#172 Wednesday, April 04, 2007
CenterLines is the bi-weekly e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking. CenterLines is our way of quickly delivering news and information you can use to create more walkable and bicycle-friendly communities.
-> Bill Wilkinson, executive director of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking, has announced that the Westin Seattle has been chosen as the site for the Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008 Conference, September 2-5, 2008.
"This is going to be a great venue for the conference," said Wilkinson. "It's located in the heart of downtown Seattle, close to Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. Conference participants will have quick access to many of the bicycle and pedestrian improvements the City of Seattle has implemented, one of the key reasons we are bringing the conference back to Seattle for an unprecedented second visit."
Last month Gary MacFadden, NCBW's conference director, and Pete Lagerwey of Seattle's bike/ped program, did an initial site visit at the Westin Seattle. "The Westin has the comfortable meeting space, the facilities, and the staff support we need to put on a successful conference, MacFadden reported. "The central location of the Westin in downtown Seattle is a huge plus."
The 2008 conference will be the fifteenth in the biennial conference series. The first Pro Bike conference was held in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1980; the fourth conference in the series was held in Seattle in 1986. "We're really looking forward to coming back to Seattle to see what the City and region have accomplished for bicyclists and pedestrians in the intervening two decades," said Wilkinson.
This month, the conference
team will begin distributing quarterly e-mailed newsletters called "Connections,"
first issued for the 2006 Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference in Madison, Wisconsin.
If you're not already on the Connections mailing list, you can subscribe
-> According to
an Apr. 2nd message from Christopher Douwes, Trails and Enhancements Program
Manager for the Federal Highway Administration, "The FHWA Office
of Planning, Environment, and Realty has posted Obligations and Rescissions
of Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ), Transportation
Enhancement (TE), and Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Funds. Please
see the cover memo at:
"'The rescissions of Federal-aid Highway Program funds have been a critical issue in a number of States for the last four years. We recognize that the FY 07 rescission notice that was just sent out will require further difficult decisions. However, given the recent implementation of new air quality standards, the difficulty in reaching attainment status for many areas, the emphasis in SAFETEA-LU on cost-effective CMAQ projects, and the increased focus on nontraditional transportation projects, we believe that these programs have become even more important to delivering an effective and efficient highway system.
of the projects eligible under the CMAQ program would support the Secretary's
congestion initiative by achieving the dual purposes of reducing emissions
through reducing congestion. If obligation rates in your States have been
traditionally low in the CMAQ, TE or Recreational Trails programs, we
encourage you to call this to their attention and extend an offer to provide
technical assistance or other help to better explore project possibilities
in these program areas. Our office is prepared to provide whatever support
you would need to carry out that offer. If you would like to discuss,
please feel free to contact April Marchese at (202) 366-2074 or
"For further information on the CMAQ program, please contact Michael Koontz at (202) 366-2076 or <email@example.com>.
"For further information on the Recreational Trails program or Transportation Enhancements program, please contact Christopher Douwes at (202) 366-5013 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
-> According to the Mar. 26th American Bicyclist Update, "The federal Transportation Enhancements (TE) program is a major source of funding for bicycle facilities and programs in cities and communities across the country. On March 19, 2007, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a rescission order implementing Congress' call for the return of an additional $3.47 billion in transportation money. Within 30 days, governors across the country will have to decide how to apply this cut to state transportation budgets. Since December 2005, $600 million has been cut nationally from the TE program."
The order can be found
"This represents approximately 75 percent of the annual TE authorization. Due to budget constraints, many federal programs, including transportation funding, are affected by rescission requests. However, it is quite evident that many states are targeting TE funding in a disproportionate manner when compared with other projects and programs, as evidenced by the 24 states that chose to gut TE funding in 2006. Of these, Texas, Wisconsin, and Oregon were the most egregious offenders, each taking more than two-thirds of their rescissions from the TE program.
"Given the short turn-around time for states to act, we appeal to each of you to contact your governor immediately to urge them to spare TE programs from further cuts and to ask them to restore some of the past cuts to reflect a more balanced and fair approach to addressing the federal rescission requests. Alternatively, it is important for those of you in states that fared well in this process to contact your governor and transportation authorities to thank them for protecting TE funding given the increased pressures on state transportation budgets."
