#190 Wednesday, December 12, 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.
CenterLines is also available as a podcast. Go to: http://podcast.bikewalk.org/
-> Executive Director Bill Wilkinson announced Wednesday that Sharon Roerty has been appointed Deputy Director of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking (NCBW). For the past four years, Roerty has served as the NCBW's Director of Community Programs.
"Sharon has done a great job managing our Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded Active Living Resource Center project and has become one of the leading authorities on Safe Routes to School programs," Wilkinson said. "Now, we're going to involve her more directly in the management of all of our contract and grant supported projects, and all of the various administrative functions that go with them."
“I look forward to extending my reach within the organization and I hope to have a greater impact on all that we do to influence transportation, land use and community planning," Roerty said. "Over the next 50 years much of our transportation infrastructure will need to be repaired, renewed and in some cases reconfigured. That challenge comes with a great opportunity. The 'do-over' gives us a chance to do it better, to build a transportation system for all of its users and one that accounts for the connections between healthy people, healthy communities and a healthy planet.”
Wilkinson noted that adding a "deputy director" position to the NCBW's organizational chart was part of a strategic move by the NCBW to develop more capacity within the organization's staff, and to allow him to spend more time on policy issues.
-> The Active Living Resource Center (ALRC) has posted reports from its 2007 City-SRTS pilot project cities. The reports discuss the communities where workshops were held, unique challenges each community faces in establishing safe routes programs, and how they plan to overcome those obstacles. Included in the reports are updates on what has been happening in the cities where we held the spring workshops.
The ALRC's City-SRTS program is based on the notion that most Safe Routes to School programs are designed to work in suburban schools. While the traditional SRTS programs -- such as the 4-E's and Walking Wednesdays -- are great, those models don't translate well in every community, or in every school. In urban areas, a majority of the kids might already be walking to school. But what about that first word, 'safe,' in SRTS? The City-SRTS program examines a variety of barriers to safe routes that might not be faced in suburban situations.
CenterLines recently caught up with the ALRC’s Mark Plotz, one of the City-SRTS workshop facilitators, and the author of the new report series. “Those teachers and professors were wrong: procrastination does pay, “ said Plotz. “Instead of going to the dollar store at the strip mall to get [project director] Sharon Roerty a Christmas gift, I can give her the reports she’s been asking for all these months!” Plotz paused for a moment, “It really is better to give than it is to receive," he added.
To view the new City-SRTS reports, go to:
For a background summary of the City-SRTS program, see:
-> Proposals for presentations for the Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008 conference to be held in Seattle Sept. 2-5 are now being accepted through the on-line submission form at: http://www.bikewalk.org/2008conference/submissions.html .
"The proposals started trickling in immediately once we posted the on-line form," said Gary MacFadden, director of the 2008 conference. "If history is any guide, we'll receive between 250 and 300 proposals for presentations before the submission period ends the first of February."
MacFadden added that the conference schedule for Seattle would have some significant changes from those of previous conferences. "One reason we're taking the PWPB conference back to Seattle after 20 years is to see how they've built an infrastructure for bicycling and walking," MacFadden said. "Many of those examples will best be shown through mobile workshops. In past conferences we've run a limited number of mobile workshops during the daily sessions, but I think we'll see quite a robust schedule of activities that get the conference participants outside."
As an example of infrastructure additions, MacFadden referred to the new "sign family" adopted in Seattle. "You can tell someone about how the signs look and work with a couple of PowerPoint slides, or you can take them out and show them the signs, the intersections, and the trails. We expect to do the latter." (For a preview of the Seattle "signs family," see http://www.bikewalk.org/pdfs/SEA_sign_family.pdf ).
MacFadden also noted that it is important for prospective presenters to read all of the submission instructions and background before submitting a presentation proposal. "Lots of otherwise good presentation ideas don't get the green light because the person submitting it didn't bother to read the materials, or tie the presentation to the theme of the conference," MacFadden said. "The review team has a limited amount of time to consider each of the hundreds of proposals...following the directions will help get yours to the top of the stack."
To review the proposal submission guidelines, go to: http://tinyurl.com/2lz28q
-> The NCBW staff has brought back the CenterLines Podcast. Program Assistant Mark Plotz initially explored the concept in 2006, producing a series of several podcasts. After reviewing the efforts, it was decided that reading the current CenterLines issue didn't lend itself to the podcast format. For one thing, CenterLines issues can get pretty long, and reading an entire issue can chew up a lot of production time. Also, there are a good many links referred to in each issue, and reading a lot of URLs didn't make for gripping listening.
