Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snow removal for bikes



I understand that this sounds crazy to some. I can hear it now, "You are plowing the bike trails are you kidding me?"
This time of year it takes great commitment to ride your bike in Fort Wayne. Heck I can look at my window right now and see that! I haven't seen a snowplow yet this week and I am not exaggerating.
I usually avoid the trail system all together for commuting. I will take my daughter on them in the nice weather. I would be very thankful if they were plowed during the winter though merely for safety reasons. Off street this time of year would increase ridership and pedestrianism.
If you want people to ride their bikes then you have to make it easy for them to do so.
Changing the frame of mind will be the hardest thing. Get the word out!
Check this related story

Cities for Cycling: Creating Bike-Friendly Streets


Some interesting questions came to me while reading this article.
How long will it take for the car culture to come to a close? Will Fort Wayne be behind or in front of this? What more can I do to help people understand the importance of cycling as transportation? Anyone have any answers to these?

12/09/2009 by asladirt
The Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program and the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) organized an event, “Cities, Bicycles, and the Future of Getting Around,” at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. David Byrne, former lead singer of the Talking Heads and author of the “Bicycle Diaries,” Congressman Earl Blumenauer, the leading bike and sustainable transportation advocate on Capitol Hill, and Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation, discussed how to best integrate bike infrastructure into cities and build demand for biking. Sadik-Khan also announced the launch of Cities for Cycling, a NACTO project focused on breaking down “barriers to bike-friendly street design in municipalities around the United States.”

According to Bruce Katz, Vice President and Director, Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, bicycling improves the urban quality of life, public health, and reduces CO2 emissions. Cities are good for cycling because of their inherent complexity and density. “Density is a proxy for innovation, and cities contribute heavily to economic growth.”

The rest of the story

Less people biking in Portland? or Here come the Naysayers

Backpedaling
BY BETH SLOVIC | bslovic at wweek dot com

[December 16th, 2009]

The number of bike trips in Portland dropped for the first time in five years, according to a new, unreleased report from the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

That preliminary report, the 2009 “Portland Bicycle Counts,” shows the number of bicycle trips across Portland bridges (and at more than 100 other locations citywide) has fallen a combined average of 6 percent compared with the same time period in 2008.

Last year, Portlanders made 16,700 daily trips by bike over the Hawthorne, Burnside, Steel and Broadway bridges. This year? Almost 1,000 fewer, WW has learned.

The drop comes at an inopportune time for city officials, who are just now launching their most ambitious plan yet to upgrade the city’s bicycle infrastructure to meet what they say is strong demand.

The rest of the story

Copenhagen, it's like a dream world!

Hipsters, Hasidic Jews Fight Over Bike Lanes In Williamsburg

I doubt that this headline would read exactly the same way here in Fort Wayne but I am sure that as the Bike Fort Wayne Plan begins to get implemented in the next few years that there will be some spats over bike routes, lanes and the like.
Check out the story here

Cargo Bikes


This picture is of a guy in Portland.
When gas hits $13.00 a gallon here n Fort Wayne you might see one of these unless I can afford one first!

Winter, I apologize part two


Well, it has been a rough couple of days on the bike!
When I said last post that it hadn't been that bad, it hadn't been.
Something about adding ice to the equation really adds a sense of adventure to the commute.
I am still using the Schwalbe Marathon tires form last year and they are doing okay. Although, they are a bit worn down from last year I think that they will get me through another season. I would still recommend them to anyone because you can ride in this stuff with them whether you believe me or not. I can't imagine riding without them. Although I wish that I had two bikes. One for all of the days that I didn't need the tires and one for the days I did. I am a dreamer though at this point. For those twenty or so days during the winter that I need the Schwalbe tires, it makes up for the rough rides between now and February.
Stay safe out there ya'll!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter, I apologize. I'm glad you are finally here.



Well all.
Welcome to winter.
Gotta tell you it actually hasn't been that bad.
Although this morning was kind of a downer since I rode into a 15-20 MPH headwind all the way into work and was totally sweaty by the time I got there! It is such a fine line on finding what I need to be wearing for which conditions.
One of the tribulations that the FWBC deals with I guess.
This time of year I watch a lot of weather channel to find out what I need to have on in the morning.
Above is a picture of me and my daughter the other morning. It was about 20 degrees F when I left the house.

I finally found a jacket that served the needs of the easily seen and is quite high performance as well. It is paper thin and the only thing I had on under was my work shirt! It is crazy. Gore bike Wear. I am amazed at how sweet it is. And then my fluorescent orange smow board pants have been great as well.
It has taken awhile to get to get it through my thick skull that I don't need to be wearing much clothing but now that I have my commute has been much more enjoyable.
Good luck to all of you who are still riding and keep it up. I actually am glad that it finally got cold whereas a month ago I was totally depressed about it.

Indianapolis. Boldly going where no city nor the State of Indana has gone before




Where are they going you ask?
Exactly three feet away from you on your bike within the City of Indianapolis.
Thanks to my bud Dennis for the I'm sure not so breaking news but I didn't know about it.
Very Exciting news! Please read the ordinances pertaining to bicyclists that the Indianapolis City Council has passed. The Mayor still needs to officially sign them, and I will send out another notification as soon as it’s official.

Sec. 441-372. Duty to yield to bicycle operator; minimum passing distance.

(a) The driver or operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to an individual operating a bicycle on a designated bicycle path or lane.

(b) The driver or operator of a vehicle overtaking a bicycle must pass the bicycle at a safe distance of not less than three (3) feet between the vehicle and the bicycle.

So SWEET!
I am stoked for the Council that they would stand up and do this rather than sitting around for some state law. But super Stoked for all of those folks who ride bikes!
Enjoy your space and congratulations!

Newsflash! Walking and biking good for you and the planet

By Margaret Munro
Pedestrians and cyclists should be made king of the urban jungle, according to an international study showing the big benefits of "mass active travel."

It suggests money should be diverted way from roads to make walking and cycling "the most direct, convenient, and pleasant options for most urban trips." Pedestrians and bikers should also get "priority" over cars and trucks at intersections.

To be honest it is nice that they are putting some science to it.

The rest of the story

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Physician accused of deliberately injuring two bicyclists is convicted

I have been following this for a while and it has been an interesting case.

Prosecutors alleged that Thompson stopped his car after passing the two cyclists and shouting at them to ride single file. The cyclists testified that they began maneuvering to ride one after the other when they noticed Thompson's car approaching fast behind them but that the driver passed dangerously close before abruptly stopping.

Check it out here.

Hey, angry drivers, a precedent has been set.

Winter Biking




Well, it's getting to be that time again when it is time to put the bike away and start driving again. What?!! No way!
Thanks to one of the faithful readers out there, Tony, who tuned me onto this. It is pretty right on.

"The key to winter cycle commuting is just to suck it up and commit to it. If you give yourself an option, you won't do it. And, once you do it, you can't believe how easy it really is."- Brad Werntz

Many a cold and frosty morning Brad's words stuck in my mind. I could be car-free and take the bus or get a ride from someone but there is something about biking that makes my days better. My metabolism is revved, I am able to plan my day, and just be outside. It's easy in the summer, in the winter it really takes commitment. I have found prepping all my clothing and gear ahead of time makes the biggest difference. No excuses.

The whole thing

What would you do to increase ridership?

Well, what I would do is close off a bunch of streets throughout the City or maybe just downtown 1 day per month or maybe just 1 day to start and I would only allow cyclists. Wouldn't that be terrific! Not just part of the street. The whole street.
This would allow all the families to come out too. Logistical nightmare? Perhaps, but it would be great for all of those that are too fearful to ride the streets normally.

