#202 Thursday, May 29, 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/
NCBW's Bob Chauncey and Mark Plotz are returning to Cleveland to facilitate four Walkable Community Workshops (WCW) on June 2 & 3. The workshops are sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency-the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Cleveland Area-and are the highly anticipated sequel to NCBW's fall 2006 WCWs in the Cleveland area.
The WCWs are 4 hour workshops that pair residents with transportation professionals, local government officials, law enforcement, and public health advocates to devise ways to make a given community more walkable, more bikeable, and, simply put, a better place to live.
Workshops will be held at the following times and locations:
The workshops are open to the public, so please drop by if you are in the neighborhood. For more information, see NOACA's website: http://tinyurl.com/632lco
-> According to conference director Gary MacFadden, registration for Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008 officially opened May 23rd. Standard registration will remain open until August 1st, at which time registration prices will increase.
MacFadden added that, once a person has registered for the Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008 Conference, he or she can go to a separate on-line form to reserve space in the mobile workshops being offered at the conference. (See the related article on mobile workshops in this issue.) Reservations for spaces in the mobile workshops will be handled on a first-come/first-served basis.
For the 2008 conference, NCBW is again contracting with a group that specializes in handling conference registrations. "With the 2006 Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference, we started working with a group that handles numerous conferences each year " MacFadden said. "We found that this greatly streamlined the registration process for our participants. Conference registrants receive confirmation and follow-up e-mails, and will be provided with registrar contact information where they can quickly get answers to any questions concerning their registration."
To register for the Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008 Conference using the Internet browser based on-line form, go to: http://tinyurl.com/5ddh8c
To learn more about the Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference, and to see the preliminary schedule of events and the confirmed presentations list, visit: http://www.bikewalk.org/2008conference/index.php
-> A series of 22 mobile workshops will be offered during the Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008 Conference in Seattle, Sept. 2-5. These mobile workshops, compiled by Peter Lagerwey and members of the Seattle local host committee, will provide conference participants with many opportunities to see facility designs and program operations first-hand.
Each conference participant may request space (as long as space is available) in up to two mobile workshops. You must be registered for the Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference (see the related article this issue) before you can request space in a mobile workshop. Requests will be honored on a first-come/first served basis until each mobile workshop is filled. Because many of the mobile workshops will require transportation to and from the workshop location, each workshop will be limited in size.
The mobile workshops will be offered simultaneously with the presentations and poster sessions at the Westin Seattle, the conference hotel. Before requesting space in a mobile workshop, be sure to check the presentation schedule at the Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008 conference web site to see what other presentations are being offered in a particular time slot.
You can see a complete listing of the workshops on the conference web pages, and access the on-line mobile workshop space request form at:
-> There are still spaces available for the new webinar titled "Emerging Trends in Bicycle/Pedestrian Work." The webinar will be offered Thursday, June 12, from 3 p.m. - 4p.m. EDT. The cost is $50/site for APBP members, $60/site for non-members. More than one person can attend the webinar at each site for no additional cost as long as only one computer connection/phone connection is used. Registration for the webinar will close Monday, June 9th. You can learn more about this webinar and register on-line at this page:
Seleta Reynolds, Transportation Planner with Fehr & Peers in San Francisco, will be the featured presenter in this one-hour webinar. Reynolds is also the President of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP).
"Webinar participants can sharpen their competitive edges by learning what's new and what's on the horizon," said Kit Keller, executive director of the APBP. "Topics will include innovative tools, technology, training, and more."
-> In CenterLines issue 200 (April 30, 2008), we ran a report of a recent survey of CenterLines readers. In that survey we asked people how they used the issue, how long they‚d been subscribers, and invited responses on the occasion of the newsletter having hit its 200th birthday.
That survey also carried the question: What would you like to see CenterLines offer more of -- or less of -- as it heads for the 300-issue level? As the initial survey report was getting a bit lengthy, we decided to hold the answers to that final question for a later issue. And here it is:
We received just under 500 responses to the survey overall, and many, many people offered suggestions to this final open-ended question. We're going to summarize some of them here, and we'll run quite a few of the responses on a separate web page (see link below).
