot thickens

... there seems to be a pot brewing out there that is

suggesting that ANY raised curb on roadways 35 mph or above

is a hazard introduced into the roadway environment, which

when hit by the errant motorist doesn't deflect them back

into the travel stream - but rather projects them (the

errant vehicle) over the curb, median, whatever. AASHTO

and FHWA seem to be encouraging DOTs to 'crash test' these

designs - and if they fail (which medians do) -- then we

may be looking at them revising the Green Book and not

allowing curbs on roadways over 35 mph .. Even though that

is completely contrary to good urban design, CSD,

environmental concerns, pedestrian safety concerns, etc.


"Is 'crash testing' the right measure of a successful

design? What other factors can stand up in a court of law?

Only the Shadow knows for sure..."

back to top>





According "Plastic Electricity," an ENN article

published May 29th, "In the future, you might literally get

a charge out of hiking, walking or cycling. Ron Pelrine and

a research team at SRI International in Menlo Park,

California, are developing a technology that might enable

you to generate your own electricity by stepping on special

plastic inserts in your shoes.


"Pelrine, a mechanical engineer, explains that his team's

research on alternative energy started out as a quest to

create artificial muscles that might allow more efficient

robotic motion. These "muscles" are created from a rubbery

plastic film coated with a type of grease that conducts

electricity. When electricity is applied to the grease, it

causes the plastic film to stretch out and move like a



For the rest of the story:


back to top>



According to a June 7th story in the Edmonton (Alberta)

Journal, "Eighty-four-year-old cyclist Jack Grainge along

with skateboarders, in-line skaters, joggers and others who

like to get around the city under their own power may soon

have a new network of pathways from the suburbs to the city



"City engineers in collaboration with EDA Collaborative

landscape architects and Earth Tech Canada are developing a

$17-million plan for a 62-km network over the next 10

years. 'There's been a fair bit of work on trails in the

river valley. Not enough has been done to bring the various

residential areas to the downtown core and the university,'

says EDA landscape architect Penny Dunford. Planning for

the new paths has been under way since September. Meetings

have been held with cyclists and other groups and a plan

will go to city council in late fall, says city engineer

Claire Stock.


"Big Ticket Items Include three overpasses and a

bike/pedestrian path slung under the Anthony Henday bridge

over the North Saskatchewan River..."




Search: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/contents.html

Title: "Taking the high road: Happy Trails: 62 Km to be

Added to Network"

Author: Don Thomas

back to top>



According to a June 2nd Australian Broadcasting

Corporation story, "A Brisbane Supreme Court jury has found

a man guilty of attempted murder and a teenager guilty of

grevious bodily harm with intent, after the bashing of a

cyclist. Peter Cribb is permanently brain damaged following

the attack. The 22-year-old was cycling home from a party

in February last year along an inner-city bikeway when he

was set upon by a group of people.


"He was bashed unconscious and thrown into the Brisbane

river, sustaining severe brain damage. Today 27-year-old

Paul Dale Mullins was found guilty of attempted murder

and his co-accused, a 17-year-old who cannot be named,

was found guilty of grevious bodily harm with intent. A third

man has already pleaded guilty to the same charge.

Sentencing has been adjourned to a date yet to be fixed."




back to top>



According to a June 4th story in the Montreal Gazette,

"For cyclists, full speed ahead. For pedestrians, a wait

for a break in the procession of pedal power. 'N Sync, the

boy band sensation, played the Tour de l'Ile this year.

Well ... not exactly. Five teenage pop-star hopefuls from

Point St. Charles and nearby neighbourhoods performed the

'N Sync hit It's Gonna be Me, complete with choreographed

moves, to a crowd of dancing onlookers, many of them

wearing bicycle helmets.


The performance, at Marguerite Bourgeoys Park in the Point,

was one of many that entertained the 30,000 cyclists who

participated in yesterday's tour. 'The music shows are

brand new this year,' said Suzanne Lareau, head of the

non-profit group that runs the tour, along with other

bicycle tours around Quebec. 'It gives the tour a fresh

feel ... It's a gray day but hearing (the music) really

puts a smile on your face.' There were five points during

the 66-kilometre tour where cyclists journeying from

downtown Montreal to the West Island and back could take a

break and listen to live music..."