There is a group in LA that wants to do it.

A group called cicLAvia wants to close major L.A. thoroughfares to cars and open them to bicyclists on Sundays. City officials are looking for ways to support the plan, which originated in Colombia.

The rest of the story


I was in South Bend last weekend and I started talking to the owner (J.V.)of a local bike shop that I was in. He is a part of a large advocacy group called Michiana Bicycle Coalition and we got to talking about the fact that their group was trying to do something similar there too. It probably will happen there sometime this summer from what I understand. I will keep you all updated. I can't believe what a strong organization they are and it does the Fort Wayne Bike Commuter's heart some good knowing what these folks have been able to accomplish. They are really the driving force behind how South Bend and Mishawaka have progressed over the last few years with regard to cycling. Great job all of you out there in lovely Michiana.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Follow up to previous post regarding getting muscled toward the curb by a Citilink bus


I posted a few weeks ago about an incident that occurred on Spy Run Avenue involving me and a Citilink bus. This post can be viewed here.
After a lot of back and forth between the two parties here is the resulting email.




I sincerely apologize in the delay in getting back to you. I was under the impression that you had received an email from the supervisor who reviewed the hard drive. Unfortunately, the first time you emailed me you didn’t provide a bus number and we couldn’t pull the hard drive. When I received the information from you the hard drive was pulled but the incident had been recorded over. It is very important that we are provided with the information as soon after the incident occurs as possible.

I sincerely apologize to you for the driver’s actions and I will ask our trainers to add this to the agenda for driver safety training.


So, I tell them where it happened, I tell them what time it happened, I tell them what day it happened. but I could not tell them the route number of the bus so....What??!!! You're kidding right? I gave information to this lady a few days after the incident making a guess at which route it was and she is stating that the reason that they aren't to blame is because I didn't give them the route number quick enough. I guess I made a poor assumption, that they knew which buses are on which route at any given moment. Upon looking at the route map there are only a couple buses that drive that stretch of Spy Run.

Maybe I am the one in the wrong here. Wrong for thinking that I would get an explanation on this driver's behavior toward me.

So the moral of this is? If you are buzzed by a Citilink bus, catch up to it so you can find out the route number, because the Citilink office will not be able to help you otherwise. Send your letter certified mail too.

At least they have bike racks on the bus.

Speaking of Citilink, why do they drive in a bunch of circles all day long? Can anyone answer this? I got to looking at the route map as I was trying to figure out which bus decided to draft around me like NASCAR!

In other cities that I have lived, the buses are usually on the arterial roads going from one end of town to the other. For example, you could catch a bus on Jefferson by the Dunkin Donuts and take it to Lafayette and then get a transfer slip and take another bus that would be traveling north that could take you to State to transfer to another bus out to Maplecrest. I mean you look at the route map and it is just a bunch of circles out from the Superior St station. Just a thought. Regardless, I am happy to not need the bus anymore. I ride my drive.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

State Law, Austin don't need no stinking state law

Kudos to Austin, TX for not waiting around for the governor of Texas to sign into law a three feet rule. Can you imagine the legislature passed the law and the governor vetoed it? Unreal. Regardless it was shot down. So what did the City Council of Austin do? They did it themselves! Unanimously I might add. They got it going on and what a great thing for all cyclists within the Austin City Limits. Could it happen here? Sure it could. Can it be enforced? I doubt it. I don't see normal traffic laws enforced. But it could work to at least put it in the minds of drivers that we need and are entitled to a little sliver of the road that we helped to pay for.


Read all abut it here

How do we get bikers to obey traffic laws?

Well,
I could say that it starts with education but, maybe for people who aren't old enough to drive it might start with education. For me it started when I realized as a driver that when people don't signal in a car it is annoying. So I started to signal on my bike. It kind of gets back to the vehicular cycling.
When I am riding or driving I get ticked when people don't obey the laws of the road. Running stop signs, or worse, red lights. Then I realized that I do that sometimes on a bike and I am going to get no respect from any vehicle on the road if I don't. So now I obey the laws and I still get yelled at and honked at but now I know they are yelling or honking because their Mommy doesn't love them not because I am breaking traffic laws.

Check out this story I found.

Stop Means Stop
How do we get bikers to obey traffic laws?

By Christopher Beam of Slate.com

Bikes occupy a gray area of the law. They're neither cars nor pedestrians. Most states do carve out special laws for bikes, but not enough to avoid confusion. Take this scenario: I'm approaching a stop sign on my bike. There are clearly no cars coming from either direction. Do I come to a complete stop? Can I cautiously slide through? The traffic laws say full stop. But in practice, few bikers hit the brake, put their foot on the ground, and then start pedaling again. Are they criminals?

The rest of the story

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Report on Transportation Funding in the City of Fort Wayne

RECONNECTING FORT WAYNE
Transportation Funding
This is an interesting study that I happened to find on the interweb the other day.
The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) in Chicago was commissioned by the City of Fort Wayne to do the study.
In a nutshell it talks about how transportation projects are funded and what projects are funded by what source. I found it to be very enlightening. Maybe you will too. I didn't realize how much money we get from the Federal Government for Transportation projects. The most interesting funding source that could be (and should be, according to the report) used for bicycle and pedestrian projects is Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funding. The report seems to stress that widening roads to allow for freer flow of automobiles is not exactly the best use of the funds. There are quite a few intersting points that are made.
It's a quick read that I recommend to help all the bikers out there understand transportation funding for our community.
The report from CNT

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Recall info that I was just clued into (Thanks Paul)

Bicycles, bicycle tires recalled
Associated Press


http://www.cpsc.gov

The front tray or basket can come loose and come into contact with the front tire, posing a fall hazard to riders

The following recalls have been announced:

* About 6,400 Electra bicycles, 2009 model, because the product's front tray or basket can come loose and come into contact with the front tire, posing a fall hazard to riders. The company received 15 reports of the front tray or basket coming loose, including two reports of minor cuts and bruises. The recalled products include 2009 Delivery 3i, Delivery 8D, Holiday 3i, Holiday 8i and Surf 3i bicycles with front-mounted trays or baskets. They were made in Taiwan and imported by Electra Bicycle Co., of Vista, Calif. They were sold by authorized Electra Bicycle dealers nationwide from October 2008 through August 2009. Details: by phone at 800-261-1644; on the Web at http://www.electrabike.com or http://www.cpsc.gov.
* About 5,000 Schwalbe Ultremo R Bicycle Tires, made in Indonesia by Ralf Bohle GmbH of Germany. The tire layers could separate, causing the inner tube to rupture and pose a fall hazard. No injuries have been reported. The recalled products were sold at bicycle specialty stores and online from April through May. Details: by phone at 888-700-5860; on the Web at http://www.schwalbetires.com or http://www.cpsc.gov.

From the League of American Bicyclists...

The numbers don't lie people.
You too can be a part of something big, well .55 percent isn't really that big but heck, a 43% increase in 10 years is pretty cool.

Bicycle Commuting Trends, 2000 to 2008

As we reported earlier, according to the US Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey (ACS), released on September 22, 2009, 0.55 percent of Americans use a bicycle as the primary means of getting to work. This is up 14 percent since 2007, 36 percent from the first ACS in 2005, and 43 percent since the 2000 Census. (Note that the ACS methodology under-counts cycling by not counting bicycle commuters who biked just once or twice the week they were surveyed or most cyclists who bike and use public transportation for their trip to work.)

Click here to view the ACS journey to work results for the 70 largest US cities, including the 23 largest Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFCs), since 2000. Use the tabs at the bottom of the page to find the share of American workers who bicycle, walk, use public transportation and drive alone. The tables show the share of commuters for 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and the percent they have changed over time.

