#241 Wednesday, November 25, 2009
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.
R-E-G-I-O-N-A-L and L-O-C-A-L--A-C-T-I-O-N-S
-> According to the Nov. 19th issue of Complete Streets News, "Barbara McCann, Executive Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, James Corless, Campaign Director for Transportation for America, and representatives of several partner organizations met with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Monday, November 16th, where we delivered signatures from thousands of Americans who believe complete streets must be a priority for creating safer streets.
"In his blog post after the meeting, Secretary LaHood said 'It turns out that a complete streets approach offers the perfect intersection of my twin guideposts: safety and livable communities.' He directed that his new safety council explore Complete Streets. Senior DOT officials held a follow up meeting with Complete Streets Coalition staff two days later to discuss next steps.
"Secretary LaHood also urged Complete Streets supporters to take part in upcoming listening sessions to help the Department convey to Congress what needs to be included in the next transportation authorization."
-> According to Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists, "Bicycling has come a long way in the last 10 years. Our movement has grown larger and more effective; the number of people riding is growing in almost every community in the nation. But we need more people on bikes more often, and the reasons just keep on growing. Whether it's obesity, health care, climate change, air quality, energy independence, traffic congestion, economic development or quality of life issues -- bicycling has got to be part of the solution.
"We need delegates from every congressional district at the National Bike Summit. We must make the case that greater federal investment in active transportation encourages bicycling and helps us reach America's national priorities. Attend the 2010 National Bike Summit and let your voice be heard on Capitol Hill! Register today!"
Go to: http://tinyurl.com/y873gkl
-> According to a Nov. 16th news release, "A new study by Bikes Belong found that more than 1 million Americans participated in recreational road ride events in 2008. The total revenue from these approximately 1,700 events topped $240 million, with riders spending nearly $140 million on food, lodging, and other purchases. These results show that recreational rides are important to the communities that host them, the causes they support, and the bike industry nationwide.
"Bikes Belong surveyed U.S. recreational bike-event promoters in order to estimate the size, number, and direct economic impact of these rides in 2008, and also to learn more about how these events benefit communities and causes nationwide. The study was limited to non-race, on-road events that occurred in the U.S. in 2008, including events such as century rides, family funrides, major charity rides (e.g. LIVESTRONG Challenge), and public bike tours (e.g. RAGBRAI)..."
For more info, go to: http://tinyurl.com/ye82puc
-> According to a Nov. 16th DutchNews article, "The Netherlands is set to become the first country in Europe to replace the road tax with a kilometer charge for all motorists, over 10 years since the idea was first put forward. If the legislation is passed by parliament, motorists will start paying tax on every kilometer they drive, which the government hopes will reduce traffic jams and pollution.
"On Friday, ministers agreed that the tax will be three cents a kilometer when the charge is introduced in 2012, rising to 6.7 cents by 2018 -- for the greenest cars. But if revenues generated by the tax are not in line with expectations, the tax can be adjusted, the transport ministry said..."
Via StreetHeadlines: http://tinyurl.com/ygqdync
HEALTH IMPACT PROJECT GRANT OPPORTUNITY
"HIAs are a flexible, data-driven approach that identifies the health consequences of new policies, and develops practical strategies to enhance their health benefits and minimize adverse effects.
For more info and to apply, go to:
-> In a Nov. 18th note, Tina Moore of goodinc.com wrote, "We thought you might be interested in our newest transparency. It's a look at the number of active commutes in several countries, as compared to those countries' obesity rates."
Check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/yhfon93
-> In a Nov. 21st CitiWire.net article, Richard Louv wrote, "Remember the special place in nature that you had as a child -- that wooded lot at the end of the cul de sac, that ravine behind your housing tract? What if adults had cared just as much about that special place as you did, when you were a child? In the spirit of the Do it Yourself, Do it Now philosophy of the Children & Nature Network, here's an idea whose time may be coming: the creation of 'nearby-nature trusts.'
"Land trust organizations could develop and distribute tool kits, and perhaps offer consulting services, to show how neighborhood residents could band together to protect those small green parcels of nearby nature. What might these little parcels be called? How about 'button parks?'..."
-> According to an Apr. 20th Guardian article, "High rates of obesity in richer countries cause up to 1bn extra tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year, compared with countries with leaner populations, according to a study that assesses the additional food and fuel requirements of the overweight. The finding is particularly worrying, scientists say, because obesity is on the rise in many rich nations.