In the revised podcast format, each issue will begin with a few highlighted news stories from the current issue, and then include an interview tied to information included in CenterLines. For example, the first of the new podcast series includes an interview with Sue Knaup discussing the launch of the new One Street organization (see the related article in this issue). The current podcast will feature an interview with bike/ped professional Michael Ronkin discussing the settlement in a case involving injuries to two joggers in a bike lane in Dana Point, Calif., reported in CenterLines #189.
"We're trying to keep things on a fairly fast pace in the fifteen to twenty minute podcasts," said Gary MacFadden, who is producing the series with assistance from Plotz, staff web-wizard Chris Jordan, and CenterLines editor John Williams.
MacFadden added that there seems to be some confusion concerning the need of an iPod to listen to a podcast. "The name is something of a misnomer," MacFadden said. "You can listen to a podcast on just about any computer that has an on-line connection, a sound card, and speakers. But the iPod or a similar MP3 player will allow you to download and listen to the podcast during, for example, your morning commute."
Podcasts for each issue will be published the day following the distribution of a CenterLines issue. To access the current and archived podcasts, visit: http://podcast.bikewalk.org/
-> According to an article in the Dec. 5th Safe Routes to School E-News, "SRTS State Network Organizers met for an additional day after the November 5-7 SRTS national conference in Dearborn, Michigan to analyze the first six months of the network project, exchange ideas, share success stories and plan for the future. Also in attendance was the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's program officer for this project. Discussion topics included recruiting and engaging diverse network members, managing special workgroups, creating a national learning network, and conducting outreach in states.
"State Network Action Plans are now being completed in nine states. They were developed with input from network members and associates to guide the work of the network during the next two years, and will be reviewed every six months. Action Plans include details about particular policy issues, their ranking in importance to the state network, tasks, timelines and policy leaders. These plans will act as 'road maps' for the networks and will form the basis of reports, guides and a learning network. In addition to ensuring that the federal funds are spent on good projects, Action Plans include policy elements such as complete streets, strategic highway safety plans, and school siting. We are looking for an organization or individual to manage the state network project in the great state of Texas..."
Got a candidate for this paid contract position (10 hours/week)? Contact Robert Ping, state network manager, at <email@example.com> or (503) 289.0441.
-> In a recent note, David Levinger of mobilityeducation.org wrote, "This was shared with me at Walk Bike California. It is a little gem in its poignant directness and simplicity!" The video was a product of the Chico Velo Cycling Club (http://www.chicovelo.org/)
For more about David's organization, go to:
-> According to an article in the Dec. 5th Safe Routes to School E-News, "A three-year old program in Boulder, Colorado has doubled the number of bicycle trips taken by the students at Crest View Elementary from 10,000 to 20,000 trips per year. In fact, 25% of the students may ride their bicycles any given day. The Freiker program (FREquent - bIKER) uses innovative technology to count the number of days a child rides their bicycle to school. Participants then trade in accumulated bicycle rides for prizes.
"Freiker measures participation every day, rain or shine, with no guesswork, no surveys, and no need for volunteers to stand in the snow punching cards or counting bicycles. The secret is the Freikometer, a simple, solar-powered device that sits right by the bicycle racks. Participants have RFID tags on their helmets.* When kids bicycle to school, they ride under the Freikometer, which registers the tags, beeps, and wirelessly uploads the data to the Freiker website so kids can see how close they are to earning a prize.
"Ned Levine, Crest View's principal, raves about the program: 'Our bike racks are overflowing. Everybody here loves the program and the extra encouragement it provides to students to bike to school.' Freiker is currently operating at 5 schools with help from sponsors and a local SRTS grant. For 2008, Freiker will be adding walking and expanding to at least an additional 10 schools nationally..."
-> According to the Dec. 5th MassBike Quick Release, "The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) has recently begun the process of updating the Regional Pedestrian Plan. The Plan will identify and recommend policies to facilitate and encourage walking as a convenient, safe, and practical form of transportation throughout the 101 cities and towns of the Boston region. One piece of the research for the Plan is a survey asking about pedestrian behavior and needs. They'll use information from this survey to help guide the recommendations and priority issue areas."
The survey takes 5-10 minutes to complete and is here:
-> According to an article in the Dec. 7th edition of the Recreational Trails Program and Transportation Enhancements Update, "At the Transportation Enhancements Professional Seminar in Portland OR in August 2007 and at the State Trail Administrators Meeting in Stateline NV in September 2007, FHWA had sessions about the Federal Surface Transportation Program Reauthorization scheduled for 2009. The FHWA Bicycle and Pedestrian, Trails, and Enhancements team is collecting ideas and comments related to our program areas."