Click here to view the ACS journey to work results for the 50 US states (and Puerto Rico). Use the tabs at the bottom for bicycle commuters and walking commuters. The sheets also include the amount of federal dollars spent on bicycle and pedestrian project between 2000 and 2008.

Here is a summary of bicycle commuting levels in the US over the past eight years.

On average, the 70 largest cities in the US — from New York City (population eight million) to Plano, Texas (population 259,000) — had higher bicycle commuter levels and larger increases than the national average. The average bicycle commuter share for the largest 70 US cities in 2008 was 0.63 percent, having grown by 50 percent since 2000.

Among the 70 largest cities, the 23 that have been designated by the League of American Bicyclists as Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFCs) for their pro-bicycling policies saw even higher levels of bicycle commuting and greater increases over the past eight years. In 2008, the average BFC bicycle commuter share was 1.63 percent, three times the national average. BFCs also grew 60 percent more than the national average and 40 percent more than the 70 largest city average.

Bicycle Friendly Communities far outpaced the 47 largest non-BFCs, whose average bicycle commuter share is growing slower than even the national average. Between 2000 and 2008, the bicycle commuter share in the 23 largest BFCs increased by nearly 70 percent. In contrast, the share in the non-BFC cities increased only 27 percent, to 0.58 percent. This strongly suggests that the efforts of the BFCs to improve bicycling conditions by investing in engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation and planning are paying off with larger increases in bicycle commuters.

Some of the fastest growing communities were those that started with relatively low bicycle commuter shares in 2000. Nashville and Cleveland tripled their share, and Cincinnati doubled its, but all three still have not reached three-quarters of a percent. On the other hand, some the cities with the highest bicycle commuter levels in 2000 also saw some of the largest increases. Platinum BFC Portland, OR saw the largest growth among all 70 large cities, more than tripling their bike share, to nearly 6 percent. See complete summary for more.
~Darren Flusche
League Policy Analyst

Classic

15th ANNUAL CHILLY CHALLENGE BICYCLE TOUR

Sounds fun. I'm in.

SPONSORED BY FORT WAYNE PARKS AND RECREATION &
THREE RIVERS VELO SPORT BICYCLE CLUB

Place: Psi Ote Pavilion North Side Park
705 East State Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46805

January 1ST 2010 MASS START 1:00 PM

For the last 14 years Three Rivers Velo Sport along with the Fort Wayne Park and Recreation have challenged riders on New Years day to a bicycle tour. When the first tour was organized the expected turn out was to be 10 to 15 riders. After all it was New Years day, who in their right mind would ride a bicycle in the cold? That first year drew over 60 riders and the organizers were overwhelmed to say the least. Last year the tour had 164 registered riders and an estimated 20 non-registered.

So what is it that attracts riders to the Chilly Challenge? It may be boasting rights to say they rode their bicycle in the cold temperature to ring in the New Year. What ever it is your sure to have fun.

The tour has a mass start from the Psi Ote pavilion in North Side Park. Riders wind through the city the first hour and stop at Johnny Appleseed Park where they watch the Polar Bears take their dip into the St Joseph River. Afterwards the tour continues with two routes. A short route that ends back at the starting point for about 15 miles of riding, and a longer route with about 25 miles.

Upon returning the riders are treated to hot chili, hot and cold drinks, snacks, cookies and cakes donated by the Bicycle club.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Tim Claypool, Director

4608 Highwood Drive

Fort Wayne, Indiana 46815-6066

260-484-0339

2010chilly@3rvs.com

It is truly amazing what the Transportation Commissioner of New York has accomplished

I have been following what the City of New York is doing for a while now and I have to tell all of you bike commuters and future bike commuters out there, if they can do this kind of stuff in New York.....

New York City's transportation commissioner is untangling gridlock.

On a sun-speckled afternoon in late August New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan is in Times Square, expounding on the delights of a 2.5-acre pedestrian plaza she created three months ago. It displaces the 53,000 cars that crawled through the area daily with a strangely calm oasis where 356,000 people traipse beneath flashing billboards and jumbotrons.

"Have you sat down in these chairs before?" she asks, smiling, the jacket of her black pantsuit revealing an inch of tan, toned midriff. "You can really see the skyline and the streetscape," she continues. "This precolonial footpath has cut through the heart of New York's grid and created congestion for over 200 years."

The whole story

Great ideas that businesses could implement to increase ridership!

From the Village Voice
As City Grows More Bike-Friendly, Restaurants Consider the Benefits
By Mathew Katz in Featured, Restaurant News and Notes
Thursday, Sep. 17 2009 @ 5:08PM


​By Mathew Katz

When Maury Rubin, owner of The City Bakery, implemented a 50 percent discount for people arriving at his Birdbath Bakery by bike in 2005, it was a bit too popular--and too costly, so he had to reduce it to 25 percent. Still, he wouldn't dream of taking it away: In addition to the obvious environmental benefits, he says it's also helped the reputation of his bakeries.

"It's novel as hell," he says. "People are kind of thrilled by it. It helps create loyalty, and absolutely extended the name of Birdbath fairly deep into the cycling community of New York."


Rubin, who calls himself an "aspiring cyclist", isn't the city's only cycling-cheerleader. The Department of Transportation just finished a project to build 204.5 miles of new bike lanes, and with cycling up 45 percent since 2006, more businesses are embracing a "two-wheels-good" philosophy. Even MoMA offers a discount for people who arrive by bike.

But Rubin's bakeries have long been alone among the food scene in offering a cycling incentive; he says he thinks it would be great for other restaurants to give a similar discount, but that it's an expensive proposition.

"That 25 percent discount pretty much takes away our profit," he says. "It really represents an investment in the mission of the business and forwarding the reputation of the business."

But Wiley Norvell, of cycling advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, says that with the increase in cyclists around the city, the discount could be worth the cost. "If you can build those relationships [with cyclists] now, when there are relatively few people competing for it, it could help business."

A cycling incentive also makes restaurants seem greener, which is one of Birdbath's primary missions. But it doesn't count towards much-desired green restaurant certification. According to Colleen Oteri, of the Green Restaurant Association, cycling incentives don't make it onto the association's criteria for green restaurant certification, though she recommends it as a good management practice. Oteri says the environmental benefit is too hard to quantify, unlike giving a discount for bringing a travel mug to a coffee shop.

Still, some restaurants have been catching on. Village Restaurant, which closed in July, offered a 10 percent discount for cyclists on Sundays. And while he hadn't thought of it before, Alberto Gonzalez, owner of Greenwich Village's hyper-green Gustorganics, will be offering a five percent discount to cyclists starting tonight, after hearing about Birdbath's.

"I didn't think about it," he said. "We should do it! Absolutely, in this tough economic time, it could be a very good incentive."

Rubin still wants Birdbath to be ahead of the competition--so he's currently working on two plans, which he wouldn't give details on, that will closer align Birdbath and the cycling worlds. For now, just take a giant baker's muffin at 25 percent off.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Vehicular Cycling



I cannot tell you how much I like that term.
I had never heard it before the other day when I was reading Indycog
They had a great post quoting a guy from Louisville that was making comparisons between the different riding styles of people from Indy and those in Louisville.
Check out the post here
Here in Fort Wayne I would say that we are a lot more like Indy than Louisville when it comes to how people ride.
Columbus had a good number of vehicular cyclists as well.
I am not saying that with any connotation whatsoever.
There just aren't that many vehicular cyclists in the Fort (that I see anyway).
So get out there into traffic! Sounds crazy I know but try it out. It's pretty sweet.