"'Population fatness has an environmental impact,' said Phil Edwards, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 'We're all being told to stay fit and keep our weight down because it's good for our health. The important thing is that staying slim is good for your health and for the health of the planet.'..."
Via the CLF Scoop: http://tinyurl.com/yjj5475
-> According to a Nov. 13th Naples Daily News article, "From 2007 to 2008, 32 pedestrian deaths occurred in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area. So Lee County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday decided to do something about it: they agreed to make county roads more friendly for bicyclists, pedestrians and public transit. Commissioners unanimously voted to adopt the Smart Growth Committee's Complete Streets Resolution to promote alternative modes of transportation in the county.
"'We don't have alternatives that are worthwhile really in a lot of respects certainly when you compare it to how easy it is to get in your car and ride,' said Commissioner Brian Bigelow. Pedestrian, biker and public transit user safety will be considered in the planning and design of current and future Lee County roads. Commissioners also placed emphasis on reducing carbon emissions, promoting exercise and healthy lifestyles and ensuring the safety of those who walk or bike along the county roadways..."
Via Smart Growth Online: http://tinyurl.com/ycq2azn
-> According to a Nov. 23rd Reporter News article, "City sidewalks may increase over the next few years, in line with citizen desires expressed in a recent online unscientific survey and a scientific survey taken in 2007. Sidewalks, streets and hike-and-bike trails headed the specific concerns turned up in the recent survey taken by the city of Abilene to guide the city’s Capital Improvement Program planning and implementation. Much but not all of the Capital Improvement Program is funded by certificates of obligation issued by the city.
"In 2007, the city's scientific survey found sidewalks at the bottom of the list of services provided by the city, said Ed McRoy, Abilene's assistant director of planning and development. In response, city officials have looked to alternate funding to accelerate sidewalk construction in town. In 2007, the city was approved for a Safe Routes to School grant of $142,000 in federal funding funneled through the Texas Department of Transportation, McRoy said..."
-> According to a Nov. 22nd Register-Guard article, "Alpha Wilson showed up for Saturday's Kidical Mass bike ride in what she calls her 'West Eugene minivan' -- a Bike Friday 'Family Tandem Traveler' bicycle for herself and 6-year-old daughter Ruthanne, with 4-year-old son Charlie bringing up the rear in a Burley bike trailer. 'I commute to work by bike, and I teach at South (Eugene High School), so it's almost a seven-mile round-trip,' Wilson said. 'We get around (by bike) -- go to the Saturday Market and do our shopping, as much as we can. 'We got this (adult/child tandem bike) because Eugene's just so bikeable.'
"At Saturday's event, it was all about bikes -- and kids. 'We're trying to get more parents and kids out, and helping them to realize that riding on the road is not all that dangerous if they know what they're doing,' said Paul Adkins, a Kidical Mass co-founder...Kidical Mass was inspired by the Critical Mass bike rides that have raised awareness about urban bike riding -- and sometimes led to confrontations -- around the country. But Kidical Mass is a nonpolitical version whose goal is simply to teach children -- and their parents -- to ride safely and responsibly. 'A lot of it is teaching the parents to ride safely,' Adkins said. 'A lot of people go the wrong way (on streets)...or they run through a stop sign. But you can't do that with kids..."
-> In a Nov. 20th letter to Charlie Crist, Florida's Governor, Darla Letourneau of BikeWalkLee wrote, "Once again, Florida is in the national spotlight -- this time, as the most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians. A national report, 'Dangerous by Design,' jointly produced by the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership and Transportation for America, found Florida to have a danger index for pedestrians that is three times the national average. There is substantial evidence that pedestrians and bicyclists are being put at risk across the state and we call upon you, as the leader of our state, to present a plan of action to the citizens of Florida.
"The 'Dangerous by Design' report highlights the top 10 most dangerous large metro areas in the country, the top four being in Florida: Orlando-Kissimmee, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, and Jacksonville. Even more alarming is the additional number of Florida metro areas (under 1 million residents) that are more dangerous than these large metro areas....In total, 14 million Florida residents -- over three-quarters of Florida's total population -- live in these 12 metro deemed the most dangerous for pedestrians..."
-> According to a Nov. 9th Cycleliciou.us article, Yokota Fritz wrote, "In a close race watched closely by cycling advocates around the United States, cyclist Mike McGinn announced his victory tonight in the Seattle mayoral election after his opponent Joe Mallahan conceded.
