#207 Wednesday, August 6, 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.
-> If you're planning on attending the Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008 Conference in Seattle, Sept. 2-5, and you haven't registered yet, you should tie a string around your finger or kick some other memory device into action, and soon. The conference is headed for a sell-out.
"Due to space constraints in the Westin Seattle, this year's host hotel, we're going to have to limit the number of delegates who can attend Pro Walk/Pro Bike," reports conference director Gary MacFadden. "This is an unprecedented situation for the conference series. In the past fourteen conferences we've never come close to selling out the venue." MacFadden said that prior to this year's event, the largest conference was in Madison in 2006, with 625 delegates attending. "The NCBW planned to accommodate up to 700 in Seattle; now, we're trying to make room for even more, but the hotel capacity is finite," he said.
A full compliment of pre- and post-conference workshops, the variety of mobile workshops, and the addition of offering maintenance credits for planners who hold AICP certifications are all factors pushing conference attendance rates higher. "Holding the conference in Seattle, a popular destination city, isn't hurting the registration levels either," MacFadden added.
Bill Wilkinson, NCBW Senior Advisor, sees another factor. "Here we are with a sagging economy and higher travel expenses, and a record number of people want to come to the conference. So, I asked myself, what gives? I think that in addition to the factors that Gary has noted, it is the fact that now -- as never before -- bicycling and walking are being featured in the media as key elements in our nation's effort to come to grips with a whole host of challenges, including $4/gallon gasoline. And, you are saying, 'Carpe Diem!'"
The standard registration period for the biennial conference closed Friday, August 1st. "We've been resetting the forms, and we'll re-open late registration at 10a.m. EDT on Thursday, August 7th," MacFadden said. "We'll accept registrations until we reach the cut-off number, which will still allow for some walk-in registrations in Seattle.
Also, the Westin Seattle has advised NCBW that it will extend the conference rate for rooms through August 14th for the nights September 1-5. After August 14th you'll have to pay standard rates to stay at the Westin. The conference rate for hotel rooms was to have ended today (Wednesday, August 6th).You can book rooms online at the conference rate at: http://tinyurl.com/5a2n9l If you're phoning to reserve rooms, be sure to mention the Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference in order to receive the conference rate.
The bottom line: If you're planning to present at or attend Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008 and you haven't registered yet, you'll want to use the on-line conference registration form in the very near future. You'll find this form and other conference information at the Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008 conference pages on the National Center for Bicycling & Walking's web site:: http://www.bikewalk.org/2008conference/
-> Keynote addresses have always been an important component of the Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conferences. Fittingly, the first keynote speaker confirmed the 2008 conference was Seattle's own Mayor Greg Nickels, the man Rolling Stone magazine called "The Pied Piper" in recognition of his leadership in creating the Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement. And, by the way, he's a huge champion of all things bike and ped in our host City.
Next up, and on board, was Ron Sims, the King County Executive. Calling his collaborative, holistic approach to problem solving "the genius" in his leadership style, just this week the American City and County Magazine named Ron the County Leader of the Year for 2008. The award was presented at the National Association of Counties meeting. And, he's another longtime supporter of walking and bicycling.
The third keynoter to confirm was Dr. Tom Hansen, CEO for Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, the sponsor of the Wednesday lunch session. He will help highlight the connection between bicycling, walking, and public health.
Finally, batting cleanup and keynoting our closing plenary session, it is with great pleasure and much appreciation that we can now announce that we will be joined by Congressman Jim Oberstar, the Chairman of the U. S. House of Representative's Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure! "Mr. Bicycle," as he has been called, has done more than any other person to advocate and serve the interests of bicyclists and pedestrians in the Congress. And, now, as Chairman of the House Committee on T & I, Congressman Oberstar is overseeing the development of what will be the most significant national transportation legislation ever. If you haven't had the great, good fortune to hear Jim Oberstar speak, you (along with the rest of us) are in for a treat.
-> According to an article in the May 2008 CNT-Update,* "Chicago is not the only city considering the value of multi-modal transport in an urban environment. New research is coming out that agrees with and builds on what CNT advocates: eliminating auto dependency is a key to cleaner, less congested and more livable cities. WorldChanging editor Alex Steffen** recently wrote in BusinessWeek that cities are 'a smart alternative to cars,' and that the key to reducing emissions lies not in new auto technology, but in cities that eliminate the need to be constantly driving.
