#205 Wednesday, July 9, 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.
The Board of Directors of the National Center for Bicycling and Walking (NCBW) announced that founder Tedson Meyers will retire as Chair at the end of 2008. While Meyers will continue as a director, Vice Chair Peter Harkness, editor and publisher of Governing magazine, will take over as Chair of the Board of Directors effective January 1, 2009.
NCBW’s Board also announced two other leadership changes, effective July 1, 2008. Deputy Director Sharon Roerty will assume the position of Executive Director as Bill Wilkinson steps down after 25 years of service to the organization.
"After 31 years," said Meyers, "it’s time for a change." He continued, "Through his work with Governing, the voice of state governments, Peter has established connections with mayors and governors from coast to coast. These relationships represent real assets that NCBW can leverage to help make it safer and easier for people of all ages to bike and walk where they live."
Harkness has been watching government at all levels, from Washington to the states, cities, and counties, for 35 years. Before founding Governing magazine in 1987, Harkness served as editor and deputy publisher of the Congressional Quarterly, regarded as the unofficial and independent "bible" covering the US Congress. Under his leadership, Governing’s circulation has grown to reach more than 85,000 state, city, and county leaders across the country.
Commenting on his appointment as Chair of NCBW, Harkness said, "I am thrilled to carry on Tedson’s vision and know that I speak for the entire Board in thanking Bill Wilkinson for his years of dedicated service and role in establishing NCBW as the foremost resource in the field." He continued, "I’m looking forward to working with Sharon Roerty to ensure that NCBW remains the ‘go-to’ resource for people who care deeply about confronting the problems associated with the transportation system in this country."
CenterLines recently caught up with Meyers in his new home in Alabama and asked him to reflect on all that NCBW has accomplished and what’s changed since the organization was established in 1977, when gasoline prices had not yet reached even $1/gallon. Meyers said he is particularly proud of pioneering programs such as Safe Routes to School and Complete Streets; and NCBW’s role over the years in shaping federal transportation legislation. At the same time, he takes pride in the results that NCBW has helped other groups achieve, noting, "we will help any organization that shares our vision for bicycle and pedestrian friendly communities." Looking ahead, Meyers cautioned, "Gas at $4/gallon doesn’t necessarily mean that people will switch to bicycles." "Non-automotive forms of transportation," Meyers said, "have to be safe and truly convenient."
Roerty joined NCBW in 2004 as Director of Community Programs and was appointed Deputy Director last year [see CenterLines Issue #190 at http://tinyurl.com/6dmd75]. She brings extensive experience in environmental planning, policy analysis, and transportation finance and is recognized as a leading authority on Safe Routes to Schools programs through her work as director of the Active Living Center funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "It’s an incredible opportunity to lead an organization like this," said Roerty. "Thanks to a very committed Board of Directors, Bill Wilkinson’s long and dedicated tenure, and our experienced staff, NCBW has established itself as a stalwart in the bike/walk field."
Going forward, Roerty continued, "I want to expand who NCBW connects to and who connects with us, to ensure our message and mission are relevant to and for more people." Capitalizing on the programs, workshops, educational tools, and advocacy work that the organization is known for, Roerty said she sees NCBW taking a bigger role in transportation and establishing solid stakes in the environmental field. "In the next 50 years, infrastructure renewal is certain to be a headline issue and a predominant activity in this country. I want us to be amongst the thought leaders and the problem solvers."
Roerty said she is looking forward to the 15th Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference in Seattle and exploring the prospects for "Beyond Sustainability." She will continue to operate from NCBW’s office in New Jersey where she can be reached by email at Sharon@bikewalk.org. NCBW will maintain an office in the Washington, DC area; contact information will be published later this summer. Read more about NCBW’s leadership changes on NCBW's web site at http://www.bikewalk.org.
Congratulations to Peter and Sharon! And to Tedson and Bill, we know that we can always count on your passion and wise counsel.
It was fitting that I spent my last official day as the executive director of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking (30 June 2008) on vacation with my family on the coast of North Carolina. The organization is well-prepared to move forward under the "new" management detailed elsewhere in this issue of CenterLines.
In October 2006, I shared with the staff and the Board of Directors my decision to step down as executive director by the end of 2008. Frankly, I wanted to hand-off the responsibilities for managing and maintaining the organization. Since then, the Board of Directors selected Sharon Roerty to serve as the organization's fourth executive director, and we've all been working on making the transition a smooth one.