Ideas and comments received so far are summarized at: http://tinyurl.com/2yfe2b
If you have suggestions, contact Christopher Douwes at <firstname.lastname@example.org> Suggestions could include additions, deletions, process improvements, specific legislative language from other related Federal highway law. Specific constructive, suggestions are useful, as are realistic general proposals.
-> In an article in the Dec. 6th edition of Marin County Bicycle Coalition Weekly Bulletin, StreetFilms and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition write: "Who knew that Randy Cohen, a guy who spends most of his day analyzing right and wrong as the New York Times Magazine's acclaimed 'Ethicist,' turns out to be one of New York City's most captivating and articulate voices for Livable Streets. The Open Planning Project's Executive Director Mark Gorton recently interviewed Mr. Cohen on the ethics of urban automobility. The result has been condensed here into a 9 minute talk that touches on a multitude of topics ranging from Congestion Pricing to Parking Policy.
"This great interview covers the current alternative transportation movement -- including bicycling, PARKing Day, and congestion pricing -- and explains what it's all about. Says Cohen, 'We're not preaching rectitude here, we're preaching hedonism.' StreetFilms hopes this inspires even more debate as we approach these issues from the angle of personal responsibility. We think you'll enjoy this."
Click here to view the interview:
-> According to a Dec. 4th memo from April Marchese, Director of the Federal Highway Administration's Office of Natural and Human Environment, "This year marked the first year of the Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives (EHEI) awards program...The EHEI promotes environmental stewardship by giving recognition to transportation projects and activities that are particularly effective and innovative in how they adapt and enhance the human environment..."
Five award categories have been established for EHEIs:
"In this first awards cycle, we received 38...excellent examples of environmental stewardship, making our selection very difficult..." The 2007 EHEIs by category are:
1. Encouraging Nonmotorized Transportation
QUOTES R US
-> "There are two general approaches to reducing transportation emissions: reduce emission rates per vehicle-kilometer or reduce total vehicle-travel. The first often seems easier, but if done correctly, the second provides far more benefits and so is often best overall."
-> "From the town's perspective, that school makes up a large part of what makes Farmington a livable, walkable community. It has been a trend for years to build schools in rural areas but those schools are no longer connected to their downtowns."
-> "It's very easy to water [Complete Streets] down to the point of meaninglessness. You have to put tools and measurements in place to determine if in fact the streets are complete."
-> "Streetcars have advantages over buses, which are the usual lower-cost alternative to rail. They offer a smoother ride, can travel at higher speeds and are far more beloved by customers. As significant, they generally attract more private development because rails in the street have a permanence that inspires confidence in commercial and residential developers."
-> According to a Dec. 11th Morning News article, "Most evenings, as the Dallas skyline begins to twinkle, dog walkers, errand runners and the dining set congregate along McKinney Avenue in Uptown. Many put shoes to sidewalks, and together, they emit a vibe that hints at quintessential, pedestrian-friendly city life. But around Dallas, scenes like this are few and far between, according to a first-of-its-kind Brookings Institution examination of the nation's 30 largest cities.
"The Dallas area is among the bottom dwellers in a survey identifying urban communities where driving takes a back seat to walking. At 25th, Big D placed lower than traffic-choked Atlanta, Detroit and Los Angeles, and below Houston and San Antonio, the other Texas cities on the list. Washington, D.C., ranked first. Here and elsewhere, empty nesters, young professionals and immigrants seeking a taste of city life have driven demand for urban-style development. That has coincided with a civic push to rejuvenate sprawling subdivisions and malls with a more compact blend of housing and retail.
"But for all that talk, the survey suggests that most of the Dallas-Fort Worth region remains a model of car-dominated suburban subsistence. Experts say the Texan way of wide-open spaces, big cars and highways is an intoxicating combination that leads to suburban sprawl..."
NOTE: For more on the Brookings Institution study, "Footloose and Fancy Free: A Field Survey of Walkable Urban Places in the Top 30 U.S. Metropolitan Areas," by Christopher B. Leinberger, Visiting Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, go to:
-> According to a Dec. 10th World-Herald article, "Nearly a year after plans for the former Playland Park were unveiled, Council Bluffs will begin asking developers to come up with proposals. The Bluffs City Council voted 4-1 Monday to give final approval to the park's master plan, developed by HDR Engineering of Omaha. Councilman Scott Belt voted against it. 'I don't like the density of the dry side of the levee,' Belt said. 'I have no problem with the river side of the levee, (but) that urban development is way too dense.' Land west of the Missouri River levee will be developed into a regional park and a riverfront drive, while about 23 acres east of the levee will be transformed into a walkable urban neighborhood. The east side will have a 2-acre neighborhood park with playground equipment, half of a basketball court, garden areas and open space.