For a state-by-state
breakdown of 2006 TE rescissions go to:
For more on the American
Bicyclist Update, go to:
-> According to a May 30th OKI Bicycle E-Info News article, "Kentucky has been selected as one of ten states to participate in a Safe Routes to School State Network project. The selection was made through the Safe Route to School National Partnership and the project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Bikes Belong Coalition. As described in the SRTS Partnership press release, the project is to bring together state leaders in order to remove barriers to walking and bicycling to and from school. 'This program will help a generation of children become more active and involved in their neighborhoods,' said Deb Hubsmith, coordinator of the SRTS National Partnership. 'Safe Routes to School programs can increase physical activity, reduce automobile congestion around schools and improve traffic safety for schoolchildren.
"'A primary goal of the project is to reach children at highest risk for obesity. The nine states and D.C. were selected based on both need and their capacity to support the program. The SRTS National Partnership considered the number and percentage of overweight and obese children within the state, as well as the number and percentage of minority children in low-income families. Other criteria included the state's ability to leverage strategic partnerships, and make a national impact. The State Network Project will inform and educate the general public about Safe Routes to School and share information about lessons learned from the initiative.
"The project will create a Guide to Developing a Successful Safe Routes to School State Network so other states can initiate their own programs. At the local level, each State Network will identify and provide technical assistance to a low-income community or school. Other states selected for this demonstration program are California, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Kentucky has been a leader in implementing their SRTS program, including providing lesson plans, and is on their third round of applications."
Successful applicants in each state will receive $12,000 per year to hire a part-time local State Network Organizer to build and manage the state network. For more on the State Network Project, the RFA, and the application, go to:
For more on the OKI
Bicycle E-Info News, contact Don Burrell at
-> According to a Mar. 21st news release, "Fred Boykin, owner of Bicycle South in Decatur, Georgia, has been selected to receive the 2007 Clay Mankin Award. Quality Bicycle Products presents the annual honor to a bicycle retailer who makes significant contributions to advance the bicycle industry. In recognition of his advocacy efforts in Decatur and the state of Georgia, Boykin received $1,000. He plans to use the money to help sustain a bicycle safety education program for all 4th graders in the Decatur school system...
"Boykin, who serves as a Decatur City Commissioner, helped procure $400,000 in state funds to launch a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) pilot project in metro Atlanta... Decatur's SRTS program serves as a model for the entire state. In fact, Boykin's project director is writing a state handbook to help other Georgia communities establish their own SRTS programs. Boykin is also a founding member of the North Georgia Bicycle Dealers Association and is a board member of Georgia Bikes!, an organization working to improve conditions for cycling in the state."
-> According to an article in the Apr. 3rd AARP Health & Wellness Newsletter, "Some towns have miles of easy walking trails. Other towns have sidewalks that make walking a breeze, and walking to stores a snap. Is your town easy to navigate on foot, or is it a tad bit more difficult to get around by foot? Rate your town's 'walkability' in AARP's new Community Exchange..."
-> According to an article in the Apr. 3rd MassBike Update, "Colleagues, neighbors, friends and acquaintances left their cars on a beautiful Friday afternoon to bask in the sunshine and enjoy a free ice cream with the Cambridge Green Streets Initiative. Cambridge Mayor Ken Reeves, Conrad Crawford (from Secretary of Transportation Bernard Cohen's office), and State Representative Will Brownsberger were just a few of the many dawning green in support of going green.
"The crowd was treated to a free Toscanini's ice cream for supporting green efforts as well as discounts at many local businesses. This innovative grassroots initiative to spread the word about the importance of going green is not only educational and enlightening, but also delicious (thanks Toscanini's!) and a great way to build community support.
"Walk/Ride Days, a highly successful 1-year old effort, take place on the last Friday of every month. They are sponsored by the Cambridge Green Streets Initiative, a grassroots group of people who live, work, study in, commute through, or send kids to school in Cambridge and are interested in reducing the impact of automobiles..."
