#184 Wednesday, September 19, 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.
The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP), the California Bicycle Coalition, and California Walks teamed up to host a combined Walk/Bike California and APBP Professional Development Seminar in Davis, Calif., Sept. 11-14. The 4-day conference drew approximately 300 participants from around the country, with very strong regional representation (see related article below).
Highlights of the conference were a celebration of 40 years of bikeways in the university city, a closing plenary that featured Minnesota congressional representative Jim Oberstar -- the godfather of federal funding for Safe Routes to School programs -- and Michael Ronkin's receipt of the APBP's Lifetime Achievement Award for his many years of effort in the bicycle-pedestrian field and his tenure as the bicycle/pedestrian coordinator for the state of Oregon.
The National Center for Bicycling & Walking (NCBW) was well represented at the conference, with publications editor John Williams and director of operations Gary MacFadden holding forth on several panel discussions.
"I've attended a number of regional conferences over the years, and I'd have to say this Davis conference was a kick-butt presentation," MacFadden reported. "The attendees were enthusiastic, the presentations were well attended, and the energy level was nearly overwhelming. And what a great place to host a conference!"
Williams added, "I think it was a stroke of genus on the part of the California Bicycle Coalition and the California Walks people to team up with the APBP. It was clear that raising the bar with the professional development training really enhanced the lineup of presentations."
A final item learned during the conference proceedings: Michael Ronkin mentioned during his acceptance speech that he himself was a graduate of Davis (year not noted) with a degree in Agronomy. He didn't elaborate, but invited the audience to look up the term. We did, and Wikipedia (the last word on everything) states that "Agronmists...conduct research in crop rotation, irrigation and drainage, plant breeding, soil classification, soil fertility, weed control, insect and pest control..." That seems like fine training for a state bike/ped coordinator turned consultant. Congratulations Michael!
On Tuesday, October 16th at 2p.m. EDT, the Active Living Resource Center (ALRC) will offer its third 1-hour "electronic seminar." The topic will be Recognizing Barriers to Bicycling and Walking, with presenter Mark Plotz, the program director at the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
The intended audience for this seminar is comprised of new advocates and community members who are just starting their efforts at making their towns and neighborhoods more bicycle friendly and walkable.
Seats in the seminar will be limited. Check the ALRC web site (www.activelivingresources.org) for the signup procedure.
-> According to a Sept. 10th news release, "Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation (TART) Trails is happy to announce that after twelve years the mortgage for the Leelanau Trail has been paid off. On Wednesday, September 5th, 2007 an excited group gathered in Suttons Bay to present a check as final payment. 'It has been quite a journey' commented Dave Monstrey, co-signer of the original land contract, as he handed the check over. Lois Bahle, a Suttons Bay business owner and original trail proponent provided a donation for the final payment.
"The Leelanau Trail property is now owned free and clear by the TART organization. The 15-mile, 185 acre linear property in Leelanau County is now preserved for future generations. 'We are thrilled to celebrate this milestone. It is a tribute to the vision, support and hard work of everyone who stepped forward to preserve this corridor. Now, the necessary financial support for the trail can be allocated entirely to making improvements and on-going maintenance' said TART Executive Director, Bob Otwell.
"The Leelanau Trail Association (LTA) was formed in 1994 and purchased the trail in two sections. In 1995 the organization signed the first contract to purchase the larger northern stretch of trail for $475,000. The Leelanau Trail was opened to the public in 1996. One year later the second southern section, the Leelanau Scenic Railroad, was purchased for $150,000. TART took over operations for the LTA in 1998..."
Source: Missy Luyk, Trail Program Specialist, TART Trails, Inc. (231) 941-4300; <email@example.com>
-> According to a Sept. 14th release, "Iowans will be joining schools from around the world to celebrate International Walk to School Day on October 3, 2007. Students from all over Iowa are encouraged to try walking to school Wednesday, October 3rd, along with parents, teachers and community leaders. In the U.S., International Walk to School Day is expected to include 5,000 schools from all 50 states. Walkers from the U.S. will join children and adults in 40 countries around the world.
"Walk to School events work to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, concern for the environment and building connections between families, schools and the broader community. The event is being organized by Iowa Safe Routes To School program from the Iowa Bicycle Coalition. The program encourages and educates elementary and middle school students to walk or ride their bicycles to school. By using active transportation, like bicycling or walking, the program hopes to make an impact on childhood obesity and weight related diseases, traffic congestion, and pollution."
For more info: Mark Wyatt at (515) 309-2867; <firstname.lastname@example.org>
International Walk to School in the USA: http://www.walktoschool.org
-> In a recent note, Deb Hubsmith of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership wrote to remind readers that the First Safe Routes to School National Conference, "Creating, Building and Sustaining Momentum," is scheduled for November 5-7, 2007, in Dearborn, Michigan.
"The National Center for Safe Routes to School and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership are proud to announce a slate full of diverse and meaningful workshops at this fall's 1st Safe Routes to School National Conference. Don't miss this inaugural event!