So, here I am, on the other side, and I want to say thanks to all of you. I have enjoyed the good fortune to have spent more than 40 years working with very bright, dedicated, energetic, and (mostly!) fun folks, to make the world a better place. It would be hard to ask for more, at least for me. My father's last words to me this past January were, "Always being a do-gooder" (I'd moved his glass of ginger ale to a position where I thought it less likely to get knocked over). From long experience I know he didn't mean it as purely praise, but the appellation has merit and that's the common quality of our efforts: to do good.
And, I want to say a special thanks to my tres amigos: John Williams, Bruce Burgess, and Gary MacFadden. We have known each other and worked together for more than 30 years. I've biked with you in Ireland, you were best man at my wedding, and you've helped me get up when I've fallen down. And, we did all that work stuff, too, and have grown older (if not up) together. What a hoot, and I know there's more to come.
Next for me? Well, for the next little while I'll work part-time for the NCBW to wrap up some tasks. I have an ongoing project with the National Park Service. And, I expect I'll continue to be involved in the never-ending process of "reauthorizing" the Federal transportation legislation. Beyond this stuff, I look forward to doing more riding, to completing some of the family history reports that my father was working on, and most of all, to spending more time with my wife, Jan, and with our five grandchildren.
Oh yeah, I will be on hand in Seattle this September for Pro Walk/Pro Bike. I look forward to seeing many of you there: our work is not done.
The APBP/NCBW Webinar, Ask An Engineer, has been re-scheduled for September 17th, 2008, 3-4p.m. EST. This one-hour webinar will feature Thomas Dodds, P.E., South Carolina DOT Pedestrian and Bicycle Engineer, and Michael Moule, P.E., PTOE of Livable Streets, Inc. Both are members of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) Board of Directors. Thomas and Michael will answer any questions submitted by webinar participants prior to August 30th, illustrating possible design suggestions and solutions during the webinar. We've applied for AICP CM credits for this webinar.
PRO WALK/PRO BIKE STANDARD REGISTRATION CLOSES AUG 1
"Registrations for the conference have been steady," reported conference director Gary MacFadden. "We're also starting to see some of the mobile workshops fill with those who are registering early." This year's conference, which will be hosted in Seattle September 2-5, will feature a series of mobile workshops which will provide conference participants with a hands-on, in-person look at a variety of facilities and programs. The mobile workshops require pre-registration, available at: http://tinyurl.com/4l5cc6
MacFadden added that more than 200 presenters will be on hand with panel presentations, workshops, and poster sessions. "The conference will start off with a bang on Tuesday, Sept. 2nd," he said. "We'll have at least four major workshop sessions, including intersection design, implementing a bike master plan, safe routes to school workshops, and creating pedestrian action plans. You can read all about these workshops and more on the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference pages at: http://www.bikewalk.org/2008conference/index.html .
Register for the Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008 conference on-line at http://tinyurl.com/5ddh8c .
APBP ADDS TAGLINE AND GLOBAL WARMING SESSION AT PWPB
As a part of those efforts, the APBP is adding a post-conference Friday afternoon session at Pro Walk/Pro Bike: Global Warming & Sustainable Transportation Choices. The planning for this session (Sept. 5, 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.) is just getting underway. Kit Keller, executive director at the APBP, asks anyone interested in participating in this work session to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-375-6180.
When delegates, party officials, and the national media convene at the Democratic and Republican national conventions later this year, they’ll be greeted by a revolutionary new offering: 1,000 free loaner bikes to use during the events.
Bikes Belong, in partnership with leading health insurance provider Humana, is planning to bring 1,000 bicycles to the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, August 25-28 and another 1,000 bicycles to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, September 1-4. This effort is intended to showcase the bicycle as a healthy, convenient transportation option for short trips.
"Nearly forty percent of all trips that Americans make are two miles or less," said Tim Blumenthal, Bikes Belong’s executive director. "We see the national conventions as prime opportunities to highlight that bicycling is a practical, efficient way to take these trips."
Bikes Belong’s goal is to get convention delegates, officials, media, and local residents to ride bikes during both conventions, using the bikes for short trips between hotels, convention centers, restaurants, and the convention arenas.
"We want to help convention delegates, the media, and the presidential candidates develop a greater appreciation and respect for bicycling in big cities...and beyond," said Blumenthal.
The pioneering bike-sharing effort complements Humana’s Freewheelin program, which the company debuted in 2007 at its Louisville, Kentucky, headquarters. The program was an instant success, prompting the company to work with Bikes Belong and the bike industry to introduce the concept of bike-sharing on a national level.
