#200 Wednesday, April 30, 2008
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/
-> For nearly eight years and through 200 biweekly issues, editor John Williams has unfailingly mined the news of the transportation and active living worlds, filtered the results for the good, the bad, and the odd, mixed it all with a dose of humor, and distributed it to thousands of subscribers as CenterLines.
During the past week, more than 500 CenterLines readers shared with us how they use CenterLines, how the newsletter has helped them in their work, and what changes or improvements they would like to see in future issues. Many of those responding also passed along their thanks to John for his continued efforts.
The survey printout runs nearly 100 pages, but don't worry...we're not going to fill your CenterLines issues with the results. We'll just list a few of the comments here, and we've added additional comments at http://www.bikewalk.org/newslettersurvey.php
First, some quick stats. Of those responding to the survey, about 50% have subscribed for three years or less; about 15% have been CenterLines readers from the beginning. How do our readers use the issue? Nearly 60% told us they quickly skim the issue when they receive it, and then go back to pick and choose articles. Another 11% like to read it carefully from top to bottom. Many readers reported clipping and e-mailing articles to others.
For the best-liked sections, Features and In The News were equally popular, each with 24% of the vote. These were followed by Resources, Quotes R Us, and Quick Hits. And 15% reported they liked the "whole dang issue." The links to articles were also popular: 44% of the respondents reported that they followed links nearly every issue, and 48% reported that they at least occasionally followed links to stories or news items.
We received also received hundreds of comments on what makes CenterLines work and what could make it work better. The staff will delve into those results during the next two weeks, and prepare a summary of those comments for the 201st issue on May 14th.
Many of the survey respondents reported that CenterLines had helped them in either their professional work or their volunteer efforts to make their local communities better places for bicycling and walking. Below are just a few of the comments we received. You can find additional responses at http://www.bikewalk.org/newslettersurvey.php.
"Centerlines is an excellent source of state-of-play information and I rely on it to keep informed."
"Almost every issue has useful and timely information and is a valuable resource."
"At least once a month there is a story or info article that I either forward to my local bicycle network and/or cut and paste to my hard drive for future use."
"Because you draw articles from all over the country, I frequently forward links to friends and cycling colleagues in other states. This has impressed them with the breadth of my knowledge, even though you guys do all the work! "
"I design bike, pedestrian and disability access facilities for Gold Coast City Council, Australia. The news stories and features help me add weight to my arguments with council to build better facilities for all of our community instead of just more roads."
"I hate to say it, but here at [our] DOT, our focus is on roads and to be specific, cars associated with roads. I am the state bicycle coordinator, and articles in CenterLines have helped me in my efforts to include the needs of bicyclists and walkers in our road designs."
Finally, we asked people if they had comments to pass along directly to John. Again, here are only a few of the congratulatory comments we received:
"A hearty word of "THANKS" to John. Please keep you energy levels up for knocking these e-newsletters out. Greatly appreciated!! Give John a case of celebratory Canadian beer (Big Rock) to honor the occasion. Sharing bike / walk stories from around N America (via CenterLines) w/ all of us is the incentive our municipal leaders need to not be left in the dust on ped/ cycling initiatives."
"Awesome job - the trickle down of getting this info widely dispersed & how that helps people implement change is mindboggling!"
"Bloody good job mate, keep it up! Australia is second only to the USA in car dependence. Being one of only a few bike wise people within this car centric council takes it's toll at times and seeing that other people around the world are also fighting and sometimes winning for bikes/peds is a help."
"CenterLines is one of my favorite--perhaps my most favorite--e-newsletters. Thank you. It must take a tremendous effort to publish, and I greatly appreciate your effort."
Congratulations! This is a clean, crisp, just short, and just long enough, email subscription with lots of pertinent information to a transportation planner! "
"Congratulations! I'm impressed--I didn't realize that it was essentially the work of one person. Full of good stuff and easy to navigate so I can zero in on the stuff I'm particularly interested in. Good job!!
"Congratulations. You are responsible for keeping a lot of professionals connected to one another."
"Thanks for providing this great resource. Every time I receive the newsletter, I'm reminded of all the great bike/ped work being done around the whole country and it motivates me to keep that movement strong."
"Yay for issue 200! I love CenterLines! Go John Go!"
We on the NCBW staff couldn't have said it better ourselves, John. Congratulations on 200 issues! Here's to many more.
For more information:
-> According to an article in the Apr. 18th OKI Bicycle E-Info News, "The League of American Bicyclists is promoting Bike-to-Work Week from May 12-16 and Bike-to-Work Day on Friday, May 16. When Bike Month was started in 1956, the idea of more than $5 billion set aside in a federal transportation bill for bicycling was impossible to imagine. Now 50 years later, SAFETEA-LU sets aside just that amount, and Bike Month is celebrated by hundreds of thousands of people across the United States. Need some ideas? Here are 50 ways to celebrate Bike Month."
