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C-E-N-T-E-R-L-I-N-E-S

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#181 Wednesday, August 8, 2007

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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.


F-E-A-T-U-R-E-S
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----- Excuse Me?!?
----- Official Inauguration of Quebec's Route Verte
----- Want to Quickly Expand Your Bike/Ped Archives?
----- Thunderhead Training in Louisville Great Success
----- Bikes Belong Launches New Website
----- John Fegan Passes FHWA Bike/Ped Program Torch...
----- ...to Gabe Rousseau, New Bike/Ped Pgm. Manager
----- Safe Routes Nat'l. Conference Stipends Announced
----- NRPA Action Alert -- "No Child Left Inside" Act
----- Boston Bike Film Festival Call for Entries
----- Bike News from Christchurch, New Zealand


I-N--T-H-E--N-E-W-S
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----- "Complete Streets" -- More Room for Peds, Bikes
----- Wahpeton (ND) to Start on Safe Routes Projects
----- Paris (FR) Hails "Velib" Bicycle Revolution
----- Grants to Help Schools in 17 States Fight Obesity
----- Rosslyn (MD) Tries Water Bottle Calming Device
----- AARP Suggests Five Great Places to Live
----- Kansas City (MO) Hires Bike/Ped Coordinator
----- Has Chicago (IL) Critical Mass' Run its Course?
----- Accidents Halved on London (UK) "Naked" Street
----- 2007 National Park(ing) Day Announced

FEATURES

EXCUSE ME?!?
Commentary by an arrogant, selfish member of a very small group of individuals known as "pedestrians"

-> On July 29th, USA TODAY ran a couple of articles about Complete Streets. [Ed. note: See In-The-News item 1 below.] Comporting to some sort of journalistic sense of obligation, they dug up someone to take exception with the concept that our public ways should be designed and operated so as to serve the access needs of all members of the public. Hence, one of the articles included the following:

"Critics such as David Hartgen, emeritus professor of transportation at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, say pressure from interest groups such as senior advocates and bicycle organizations is forcing changes that can disrupt a road network beyond the stretches that have gotten a complete streets treatment.

"'It's really just arrogance and selfishness on the part of usually very small groups of individuals,' Hartgen says. 'They exert political power to 'take back the street,' but the street is not theirs to take back.'"

Rather than display my arrogant, selfish nature and go off on one of my typical rants, I thought I'd share part of an email from Khal Spencer of Los Alamos, NM that I got a couple of days later. Khal writes,

"Our roadways have always been designed with the intention of being shared by multiple users. A road is simply a paved structure meant to accommodate a given width and weight of vehicle. The first paved roads were in fact lobbied for by bicyclists in the last part of the nineteenth century and were later shared by early automobiles. Since then, a myriad of 'other' users including Amish buggies, farm equipment, bicyclists, and other slow-moving vehicles have legally shared the road with motorists. While that has undoubtedly required the occasional patience and understanding, it has always been considered a mark of good citizenship to responsibly share the roads. The present animosity between a small fraction of cyclists and a small fraction of motorists is more personality driven and should not detract from the safe interactions among most adult drivers and cyclists.

"The rise in popularity in cycling has indeed given rise to an equally popular cyclist's lobbying movement to incorporate cycling-specific design into new roadway construction or renovation. While there are differences in details among various special interest groups, what virtually everyone, whether motorized or not, agrees on is to provide added width (shoulders, bike lanes, wide traffic lanes) so that cyclists and motor vehicles traveling at different speeds can get past each other without encroaching into oncoming traffic. However, while such improvements are wonderful, they do not detract from our present roadway's ability to be shared safely by competent, compliant users."

And, to this bicycle-centric view we can add some of those other "very small groups of individuals" such as "seniors," pedestrians, persons with disabilities, children, etc.

So, I think the good Professor could use a bit of remedial education, maybe a little refresher course on common law and the definition of "We the People" 'cause we the people (the public) did NOT cede our right to safe, easy access to, and use of, our public way to some small group of individuals who seem to think that horsepower should determine pecking order.

-- Bill Wilkinson, NCBW

OFFICIAL INAUGURATION OF QUEBEC'S ROUTE VERTE

-> According to the La Route Verte July 2007 newsletter, "The Route Verte is a bicycle network extending for almost 4,000 kilometres throughout the various regions of Quebec. Over a period of more than 12 years, almost a thousand different organizations have contributed to its development. The official international inauguration of this route -- the largest cycling network in the Americas -- will take place in June, July and August 2007."

To join the excitement and get additional info, go to:
http://www.routeverte.com/rv/ (French)
http://www.routeverte.com/ang/ (English)

WANT TO QUICKLY EXPAND YOUR BIKE/PED ARCHIVES?