Fall



No, I didn't fall off my bike.
Thank goodness.
Fall is here and it has me thinking.
Thinking about how great it is that I don't have to take a sponge bath in the bathroom when I get to work.
It has me thinking about how I need to get my bike prepared for the winter weather onslaught. I got a new chain put on last week. We learned in our traffic safety class that you should get a new chain put on after about 1000 miles. For me that was a couple thousand miles ago and it has been acting all wonky so I went for it. Yeah, Summit City.
It has me thinking about riding in the dark again. I don't mind it so much from my perspective but I am worried about everyone else on the road you know. I need some more reflective or bright clothing. I am having trouble though. It is hard because I am not some super duper road rider. That gear is too streamlined and not for the commuter. I did find a sweet pair of fluorescent orange snowpants for this winter a couple weeks ago in South Bend but the jacket is proving elusive.
It has me thinking about the lights on my bike. The Breezer has a front and rear light that run on a generator but when winter is here they don't work in the snow, they freeze up so I need a backup. The one I bought last year for $35 already broke so I need to do some research. In a hurry.
Fall has me thinking about having to ride on the busy streets because they are the only ones that get plowed in the winter. Soon the days of the mellow, relaxing rides to and from work will be over and the fight for room in my lane will begin.
It has me thinking about the guy last week that laid on his horn from behind me all the way from the Tennessee Bridge to Crescent Ave. Angry white guy in a beat up Ford Truck with scrap metal that he had gathered that day. Keep in mind that that stretch of road will soon be a designated bike route!
Fall has me thinking about Winter and I feel ill prepared.
I hope that you all are well and stay careful out there.

How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road

To boost urban bicycling, figure out what women want

By Linda Baker

Getting people out of cars and onto bicycles, a much more sustainable form of transportation, has long vexed environmentally conscious city planners. Although bike lanes painted on streets and automobile-free “greenways” have increased ridership over the past few years, the share of people relying on bikes for transportation is still less than 2 percent, based on various studies. An emerging body of research suggests that a superior strategy to increase pedal pushing could be had by asking the perennial question: What do women want?


Women are considered an “indicator species” for bike-friendly cities for several reasons. First, studies across disciplines as disparate as criminology and child ­rearing have shown that women are more averse to risk than men. In the cycling arena, that risk aversion translates into increased demand for safe bike infrastructure as a prerequisite for riding. Women also do most of the child care and household shopping, which means these bike routes need to be organized around practical urban destinations to make a difference.

Read the rest of this very insightful article here

Copy of Email I sent to Citilink a couple weeks ago

To Whom It May Concern,
I am a bicycle commuter.
I was riding on Spy Run Ave. on Monday (9/21) at about 5:20 PM.
I was taking my lane as I learned that I should do in my bicycle safety course that I took from the League of American Bicyclists. I was 5 feet from the curb in the right hand lane.
One of your buses decided that they should buzz me at a very high rate of speed and continuing to accelerate. The bus and I were the only vehicles on that stretch of road. The driver, should have changed lanes to give me my space on the road. Should there have been other vehicles on the road, that is exactly what they would have done. Should I have been in a small car I do not think that they would have given the vehicle less than three feet and swerved around me while not getting out of my lane.
I expect a written response (sent to the above email) to this hostile action on the part of your employee in a timely manner.
Thank you.

I have since communicated with Citilink to tell them exactly where I was on Spy Run and they said that they are going to pull the tape and review it with the driver.
The nice thing about this situation is that the vehicle that buzzed me had the name of the company on it. There have been too many times where I get buzzed where that is not the case. They have been fairly responsive up until this point so we'll see
I'll keep you all updated.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Screaming monkey bike

I've been reading his blog for a while and I thought that this post that he had was just terrific.
Spread the word ya'll!
Ride on.

Check it out here

London Seeks to Reduce Congestion by Eliminating Traffic Lights

I think that this is a wonderful experiment that I hope can "Cross the pond".
Could be sweet.

By Richard S. Chang

London is getting naked — well, getting naked streets. Naked streets are those without traffic lights and stop signs.

I wrote about naked streets a couple of years ago, when a village in Germany suddenly decided to rid itself of traffic lights and all other road accoutrements. The idea wasn’t even new back then. Towns in Holland, Denmark and Belgium have had naked streets for years.

But London would be the first major city to attempt order through apparent disorder, if an experiment proves successful. Boris Johnson, the city’s mayor, is behind an effort to switch off traffic lights in the city’s center, according to the Telegraph.

“We will be creating a bit of indecision in all road users’ minds to create a safe environment,” said Martin Low, Westminster City Council’s head of transportation, which is conducting the experiment with Transport for London. “When lights are out we have noticed that drivers are far more considerate and show more care and attention than they are when they have the reassurance of traffic lights.”

The rest of the story

Politics

Senator Coburn (R-OK) is offering two amendments to the FY10 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill that will strike funding for transportation enhancements. The two amendments are S. Amendment 2370 and S. Amendment 2371.

The Transportation Enhancement program has provided between one-half and three-quarters of all Federal funding invested in bicycling and walking improvements in the last 20 years. More than $250 million is at stake in fiscal year 2010 - if Coburn's amendment is successful it will affect hundreds of trail projects, sidewalks, bicyclist education programs, bike rack on bus programs, and roadway improvements for bicyclists.

S. Amendment 2370 prohibits funding for transportation enhancements if the Highway Trust Fund does not contain amounts sufficient to cover unfunded highway authorizations.

S. Amendment 2371 allows states to opt out of the 10 percent set aside rule that require states to spend at least 10 percent of their surface transportation funding on transportation enhancements.

We expect the amendments to be offered and voted on during Senate floor debate tomorrow, Wednesday, September 16.

Please call your Senator immediately and urge them to vote NO on S. Amendment 2370 and S. Amendment 2371 to the FY10 transportation appropriations bill.

Thank You!
Thanks to Dennis Donahue

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Who Causes Cyclists’ Deaths?

August 28, 2009, 1:30 pm
By Freakonomics
More than 52,000 bicyclists have been killed in bicycle traffic accidents in the U.S. over the 80 years the federal government has been keeping records. When it comes to sharing the road with cars, many people seem to assume that such accidents are usually the cyclist’s fault — a result of reckless or aggressive riding. But an analysis of police reports on 2,752 bike-car accidents in Toronto found that clumsy or inattentive driving by motorists was the cause of 90 percent of these crashes. Among the leading causes: running a stop sign or traffic light, turning into a cyclist’s path, or opening a door on a biker. This shouldn’t come as too big a surprise: motorists cause roughly 75 percent of motorcycle crashes too.

So I guess when people tell me to be careful, I need to start returning the kind sentiment.

Bike Hub

I think that this could work in Fort Wayne, it seems similar to the facility that I toured a couple years back that is located in Milleneum Park in Chicago. I wish them all the luck and I will follow up on this story later on.

Biking hub opens, offers resources for busy riders
by Dianna M. Náñez
The Arizona Republic

On Wednesday, Karleen Dirmantas left her central Phoenix home at 6:45 a.m. and rode her bicycle 15 miles to the state's first full-service biking center in Tempe. She showered, changed into her work uniform and arrived at work by 8 a.m.

The Bicycle Cellar, which opened Aug. 24, has made it possible for Dirmantas to stop driving her car to work, save money on gasoline and help preserve the environment. Other bicyclists say their benefits include saving money on parking at Arizona State University and enjoying easier access to light-rail stations.

Two Valley bicycle enthusiasts own the facility at Tempe's Transportation Center, which is near ASU and is a hub for light rails and buses.