Search: http://www.montrealgazette.com:80/archives/

Title: "Spurred on by music and rain"

Author: Lianne Elliott

back to top>



According to a June 7th story in the Lincoln (NE)

Journal Star, "Don't look for a pedestrian overpass to ease

parking woes for the Haymarket Park baseball complex yet

this season. Higher-than-expected bids have forced city

officials to start over on seeking bids - and to adopt a

more relaxed timeline - for building the planned link

between the baseball stadium and the Haymarket. Jim Visger,

manager of design and construction for Lincoln's

engineering services, said Wednesday the city only got two

bids on the project. One was for $3.8 million, the other

for $3.1 million. 'The city couldn't afford it,' he said.

'It was way too high.'


"City officials had hoped to keep the total cost of the

overpass at around $4 million, said Budget Officer Steve

Hubka. About $1.1 million already is obligated for

prefabricated bridge spans, which are to arrive this

summer. The current bids are for building approach ramps,

connecting spans and support towers that are needed on

either end of the prefabricated spans. The overpass will

run from Haymarket Park's center field area, at about Sixth

and Vine streets, across the Burlington Northern Santa Fe

Railroad tracks to Eighth and T streets, north and east of

the main post office. It will have two side-by-side

bridges, both available for pedestrians and bicyclists..."




Search: http://www.journalstar.com:80/past_issues

Title: "Ballpark bridge bids too high"

Author: Martha Stoddard

back to top>



According to the Minerva column in the June 2nd issue of

the British Medical Journal, "The Sheffield Supertram was

introduced in 1994 as the city's solution to its public

transport requirements. The city's cyclists, however, seem

to have come off worst. Cyclists sustained almost half of

the 90 tram related injuries seen at the local casualty

department, with most of them suffering upper limb

fractures and head injuries (Injury 2001;32:2757)."




Search: http://www.bmj.com/all.shtml

Author: Minerva

[See RESOURCE listing for info on study.]

back to top>



According to a June 3rd story in the San Jose Mercury

News, "The drop-off zones at elementary schools all over

the Bay Area have become battlegrounds as frazzled parents

in a hurry converge at the same place at the same time,

double- and triple-parking their minivans and SUVs, honking

their horns and sometimes even getting into fights. But the

Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District thinks it

can calm the chaos with a new valet service. As parents

pull up to the Sunset and Jackson Street elementary schools

in the morning, fifth-graders open the doors and help young

passengers climb out. Since the program started two weeks

ago, the traffic problem has melted away, officials said.


"'There were fights, honking cars, accidents -- front- and

rear-endings,' said Mary Ziolkowski, a parent at Sunset.

'The water line at school was once taken out by a car. It

was a dangerous situation.' Cars now unload their student

passengers in front of the school, where the team of

volunteers opens doors and helps the young passengers

scramble out of the car. 'This takes no more than 30

seconds,' Principal David Cooper said. 'The car stops, kids

get safely out of the car onto the sidewalk, traffic flows

and there's no more gridlock.'..."






Title: "Two campuses in Livermore untangle traffic with


Author: T.T. Nhu

Cost: $1.95 (if over 7 days old)

back to top>


And now for something completely different:


"The Tricycle Racing game begins when each contestant

holds down their "player ready" button. This triggers the

start light cycle. Two reds, two yellows and one green

light illuminate one at a time, at which point the tricycle

race is enabled. Now when the contestants pedal the trikes,

each spoke will cause the visual racers (beenie babies) to

move forward. These spoke interrupts are actually causing a

stepper motor that is connected to a conveyer belt, upon

which the stuffed animals are attached, to spin. Once a

racer has reached the finish line, consisting of a

micro-switch, the game is over. Game over lights will

flash, the winner is awarded points, and the track is

reset. During reset, each player is driven by an internal

pulse until he trips a micro-switch indicating that he is

at the start. At this point, the player is disabled until

the next race begins.