For more info, go to: http://tinyurl.com/2leabm
-> Presenter lists, registration information, room reservation information, and even where to rent your bike for the 2008 conference in Seattle, Washington, September 2-5, have been added to the newly designed conference pages on the National Center for Bicycling & Walking web site. On-line registration for the conference will open May 8th.
-> According to an Apr. 29th National Bicycle Strategy News Flash from the League of American Bicyclists, "The House Congressional Resolution on Bicycling (H.Con.Res.305**), introduced in February, calls on the United States Congress to adopt a national bicycling strategy to fully realize the incredible benefits of getting more people bicycling, more safely, more often. There is a 'sense of Congress' that complete streets policies are essential to ensure wise use of considerable Federal investment in transportation infrastructure, and that expanded funding for bicycling and walking programs is desirable and appropriate.
"As we celebrate National Bike Month in May, cities and organizations throughout the country will be hosting events promoting bicycling as a healthy, fun, and viable form of transportation. This is also a perfect opportunity to contact your Congressional Representatives to thank those that have signed onto the Resolution and urge those that have not to so.
"A good showing for the Resolution is essential as this would serve as the first ever comprehensive bicycling policy statement and would serve as an important policy statement guide for the next transportation reauthorization which begins next year (2009).
"As part of National Bike Month please take a moment to Contact your Congressional Member to urge them to support HCONRES305. Thank you."
**H.Con.Res. 305: http://tinyurl.com/4znvco
-> According to the Apr. 24th issue of Braking News, "Supporters of bicycling and sustainable transportation have long envisioned Burlington Northern Santa Fe's (BNSF) soon-to-be abandoned rail corridor as a key link for north-south bicycle travel between the Eastside's largest communities. But after the latest round of negotiations between King County and the Port of Seattle, the future of a BNSF Trail is in serious doubt. We need your help to guarantee that the 'the granddaddy of all trails' is built..."
More info: http://tinyurl.com/3eabax
-> According to the Apr. 24th LivableStreets E-bulletin article, "The Massachusetts Health Connector, an arm of the MA Department of Health and Human Services, just released an advertisement campaign for health insurance, but picked an image and constructed messaging that sends the wrong message about health and transportation. It says, 'bicycling in our city is dangerous, and is one of those extreme sport things.' Not only does this campaign contradict and oppose the efforts of all of us working to increase the levels of cycling, it's just downright offensive to cyclists and embarrassing to Governor Patrick.
"Repeated requests to both the Health Secretary Bigby's office and Health Connector Executive Director Jon Kingsdale's office asking them to pull the ad campaign were denied. We acknowledge that the ad unintentionally discouraged cycling-- we aren't accusing them of actively developing an ad to discourage cycling. We are requesting that the ads be removed immediately, and replaced with an ad that accomplishes their objectives without negatively affecting other very critical social objectives, namely bicycling..."
San Francisco, CA, October 26 - 29, 2008
-> "Rail-Volution is a conference for passionate practitioners -- people from all perspectives who believe in the role of land use and transit as equal partners in the quest for greater livability and greater communities. The success of the conference depends on the quality and diversity of presentations. Rail-Volution solicits your story -- sharing expertise, experience, success and challenges, including:
"--The basics of creating livable and sustainable communities with good planning, design and projects that deliver transportation options.
"The Bay Area -- with its tradition of innovation in transportation and land use planning -- is the dynamic setting for Rail-Volution 2008..."
For more info, go to: http://tinyurl.com/4b87ms
-> According to an Apr. 23rd T.A. StreetBeat article, "Mets fans--leave the traffic behind and bike to Shea for DOT's 5th Annual Bike to Shea Day! Join us for a 12-mile, marshal-escorted ride. There will be free valet bicycle parking and goodies. Ride marshals from DOT will escort you from Prospect Heights to Flushing via on-street bike lanes and off-street greenways at a leisurely pace."
For more info -- and a list of New York City Bike Month events, go to: http://tinyurl.com/3ok57l
-> According to an Apr. 29th Broadcast Message from U.S.D.O.T. Secretary Mary Peters, "Today, we launched Fast Lane, the Department's new blog. It is my hope that the site will serve as an open forum, and help facilitate dialogue both outside and within the Department. I have made twenty-first century solutions a priority for our transportation system, and now I'm thrilled to be using a twenty-first century communications tool to reach Americans in a whole new way.
