Friday, April 30, 2010

What we know about bike infrastructure: people want it

I really hope that President Obama is around for more than four years because Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, kicks ass! That is, if you like bikes.

Why devote resources to a transportation mode that fewer than 10% of the nation is using? Well, bike infrastructure is relatively inexpensive--particularly if you compare it to, say, adding a lane to an existing roadway. Now, imagine if those people who do bike around chose instead to make all of their trips in single-occupancy vehicles. Our already congested roadways would be brought to a halt.

So, even for those folks who have no interest in bicycling, this relatively low investment actually pays dividends for those who still choose to drive. Everybody wins.

And the fact is, as Washington, DC, DOT Director Gabe Klein noted on NPR, "We see a direct correlation between our investment in bike infrastructure and an uptick in usage. When you make it hassle-free and inexpensive for people to use a certain mode, they will use it."

The whole post here


No one really takes me seriously but I believe that Detroit is the last frontier. The opportunities that will begin to present themselves for a really sweet community is going to happen for Detroit. I am stoked for the residents that they will start to see things go for that City that has been hard on its luck for so long. Cheap houses and 30 miles of new bike lanes. What more could you ask for?

Detroit is embarking on an ambitious plan to create bike lanes on roads across town, giving cyclists like Jon Koller designated space for riding as city leaders and community groups rethink street and land use in a shrinking city.

It's a big change. Although the city is starting with about 30 miles in a handful of neighborhoods this year, there eventually could be as many as 400 miles of bike lanes in Detroit.

"I think it's going to encourage more people to get out there and take biking as a serious form of transportation," said Koller, 25, who lives in the city's Corktown neighborhood and commutes by bike to Wayne State University, where he's a doctoral student in transportation engineering.

Supporters envision a city that's easier to maneuver without a car, with bike lanes and paths connecting the Cultural Center, Mexicantown, parks and other attractions.

The largest share of 30 miles of marked on-street bike lanes that the city plans to add this year will be 17 miles in southwest Detroit connecting the Corktown and Mexicantown neighborhoods.

That area also will get nearly 12 miles of roads designated as bike routes, with signs directing cyclists to destinations and alerting drivers to bicycle traffic but no painted bike lanes.

Other bike lanes will be added on streets near Wayne State University in Midtown, the New Center area and the city's east side as Detroit spends more than $3.6 million -- mostly federal funds with matching grants provided by private nonprofit groups -- for signs and repainting on the first batch of what ultimately could be hundreds of miles of lanes set aside for cyclists.

Read the whole story HERE


I have been preaching this for a long time now. Move closer to where you work/shop/eat/go to school/whatever. Get out of your car! Sell your house in the suburbs and get to it.
This post is great.

by Jonah Lehrer
Of course, as Brooks notes, that time in traffic is torture, and the big house isn't worth it. According to the calculations of Frey and Stutzer, a person with a one-hour commute has to earn 40 percent more money to be as satisfied with life as someone who walks to the office. Another study, led by Daniel Kahneman and the economist Alan Krueger, surveyed nine hundred working women in Texas and found that commuting was, by far, the least pleasurable part of their day.

Why is traffic so unpleasant? One reason is that it's a painful ritual we never get used to - the flow of traffic is inherently unpredictable. As a result, we don't habituate to the suffering of rush hour. (Ironically, if traffic was always bad, and not just usually bad, it would be easier to deal with. So the commutes that really kill us are those rare days when the highways are clear.) As the Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert notes, "Driving in traffic is a different kind of hell every day."

Read it!

Bicycles and the ‘Immigrant Effect’

I just wanted to share this with you all due to the fact that there are so many out there that have no choice but to bike and I think that they are an important population that as the Bike Fort Wayne thing gets off the ground, must be considered.

Bicycles and the ‘Immigrant Effect’

Finally, some research that may have positive public health implications for minorities! (Or at least recent immigrants.)
By Elisabeth Best

Immigrants tend to be healthier than native-born Americans when they arrive in the United States, but within a generation that advantage is lost. A new study by UCLA doctoral candidate Michael Smart suggests one reason why. In the May issue of Transportation Policy he describes findings that new immigrants — legal or not — are twice as likely to travel by bicycle than native-born Americans.

Smart believes that transportation planning agencies should include immigrant communities when planning bicycle networks and facilities. Pointing to the example of the Los Angeles Bicycle Master Plan Update, he argues that this is not currently a priority. Although L.A. County has the largest concentration of immigrants in the U.S., immigrant community outreach has not been incorporated into city planning. In fact, an Internet survey was the most significant element of the public participation process for the bike plan revision.

Read the entire story here

AIDS task force 12K ride

Hey ya'll.
Life at work and with the family has come first as of late and I have let the Bike commuter site go.
It is not that I haven't been thinking about biking or about bike issues or trying to figure out with Vince what we are going to talk about with regard to bike transportation at the summit though.
I hope that you all are well and enjoying the nice weather (I actually broke a sweat on the way home today, yuck).
We are going to do this ride tomorrow and if none of you have heard about it and want to support a good cause and get on you bike with some other people and go somewhere and then come back then this is the event for you.