"McGinn, who campaigned on his bicycle and strongly supports cycling and public transportation, was the dark horse candidate who was outspent three to one....The race was very close, and it's amazing to see a guy who was mostly known for his biking to win this. Seattle cyclists are pretty excited and I think we can expect to see some good things there in the coming years..."
-> According to a Nov. 9th Baltimore Sun article, "There are people who simply should not be permitted to own or operate motor vehicles. Thomas Meighan Jr. is one of them. Long before the Oct. 16 incident in which he faces charges related to the hit-and-run death of Johns Hopkins student Miriam Frankl, he had demonstrated that he was a menace to others any time he operated a vehicle. At the time of that crash, Meighan had nine convictions on his record for driving while intoxicated or impaired. Yet he still was listed as the owner of the F-250 truck that police believe mowed down the 20-year-old Frankl. (Meighan has denied being the driver that day and has not been charged in her death.)
"Is there anyone outside the Maryland General Assembly who believes Meighan should have been permitted to own anything more powerful than a moped? As a society, we are ultra-protective of the right to own property. And we hate to impose any penalties that interfere with someone's ability to make a living after they've served jail time. Car ownership has been elevated to a virtual constitutional right. Meighan lost his license many times and always got it back..."
-> According to a Nov. 23rd Sun article, "The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors has approved a $447,010 contract with All American Asphalt to construct a new six-foot wide sidewalk near Bloomington Middle School. The sidewalk runs along the north side of Slover Avenue, from Larch to Cedar avenues. The project includes a traffic signal at the corner of Slover and Larch avenues, in addition to the necessary curb, gutter and handicap ramps.
"The city of Rialto will contribute $75,000 for the signal installation. The project is part of the state's Safe Routes to School program, which promotes walking or riding bicycles to school through road and walkway improvements. The new sidewalk demonstrates the county's commitment to providing services to residents in unincorporated areas, said Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales..."
-> According to an article in the Nov. 23rd Community Cycling Center newsletter, "We are proud to report that 58 students from five schools graduated Bike Club this month. Over the past six weeks, these 9-12 year-olds have earned refurbished bicycles and new helmets by attending 12 after-school sessions. They now have the equipment, knowledge, and confidence to be champions of bike safety in their communities...James John [School] students have been enjoying long rides, practicing right-of-way at the three way stop sign, and enjoying games at Pier Park. In addition, they have been learning about community resources that support them as cyclists..."
-> According to a Nov. 16th NPR story, "Cyclists in Washington took part in the city's first 'Tweed Ride,' an event in which bicyclists put on their most dapper attire and toured the city. Participants were encouraged to wear Victorian-era fineries and ride vintage bicycles. The practice began earlier this year in London and since there have been rides in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston..."
"This report describes an investigation into whether or not physical characteristics of the roadway and the roadside environment are associated with actual vehicle running speeds, and how actual vehicle running speeds are associated with the occurrence and severity of motor vehicle crashes in conjunction with other roadway and roadside characteristics.
"Actual vehicle running speeds were observed at about 300 locations in urban, suburban and rural areas across Connecticut, at locations without horizontal curves or traffic control devices. Only vehicles traveling through the section unimpeded either by leading or turning vehicles were observed in order to get true free flow traffic speeds. Roadway and roadside characteristics were observed, and statistical prediction models were estimated to learn more about how free flow vehicle speed, roadway and roadside characteristics and crash incidence and severity are related. The factors associated with higher average running speeds are wide shoulders, large building setbacks and a residential location.
"The factors associated with lower average running speeds are on-street parking, sidewalks and a downtown or commercial location. These findings suggest that drivers slow down where the road feels 'hemmed-in' or there is noticeable street activity, and they speed up where the road feels 'wide open' or street activity is less noticeable. This finding is not surprising, but these relationships are quite strong in the observed data, and it is a useful result to isolate this short list of factors that are significantly correlated with actual vehicle running speeds.
"These findings demonstrate that through careful, intentional selection of roadway and roadside design elements, it is possible to influence the running speed of traffic on a road. It appears that drivers indeed take cues from elements of the roadway and roadside environment to decide how fast to drive and these cues are independent of the posted speed limit and other considerations that might be important to the community for reducing speeds.
"So the good news is that it is possible to influence drivers' choice of speed through design of roadway and roadside elements; but the bad news is that many existing roads cue drivers to travel much faster than the posted speed limit and the community would like."