-> In a recent note, long-time friend and colleague Roger Kellman wrote, "From the mid seventies through the late 80's I was a very active bicycle planner and advocate. I attended the first four Pro-Bike Conferences. I have a large library of literature that I gathered up over that time going back to the early reports by USDOT. I have not been active in quite a few years and really need to clean out my basement. I hate to throw the stuff away. If you are interested or know of any group or individual that might be I can prepare a list of the materials I have. I would even be willing to pay for some of the shipping cost if they stuff is going to a good home. I also have a collection of early bicycle maps, but I think I may try to sell those on e-bay. I appreciate all the work you are still doing in support of bicycling."

You can reach Roger at: <namllek@aol.com>

Roger Kellman, P.E.
F. A. Hesketh & Assoc., Inc.
East Granby, CT

THUNDERHEAD TRAINING IN LOUISVILLE GREAT SUCCESS

-> According to an article in the Thunderhead Alliance "Weather Report newsletter," "Just over 30 leaders of state and local advocacy organizations from five states came together in Louisville July 13-15 to take part in Thunderhead's proven winning campaigns curriculum. They brought innovative campaigns for increasing bicycling and walking, bringing the health benefits of bicycling and walking into schools, and even increasing funding for transit. With fully developed campaign plans in hand, they have all returned to their communities in Missouri, Ohio, Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee to put them into play. We'll be checking in on each of them to see how they're doing over the next few months, but judging from their determined faces as they left the Training, we can look forward to hearing great news from all of these fronts.

"Mark Martin of the Baton Rouge Advocates for Safe Streets (B.R.A.S.S.) had this to say, 'I'm just back from the Thunderhead Training in Louisville, KY, and highly recommend the training sessions. It's an excellent means of gaining focus and certainly provides an excellent template for developing and executing campaigns.' And [leaders of member organizations have] two more chances in 2007 to take part in Thunderhead Trainings, one in Los Angeles in August and one in Washington, D.C. October 5-7 which also includes a lobby training day on the 8th and our Complete Streets Lobby Day on the 9th."

More info:
http://www.thunderheadalliance.org/trainings.htm

BIKES BELONG LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE

-> According to an Aug. 1st message, "Bikes Belong has launched a new and improved website that provides more in-depth and easily accessible information. The website caters to a variety of audiences, including Bikes Belong members, journalists, government leaders, grant seekers, bicycle advocates, and the general public.

"On of the site's key features is a searchable map of all the community grants we've awarded since 1999 (143 and counting). Visitors can see what projects we've funded, and search for projects by location and type.

"In addition, the website features an expanded resources section, including a new press kit for journalists, tip sheets on how to make bicycling better in your community, bicycling photos, and more. We plan to expand this section to provide a growing library of essential information for the bicycling community."

Visit the new website at http://www.bikesbelong.org.

JOHN FEGAN PASSES FHWA BIKE/PED PROGRAM TORCH...

-> In a news item in the Aug. 6th Federal Highway Administration RTP and TE News, John Fegan, FHWA's long-time bike/ped program manager, wrote, "As you can see from the announcement below, Gabe Rousseau from FHWA's Office of Highway Safety was selected to take over my duties as FHWA and OST Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager. FHWA had a large number of applicants from both inside and outside the government for my position. I will be retiring on August 3. We don't have the effective date for Gabe moving to our Office yet, but it will be soon [ed. note: it was August 6th]. I will be working with him before I leave to transition my responsibilities to him. I have known Gabe for several years and I will retire knowing that FHWA and OST will have an excellent Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager in Gabe. I would ask that you continue the cooperative relationship that I have had with each of you in your work with Gabe." In a follow-up note, John wrote, "On my second day of retirement I have so far remembered not to go to work. Habits of 35 years are hard to break but I am working on it." His "civilian" email address is <johnfegan1@verizon.net>. I'm not sure he wanted me to broadcast his address (!) but why not drop John a note and wish him the very best in his new endeavors? /JW

...TO GABE ROUSSEAU, NEW BIKE/PED PGM. MANAGER

-> In a memo, Gloria Shepherd, FHWA's Associate Administrator for Planning, Environment and Realty, wrote, "I am pleased to announce that Gabe Rousseau has been selected to be the FHWA and DOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager in the Office of Natural and Human Environment. Gabe is currently a transportation specialist in the Office of Safety with responsibility for older drivers, Safe Routes to School, and pedestrian safety efforts including the development of pedestrian safety audits, a three city demonstration project, and other products for the safety of nonmotorists. He has authored articles for Public Roads, ITE Conference proceedings, and FHWA reports. Prior to joining the Safety Office in August of 2005, Gabe was with a member of the Human Centered System Team in FHWA's Office of Safety Research and Development at Turner-Fairbank. In that capacity he was responsible for human factors research on pedestrian and bicyclist safety, speed management, and older road user safety. Gabe is a 1991 graduate of the University of North Carolina with a bachelors degree in Psychology. He has a 1995 masters Degree from the University of Georgia in Cognitive/Experimental Psychology, and a 1998 doctorate from the University of Georgia in Cognitive/Experimental Psychology. He is a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, and a member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals." To welcome Gabe to the fold, drop him a note here: <gabriel.rousseau@dot.gov>.