"Attendees will be able to choose from more than 25 workshops with topics that will appeal to anyone with an interest in Safe Routes to School. Several in-depth sessions and workshops will take place throughout the conference covering a variety of issues including but not limited to:
- Effective media relations
For more info, go to:
-> According to the Sept. 14th T.A. StreetBeat article, "At the unveiling of the 3rd Avenue Traffic Calming Mural, the Department of Transportation announced a $5 million dollar plan to improve street safety in Downtown Brooklyn. The DOT's plan to improve conditions at 47 intersections in the area is the agency's first step in implementing the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Report, a watershed safety plan that Transportation Alternatives and community groups have been pushing for a decade.
"As hundreds of community members, dozens of volunteers from Groundswell Community Mural Project, Visual Resistance and Transportation Alternatives as well as livable streets supporters from around the city laid joyous, and sometimes teary, eyes on the mural honoring three young boys that were hit and killed along 3rd Avenue, the DOT stepped up and announced concrete improvements that would prevent future traffic tragedies.
"T.A. commends the DOT for this commitment and is proud to have been part of the process. We eagerly await pedestrian safety improvements in Downtown Brooklyn and in other neighborhoods around the City..."
-> According to a Sept. 10th news release, "4 Seasons Motors is pleased to announce the introduction of their Service Department Bike Loaner Program. This program allows customers who's vehicles are in for service, to check out a loaner bike. '4 Seasons Motors is committed to helping improve our environment and this is one way that we can help do that,' says owner Brent Small. 'We are committed to adding ozone reduction and carbon reducing techniques to our business plan.' 4 Seasons Motors is following the leadership of Subaru of America with their Zero Landfill U.S. Factory and the Subaru Smartway Vehicles (PZEM) Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles (http://tinyurl.com/34f8yv) which have up to 90% less emissions than many new vehicles, and the Volkswagen Carbon Neutral Project (http://www.vw.com), which is off-setting the cost of carbon emissions for one year for every new Volkswagen purchased from September 1, 2007 until January 2, 2008. The contribution of the full Volkswagen community will be put toward reforestation of the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley as the chosen means of carbon neutralization, aka the Volkswagen Forest.
"'We had already implemented a program of using our waste oil to heat our shop in place of dumping it, and this just fits with our business plan to do everything we can to be an environmentally friendly company. We've added recycle bins throughout the dealership and are looking at other ways to be environmentally friendly,' says Brent...The Bikes were purchase by the local Gary Fisher Dealer the Bicycle Hanger who loved the idea and put together a great deal of several different models. 'In the past, folks have brought their own bikes with them when they came in for vehicle service, now they don't have to. We're also seeing many go ride just for a while during an oil change or small repair just to get some exercise in their day. Our dealership is ideally placed for convenience for all of our customers and is close to the Missoula Bike Trail System, the University, Downtown, and the mall, hospital etc.. Really we are in the center of town,' says Brent..."
For more info contact Brent Small at <email@example.com> or (406) 728-2510.
-> In a Sept. 15th SCBC Update article, Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Christine Culver wrote, "The bi-annual Walk/Bike Conference was held in Davis, CA this past week. I was very pleased to see a number of Santa Rosa city staff attending this important conference including Fabian Favila, bike ped coordinator, Nancy Adams, Public Works grant writer, Rob Sprinkle, Public Works engineer. It would be fantastic to have some of the other Sonoma County and city staff at these conferences. Sonoma County was well represented by presenters too. SCBC member and former board member Bernie Album did a fantastic job presenting the Grass Roots Safety Program that we have been involved in for the past 2 years. Martin Clinton, SCBC Street Skills Instructor, presented our very successful diversion program. This program allows people who received bicycle related traffic tickets to have their fines reduced if they take the SCBC Skills Class.
"There were many wonderful presentations to choose from. I attended 'Recent Revisions to Design and Traffic Engineering Guidance for Bicycles,' 'Countering Transportation Enculturation' (I LOVE that title!) and 'Square Peg in a Round Hole: Retrofitting Auto-centric Streets for Bicycling and Walking.' But most surprising to me, a UC Davis graduate, is how truly bike friendly Davis is, not just a bunch of hype. Having not been to Davis in over 11 years, it was like seeing Davis with new eyes, eyes that know understand how much work went into making this city walkable and bikeable. Downtown Davis is not a whole lot different than downtown Santa Rosa or even Sebastopol -- narrow streets, parallel parking. The thing that is different is that there are bike lanes on the key downtown streets and the many bike paths are easily accessible from many entry points. AND the paths are lighted because it is expected to have riders on them after dark.
"I do have to note what really blew my mind, everyone, and I mean everyone, stopped (completely) at stop signs waited their turn, patiently, and treated everyone else with respect. (I later found out from Tim Bustos, former Davis Bike Coordinator, is that the police are very strict no matter if you are in a car or riding a bike you'll get a ticket if you break the law). Wow. It was pretty close to Nirvana. I even had the thought of: gee I should just move here, this is what I want. Then I had a twinge of guilt for thinking I could so easily give up on Sonoma County. I think it was the heat that brought me back to my senses (this is what ultimately made me leave after graduation). Really, we have so much more going for our cities and towns here in Sonoma County. Let's keep up the fight; I can see slow changes in our city streets as they become more sane for bike riders and walkers alike. We can do it!"