The rest of the story

Impressive

So, you don't bike to work.
That is okay I will never cast the first stone.
Everyone has their reasons.
But if your only reason was that you didn't have a bike be a good one.
I would say that is the best reason.
Could you imagine if your employer came to you and said that if you commit to biking to work, we will give you a brand new bike?
Kudos to the Standing Stone Brewery in Ashland, Oregon. Relax, I know it's in Oregon but it is still pretty sweet.
Read it here.

The Helmet Lock

Well, I have to say when it came in the mail I was a little skeptical.
I have used it a number of time though and it is awesome. I loved not hauling my helmet!
If you bike a lot of places and actually wear a helmet get one.
The Helmet Lock

Biking in Columbus

I was in Columbus last week for training for work. I stayed downtown and spent most of my time out of the training on High Street. I wan out in the early morning running, I was out in the lunch hour, for, you guessed it, lunch, and I was out during the rush and dinner hour for...well you get the idea.
It didn't matter what time of day, there were bikes everywhere. I know, I know, Ohio State is there but I also personally can attest to quite a number of the cyclists to be commuters.
There were no bike lanes. There were no share the road signs. But there were a large number of bikers doing what we do. Go places. Do things. You know.
I was really happy to see that there was a large majority of these folks who "take theie lane". Take aup a lane of the road. It warmed my heart actually.
A trusted reader also sent me a blog that has some great points and I was pleasantly surprised to hear them talk about some of the same things that we talk about here.

Thank you Lord for The Onion


Tired Of Traffic? A New DOT Report Urges Drivers: 'Honk'

Bicycle Ballet for your viewing pleasure

Holy Crap I want one!




Thanks to my Wife and Rachel for turning me on to this!

The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure Investments

You know it was nice to see these kind of statistics from the League of American Bicyclists. You always are reading about what companies like the Homebuilder's Association explaining all the good that they do for communities so it is nice to see that they have put some firm numbers to it.

Darren Flusche|League Policy Analyst|June 2009

Today the national bicycling industry contributes an estimated $133 billion a year to the U.S. economy.i It supports nearly 1.1 million jobs and generates $17.7 billion in federal, state, and local taxes. Another $46.9 billion is spent on meals, transportation, lodging, gifts and entertainment during bike trips and tours.

This article highlights the impact the bicycle industry and bicycle tourism can have on state and local economies, describes the need for bicycle facilities, discusses the cost effectiveness of investments, points out the benefits of bike facilities for business districts and neighborhoods, and identifies the cost savings associated with a mode shift from car to bicycle. The evidence demonstrates that investments in bicycle infrastructure make good economic sense as a cost effective way to enhance shopping districts and communities, generate tourism and support business.

Notable Economic Impacts
Regions that have invested in bicycling have seen a beneficial impact on their economies. Studies have shown that bicycle industry and bicycle tourism can boost local employment levels and economic activity.

The full report

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This just rules!

So many of the points that this author touches on are so right on!
I love that he actually calls everyone out: I especially like the developer comments and as all of you know sometimes people can get very upset about us bikers. We did not make this car culture and one of the big reasons that I bike is to fight against it! Enjoy!

A Critical Mess? Yes it is

If we lock up all those responsible for current traffic problems, the traffic jams would be gone

By Gary Engler, Vancouver Sun

The Vancouver Sun editorial criticizing the Critical Mass bicycle ride did not go nearly far enough.

While the editorial cited cyclists for breaking the law, everyone knows the real reason for public anger is the traffic jams the rides create.

Well, I say everyone who causes a traffic jam and disrupts the peace of our city should be arrested and sent to jail for a long time. That would send a message and quickly clear our streets for the enjoyment of its citizens.

So, in descending order of responsibility for traffic jams, the following scoundrels should be arrested and locked up by police officers who should refocus away from less important duties, such as catching murderers, busting meth labs and chasing bank robbers. I say arrest and imprison:

All the developers over the years who built the houses which sprawl for scores of kilometres, making it almost inevitable that hundreds of thousands of Lower Mainland residents will use private vehicles to go to work, shop and go about their daily lives.

The rest of the story

Wow, if New York can do it, Can Fort Wayne?

Biking 'Fastest Growing' Way To Get Around NYC
NEW YORK (AP) ―

Despite the dangers, biking is New York City's "fastest growing mode of transportation," says City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who herself bikes to work in lower Manhattan, about a mile from her Greenwich Village home.

In a metropolis known for its aggressive traffic, noise and fumes, cyclists crisscross New York City on two wheels while dodging cars, trucks, cabs, pedestrians -- and even other bikers tearing around with no hands on the bar.

Despite the dangers, biking is New York City's "fastest growing mode of transportation," says City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who herself bikes to work in lower Manhattan, about a mile from her Greenwich Village home.

The number of cyclists has jumped by 80 percent in the past decade -- to 185,000 among the more than 8 million city denizens.

City officials say they've worked to make the city more biker friendly. They note the hundreds of miles of marked bike paths created in recent years, safety awareness campaigns and handouts of free helmets to unprotected cyclists.

The rest of the story

Would decent bike parking get more people biking to work?

I found this article the other day and I think the there are some good points that should probably be explored.
I myself am blessed to have good bike parking (although in the winter a climate controlled environment would be the ideal)at the City/County Building bike lockers.
Check it!
What Would Get Americans Biking to Work?Decent parking.
By Tom VanderbiltMonday, Aug. 17, 2009

When we talk about transportation, we tend to talk about things in motion. What is often left unremarked upon, in conversations about crowded highways, is something without which those crowds would not exist: parking. That humble 9-by-18-foot space (the standard size of a spot) is where traffic begins and ends. It is the fuel to traffic's fire.


Why is it overlooked? One possibility is that parking is more typically treated as real estate, the subject of arcane building codes and zoning regulations, rather than as a part of transportation networks; given that cars spend 95 percent of their time parked, this makes some sense. Another reason may simply be that, in most of America, parking is taken as a given. Donald Shoup, author of The High Cost of Free Parking, has estimated that 99 percent of car trips in the United States terminate in a free parking space, which means the nation's drivers don't have much incentive to think about parking—or not driving. In many American places, there are more parking spaces than people.

The rest of the story

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Check it out from I'm in your Fort (killing your dudes)

Thanks to Michael K and Bike Michiana (a terrific resource by the way, mark it I say!)
The new bike bill
Read it here

Smart Cycling: Traffic Skills 101



Dear fellow bike commuters,
I gotta tell you I thought that I knew how to ride a bike.
Here are some highlights from the traffic skills 101 class that I took last month:
1. Take your lane.
You are entitled to take the lane width that you need.
I have been practicing this more since the class and it has been successful. I have been riding about 3 to 4 feet from the curb or parked cars. A good rule of thumb is in the right hand tire tracks of cars.
2. Don't cut through traffic on the right at lights.
I realize that that does take some fun out of it when you have to wait for all of the cars in front of you at a stop sign or light but it is safer and further defines your position as a vehicle on the road.
3. Signal.
Pretty self explanatory. Let the other vehicles on the road know what you are doing.
4. Turn like a car.
That means if you are going to turn left then do it from the left hand turn lane. Yes, you can do it. Yield to traffic, signal and change lanes. It really is quite empowering once you start to do it.
5. Ride like you are a car.
Ride with traffic. Sounds simple but now I am actually noticing all of the idiots out there that ride against traffic! 14% of all biking accidents are caused by riders failing to ride with traffic.
6. Learn how to stop on a dime.
Sounds easy but it takes a little practice so you don't launch yourself over the bars.
7. Know your gears.
For good efficiency and lowest impact on the body, most people find a pedaling cadence of 75-95 revolutions per minute to be optimal. I have geared down and it has improved my ride quite a bit.
8. Get some bright lights and clothing.
Be safe, be seen!
In a nutshell, the best thing to do is to act like all the other vehicles on the road.