SAFE ROUTES NAT'L. CONFERENCE STIPENDS ANNOUNCED

-> According to an Aug. 3rd News Brief, "Applications are now being accepted for the 1st Safe Routes to School National Conference Stipend Program. The National Center for Safe Routes to School will be awarding up to $10,000 in stipends to support the attendance of local program champions to the conference in Michigan from November 5-7, 2007.

"Qualified recipients include individuals who are active in local health, safety, or walking and bicycling activities benefiting schoolchildren and who are interested in developing or further developing Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs. The stipend is designed specifically to encourage local program champions who do not have other funding to support travel to the conference."

The deadline for application is August 31, 2007. Stipend recipients will be announced in mid September 2007. To apply for a stipend, go to:
http://tinyurl.com/26agjh

For more info on the Conference, go to:
http://tinyurl.com/2jtuxs

NRPA ACTION ALERT -- "NO CHILD LEFT INSIDE" ACT

-> An article in the Aug. 1st NRPA Public Policy Alert suggests, "Ask Your Representative to Become a Co-Sponsor of the 'No Child Left Inside' Act of 2007. Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) has introduced the 'No Child Left Inside Act of 2007' (H.R. 3036). The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) encourages advocates to encourage their Representatives to co-sponsor this legislation. This bill will include critical environmental education measures in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known as 'No Child Left Behind.' Please encourage your Representative to co-sponsor this important piece of legislation!

"Children and youth are losing touch with nature and the outdoors at an alarming rate. With the nation facing complicated environmental issues that will challenge us for years to come, it is critical that school systems, in partnership with local park and recreation agencies and other organizational partners, provide students with a solid environmental education. However, because of the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), many schools are scaling back or eliminating environmental education programs and even recess. Congress has the opportunity to change this with the reauthorization of NCLB..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/qjanx

BOSTON BIKE FILM FESTIVAL CALL FOR ENTRIES

-> According to the July 27th MassBike newsletter, "Organizers for the Third Annual Boston Bike Film Festival ask filmmakers with a cycling habit to submit their work to be shown October 19-20, 2007 at venues in and around Boston. Among the benefits available to acclaimed and amateur filmmakers, the Festival offers a chance to get their films in front of audiences who are intrigued and influential to the quality of cycling nationwide. Film concepts from last year's festival ranged from learning how to become a bike commuter in Boston to a documentary that exposed the backlash against cyclists in the aftermath of arrests after the Republican National Convention held in New York City in August 2004.

"The Harvard-Smithsonian-funded feature 'POV Me' engaged audiences with a scientific look at the machinations of Human Powered Vehicle speed. Types of films shown at the BBFF include animated shorts, digitally enhanced clips, and feature length documentaries. Submissions for preview should be either VHS or DVD. Early-bird submissions must be postmarked by August 17, 2007. All submissions must be received by September 21, 2007. Signed Submission and Release forms should accompany each entry."

Submission form: http://tinyurl.com/269gmf
Release form: http://tinyurl.com/ynn7uz
More info: http://tinyurl.com/2dmsqb

More on the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition:
http://www.massbike.org/

BIKE NEWS FROM CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND

-> In a recent note, Alan Preston wrote, "I thought you might be interested to have a look at this weblog which I put together in June 2006 in which I contrast the situation with urban utility cycling as it is in Kyoto in Japan (where large numbers of cyclists share the footpaths with pedestrians ) with that in Christchurch in New Zealand (where very small numbers of cyclists share the roads with large numbers of cars) .

"I've included observations and suggestions to provide ideas for an alternative approach to promoting 'utility' cycling which may be of interest to Activists, Planners, Councillors or Engineers involved or interested in promoting cycling.

"There are some links on this weblog to some short videos which show how unhelmeted cyclists riding bikes appropriate for urban utility cycling ( that we can't even get in NZ) share pavements in Kyoto with pedestrians."

Alan's weblog is here: http://tinyurl.com/2ty74r

Alan Preston
Mob. 027 212 8095
Tel. 033 82730
<urbanbicycles@gmail.com>


QUOTES R US

-> "A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world."
-- Paul Dudley White
http://tinyurl.com/354oke

 


IN THE NEWS

About articles and archives: Most newspapers allow readers free access to articles for a week or two. After that, many charge a per-article fee. These, we identify as having an archive cost. Some papers don't charge regardless of how old an article is. These, we identify as not having an archive cost.

"COMPLETE STREETS" -- MORE ROOM FOR PEDS, BIKES

-> According to a July 19th USA Today article, "A growing number of states and local governments are rejecting a half-century of transportation practice and demanding that streets accommodate all types of travel, not just automobiles. The concept of 'complete streets' -- with bike lanes, sidewalks and room for mass transit -- has attracted a diverse national alliance of supporters, including advocates for senior citizens and the disabled. Fourteen states, six counties, 10 regional governments and 52 cities have complete streets policies, according to the National Complete Streets Coalition. In Illinois, a complete streets bill awaits the governor's signature. In California, a bill passed one house.