During the conventions, bikes will be available for check-out—free of charge—at conveniently located bike stations dispersed around the cities. Those interested in using a bike will be able to register on a Freewheelin website, and use the website to track their mileage, carbon offset, and health information.
For more about the 1000 Bikes At Conventions program and Bikes Belong, see:
SUPPORT WANTED FOR POLICE BICYCLE PATROL RESEARCH
"I am looking for funding sources to continue this line of inquiry. Police on bicycles offer a number of positive possibilities. Police are exemplars in our society, what they do is copied. More police riding bicycles in a proper manner the more incentive there is for others to ride and ride properly. Police on bicycles can be a powerful force for more bikeable roadway designs. First police officials need to be convinced that bicycles are not toys rather they are tools. My work can help. Some of my work is accessible at:
"Please help me find some funding for expansion of my work. Thank you"
-> According to a July 1st TRB E-Newsletter article, "The spotlight theme for the 2009 TRB 88th Annual Meeting, January 11-15, 2009, in Washington, D.C., is Transportation, Energy, and Climate Change. The theme recognizes that the dependence of the economy and lifestyles on existing sources of fuel--combined with rapidly rising prices and the desire for long-term energy security -- has renewed interest in alternative fuels, increased domestic production, and conservation.
"In addition, given the growing consensus associating global climate change with fossil fuel consumption, the theme addresses the transportation sector's contributions to climate change as well as the potential impacts of climate change on transportation systems. In addition to the general calls for papers produced by many of TRB's standing committees, the TRB Special Task Force on Climate Change and Energy in conjunction with the TRB Joint Subcommittee on Climate Change and the TRB Standing Committees on Energy, Alternative Fuels, and Sustainability invite you to submit papers associated with the upcoming Annual Meeting's spotlight theme.
Go to: http://tinyurl.com/5dqd45
-> According to the July 7th Physical Activity and Public Health On-Line Network newsletter, "The National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) have issued a funding opportunity that encourages the submission of grant applications that propose hypothesis-driven projects exploring associations between the built environment, other contextual features of where people of all ages live and work, and health behaviors related to energy balance.
"These projects should use population level data from health surveys and other large health studies. It is expected that the proposed projects will be designed to add/include contextual variables at diverse levels of geographic aggregation to such studies on behaviors that affect individual energy balance and thereby health. Subsequent analyses should be aimed at understanding the relative importance of the contextual variables (including home, work, school, and/or other environments) as determinants of energy balance-related health behaviors..."
Or contact David Berrigan at (301) 451-4301 or <email@example.com>
-> In their July 7th newsletter, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine suggested, "If you're looking for a destination for your next bike ride, plan a route that includes the beautiful 'Share the Road' display created by the South Portland Parks Department in a pocket-sized park at the crest of Meetinghouse Hill. The bed at the base of the park's Civil War monument features the Bicycle Coalition of Maine's Share the Road logo -- made out of colorful plants!..."
-> According to a recent news release, "'Designing the 21st Century Street' is an open design competition sponsored by Transportation Alternatives. We are looking for new conceptual and physical approaches to the planning of public streets by asking participants to redesign the intersection of 9th Street and 4th Avenue. The street will be re-imagined as a healthy, safe, and sustainable 21st Century street.
The competition is open to the entire public: we hope that community members without any design training as well as design professionals and students will submit their ideas for street design improvements at this intersection. In rethinking the way city streets work, the competition will explore ways to make our city more environmentally sustainable and reestablish the importance of the street as a tool to promote positive social and economic interactions. We believe achieving these goals will benefit all communities in New York, regardless of location or socio-economic class..."
-> According to the June 30th issue of Transit for Livable Communities' On the Way newsletter, "Public investments, private investments, and local culture contribute to a remarkable snapshot of Minneapolis in 2007: one in every five trips is taken by foot, bicycle, bus, or train. Many say they would like to bicycle or walk more often but say they face barriers to these activities. The Bike Walk Twin Cities initiative has developed Snapshot Minneapolis, which provides an analysis of walking and bicycling in Minneapolis, along with a list of places where Bike Walk Twin Cities could have the most impact..."
-> According to a recent news release, "The partnership of OYBike, the UK's only automated bike-hire company, and Veolia Transport, one of the world's largest transport companies, has delivered its first international contract in Chicago, USA. Students at Saint Xavier University, one of Chicago's premier universities, will be able to cycle around the campus and city on the first 65 bikes to be installed for the fall semester.