For details and the
on-line raffle sponsored by Green Streets, go to:
QUOTES R US
-> "Why should
anyone steal a watch when he could steal a bicycle?"
-> According to an Apr. 3rd Bend Weekly article, "The Oregon Health Policy Commission today released a package of 20 recommendations to fight the epidemic of obesity that plagues school-age children, based on a recently completed study. The top three recommendations include better nutritional standards for food sold in schools, greater availability of physical education classes in schools and an obesity prevention program to provide statewide leadership against obesity.
"'If we do not act now and take serious steps to prevent obesity in Oregon's children, this public health crisis will only worsen,' said Jim Lussier, member of the commission and president emeritus of St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. 'We so often focus on improving health within the medical setting, when in fact we need to change our environment to make it easy for people to make healthy choices.'
"Other recommendations include smarter planning for land use and transportation, regulation and subsidies that affect the food and beverage industry, promoting health in the workplace and at the doctor's office, and optimizing public parks and recreation to help families be active..."
-> According to an Apr. 2nd News-Register article, "A $480,000 Transportation Enhancement Grant made possible through the West Virginia Department of Transportation may soon make many of Wheeling's attractions accessible by trails. 'As railroads contributed to much of Wheeling's history, growth and character in the past, it is our hope that the adaptive reuse of these railways, now in the form of bicycle and walking trails, will do the same,' said Susie Nelson, marketing and community relations specialist for Wheeling. The city of Wheeling applied for the federal transportation grant on Jan. 15. Officials hope to receive funding in order to complete the first part of an eight-phase plan intended to connect and create more trails in the city. 'Since 1988, the city has contributed more than $570,000 in matching funds to have rails removed and to pave over 11 miles of abandoned railway,' Nelson said. 'While much work has been done, the opportunity to reuse the remaining railways still exists.'
"Spearheading the multi-phased plan are two local college professors: Dr. Ben Stout, professor at Wheeling Jesuit University, and Bob Scatterday, professor at Belmont Technical College. Calling themselves The Walkable Wheeling Task Force, the group of local trail enthusiasts have set out to increase the number of trails in the city's limits by more than 13. 'The entire plan is exciting, involving the creation of 11 loops, instead of out-and-back trails, and incorporating the renovation of three additional abandoned tunnels. This plan will truly enhance the current trail system in the city by making the routes more interesting to both residents and tourists,' Nelson added. According to the grant proposal, phase one provides an alternative downtown route that avoids the current course along city streets and through intersections, and 1.46 miles of abandoned railway will be converted during the first phase of construction..."
-> According to an Apr. 2nd Post and Courier article, "Proponents of 'smart growth' tried to sell their idea to the public and private sectors Monday at a land-use conference called by Gov. Mark Sanford. The event, which drew about 200 attendees, focused on the details of 'new urbanism,' a genre of development that calls for high-density walkable neighborhoods with nearby shops and parks. The end product often looks like the I'On Village neighborhood in Mount Pleasant. About 30 percent of people would live closer to urban centers and on smaller lots if they had a chance, said Jackie Benson, managing director of Milesbrand, an Atlanta-based marketing firm. She cited a 2004 study that was conducted partly on behalf of the National Association of Realtors. Real estate agents can also market high-density communities to people who work out of their homes and miss the social atmosphere of the office, she said.
"While most attendees were quick to praise new urbanism, Ken Jackson, a Florence real estate agent and former president of the South Carolina Association of Realtors, spoke cautiously of the concept. He emphasized that real estate agents want a variety of properties to sell. 'I might prefer to live in a (high-density neighborhood) while someone else might prefer to live out in the country on a one-acre lot,' he said. But Andres Duany, an urban planner who helped with I'On's design, argued that living in expansive suburban communities actually limits people's lifestyle options..."
-> According to an Apr. 2nd WDSU story, "The Georgia-based company that already owns a Sav-A-Center and Home Depot in Mid-City is looking to acquire the Lindy Boggs Medical Center for redevelopment. Jennifer Weishaupt, of the Mid-City Neighborhood Association, said it appears negotiations are still under way -- which she called a good thing. 'We have talked personally to several property owners in the area who claim that and told them in no uncertain terms that they're not going to sell,' Weishaupt said.