"Massachusetts and at least 11 cities -- including Seattle, Honolulu, Chicago, Salt Lake City, Madison, Wis., and Jackson, Miss. -- have approved complete streets policies since last year, the coalition says. Some states, such as Oregon and Florida, have had the equivalent of complete streets policies for years, but the 'overarching concept jelled just in the last few years,' coalition coordinator Barbara McCann says. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, plans to sponsor a federal complete streets bill, spokeswoman Jennifer Mullen says. 'We didn't build sidewalks here for 50 years,' says Norm Steinman, planning manager for Charlotte's transportation department. 'Streets designed by traffic engineers in the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s were mostly for autos.'..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/364djp
Archive search: use "Search" window
Archive cost: Yes
Title: "'Complete streets' program gives more room for pedestrians, cyclists"
Author: John Ritter

WAHPETON (ND) TO START ON SAFE ROUTES PROJECTS

-> According to an Aug. 3rd Daily News article, "The Wahpeton Economic Development Commission approved an up to $25,000 grant from the recreation set aside fund as matching funds. The grant will help the city of Wahpeton complete the Safe Routes to School project, which includes redoing sidewalks by Wahpeton schools and adding pedestrian signage. 'This is a no brainer,' Alderman and EDC member Glenn Tollefson said and motioned to approve the up to $25,000 grant. Alderman and EDC member Alisa Mitskog seconded the motion. The city also received a N.D. Department of Transportation grant of $103,650 for the Safe Routes to School project. The total cost of the project is nearly $117,000. The city of Wahpeton asked for an up to $25,000 grant to cover the remaining cost. After the $103,650 grant from the state, the city has to cover approximately $13,300.

"However, the '$13,300 is based on costs submitted with grant material at that time,' Wahpeton City Coordinator Shawn Kessel said. 'Once the project is bid these costs may be higher.' Three sidewalks and two crosswalks are planned to be improved and three areas near Zimmerman Elementary School will receive new signage. About 550 linear feet of sidewalk on Sixth Avenue North by Zimmerman Elementary will be replaced. It is mainly for gap closure in the immediate vicinity. The estimated cost is $31,000. The second sidewalk is on 14th Avenue North by Wahpeton Middle School. This project will consist of constructing about 450 linear feet of sidewalk..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/2hvy6d
Archive search: use "Search" window
Archive cost: No
Title: "Wahpeton closer to more Safe Routes"
Author: Staff

PARIS (FR) HAILS "VELIB" BICYCLE REVOLUTION

-> According to a July 17th Scotsman article, "VELIB", a free bike scheme launched this week by Paris city council, has got off to a triumphant start. Just four hours after launch, the 10,000 bicycles - held at 750 stations - had been used more than 15,000 times. 'It was a fantastic success that went beyond what he had hoped for,' said Denis Baupon, the city official responsible for transport.

"The Velib (vel for velo or bicycle, and lib for liberte, freedom) scheme is the brainchild of the Paris mayor, Bertrand Delanoe, who is determined to crack down on the French capital's high pollution levels by encouraging residents and visitors to use eco-friendly modes of transport. The new service will 'bring to Paris lovers a bit more air, a bit more innovation and, as its name suggests, a lot more liberty,' Mr Delanoe said.

"Gilbert Arigon, 63, gave up cycling after he had three bikes stolen in the city. He said of the scheme: 'When it's sunny, it's so much nicer to be able to take a bicycle instead of the metro and the bus.' Under the Velib scheme, anyone can use one of the heavy-duty bicycles by simply swiping a travel card. Users can leave the bike at any rack anywhere in the city..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/2f4yvh
Archive search: use "Search" window
Archive cost: No
Title: "Paris hails bicycle revolution"
Author: Staff

[Ed. note: Unfortunately, accents had to be removed to avoid high ascii glitches. And we all know how painful those can be! You can see the story in its original form by following the link above.]

GRANTS TO HELP SCHOOLS IN 17 STATES FIGHT OBESITY

-> According to an Aug. 8th Winston-Salem Journal article, "A New Jersey philanthropic foundation is giving $20 million to a program designed to promote healthy eating and exercise in schools in 17 states, including North Carolina. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation will use the money from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help schools in those states fight obesity in children.

"The Alliance says that about 8,000 schools will be able to get in-person support for their anti-obesity programs. The grant will be available to schools in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee and West Virginia."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/2hzejx
Archive search: use "Search" window
Archive cost: No
Title: "Schools to get money to fight child obesity"
Author: AP

ROSSLYN (MD) TRIES WATER BOTTLE CALMING DEVICE

-> According to a July 15th Washington Post article, "Normally if you lined up empty water bottles on a Rosslyn median strip, you could be fined as much as $2,500 for littering. But in one case Arlington County paid $50,000 to have hundreds of bottles arranged into a piece of public art that looks like a field of luminescent cattails. The installation is at one of Rosslyn's busiest intersections: the exit of Arlington Boulevard where Fairfax Drive, Fort Myer Drive and North Lynn Street all intersect. The piece consists of plastic columns on a grid, ranging in height from 5 to 13 feet and held aloft by metal reinforcing rods, with used water bottles -- culled from country government offices -- perched atop each stalk. At night, LED lights powered by a single solar panel illuminate the bottles -- a no-emissions form of power that inspired the work's name, 'CO2LED.'