Frequency and length: A lot of people commented on how often CenterLines is distributed, and its length. As to frequency, the overall response was that the biweekly (e.g., every two weeks) schedule is fine. Some people said once a week would be great; others said a more detailed newsletter once each month would fit their needs better. But generally readers encouraged us to stick with the biweekly schedule.
The question of issue length drew even more responses. Some felt the issues were too long, others felt they weren't long enough. The majority said the average length is fine, but some suggested adding some elements that would aid in scanning the issues more quickly for pertinent news items. The crack newsletter team will look into that.
Humor: Many respondents said they enjoyed the occasional whacky bits of humor, the "Now For Something Completely Different" section, and other indications of editor John Williams‚ off-center mental state. But some readers said they would appreciate a more serious treatment. Since we've not been able to straighten John out in many years of working with him, this may prove an impossible task. But thanks for asking.
Things to add: Several people made the excellent suggestion of adding a special section concerning activities leading up to the reauthorization of the federal highway bill, and this we will do. A number of people also asked for more research-oriented articles and statistics that could be used to bolster local causes. Several people asked for more Canadian news and an international news section.
Please don't forget that CenterLines is in a way a mirror of what occurs in the bicycle/pedestrian/active-living fields. We depend heavily upon reports from the field as each issue is prepared. If you've got a study, a local success story, a job opening, or a news item that would interest CenterLines readers, send it along to the links that appear in each issue. Take a quick cruise through some of the suggestions for content at the link below, and if you know about items that other readers are looking for, send them along.
To see more of the suggestions from readers as to what to add and what to change in CenterLines, see: http://www.bikewalk.org/newslettersuggestions.php
-> According to a May 12th news release, "Bikes Belong is celebrating the joy of cycling and trailbuilding this spring by awarding six recreation-focused grants to grassroots groups across the country. The projects—all made possible by dedicated volunteers—include a riverfront path, a freeride trail, a BMX freestyle park, and some really sweet backcountry singletrack.
"From all of us at Bikes Belong, enjoy the ride!
"Since Bikes Belong's Grants Program began in 1999, we have funded 166 grant proposals in 44 states and the District of Columbia, awarding nearly $1.3 million in cash and leveraging more than $476 million in federal, state, and private funding. Our facilities grants alone have helped finance nearly 1,400 miles of bike paths and trails that link close to 6,400 miles of trail facilities."
QUOTES R US
-> "I think the more bike-able, walkable, transit-oriented a community is going to be, the less likely people are going to be to drive."
-> "When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope seems hardly worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a good spin down the road, without thought of anything but the ride you are taking."
-> "There is no generalizing about the problems that aging causes. An exception to that is vision -- a change in reaction time and a change to the ability to resist glare."
-> "[Paris] requires a ton of walking. And it does not seem particularly friendly to people with disabilities. I cannot imagine someone in a wheelchair negotiating the city's many steps, its cobblestone streets or narrow sidewalks. Many attractions do not appear to be accessible at all and many subway stops only have stairs."
-> According to a May 27th Fox 11 News story, "The state of Arizona stands to lose $228 million in federal funding for roads and an estimated 8,000 related jobs in the next fiscal year according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Nationally the federal Highway Trust Fund is expected to incur a $3.3 billion deficit in the 2009 fiscal year. The shortfall could result in a 34% drop in funding to states for road projects. 'Arizona is facing a transportation funding crisis that requires a shift in the way we think about growth and an innovative approach to invest in our future,' said ADOT Director Victor Mendez.
"'We are at a funding crossroads and must take action now to address our most critical transportation needs.' Over the last six months ADOT has put together a Statewide Transportation Investment Strategy regarding the state’s future transportation needs. The strategy includes a combination of highways, rail, public transportation, elements to support walkable/bikeable communities, and funding for local governments’ transportation projects..."