"I hope you will contribute your thoughts to the blog. We have included a comment tab in each post, which will allow anyone to submit their reaction to our posts. Not every response will be included on the site, but we won't be sugar coating anything. I recognize this might mean posting unfavorable comments, but that's what a forum like this is all about! I look forward to engaging folks inside and outside the Department through this exciting new medium. See you in the Fast Lane!"
-> In a recent message, Josef Szende wrote, "Interested in sustainable cities? Like to get involved in a sustainable transportation project or initiative but don't know where to start?
"The Youth Summit on Sustainable Urban Transportation creates an opportunity for delegates to:
"Application Form for Canadian Applicants
"Travel from the nearest airport to Vancouver, where your lodging, meals and registration fees will be covered by CUTA. However, participants will be responsible for transportation costs from their home, to and from the airport and all meal costs incurred during travel including lunch on Thursday, August 21 and the dinner on Saturday, August 23."
For more info, go to: http://tinyurl.com/6re24r
-> Shane Rhodes, Safe Routes to School program manager for Roosevelt Middle School (Eugene, OR) recently asked, "What would cause 30 people to gather in a park on a windy, near-freezing evening, and then go out for ice cream? It was Kidical Mass -- the latest in a series of activities aimed at getting more kids on bikes. Why so much effort toward bicycling for children? First, it's good for kids. Physical activity is the best defense against childhood obesity and diabetes.
"Second, when you teach kids to ride bikes, you introduce them to an active lifestyle that will serve them well for decades to come. As kids learn the rules of the road and how to navigate safely by bike, they develop decision-making skills, self-reliance, independence and self-confidence -- which might make them nuisances to their parents, but will serve them well. Bicycling also appears to foster creativity, judging from the crazy things kids do on their bikes -- things that would never occur to most adults.
"But here's the dirty little secret: getting kids to ride bikes isn't just good for them -- it's also great for their Me Generation parents. The benefits start in the very early years. Anecdotal research indicates that strapping a baby into a bike trailer is a highly effective way to get him to fall asleep. Any parent can appreciate that. In addition, when family responsibilities make it hard to get out on weekend rides, pedaling around town with the extra weight of a trailer or trail-a-bike strengthens your quads just the way hill climbs and training rides used to. Once a child is a little older, getting out on your bike isn't irresponsible -- it's your parental duty. And who better to teach your little one safe cycling skills? Initially, these rides might be pretty short, accompanying her to school on your way to work -- but once she's skilled enough to do it by herself, you begin to reap the real benefits: she can take herself to school, or to soccer practice, or to her friend's house, leaving you free to go out for a bike ride!
"Finally, getting kids on bikes might be the most effective thing you can do as a bike advocate. City leaders sometimes see bike advocates as one more special interest group, and many motorists see an adult bicyclist as something between a minor annoyance and a target for abuse. When there's a group of adults and children on bikes, however, the response is completely different. On Friday's Kidical Mass ride, motorists stop, smile, yell encouragement and cheerfully wait for the entire procession to pass by. There is perhaps no better way to promote bicycling than to remind people of the joy they experienced as kids riding that first bike. Today's kids can recreate that experience -- and bring the adults along with them.
"So if you care about bicycling, do your part to get more kids riding bikes..."
-> According to their website, "New Amsterdam Project provides human-powered pick-up and delivery services for local businesses, organizations and universities. We can provide your business with full service route delivery -- inclusive of drivers, fossil-fuel free vehicles, and unparalleled marketing opportunities for your business on our unique, environmentally friendly trucks."
Here's a Dutch video about the project:
-> According to an article in the Apr. 2008 issue of FHWA's 'Focus" magazine, "Going green is an everyday goal for the members of the Green Highways Partnership (GHP), a collaborative effort among the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), other Federal agencies, State transportation and environmental agencies, industry, trade associations, members of academia, and contractors to encourage environmentally friendly road building. These green practices include using recycled materials in highway construction, improving stormwater management to prevent toxins from leaching into streams and rivers, and protecting critical habitats and ecosystems during the planning and construction of highway infrastructure.
"Formed in 2006, the GHP built on the success of the Green Highway Forum held in November 2005 in College Park, Maryland. The forum brought together more than 400 transportation and environmental professionals involved in the planning, design, construction, maintenance, and regulation of transportation projects. As the GHP has grown to include new partners and initiatives, it has formed three teams with a focus on Watershed-Driven Stormwater Management, Recycling and Reuse, and Conservation and Ecosystem Protection..."
Note: No mention of non-motorized modes in article; very little found on greenhighways.org site.
QUOTES R US
-> "Car use causes obesity, obesity increases car use and rising obesity increases food consumption and worsens global warming. If that sounds like a vicious circle with dire implications for global food security and the environment then you are on the right track."