Helmet Lock

Got this the other day and I think it looks great for the bike commuter.


Hey fwbikecommuter (couldn't find your name.... ;-),

I'm a bike commuter in San Francisco, and I've come up with a clever little device to lock my helmet to my bicycle. It's called theHelmetLock and I'm trying to get the word out. I'd love it if you'd check out my website and let me know what you think.

http://www.thehelmetlock.com

-Blake

----------------------------------------------------------
Check Out My Cool New Invention!
The Bike Helmet Lock
Never Carry Around Your Helmet Again
www.thehelmetlock.com

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Timothy Wegner, local hero

Tim works at Summit City Bikes and he holds the world record for the fastest CO2 tire change! It is crazy and he is a resident of our fine City. I had the pleasure of attending the traffic skills course with him.
Here is the video

It has been too long...

Sorry about the lapse in posts my fellow bike commuters.
My parents were in town for the last week and a half and that is a great excuse to stay the heck off the computer.
I took the traffic skills course a few weekends ago from a representative from Bicycle Indiana and it was quite informative. We had 8 of us in the class and I know that even the most experienced cyclists learned something new. I will get a little more in depth in a later post. I just wanted you all to know that I have not been killed or danaged by a car or sport ute yet.

Funny

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Final thoughts....

I was riding home last week during the "rush hour" going north on Florida.
As I approach the stop sign next to Forest Park Elementary school I slow down because I plan on stopping at the stop sign. I know, I am such a god boy aren't I?
I notice another cyclist traveling southbound on Florida. He too is approaching the stop sign. But he has no hands on the brakes, or the handlebars for that matter! Well, Fort Wayne Bike Commuter, how was he planning on stopping you ask? He wasn't planning on stopping I answer with a confused look on my face.
He was too busy texting on his phone! While he was listening to his Ipod.
I quickly looked both ways and saw that he was not in danger of dying at the hands of a driver who probably had similar things going on while he was driving. No cars.
This story had a happy ending...be careful out there Fort Wayne Bike Commuters!

Groups plan pedal power for the homeless

By: Adam Crisp

Homeless people spend so much of their days walking that foot-related health problems rank among their chief complaints, advocates say.

And all that time spent hoofing it from one service to another means less time spent on searching for jobs or housing.

That's why the Chattanooga Community Kitchen and Outdoor Chattanooga teamed up to give the homeless some pedal power.

"A bicycle is just a very efficient means of transportation," said Philip Pugliese, bicycle coordinator for Outdoor Chattanooga. "If it can enable someone to make it to another business, another place of employment, or another service, that can help them better themselves."

Homeless advocates long have said many homeless people spend all day walking from one kitchen to another just so they can be sure to get enough food. Diverting from a kitchen stop to a job interview perhaps would mean the person would go hungry.

The rest of the story

I always knew Summit City bikes was awesome...



Congrats to Summit City Bikes.
Official bike shop of the Fort Wayne Bike Commuter (i.e. That's where I go to buy bike stuff, unless of course I am downtown or it's Sunday. Then I head over to the The Bike Depot). Interesting to me that in a town this size that there are only two bike shops? Is that true?

Portland to experiment with rental bike system

by Mark Larabee
Saturday July 04, 2009

Think of it as a Zipcar with pedals.

Need to rent a bike quick? Walk up to a kiosk, swipe a credit or membership card and ride away. Just return it there or at another station, kind of like renting a luggage cart at the airport.

That's a far cry from the now-infamous yellow bikes -- the 1990s community bike program that died because of theft and vandalism. Those were free, unreliable and mostly clunkers.

Portland transportation officials are eying about 100 high-tech bike-sharing systems worldwide to see if an investment in public bicycles could be successful in what's already considered a world-class bike city.

The rest of the story

That sucks or Let the cross training begin!

July 1, 2009, 11:15 am
Is Bicycling Bad for Your Bones?
By Gretchen Reynolds


In 2006, Aaron Smathers, then 29, was a graduate student in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at the University of Oklahoma, gathering data for a study of brittle bones in cyclists. One of his subjects was himself, since he’s been a bike racer for years. A recent scan had revealed that his bones were less dense than usual for a man his age. Not long after those results came in, he crashed during a race, snapping his collarbone. Six weeks later, in his first post-injury race, he was engulfed by a multi-rider pile-up, crashed again, and re-broke his collarbone. Worse, he fractured his hip so badly that the ball of the ball-and-socket joint broke off. “Later I thought, well, this reinforces my study,” he says.

The rest of the story

I knew there were a lot more bikes out there but...

Bicycle Production Reaches 130 Million Units
by Gary Gardner

Bicycle production was up 3.2 percent in 2007 to 130 million units, a continuation of the upward trend that has characterized production for most of this decade. Global output continued to be largely a Chinese affair, as China produced two of every three bikes made worldwide. India, the European Union, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Brazil were the next five largest producers, accounting together for about a quarter of the total.

Cycling is potentially an important mode of sustainable transport: it is non-polluting, inexpensive, and good for users' health and the quality of urban life. But the amount of cycling in most cities worldwide remains well below its potential.

The share of all trips made by bike varies greatly among countries. Chinese cities still register some of the highest cycling rates in the world, despite growing consumer interest in private automobiles. In the most cycled cities, such as Tianjin, Xi'an, and Shijiazhuang, the bicycle accounts for more than half of all trips. In the west, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany have the highest rates of cycling, ranging from 10 to 27 percent of all trips. This compares with about 1 percent of trips in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia.

The rest of the story

Bike Among the Ruins?

Not exactly what the Detroit Chamber of Commerce had in mind but it is a very interesting concept for those cities that are experiencing negative growth.




By TOBY BARLOW
Published: July 4, 2009
Detroit
One night a little over a year ago, crossing Woodward Avenue, I crashed my bicycle. As I flew head over heels across Detroit’s main boulevard, I thought, well, in any other town, I’d be hitting a car right about now. But this being the Motor City, the street was deserted, completely motor-free.

While bike enthusiasts in most urban areas continue to have to fight for their place on the streets, Detroit has the potential to become a new bicycle utopia. It’s a town just waiting to be taken. With well less than half its peak population, and free of anything resembling a hill, the city and its miles and miles of streets lie open and empty, beckoning. And lately, whether it’s because of the economy or the price of gas or just because it’s a nice thing to do, there are a lot more bikers out riding.

The rest of the story

Wisconsin passes complete streets!

Complete Streets Legislation
Wisconsin now joins only a few states to have passed Complete Streets legislation. This important legislation provides for accommodation of bicycle and pedestrian facilities in new or reconstruction road projects.

What are Complete Streets?
Complete streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transportation users of all ages and abilities are able to safely move along and across a complete street.

What do Complete Streets policies do?
Complete streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transportation users of all ages and abilities are able to safely move along and across a complete street.

The Many Types of Complete Streets.
There is no one design prescription for complete streets. Ingredients that may be found on a complete street include: sidewalks, bike lanes (or wide paved shoulders), special bus lanes, comfortable and accessible public transportation stops, frequent crossing opportunities, median islands, accessible pedestrian signals, curb extensions, and more. A complete street in a rural area will look quite different from a complete street in a highly urban area. But both are designed to balance safety and convenience for everyone using the road. Below, we showcase the variety of options in creating roads that are safe for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation.

