#209 Thursday, September 4, 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.
-> Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008 is in full swing as we launch this special conference issue out to CenterLines subscribers. More than 200 presenters -- transportation agency staff, public health practitioners, and of course bicycle and pedestrian advocates -- are delivering more than 100 sessions in-house, exhibiting dozens of posters, and showing hundreds of attendees on-site examples of bicycle and pedestrian facilities during our mobile workshop sessions.
Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008 broke attendance records this year, with just over 800 participants. "We were keeping a close eye on walk-in registrations to make sure we didn't oversell the conference," said Gary MacFadden, NCBW's 2008 conference director. "We had some limitations this year due to the size of the hotel venue, so the count became important.
After enjoying the Tuesday evening welcoming reception -- sponsored by Bikes Belong -- conference delegates were treated to a keynote addresses by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. After getting a taste of the variety of presentations available, attendees were treated to a luncheon opening by Seattle author and humorist Willie Weir, followed by presentations from Dr. Tom Hansen, CEO of Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, and King County Executive Ron Sims. Childrens Hospital sponsored the luncheon.
As this conference issue of CenterLines goes to press, the presentation-weary delegates are preparing for the Thursday Night Pro Walk/Pro Bike Bash, co-hosted by the Cascade Bicycle Club and Alta Planning + Design. Then it's back to conference sessions before a rousing closing plenary featuring Congressman James Oberstar, D-Minn, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representative's Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
"Once again, we'll invite presenters to provide their presentations for a conference wrap-up section on the bikewalk.org web site," said MacFadden. "We'll also be putting the conference attendee list on-line, which can act as a who's who of the bicycle/pedestrian active living field."
And two year's from now it's on to Chattanooga for the Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2010 conference. Representatives from Chattanooga, which bills itself as "A Great City by Nature," are attending the Seattle Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference and personally inviting delegates to the 2010 conference. Note that the 2010 conference will have later-than-normal dates: September 13-16, with special interest meetings on Friday, September 17th. If you weren't able to make the 2008 conference, start making plans now for Chattanooga!
-> An article in the Aug. 22nd edition of Kicking Asphalt asks, "Do you have an unnatural interest in fuel prices? Are you a fan of tables filled with important-looking numbers? If so, we recommend finding a healthier hobby (taking advice from ninjas, etc.), or you can feed your fetish by checking out BWC's previous Alternative Fuel Report, 'It's a Miracle! Like a Burning Bush, or the Seas Parting, or my Uncle Sasha Picking up a Check: Fuel Prices Going Down' as published in the July 31st issue of 'Kicking Asphalt'..."
-> According to a T.A. StreetBeat article, "'Suburbanizing the City: How New York City Parking Requirements Lead to More Driving' (PDF) reveals how New York City zoning rules will bring 170,000 additional cars to city streets by 2030. The zoning rules under question require developers to build parking lots along with new buildings -- regardless of proximity to transit or anticipated demand. By reducing the time and financial costs of owning a car, these new parking lots are encouraging more and more New Yorkers to drive. The study finds that residents of these new developments will be 40-50% more likely to own a car than today's residents.
"For years, planners thought that off-street parking was a sensible way to reduce the demand for curbside parking spots and the traffic that results from cruising for available spots. Suburbanizing the City challenges this long-held belief with rigorous analysis and concludes that off-street parking creates more traffic, more pollution and less-walkable neighborhoods. The amount of traffic and driving that required parking rules will create, in fact, is so significant that it will erase many achievements of Mayor Bloomberg's sustainable transportation initiatives. All of these drivers will add over 1 billion annual vehicle miles traveled to city streets by 2030 and over 431,000 metric tons of CO2 per year by 2030. That's 100,000 tons more CO2 than the Mayor's green taxi initiative will take away..."
For more on the story, go to:
The report (12mb pdf) can be downloaded here:
-> According to an article in the Aug. 22nd edition of Mobilizing the Region, "On Monday, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign conducted a walking tour with the Greater Newark Conservancy and 40 teenagers in its Newark Youth Leadership Program. Campaign staffers led the 1.5 mile walk from NJTransit's Newark Broad Street station to the Rutgers campus, talking about pedestrian and cyclist safety and potential improvements to Newark streets. Many students pointed out that the abundance of parking lots and desolation along the route would make them feel unsafe walking the street at night. Others noted that the streets they lived on were too wide to walk across safety, or that they feared riding their bikes due to lack of bike lanes.