"The west side of the levee will have a 3-acre green space for formal gardens, open space and a spot for public art. That side of the levee, about 93 acres, will connect directly to the Missouri River pedestrian bridge, scheduled for completion in November 2008. The landing, where the bridge meets the levee, will be marked by a tall architectural structure, which officials hope will draw people. Plans call for the pedestrian bridge to link the regional trail system on both sides of the river and provide a direct pedestrian link to downtown Omaha and the revitalized riverfront. Along with the open space, the neighborhood will be made up of residential and commercial buildings..."
-> According to a Dec. 11th Morning Sentinel article, "Debate within School Administrative District 9 over whether the aging W.G. Mallett Elementary School should be renovated or a new one built could draw in town officials. Directors are considering a site near Cascade Brook School for a new building. At the Farmington selectmen's meeting tonight, a parent who is a member of the Mallett School Building Committee plans to urge the board to get involved in a school decision that could have far-reaching economic and social consequences. The Mallett School is for children in grades kindergarten to three; Cascade Brook teaches fourth to sixth grade. The selectmen's meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at the Farmington Municipal Building.
"Parent James Andrews said Monday he was not speaking as a building committee member but as a parent and a resident. 'Selectmen need to do everything they can to keep the school downtown. The plans are still in the very early stages but the building committee is already deeply divided over whether we should even pursue the downtown option or consolidate,' he said. SAD 9 Assistant Superintendent Susan Pratt, who is also on the building committee, said Andrews is acting prematurely. The site selection report is not expected to be completed by the architect -- Steven Blatt Associates -- until January, she said. It then still must be submitted to the state Department of Education for review and to the SAD 9 board for a vote. 'The architect is looking at every option as he prepares his report for the state," she said..."
-> According to a December 3 news release, "Embracing ethics as the means for increasing bicycling around the world, a new international organization is cultivating novel ground for the bicycle advocacy movement. Each of One Street’s founders has seen organizations of all types hobbled by unethical behavior. They formed One Street on the principle that if organizations working to increase bicycling can break the suction of this tendency, the bicycle advocacy movement will finally leap ahead into the mainstream.
Through One Street’s on-call support and web site, leaders learn how to present bicycling as a top solution for climate change, health crises, oil wars and deadly street designs that threaten people around the world. Ethical management is blended with coaching and resources for campaign planning and communications. These basic services are free to any leader of any organization working to increase bicycling – non-profit, for-profit, government, local, state, national and international. One Street’s web site www.onestreet.org offers free resources on ethics and management as well as common bicycling issues.
One Street’s unique angle is already attracting attention as leaders of organizations large and small contact Sue Knaup, One Street’s Executive Director. “My favorite part of the job is helping leaders through the often confusing maze we all encounter as we strive to increase bicycling,” Knaup said. “Personality clashes and power struggles hit devoted leaders hard and distract them from their mission. At One Street, our quirky claim to fame is that we understand these tendencies and how to overcome them.”
One Street’s name suggests that all streets are connected and thus our actions affect and can help others around the world. This kindness and responsibility are inherent in all of One Street’s generous Supporter organizations including: Fuji Bicycles, ADFC of Germany, Arizona Internet Marketing, Ironclad Bicycles, as well as individuals.
For more information, see http://www.onestreet.org, or contact Sue Knaup, Executive Director: 928-541-9841, email@example.com . Note: Sue Knaup was interviewed in the CenterLines Podcast #189 about the origins of One Street. See http://podcast.bikewalk.org.
-> According to a Nov. 20th Journal-Constitution article, "From the recent announcement of an $8 million grant from the Woodruff Foundation for a new 35-acre park in the Old Fourth Ward to spanking new streetscapes in Buckhead, development around the region is forming a whole new ethic aimed at putting Atlantans on their feet. The buzzword for Atlanta developers in the aughts is walkable. 'When you start thinking about placing high-density projects... you have to think about extending [residents'] life beyond their living rooms,' said Mark Randall, Southeast regional director for Wood Partners and one of the developers of the new Trump Towers Atlanta project in Midtown. Major bucks and brainwaves are being channeled into the belief that an increasingly high-density city must provide accessible, attractive public gathering places for people who will be spending more of their leisure time burning shoe leather instead of rubber.
