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.”

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Less people biking in Portland? or Here come the Naysayers

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.

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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.

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.

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