"Utilising specialist OYBike technology, students can reserve bikes via mobile phone, or rent directly from the docking station. Labelled the 'Green Bike Program,' students can enjoy the first 15 minutes of any journey for free, encouraging them to take the environmentally friendly option around town. 'The Green Bike Program will be a remarkable addition to this campus,' said Saint Xavier Assistant Vice President for Physical Facilities Paul Matthews. 'This latest in a long line of green activities at Saint Xavier will allow students, faculty and staff to forego their fuel-burning vehicles and travel campus in a clean and sustainable way.'
"Remarking on the new contract, OYBike Managing Director Bernie Hanning said 'This international contract puts OYBike firmly on the map as a premier provider of bike-rental schemes. Together with Veolia Transport, we are delivering our growth aspirations, providing towns and cities internationally with environmental transport options..."
-> According to an article in the July 2nd CNT-Update, "Record-high gasoline prices are inspiring more Americans to celebrate Independence Day close to home. But those who live where they can walk, bike or take public transit to their local fireworks displays and other amenities are benefiting from another sort of independence -- from gasoline. New research from the Center for Neighborhood Technology shows that people who live close to transit, jobs, schools and retail -- typically in cities and inner ring suburbs -- spend up to $2,100 less annually on gasoline than residents of outer ring suburbs, where homes and amenities are generally more spread out and require more driving.
"The research, which compares average household gasoline expenses based on the average number of vehicle miles traveled per household, examines 52 U.S. metropolitan areas across the country -- encompassing 60 million households. It also looks at percentage of household income spent on transportation, number of vehicles per household, transit ridership and other variables on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis. The gas-cost findings are a newly released addition to the Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, an interactive mapping web tool at: http://tinyurl.com/6p7yg9
-> According to a June 25th news release, "The Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety has released a new guide, 'A Resident's Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities,' to help residents, parents, community groups, and others make their communities better environments for walking.
"The Guide offers a user-friendly resource that includes information, ideas, and references to help residents learn about issues that affect walking conditions; find ways to address or prevent these problems; and promote pedestrian safety. It provides several community success stories that highlight successful community-oriented pedestrian safety projects and programs. The Guide also contains several Resource Sheets, including fact sheets, worksheets, and sample materials.
"These materials can be adapted to meet the needs of a particular community, or distributed to others working to improve pedestrian safety. The Guide provides a thorough introduction to pedestrian safety and includes many references to other resources and materials for those interested in more in-depth information."
QUOTES R US
-> "It's not a blip. I think the difference between now and 1979, when prices were comparable when you adjust for inflation, is there's a sense of sustained pain. There's a sense that the era of cheap energy is a thing of the past."
-> "Here in metropolitan Chicago, residents of transit rich communities like Evanston are able to keep their annual gas costs below $1,490 per year, while residents in communities with less access to transit, for example Hoffman Estates, are spending more than $4,500 per year, almost three times as much..."
-> "If Congress wants to do something long-term about high gas prices, it will give people more alternatives to driving. Unless we make it easier to drive less, American families will be stuck in neutral as they spend more and more at the pump."
-> "Transportation policy isn't about infrastructure for plug-in hybrids and alt fuels. It's about providing and facilitating a variety of modes (rail, bus, bike, walk, car-share), land-use incentives to enable communities to take advantage of them, and road-pricing policies to fund them while desubsidizing car use."
-> "There's a direct correlation between how close you live to transportation, how compact your neighborhood is, and how much you drive."
STATS R US
"3,624 -- Number of Houston-area bus riders who boarded after attaching their bicycles to racks on the buses in June, compared to 1,510 in April, causing transit officials to wonder whether the system can handle the surging two-wheeled load."
-> During the July 7th NBC Nightly News, there was an extensive story about bicycling, facilities, and more. To see the video, go to: http://tinyurl.com/6gfpt7
A July 8th story dealt with health benefits of bicycling:
What's next? Stay tuned...
-> According to a July 9th Oregonian article, "The nation's pediatricians are calling for wider use of cholesterol-lowering drugs in children -- the latest troubling sign of the obesity epidemic. Guidelines published this week by the American Academy of Pediatrics advocate the use of statins and other cholesterol-lowering drugs in kids as young as 8. The Oregonian asked the pediatrics group and other experts to explain why grade-schoolers have become candidates for medicines developed to treat diseases of middle-aged adults. Here are some questions and experts' answers. What prompted these more aggressive guidelines?