"GOBAR TIMES: Environment for Kids"

"Carrushed!!" is the focus of issue No.18 (May 15, 2001)

from India's Centre for Science and Environment. Articles

include: "A history of automobiles must be equally a

history of environment and behaviour;"

"Scrrreeeechhh...Stop. Think;" "Reclaim the Streets'

"Critical Mass;" "Carfree Cities;" "Is faster better?;"

"Are we energy addicts?;" "Earth car free day 2001."

("Gobar means animal dung in Hindi. All of rural India uses

it in a variety of ways. Ways that exemplify sustainable

existence. That's why we use it, too.")




A paper presented by Jan Gehl & Lars Gemze at "Australia:

Walking the 21st Century: An International Walking

Conference," held Feb. 20-22, 2001 in Perth, Western

Australia. "Walking: A mode of transport - but much more.

Looking at walking as mainly a mode of transport, would be

almost as incomplete as having a conference on housing

where all the energy was spend discussing what goes on in

the corridors of the dwellings, without discussing what

goes on in the Living room, Dining room, bedroom and

kitchen. Beyond transportation walking is a potential

recreational activity. And surely walking is nearly always

a social activity as well..."


NOTE: Other papers presented at the Conference may be found

at: http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/conferences/walking/



According to Mark Fenton, Editor of Walking Magazine, the

new Cambridge (MA) plan is a model to follow. He recently

told City officials, "Do not doubt that what your are doing

is saving lives. Do not waver from your vision." The

Cambridge Pedestrian Plan describes the role of walking in

Cambridge, current City policies and projects, and the

direction of future pedestrian improvements.




A study by Cameron IC, Harris NJ, Kehoe NJ. of the Prince

of Wales Hospital, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong,

People's Republic of China (published in Injury 2001

May;32(4):275-7). The aim of this study was to identify

the number of accidents and types of injury related to the

Supertram system in Sheffield, England. Out of 90 injury

victims, "31 sustained fractures, most commonly involving

the upper limb/shoulder girdle (63%), with cyclists suffering

83% of these serious upper limb injuries...Cyclists appear

to be the group at highest risk, followed by pedestrians

and motor vehicle users..."




The Jan.1996 Final Report prepared for the U.S. Access

Board by Jon A. Sanford of North Carolina State University.

"With the significant change in demographics over the past

two decades and the projected increase in the number of

older people and people with disabilities, a reevaluation

of the current ADA requirements for the design of ramps for

their usability by current and anticipated populations

seems appropriate."




A Christopher M. Cook documentary that examines "the

institutional and geographic racism that fueled white

flight, resulting in racial isolation, an ever-widening

racial gap, and growing chronic poverty in the inner city.

'Inner City Blues' looks for solutions to sprawl and urban

decline from pioneers of the 'new urbanism' movement,

'smart growth' advocates, and historians."

Also see:



Christopher M. Cook's "'Fat of the Land' picks up where

'Inner City Blues' left off. The second hour in this

two-part series explores the direction in which suburbs are

headed, and their impact on rural areas, agriculture, and

small towns."

For information on both videos: http://www.greatlakestv.org




June 17, 2001, Fremont People-Power Solstice Parade,

Seattle, WA. Info: Fairmont Arts Council, (206) 547-7440




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 >


September 13-16, 2001, Rail~Volution: Envisioning the New

Frontier, San Francisco, CA. Info: (503) 823-6870.

website: http://www.railvolution.com/ataglance.htm


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


October 4-6, 2001, Innovative Approaches to Understanding

and Influencing Physical Activity, Dallas, TX. Info: The

Cooper Institute, Dallas, TX.

website: http://www.cooperinst.org/conf2001.asp




Got something you'd like us to run? Send it to





TO SUBSCRIBE TO CENTERLINES: send a blank email to



SEND US YOUR NEWS: We want to hear what you're up to!

Contact john@montana.com 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, Peter Jacobsen,

Ellen Vanderslice, Harrison Marshall

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 

back to top>