"The fundamental issue is an overdependence on vehicles to get from here to there, resulting in the nation's increasing congestion problems and rising greenhouse gas emissions. This paradigm means that efforts at making vehicles more fuel efficient -- while important because vehicles cannot be eliminated -- does not properly focus on the solution of reducing vehicle dependency altogether. As Mr. Steffen puts it, 'The best car-related innovation we have is not to improve the car but to eliminate the need to drive it everywhere we go.'..."
*CNT = Center for Neighborhood Technology
-> According to a recent article from the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy, "For most of us an emergency trip to a health facility is a matter of dialing 911 or having a family member drive us. However, for most rural Africans, a medical emergency is something altogether more serious. Many face long distances to health facilities. Family members are unlikely to own a bicycle, let alone a car. And public ambulance systems are virtually unheard of. Imagine it’s four o’clock in the morning and you or your wife goes into labour, but there is no transport to help you reach the hospital.
"Or you suffer from a chronic illness that requires you to make frequent trips to a distant hospital, but you have no way to get there and you keep missing your treatments, making the illness even more resistant to medication. Or you fall off your bike and break your leg and, again, no transport – you have to wait until someone can help you, and that might take a few days. In order to change this picture, in October 2006, BEN Namibia launched a bicycle ambulance manufacturing plant in Namibia’s capital, Windhoek. Bicycle ambulances are ‘stretchers on wheels’ that attach to normal bicycles and tow a sick person or pregnant woman to a hospital or clinic where no other transport is available.
"In other African countries where bicycle ambulances are in use, there have been marked declines in infant and maternal mortality rates. BEN Namibia has distributed 54 ambulances, and more are planned for 2008. The ambulances are delivered to community-based organisations in the rural North of the country. Healthcare volunteers receive training in use, maintenance and reporting on the performance of the ambulance..."
-> According to the July 28th issue of NCSRTS News, "The National Safe Routes to School Task Force has released its final report, 'Safe Routes to School: A Transportation Legacy -- A National Strategy to Increase Safety and Physical Activity among American Youth.'
"The Task Force was called for in law and established by the U.S. Department of Transportation to study and develop a strategy for advancing programs that enable and encourage children to walk and bicycle to school. Among the recommendations made by the Task Force are to effectively spend current Federal SRTS funds, initiate innovative solutions to advance SRTS and encourage support from SRTS stakeholders at the local, state and national level. The Task Force also recommends an increase in funding for the program at the Federal level.
"'The demand for Safe Routes to School programs in communities across the US exceeds the available amount available,' said Lauren Marchetti, director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School and Task Force member. 'In nearly every state that has awarded program funding so far, there were more applications than what the states could fund.'..."
For more info, and to download the full report, go to:
-> Thanks to Jack Lueder for catching this..."The Centerlines Issue 206 had an error: The SCBC acronym stands for Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition NOT Santa Clara. Check the web link in the article to confirm. The Santa Clara Coalition is SVBC for Silicon Valley BC. Both are in California's Bay Area."
-> According to an article in the July 14th e-updates from the Sonoma County (CA) Bicycle Coalition, "A major milestone was passed for SCBC Valet Bike Parking at Bicycle Santa Rosa. We parked our 10,000th bike! Since 2002, at events ranging from the Tour of California to concerts at Julliard Park the SCBC has provided secured bike parking to encourage people to enjoy the journey as much as the event by riding their bikes rather than coming by car. We never lost a bike and had a lot of fun over the years..."
For more info, go to: http://tinyurl.com/ym43es
QUOTES R US
-> "Americans have long enjoyed the benefits of what is without a doubt the world's safest, most efficient, effective, and extensive transportation network ever constructed."
-> "[Vehicle travel] on all public roads for May 2008 fell 3.7 percent as compared with May 2007 travel...marking a decline of 29.8 billion miles traveled in the first five months of 2008 than the same period a year earlier. This continues a seven-month trend that amounts to 40.5 billion fewer miles traveled between November 2007 and May 2008 than the same period a year before, she said."