"The field of bottles is temporary, built to be part of the landscape of the Planet Arlington World Music Festival on Sept. 1, after which it will come down. Angela Anderson Adams, public art administrator for Arlington County Cultural Affairs, says the piece makes distinctive use of urban space. It's also a test case of what to do with an intersection. 'You can pilot new ideas if people don't have to live with it forever,' she says. 'They're a little more likely to let you try.' The walking environment of Rosslyn, particularly near Arlington Boulevard, is not welcoming. For pedestrians, the crossing is a game of Frogger: cars merging from every direction, multiple routes across the road, multiple medians to cling to for safety..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/yuyl6b
Archive search: http://tinyurl.com/26hw54
Archive cost: Yes
Title: "Happy Median: Amid Traffic, Beacons of Beauty"
Author: Joshua Zumbrun

AARP SUGGESTS FIVE GREAT PLACES TO LIVE

-> According to an Aug. 7th AARP Magazine article, "City living may cost a bit more, but urban communities also deliver peak value -- in the form of culture, work options, mass transit, fitness opportunities, and more (P.S. These also happen to be terrific places to retire). If you ask people where they'd like to live when they retire, the vast majority of them will say, 'Right here, of course.' In fact, according to the Census Bureau, fewer than 5 percent of people 55 and older move in any given year, and the bulk of those don't go very far: 49 percent of movers stay within the same county, and only 25 percent move to a different state. Of those who do cross state lines, the major lure isn't weather, tax relief, or a new adventure: people usually move to be closer to family. 'Upwards of 90 percent of people say they'd like to stay right in their own communities as they age,' says Robert H. McNulty, founder of Partners for Livable Communities, a nonprofit that works with cities to promote quality of life and social equality for all residents.

"And therein lies the conundrum of communities across the country -- how to provide services not just for young families but for empty nesters, active retirees, and everyone in between -- so that older residents (and there are increasing numbers of them as boomers reach retirement age) are not a drain on a community's resources but are an asset to them. The places highlighted here are ahead of the curve. Yes, most of them are big cities, and cities do tend to have higher housing costs and taxes. But the tradeoff is that they have the resources to invest in the programs and services that make a place livable: mass-transit systems so people can drive less, expanded sidewalks to encourage walking, better health care, and a wide range of mixed-use housing..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/2nqr8g
Archive search: use "Search" window
Archive cost: No
Title: "5 Great Places to Live"
Author: Sarah Mahoney

KANSAS CITY (MO) HIRES BIKE/PED COORDINATOR

-> According to a July 25th Kansas City Star article, "As a broke graduate student, Deb Ridgway shivered in snowstorms for delayed buses and nervously waited alone at dark out-of-the-way stops for tardy buses. She knew there had to be a better way to get from the center of St. Louis to the suburb where she had a second job. Then a friend convinced her to hop onto a bike as her primary mode of transportation. 'That was a defining moment for me,' she said. So her new job is quite personal for her. Light rail and buses may get all the headlines, but as Kansas City's newly hired bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, Ridgway is tasked with encouraging more residents to turn to two wheels and their feet to get to work and errands. With gas now regularly at $3 a gallon and higher, city officials hope the time is ripe to get more residents walking and riding.

"Ridgway also is charged with overseeing city projects, including street projects, to ensure that they are bike- and pedestrian-friendly and that any impediments are removed. City officials and bicycle enthusiasts hope Ridgway's hiring will help Kansas City, which they say is significantly behind other cities when it comes to alternative transportation. 'My personal vision is we have a bike-friendly, pedestrian-friendly community that we can use in the span of our lifetime,' the 44-year-old Ridgway said. 'We can do it. We've got a lot of work to do in the next five years.' A native of Ohio, the self-described farm kid grew up riding her bike on country roads but abandoned the two wheels for four as she got older..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/yolgtb
Archive search: use "Search" window
Archive cost: Yes
Title: "Job challenges for KC's bike coordinator are personal"
Author: Deann Smith

HAS CHICAGO (IL) CRITICAL MASS' RUN ITS COURSE?

-> According to an Aug. 5th Sun-Times article, "As we halted traffic on a congested section of Halsted last week, you could almost see the disgust in some drivers' faces. They were already delayed by the construction on the Dan Ryan, and now they had to wait for some 2,000 cyclists to slowly pedal through on a busy Friday night. But later, as we rode down side streets in Little Village, families ran to the street to see us, holding out their hands for high-fives and repeating our greeting, 'Happy Friday!' And we were a spectacle to see: a street fair on wheels, featuring music, performance art, tripped-out, double-decker bikes, bubble-makers and bikers in costume.

