NCBW Newsroom - Regional and Local Actions
-> According to a Nov. 10th Urbanful article, "Cities are working to un-do the damage of car-centric design by making the streets (and sidewalks and public spaces) a more welcoming place for residents. This approach is not just happening in places like New York, recognized for its Active Design Guidelines (http://on.nyc.gov/1teq6dL) developed under then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration. Oklahoma City is in the midst of its own $777 million MAPS 3 initiative to redesign its streets and create new public spaces that encourage more activity from residents.
"Oklahoma City joined the ranks for healthy design cities following a city-wide weight-loss campaign...Oklahoma City is now undertaking a variety of efforts to engineer greater activity back into people's lives. MAPS 3—funded by a limited term, one-cent sales tax initiative that began in April 2010 and ends in December 2017—is a 10-year program created to finance eight projects, from convention centers and public parks to more modern transit, trails and sidewalks. It will raise an estimated $777 million over its lifetime..."
-> According to an Oct. 29th City of Boston media release, "Today the Boston City Council voted unanimously to pass a Truck Side Guard Ordinance,... [mandating] all large city-contracted vehicles to be equipped with enhanced safety measures designed to prevent fatalities and further reduce the risks of a collision with pedestrians and cyclists.
"The Truck Side Guard Ordinance is the first of its kind in the country. The ordinance requires vehicles over 10,000 pounds (for tractor-trailers a combined weight over 26,000 pounds) and awarded a contract with the City of Boston to have side guards, convex mirrors, cross-over mirrors, and blind-spot awareness decals. Vehicles associated with an awarded City contract will be inspected for side guards by the Inspectional Services Department and issued a permit, certifying the vehicle for 2-years. For those vehicles not in compliance, businesses will face a fine, escalating from $100 for the first offense, to potential termination of the contract...
"In 2013, the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics and the Public Works Department undertook the largest municipal pilot of truck side guards in the nation. The Truck Side Guard Ordinance is a result of this pilot, which included more than a year of testing three different types of side guards on 16 large vehicles, reviewing data from external studies, and from field observations. In the City of Boston pilot, each vehicle cost about $1,800 to outfit and will last the lifetime of the vehicle."
-> According to a Nov. 10th Advocacy Alliance article, "Last month Advocacy Advance held an open call for applications from bicycling and walking advocacy organizations for innovative campaigns to address the most pressing issues in bicycling and walking advocacy investments. Today, we're excited to announce the three campaigns receiving our 'Big Idea' Grants,... intended to help seize unforeseen opportunities, support short-term campaigns, or push campaigns into the end zone to win funding for biking and walking infrastructure and programs...The three campaigns are:
-- Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, in collaboration with other community development and environmental organizations, will work on the Better Mobility Philadelphia campaign to elevate Vision Zero and safer mobility as a campaign issue for the 2015 election in the City of Philadelphia...
-- Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) and Oregon Walks will leverage a strong partnership to build a broad coalition demanding a Vision Zero approach to transportation planning, policy, and funding to all levels of Oregon government; advocate for a progressive, equitable structure to a proposed local fee package to provide crucial funding for priority safety projects... [and] build a regional coalition based on shared goals for injury prevention, safety, and livability...
-- Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) will work with five cities in southeastern Los Angeles County to develop a model for inclusive and equitable active transportation planning processes... [to] boost communities' capacity to compete for funding from California's Active Transportation Program..."
[Note: Check out Rapid Response Grants (http://bit.ly/1dGWWMJ) which enable state and local bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations to win, increase, and preserve public funding in their communities. The Advocacy Advance team provides resources, technical assistance, coaching, and training to supplement the grants. Requests are considered throughout the year and receive a speedy response within two weeks.]
-> According to a Nov. 5th SFGate article, "Voters in San Francisco and Alameda County put their support — and money — behind transportation improvements that continue to steer the region away from a reliance on cars and toward transit, biking and walking.
"In San Francisco, voters passed Prop. A, a $500 million bond measure to be used for redesigned streets, more bike and transit-only lanes, updated traffic signals, improved maintenance facilities, and new elevators and escalators at Metro stations. It passed with support from 71.21 percent of voters, surpassing the two-thirds requirement.