"Since 1998, when the previous guidelines were published, the number of overweight and obese children has soared, driving up the incidence of high cholesterol in kids. And studies have revealed that atherosclerosis, the clogging and hardening of arteries, can start during grade-school years in those with high cholesterol. 'The more evidence we accumulate, the more it's clear the process does begin in childhood,' said Dr. Stephen Daniels of the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, lead author of the guidelines..."
-> According to a July 1st CQ Politics article, "Like many avid bicyclists, Tim Blumenthal takes care to use his energy sparingly. But that didn't stop him from interrupting a recent vacation in Paris to fly back to the United States, then almost immediately turn around and rejoin his wife in the City of Light. The reason for the diversion was simple: Barack Obama wanted to talk about federal bicycling programs. Although he was promised just 20 minutes with the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, Blumenthal was willing to spend nearly a day's worth of time in airports and on airplanes to make it happen.
"'It was an important coming-out moment for the bike industry in terms of political sophistication,' said Blumenthal, the executive director of the Bikes Belong Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Boulder, Colo. 'Never in my memory has a biking event with a presidential candidate happened.' He also reports that the upshot of the meeting in Chicago three weeks ago was encouraging: The Illinois senator told some 160 assembled cyclists -- who included representatives of most of the nation's prominent bike transportation groups, in addition to Blumenthal's -- that he doesn't usually make promises, but they could count on his support..."
-> According to a July 7th Expositor article, "Joe Amodeo can't help but smile as he travels along the Highway 403 overpass on Wayne Gretzky Parkway. 'There was a time when you rarely saw pedestrian or bicycle traffic along that stretch, for obvious reasons. People weren't walking there because they didn't feel safe; it wasn't a pleasant experience walking along the shoulder of the road with traffic whizzing by,' the city's director of design and construction stated. With the recent completion of a pedestrian bridge and walkway along the Gretzky Parkway that picture has changed dramatically. 'I see people using it constantly,' the avid backpacking and hiking enthusiast noted. 'Now I see people walking and on bikes; it's created an opportunity for people to use a different mode of transportation.
"'Some trips are utilitarian, people are walking or biking back and forth to work, or to shopping, other trips are purely recreational.' That all ties in very nicely with ongoing efforts in Brantford/Brant to create healthy, efficient and sustainable communities where people choose to walk rather than rely on vehicular transport, says Cindy Jessome, a public health nurse with the Brant County Health Unit. 'It's the old adage of if you build it they will use it. By providing people with opportunities that allow them to move around town in a way that they can be safe we're creating a much better community. It's one thing to encourage people to be more physically active, but the other thing we need to do is to provide the environment in which they can do that day-to-day. We're so fortunate in Brantford to have so much support from council in making our communities more walkable and more vibrant,' she added..."
-> According to a June 30th Bicycle Newswire article, "When Laurel-Lea Shannon, a health and fitness writer, took up road cycling six years ago, she noticed that most of the cycling information on the web and in magazines is written by men for men. 'As a woman cyclist, a lot of that information isn't relevant or interesting to me,' she says. 'Instead of being frustrated, I started a website: Women's Cycling.ca -- a resource for cycling information that's tailored by women for women.'
"Let's face it, women are different from men -- especially when it comes to cycling. Women tend to have longer legs and shorter torsos than men. This makes women particularly well-suited for the sport of cycling but it also means that they require special equipment -- like bicycles that are designed with a different geometry than a man's. If you've ever seen a small woman perched precariously on the saddle of a man's bike, straining for the handle bars and pedals, you get the picture..."
-> In a July 8th Jackson (MI) Citizen Patriot op-ed piece, John Guidinger wrote "I was very pleased to see that the June 23 guest editorial from the Kalamazoo Gazette supports additional funding for improved Amtrak passenger rail service through Jackson and nationally. The Michigan Department of Transportation, which was very progressive in supporting passenger rail initiatives in the 1970s and 1980s, has fallen into a slumber and Michigan now lags behind many more progressive states in terms of developing of inter-city and commuter passenger rail services.
"[In other states,] Notice how inter-city trains and new commuter trains are starting to influence new walkable developments near the stations and revitalize downtowns. Having access to modern, fast passenger rail services is a basic infrastructure improvement that can improve our living standard far beyond the immediate transportation benefits. When this Michigander returns home, it is like returning to a third world where driving and high gasoline bills are the only option..."
-> According to a July 9th Gazette article, "Bicyclists are dismayed that county planners are tilting toward turning a bike trail, touted as an amenity to the controversial Intercounty Connector, off course of the original plan. A master plan amendment would substitute detours along existing bikeways and sidewalks and a 3-mile unpaved trail in the Paint Branch area for segments that would have run through park land and closer to the course of the 18-mile road being built between Interstate 370 in Gaithersburg to Interstate 95 in Laurel.