"Others wondered about a lack of police presence that made enforcement of traffic rules unlikely. Some hoped that the site of the demolished Westinghouse Building just next to the Broad St station (above) would be developed into housing, or a bowling alley. (They aren't alone. Earlier this year, Mayor Booker also announced plans to redevelop the area around Broad St. station.) Afterwards, the students wrote letters to Mayor Booker about potential improvements, and many were quick to find linkages between pedestrian improvements, street aesthetics and crime.
-> According to the Aug. 21st Complete the Streets News, "The Federal Highway Administration has awarded the American Planning Association and the Coalition funding to produce the Complete Streets Best Practices Manual. The funding is through the Federal Highway Administration's competitive STEP (Surface Transportation and Environment Cooperative Research Program) grants and allows us to commence the research phase.
"This is truly a Coalition effort, as steering committee members from a number of groups have donated their time, and many places with good policies are expected to contribute their knowledge. The Manual will be made available to steering committee organizations and will be a resource on how best to approach complete streets. Additional funding for the project is coming from the Harvest Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and the Ruth Mott Foundation."
For more information, see the APA's project webpage:
-> An Aug. 20th Bicycle Newswire article asks, "Is there an upside to high gas prices? If you're a bicycle retailer, there can be -- particularly in the service department. Bikes Belong has just completed a survey of more than 150 bicycle retailers from nearly 40 states to see if their summer 2008 sales reflect an increase in the use of bicycles for transportation.
"The majority of retailers who responded said their sales of transportation-related bicycles, accessories, and service have increased in 2008 compared to 2007:
"Is this increase in sales because of high gas prices? Most retailers who we surveyed think so:
QUOTES R US
-> "One issue everyone has been afraid to touch is land use. Everyone understands about using alternative fuel. But land use has been the third rail. AB 32 [California's 2006 Greenhouse Gas Reduction bill] changed the equation because now land use has to be part of the solution to global warming. You can't meet our goal just with alternative fuels. You have to reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled. If people are going to drive -- and they are going to drive -- we need to plan in ways to get them out of their cars faster. That means shrinking -- not the amount of housing, not economic development, not growth -- but shrinking the footprint on which that growth occurs."
-> "You want to know one of the reasons New York traffic is as bad as it is? It's because of pedestrians!
-> 'People are connected in their lives everywhere today. They're connected at home, they're connected at the office, they're connected at Starbucks when they go for a cup of coffee. The one place that they spend a lot of time that they're not connected is in their vehicle, and we want to bring that to them.'
-> According to an Aug. 11th New West article, "Seeking a way to encourage his own two boys to bicycle to school, software entrepreneur Rob Nagler three years ago created a system that would record the students' every ride, and award them a series of prizes based on the number of two-wheeled school trips.
"Today that system -- now powered by an ingenious sensor technology known as the 'Freikometer' -- is going nationwide, with a sponsorship from the leading U.S. bicycle maker Trek. Now in use at schools in three states, the Freiker system (the name is short for 'frequent biker'), will have TREK SUPPORT TK.
"'My kids were complaining about riding their bikes to school,' recalls Nagler, the founder and CEO of Bivio software, in Boulder. 'And we lived a whole half mile from the elementary.'..."
via Bike Bits: http://tinyurl.com/564wn8
-> According to an Aug. 21st Anchorage Daily News article, "At first, it looked as if Warren Rowe and his crew of downhill mountain bike trail builders had accomplished very little. Pedaling up the newly built Bear Cub Trail, it looked like nothing more than a foot-wide dirt path. We paralleled Chair 7 and zigzagged across a gravel maintenance road, maneuvering tight switchbacks that were slippery and not quite finished. But halfway up, there was Rowe at a spur trail to the left, knee-deep in mud and hand-building a bridge made of locally harvested trees and stone.