-> According to a Sept. 18th news release, "Traffic congestion continues to worsen in American cities of all sizes, creating a $78 billion annual drain on the U.S. economy in the form of 4.2 billion lost hours and 2.9 billion gallons of wasted fuel--that's 105 million weeks of vacation and 58 fully-loaded supertankers. These are among the key findings of the Texas Transportation Institute's 2007 Urban Mobility Report.
"Improvements to the methodology used to measure congestion nationwide have produced the most detailed picture yet of a problem that is growing worse in all 437 of the nation's urban areas. The current report is based on 2005 figures, the most recent year for which complete data was available.
"'There is no "magic" technology or solution on the horizon because there is no single cause of congestion,' noted study co-author Tim Lomax, a research engineer at TTI. 'The good news is that there are multiple strategies involving traffic operations and public transit available right now that if applied together, can lessen this problem.'..."
For more details, go to:
-> According to the World CarFree Network website, "Every September 22, people from around the world get together in the streets, intersections, and neighbourhood blocks to remind the world that we don't have to accept our car-dominated society. 2007 should be no different. But we do not want just one day of celebration and then a return to 'normal' life. When people get out of their cars, they should stay out of their cars. It is up to us, it is up to our cities, and our governments to help create permanent change to benefit pedestrians, cyclists, and other people who do not drive cars.
"Let World Carfree Day be a showcase for just how our cities might look like, feel like, and sound like without cars...365 days a year. As the climate heats up, World Carfree Day is the perfect time to take the heat off the planet, and put it on city planners and politicians to give priority to cycling, walking and public transport, instead of to the automobile. Like last year, we are encouraging all organisers to hold a Street Conversion Design Contest. World Carfree Network and Carbusters magazine are co-sponsoring a competition to design a carfree street, parking space, or intersection. For more information on the contest and the concept of street conversions, click here."
QUOTES R US
-> "The aging baby boomers are so numerous that they will affect the design of our transportation system. Communities need to become more walkable, road signs clearer, transit systems more extensive..."
-> "Why does [Transportation Secretary Mary Peters] say that things like bike paths steal money from bridge repairs when states have more than enough money to fix bridges? The Secretary would not respond..."
-> "Here is the cold, hard truth: I was promoting bridge safety before bridge safety was cool, to paraphrase the country song. I have been calling for greater investment in our transportation infrastructure all my professional life..."
STATS R US
-> "In the 437 urban areas studied, Exhibit B-33 shows that there were approximately 51 billion passenger-miles of travel on public transportation systems in 2005 (15). The annual ridership ranged from about 18 million in the Small urban areas to about 2.7 billion in the Very Large areas. Overall, if these riders were not handled on public transportation systems they would contribute an additional roadway delay of over 541 million hours or 13 percent of total delay..."
Source: Mobility Benefits from Public Transportation Service, 2007 TTI Urban Mobility Report
-> According to a Sept. 11th New York Times article, "Cities and communities throughout the country are trying to encourage more children to walk or bike to school. The only way this can occur is if children can travel there safely. That means more sidewalks and clearly marked bike lanes or paths separated from roadways, lower traffic speed on school routes, safer crosswalks, well-trained crossing guards at all corners near schools and adult supervision. Also helpful are traffic-calming measures - changes in the design of streets and intersections to slow traffic automatically to acceptable speeds.
"In 2005, Congress allocated $612 million over five years to help communities create such safer routes to school. Seattle has reported a 77 percent to 91 percent reduction in traffic accidents after installing a citywide traffic-calming program that included 700 new residential traffic circles. Just last week, Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced that New York would spend $32 million in federal money on a Safe Routes to School initiative that includes transportation and public education projects across the state. More information on traffic calming is available from the Local Government Commission at http://www.lgc.org or by calling (800) 290-8202.
"Oct. 3 is the date of national Walk to School Day this year, promoted by the Partnership for a Walkable America (http://tinyurl.com/3ycse4). Children who fail to learn how to walk safely face greater risks whenever they are pedestrians. They have to learn when it is safe to cross and how to judge the speed of oncoming traffic. They must be taught to look both ways for traffic, even on one-way streets. Vehicles do sometimes make mistakes, and bikes can come from any direction. Parents, who are notoriously pressed for time to exercise, can benefit, too, if they walk or bike with their children to school. Just as parents have managed to organize car pools and play groups, they can organize groups of children who walk or cycle to school accompanied by a different adult each day or week. A walking version of the car pool, the Walking School Bus, has been successful in Canada and England. Parents share the responsibility of escorting children to and from school on foot or bike..."