-> According to a May 15th USA Today article, "Oklahoma has a radical solution for repairing the state's busiest highway. Tear it down. Build a park. The aging Crosstown Expressway -- an elevated 4.5-mile stretch of Interstate 40 -- will be demolished in 2012. An old-fashioned boulevard and a mile-long park will be constructed in its place. Oklahoma City is doing what many cities dream about: saying goodbye to a highway.
"More than a dozen cities have proposals to remove highways from downtowns. Cleveland wants to remove a freeway that blocks its waterfront. Syracuse, N.Y., wants to rid itself of an interstate that cuts the city in half. 'Highways don't belong in cities. Period,' says John Norquist, who was mayor of Milwaukee when it closed a highway. 'Europe didn't do it. America did. And our cities have paid the price.'..."
-> According to a May 28th New York Times article, "Childhood obesity, rising for more than two decades, appears to have hit a plateau, a potentially significant milestone in the battle against excessive weight gain among children. But the finding, based on survey data gathered from 1999 to 2006 by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in Wednesday's issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, was greeted with guarded optimism.
"It is not clear if the lull in childhood weight gain is permanent or even if it is the result of public anti-obesity efforts to limit junk food and increase physical activity in schools. Doctors noted that even if the trend held up, 32 percent of American schoolchildren remained overweight or obese, representing an entire generation that will be saddled with weight-related health problems as it ages.
"'After 25 years of extraordinarily bad news about childhood obesity, this study provides a glimmer of hope,' said Dr. David Ludwig, director of the childhood obesity program at Children's Hospital in Boston. 'But it's much too soon to know whether this is a true plateau in prevalence or just a temporary lull.' The data come from thousands of children who have taken part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys -- compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics at the C.D.C. since the 1960s -- and represent some of the most reliable statistics available on the health of American children..."
-> According to a May 27th Intelligencer-Journal article, "Millersville University will host the third annual summit of the Coalition for Smart Growth on Wednesday and Thursday. The program, 'Walkable Communities: Growing Stronger, Growing Smarter,' is a series of three events focusing on the need to build walkable communities that encourage health and fitness. The series will feature Mark Fenton, host of the PBS television series 'America's Walking.' Fenton also is an author and contributing editor for Health magazine.
"Fenton's appearance is sponsored by Lancaster General Hospital as part of its Healthy Weight Management initiative. On Wednesday, the first half of the day will feature a free community conference which includes two walking workshops geared to identifying ways Lancaster's communities can be designed or altered to promote safe walking. The second half of the day will feature a free community forum that will focus on walkable communities and safe routes to school and provide success stories from around the country. The forum will give advice on how Lancaster communities can create permanent improvements in the health, happiness and safety of children..."
-> According to a May 28th Caregiver's Home Companion article, "With a few exceptions here and there, the best cities for women wanting to keep their hearts healthiest are in the West, while the worst cities for heart-health are generally in the South and Midwest, according to a new American Heart Association survey. The association identified Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco and their environs as the three best metropolitan areas for women to encounter the fewest heart-related health challenges.
-> According to a May 28th Buffalo News article, "Fighting to make left turns onto Transit Road. Racing the kids to the Pepsi Center. Using a gallon of gas to get a gallon of milk. And fuming about all that driving. There must be a way to serve the needs of people, not cars, in the suburbs. Actually, there is. Welcome to the 'walkable community' -- a design movement transforming American suburban neighborhoods just as the cul-de-sac and strip mall once did. It could be the new green wave of the future for Western New York, changing forever the built environment as we know it in an era of obscene gas prices.
"Lancaster gave a thumbs up to a walkable community project earlier this month. Amherst's Town Board slammed the brakes on another. What's totally mainstream in Atlanta -- where National Public Radio last month featured a successful walkable community called Atlantic Station -- is still mostly strange and scary here. 'We are behind the times here in Western New York,' acknowledged Bill Tuyn, president-elect of the Buffalo Niagara Builders Association and a passionate proponent of the walkable community concept. 'Yes, people here are thinking about walkable communities, but it's hard, because until someone does it here successfully -- well, no one wants to be the pioneer,' Tuyn said..."