"Designing Roads that Guide Drivers to Choose Safer Speeds;" by John N. Ivan, Norman W. Garrick, and Gilbert Hanson, University of Connecticut, Connecticut Transportation Institute; for Connecticut Department of Transportation; JHR 09-321 Project 04-6. November 2009 (1.1mb pdf)http://tinyurl.com/yk5oucx
-> "Stop being afraid that you will gain weight between Thanksgiving and New Year's. New research says that on average, most of us gain no more than a pound."
AND NOW, FOR SOMETHING THING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...
"In the cycling scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid -- soundtracked by 'Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head' -- Paul Newman did all the tricks himself, because his stunt man couldn't stay on the bike."
"In her first starring role Nicole Kidman was a crime-fighting BMX-er teen in 1983 kids' film BMX Bandits."
WEBCAST: "POLICYMAKERS ADDRESSING CHILDHOOD OBESITY
Date: Dec. 1, 2:00 pm EST (2hrs)
Host: National School Boards Association + Leadership for Healthy Communities
-> "STATE HIGHWAYS AS MAIN STREETS: A STUDY OF..."
-> "TRAVEL DEMAND IN THE CONTEXT OF GROWING DIVERSITY..."
-> "REALIZING THE POTENTIAL FOR SUSTAINABLE AND EQUITABLE..."
-> "MAKING THE LINK FROM TRANSPORTATION TO PHYSICAL..."
-> "THE REGIONAL RESPONSE TO FEDERAL FUNDING FOR..."
-> "BEYOND HEALTH CARE: NEW DIRECTIONS TO A..."
-> "AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT OF RED-LIGHT..."
-> "CENSUS IN SCHOOLS"
-> "PROSPECTIVE STUDY OF URBAN FORM AND PHYSICAL..."
-> "TEACHING CHILDREN TO WALK SAFELY AS THEY..."
-> "UNDERSTANDING YOUR COMMUNITY: THE KEY TO..."
-> "HUMAN VISION DURING THE WALKING PROCESS"
-> "PLANNING BY DESIGN: A HEALTHY COMMUNITIES HANDBOOK"
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!
-> January 10-14, 2010, Transportation Research Board (TRB) 89th Annual Meeting, Washington D.C. Info:
-> February 4-6, 2010, 9th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, Seattle, WA. Info:
-> February 7-10, 2010, 10th American Academy of Health Behavior Annual Scientific Meeting, Clearwater Beach, FL. Info:
-> March 27, 2010 -- Michigan Bicycle Summit in Lansing, MI. Info:
-> April 8, 2010, Florida Bike Summit, Tallahassee FL. Info:
-> May 11-13, 2010, Pro Bike/Pro Walk Florida 2010, Lakeland, FL. Info:
-> May 26, 2010 -- Michigan Bicycle Advocacy Day in Lansing, MI. Info:
-> May 30-June 2, 2010, International Conference on Safety and Mobility of Vulnerable Road Users: Pedestrians, Motorcyclists, and Bicyclists, Jerusalem, Israel. Info:
-> June 13-18, 2010, Built Environment Assessment Training (BEAT) Institute, Philadelphia, PA. Info:
-> September 13-17, 2010. Pro Walk/Pro Bike, the Sixteenth International Symposium on Walking and Bicycling, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
-> JOB -- L.A. AREA POLICY MANAGER -- SRTS NAT'L PARTNERSHIP
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is hiring a full-time California policy manager who will be based in the Los Angeles area. The policy manager will influence transportation funding allocations and policies at the state-level and in the six-county region governed by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) to benefit walking and bicycling for children and families, especially lower-income communities most vulnerable to childhood obesity. The California policy manager will work 20 hours/week on statewide issues and 20 hours/week on activities in Southern California, reporting to Deb Hubsmith, director of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership who also serves as Chair of the California State Network.
The full job description along with instructions on how to apply can be found at:
-> RFP -- SUSTAINABILITY PRINCIPLE FOR TRANS AGENCIES -- NCHRP
TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has issued a request for proposals to develop a framework that transportation agencies can use to identify and understand the future trends and external forces that influence their role in meeting society's evolving demand for transportation services to operate on a more sustainable basis. Proposals are due December 12, 2009.
Project info: http://tinyurl.com/yay7h97
-> JOB -- EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR -- BICYCLE ALLIANCE OF WA.
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Contributors: John Williams, Sharon Roerty, Mark Plotz, Bob Chauncey, Chris Jordan, Josh Levin, Linda Tracy, Russell Houston, Tina Moore, David Roth, Charles Bingham, Deb Hubsmith, Phil Miller, Laura Hallam, Bill Wilkinson, Bob Chauncey, Brooke Driesse, and Chief Seattle.
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