STATS R US
Australian Social Trends, 2007
-> "In 2005-06, 10.5 million Australians aged 15 years and over (66%) took part in sports and physical recreation. These included 29% of the population (or 4.7 million) who regularly participated more than twice a week and 36% (or 5.8 million) who participated up to twice a week. The remainder, approximately 5.5 million people (34%), reported that they did not participate in any such activity in the 12 months before interview.
"While there are a great variety of sports and physical recreational activities that people participate in, the ten most popular activities accounted for 76% of participation in 2005-06.
"Walking was the most commonly reported physical recreation activity among Australians. One quarter of the population aged 15 years and over (almost 4 million people) participated in the 12 months prior to interview, with the female rate (33%) being almost double the male rate (17%). Walkers also accounted for over half of those who participated in sports and physical recreation more than twice a week (15% of the population).
"Aerobics/fitness was the second most popular activity, with 13% of the population aged 15 years and over participating. This activity was more popular with women (16%) than men (9%). Swimming, the third most popular activity, had a participation rate of 9% with more women (10%) than men (8%) involved.
"Over 1.0 million people (6% of the population) participated in cycling, and a further 875,000 (6%) played golf. Unlike the top three activities, these tended to be male dominated, with cycling being reported by 9% of males and 4% of females, while golf was played by 9% of males compared with 2% of females. Males also had higher rates of participation in running, soccer, and cricket, while women were more active in netball, yoga and dancing..."
-> In an Apr. 4th New York Sun article, Lenore Skenazy wrote, "I left my 9-year-old at Bloomingdale's (the original one) a couple weeks ago. Last seen, he was in first floor handbags as I sashayed out the door. Bye-bye! Have fun! And he did. He came home on the subway and bus by himself. Was I worried? Yes, a tinge. But it didn't strike me as that daring, either. Isn't New York as safe now as it was in 1963? It's not like we're living in downtown Baghdad.
"Anyway, for weeks my boy had been begging for me to please leave him somewhere, anywhere, and let him try to figure out how to get home on his own. So on that sunny Sunday I gave him a subway map, a MetroCard, a $20 bill, and several quarters, just in case he had to make a call. No, I did not give him a cell phone. Didn't want to lose it. And no, I didn't trail him, like a mommy private eye. I trusted him to figure out that he should take the Lexington Avenue subway down, and the 34th Street cross-town bus home. If he couldn't do that, I trusted him to ask a stranger.
"And then I even trusted that stranger not to think, 'Gee, I was about to catch my train home, but now I think I'll abduct this adorable child instead.' Long story short: My son got home, ecstatic with independence. Long story longer, and analyzed, to boot: Half the people I've told this episode to now want to turn me in for child abuse. As if keeping kids under lock and key and helmet and cell phone and nanny and surveillance is the right way to rear kids. It's not. It's debilitating -- for us and for them..."
-> According to an Apr. 27th New York Times article, "Starting next month, people here will be able to rent a bicycle day and night with the swipe of a membership card. A new public-private venture called SmartBike DC will make 120 bicycles available at 10 spots in central locations in the city. The automated program, which district officials say is the first of its kind in the nation, will operate in a similar fashion to car-sharing programs like Zipcar. The district has teamed up with an advertiser, Clear Channel Outdoor, to put the bikes on the streets.
"'There's a lot of stress on our transit systems currently,' said Jim Sebastian, who manages bicycle and pedestrian programs for Washington's Transportation Department. Offering another option, Mr. Sebastian said, "will help us reduce congestion and pollution," as well as parking problems. In the deal, Clear Channel will have exclusive advertising rights in the city's bus shelters. The company has reached a similar deal with San Francisco. Chicago and Portland, Ore., are also considering proposals from advertisers.
"For a $40 annual membership fee, SmartBike users can check out three-speed bicycles for three hours at a time. The program will not provide helmets but does encourage their use. Similar programs have proved successful in Europe. The V‚lib program in Paris and Bicing in Barcelona, Spain, both started around a year ago and already offer thousands of bicycles..."
-> According to an Apr. 30th Hartford (CT) Courant article, "The tragic death April 20 of Mila Rainof, a Yale medical student, who was struck while crossing an intersection at South Frontage Road and York Street in New Haven and later died from her injuries, brings home the great danger inherent in our transportation system and the need to set higher safety standards. Each year, more than 42,000 people die in crashes on America's roads. That's some 117 of us every day. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for every age from 2 through 34. In Connecticut, 300 of us are killed a year. Who among us does not have a friend or relative who was seriously injured or killed in a car crash? And yet, while these numbers remain the same year to year, we and our politicians all remain remarkably silent about road safety.