"Dressed in fishermen's rain gear and splattered with raindrops, Rowe, the mastermind behind Alyeska's newest endeavor -- a downhill mountain biking course designed for all abilities -- greeted us with a broad smile and muddy hands. 'Right now, we've got a whole new engineering challenge,' he said, pointing to this key section of trail, which veers into the woods and will be known as 'Blueberry Pancake.'..."
Note: website's video link ("Mountain Biking at Alyeska") at right of article.
-> According to an Aug.23rd NY Times article, "Anything that keeps tykes pacified on long car trips, like video systems in rear seats, is a boon to automotive safety. Today, Chrysler is poised to offer in its 2009 models a new entertainment option for the children: Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity. The problem is that the entire car becomes a hotspot. The signals won't be confined to the Nintendos in the rear seat; front-seat occupants will be able to stay online, too.
"Bad idea. As drivers, we have done poorly resisting the temptation to move our eyes away from the road to check e-mail or send text messages with our cellphones. Now add laptops. Tom Vanderbilt, the author of 'Traffic,' a best-selling book about our driving habits, said last week: 'We've already seen fatalities from people looking at their laptops while driving. It seems absolutely surprising that Chrysler would open the door for a full-blown distraction like Internet access.'..."
-> According to an Aug. 22nd Times-Picayune article, "Declining state gas tax revenue will not support an additional $485 million in bonds to build a new highway in St. Tammany Parish or a new bridge over the Industrial Canal at Florida Avenue in New Orleans at this time, the head of the state transportation agency said Thursday.
"William Ankner, secretary of the Department of Transportation and Development, said the two projects are among 16 in a program mandated by the state Constitution that have to be built, but based on revenue from fuel taxes, 'these two projects will not go forward now...They cannot be finished...We are not saying they won't be done' eventually..."
Via AASHTO Daily Update http://tinyurl.com/6h4po2
AND NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...
ASHYA THE ASIAN ELEPHANT MASTERS BASIC MATHEMATICS
"Add elephants to the growing menagerie of animals that can count. An Asian elephant named Ashya beat this reporter [Ewen Callaway] at a devilishly simple addition problem. When a trainer dropped three apples into one bucket and one apple into a second, then four more apples in the first and five more in the second, the pachyderm recognised that three plus four is greater than one plus five, and snacked on the seven apples..."
OH, AND ABOUT THAT MORNING CUP OF JOE...
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!
-> 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 8-10, 2008, Barcelona Walk 21, Barcelona, Spain. Info:
-> October 14-17, 2008, Main Street Basic Training, Washington, DC. Info: National Trust Main Street Center, 1785 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036; phone: (202) 588-6219; e-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
-> 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: <email@example.com> or Dan Moser, Conference Co-Coordinator; phone: (239) 334-6417; email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>. 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:
-> December 2-3, 2008, Implementing a Sidewalk Management System, Madison (WI). Info:
-> December 4-5, 2008, Solving Neighborhood Traffic Problems, Madison (WI). Info:
-> June 5-7, 2009, 7th International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods, Washington, DC. Info:
JOBS GRANTS AND RFPS
-> JOB -- INTERN -- NATIONAL COMPLETE STREETS COAL.
The National Complete Streets Coalition is looking for a new intern! To find out more about this exciting opportunity, check out the listing through Smart Growth America
-> JOB -- MOBILITY COORDINATOR -- LONG BEACH, CA.
The City of Long Beach, CA has recently issued a very exciting opportunity for bicycle and pedestrian planning and implementation work. The City, in partnership with Bikestation, won a grant through the Los Angeles Department of Health Services. This grant is funded primarily through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is called the PLACE program (Policies for Livable Active Communities and Environments.) Leadership on this Program is a significant part of the position. In response to winning this grant, as well as a strong existing sense of need, the City of Long Beach created the Mobility Coordinator position. It is a unique, exciting opportunity for an experienced planner with very strong technical and policy development skills: our City staff and elected officials are highly supportive of this work, we have very good “bones” and the potential to become one of the preeminent bicycling cities in the country. At 500,000 people, our city is large enough to offer opportunity and challenge, but small enough that the right person will be a significant change agent.
For details, go to: http://tinyurl.com/68vuw3
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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, Charles Bingham, Andy Thornley, Peter Jacobsen, Barbara McCann, and Westin Seattle.