-> A Sept. 14th Salon article suggests, "Imagine you're the federal official in the Bush administration charged with overseeing the nation's transportation infrastructure. A major bridge collapses on an interstate highway during rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring an additional 100. Whom to blame? How about the nation's bicyclists and pedestrians!
"The Minneapolis bridge collapse on Aug. 1 led Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters to publicly reflect on federal transportation spending priorities and conclude that those greedy bicyclists and pedestrians, not to mention museum goers and historic preservationists, hog too much of the billions of federal dollars raised by the gas tax, money that should go to pave highways and bridges. Better still, Peters, a 2006 Bush appointee, apparently doesn't see biking and walking paths as part of transportation infrastructure at all.
"In an Aug. 15 appearance on PBS's 'NewsHour With Jim Lehrer,' Peters spoke against a proposal to raise gas taxes to shore up the nation's aging infrastructure. The real problem, the secretary argued, is that only 60 percent of the current money raised by gas taxes goes to highways and bridges. She conveniently neglected to mention that about 30 percent of the money goes to public transit. She then went on to blast congressional earmarks, which dedicate 10 percent of the gas tax to some 6,000 other projects around the country. 'There are museums that are being built with that money, bike paths, trails, repairing lighthouses. Those are some of the kind of things that that money is being spent on, as opposed to our infrastructure,' she said. The secretary added that projects like bike paths and trails 'are really not transportation.'..."
-> In a Sept. 16th Youngstown Vindicator op-ed piece, Pete Sepp asked, "Why are Congress' popularity ratings still in the cellar? Look no further than House Transportation Committee Chair James Oberstar's response to the Minneapolis tragedy: add 5 cents to the 18.4-cent-per-gallon federal gasoline tax, and dedicate the proceeds to repair bridge infrastructure. The Minnesota Democrat's plan seems straightforward, except that Americans are coming to realize the government's fiscal infrastructure is deceptively constructed. For example, nearly one-fifth of federal gasoline taxes motorists pay are steered toward mass transit and 'transportation enhancements' like bike trails -- such diversions are even higher for state gas levies. Touted as the solution to traffic jams, mass transit -- chiefly rail-oriented -- has usually flopped..."
-> In a Sept. 8th Star Tribune column, James Oberstar wrote, "...This country is facing a huge deficit in transportation infrastructure. The 18.4-cent federal tax on a gallon of gasoline has stayed flat for 14 years. There are few things that cost the same or less today than they did 14 years ago, but we can't pave highways and build bridges with computers and cell phones. We need steel, stone and heavy equipment, which are much costlier today than in 1993. In 2002, when we were drafting the surface transportation bill popularly known as SAFETEA-LU, my colleagues and I -- Democrats and Republicans -- proposed a 5-cent increase in the fuel tax to make up for the buying power lost to inflation. Our proposal met with stiff opposition from the White House. Instead we were forced to accept a bill that fell some $90 billion short of our needs, and our infrastructure deficit grows because of it.
"A 5-cent increase would have cost the average driver less than a dollar a week. In the meantime, the price of gasoline has increased by more than a dollar a gallon. And none of that increase goes to a public purpose. It goes to OPEC.
"After the I-35W collapse, I developed a National Highway System Bridge Initiative to address the problem of deteriorating bridge structures. This initiative has four components: raise the standards for bridge inspections and increase training and provide new technologies for bridge inspectors; create a trust fund to finance the repair, rehabilitation or replacement of deteriorating bridges; distribute funding on the basis of safety and need -- with no earmarks allowed, and create a dedicated revenue stream to keep that trust fund solvent. I suggested a return to the 5-cent fuel tax increase because I believe it is the most fair and appropriate source for this revenue. But, while the tax increase is not a central component of the bridge initiative -- there are other sources to consider -- it is the part that has gotten the most attention from the media and drawn the most fire from critics. That's unfortunate..."
-> According to a Sept. 14th Government Technology article, "Thursday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 33 by Senator Joe Simitian which bans teenage drivers from using all electronic devices -- such as cell phones, pagers and laptops -- while behind the wheel. 'The simple fact is that teenage drivers are more easily distracted. They are young, inexperienced and have a slower reaction time. We want to eliminate any extra distractions so they can focus on paying attention to the road and being good drivers,' said Schwarzenegger.
"According to the California Highway Patrol, cell phone use is a leading cause of distracted-driver accidents in California. A study conducted by Ford Motor Company revealed that teenage drivers are four times more distracted than adult drivers by cell phone use. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 16 to 20 year olds. Motor vehicle crashes account for 44 percent of teen deaths in the U.S., with approximately 6,000 teenage drivers or passengers dying each year. Despite the fact that young drivers represent only 6.3 percent of the nation's licensed drivers, they are involved in 13.6 percent of fatal crashes. According to a 2004 study from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, drivers age 16 to 19 have a fatality rate that is four times the rate of drivers ages 25 to 69..."