-> According to a May 28th Great Falls Connection article, "Of the many trail advocates in Great Falls, Will Gray might be the youngest. The 13-year-old and his step-father, Steve Gray, have been searching out trails and open areas where he can ride his bike since they moved into town five years ago, and he is now familiar with a network that runs from Nike Park through his neighborhood off Springvale Road and to Stephanie Circle, making the Village Centre accessible by bike. 'I feel like I can go anywhere when I want to without having to catch a ride or anything,' said Will.
"Steve Gray said he had wanted Will to have the same freedom of movement he had enjoyed as a boy growing up in Chicago. Narrow roads like Georgetown Pike, however, are risky for biking. He said he and Will had sought out paths on foot and bike, as well as on Google Earth, a program that provides satellite pictures of the earth. The backbone of the trail network is a gas pipeline where the trees have been cleared. While many neighborhoods have their own trails, those to the south of Georgetown Pike, such as his own, are close enough to each other that they are more easily linked, said Gray...."
-> "The baby boomers are aging. To ensure their safety and everyone else's, cars, highways, and public transportation need to adapt fast. The oldest baby boomers start turning 65 in less than three years, but car-crazed American society isn't ready, and neither are the boomers themselves. Cars, highways, street signs, public transportation, and politics are all changing to accommodate an increase of roughly 20 million Americans over age 65, from 2004 to 2020.
"Automakers are working to get ready. For instance, Nissan (NSANY) has an 'aging suit' for its designers, with stiff joints to simulate restricted movement, a strap-on belly, feet with raised toes to create poor balance, and goggles to simulate poor eyesight. In an e-mail, Etsuhiro Watanabe, an associate chief designer at the Nissan Design Center, was careful to point out that Nissan is not designing a car specifically for old people. 'The improved ergonomics will benefit drivers of all age groups, young and old included,' he said..."
-> In a May 28th Record-Eagle article, reporter Carol South asked, "How can a session of TV watching enhance cycling in Traverse City? Veteran bicyclist Dennis Bean-Larson was not thinking about boosting on-road safety when a Traverse City Police Department public service announcement aired last summer. But the message to drivers about paying attention to motorcyclists immediately struck a nerve. 'Why don't we have something like this for bicycles? he thought.
"By the beginning of this year, the Share the Road Initiative was initiative was born and continues to take shape. Safety is a rising concern as more cyclists take to the roads, motivated in part by rising gas prices and people increasingly living in or visiting a vibrant downtown. 'The size of this town is idea, people can still ride around and we still have grocery stores within biking distance,' he said.
"Tonight the InsideOut Gallery will host the first fundraiser for the initiative, whose goal is a combined effort of signs plus short public service announcements. Billed as a Bicycle Film Night, the 7 p.m. event will showcase short films and a feature length film as well as food and raffles..."
-> According to a May 27th Star article, "'Slow down' was a common phrase at the launch of the 'Safe Roads equals Safe Kids' pedestrian safety campaign on Monday. As a kick-off to Safe Kids Week, which is this week, the Sudbury Kids Injury Prevention Coalition and the Sudbury Road Safety Committee, in co-operation with Safe Kids Canada, launched the campaign. The campaign included speed watch surveillance signs throughout Greater Sudbury for local drivers, as well as a 'Walkabout' challenge ballot for local families to enter to win a family membership to Science North.
"'We would really like to promote two things -- the first thing being for drivers to drive slow, especially in pedestrian areas, because as their speed increases, so does the impact of injuries, and the worst of that being death,' said Tina McKinnon, public health nurse and member of the Sudbury Kids Injury Prevention Coalition. 'The second thing is for parents and caregivers to reinforce with their children and teach their children safe pedestrian rules,' McKinnon said..."
AND NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...
"The easiest way to sell a stolen bike is on the internet using services such as Craigslist and eBay.
"Finetoothcog takes over the menial task of scanning these sites. Like a 'fine tooth comb' the fine tooth cog covers the electronic sales methods and keeps you informed of bikes for sale similar to the one you describe. It sends you an email digest each evening and provides a webinterface to viewing what bikes are for sale similar to yours."