"Developers are spending as much time designing boulevards, public art and street-level commercial nooks as designer kitchens and luxury master suites to make their projects attractive to buyers. Alan Cablik, president of Cablik Enterprises, is part of a consortium of developers who spearheaded the creation of a new Beltline area park in the Old Fourth Ward at North Avenue and Glen Iris Boulevard. The developers are planning or building a host of projects designed to enhance and populate the park with more than 3,000 housing units and 500,000 square feet of shops and restaurants. 'The way we're doing this can be a symbol for Atlanta,' said Cablik, developer of urban townhomes at 795 North Avenue. 'It's a future vision of what it means to be an Atlantan.'..."
-> According to a Nov. 25th Herald-Journal article, "A $30 million project to widen about four miles of Highway 9 has sparked a debate about whether additional asphalt is enough for the bustling business corridor or if the county should implement a more progressive, though probably more costly, pedestrian-friendly design. At Rainbow Lake Road in Boiling Springs, the highway narrows to two lanes, with no sidewalks on either side. The S.C. Department of Transportation's preliminary plans to widen it to five lanes from Rainbow Lake Road to Highway 292 include landscaped medians where they are feasible, two-way bike lanes, and sidewalks on both sides of the highway, separated from traffic by strips of grass.
"'That's what we've been told to kind of shoot for,' said Penny Phillips, DOT assistant program manager for the Spartanburg Area Transportation Study. Phillips introduced a preliminary proposal for a 'typical section' of the widened highway to the SPATS policy committee at a meeting early in November. Implementing that design probably would not be possible for the entire 4.3 miles of highway because of cost, she said in a phone interview. For instance, a cemetery flanks the road for a stretch and road grades have to be considered. But SPATS personnel have asked for the 'complete street' design where possible, she added.
"'They definitely want as much green space as they can get,' Phillips said. 'And I think there's a whole issue of how comfortable does a pedestrian feel walking down the road if they're so close to the road.' Spartanburg County Council approved a resolution in July endorsing the implementation of 'complete streets,' or streets that accommodate use by pedestrians, bicyclists and the public transit system..."
-> According to a Dec. 5th Connecticut Post editorial, "When facing the problem of congestion on Connecticut's roadways, it isn't a question of why, but how. It's no secret traffic in the region is a disaster, choking the economy and cutting into people's personal lives. But what to do about it has always been the question. The state is what it is. We are sprawled around the landscape, tucked away in cul-de-sacs and at the end of long country roads. There is no density, and therefore no hope of rescue in the form of mass transit. That doesn't mean, though, that we stop trying. The state Department of Transportation faces criticism over where it spends money. Too much, critics say, goes toward new roads, and not enough to alternatives like walking and biking paths, mass transit improvements and responsible land-use initiatives. Unless we stop going in the wrong direction, there will never be a hope of making a dent in our traffic crisis.
"That's why advocacy groups like the Tri-State Transportation Campaign encourage starting slow. Work on solutions that can get going right now, rather than putting all hope on some miracle cure to come rescue us from our self-created malaise. Just by altering our spending priorities, we can start to make positive changes. Encourage towns to develop in ways where people don't have to get in their cars to drive to the next store or the next plaza. Cut down on vehicular traffic in stages, while still looking ahead to bigger changes down the road. The state can put more focus on the most sustainable transit of all -- walking and biking. Studies show that traffic can improve by leaps and bounds even with a small percentage of cars removed from peak-hour travel. It's worth it to the state to try and make that happen..."
-> According to a Dec. 10th Daily Advertiser article, "Eleven Safe Routes to School projects have been awarded throughout Louisiana including Lockport, Lafayette, Bossier City, Sterlington, Eunice, Vinton, Walker, Franklin, and Napoleonville. Locally, the Lafayette grant for $57,000 is to fix and tune up 10 bicycles, order helmets and print materials for bicycle safety training. Lafayette will also try to increae the number of students involved in the training.
"Eunice is getting $41,000 to build a 16-bike parking rack, a crosswalk and a sidewalk. Eunice also plans to have a bicycle registration day with training traffic rules for riders and pedestrians. Franklin will get $238,000 for repairs at four schools. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has received approximately $9 million to fund Safe Routes To School projects throughout the state over the next two years.
"Safe Routes To School programs aim to improve the health of kids and the community by making walking and bicycling to school safer, easier and more enjoyable. They work to assess the safety of school travel routes; make changes to current conditions; educate students and drivers about safe travel and encourage walking and biking to school..."