-> A Sept. 13th Enterprise article asks, "It's easy to make a bike lane, right? Slap down a white line of paint, stencil in "bike lane" and watch the bikes roll on through. But what if you were trying to make the first bike lane in the whole country, and a lot of people thought you were crazy? 'They all told us "Don't do this thing,"' said Donna Lott, who with her husband Dale advocated for bike lanes in Davis 40 years ago. In 1967, Lott and many others were finally successful in getting the country's first bike lane open in Davis, and on the 40th anniversary of that accomplishment, she and a few others talked Wednesday evening at Freeborn Hall about just how hard it is to put bikes into a car's world. 'Taking macadam from the automobile had not been done elsewhere,' said psychology Professor Bob Sommer, who studied bicycling for 40 years.
"Lott and Sommer spoke at the Walk/Bike California 2007 conference held at UC Davis. Joining them were Frank Child, who with his late wife Eve, brought the concept of bike lanes back from a trip to Holland; Mel Ramey, a professor who helped design bike lanes that became the national standard; and Duane Copley, who helped design and implement bike lanes with the city's Public Works Department. When Donna and Dale Lott came to Davis in the early 1960s, Frank and Eve Child had already geared up a letter-writing campaign in The Davis Enterprise and The Woodland Daily Democrat, calling for bike lanes. The Lotts saw one of the letters, and were soon knocking on the Childs' door. The Childs, who sold one of their cars and bought six bicycles when they moved to Davis in 1962, were already riding their bikes all over the city. The Lotts, too, rode bikes, but it was dangerous, Lott said.
"Bike lanes were the answer. Although the City Council turned a mostly deaf ear to their cause, the call for bike lanes grew in the community. In 1966, with the endorsement of bike lane advocates, Maynard Skinner and Norm Woodbury were swept into city office, and bike lanes in Davis were finally under way. A few attempts went wonky, such as sidewalk bike lanes -- 'They didn't work and they cost a lot of money, too,' Copley quipped -- and bike lanes tucked behind parking. 'Whenever you do an innovation like this, you've got to evaluate it and design it better,' Sommer said. 'Unless they are very, very lucky, no one is successful the first time.' The Mace Boulevard freeway overcrossing was built with stairs along one side, forcing bicyclists to carry their bikes up and down rather than riding. Homeowners didn't want to give up parking on narrower Eighth and Third streets to allow for bike lanes. But the bike advocates didn't give up, and eventually, Davis had the almost complete bike lane network of today..."
-> According to a Sept. 12 USAToday article, "Harold Shaw leaves his home in suburban Atlanta at 5:30 a.m. to drive the 34 miles to his job at a fiber-optics cable plant. He gets there early enough to eat breakfast and read the newspaper. 'The traffic is not as busy this time of day,' Shaw, 60, says after whipping into a QuikTrip store Monday to use the ATM and get a drink. 'It's not as stressful if you don't have to deal with a lot of congestion.' But Shaw's reliable pre-dawn commute forces sacrifices in his personal life. He used to turn in after catching the first few minutes of the 11 o'clock news. He'd walk or jog in the mornings. Now, he goes to bed at 9 p.m. and rolls out at 4:30 a.m. 'If I leave home after 6 and there's an accident,' he says, 'I'm late for work.'
"Americans are leaving home earlier and earlier to beat the rush and get to work on time. Census data released today document the ever-lengthening commutes: In 2000, 1 worker in 9 was out the door by 6 a.m., the new data says; by 2006, it was 1 in 8. That might not seem like a big change, but it has put more than 2.7 million additional drivers -- for a total of 15 million -- on pre-dawn patrol. This 'commuting creep' is changing the lives of tens of millions of Americans. It affects everything from the breakfast-food industry to television viewership trends, from traffic-signal timing to newspaper delivery times, from carpooling patterns to personal fitness routines. Increasingly early commutes also are altering workers' relationships with their families..."
-> According to a Sept. 18th News Tribune article, "For decades, Amzie Woodruff has watched cars zoom past his house on South Tyler Street. Some of them, he says, can reach 60 or 70 mph. He used to call the police often, but he never saw much of an impact. So he's hopeful a new high-tech device the city recently installed at 38th and Tyler streets, about four blocks south of his house, will slow them down. 'If that sign is effective,' the 77-year-old Woodruff said, 'it'll be worth its weight in gold.' The traffic near Woodruff's home speeds along 'all day long, all night long. It's 24/7,' he said. The sign -- officially called a 'vehicle activated traffic calming sign' -- remains dark until it senses a car speeding at least one mile per hour faster than the speed limit. That's when the car's speed and the words 'slow down' appear for 3 seconds and lights flash in the corners. The signs also will collect speed and traffic data, which the City of Tacoma will use to 'verify complaints of speeding, and it could increase traffic-calming procedures,' such as adding speed bumps and diverters, said Spencer Beier, a civil engineer with the city.