"This is because crashes seem to be a force of nature, a fact of life -- they happen and we call them accidents. Unlike with a war or a crime, there so often doesn't seem to be any human agency behind motor vehicle crashes. There is something unsatisfying about blaming a jaywalker or someone traveling a few miles above the limit. Who hasn't been guilty of a similar offense themselves? We are all fallible, after all. Yet such thinking evinces a general failure to look at the bigger picture. Blame may be assigned to users or it may not. But a transportation system should be built with the recognition that its users will be fallible and with the premise that mistakes should not be fatal..."
-> According to an article in the Apr. 28th issue of Smart Growth Online, "In a pause from sprawl, home prices across distant suburbs continue to fall deeper than city housing values, which sometimes even climb in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Miami, Boston, and Washington, D.C., especially near public transit, reports National Public Radio writer Kathleen Schalch, with Case-Shiller Home Price Index chief economist David Stiff saying the familiar buyer rule, 'drive 'til you qualify' for what's affordable, has morphed into the questions, 'What is the cost of gasoline?' and 'What is the cost of my time?'
"Long lured by cheap outer land and strong home prices, developers miscalculated and 'overreached,' but have finally seen faraway projects as 'just bad ideas to begin with' and shifted gears, he observed, his assessment confirmed by Smart Growth America Communications Director David Goldberg. In the 1990s, his hometown, Atlanta, 'was recognized as the fastest-spreading human settlement, probably in the history of the world,' he recalled, but over the past two years construction in the countryside dropped by 70 percent, without any slowdown in the city. The same goes for other big cities, including Baltimore and Philadelphia..."
Related NPR story: http://tinyurl.com/4oo8oc
-> According to an Apr. 27th Union Leader article, "Gisele Sevigny Fontaine drove from her home on the east side to meet her friend Orianna Dolbec on the West Side. The two senior citizens crossed the newly opened pedestrian bridge over the Merrimack River, strolled along the riverwalk and ended up at a late-morning Fisher Cats game next to the paved pathway. 'It was like killing two birds with one stone,' Sevigny Fontaine said. 'You got your exercise and you got to see a good game, even though they did lose.' Piece by piece, the city is expanding and paving existing or over-grown natural trails to make it easier for people, such as Dolbec and Sevigny Fontaine to walk and bike around the city.
"The whole point is for this to connect into the neighborhoods, so people don't use their cars," said Chuck DePrima, the acting director for the city's Parks, Recreation and Cemeteries Department. Call it connecting the dots. Sevigny Fontaine already regularly pounds the pavement on another trail, which parallels South Willow Street, occasionally picking up a bag or two of groceries from Shaw's supermarket and leaving her car at home. One day, Sevigny Fontaine might be able to walk to her friend's house on paved trails. 'I'd have to get in better shape,' she joked..."
-> According to an Apr. 28th Inside Bay Area article, "A blur of spinning colored wheels comes rolling down the street. The lead bicycle is a three-wheeler that sends rotations of color and the tease of candy snacks as it nears. Tyrone Stevenson Jr., aka 'Champ,' zigzags down the double yellow line on his Oreo-package-sporting three-wheeler of homemade urban elegance, with the Scraperbike Crew in tow. Stevenson wears a royal blue T-shirt and jeans to match his blue-framed bike -- its wheels decorated with blue Oreo-package clippings. The self-proclaimed 'Scraperbike King' wears a blue sequined cap as a crown. What began as Stevenson's attempt to create the next best thing to having his own scraper-car -- known in Oakland's hyphy-style rap culture for the matching body and wheel colors -- has turned into a mobile mini-arts festival of 26-inch-tall Ferris wheels rolling through the streets of East Oakland.
"The Scraperbike Crew, a group of teens, got some buzz for their self-titled music video, which was nominated as one of YouTube's Top 20 Best Music Videos of 2007and has drawn 5,123 views. The youths have used old bicycles, ingenuity and urban style to create an Oakland-grown phenomenon that is earning recognition from community leaders, local children and cyclists around the globe. Stevenson describes the Skittles bike with a rapper's flow: 'Them (are) 26-inch rims with candy-paint, four-toned, turquoise, purple, red and blue.' The spokes were wrapped in tin foil -- in a shape resembling a fan -- with a top coat of paint to match the frame color and candy theme..."