-> According to a Dec. 11th Voice article, "On the Stevens Creek Trail during rush hour, a bicyclist flashes by once a minute on average. For some commuters, there simply couldn't be a better way to get to work. 'It's a major commute route,' said Barry Burr, a member of the city's pedestrian advisory committee, which studied traffic volume on the trail last year. The four-mile walking and bike path connects several neighborhoods with thousands of jobs in the Shoreline district, prompting the Association of Bay Area Governments to call it 'one of the best-developed and most ambitious trails in the Bay Area.' But the city is working to make it even better.
"In the spring, a tunnel under El Camino Real will be complete, allowing a 1.6-mile trail extension into yet another neighborhood, Waverly Park, at Sleeper Avenue. City manager Kevin Duggan believes few other cities have taken advantage of potential trail corridors the way Mountain View has. 'It's been amazing, because 20 years ago there really weren't any trails like this in town,' he said. This Tuesday, Dec. 11, the City Council is scheduled to make a decision that could move another major trail forward -- the Permanente Creek Trail. If council approves, city staff will study an undercrossing at Old Middlefield Way, which could result in the trail's extension a mile south of Highway 101.
"Meanwhile, on the east side of town, preliminary plans are in place to extend the Hetch Hetchy Trail through the entire city on a 3.5-mile east-west stretch. The existing half-mile Hetch Hetchy Trail runs from Whisman Road to the Stevens Creek Trail. Ultimately, city officials hope the urban trails will create a network of routes over car-jammed freeways, under busy streets and through open spaces. There are numerous obstacles, however, such as opposition from neighbors, and physical obstacles such as housing developments that use the Hetch Hetchy right-of-way for parking. 'Great things take time,' said Bob Kagiyama, the city's principal civil engineer..."
-> According to a Dec. 11th Tribune-Herald article, "Downtown business leaders are circulating a petition calling on the city to convert Fourth and Fifth streets back to two-way streets to discourage speeding. Copies of the petition were distributed Monday at a meeting of the Public Improvement District board, which advises the city on downtown matters. Fourth and Fifth streets form a one-way pair that bisects downtown, running from Interstate 35 at Baylor University to Cameron Park. At Monday's meeting, board member Scott Baker, also head of the new Downtown Merchants Association, said traffic along those multi-lane streets must be tamed to make downtown more pedestrian-friendly.
"The petition calls for two-way streets from Interstate 35 to Waco Drive, but city officials are considering two-way all the way to Herring Avenue. Public Improvement District board chairman Tom Chase, who owns the Insurors of Texas building on Fifth Street, said the current streets are designed for speeds that are inappropriate for downtown. 'Right now, the traffic goes so fast, I think it's dangerous for our customers to walk across,' he said. 'It would be a lot better for it to be two-way.' City Manager Larry Groth told the board that the city could support the change but only with proven public support. He said a few years ago the city proposed changing 25th and 26th streets to two-way but "got burned" by neighborhood opposition.
"'If we're going to change Fourth and Fifth streets, we need a pretty significant public outcry,' he said. 'The council needs to know if you're in favor of it. If you're not in favor, they need to hear that, too.' Board members said the issue is coming up now because Keep Waco Beautiful has money to do landscaping near the Interstate 35 overpass at Fourth and Fifth streets and state officials are planning future Interstate 35 exit and entrance ramps. Chase said he has talked with Baylor officials, who agree that the two-way plan could help make a walkable connection between downtown and the university..."
-> According to an article in the December New Urban News, "In 2003, bicyclists intent on obtaining safer routes for cycling concluded that they needed a slogan -- one that would communicate their goal to the public clearly and forcefully. Instead of continuing to appeal for 'routine accommodation' -- the bureaucratic phrase they'd been relying on up to that point -- they started demanding 'Complete Streets.' This new catchphrase -- and the coalition that united behind it -- are helping to usher in benefits for cyclists and pedestrians alike. In the four years since the program was approved by the advocacy group American Bikes, 'Complete Streets' has been endorsed or promoted by CNU, AARP, the American Planning Association, the Active Living by Design Program and others.
"'A lot of cities have recognized the problem and are trying to create real change,' says Jeffrey Tumlin of Nelson\Nygaard, a transportation consulting firm based in San Francisco. The emphasis varies from one locale to another, but the central goal, as defined by Barbara Gray and Grace Crunican of the Seattle Department of Transportation, is 'policies and actions aimed at producing streets that are safe, accessible, and convenient for all users.' Among the municipalities that have accomplished the most are Seattle; Portland, Oregon; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Charlotte, North Carolina..."