"Welcome to Critical Mass, the monthly bike ride through Chicago that will celebrate its tenth anniversary next month. The ride is cyclists' chance each month to take over the streets they normally cede to cars, and ride wherever they want. Some riders say it's the only time they truly feel safe on Chicago's roadways But some riders wonder if the ride has gotten too big and too party-like, and no longer conveys a strong message. They are pushing for the ride to end after its ten year anniversary ride Sept. 28. 'It is not as much an instrument of change as it used to be,' said Howard Kaplan, 43, of Little Village. He complains, 'It looks like an Indiana University frat party.'

"Others say it would be foolish to end the ride now that awareness of global warming and cars' contribution to it is at an all-time high. And with more cyclers on the streets -- something the mass has sought to promote since its inception -- it's natural there would be more riders at Critical Mass. More than ever, bikers should push forward, they say. 'Things have gotten better, but we have got a long way to go,' said Dan Korn, 36, of Little Village..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/33f7hp
Archive search: http://tinyurl.com/2s2y5w
Archive cost: Yes (after 30 days)
Title: "Has 'Mass' ride run its course?"
Author: Dave Newbart

ACCIDENTS HALVED ON LONDON (UK) "NAKED" STREET

-> According to a July 5th Red Orbit article, "Accident levels have almost halved in a London street where 'safety' equipment such as guard rails, white lines and signposts were stripped out. The redesign of Kensington High Street has been such a success that the 'naked road' concept is set to be rolled out to other cities in Britain and around the world. Engineers removed railings, scores of signposts and combined traffic lights with lamp posts to reduce clutter. They cleared the road surface of superfluous white lines, re-aligned the kerb to follow the line of shop frontages and junked the different coloured surface materials used by other councils.

"Now Kensington and Chelsea council aims to capitalise on its success by pressing ahead with a major new road scheme near South Kensington Tube station a key stepping stone towards a multi-million-pound redevelopment of Exhibition Road. In spite of warnings from the Department for Transport that the scheme would worsen safety, figures obtained by the Standard show that the number of accidents in Kensington High Street has fallen from 71 a year to just 40 a drop of nearly 44 per cent. Accident levels on comparable roads across London have fallen by only 17.5 per cent, an internal council study shows. Since the scheme was completed in September 2003, the number of pedestrians hurt has fallen from 26 a year to nine. Although cycle accidents fell by only 18 per cent (from 11 a year to nine) against a Londonwide drop of nearly 26 per cent, the council attributes this to a sharp rise in commuters cycling.

"Today the scheme's champion, councillor Daniel Moylan, said it would be copied nationwide. 'We are having visitors from all over the UK and indeed from overseas and they all want to produce their own versions,' he said. 'It is about re-establishing eye contact between road users. They are now looking at each other instead of just signs' The report says vehicle speeds have fallen and drivers appear 'more alert to the presence of pedestrians and that they cross the street over its whole length'. Engineers also installed new lamp posts producing 'white light' to mimic daylight and improve vision..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/2nosuf
Archive search: http://tinyurl.com/2dbqvj
Archive cost: No
Title: "Accidents Halved As Street is Stripped of 'Safety' Features"
Author: David Williams

2007 NATIONAL PARK(ING) DAY ANNOUNCED

-> According to an Aug. 7th ENN Daily News article, "Cities across America will gain temporary new downtown parks for a few hours in September, thanks to a public project sponsored by a national conservation nonprofit. On National Park(ing) Day -- Friday, September 21, 2007 -- metered public parking spots nationwide will become public parks. The goals, organizers say, are to celebrate parks and promote the need for more parks in America's cities. Participating cities include New York City, Boston, Minneapolis, Washington DC, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and others. Organizers are also inviting local groups to participate, expanding the opportunity from one park to a system of park(ing) parks.

"'By turning parking spaces into instant parks, National Park(ing) Day is a creative and playful way to shine a spotlight on the real need for more parks in our cities,' said Will Rogers, president of The Trust for Public Land (TPL). 'Across America, cities are renewing their investments in parks because our civic leaders have come to recognize that close-to-home parks, gardens, and playgrounds are essential if we are to have cities that aren't just livable, but lovable.' TPL, a national conservation nonprofit founded in 1972, is sponsoring National Park(ing) Day 2007, a concept created by San Francisco art collective Rebar (http://www.rebargroup.org). In 2005, Rebar created its first "PARK(ing)" project by transforming a metered parking spot into a temporary public park, briefly expanding the public realm and improving the quality of urban human habitat (at least until the meter ran out)..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/36zo6d
Archive search: use "Search" window
Archive cost: No
Title: "National Park(ing) Day Announced for 2007"
Author: The Trust for Public Land

AND NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...

[From the Conservation Law Foundation's Aug. 1st newsletter]

Trivia question:
"What recent top selling book will make history, in 16 countries across the globe, including the U.S., by being the largest order printed exclusively on recycled paper?"