"Weishaupt said she doesn't want to see an Elmwood-style shopping center in her neighborhood -- which she said Victory is looking to do. Instead, Weishaupt said, the neighborhood wants to see 'transit-oriented development, which will allow people to get here by the street car, on foot, by bicycle, that will still keep the area walkable and hopefully reduce the traffic impact.'
"New Orleans City Councilwoman Shelly Midura said nothing is written in stone, and the idea is still in its early stages. 'The neighborhood has all the time in the world to get their input in. Nothing has been decided. You know, he doesn't have all the property yet, and we will make sure that the concerns of the neighborhood are represented in whatever comes out,' Midura said. Plus, Midura said she agrees with the neighborhood group's view on the development..."
-> According to an Apr. 2nd Independent Journal article, "Supporters of the Safe Routes to School program are seeking a permanent source of money from the state to keep it rolling. Assembly Bill 57 seeks to indefinitely continue the its construction program. As it stands now, money for the program is set to run out Jan. 1. 'Each year, Marin has received between $200,000 and $500,000 in grants from the state for the Safe Routes program,' said Deb Hubsmith, advocacy director for the Marin Bicycle Coalition. That money has helped pay for sidewalks on Butterfield Road in San Anselmo, a new pedestrian-bike bridge in Fairfax and improved intersections in Mill Valley, among other projects. 'It would be a tremendous loss for Marin if the funding stopped,' Hubsmith said.
"The Safe Routes concept is simple: Create safe pathways to school, complete with crossing guards, and get parents comfortable with the idea of allowing their children to walk or bike to school in groups. The program eases traffic and nurtures healthier kids, they reason. Marin's Safe Routes program is also funded by revenues from Measure A, a sales tax passed by voters in 2004. Having Measure A dollars makes the county eligible for funds from the state.
"'Because we have invested locally, that helps us leverage state funds,' said Diane Steinhauser, executive director of the Transportation Authority of Marin, which oversees county transportation projects. The Transportation Authority of Marin board has endorsed the bill sponsored by Nell Soto, D-Pomona.'We want to continue to get those state funds,' Steinhauser said. The bill has been approved by the Assembly's Transportation Committee and will go to the Assembly floor in June..."
-> A Mar. 28th Chatham Journal article asks, "Would you like to make Pittsboro a more walkable town? An alliance of local, state and national civic and advocacy organizations, along with Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller and Triangle J Council of Governments, invite area residents to participate in walking tours of Pittsboro on Friday, March 30. The walking tours or 'audits' will be held on the second day of a three-day land use planning public workshop being sponsored by the Town of Pittsboro at the Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) campus to obtain citizen input on the direction and design of the town's future growth.
"'This is an opportunity for area residents to participate directly in the planning process designed to make Pittsboro a more walkable and attractive place for people of all ages to live, work and visit,' stated Mayor Voller, who will help lead walking tours starting at 10 am at CCCC and 4 pm at the General Store Caf‚ in downtown Pittsboro. 'By encouraging people to walk in our community and neighborhoods, Pittsboro will be a safer, healthier and friendlier town.' The walking audits are being organized by the North Carolina Smart Growth Alliance, a statewide advocacy and educational organization located in downtown Pittsboro that promotes mixed-use, walkable communities and place-based economic development..."
-> According to an Apr. 3rd Herald Times article, "The Two Rivers City Council voted 4-3 Monday evening to authorize City Manager Greg Buckley to submit an application for a grant to cover 80 percent of the cost of a pedestrian and bicycle trail along Highway VV to Two Rivers High School. Buckley will submit the application to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant Program. The estimated cost of the project is $815,000, and the grant would cover $652,000. The city would be responsible for the remaining 20 percent, which is $163,000. The east-west trail would follow Highway VV/45th Street and would be 1.55 miles long.
