NCBW Newsroom - Regional and Local Actions
-> According to a Nov. 21st Politics & City Life article, “In 2011, Gabe Klein came into town after a short stint as D.C.'s transportation head, with an unusual background for a transportation commissioner in Chicago... A couple years later he's stepping down...Despite his short tenure, though, Klein rolled out a lot of high-profile projects, borrowing liberally from approaches used in other cities in America and around the world. As Streetsblog Chicago's John Greenfield details, his list of changes include speed cameras, bike share, an ambitious network of bike lanes, bus rapid-transit, “people spots,” the planned Chicago river walk, and the 606 elevated trail, as well as the more typical, less exotic duties of a CDOT commissioner.
“Klein leaves Chicago having accelerated the city's shift, which began more slowly under Mayor Daley's tenure, towards an embrace of new-urbanist transit principles: one that drives slower and walks and bikes more, reorienting towards an expected future of high density and high gas prices. Klein sat down with me [author Whet Moser] on Monday to talk about what that future looks like in Chicago and the rest of the country...”
-> According to a Nov. 20th Switchboard blog, “It's a tragedy of wrong decisions and insecure personality, with a ridiculous result: In Cumberland County, Tennessee, a school district tried to deal with post-school traffic madness by imposing a rule that parents had to line up in their cars, stretching a half-mile, outside the school to pick up their kids in a presumably orderly fashion. They didn't consider the possibility that any parent might want to bypass the line and pick up their kids on foot, basically because it is so rare.
“So, when dad Jim Howe showed up on foot to retrieve his kids after school was out but before the line of cars had done its thing, he was told he had to wait in line like everybody else; never mind that he wasn't driving a car. When Howe asked for his kids to be released to him, the deputy sheriff apparently took it as a challenge to his authority and, to make a long story short, handcuffed Howe and put him in the back of a law enforcement vehicle...” (See full video of incident within article)
-> According to a Nov. 28th Flathead Beacon article, “Sidewalks, once disregarded as unimportant and unnecessary infrastructure, are making a comeback in communities across the U.S. That includes Kalispell, where the city council and staff are rallying resources and support for improving the disjointed network of cement walkways...
“At a work session on Nov. 25, councilors discussed the absence of sidewalks in various locations throughout the city. Staff from the planning and building departments presented an inventory of Kalispell's pathways and their respective conditions (see graphic in article), painting a murky picture for several neighborhoods beyond the core area. As the latest inventory shows, only a small percentage of streets in downtown have sidewalks considered in good condition. Extending outward, the next closest neighborhoods, which are dense residential, have sidewalks in ‘fair' condition, or none at all...”
-> According to a Nov. 14th Global Site Plans article, “How incredible would it be to explore Sonoma Valley and its hundreds of wineries without spending a dime on gas or expensive tours? Apparently it would be pretty incredible, judging by a recent state-funded grant to develop the Sonoma Valley Bike Trail (http://bit.ly/1eOgYrl), which will connect the regions wineries and parks. The $191,000 Community-Based Transportation Grant was awarded in September by the California Department of Transportation (Cal Trans) to Sonoma Regional Parks, which is tasked with conducting a feasibility study of the trail...
”... the Sonoma Valley Trail is envisioned as a thirteen-mile bikeway connecting the cities of Santa Rosa and Sonoma. The trail's Class I status will insulate users from State Highway 12, and provide connections between the valley's small towns, state and regional parks, and a plethora of wineries. Upon terminating just north of Sonoma, the trail will link up with the existing city bikeways, which in turn are planned to dovetail with the proposed Sonoma section of the San Francisco Bay Trail south of the city...”
-> According to a Dec. 1st NPR story, “One of the largest obstacles in getting people to bike to work is their fear of getting hit by a car. A new grass-roots project in Los Angeles is helping folks navigate the ins and outs of traffic.
“It's 6:45 a.m. and Barbara Insua is busy packing a bag. She will ride seven miles from her home in Pasadena to NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, where she works as a graphic designer. She only started doing this ride a few months ago. ‘It was kind of daunting,' she says, ‘because seven miles to the lab — I didn't know how to do it. I'm not an avid cyclist.'
“Enter L.A. Bike Trains (http://bit.ly/1bI41Bg) — an organization that arranges commutes by bike in groups. Each Bike Train route has an experienced conductor who serves as a guide. Insua especially likes that these volunteer conductors offer new riders door-to-door service from their homes to the train...”
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