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LAB: BICYCLE FRIENDLY BUSINESS AWARDS
-> The League of American Bicyclists has awarded 100 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Businesses in 31 states and Washington, D.C (http://bit.ly/1hFUsrP). With this announcement, the program has grown to include 1,050 visionary local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies (http://bit.ly/1K1oYsD) from across the country that are changing the script on what it means to provide a top-notch experience and atmosphere for employees and customers alike. There are now BFBs in 47 states and DC. http://bit.ly/1MTxaM1

CHATTANOOGA-NORTH GA REGION MPO PLANNING DOUBLES BIKE/PED SPENDING
-> Chattanooga-Hamilton County/North Georgia Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) won an FHWA-FTA Transportation Planning Excellence Award for its Community-Sensitive Performance-Based Planning. To balance investments in the local community with the need to increase the region's economic competitiveness, the TPO developed a framework for its 2040 Regional Transportation Plan that categorized projects by its local, regional and statewide importance. Plan authors scored potential projects with performance measures - such as reduction in vehicle miles, access to community resources, and closing gaps in bicycle, pedestrian and transit networks - according to the goals of each category as well as travel impacts. By prioritizing the highest-ranking projects in each category, the TPO selected projects that were not only diverse in scale, but also in the modes they benefited. As a result, bicycle and pedestrian investment doubled, transit capacity investment increased 6 percent, and roadway capacity investment decreased 20 percent. http://1.usa.gov/1EhVLXM

PHILADELPHIA, PA: WAYS TO COMBINE TRANSIT AND CYCLING
-> With bicycling rates in Philadelphia more than doubling in the last 20 years and public transportation ridership at a 25-year high, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is looking for ways to bring these two modes of transit together. The agency’s first Cycle-Transit Plan (http://bit.ly/1MTsWnC), released this year, explores policy and infrastructure changes that could make it easier for riders to combine bicycling and public transportation in one commute. It’s one of just a few formal cycle-transit integration plans in the country. http://bit.ly/1NU08IO

NYC MAYOR & POLICE CHIEF QUESTION TIMES SQUARE PED PLAZAS
-> Mayor Bill de Blasio and his police chef, Bill Bratton, are talking about taking New York City’s Times Square plazas out, or at least re-evaluating them. "You could argue that those plazas have had some very positive impacts. You could also argue they come with a lot of problems," de Blasio said, according to The New York Times. Bratton told local radio station 1010 WINS, "I’d prefer to just dig the whole damn thing up and put it back the way it was." The remarks from the mayor and his police chief have met with widespread shock and dismay. What’s chilling about de Blasio’s and Bratton’s treatment of the situation in Times Square is that it betrays a profound lack of understanding of just how important public space is for people in a dense urban environment such as New York.

In Times Square, the DOT reported, pedestrian injuries were down by 35 percent, and there were 80 percent fewer people walking in the roadway. Business for merchants in the area was booming, and travel times for cars actually went down in some parts of Midtown, while remaining steady elsewhere. http://bit.ly/1KIirNW

FORMER MO ROCK ISLAND RAILWAY BECOMING 200-MILE BIKE/PED TRAIL
-> The out-of-use Rock Island Railway is being converted into about a 200-mile long hiking and biking trail in Missouri, from Pleasant Hill, a town half an hour southeast of Kansas City, to Beaufort in the south-central part of the state. It also might loop with the Katy Trail, creating 400 miles of the longest rail-converted trail system in the country. The Rock Island Trail is mostly rural with varied terrain and long tunnels and bridges, including a mile-long bridge 100 feet above the Gasconade River. Business owners along the trail are banking on more visitors, both local recreational trail users and out-of-state tourists. The Katy Trail attracts about 400,000 visitors who spend $18.5 million each year. Supporters of the new trail forecast a similar economic boost for towns along the Rock Island corridor. http://bit.ly/1JxPVlH

SONOMA CITY, CA: BIKE-FRIENDLIER ROAD REPAIR
-> The recently restored road surface on Hall Road west of Santa Rosa used a more bike-friendly "cape seal" repair technique advocated by the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition. A polymer binder was sprayed onto the road, then covered with small diameter aggregate, compacted with a rubber-tired roller. A few days later the road was swept and a topcoat binder layer was sprayed on and compacted. For those cyclists using skinny tires it is a superior technique compared to a conventional chip seal job using larger aggregate and relying on passing motorists to do most of the compaction, leaving skid producing gravel bars along the side of the road. http://bit.ly/1JloCtt

NC DOT STATEWIDE BIKE/PED PLAN RECOGNIZED
-> WalkBikeNC, North Carolina's first statewide bicycle and pedestrian plan, recently received an Honorable Mention from FHWA and FTA in their Transportation Planning Excellence Award competition (http://bit.ly/1JxHQ0k). Adopted in 2013 by NCDOT, the plan offers a transformative vision for improving active transportation choices throughout the State. NCDOT worked closely with the North Carolina Departments of Commerce, Environment and Natural Resources, and Health and Human Services to develop the plan and establish a stakeholder network for collecting input. The final plan uses a five-pillar approach centered on mobility, safety, economics, health, and environmental stewardship to recognize the importance of a multi-agency and multi-disciplinary approach to bicycle and pedestrian planning. http://1.usa.gov/1EhVLXM

TAKEAWAYS FROM CHICAGO, IL’S DIVVY BIKESHARE DATA CHALLENGE
-> Chicago’s Divvy bikeshare system hosted a contest earlier this year to encourage designers, developers and scientists to create visualizations that represent the data from Divvy’s 4,760 bikes and 476 stations over the past year in an insightful, beautiful or creative way. The top three takeaways: 1) Annual Divvy members and day-pass users use Divvy in different ways; 2) Divvy day-pass users tend to be "fair weather bikers"; and 3) Divvying can be faster than some forms of public transit. http://bit.ly/1fFeEZd

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