-> According to an Apr. 25th Spectrum article, "The City of Buffalo may have found a way to solve safety conditions on the road, decrease the population's obesity rate and play a role in saving the environment, all by completing the streets. The City of Buffalo filed the Complete the Street Resolution, which, if passed, would improve roads and sidewalks to accommodate all types of transportation through road networks. The networks would include bicycle lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks, benches, street trees and public transit shelters. 'We currently have a bill in the Senate and we expect a bill to be introduced in the House soon,' said Lisa Jacobson, fellow of Smart Growth America for the National Complete the Streets Coalition, the organization that would oversee the project.
"The project is based on the belief that city streets should be for every type of commuter, according to the Complete the Streets Web site. 'I think one of the most important benefits is that nobody is left out. Oftentimes, people that don't own a car or don't drive are limited. Complete streets create a network where anyone old or young, disabled, blind, anyone, can get around because the design elements are there,' Jacobson said. Now, city streets across the US, including those in Buffalo, are designed solely for car traffic, but the project looks to change that precedent..."
-> According to an Apr. 17th Independent article, "A splashing noise first hinted that something had gone awry. Within moments, Brian Grim was coated with a black, tarry substance leaking from a passing truck on a Colorado Avenue overpass. That experience a few years ago gummed Grim's hair and ruined his favorite shirt. Yet it did not dampen his year-round enthusiasm for bicycle commuting, spun through seasons of near-misses and messy encounters. 'It becomes a lifestyle,' Grim says. The weather can be icky, the roads busy. And biking clearly wasn't at the forefront of anyone's mind when the city sprawled over miles of prairie. But as commuters face climbing gas prices and an itch for healthy living, biking clearly has a place.
"One promising sign for the bike-inclined is the city's growing network of multi-use trails and bike lanes. Multi-use trails now stretch out over more than 100 miles, and Christian Lieber, the city's Trails, Open Space and Parks program manager, says the completion of missing links will make it more useful. The city also has nearly 60 miles of bike lanes, with more a possibility as roads are re-surfaced. Kristin Bennett, a senior transportation planner with the city and a bicycle commuter, says these amenities should amount to a big plus when the League of American Bicyclists considers the Springs for recognition as a bicycle-friendly community..."
-> According to an Apr. 28th news release, "Independence Blue Cross (IBC) will host Philadelphia's first National Walk @ Lunch Day(SM) on Wednesday, April 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., encouraging Philadelphians to use their lunch break for walking, and demonstrating how easy it is to fit regular exercise into a busy lifestyle. IBC leads the charge to walk toward better health, as thousands of IBC associates and other Philadelphia workforce employees will walk around City Hall, joining tens of thousands across the country participating in this national event.
"National Walk @ Lunch Day, sponsored by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is designed to engage employers everywhere to host lunchtime walks and promote the health benefits of physical activity during the business day. Participants will walk around City Hall three times in order to complete a 1.5-mile walk -burning an average of 122 calories*. It is estimated that collectively, the walkers circling City Hall on April 30 will burn nearly 500,000 total calories..."
*Based on a 154-pound person
-> According to an article in the Apr. 28th issue of Smart Growth Online, "With 60 percent of today's kids taken to school in cars, 25 percent bused and only 15 percent allowed to walk or bike, Landscape Architecture News Editor J. William 'Bill' Thompson points out that although many parents worry about children's safety and many of the newer suburbs have no sidewalks, while road crossings are wide and traffic fast, solutions 'do exist,' as shown by the national Safe Routes to School efforts, supported by a federal allocation of $612 million from 2005 through 2009."
"Wondering 'what are landscape architects doing to implement Safe Routes to School and similar initiatives in school districts where walking is feasible,' the editor writes he learned at a recent smart growth conference about 'a more systemic reason that actually makes it impossible for many kids to walk to school.' Most state education boards, he explains, mandate minimum school acreages -- for example, 30 acres plus one acre per every 100 students for a typical high school -- also to accommodate the vast parking lots modern schools are supposed to need. Such acreage is still available mostly on outer farms or in woodlands, accessible by foot to few or no children..."
-> According to an Apr. 28th Dispatch article, "Rushed commuters and bicyclists hardly see eye to eye, but both parties will likely appreciate the addition of bike lanes to part of Hecker Pass Highway west of Gilroy. Last week the city council told CalTrans representatives that when the state transportation agency replaces the Uvas Creek Bridge and widens the roadway on either side, they might as well add bike lanes. For this to happen, the city will need to update its bicycle master plan to incorporate the part of the state highway that lies within the city limits, according to Facilities and Parks Development Manager Bill Headley.
"That way, he said, CalTrans can just paint a bike lane and install appropriate signs when they essentially move Highway 152 one lane to the north. 'With this road improvement opportunity, that's what we're doing,' Headley said. 'Let's at least get a safer bike lane and shoulder.' The stretch of road improvement -- which requires wrapping a 1,136-foot retaining wall along the northeastern intersection of the scenic highway and Burchell Road -- will extend from about Gilroy Gardens to the western border of the Gilroy Golf Course. The northern bike lane will also turn onto Burchell Road before continuing over the new bridge.