"The proposed changes, which have not been measured, could add roughly 50 percent more mileage to the bicycling route, said Charles Kines, a transportation planner and coordinator for the county Planning Department. A roughly 18-mile route could become 27 miles. And the 3-mile unpaved trail would be usable only by hikers and riders of mountain bikes, horses or other animals. The state is to build 7 miles of the bikeway in the ICC highway right of way, separated by a grass strip or barrier..."
-> According to a July 3rd Guardian article, "After lagging behind Europe for years, the United States is finally starting to catch up when it comes to making life better for bicyclists. In a country that's increasingly troubled by traffic, obesity and -- perhaps worst of all -- climate change, that's great news.
"Two cities in particular have been leading the way. Portland, Oregon has seen a 400% increase in bike traffic in the last 20 years. And since 2000, the city has installed more than 200 additional miles of bike lanes, bringing the total number close to 300. Not coincidentally, an estimated 16% of Portlanders currently use two wheels to get to work.
"Davis, California is the only other US locale besides Portland that the League of American Bicyclists has designated as Platinum-rated for bicycle-friendliness. While it isn't as hip as its neighbour to the north, Davis has been a supreme bike city for even longer -- it actively began to incorporate cycling into its transportation infrastructure in the 1960s. Back then, as the city notes on its website, its 'commitment to a multi-modal transportation network was simultaneously hailed ... as both crazy and visionary.' If only every city was so insanely brilliant..."
-> According to a July 9th Greenville News article, "A pending land swap -- part of a proposed $4 million renovation of the old municipal stadium into a Little League park -- would place key pieces of property in the ballpark's hands and in the hands of the Lake Conestee Nature Park next door, officials say. As part of the stadium and grounds upgrade, the city would swap about 15.5 acres of wooded land along the Reedy River near Mauldin Road for five or six acres of Conestee Foundation land, according to Greenville City Manager Jim Bourey.
"The city would use the six acres to add to its ballfields, bringing the total at the site to five, and the foundation would use the wooded land to construct a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across the river and facilitate access to the 500-acre nature park. The swap would provide Conestee with some important property along the eastern bluff of the Reedy adjacent to the stadium, which will be part of a greenway system running to Travelers Rest, according to Dr. Jeffery Beacham, executive director for the Conestee Foundation. Beacham said the foundation will use a $100,000 grant from the state Department of Recreation and Tourism and a $30,000 grant from Greenville Women Giving to build the trail and bridge, which he expects to be finished by year's end..."
-> According to a July 8th Roanoke Times article, "On Wednesday, residents may view and comment on plans for major improvements to a troublesome section of North Main Street. The estimated $10 million project would make significant changes to a half-mile stretch of North Main from College Avenue to Kabrich Street and, as currently conceived, would include a two-lane roundabout at Prices Fork Road and North Main.
"Under the plan, that section of North Main would be reduced from four lanes to two through-lanes plus one turn lane. Raised medians would be added to sections of the project and sidewalks would be widened. 'This is a safety improvement project for pedestrians and vehicles,' said Blacksburg's road projects manager, Brandon Steele.
"Between Jan. 1, 2004, and Oct. 31, 2006, 93 vehicle crashes occurred along that stretch of North Main, Steele said. During a five-year period, Virginia Department of Transportation records show a total of 15 pedestrian and bicycle wrecks, some of them deadly. The proposed improvements are expected to slow vehicle traffic and make that section of road more walkable, Steele said..."
-> A July 7th Eugene (OR) Register-Guard article suggests, "Imagine getting more exercise, feeling less rushed and having more quality time with your kids. It's all possible if you're willing to undergo a paradigm shift and a bit of a lifestyle change, say proponents of the latest micro-trend in transportation. Soccer moms and hockey dads, meet your new minivan. It's called a bicycle. 'It's (good) exercise, we're not burning fossil fuels, it's slowing things down a bit,' said Megan James, a Eugene mother who has, increasingly, been using her bike, rather than her Volvo station wagon to make grocery runs, go to the bank and tote her son Elliot, 7, to baseball games.
"The idea of commuting by bike isn't new, and neither is the concept of carrying kids in a trailer attached to the back of a bicycle -- Eugene's Burley Design has been a pioneer in the bike trailer industry for 30 years. But with gas prices soaring, bikes are looking more and more attractive. And many parents are coming to the conclusion that the bike can be a better family vehicle than you might think. 'My kids are closer to me on a bike and they talk to me,' said Summer Spinner, a Eugene mother of four who uses her ride to take her kids to school, go grocery shopping and do all the other errands that need doing. 'We have much better conversations than we do in a car.'..."