-> "In recent years, elementary schools have become enemies of children's play. Many are working to eliminate play at school recess and to eat away at the small amount of play time children have at home by assigning more and more homework."
-> "Residents find walking more attractive and enjoyable where there are other walkers, a variety of destinations easily accessible by foot and pedestrian-friendly street networks. People want to walk when it's pleasant, convenient and when there is a destination."
-> According to an Aug. 4th Irwin Kellner MarketWatch commentary, "It had to happen sooner or later: Oil prices have finally succumbed to the law of supply and demand. Monday's drop of nearly $4 in the price of oil for September delivery to little more than $121 a barrel is only the tip of the iceberg. At one point, this benchmark contract traded as low as $119.50, breaking below $120 a barrel for the first time since May 5. Besides plumbing a three-month low, the price of oil has now fallen nearly $25 a barrel, or close to 17%, from the all-time high reached just about a month ago. True, oil prices are still much higher than they were a year ago -- or, for that matter, at the start of this year. However, you will have to admit that this three-month decline appears to be a major reversal of trend.
"What is even more interesting is the reason for this plunge. It is not so much due to increased supplies of crude as to decreased demand for the black stuff. This is indicative of a major change in lifestyles, personal and corporate. Supplies of oil ebb and flow depending on the weather, strikes, terrorism and the like, so it's hard to tell if there has been any significant change. Demand is easier to track, and here the results are startling. Take gasoline, the biggest use of oil in the U.S.. Instead of rising 1 or 2% a year as it usually does, gasoline use has been falling, year-over-year, for most of this year..."
-> According to a July 29th Tribune article, "Mark Vlasic and his family weren't thinking about walkability when they moved into Salt Lake City's east Liberty Park neighborhood several years ago. But its pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined streets and proximity to work, parks and local businesses have enhanced the family's life.
"'We've been recreating by biking around the neighborhood. We've discovered a new way of enjoying the city that is becoming part of our family entertainment,' said Vlasic, a landscape architect with two teenage daughters. His Browning Avenue home is midway between his office in Sugar House and his wife's downtown workplace. With spiralling gasoline prices driving up the cost of commuting, they have stepped up their use of leg-powered transportation to get to work.
"It's hardly surprising, then, that a new University of Utah study suggests that older, walkable neighborhoods like the Vlasics' aren't just convenient and cost effective, but healthier as well. Crunching data on nearly 500,000 Salt Lake County driver licenses, researchers documented a strong correlation between residents' body-mass index and the kind of urban environment they inhabit. Those who live in walkable neighborhoods are leaner than those in newer areas designed around automobiles, according to the study, published today in the 'American Journal of Preventative Medicine'..."
The Univ. of Utah news release:
-> According to an Aug. 5th Local News article, "'Complete Streets' aren't just roads where construction crews have removed their orange barrels and road blocks. It's the name of a set of principles that cities across the country -- now including Columbus -- will follow to make sure residents can get where they need to go, no matter how they get there. They aim to allow pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and bus riders of all ages and physical abilities to use streets and sidewalks safely and efficiently.
"Balanced transportation means a sustainable city," said Maryellen O'Shaughnessy, chairwoman of Columbus City Council's transportation committee. Council voted to express support of Complete Streets Principles at its July 28 meeting. One issue the Complete Streets model addresses is sidewalks. When city officials look at how streets are being used, they don't have a way to measure pedestrian traffic the way they can count drivers, O'Shaughnessy said. Though the city doesn't count pedestrians, she said, it does take them into account. Public transportation employees and users also will benefit from Complete Streets..."
-> According to an Aug. 5th ABC-7 News story, "The D.C. police department's All Hands on Deck initiative brought officers Tuesday to Upper Northwest, where they handed out about 80 tickets in just more than two hours during a compliance check. About two dozen officers lined Wisconsin Avenue, stopping every driver who was doing something wrong: talking on a cell phone, not buckling up, or blowing through crosswalks. 'The reason for this stop is talking on a cell phone,' said one officer to a surprised driver. The result: a $50 ticket. A spotter stationed up the road radioed descriptions of suspect vehicles to the other officers in the dragnet.