-> According to a Dec. 5th Daily News article, "Two years ago, Simon Pastucha -- an urban designer and planner for the city of Los Angeles -- left his Mercedes SUV at the dealership and hasn't looked back. But how does a professional with children and far-flung meetings survive in car-centric Los Angeles without owning an automobile? Quite easily, I found after tagging along with Pastucha on his commute. We met at his Pasadena home at 6:40 a.m. on a foggy Tuesday morning. In his black suit, scarf, messenger bag and sensible, yet stylish shoes, Pastucha fits the image of a professional, urban commuter. We made the eight-minute walk through his quiet, 'Leave It to Beaver' neighborhood to Del Mar Boulevard. We waited a few minutes on the sidewalk for the small, hybrid-electric shuttle bus -- its low hum the only noise -- that would drop us at Colorado Boulevard.
"The Memorial Park station is a block away, but we popped into Famima, the Japanese convenience store that is synonymous with urban, walkable living. It's like an upscale 7-11, with coffee, sushi, small grocery items and carryable sizes of household necessities such as laundry detergent. Famina is the kind of store that caters to the car-free, Pastucha told me. The stores usually have no parking. Everything is small and easy to haul by hand. It's a little pricey, I noted, calculating the cost of a supersize container of Tide I could buy at Target. Yes, he answered, but he can pay a little extra because he's saving so much by not owning car. Touch , Simon.
"And just how much money does he save? Pastucha used to lease a Mercedes SUV for $500 a month. Add in insurance, gasoline and parking, and his transportation bill was around $1,000 a month -- or roughly $30 a day. Now, he spends around 20 cents a day. (The city of Los Angeles gives him a $50 a month stipend for transit.) Initially, after turning in his Mercedes, Pastucha put himself on the waiting list to buy a Toyota Hybrid Prius. 'But one day I noticed, what's all this money in my bank account?' he recalled. 'So I said, I'm going to see how long I can do this. I'll try to give it a year.'..."
-> According to a Dec. 10th New West article, "One of the largest mixed-use, neighborhood developments presented to the Bozeman City Commissioners was unanimously approved last Monday night, greening the way for sustainable developers to watch and examine the Story Mill Center for a few reasons. For one, the Story Mill's development team approached the city planning process and local community vastly different than most developers, as collaborators not obstacles. For another, this 106-acre, historical refurbishing project is a national pilot project for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Neighborhood Development program, an aspect the Bozeman City Commission commended, and actually required as a condition of approval that the Story Mill Center follow through with. These new set of guidelines and principles include the reuse of existing onsite materials, reduction of automobile dependency, parkland and wetland preservation and storm water conservation, to name a few.
"The Story Mill Center is a mixed-use infill project located less than 2 miles from downtown Bozeman. It will contain 140,000 square feet of commercial space and 1,200 homes, and projected to create 770 jobs and bringing in $308 million in tax revenue over the next 30 years to the city of Bozeman. In a town that is faced with rapid sprawling development and the burden of the funding new roads, fire, police and jail facilities, as well as a remodel of the high school, a new middle school and upgraded city offices in the old library, this tax revenue could be a huge value...It's rare a project goes in front of the city commission discussing wetland preservation, biomass storage, rainwater capturing and zero-setback to create walkable commercial areas..."
AND NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...
HORSES PITCHED AS FRENCH ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORT
"French towns worried about fuel prices, pollution and striking transport workers need look no further than the horse. Horses are a possible alternative for vehicles such as school buses and refuse trucks, say groups eager to pick up on global concerns about eco-friendly transport. 'It's all about sustainable development and bringing some humanity back to today's monotonous, machine-driven jobs,' Stephane de Veyrac, from the French National Stud Organisation, said at this week's annual conference of French mayors."
ALCOHOLIC QUITS BOTTLE, BUYS BIKE, LIVES AGAIN
US$3B DUBAI PROJECT TO CREATE WALKABLE CITY CENTRE
-> "TRAIL-BUILDING TOOLBOX"
-> "BUILDING THE LINE TO EQUITY: SIX STEPS..."
-> "FEDERAL SURFACE TRANSPORTATION PROGRAMS..."
-> "WALKING INSIDE-OUT"
-> "SIGHTLINE'S OIL & GAS SPENDING COUNTER"
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!
9-12, 2007, Mid America Trails & Greenways Conference, Chicago, IL.
Info: phone: (312) 427-4256
-> December 10-12, 2007, World Forum on Sustainable Mobility, Nantes, France. Info:
-> 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.
-> January 13-17, 2008, TRB 87th Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. Info: Transportation Research Board
-> January 28-29, 2008, Implementing a Sidewalk Management System, Madison, WI. Info: Stephen Pudloski, Program Director, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 432 N. Lake Street, Madison, WI 53706; phone: (800) 462-0876.