-> DESIGN GUIDANCE - ACCOMMODATING BICYCLE AND..."
-> "FHWA GUIDANCE: BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN..."
-> "TRAFFIC VOLUME TRENDS: FEBRUARY 2008"
-> "STAR RATING SCHOOL WALKING ROUTES"
-> "LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND SCHOOLS..."
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!
-> June 15-18, 2008, Transportation Research Board Summer Conference, Baltimore, MD. Info:
-> June 16-20, 2008, Towards Carfree Cities VIII (Rethinking Mobility, Rediscovering Proximity), Portland, OR.
-> 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
-> JOBS -- TRANSIT PLANNERS -- SAN FRANCISCO CA
The City of San Francisco is currently accepting applications for transportation planners. The deadline for submitting applications is June 9. If you have any interest in working as a transportation planner in San Francisco, NOW is the time to apply -- this application period will be used to fill positions for the next year! The positions are officially titled "Transit Planners", but as the job descriptions indicate, these positions may involve working on a wide range of transportation projects. It is likely that some positions will be assigned to the Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Traffic Calming Programs, which are all part of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (http://tinyurl.com/2ne326). Detailed information on the positions, minimum qualifications, compensation and benefits, and application instructions can be found on the following websites:
-> JOB -- PROGRAM MANAGER FOR ENVIRONMENT -- AASHTO
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) seeks a Program Manager for Environment to assist the AASHTO Program Director for Environment. The Program Manager will serve as the Assistant Director for the Center for Environment Excellence by AASHTO (Center) and the Program Manager of the AASHTO Climate Change Action Program (ACCAP).
The Program Manager will: develop a climate change clearinghouse; manage the production of training materials and opportunities for AASHTO members to engage in critical climate change discussions through web casts, workshops, and other training venues; oversee the development of in-depth focused issue papers and primers on strategic policy and technical climate change issues; monitor federal and state legislative and regulatory activity that could impact state transportation programs; and prepare and present materials on climate change for briefings, presentations, and roundtable discussions at AASHTO meetings, conferences and special events.
The Program Manager will oversee and direct the Center programs and activities. For additional information regarding the Center and its activities, please visit http://tinyurl.com/4637t7
A bachelor's of arts or science degree is required. Evidence of a higher degree of professional development, such as postgraduate education, is desirable.
A broad understanding of federal and state environmental policies, regulations, procedures and practices as they relate to transportation. Understanding of state transportation responsibilities, planning and project delivery practices and policy issues. Project planning, budgeting and management skills. Familiarity with basic contracts administration and financial reporting, and excellent written and oral communication skills. Sound comprehension of the administrative, legislative and regulatory process at the federal and state levels. Incumbent must be able to travel approximately 35 days per year.
A minimum of seven to ten years of progressively responsible, professional experience in the transportation sector with a focus on environmental issues or in the environmental field with a focus on transportation issues, with at least two years at the federal, state or local level. Prior experience in project management is desirable.
Send resumes in confidence to AASHTO, Attn. Human Resources Manager, 444 N. Capitol Street, NW, Suite 249, Washington, DC 20001. Fax resumes to 202-624-8471. E-mail to <firstname.lastname@example.org> EOE.
Deadline: Monday, June 16, 2008
-> JOB -- POLICY MGR -- SRTS NAT'L PARTNERSHIP
The non-profit Bikes Belong Foundation is looking for an energetic and dynamic professional with at least 4-5 years proven success in a senior advocacy/policy/legislative position to work with the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) National Partnership as its Policy Manager. The Policy Manager will work from a home office in Washington DC on government relations, lobbying, policy research and analysis, and report writing to advance the SRTS national movement. Applicants who live outside of Washington DC will be considered if they will move to DC by September 2008.
For more information on applying, go to the Safe Routes to School National Partnership's website: http://tinyurl.com/3b9vbz
-> 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.
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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, Bob Laurie, Deb Hubsmith, Dustin White, Christopher Douwes, and Jon Cleary.