"'You could essentially link the middle school and the high school,' Buckley said. L.B. Clarke Middle School is located one block north of 45th Street. When Two Rivers Public Schools proposed building a high school on Highway 42/Lincoln Avenue, the school district and the city pledged to work together to develop a pedestrian route to the high school, according to Buckley. Voters approved the high school in 2000, and it opened in 2002. Pedestrian and traffic safety, reduction of air pollution, reduction of the use of fossil fuels, allowing non-motorized access to the high school, and improving the health and fitness of students, faculty and community members are listed in the resolution as reasons for the trail..."
-> According to an Apr. 3rd Downtown News article, "Take a walk on Main Street between Fourth and Seventh and the most remarkable thing is what's no longer there: Mostly gone are the loitering crowds, the drug dealers and the addicts looking to buy. Instead, last Monday morning, the street was lively with area workers and dotted with construction crews. While it's no Beverly Hills, or even Bunker Hill, a cleaned-up Main Street has been an increasingly common sight in recent months, following an LAPD and City Attorney crackdown on crime in the area. Now, there are even signs of financial investment in what has historically been one of Downtown's roughest strips.
"The trend is helping connect two emerging residential hubs: the Old Bank District at Fourth and Main streets, and the buildings on either side of Sixth Street. For decades, the area teemed with drug dealers, gangs and crime. Even as other neighborhoods in Downtown Los Angeles grew safer and pedestrian-friendly, the Main Street strip -- at the western edge of Skid Row -- was known as a place to buy heroin. Recently, the LAPD brought down the Fifth and Hill gang, which had used Main Street as a drug bazaar for nearly 30 years. Since then, crime has remained low in the area, according to Central Division officials.
"Now, the most apparent activity on the street is the abundance of construction. While some area homeless remain, the dealers have generally been chased out. 'People may not realize how many changes are going on here, but three-quarters of these new projects are already well under construction,' said Russell Brown, president of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. 'There's a lot of stuff happening here and it's going along very quickly.'..."
THE RAT WHISPERER
Greenbrae (CA) woman has heart for rodents
"There, leaning against a step to the upstairs of Debra and David Mendelsohns' home, was the first clue, a square ceramic tile with the inscription: 'In this house, rats rule.' A group of 19 domesticated rats rule the roost of the Mendelsohns' two-bedroom Greenbrae condominium. Some of the rodents call the kitchen home, others live in a nearby bathroom or the downstairs bedroom where food and water dishes, homemade litter boxes and soft blankets provide warmth in wire aluminum cages...the Mendelsohns' Greenbrae home is a little slice of rat heaven. 'Every animal should have a chance,' said Debra Mendelsohn, who founded Bay Area Rat Rescue five years ago and volunteers on Wednesdays at the Marin Humane Society..."
OF ALLEN (TX) WANTS SRTS GRANT FOR PED TRAIL
CHANGE' ISSUE: TOO BIG & TOO LITTLE
LEGEND, RICK MOLITERNO, SHARES A BIT OF HISTORY
CITY MAYOR ENCOURAGES EMPLOYEES TO BIKE TO WORK
"ARTISTS: ARTERIAL STREETS TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY"
"TOWARDS A FINE CITY FOR PEOPLE..."
training opportunities are available on the National Center for Bicycling
& Walking web site. Add your own items to the on-line calendar...it's
quick and easy. Please be sure your calendar items pertain to training
and workshops in the bicycle, pedestrian, or livable community fields.
HEY, YOU! SEND US YOUR CALENDAR ITEMS -- PRONTO!
14-18, 2007, American Planning Association National Conference, Philadelphia,
21, 2007, Nova Scotia Cycling Summit, Eureka, Nova Scotia, Canada. Info:
Ecology Action Centre:
-> April 22, 2007,
Rhode Island MS Walk, Narragansett, RI. Info:
-> April 28, 2007, Bike Safety Day, New York, NY. Info: Kate Donovan, The New York City Police Museum, 100 Old Slip, NY, NY 10005; phone: (212_ 480-3100 x114; email: <email@example.com>
-> May 16, 2007, 6:30pm, Ride of Silence - Corvallis, OR. No fees. Helmets required. Contact: Jerry Rooney, email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
2, 2007, Bring awareness to your trail - host a National Trails Day event
- hike, bike, ride horses, paddle. Info:
12-15, 2007, Velo City International Bicycle Conference, Munich, Germany.