"Including the first sign on Tyler, the city plans to install 10 signs by the end of the month and four more after that. A second order for five more will go out next week. Neighborhood councils determined the location of the signs. Future locations, Beier said, will be based on need. He also expects requests for more signs as the installations continue. The signs cost about $6,500 each. Once activated, there are no monthly charges other than the electricity to keep it running, Beier said. According to the Web site of the signs' manufacturer, Ottawa-based Dorman Varitext, a 2002 study of the effectiveness of the signs in the United Kingdom showed a 4 mph reduction of average speed, a 7 mph reduction of average speed in advance of hazard zones and a one-third reduction in accidents over the three-year period of the study. Tacoma is the first city in the United States to install the signs. Dorman Varitext's Jerry Britton said about 300 cities in the United Kingdom, including London, have purchased the signs, as have several cities across Canada. Lincoln, Neb., and Tampa, Fla., also have ordered them..."
-> According to an article in the Sept. issue of AARP Bulletin, "The small town of Kirkland, Wash., is attracting droves of official visitors from other cities. A leafy suburb of Seattle, Kirkland hugs the shoreline of sparkling Lake Washington and boasts 42 parks, two dozen public sculptures and even a nonprofit coffeehouse (owned by Internet executives) where customers pay only what they want for their lattes and pastries. But it's Kirkland's streets that are the big draw for officials from other towns, towns that want to follow its lead and design public thoroughfares that accommodate all members of the public -- not just those who drive. The visitors -- from urban centers and sprawling suburbs alike -- want to learn how to keep traffic moving without adding new lanes and how to make busy roadways safe for bike riders and walkers.
"With Americans aging and facing mobility challenges, communities are looking for ways to help residents get around safely. Kirkland accomplishes all this with wide sidewalks, flowered medians and flashing lights embedded in crosswalks at busy intersections. Bike lanes and bus stops line even some of the town's busiest streets. At many corners, pedestrians can pick up a red flag to catch drivers' attention, cross and return the flag to a holder. 'We consider walking and biking forms of transportation in Kirkland,' explains Deputy Mayor Joan McBride. 'We've been doing this for years.' Kirkland is in the vanguard of a growing national movement to plan 'complete streets,' which allow pedestrians, bicyclists and public transit riders to share the road safely with automobiles. It's one of 52 cities and towns, six counties and 10 regional governments that now have policies requiring their transportation agencies to ensure that roads are routinely designed or redesigned for all modes of travel..."
-> According to a Sept. 18th Newspaper Tree article, "For a time long being, bicycle advocates have been calling for the City of El Paso to become friendlier to cycling enthusiasts. At Tuesday morning's City Council meeting, two city leaders who regularly ride their bikes to work attempted to do just that -- make the City more open to those choosing to pedal instead of drive, but those efforts were met by resistance from some on Council. Up for debate was an agenda item calling for a uniform requirement for all new businesses and commercial developments to a lot a set amount of space for cyclists to park their bikes. The proposal would have made it mandatory for commercial property owners to make five percent of their parking space available to patrons to park their bikes, but that percentage did not please all council members; some thought that number was just too high an amount for some businesses.
"Rep. Susie Byrd, a supporter of the measure, said she wanted the item to go before the legislative review committee so that the City could make bike space allowances uniform throughout the city, instead of required for some properties, but not for others. Assistant City Manager Pat Adauto gave a few examples to Council as to what a five-percent bike space allotment would mean for larger businesses. She stated that the Super Target store on the far-East Side is required to provide 859 parking spaces for its customers, and of those spaces, 44 bike slots would have to be installed.
"Adauto also used the new hospital being constructed on the same side of town as another example, saying that of the required 220 spaces, there would have to be space reserved for 11 bicycles. City Engineer Alan Shubert later pointed out that bike spaces are much smaller than vehicle parking slots, adding that five bicycles could fit into one vehicle space. Balking at the notion of requiring new businesses to install bike racks, Rep. Alejandro Lozano said, 'Another thing would be to use horse ties. I have a horse, and what if I want to take my horse to Cielo Vista Mall?' Lozano then turned to Byrd, and said, 'I'm sorry, but this is absurd.' He added that the proposal should not be on the Council's agenda..."
-> According to a Sept. 4th Summit Daily News article, "By this time next year, bicyclists could be riding between Aspen and Glenwood Springs without venturing onto Highway 82 or other roads. The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority is poised to complete its portion of the valleywide Rio Grande Trail two years ahead of schedule and $1.35 million under budget, Chief Executive Officer Dan Blankenship said Thursday. That's great news for the cycling community. 'The Rio Grande Trail is possibly the greatest amenity the valley has, period,' said Chris Harrison, shop manager of Ute City Cycles in Carbondale. It not only connects Aspen to Glenwood Springs, he noted, it provides access from the Roaring Fork Valley to the Glenwood Canyon Trail and a network of trails in the Eagle Valley and Summit County. The connection is made using frontage roads in Eagle County.