"'White Dodge van, no seat belt, white Dodge van.' It was all part of the stepped-up enforcement of All Hands on Deck -- a 48-hour period in which all of the city's 3,300 sworn officers are assigned to the streets. 'I did not have my seat belt on; I am guilty,' remarked one driver. But not everyone was ready to admit defeat. 'I am going to fight it. It's 25 bucks; it's the principle. If I didn't swerve around the bus, I would've been cremated,' said another driver. The emphasis on making drivers obey crosswalks was appreciated by pedestrian Bentley Storm. 'Somebody on a cell phone in an SUV drove by us with six inches to spare,' he said..."
-> According to a May 30th Aspen Times article, "Hauling around a bicycle on a bus in the Roaring Fork Valley will become much easier if an experiment proves successful this summer. The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority will unveil special service Sunday, June 8, on what it is calling its 'Bike Express.' RFTA mechanics retrofitted the interior of a bus by removing most of the seats and installing 12 bike racks. The bus will load and unload at specially designated bus stops -- but not at every stop.
"Bike Express service will begin in Glenwood Springs in the morning and end up back there in the evening, but most of its service will focus between El Jebel and Aspen, RFTA communications and marketing director Sylvia Cranmer said Thursday. If the service proves popular, RFTA might add a second bike bus. But for now, the agency just wants to get the service launched and work out the kinks before considering expansion..."
-> According to an Aug. 4th Tennessean article, "The 12th Avenue South corridor -- now known as 12South -- has blossomed in recent years, transforming from a blighted street to a walkable neighborhood with thriving shops, restaurants and boutiques, all nestled around the bustling thoroughfare. Many credit redevelopment funds from Metro that rebuilt sidewalks, added period lighting and streetscaping, and made room for parallel street parking between Kirkwood and Ashwood avenues as a catalyst for business growth.
"The improvements resulted in a more pedestrian-friendly business district. 'It made a big difference in the attitude of the neighborhood,' said Andy Howell, owner of C.A. Howell and Co., a longtime business on 12th Avenue South. 'The area went from a blighted street to a diamond in the rough. More homeowners started moving in versus renters, and property values began to increase.'
"As growth in the neighborhood continues, it's become one of Nashville's trendiest communities, where many flock to be seen and shop, and developers vie for available land. The Metro Planning Commission recently approved a plan that will provide detailed guidance on planning for growth and preservation along the corridor and adjoining neighborhoods..."
-> According to a July 27th Pacific Daily News article, "Guam is a step closer to a having more areas where it's safe to walk, run or ride a bicycle. Public Law 29-98 -- one of several laws signed Tuesday by acting Gov. Mike Cruz -- requires the incorporation of bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways in the planning and development of Guam roadways. The law requires that consideration for the passageways be 'part and parcel' of the planning, development, construction, reconstruction or other changes to primary and secondary roadways on the island. Guam Cycling Federation board member Derrek Horton said the law could be coming at a perfect time, predicting that the price of gas will result in an increasing number of villagers looking for alternative transportation. 'Anything to improve bicycle safety is paramount,' he said.
"Horton said he hoped curbside pathways would be a little larger than some previously constructed ones, which he criticized for being virtually useless with large power poles obstructing much of the path. Sen. Ben Pangelinan said the law was created with tourists, runners and bikers -- who "take their lives in their own hands" with Guam's current unavailability of sufficient paths -- in mind. He said it is practical to begin considerations for walkways and bike paths at a time when construction efforts will be increasing quickly for Guam's military buildup. 'It makes sense that we do this now, to incorporate these bike lanes for the future,' Pangelinan said..."
-> According to an Aug. 5th Review article, "Heather Andrews said she is 'really sensitive to cold,' but last year the Clackamas County resident became a first-time winter bike commuter. She first started bike commuting in 1999 when she was in college, and has 'gradually increased' how often she commutes. Why does she do it? First of all, Andrews is the development coordinator for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, so it makes sense she should walk the walk and talk the talk.
"Plus she doesn't like the stress of driving downtown and Tri-Met is 'raising fares up, up, up.' Finally, in tough times, with rising gas prices, 'every little tightening of the belt, every little cinch' helps, she said. The BTA is located in downtown Portland at 5th and Everett, so Andrews commutes nearly 12 miles each way -- it takes about an hour to get to and from work, she said. 'I used to have one route, but now I've discovered a lot of ways. Sometimes I take the Springwater Corridor, and Portland has a network of bike ways. I switch it up every day,' Andrews said..."