"Across the bay, Alameda County voters approved the $8 billion Measure BB, which continues a half-cent sales tax and adds another half cent for 30 years. It captured 69.56 percent of the vote, squeezing past the 66.67 percent requirement. Two years ago, a nearly identical measure failed by just 700 votes. Measure BB devotes most of its money — nearly $5 billion — to transit, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, including $400 million toward a Livermore BART extension and $1.5 billion to boost AC Transit service. Roughly $3 billion would go to streets and highways — mostly for maintenance but also for new interchanges on Interstate 80, including the infamous Gilman Street interchange in Berkeley and carpool/toll lanes on Interstate 680..."
-> According to a Nov. 10th California Bicycle Coalition article, "A new law changes a perverse aspect of the California Environmental Quality Act that required local agencies to consider delays to motor vehicles worse for the environment than negative impacts on bicycle safety. The Governor's Office of Planning & Research is writing new guidelines to comply with the law, eliminating 'automobile level of service' as a measurement of a project's environmental impact. Pushback from some local agency leaders more concerned with congestion than safety threatens to weaken the proposal...
"Last year, the Governor signed SB 743 (http://bit.ly/1HjGAMh) by Darryl Steinberg to eliminate the use of 'automobile level of service' (LOS) as a measurement of a project's environmental impact for purposes of compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)..."
-> According to a Nov. 4th Bike/Ped Memphis article, "Bicycle use in Memphis is increasing at the fastest rate of growth compared to any other city in Tennessee. A recent report released by the League of American Bicyclists titled 'Where We Ride: Analysis of Bicycle Commuting in American Cities' (http://bit.ly/11i6S0j) identified Memphis as one of the 14th fastest growing cities for bicycle commuting in the United States between 1990 and 2013. The City's own research, released last March in the '2014 State of Bicycling' report http://bit.ly/1yS62Cc) indicates this trend is directly correlated to the increase in dedicated bicycle infrastructure, especially pronounced in the city since 2008. Furthermore, the city's report indicates that if the growth trend continues to rise as new infrastructure is developed, that bicycle use will continue to rise as well.
"Last week, the academic journal Urban Studies published an article titled 'Behind a Bicycling Boom: Governance, Cultural Change and Place Character in Memphis, Tennessee' (http://bit.ly/1xo3EF2)... review[s] the recent social movement and potential implications to improve and invest in bicycle infrastructure in Memphis with a focused analysis on who benefits from this kind of investment in the community..."
-> According to an article in the November issue of Governing, "In a nation where few students still walk to school, how has Lakewood, Ohio, gone without school buses for so long? Lakewood doesn't have any school buses—and it never has.
"There are a few reasons why Lakewood may be the nation's unofficial walk-to-school capital. Density, for one... the city of 52,000 has 9,000 residents per square mile.... As Lakewood grew, the city opted against setting up a school bus system, focusing instead on building schools to fit within the community. Most of the schools are multistory buildings on relatively small lots, making them easier to incorporate into residential neighborhoods. As the facilities aged over the years, officials chose to restore and upgrade the existing structures, rather than build sprawling new single-story campuses.
"In Lakewood, there's another benefit to having everyone walk: The city saves a fortune on school buses. When Lakewood does need to provide transportation for students -- for field trips, out-of-town games and so on -- it contracts with the nearby town of Olmsted Falls. But all told, the Lakewood school district spends about $500,000 a year on transportation, about $1 million less than comparable school districts..."
-> According to a Nov. 16th CBS Philly article, "As more people use bicycles to get around town, SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) is working on long range plans to incorporate them into transit system updates at its stations. And the first bike cages could go in the South Broad concourse.
"SEPTA is considering how and where to place secure, sheltered bike cages inside transit stops, rather than having bikes locked outside on public sidewalks, and in the elements..."
-> According to a Nov. 11th Wall Street Journal article, "Bicyclists would be banned from texting or talking on a cellphone while riding under legislation set to be introduced in the City Council on Thursday. A bill sponsored by New York City Councilman Mark Treyger, a Brooklyn Democrat, would fine cyclists $50 for a first offense if they cause injuries or property damage while using their phone.
"Another bill, also sponsored by Mr. Treyger, would create a bike-safety course for the city. Riders caught using hand-held cellphones who don't injure anyone or cause property damage would be required to take the bike-safety course, but wouldn't have to pay a fine... Chicago has a similar law on the books, as does Flagstaff, Ariz."
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