"RFTA set a goal in 2005 of completing the path by 2010 and budgeted $800,000 annually for trail work. Federal and state grants along with unanticipated contributions from Garfield County allowed the work to progress quicker. This year, RFTA completed the trail on the old Rio Grande Railroad grade from the Thunder River Market area to 23rd Street in Glenwood Springs. That five-mile stretch was vital for safety. There was no alternative to Highway 82 for some of that way. The only segment left to complete is roughly six miles between Carbondale and Thunder River Market, the turnoff to Colorado Mountain College's Spring Valley Campus. For now, the county road on the south side of the Iron Bridge and Aspen Glen golf developments provides a safe alternative. Pitkin County oversees the Rio Grande Trail from Aspen to Emma. The trail is paved from Woody Creek to Emma..."
AND NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...
THE DREAM OF AN AUTOMATED HIGHWAY
"The General Motors Futurama exhibit at the 1939 World's Fair in New York featured a vision of technologically advanced superhighways where cars would navigate curves at speeds up to 80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour using 'automatic radio control' to maintain safe distances. Cities would have elevated walkways where pedestrians could travel safely without being endangered by the vehicle traffic beneath them. Hundreds of thousands of visitors were mesmerized by this dream of new cities with gleaming skyscrapers, spectacular highways, and the promise of greater mobility. Sound unbelievable? This vision in the late 1930s pictured the transportation system as it would be in 1960, only 21 years into the future!..."
GERMAN TOWN SCRAPS ROAD SIGNS TO INCREASE SAFETY
MICHIGAN'S MACKINAC ISLAND IS VERY SPECIAL
TAKE AN AEROBICS CLASS, LOWER BLOOD SUGAR
-> "CONTESTED STREETS: COPENHAGEN"
-> "MISSOURI SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL FAQ"
-> "STATE OF LUNG DISEASE IN DIVERSE COMMUNITIES: 2007"
-> "HOW FAR, BY WHICH ROUTE, AND WHY?..."
-> "ROAD PRIVATIZATION - EXPLAINING THE TREND, ASSESSING..."
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:
HEY, YOU! SEND US YOUR CALENDAR ITEMS -- PRONTO!
-> September 20-22, 2007, Missouri Safe Routes to School Conference, Branson MO. Info: Todd Messenger, Safe Routes to School Coordinator, MODOT Hwy Safety Div., 2211 St. Mary's Blvd, PO Box 270, Jefferson City, MO 65102; phone: 573-751-4161 or 800-800-BELT; email: <firstname.lastname@example.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: <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:
-> October 17, 2007, Moving Together 2007, The Annual Massachusetts
Bicycling & Walking Conference, Boston, MA. Info: The Baystate Roads
Program at (413) 545-2604;
-> October 21, 2006, 9:15 am - 12:30, Smart Growth Tour and Program, Georgetown, CT. Info: Sierra Club office; phone: (860) 236-4405; email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
5-7, 2007. 1st National Safe Routes to School Conference: Creating, Building
and Sustaining Momentum, Dearborn, MI. Info:
-> 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: <email@example.com>
9-12, 2007, Mid America Trails & Greenways Conference, Chicago, IL.
Info: phone: (312) 427-4256
-> December 13-14, 2007, Building and Rebuilding Traditional Neighborhoods: with Andres Duany, New Orleans, LA. Info: The Seaside Institute, P.O. Box 4875, Seaside, Florida 32459; phone: (850) 231-2421.
-> 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 -- PROGRAM MANAGER -- BIKEWALK VIRGINIA
BikeWalk Virginia seeks a FT Program Manager for an exciting new project in Martinsville/Henry County. The Program Manager will be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive model program for integrating biking and walking into the community. Salary $60k. Full job description and application details can be found at:
-> JOB -- TRANSPORTATION PLANNER -- CAMBRIDGE MA
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The City of Cambridge has an exciting opportunity for a transportation planner to be part of the city's innovative transportation planning efforts. The Transportation Planner/PTDM Officer will administer an innovative municipal ordinance aimed at reducing vehicle trips and traffic congestion by reviewing and approving transportation demand management plans for businesses and institutions, monitoring results, verifying plan compliance, and researching other successful programs. In addition, the Transportation Planner/PTDM Officer will provide technical assistance in transportation planning and analysis in connection with review of development projects and various transportation planning initiatives undertaken in the city. A strong transportation planning and analysis background is required, including familiarity with sustainable transportation planning. Experience in developing Transportation Demand Management strategies and reviewing development proposals are highly preferred. Applicant should have excellent oral and written communications skills, be well organized, and able to manage multiple tasks. Experience working with businesses and large institutions is a plus. Cambridge residency required within six months of employment.
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: TDM and multi-modal transportation planning experience. Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Excellent organizational skills and detail orientation. Ability to take initiative, follow through, multi-task, solve problems and work well under pressure. Solid experience with computer applications such as word processing, spreadsheets and databases. Ability to work well in a team setting. A master's degree in transportation planning, engineering or related field plus at least three years of experience or a bachelor's degree plus five years of experience required.