-> According to an Apr. 27th Aspen Times article, "The long-awaited Crystal River Trail got a big symbolic boost this week when the Crystal River Caucus voted overwhelmingly to support construction of a section south of Carbondale. By a vote of 44-2, according to one official, the caucus on Thursday night formalized its earlier conceptual nod to the project. This segment of the longer Crystal River Trail is a 5.3- mile bike path that will parallel and, in some stretches, hug Highway 133 with nothing but a guardrail between the cars and the bikes.
"It will be 10 feet to 12 feet wide (depending on topography), be paved with asphalt and have a 'soft-surface' parallel trail 4 feet wide, except in certain tight sections. The portion of the trail approved by the caucus vote is to run between Snowmass Drive at the southern edge of Carbondale to what is known as the BRB Bridge, adjacent to the BRB Crystal River Resort. County staffers working on the project have begun the process of seeking permits from the Colorado Department of Transportation..."
-> According to an Apr. 24th Economist article, "When John Major, Britain's most recent Conservative prime minister, wanted to evoke the spirit of England in 1993, he bowdlerised George Orwell, talking romantically of 'old maids bicycling to Holy Communion through the morning mist.' It was an anachronistic image: by the time Mr Major delivered his speech cycling accounted for only 1% of distance travelled on British roads, down from around a third of the total just after the second world war.
"Today the proportion is even lower, at around 0.9%. But if the government has its way, the decline could soon be stopped. Whitehall is pouring money and effort into two-wheeled transport. Cycling England, a government-funded outfit that promotes pedal power, will see its budget increased from L10m to L60m by 2009. The cash will be spent on connecting schools to the national cycle-lane network, training for children and propaganda aimed at motorists. Six towns have already been singled out as test-beds; 11 more are planned..."
AND NOW, FOR SEVERAL THINGS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...
ECO ELVIS - THE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY ELVIS
-> "Hello, I'm Eco Elvis. I'm Kansas City's own environmentally friendly Elvis impersonator. My job is to educate people and get them to take action for the environment. I do this by singing recycled versions of the King's songs and speaking to diverse audiences. Song titles include Burnin' Globe (Burning Love), Can't Help Recycling It All (Can't Help Falling In Love), etc..."
NEANDERTHALS SPEAK OUT AFTER 30,000 YEARS
-> "Talk about a long silence -- no one has heard their voices for 30,000 years. Now the long-extinct Neanderthals are speaking up -- or at least a computer synthesizer is doing so on their behalf. Robert McCarthy, an anthropologist at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton has used new reconstructions of Neanderthal vocal tracts to simulate the voice. He says the ancient human's speech lacked the 'quantal vowel' sounds that underlie modern speech.
"Quantal vowels provide cues that help speakers with different size vocal tracts understand one another, says McCarthy, who was talking at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Columbus, Ohio, on April 11. 'They would have spoken a bit differently. They wouldn't have been able to produce these quantal vowels that form the basis of spoken language,' he says..." [Note: The audio sample is a bit on the weak side...]
MEMORIES OF LAST MEAL CAN HELP YOU STAY THIN
FERRIS WHEEL OFF TO WALKABLE OKLAHOMA COMMUNITY?
LOTS TO DO IN WALKABLE INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
CAR SOFTWARE SPOTS GREEN LIGHTS, CUTS CO2
-> "A GUIDE FOR REDUCING COLLISIONS INVOLVING BICYCLES"
GUIDE SPECIFICATIONS FOR DESIGN OF FRP..."
-> "TRAFFIC SAFETY..."
-> "BRAKING NEWS: GAS CONSUMPTION GOES INTO REVERSE"
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!
-> April 30-May 1, 2008, California Pedal Power Lobby Day, Sacramento, CA. Info:
-> May 5-8, 2008, Train the Trainer, Advanced Leadership Training, Chicago, IL. Info: Training is for leaders of Thunderhead organizations.
-> May 16, 2008, 50,000 Mile Commuter Challenge, Boston/Cambridge, MA. Info:
-> May 19-21, 2008, 13th Int'l Conf. on Urban Planning, Regional Development, and Information Society ("Real Corp 08"), Vienna, AT. Info:
-> June 15-18, 2008, Transportation Research Board Summer Conference, Baltimore, MD. Info:
-> June 19-20, 2008, Designing Pedestrian Facilities for Accessibility Workshop, Bend OR. Sponsored by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the US Access Board, and the City of Bend. Info: Kim Burgess, City of Bend, phone: (541) 693-2182; email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
-> June 23-25, 2008, World Cities Summit, Singapore. Info: Anna Lee, Project Manager, World Cities Summit 2008, phone: +65 6542 8660 ext 168; fax: +65 6542 8683; email: <email@example.com>
-> August 17-19 2008, National Rural Transportation Conference, Duluth, MN. Info:
-> August 31-September 2, 2008, Thunderhead Retreat, Seattle, WA. Info: Retreat is for leaders of Thunderhead organizations.