The Wisconsin Complete Streets law:
SECTION 1918gr. 84.01 (35) of the statutes is created to read: 84.01 (35) (a) In this subsection:
1. "Bikeway" has the meaning given in s. 84.60 (1)(a).
2. "Pedestrian way" has the meaning given in s.346.02 (8) (a).
(b) Except as provided in par. (c), and notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or ch. 82, 83, or 85, the department shall ensure that bikeways and pedestrian ways are established in all new highway construction and reconstruction projects funded in whole or in part from state funds or federal funds appropriated under s. 20.395 or 20.866.
(c) The department shall promulgate rules identifying exceptions to the requirement under par. (b), but these rules may provide for an exception only if any of the following apply:
1. Bicyclists or pedestrians are prohibited by law from using the highway that is the subject of the project.
2. The cost of establishing bikeways or pedestrian ways would be excessively disproportionate to the need or probable use of the bikeways or pedestrian ways. For purposes of this subdivision, cost is excessively disproportionate if it exceeds 20 percent of the total project cost. The rules may not allow an exception under this subdivision to be applied unless the secretary of transportation, or a designee of the secretary who has knowledge of the purpose and value of bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, reviews the applicability of the exception under this subdivision to the particular project at issue.
3. Establishing bikeways or pedestrian ways would have excessive negative impacts in a constrained environment.
4. There is an absence of need for the bikeways or pedestrian ways, as indicated by sparsity of population, traffic volume, or other factors.
5. The community where pedestrian ways are to be located refuses to accept an agreement to maintain them.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

California Cycleway 1900




California Cycleway....huh

So you want to be a Bike Commuter

Well here are a couple of thoughts regarding that:
1. Get a bike. It doesn't have to be expensive or a certain brand, it doesn't have to be pretty, it's just gotta work.
2. Get on your bike. Get the bike that you have out of the garage, or basement, and get on your bike. Start Pedaling!! Stop making excuses that prevent you from doing so.
3. Have something to carry stuff. Put a backpack on yourself, or a basket on your bike. Again, looks are nothing but as you know you carry a lot of stuff with you in your car and if you are commuting on your bike then you need to have at least a couple things with you. Like a change of clothes, or rain gear, or some water.
4. Choose a destination. Work, the store.
5. Choose a route. I know that for many of you this may be the hardest part. If you truly want to be a bike commuter though, guess what, you must play nice with cars and hope and pray to God that they will play nice with you.
6. So you have a problem with #5? Well, here is another piece of advice. Move back into town to a neighborhood that would allow you to commute to everything using residential streets. I recommend the Northside Neighborhood. It has been a great choice for us. I am sure that I have made mention of this before but we drew a 3 mile circle around downtown where I work and bought a house in there.
7. Repeat as often as you can. I prefer daily but start with one or two trips per week and work your way up! You can do it.
FWBC

Just click on the link!

Just check out this link
It has a video on it that is truly amazing.
I know it is in Amsterdam, I know fort Wayne is not like any other place on earth and everyone knows that but this is just unreal!!

Mobility Coordinator....huh? Wouldn't have thought of that.

This is a great story about a different way to attempt to get things working. Granted it is California but it is nice to see that Fort Wayne is not the only community that has challenges with regard to biking and more specifically bike commuting.


FLAT TIRED
Jennifer Stockdale
Wed. June 10


Can Long Beach’s newly appointed mobility coordinator Charlie Gandy patch up the city’s busted bike infrastructure?

On a recent rainy Wednesday, Charlie Gandy breezes into new East Village coffee spot Sipology, shuffling his well-worn Chuck Taylors across the floor, slightly beat-up bike helmet in hand, right khaki pant leg folded up to his shin.

Well, he certainly looks the part of the city’s new mobility coordinator—aka, the guy who’s supposed to know how to build a functioning bicycle infrastructure into our overcrowded grid system and around our dysfunctional city government. And his palpable charisma and expert tutelage might just be enough to ease the peculiar aggression found among Long Beach’s cyclists, motorists and law enforcement.

The rest of the story

Create Bike Only Roads

I gotta tell you I love this line of thinking even though I think that it is a long way off for here in Fort Wayne.

Create Bike-Only Roads

by Max Fisher
Citing a need to alleviate motor traffic, reduce air pollution, and increase general health, cities are carving out more bike lanes. But bike lanes simply don't work. Maybe something about America's competitive cowboy culture means drivers just can't bring themselves to share the road, frequently parking in bike lanes, turning across bike lanes without warning, and colliding with bikes.

In 2007, car-on-bike accidents killed 698 cyclists and injured 45,000, including me, courtesy of a Washington, D.C., minivan driver who, unsatisfied with my 22-mph pace at the height of rush hour, decided she had more of a right to the stretch of road I was occupying. With law enforcement often unwilling to enforce bikers' claims to the road, it's hard to see behavior changing. Take the much-publicized case of the driver who crippled a 14-year-old cyclist by dragging him under her SUV for 131 feet and got a $500 ticket. Not much of a disincentive.



The Rest of the Story

Bicycle Indiana Survey

Check out What's Going Downtown
It is a fairly extensive survey about biking and bikers habits in order to help them to understand the cycling community here in Indiana.
Thanks Michael K and Scott.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New York City Has Added 200 Miles of Bike Lanes

New York City had a 35 percent increase in commuter cycling last year. Much of the increase was attributed to New York City’s Department of Transportation's experimenting with innovative bicycle facilities based on European models.

"The expansion allowed the city to tie the existing network together. Previously, the 400 miles of bike lanes weren’t linked, so the New York City’s Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) focused on making connections, thereby integrating the network. In the process, the NYCDOT was able to design 200 miles of streets for cyclists, drivers, buses and pedestrians.

To deal with unique situations, the NYCDOT borrowed designs from other cities in the U.S. and around the world.

In New York City, on-street bike paths, green coloured bike lanes that make paths more visible to motorists, and wider parking lanes were established to make cycling more enjoyable and safer for commuters.

The safety of the new bike lanes is attracting a lot of new cyclists while dramatically reducing the amount of sidewalk cycling.

Despite the astronomical growth in bicycle facilities, the number of people who commute by bicycle is still only 1 per cent, climbing as high as 4 per cent in some of the denser neighbourhoods of New York City."

The rest of the story

Getting Buy-In On A New Urbanist Vision

Alamo Heights, a suburb of San Antonio, grapples with whether to adopt a "New Urbanist" (but slightly more traditional) approach to its major thoroughfare to improve pedestrian and bicycle access.

"For the past nine months, the city has been asking residents and business owners to imagine everything they ever wanted the city to be. The result was a comprehensive plan envisioning an environmentally aware, pedestrian-friendly village where people can shop, work and go to school by walking, bicycling or a taking a short trolley ride.

Now as residents turn up their air conditioners and start circling parking lots to minimize walking, the city is going to find out how many of those ideals can be achieved. On Tuesday night, the City Council voted to adopt the plan as a 15-year guiding document.

'We think it's asinine,' said Jimmy Satel, a part owner of the men's clothing store Satel's. 'They want to make this where families can walk and bicycle down here. That's wonderful, but it's not great for retail.'"

The Rest of the story

Pretty Sweet Press release from the feds.

Marianne Saglam
Communications Senior Director
202-289-0222 ext. 123


NEWS



June 17, 2009

U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Announce
Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities
Partnership sets forth six "livability principles" to coordinate policy



WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson today announced an interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities to help improve access to affordable housing, more transportation options and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment in communities nationwide.


Testifying together at a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing chaired by U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT), Secretary LaHood, Secretary Donovan and Administrator Jackson outlined the six guiding "livability principles" they will use to coordinate federal transportation, environmental protection and housing investments at their respective agencies. The six "livability principles" are as follows:

1. Provide more transportation choices.
2. Promote equitable, affordable housing.
3. Enhance economic competitiveness.
4. Support existing communities.
5. Coordinate policies and leverage investment.
6. Value communities and neighborhoods.