Answer:
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Just the English-language editions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows alone will save: 197,685 trees, an area 2.5 times the size of New York's Central Park; 72,074,421 gallons of water; and 17,364,063 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, equal to taking 1,577 cars off the road for a year or stopping 8,420 dragon burps."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/yutkmx


QUICK HITS

CONGESTION PRICING SAVES MORE THAN IT COSTS
-> "After overcoming numerous obstacles in Albany, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's controversial congestion-pricing plan finally appears to be slowly moving forward..."
http://tinyurl.com/yttyy9

ROCHESTER (MN) NEEDS LIVABLE SPACE, NOT PARKING
-> "Great cities we know -- cities where people live and thrive downtown -- could be described with two cardinal additions: a great walking city, perfect for strolling and exploring, and quality housing and small businesses that prosper with foot traffic in neighborhoods at the heart of the city..."
http://tinyurl.com/yr6pte

KIDS: MCDONALD'S LABEL MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE
-> "Most 3- and 5-year-olds who taste-tested a variety of foods said they preferred the ones in the McDonald's wrapper -- even though the foods were exactly the same, a new study finds..."
http://tinyurl.com/3clzks

ARE "BEST CITY" RANKINGS BASED ON DARTBOARD RESULTS?
-> "It's entirely possible that the ranking was based on hundreds of hours of research, in-depth interviews and the careful sifting of survey results. On the other hand, the ranking may have been developed by three Outside editors equipped with a 12-pack and a dartboard..."
http://tinyurl.com/3y9p3t

PARTY OVER FOR BOSTON PEDAL PARTY
-> "Mayor Thomas M. Menino is pushing for a ban of the bizarre contraptions that are steered by a single driver and powered by six pedaling passengers sitting in a circle. 'We don't want anyone to get hurt,' he said. 'We are not going to wait for a tragedy to occur before we do something.'..."
http://tinyurl.com/24ycul

EVOLUTIONARY ALGORITHMS SURPASS HUMAN DESIGNERS
-> "Instead of pitting God against science, the emerging spat centres on evolutionary algorithms (EAs), which mimic the processes of natural selection and random mutation by 'breeding', selecting and re-breeding possible designs to produce the fittest ones..."
http://tinyurl.com/2jydw3


RESOURCES

-> "TRANSPORTATION FACTS FOR YOUR STATE"
A web page on the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership website that "analyzes federal transportation data and how it affects quality of life." The statistics are from STPP reports.
http://tinyurl.com/ypztp4

-> "A PILOT STUDY OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL INTERVENTION TO..."
"...Increase Physical Activity in Inner-City Children; Farley, Meriwether, Baker, Watkins, Johnson, & Webber; July 30, 2007 edition of the American Journal of Public Health, 10.2105/AJPH.2006.092692. Abstract:
http://tinyurl.com/3ddz5z

-> "2006 TRAFFIC SAFETY ANNUAL ASSESSMENT..."
"...A Preview;" DOT HS 810 791; 2-page (1.2mb) pdf summary of 2006 crash statistics. July 2007
http://tinyurl.com/2guaqz

-> TRANSPORTATION ENHANCEMENT RESOURCES
The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse has some interesting reports here:
http://tinyurl.com/yv84z8

Titles include:
-> "Transportation Enhancements: A Summary of Nationwide Spending as of FY 2006" (An overview of how States have spent their cumulative TE funds)
-> "Communities Benefit! The Economic and Social Benefits of Transportation Enhancements"
(2005, 24 pp. color illustrated); full-color pamphlet showcasing 10 outstanding Transportation Enhancements projects from around the country.
-> "Enhancing America's Communities: A Guide to TE"
(2007, 40 pp. color illustrated, 3rd ed.). This 40 page brochure covers the history of the TE program, how TE funds are distributed, and the project development process.


CALENDAR

Additional 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. Go to:
http://www.bikewalk.org/calendar.php

HEY, YOU! SEND US YOUR CALENDAR ITEMS -- PRONTO!

-> August 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; email: <sarah@railstotrails.org>. http://tinyurl.com/ynrex3

-> August 10-12, 2007, Bike!Bike! Conference, Pittsburgh, PA. Info:
http://www.bikebike.org/

-> August 24-26, 2007, Thunderhead Training, Los Angeles, CA. Info:
http://www.thunderheadalliance.org

-> August 27-30, 2007, Third annual PRO BIKE®/PRO WALK FLORIDA CONFERENCE “Healthy Community Makeovers: Designs and Programs for Active and Healthy Lifestyles” to be held in Orlando at the Embassy Suites Downtown hotel. Visit www.probikeprowalkflorida.com for additional information.