-> According to a July 8th Bicycle Retailer article, "When Steve Flagg reviewed his inventory reports recently, one item jumped off the page—27-inch tires. 'We were totally unprepared for the demand in 27-inch tires,' said Flagg, president of Quality Bicycle Products. Wayne D. Gray, vice-president of KHS/FreeAgent Bicycles, noticed the same trend. 'We're seeing a lot of demand for them. It's people taking their old Schwinn Varsity out of the garage and to a shop for new tires and a tuneup,' said Gray from his Southern California office.
"While no one thinks 27-inch tires are staging a comeback, retail demand for them is anecdotal evidence that consumers are behaving differently this season. And, from the standpoint of some of the nation's key distributors, that's good news. Distributors are enjoying a strong uptick in orders for a variety of parts and accessories, particularly tires, chains and derailleurs. But, they caution, the sales picture is mixed due to erratic spring weather, especially in the Northwest, the Rockies and parts of the tornado-plagued Midwest. And in mid-June floods ravaged sections of Wisconsin and Indiana..."
-> According to a July 1st Tribune article, "On June 26, city officials canceled an eight-month contract-review process aimed at finding a company to provide the service and maintain a fleet of rental bicycles. The plan could be retooled for future proposals, but for now, it's not going anywhere.
"Shoshanah Oppenheim, City Commissioner Sam Adams' liaison for transportation issues, said the proposal would be re-evaluated as the city takes a hard look at similar programs around the nation. If the kinks can be worked out, the idea could again hit the road in Portland, she said.
"'We are learning more about programs that are out there,' Oppenheim said. 'We want to avoid as many pitfalls as possible.' The city took company bids in mid-October to establish a fleet of about 500 bicycles that could be rented at one location, pedaled across town and turned in at another place. The idea was to give people in the city who make short trips during the day an alternative to driving..."
-> According to a July 8th Union Democrat article, "A more walkable and community-friendly downtown is a step closer to reality for Arnold following the Calaveras Council of Governments' adoption of the Arnold Rural Livable Community-Based Mobility Plan last week. The plan -- developed by area residents, local agencies and Stantec, a Sacramento-based transportation consulting firm -- received unanimous approval from CCOG Wednesday. It features 31 projects that would include pedestrian-friendly items such as crosswalks and sidewalks on the Highway 4 corridor.
"'The citizens' advisory council put together a plan that would make the community more livable ... and more accessible, not just to automobiles,' said Brent Moore of Stantec. 'Now, the priority for most of the public space and right-of-ways is for cars and not to walk ... and to enjoy.' A centerpiece project would turn Blagen Road into a one-way street, allowing the area to be converted into a park that would serve as a community gathering place. 'It provides a place for people to be a community ... and not just collide at an ugly intersection,' Moore said..."
-> According to a June 11th Express-News article, "San Antonio has grown up around cheap power, which leaves the community in a poor position to thrive in a world of $4-a-gallon gas, a worldwide energy crunch and global warming, according to a recent city consultant's report. In light of that finding, Mayor Phil Hardberger unveiled a multipronged effort Wednesday to reshape the way people use energy and travel in the city, while spurring a local green-building boom to sprout good-paying jobs.
"'We don't really have a choice,' Hardberger said. 'We waste a lot of energy and we drive a lot, and those are not overly consistent with what the future is going to be. So something has got to change.' The mayor's comments, at the City Council's informational session, highlighted some discouraging findings about San Antonio by CNT consulting, a Chicago-based firm that helped Chicago become one of the greenest cities in America..."
AND NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...
COMING TO PW/PB 08? DON'T MISS SEATTLE'S "GUM ALLEY"!
-> In a July 1st neighborhoods.org article*, Eric Fredericks wrote, "A friend of mine just returned from Seattle and showed me some photos of an alley covered in gum.** I had visited the same alley before and shot these photos. It's called Post Alley and it's located right next to the famous Pike Place Market.*** It's quite a site to see, so if you visit Pike Place, make sure you check out Post Alley -- there's more to see than just gum."