RATE: $56,036-$74,505 annually
APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Submit 2 copies of your resume and letter of interest by 8 p.m. of the closing date to: Personnel Dept, Room 309, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139. Fax: (617) 349-4312. Email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>. CLOSING DATE: October 1, 2007
-> RFP -- AUTOMATED SPEEDING, RED LIGHT ENFORCEMENT -- NCHRP
The Transportation Research Board's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has issued a request for proposals to prepare a comprehensive assessment of automated speeding and red light enforcement activity in the United States and to develop guidelines to ensure successful operation of current and future programs. Proposals due November 7, 2007.
-> JOB -- EXEC. DIRECTOR -- BICYCLE TRANS. ALLIANCE
Oregon is one of the best places to cycle in the nation, and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) is the leading statewide organization dedicated to promoting bicycling and improving conditions for all people who want to ride their bicycle. This fast growing and very dynamic non-profit organization is seeking a new Executive Director to lead the organization creating healthy, sustainable communities by making bicycling safer, more convenient and accessible for all Oregonians.
Candidates must have a proven track record of success working with elected officials, government agencies, businesses, community groups, residents and grassroots organizations.
Minimum qualifications: five years experience in non-profit, issue or advocacy work; successful fundraiser; ability to manage staff and work as team player.
Salary range: $65,000-$75,000 with health and retirement benefits. Send resumes, cover letter and writing sample to: email@example.com. Women and minorities strongly encouraged to apply. Deadline: September 20, 2007. See full job description here:
-> JOB -- SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL PROGRAM DIRECTOR -- IOWA B.C.
Do you want more kids walking or bicycling to school? The Iowa Bicycle Coalition is hiring a Safe Routes To School program director to run an encouragement and education program directed at elementary and middle schools across the state. In-state travel required. Full-time position with health/dental insurance. Please send resume to Iowa Bicycle Coalition, P.O. Box 572, North Liberty, IA 52317. For more info, go to:
-> JOB -- PREVENTION SPECIALIST-BUILT ENVIRONMENT -- PIERCE CO. WA
(Physical Activity and Nutrition team) Salary Range: $49,441 - $63,294 /Annually
This work will significantly impact environmental, social, and cultural conditions and norms of public health concern. Inherent to this classification is the development of community sustained strategies for healthier community development and population-based primary prevention working with communities and agencies to mutually understand and build upon the communities, key health issues, strengthens and capacities in order to effect community-based solutions. Essential functions of the job include Prevention Research and Analysis, Marketing and Communications, and Campaign Management and Evaluation.
Education and Experience: A Master's Degree in Public Health, Planning, Education, Communications, Social Marketing or closely related field, or the equivalent combination of education, training, and experience, and two years of relevant professional-level experience which adequately illustrates the attainment of knowledge, skills, abilities and other requirements of the job listed. For this position, familiarity with land use planning, transportation planning, urban or community development is highly desirable. Comfort with complex community decision-making processes is also highly desirable.
More info: John Britt, RN,MPH; <firstname.lastname@example.org>; (253) 798-2881
-> RFP -- 2 CONTEXT-SENSITIVE TRANS. SOLUTIONS GUIDES -- TRB
The Transportation Research Board's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has issued a request for proposals to develop two context-sensitive solutions guides, one for citizens and one for discipline-specific professionals. The term "discipline-specific professionals" refers to individuals who participate in collaborative transportation decision-making by providing specialized information and analyses in their fields of expertise. The guides will explain roles, responsibilities, and opportunities in transportation decision-making from long-range transportation planning through operations and maintenance. PROPOSALS DUE NOVEMBER 5, 2007. For more info, go to:
-> JOB -- PROJECT DIRECTOR -- PARKS & TRAILS NEW YORK
Parks & Trails New York, a statewide non-profit based in Albany, New York, seeks a Project Director to join a team of committed, enthusiastic professionals working to improve the quality of life of all New Yorkers through the expansion, protection, and promotion of a network of parks, trails, and open spaces throughout New York State.
The Project Director helps communities develop a common vision and provides technical assistance in designing, developing, and promoting trail systems; organizes and serves as liaison to a statewide trails coalition; advocates for trail and park funding and stewardship at the local and state levels; and develops and writes print and electronic newsletters, reports, and other publications related to planning, organizing and outreach.
The Project Director is an important member of our team and has the opportunity to manage a variety of projects and develop new program directions. Competitive salary and excellent benefits package. Submit letter of interest and resume to: Project Director Search, Parks & Trails New York, 29 Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207, email@example.com.
The position is open until filled. Full job description can be found at:
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SEND US YOUR NEWS AND CALENDAR ITEMS: We want to hear what you're up to! Contact <firstname.lastname@example.org> today!
List your local,
statewide, and regional training events on NCBW's National Training Calendar:
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 & Walking."
Contributors: John Williams, Bill Wilkinson, Gary MacFadden, Mark Plotz, Sharon Roerty, Bob Chauncey, Chris Jordan, Anne Villacres, Ross Trethewey, Linda Tracy, Harrison Marshall, William Hanson, Missy Luyk, Deb Hubsmith, Ken Sides, Kathy Jentz, John Ciccarelli, Amy Haggerty, Cara Seiderman, Stephanie Smith, Dave Holladay, Christine Culver, and Eddie Bo.