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THANK YOU, ANDY CLARKE
by Mark Plotz
-> Yesterday President Andy Clarke informed the League of American Bicyclists' Board of Directors that it was time for him to move on. He will be missed. I have been in the world of national bike advocacy since 2003, and among the things I've learned during that time is even though we're all on the same side we don't always get along: our various constituencies don't always agree; sometimes our platforms clash; sometimes we compete for funds; and sometimes our programs are so similar even we can't tell them apart. Andy seemed the exception who always put the collective good first, while (somehow) still managing to look after his organization and staff. For that and for many other reasons, you will be missed Andy.
The official announcement: http://bikeleague.org/content/president-andy-clarke-depart-after-12-years
EPA: ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE MAPPING & SCREENING TOOL
-> EPA’s new environmental justice (EJ) mapping and screening tool called EJSCREEN provides a nationally consistent dataset and approach for combining environmental and demographic indicators. EJSCREEN users choose a geographic area; the tool then provides publicly available demographic and environmental information for that area (12 environmental indicators, 6 demographic indicators, and 12 EJ indexes). EJSCREEN simply provides a way to display this information and includes a method for combining environmental and demographic indicators into EJ indexes. [http://1.usa.gov/1CDgGOX]
BIKE INFRASTRUCTURE LOWERS CONGESTION & STRETCHES TRANSPORTATION $
-> USDOT: Many communities across the U.S. have embraced an approach that reduces roadway congestion and stretches our transportation dollars: bicycle infrastructure. Even better, improving bicycle infrastructure boosts economic growth.
In Texas, for example, the City of Austin estimates that a planned protected bike lane network will increase the city’s traffic capacity by 25,000 trips a day (http://bit.ly/1GKk38q). And, a report from the New York City DOT shows that installation of protected bike lanes on Columbus Avenue actually led to a 35 percent decrease in vehicle travel time (http://bit.ly/1yeUe19)...
Bicycle infrastructure can be a significant contributor to economic growth... a Furman University study “reported increases in commerce ranging from 30 percent to 80 percent for businesses within 250 yards of a greenway, and linked more than 75 percent of Saturday business and 40 percent of weekday business to greenway use.”... [http://1.usa.gov/1dyqZh5]
CALGARY, ALBERTA: CONNECTED PROTECTED BIKE LANE NETWORK
-> Calgary, the arid Alberta prairie town and natural gas capital, agreed last year on a novel strategy: instead of upgrading one street for biking at a time, as most cities do, it would pilot a connected protected bike lane network on four downtown streets at once... For Calgary, the question will be whether a connected downtown sequence of comfortable bikeways will lead to meaningful change in just one year, especially in the absence of the bike sharing system that would make the bike network useful to users of Calgary's above-average public transit system. But if this spring's early ridership numbers hold up, cities everywhere should be looking to Calgary as an example of how to get results by going big. [http://bit.ly/1LDj0xJ]
DUBLIN, IRELAND TO BAN CARS FROM DOWNTOWN STREETS
-> Dublin ranks just under Los Angeles for having some of the worst traffic jams in the world. The problem is predicted to get worse as the city quickly grows—somehow, it will have to squeeze in 20% more commuters over the next decade. That's why the city is now deciding to make a radical shift: It wants to ban cars from several major downtown streets. In the proposed plan, the city wants to route cars around the city center, and turn major streets into car-free plazas and passages for buses, bikes, pedestrians, and a new tram line. [http://bit.ly/1IggFqg]
VMT UP 14 MONTHS IN A ROW
-> The latest FHWA "Traffic Volume Trends" report (http://1.usa.gov/1k6iaJz), a monthly estimate of U.S. road travel, shows Americans drove 987.8 billion miles for the first four months of the year, topping the previous record – 965.5 billion – the highest mileage for the first quarter of any year. [http://1.usa.gov/1eRdt9i]
PLAN NOW FOR INTERNATIONAL PARK(ING) DAY
-> Although PARK(ing) Day isn’t until September 18th, now is the perfect time to start the planning for your project. PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks, sometimes referred to as parklets. The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat. Download the free PARK(ing) Day Manual for step-by-step “how-to” information, as well as global resources to inspire you to create lasting change in your local urban landscape. [http://bit.ly/1BY9Jx1]
SECOND NATIONAL WALKING SUMMIT
-> Check out plans for the Second National Walking Summit October 28-30 in Washington, DC. Its expanded focus is to make sure walking is accessible for everyone, especially vulnerable populations in lower socioeconomic communities where infrastructure has not been invested in and pedestrian and public safety are significant issues. [http://bit.ly/1Lxf8NC]
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