-> August 28-30, 2007, the third annual Pro Walk ®/Pro Bike Florida Conference. Theme: Healthy Community Makeovers -- Designs and Programs for Active and Healthy Lifestyles. Orlando, FL, at the Embassy Suites Downtown hotel. Info at:
http://www.probikeprowalkflorida.com

-> September 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: <rebecca@calbike.org>
http://tinyurl.com/2jkmbu

-> September 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: <kit@apbp.org>
http://www.apbp.org

-> September 20-22, 2007, 9th Annual Virginia Bike Walk Conference, Williamsburg, VA. Info: Stephanie Smith, Virginia SRTS Network Organizer, BikeWalk Virginia, PO Box 203, Williamsburg, VA 23187-0203; phone: 757-229-0507; cell: 757-871-8639; fax: 757-259-2372; email: <stephanie@activewilliamsburg.org>.
http://tinyurl.com/2m2za4

-> September 20-22, 2007, Colorado Pedestrian Summit, Vail, CO. Info: Gay Page, President, Colorado Walks; phone: (303) 549-5081; email: <GayPage@ColoradoWalks.org>.
http://www.ColoradoWalks.org

-> September 28-29, 2007, Healthy Trails, Healthy Communities conference, Rochester, NY. Info: Parks & Trails New York, (518) 434-1583.
http://www.ptny.org

-> October 1-4, 2007, Walk21 International Conference, Toronto, ON, Canada. Info:
http://tinyurl.com/ygtb78

-> October 5-7, 2007, Thunderhead Training, plus lobby training Oct. 8 and Hill visits Oct. 9, 2007, Washington, DC. Info:
http://www.thunderheadalliance.org

-> October 17, 2007, Moving Together 2007, The Annual Massachusetts Bicycling & Walking Conference, Boston, MA. Info: The Baystate Roads Program at (413) 545-2604;
http://www.baystateroads.org/mt/

-> November 5-7, 2007. 1st National Safe Routes to School Conference: Creating, Building and Sustaining Momentum, Dearborn, MI. Info:
http://tinyurl.com/2jtuxs

-> November 7-10, 2007, Atlanta on the Cutting Edge: New Models for Growth and Renewal, Atlanta GA. Info: Leslie Pickel, Event Management Consultant, The Seaside Institute, PO Box 4875, Seaside Branch, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459; voice: (850) 231-2421; email: <lpickel@theseasideinstitute.org>
http://tinyurl.com/2ps537

-> December 9-12, 2007, Mid America Trails & Greenways Conference, Chicago, IL. Info: phone: (312) 427-4256
http://www.openlands.org

-> May 18-21, 2008, National Roundabout Conference, Kansas City, MO. Info: Richard Pain; email: <RPain@nas.edu>.
http://tinyurl.com/2wknah

-> September 2-5, 2008, Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference, Seattle, WA; hosted at the Westin Seattle. Watch for info at: http://www.bikewalk.org/conference.php


JOBS GRANTS AND RFPS

-> JOB -- PROJECT DIRECTOR -- WELBORN BAPTIST FDN

This team member will lead the Foundation's development and promotion of a Healthy Community Initiative for its 14-county service area in southwestern Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. Will integrate national leading practices such as those promoted by Active Living, Complete Streets, and the CDC's Healthy People in Healthy Places goals, into the program and assist with strategy development. The long-term goal will be to help people residing in the area live healthier lifestyles.

Required skills: leadership, community collaboration, strategic planning, facilitating group learning, public speaking. Must have a basic understanding of public policy and civic process and be able to help our community members understand the connection between their health and the surrounding environment.

Personal characteristics: must be an enthusiastic role model with a healthy lifestyle, creative, resourceful, self-starter, team player.

Education: Masters in relevant field, such as Public Health, Urban Planning, or comparable. 5 years experience is strongly desired.

Evansville is a friendly, mid-size community of approximately 175,000, situated on the banks of the scenic Ohio River in southwestern Indiana. We welcome you to visit us at:
http://tinyurl.com/2szd9x

For more information about the Foundation, go to:
http://www.welbornfdn.org.

To apply, submit cover letter and resume (in Adobe Acrobat PDF format only) to: <info@welbornfdn.org>

-> JOB -- EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR -- TRUCKEE (CA) TRAILS FDN.

We are in the hunt for an energetic and strategic person to take on the Truckee Trails Foundation Executive Director mantle. It goes without saying that we are seeking someone with an unequivocal commitment to trails, bikeways, and alternative transportation. Preference given to those with a background in non-profit management and collaborative problem solving, proven fundraising skills, and familiarity with trails and bikeways issues. This position will initially be half-time.

We invite interested candidates to send a cover letter and resume to: Truckee Trails Foundation, P.O. Box 1751, Truckee, CA 96160. They can also email pdf versions of both to: Info@truckeetrails.org. I am also happy to have people call or email with questions to the contact information listed below.

Leigh Fitzpatrick, Truckee Trails Foundation, P.O. Box 1751, Truckee, CA 96160; (530) 587-8214
http://www.truckeetrails.org

-> RFP -- DESIGN FLEXIBILITY CONSIDERATIONS FOR CITIES -- NCHRP

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has issued a solicitation for consultant letters of interest on a synthesis to explore national practice for reaching a reasonable accommodation between the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' Green Book: A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets standards and the "built" urban environment.
http://tinyurl.com/yo3y58

 


HOUSEKEEPING

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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, Deb Ridgway, Katy Jones, Christopher Douwes, Kristen Steele, John Fegan, Alan Preston, Michael King, Michael Burton, Ruth Metzger, Roger Kellman, and Rick Davies.

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