-> According to an Aug. 5th Forum article, "Several north Dilworth blocks will receive sidewalks next year thanks to a federal grant program that aims to improve routes to school. The city received a $175,000 grant through the federal Safe Routes to School Program this year, city planner Stan Thurlow said. The program's goals include 'enabling and encouraging children -- including those with disabilities -- to walk and bicycle to school,' said Steve Grabill, a transportation engineer with Ulteig Engineers who is working with the city on the project.
"The program's intent is to promote walking and biking to school as a healthier lifestyle, he said. Officials plan to use $170,000 to build new sidewalks on about 10 city blocks next year after the snow melts. The remaining $5,000 will go toward new bike racks, safety vests for school crossing guards and safety promotion materials, such as brochures..."
-> According to an Aug. 3rd Tribune-Eagle article, "City planning that reduces sprawl also reduces the environmental impacts of development. Smart-growth principles not only create attractive, walkable neighborhoods, but also minimize pollution and preserve natural lands. Dispersed planning encourages residents to drive instead of walk. Fewer roads decrease infrastructure costs. 'We don't have the luxury to do sprawl development like we did in past decades,' said Matt Ashby, urban planning director for the city of Cheyenne. 'Previously, people thought, "It would be nice to live in a smart growth neighborhood." But it didn't have the impact on their pocketbook that it has now.'
"He added that rising gasoline prices legitimized what was once considered a 'trendy' way to design neighborhoods. Compact, mixed-use development allows residents to live, work and play in a single neighborhood. It creates safe walking and biking routes, which allow people to park vehicles in the garage. Part of the reason the Avenues remain popular is because it is a walkable neighborhood close to downtown and city parks, said Brandon Cammarata, senior planner with the city's Urban Planning Office..."
-> According to an Aug. 5th Dallas Daily News article, "'The [car] market has absolutely exploded,' said Margaret Brooks, marketing director of General Motors' China Group. Some auto industry analysts predict that China will eclipse the U.S. by 2015 to become the world's largest car market. That's good for ailing automakers like GM, which expects to sell 1.2 million new cars in China this year (out of global sales of about 9 million). It's also good for middle-class Chinese gaining the freedom of mobility..."
"But cars are also the main culprits in China's chronically polluted air. Cars are responsible for China's fast-growing appetite for oil as well, which is feeding this year's price shocks and straining the global energy balance. Many of China's economic leaders say China is on an unsustainable car-buying path. Science and Technology Minister Wan Gang last month said Chinese manufacturers need to move quickly to zero-emission vehicles powered by fuel cells..."
-> According to an Aug. 4th Telegraph article, "The heart of the city's Tree Streets will be overflowing with sights, smells and sounds from all over the world during Nashua's second annual Multicultural Festival on Sunday. From noon-7 p.m., Ash Street will be closed between Central and West Hollis streets and jam-packed with craft and food vendors and performers. The rain date is Aug. 24, just in case the skies decide to open up and rain on the festivities. The festival, which is being coordinated by the City of Nashua Community Development Urban Programs Department and Livable Walkable Communities of Nashua and sponsored by several local businesses, will feature face painting, a dunk tank and two stages filled with performances all day. There will also be several local food vendors, as well as items from across the globe courtesy of 1 World Trading and other vendors.
"Scott Slattery, manager of the Urban Programs Department for the City of Nashua, said that when he first joined the city department several years ago, one of the main priorities was community outreach in the Tree Streets area. He partnered with AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members to find out about the concerns of residents living in the area, and many said they wanted to see more activities taking place. They started out with small block parties, which eventually led to larger events such as the Multicultural Festival -- which, he emphasized, is funded entirely by private donations. Slattery said one of the goals of the festival is to shed some positive light on an area that he feels is often looked at negatively due to such issues as crime and drugs..."