2010 marks the 25th year of the AIDS Task Force of Northeast Indiana. This year's 5k walk (and we've added a 12k ride) on May 1st will be the culminating event of our 8 month long celebration of service to the area. VIVE LE ROUGE! (pronounced "veev luh roojh") is French for "Long Live Red!" This theme captures what the red ribbon and the 25th anniversary are all about: - Long live the momory of those we've lost. Long live those who survive. Long live our commitment to a future without AIDS. Register yourself, a team, or sponsor someone you know below to help this the biggest and best AIDS Walk & Ride ever! Each registrant raising $50 receives a Portley-design T-shirt. All proceeds benefit the programs and service of the AIDS Task Force.


What: Vive le Rouge! - AIDS Walk & Ride
Where: Headwaters Park East
When: Saturday, May 1, 3pm-10pm

Registration will begin at 3pm with the 12k ride and 5k walk routes leading off at 4:30pm with the Fort Wayne Derby Girls. Afterwards, join us back under the Lincoln Pavillion for more food, fun, drinks, and live music. See more details and our sponsors under the "Events" tab. To volunteer, call the office at 744.1144 or send an email to

Check the link out here

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Downtown Bike fest

I don't know how many of you happened to be downtown last week but I was in the evening on both Wednesday and Friday and there were bikes locked up everywhere! Man, I wish I had a camera on me because it was a glorious sight let me tell you what! Honestly, I have lived in this town for 3.5 years and have never seen anything like this. It was rad. That's all I got. I just wanted to make mention of it because there are still a lot of people out there that say that people in this town don't ride their bikes if you can believe it.
The new Calhoun Street doesn't have any bike racks on it and the bikes were everywhere! I don't know if it was some kind of official event, but it sure as heck was an event! Great to see though. Keep it up Ya'll.

Way to go Pittsburgh!

It really warms the FW bike Commuter's heart to see that things like this can happen. After working in government for a long time I understand what a big deal something like this is. The average person thinks that this would be easy and I agree that it should be but it is not. So good for Pittsburgh to get it done. It is a win for sure!

The next day, the Pittsburgh City Council approved an ordinance mandating a minimum amount of bike parking for new and re-zoned commercial construction, depending on square footage. The vote in support of the measure was unanimous, and followed two years of hard work by the staff and members of Bike Pittsburgh, unaffiliated bike riders, concerned residents and the Planning Commission.

The approval of the bike parking measure is important symbolically, indicating a general acceptance that bikes are indeed a vital component of Pittsburgh’s transportation system and an essential element in Pittsburgh’s goal to become a more livable city.

Beyond the pretty symbolism, however, the legal provision for safe and secure bike parking demonstrates a commitment to sustainable transportation in Pittsburgh, now and in the future. Providing secure parking removes what some advocates consider the main deterrent to biking for transportation: bicycle theft. Following this theory, when secure and reliable parking is available, people are more likely to ride bicycles.

The whole story Here

Critical Manners/Courteous Mass for April 2010

Number 2 for 2010!

Do you like to ride your bicycle? Do you want to meet other people who ride bikes? Would you like to reduce the level of antagonism between bicycles and cars? Then join Critical Manners/Courteous Mass on the second Friday of the month. Riders should gather around 6:15 at Lawton Park so the ride can begin at 6:30.

All parties are welcome to join and help bring common courtesy back to the streets. For those who need a refresher on what Critical Manners/Courteous Mass is, here is the deal:
• The ride will respect and abide the city’s traffic laws.
• Rides will be on the slow side to ensure no one is dropped and that the Mass stays a mass.
• The Mass will only take up one lane, two when necessary for safety.
• The ride will stop at red lights and stop signs. If a light turns red mid-mass, the riders who made the light should safely pull over to wait for those who were caught by the light.
• Riders are asked to signal turns, call out danger, and communicate their intentions to other riders.

The goal of these rides is to be a visible and positive example of the cooperation that can exist between cars and bicycles when people respect the laws and each other. So join the Mass and help make Fort Wayne a better place for bicycles.This Friday at Lawton Park by the Softball Field.

Hope to see you there!

Contact Your Governor Today

Support the U.S. DOT Policy Statement on Bicycling Accommodations

On March 15, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the Departments' new Bicycle Policy Statement that heralds the end of second-class treatment for cyclists.

The statement reaffirms the language that is written in the current federal surface transportation law and demonstrates his leadership in this area. This is an important step in completing bicycle and pedestrian networks all over the country.

Please contact your Governor today to urge them to ensure that your state department of transportation is following the letter of the law.

Thank you for your assistance in this important matter.

Follow this link

It is totally easy and takes about 1 minute to do.
Thanks to the League of American Bicyclists and Indycog