PORTSMOUTH (NH) RANKED #4 PLACE TO BE IN AMERICA
U.S. SKATES ON $4M LONDON (UK) TRAFFIC FINE
BIKE INDUSTRY'S GEAR SHIFT PAYS OFF
WISCONSIN PLAN: HIGH-SPEED RAIL CHICAGO-MPLS
FUEL PRICES CUT NEW YORK (NY) CONGESTION
EPA ANNOUNCES "SMARTWAY" CAMPAIGN
HIGH GAS PRICES MAY DRAIN SMALL TOWN POPULATION
OLYMPIANS VS. BEIJING'S BAD AIR
UK DEPT. FOR TRANSPORT ANNOUNCES 100M [POUNDS] IN GRANTS
-> "TRANSPORTATION STATISTICS ANNUAL REPORT 2007"
-> "STATE TRANSPORTATION STATISTICS: 2007"
-> "ROAD CASUALTIES IN GREAT BRITAIN MAIN RESULTS: 2007"
-> "MEET THE LITTLE BOOK OF QUIETER PAVEMENTS"
-> "EXERCISE CAPACITY AND MORTALITY IN BLACK..."
-> "A RETURN ON INVESTMENT ANALYSIS OF..."
-> "RESULTS OF THE 2004 NATIONAL WORKSITE HEALTH...
-> "GUIDE SPECIFICATIONS FOR DESIGN OF FRP..."
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!
-> July 11-13, 2008, Maine Bike Rally, Fryeburg, ME. Info: Bicycle Coalition of Maine; phone: (207) 623-4511; email <info@BikeMaine.org>. Note: this event is also the League of American Bicyclists' 2008 National Rally.
-> August 13, 2008, International Left-Handers' Day. Info:
-> 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 6, 2008 Designing Pedestrian Facilities for Accessibility workshop. Teaches participants how to apply the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way (PROW). The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the US Access Board collaborated to produce this recently updated course. PDH and CM credits available including law credits. Hosted by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals and SvR Design Company
-> September 29-October 2, Physical Activity for Public Health, Banff, AB, Canada. Info:
-> October 20 - 23, 2008, ProBike/ProWalk Florida, St. Petersburg, FL. Info: Laura Hallam, Exec. Director, Florida Bicycle Association, PO Box 718, Waldo FL 32694-0718; phone/Fax: 352-468-3430; cell 407-399-9961; email: <firstname.lastname@example.org> or Dan Moser, Conference Co-Coordinator; phone: (239) 334-6417; email: <email@example.com>. Call for presentations deadline: July 15, 2008.
-> October 21-22, 2008, Fusionopolis, Singapore. 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 -- COMPLETE STREETS FELLOW -- NAT'L COMPLETE STREETS COAL.
The National Complete Streets Coalition is seeking a Complete Streets Fellow to work with a diverse coalition of prominent national organizations working for the adoption of complete streets policies across the country. This is an tremendous opportunity for a recent graduate to take on significant responsibility while learning about transportation reform issues and working directly with a variety of well-known leaders and organizations in the field.
The National Complete Streets Coalition is working for adoption and implementation of Complete Streets policies at the federal, state, and local level. Complete streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities are able to safely move along and across a complete street. Active Coalition members include Smart Growth America, AARP, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the American Planning Association, the League of American Bicyclists, the American Public Transportation Association, and many others..."
For the complete job announcement, go to:
-> RFP -- TRAFFIC/SPEED CALMING FOR HIGH TO LOW-SPEED TRANSITIONS -- TRB
TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has issued a solicitation for consultant letters of interest on a synthesis to explore concepts, system designs, and useful measures, and the state-of-practices used to enforce vehicle speed on high-speed rural and other roads. Letters of interest due August 15, 2008.
-> JOB -- CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR -- AMERICA BIKES
Want to help change the world – and make a major difference for cycling and sustainable transportation in the USA?
America Bikes, the coalition of national bicycling and trail advocacy groups working to boost federal government investment in cycling, seeks an experienced professional – based in Washington, DC -- to serve as our Campaign Director. The Campaign Director will coordinate our campaign for pro-bicycling provisions and funding in the next federal transportation authorization bill, by supporting and participating in advocacy and lobbying efforts, acting as a media liaison, and helping with administrative aspects of the organization, assisted by a part-time support staff member.
We are looking for candidates who are passionate about cycling, well-organized, experienced in government and advocacy, and knowledgeable about transportation policy. Leading candidates should also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and understand how to manage coalition efforts. This is a unique and important opportunity to help shape America’s transportation policy at a critical juncture.
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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, Katy Jones, Dave Holladay, Ralph Fertig, John Cinatl, Eric Fredericks, Peter Jacobsen, Christopher Douwes, and John Fahey.