Saturday, March 21, 2009

Summit City Summit

Hello all.
Today from 9AM to Noon quite an amazing event occured at the Main branch of the Allen County Library.
The news sources have mainly been latching on to the story about Mayor Henry announcing that there will be bike lanes put in on Wayne and Berry from Anthony to the St Mary's River, a bike lane (and road diet) will be put in on Rudisill from Foster Park to McMillen Park, and a designated on street Bike Route will be installed from Reed Rd to the Tennesee bridge.

Granted for all of us this is spectacular news and was a terrific way to kick off the Bike Summit, but I want to dive a little deeper into the event so bear with me.

Pam Holocher, Planning Director, then spoke about the survey results from the over 4000 surveys that were turned in late last year. I will let you read it for yourselves here.
http://www.cityoffortwayne.org/bikeusesurvey/

The Nancy Tibbett of the Indiana Bike Coalition http://www.bicycleindiana.org/
talked about State Senate Bill 533 that is in the House right now. For the life of me I can't find a link to it but some highlights include: being able to go through red lights after a certain amount of time since bikes can't trigger the sensors and bikers being able to use either arm to signal for turns. They struck the 3 ft passing law out of it which is a total bummer but Nancy said that there is a lobby to get it back in.

Then Dawn Richie, City Greenways Manager, gave a kickin' presentation on all of the trail projects that are in some phase of planning. I couldn't believe how many they have going on!

Next, Dennis Donahue, Planner for the City of Fort Wayne, gave a great little presentation on bike infrastructure around the world, around the country, around the state. It was very informative and fun.

After a break everyone at each of the tables got to give input to City Staff on possble educational programs that they each thought would work for our community, show where they currently ride to on a map and also draw where they would like to go. From here the Planning Department will begin to write the Bicycle Plan for the City of Fort Wayne!

On top of that there were quite a few vendors in the main hall from different bike shops and trail groups along with Parkview hospital (to be fair, I wasn't really out there so I don't know who all was out there so I feel bad that I have left some out sorry.)

Then there were a couple rides organized by Three Rivers Velo Sports. Quite a day.

I guess the biggest thing for me was that the vibe was so sweet and everyone was really into it and positive. It was realy nice to be a part of it and have over 200 people there who really care about this. The Mayor is taking action, all the voices are being heard, and Fort Wayne will be a better place to live and Bike because of it. That in itself is enough to bring a tear to the FWBC's eye. I'm fired up!

5 comments:

Ashley said...

I am bummed that I missed this due to being at school, but am excited to here that Fort Wayne is really working on this! Makes me super pumped for coming back to the Fort full time in a year or so!

Abigail Frost said...

I have been working on rivers in Ft. Wayne. by raising awareness and staging events....I too think that people should use bikes for transportation! It would help our waterways if noone drove again! Check me out...lets keep in touch!
www.savemaumee.org
Abigail Frost
Save Maumee Grassroots Org. Founder

fwbikecommuter said...

Ashley,
Hopefully First Annual Bike Summit means that this will be an annual event and we can check you next year!

Abigail,
I will and thanks for reading the both of you!

FWBC

Eric S. said...

It was great to actually meet THE Fort Wayne Bike Commuter. Thanks for facilitating our table, it made the experience even more enjoyable.

It was nice to see well rounded sampling of the riders in Fort Wayne, from the Roadies and MTBers, to the Commuters and Recreational Riders. I expecially enjoyed the older fellow at our table that spoke of riding in Fort Wayne all those years back.

I was kinda bummed that the news media didn't stick around after the Mayor's introduction. While the path's and lanes are extremely important, it would have been nice to see and hear some other info from the summit on the local stations. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to direct everyone here.

Here's a link to the introduced version of the bill:
http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2009/IN/IN0553.1.html

And here is the "bill watch" link for 533:
http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo?year=2009&session=1&request=getBill&doctype=SB&docno=0553

fwbikecommuter said...

Eric,
Fantastic to meet you as well!
Thanks for the links to the bills too.
We'll see you around and have a good season out there at Sycamore Hills, right?
Take care and ride safe.
PJ