Earlier this year, HUD and DOT announced an unprecedented agreement to implement joint housing and transportation initiatives. With EPA joining the partnership, the three agencies will work together to ensure that these housing and transportation goals are met while simultaneously protecting the environment, promoting equitable development and helping to address the challenges of climate change.



The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) applauds the efforts of these agencies and is working to promote similar goals. ITE currently is involved in several ongoing projects focused on livability and sustainability, including the upcoming publications Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach, Smart Growth Transportation Guidelines and School Site Planning, Design and Transportation, as well as Accessible Pathways to Bus Stops and Transit Facilities: A Process Guide, prepared for Easter Seals Project Action. ITE's 2010 Technical Conference and Exhibit: Meeting Transportation's 21st Century Challenges will further the connection between land use, housing and transportation in order to promote more sustainable communities.



ITE is an international educational and scientific association of transportation professionals who are responsible for meeting mobility and safety needs. ITE facilitates the application of technology and scientific principles to research, planning, functional design, implementation, operation, policy development and management for any mode of transportation. Through its products and services, ITE promotes professional development of its members, supports and encourages education, stimulates research, develops public awareness programs and serves as a conduit for the exchange of professional information.



Founded in 1930, ITE is a community of transportation professionals, 17,000 strong, working in more than 92 countries. For more information, visit www.ite.org.



###

Could it be? Yes, I believe it is!







I know that I must have said it before that in ten years we all would look back to this time and be amazed how far we had come with regard to bike infrastructure. I know that this is really not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things but it is still pretty cool that as they do road project, that the City is including bike infrastructure. Now all of the naysayers will gladly stand up and say that these projects or not contiguous and why would the city waste money on putting infrastructure in that appears to not be linked to each other. To that I will say, if we keep doing that then eventually our network will be what all of us want it to be.
Anywho, I went out searching for this and I apologize that the pics aren't that great, but my daughter got bit by a dog at soccer practice so we spent the rest of the day light hours at the Redimed. She is ok. It barely missed her eye though so it was kind of a scare. No stitches. But a decent cut and sure to be a black eye tomorrow.


The first one is on Wayne Street and will probably get painted tomorrow!
The next two are at the intersection of Hillegas and Butler.
(Insert Dearth Vader Voice) It has Begun.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sad to see them go. It was a great weekend. More Pics.






Sporting the Repka Foundation Jerseys that Sharon Repka presented to the guys On Sunday in Aboite.

Thanks to Carlos and Joe for a great weekend. You guys are terrific!

Real Geeks Ride (Again)







So glad that so many people came out to the event on Sunday.
Thanks to Phil and Hanna and Eric and Chris and Vince and...everybody.
Here are some pictures for you all to check out.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Well so I'm repeating myself...

Real Geeks Ride Fort Wayne
Sunday we will ride (You can Join Us!)from the Fort Wayne Outfitters on the Rivergreenway downtown.
We'll be there about 1 PM and plan on leaving by 1:30.
We will ride to Aboite to celebrate National Trails day with Aboite New trails
We have alerted the press so hopefully they deem us worthy of interviewing the geeks and getting some publicity. We told them 2:30 at Aboite/Deer Ridge Elementary School.
Then it's back to my house for some food and drink.
Hope to see you all somewhere!
FWBC

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

Well, here it is folks.
Sunday the Geeks (Joe and Carlos)and all of you (hopefully) will me meeting at Fort Wayne Outfitters around 1PM and will ride out to aboite for the National Trails Day event. Then it is back to the Fort Wayne Bike Commuter's house at around 5PM for a get together. Some food and drink. It will give you all a chance to meet the Geeks and hear about their adventures. Email me with any questions or just plan on a day on your bike with Joe and Carlos of Real Geeks Ride.



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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Novara Commuter Bikes

Saw this in Bicycling magazine a couple months back. It was rated the third best bike commuter behind the Breezer and something else.
I got to see one in Ann Arbor a few weeks back at the REI and they are pretty sweet.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Real Geeks Ride

OK
Here is what I know is happening on Sunday June 7th. I am waiting to communicate with the Bike Depot to see what is going on over there with the Real Geeks Ride Guys, Joe and Carlos. The Aboite New Trails Folks are having an event from 2-4 on that day as well and I was thinking that it might be nice after the thing at the Bike Depot, to head out to Aboite, on our bikes of course, to check out their event.
Here is the flyer and stay tuned for a final agenda of the Real Geeks Ride in Fort Wayne.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Helmet?

Ah, the helmet argument. My wife won this one for me a ling time ago and I am fine with that. After reading this it helped solidify that she made the right decision for us!


Helmet Or No?

E.D. Kain revisits the bicyclist's dilemma:
Personally, I’m a helmet guy. However ineffective helmets may be, I still appreciate the contents of my skull enough to do whatever I can to protect them, including donning the rather clumsy foam and plastic encasement even at the risk of forsaking the “sublime.” Then, too, I’m a parent and one who doesn’t subscribe to the “do as I say, not as I do” approach to parenting. When it all comes down, I’d prefer to see my daughter wear a helmet when she’s of a biking
The rest of the story

Gotta love the New Urbanism. We bike commuters are living it!

My Bike to work day


Started kind of poorly.
I went to hop on the old Breezer and I had a trim nail stuck through the rear tire.
No problem. I ran inside to see if I could borrow my wife's Townie. She said to me, "You can't ride that...It's Pink!"
Here is proof I did.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bike to Work Day



Nice to have some decent press for the event and to hear from Vince (another Fort Wayne Bike Commuter) and thanks to the City for helping to have a great event!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

From Bicycle Indiana (thanks for reading!)

Bicycle Indiana Celebrates Bike-to-Work Day on May 15

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Bicycle Indiana is preparing for Bike-to-Work Day on May 15 by organizing routes and meeting places across the state that allow cyclists to link up and safely commute to work. Bicycle Indiana will help promote more than 40 different bicycle-related rides, races and events throughout Indiana during the week of May 11-17—a week proclaimed by Governor Mitch Daniels as Indiana Bike Week. Employers in many cities can field teams to participate in the bike-to-work corporate challenge—a friendly competition designed to reward company teams for riding the most total miles.

“Bike-to-Work Day is a nationally celebrated event promoting cycling as an alternative mode of transportation,” said Nancy Tibbett, Executive Director of Bicycle Indiana. “Our mission is to create a bicycle-friendly Indiana, and Bike-to-Work Day is a perfect way to support healthy, green and cost-effective commuting.”

Last year’s Bike-to-Work Day was a huge success, with more than 1,000 participants across the state. Two Indiana cities will host Bike-to-Work Days on dates other than May 15—the event will be on June 5 in South Bend and on May 8 in Fishers.

Children can join the fun, too. As part of Indiana Bike Month, Bicycle Indiana is sponsoring a BikeSmart Poster Contest, designed for students in grades K-12. Contest winners will receive gift certificates, helmets and bicycle safety materials. The entry deadline is June 1, and entry forms are available at www.bicycleindiana.org or at your local bicycle retailer. Bicycle retailers and other tourism centers will be distributing the free Bicycle Indiana Resource Guide that highlights more than 200 bicycle-related rides, races, events and resources throughout the state.

Go to www.bicycleindiana.org or call 800-BIKE-110 for more information about Bike-to-Work Day in your area.

Founded in 1993, Bicycle Indiana (formerly Indiana Bicycle Coalition) is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a bicycle-friendly Indiana through promotion, education and advocacy. Bicycle Indiana represents the interests and concerns of all bicycle users. Visit www.bicycleindiana.org for more information about bicycling in Indiana.