-> February 13-16, 2008, World Conference on the Development of Cities, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Info:
-> March 4-6, 2008, National Bike Summit 2008, Washington, DC. Info: League of American Bicyclists:
-> April 20, 2008, Walk MS 2008 (Rhode Island), Bristol, Cranston, and Narragansett, RI. Info: Rhode Island Chapter of the National MS Society; phone: (401) 738-8383.
-> May 19-21, 2008, 13th Int'l Conf. on Urban Planning, Regional Development, and Information Society ("Real Corp 08"), Vienna, AT. Info:
-> August 25-27 2008, National Rural Transportation Conference, Duluth, MN. Info:
-> September 2-5, 2008, Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference, Seattle, WA; hosted at the Westin Seattle. Watch for info at: http://www.bikewalk.org/2008conference/index.html
-> October 21-25, 2008 National Preservation Conference, Tulsa, OK. Info:
JOBS GRANTS AND RFPS
-> JOB -- BUSINESS MANAGER -- BICYCLE COLORADO
Bicycle Colorado seeks a full-time Business Manager. Be part of the movement to improve bicycling in Colorado! Complete job description and application instructions are located online.
-> JOB -- REC. TRAILS PGM. COORD. -- MASS. D.C.R.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation has just posted a position for a Recreational Trails Program Coordinator. The description is on-line at:
-> JOBS -- MISC -- COASTAL CAROLINA UNIV., CONWAY, SC
The following are job openings in Health Physical Education, and Recreation at Coastal Carolina University.
There are 4 listings:
Please refer to the following website for full position descriptions
-> JOBS -- MISC -- TOOLE DESIGN GROUP, WASH. DC
Toole Design Group has immediate job openings in our Washington DC area office. We are hiring the following staff positions:
-> JOB -- TRAILS ED. SPECIALIST -- FLORIDA D.E.P.
This is an opportunity for someone who is able to work independently and is a self-starter. It is a part of the Office of Greenways & Trails Recreational Trails Program. This is specialized professional work coordinating the development of the Office of Greenways & Trails (OGT) statewide trails education master plan. In addition, this position coordinates trails education workshops and assists with various aspects of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP).
For details (except for closing date), go to:
-> JOB -- EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR -- BIKEWALK VIRGINIA
BikeWalk Virginia, a statewide educational and advocacy organization, is seeking a full-time Executive Director. The Executive Director is responsible for developing and managing a wide range of programs designed to fulfill BikeWalk Virginia's mission: to promote biking, walking and trail use in order to create a more active, safe, clean and healthy Virginia. Specific duties include creating and supporting a network of local chapters, advocacy, special programs and services, and building relationships across the state. This position will be located in Richmond. Compensation range: $50,000 to 70,000. BikeWalk Virginia is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.
For a full job description, visit
-> JOB -- EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR -- FEET FIRST (SEATTLE, WA)
The nonprofit group Feet First, a leader in the fight to make Seattle and other Puget Sound communities safe and welcoming for pedestrians, is currently seeking a new Executive Director.
With a history of pedestrian advocacy stretching back more than a decade, Feet First has played an important role in encouraging walking and building walkable communities throughout the region. The group's accomplishments range from publishing a popular series of neighborhood walking maps to helping shape and campaign for the 2006 Bridging the Gap ballot measure, which included significant funding to improve the pedestrian experience all around Seattle. Feet First has also been a strong supporter of Safe Routes to School, a program that helps kids walk and bike to school safely.
For the Executive Director position, Feet First is looking for candidates with a strong management background. The ED is responsible for overall organizational leadership and will oversee program development, membership, fundraising, advocacy efforts, and long-range planning. The ideal candidate will have strong written and oral communication skills, experience in community outreach, demonstrated fundraising ability, and staff management experience. Knowledge of, and commitment to, alternate transportation and livable city issues is also highly desired.
For a job description and more information about Feet First, please go to http://tinyurl.com/2ycg2o. To apply, send a resume, cover letter, and references to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
-> JOB -- BIKEWAY PGM COORDINATOR -- HOUSTON, TX
Description of Duties/Essential Functions:
Minimum Educational Requirements:
Minimum Experience Requirements:
Salary: $55,172.00 - $67,938.00 Annually. Opening Date: 10/31/07; Closing Date: Continuous.
For more information, go to:
-> RFP -- HWY SAFETY MANUAL MATERIALS -- NCHRP
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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, Russell Houston, Sue Crag, David Levinger, Paul Jahnige, Kate Slevin, Todd Litman, Christopher Douwes, and James Taylor.