-> According to a July 24th Times article, "Cyclists and pedestrians shared their ideas about transportation safety Wednesday. During a public meeting at the Broadmoor branch of Shreve Memorial Library, they brainstormed and presented their ideas to state officials and consultants. 'We recognize that we have a need to move vehicles, but that cannot come at the cost of personal safety' of pedestrians and cyclists, said Nick Jackson, of the Toole Design Group...
"'From the very beginning of the project, it is the presumption that it will include bicycles and pedestrians,' Jackson added. Policy priorities will be outlined in the Louisiana Statewide Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, which will be released in 2009. The public meetings, which are being held in cities around the state, are part of the group's 18-month effort to gather information from residents, plus city planners and transportation officials..."
-> According to an Aug. 5th Daily Messenger article, "On a given day, Lloyd Peterson may grab breakfast at Patty's Place, buy a copy of the New York Times at Byrne Dairy, work out at the YMCA and grab some books at the library. Since moving here last fall, Peterson has savored the city's amenities and small-town charm. But one thing truly sets Canandaigua apart from the California suburb where he lived for years, he said. 'I don't have my car keys in my pocket when I walk out my door,' Peterson said. The fact he can arrive at destinations by walking -- not driving -- lured the retired water resources engineer back to New York after decades spent away, he said. He hadn't lived in the state since college, but Canandaigua's sidewalk-lined streets and ample trees attracted him and his wife.
"Generous sidewalks, conveniently situated stores and winding trails are increasingly on the minds of municipalities. Residents want to walk. Now, a Web site aims to put a number on the illusive quality of 'walkability.' Walk Score -- WalkScore.com -- was based on the operating principle that walking is 'good for our health, our communities and our planet.' The year-old site employs an algorithm to calculate a 'walk score' for any town or neighborhood, based on the number of nearby stores, restaurants and schools, and the feasibility of living what the site deems a 'car-lite lifestyle.'..."
-> According to an Aug. 4th Gloucester County Times editorial, "Sometimes it seems that on our streets, anyone who wants to get someplace and is not surrounded by the steel cage of a car or truck might as well paint a bull's-eye on his or her back. Our nation's motor vehicle fleet may not be fuel efficient, but from beefy SUVs to the smallest compacts it affords more protection in collisions than bicycles, scooters or horrors your own two feet. With $4 gasoline, more people supposedly are being propelled by pedals, lawnmower-sized frugal engines and well-worn pairs of Nikes than before.
"Reports of high gas prices leading to more accidents where pedestrians and cyclists lose out to heavy vehicles are anecdotal, but the Tri-State Transportation Campaign warned last week that a stunning 162 pedestrians and cyclists were killed on New Jersey roads in 2007. Wouldn't you have guessed that such fatalities statewide numbered maybe a couple of dozen? In Gloucester County alone, there were six such deaths last year..."
For more on the TSTC, go to: http://tinyurl.com/62sxk2
-> According to an Aug. 3rd Free Press article, "Jerrid Mooney, 34, started to hang out at the Detroit Opera House a few months ago. The systems analyst from Ann Arbor was not a big fan of Detroit. But he was stunned to find a young, vibrant crowd he had much in common with. As he made friends and visited their homes, he discovered the Carlton, a 1920s hotel at the corner of John R and Edmund in Detroit's Brush Park. It was turned into lofts in 2005.
"Mooney, who moved out of his Ann Arbor apartment, said the visit led to a eureka moment. 'It just kind of spoke to me,' he said. 'The people I was surrounded with made me feel like this is home.' Mooney contacted a real estate agent who showed him some lofts at the Carlton. He said he will buy a place there on Aug. 16.
"'It has a real industrial feel -- exposed brick, concrete floors, a fireplace, granite hardtop counters and stainless steel appliances,' he said. Mooney is among hundreds of young people choosing the city over the suburbs. They say they like the underground vibe of city dwellers who enjoy art, culture and a walkable community. They also want to join the movement to reinvigorate Detroit's neighborhoods near downtown..."
ARE HIGH GAS PRICES KILLING THE SUBURBAN DREAM?
"For the past fifty years, the U.S. enjoyed and took advantage of this abundance, but now the boon of growth has now become our bane. No longer can citizens and businesses rely upon cheap fuel, and as gasoline purchases fall, so too will the quality and/or affordability of the road infrastructures as Departments of Transportation become underfunded. In short, many Americans are now trapped living in a system of deteriorating fundamentals.