18-21, 2007, International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly
and Disabled Persons, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Info: Urbanicity Conference
Alerts, Alistair Campbell, email: <email@example.com>
9-11, 2007, Transportation Land Use, Planning, and Air Quality Conference,
Orlando, FL. Info:
-> July 13-15,
2007, Thunderhead Training, Louisville, KY. Info:
8-10, 2007, TrailLink 2007 Conference Portland, OR. Info: Sarah L. Shipley,
Manager of Events and Communications, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 1100
17th St., NW - 10th Fl., Washington, DC 20036; phone: (202) 974-5152;
-> August 24-26,
2007, Thunderhead Training, Los Angeles, CA. Info:
11-14, 2007, Walk/Bike California 2007 conference, Davis, CA. Held in
conjunction with the APBP Professional Development Seminar. Info: Rebecca
Markussen, Communications Director, California Bicycle Coalition, 1008
10th St., Sacramento CA, 95814; phone: (916) 446-7558; email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
11-14, 2007, APBP Professional Development Seminar, Davis, CA. Held in
conjunction with Walk/Bike California 2007 conference. Info: Kit Keller,
Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals; PO Box 93, Cedarburg,
WI 53012-0093; phone: 262-375-6180; fax: 866-720-3611: email: <email@example.com>
28-29, 2007, Healthy Trails, Healthy Communities conference, Rochester,
NY. Info: Parks & Trails New York, (518) 434-1583.
1-4, 2007, Walk21 International Conference, Toronto, ON, Canada. Info:
5-7, 2007, Thunderhead Training, plus lobby training Oct. 8 and Hill visits
Oct. 9, 2007, Washington, DC. Info:
9-12, 2007, Mid America Trails & Greenways Conference, Chicago, IL.
Info: phone: (312) 427-4256
JOBS GRANTS AND RFPS
-> JOB -- EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR -- WALKSANDIEGO, CA
WalkSanDiego, a regional, grassroots pedestrian advocacy organization seeks qualified candidates for the position of Executive Director. WalkSanDiego is a highly regarded organization actively sought out by health funders to bring our walkability message and improvement model to more neighborhoods. Through training, advocacy, and work with local governments, schools, developers, and the San Diego Association of Governments, WalkSanDiego is working to reclaim streets for pedestrians through policy reforms, accessible and inviting streetscapes, and traffic calming measures. A complete job description, job application, and more information on the organization's activities are available at http://www.walksandiego.org. Submit application electronically to <firstname.lastname@example.org>, by 4pm Pacific Time, April 30, 2007. No resumes accepted.
-> JOB -- EXEC. DIRECTOR -- THE INDIANA BICYCLE COALITION
The mission of the Indiana Bicycle Coalition (IBC) is to create a bicycle friendly Indiana via promotion, advocacy and education. We are a growing non-profit group with over six hundred members and ten years of successful work behind us.
We are looking for a talented, enthusiastic individual who wants to grow and lead the Coalition. You will be assisted in your duties by a part time staff member and an enthusiastic Board of Directors. This challenging, full time paid position is currently based in Indianapolis, IN.
As Executive Director,
your primary responsibilities will include but
If you think you have the skills and enthusiasm for this calling, then please send a one page resume to: Executive Director Search Committee, Indiana Bicycle Coalition, Inc., P.O. Box 20243, Indianapolis, IN 46220, or via e-mail to <email@example.com>
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Contributors: John Williams, Bill Wilkinson, Gary MacFadden, Mark Plotz, Sharon Roerty, Bob Chauncey, Chris Jordan, Anne Villacres, Ross Trethewey, Linda Tracy, Harrison Marshall, Ingrid Nylen, Mark Counselman, Sarah Shipley, Jeff Smith, Mark Hagar, James Hofmann, Jon Kaplan, Chris Milburn, Peter Jacobsen, Steve Morris, John Boyle, and John Coltrane.