-> 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
-> September 29-October 2, Physical Activity for Public Health, Banff, AB, Canada. Info:
-> October 21-25, 2008 National Preservation Conference, Tulsa, OK. Info:
-> October 27-28, 2008, Impact of Changing Demographics on the Transportation System Conference, Washington, D.C. Info:
JOBS GRANTS AND RFPS
-> JOB -- ACTIVE LIVING COORDINATOR -- CRIM FITNESS FDN
See complete job description here:
-> JOB -- CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR -- COAL. FOR SMARTER GROWTH
The Montgomery Countryside Alliance, in collaboration with the Coalition for Smarter Growth, seeks a new Campaign Director to manage its programs in rural Montgomery County, Maryland. The Campaign Director position fulfills one of the most interesting and proactive smart growth roles in our region, connecting rural conservation with the need for effective urban and suburban revitalization.
-> JOB -- BIKE, PED, TRAIL PLANNER -- SCOTTSDALE, AZ
The City of Scottsdale recently added two new positions to focus on trails, bikeways, and pedestrian facilities. I was the successful candidate for the Principal Transportation Planner position and now need to fill my previous slot and add a trails planner. Our team will be implementing the projects identified in our 2008 Transportation Master Plan and 2004 Trails Master Plan. Our current 5-year Capital Improvement Project includes $48.2 million for bicycle and pedestrian projects, more than $40/person/year, putting us in the same group as those highly touted European cities. If you would like to work for a Bicycle Friendly Community that "gets it", please click on the links below. -- Reed Kempton
-> COOP AGREEMENT OPPORTUNITY -- ENHANCEMENTS INFO CTR -- FHWA
The Federal Highway Administration has released a Cooperative Agreement opportunity to administer an Information Center for Transportation Enhancement Activities. This is a Full and Open Competition. The information is available at
-> JOB -- BIKE PROGRAM COORDINATOR -- STANFORD UNIV.
The Bicycle Program Coordinator position reports to the Director of Parking & Transportation Services. The coordinator's responsibilities are varied and include: develop and implement programs to encourage bicycle use; coordinate cyclist input to improve the cycling environment; promote bicycle safety, including regular presentations to student groups; coordinate and/or provide input on campus bicycle-related changes; oversee campus-wide bicycle registration program; and develop and maintain elements of campus bicycle security program. In addition, the incumbent will be assisting the director with a variety of complex issues, analyzing utilization data, and supporting the Office of Parking & Transportation Services in a variety of tasks. The salary range is $54,000 to $85,000.
-> JOB -- GREENWAY+GREEN BLDG COORD. -- SUSTAINABLE S. BRONX
The Greenway and Green Building Coordinator will be an experienced and creative planning professional, capable of developing, implementing and leading comprehensive greenway and green building programs. This person will also be responsible for enhancing the public profile and revenue generating activities of these programs to support Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx) and report to Executive Director.
**FOR COMPLETE JOB ANNOUNCEMENT** GO TO: http://tinyurl.com/6drm7l
If you have any questions please contact Annette Williams; phone: (718) 617-4668x26; email: <firstname.lastname@example.org> or James Chase; email: <email@example.com>. They work for Sustainable South Bronx.
Please send a resume, cover page, references and salary history in one document with your first initial and last name contained in the file name (example: jdoe-resume.doc) to <firstname.lastname@example.org>, with the subject line "Greenway Green-Build position."
-> JOB -- EXEC. DIR. -- NAPLES PATHWAY COALITION
Naples Pathways Coalition, Inc. of Collier Co., Florida, seeks a halftime staff person to lead and grow the organization, with the opportunity to expand the position to full-time as fundraising success permits. Responsibilities include policy work, public education and media advocacy, fundraising, and outreach and organizing throughout the greater Collier County area. The position presents a great opportunity to play a critical role in transforming southwest Florida into a more healthy and sustainable region.
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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, Josef Szende, Shane Rhodes, Don Burrell, Christopher Douwes, Kristin Bennett, Elisa Murray, Laurel Wedel, Elisa Murray, Alice Grabowski, Iain Cummings, Roger DiBrito, and Lionel Hampton.