"The pathway out of the conundrum may lie in the concept of New Urbanism -- a smart-growth philosophy based heavily on transit-oriented development (TOD). TOD implies mixed-use clusters of green buildings, highly-walkable communities, nested around mass transportation nodes. TOD seems increasingly inevitable as a response to the new realities of the 21st Century. It won't happen quickly, simply because of the massive infrastructural investments and shifts in individual preferences and behaviors required..."
-> A July 31st CityPages "The Blotter" blog entry asks, "Do you have road rage? Are you currently driving down the street at 90 mph while reading this from your iPhone? It's time to stop flipping the bird at that school bus because calming street art is coming to St. Paul. The signs are about the same size as regular traffic signs and feature unusual designs including mazes, bright clovers, and even optical illusions. Many drivers become accustomed to signage on the routes they regularly drive, so the idea of this project is shake people out of their routine, slowing things down and heightening awareness in neighborhoods.
"Art signs will move about designated areas along Hamline Avenue from Charles to Blair and Thomas Avenue from Pascal to Griggs so that drivers don't become too accustomed to them, with each selected spot hosting the art for ten weeks. The project will run through 2009. The signs are not intended to replace real traffic signs, so yes, you still have to make that full stop and yield when told to. Part of the 'Art of Traffic Calming' project, the signs are the brainchild of City of Saint Paul Public Works, and will be underwritten by non–profit group Public Art Saint Paul..."
AND NOW, FOR A FEW THINGS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...
-> "A POLITE DISPLAY OF POWER"
BIG DOG: THE MOST ADVANCED QUADRUPED ROBOT ON EARTH
-> "BigDog is the alpha male of the Boston Dynamics family of robots. It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads. BigDog is powered by a gasoline engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog's legs are articulated like an animal's, and have compliant elements that absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule, measuring 1 meter long, 0.7 meters tall and 75 kg weight..."
NEW YORK CITY GETS READY FOR "BROADWAY BOULEVARD"
AARP MAGAZINE'S HEALTHIEST HOMETOWNS
DES MOINES (IA) COUNCIL GETS "COMPLETE STREET" BRIEFING
U. OF COLORADO FOOTBALL GAMES OFFER VALET BIKE PARKING
COLUMBUS (OH) RESIDENTS FOLLOWING WALKING MAPS
AUSSIE SPORTS REPORTER TAKES BEIJING BIKE RIDE
MEET YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD ANARCHISTS
HAMPTON (NB) NEWS FROM 1893
-> "PLACES FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY..."
-> "SCHOOL BASED PHYSICAL EDUCATION..."
-> "SOCIAL SUPPORT FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY..."
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!
-> 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, 2008 Real Intersection Design: Get RID of Rhetoric Workshop. Trains professionals to focus more pragmatically on the complex issues in redesigning a problematic intersection. Participants will use an active Seattle DOT project site to create and compare intersection redesign plans from the perspectives of six street user groups: pedestrians, wheelchair users, transit riders, bicyclists, drivers and pedestrians with limited vision. Sponsored by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals(APBP). Seven continuing education credits are available to engineers, architects, and landscape architects. Awaiting approval of 7 AICP/CM credits for planners.
-> 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 14 -16 2008, Climate Change and Urban Design, Oslo, Norway. Info: Council for European Urbanism, St. Olavs gate 9, 0165 Oslo, Norway; phone: +47. 92 62 26 26; fax: +47. 22 36 49 93; email: <email@example.com>
-> 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:
-> June 5-7, 2009, 7th International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods, Washington, DC. Info:
JOBS GRANTS AND RFPS
-> JOB -- BICYCLE SAFETY EDUCATOR -- BCNM, NEW MEXICO
Title: Bicycle Safety Educator
For the full description and contact info, go to: http://tinyurl.com/5k25fr
-> 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
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 Blein-Zuk, Ross Trethewey, Linda Tracy, Jack Lueder, Cathy Costakis, Russell Houston, Jack Warman, Laura Dierenfield, Nathaniel Vogt, Christopher Douwes, and Lonnie Brooks.