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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

20's Plenty for Us

Speed is greed when it prevents people from walking and biking on our streets.

20's Penty For Us from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Monday, August 30, 2010

10 Tips for Cycling in Traffic

Biking Toronto has some great tips for riding safely in traffic.

See them all here.

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Candidate Meets Voters Using His Bike

Robo calls would be great for political campaigns if voters were just robots. Most of us are not. Real people want to say something back, or at least ask a question. That’s why Mike Bullard is using his bicycle to meet voters face-to-face, as many as he can.

A lot of campaigning is drudgery. Raising money, making ads, studying for debates . According to Mike, though, meeting the people face to face is absolutely fun. “It’s crazy. Everyone is different. The old cookie-cutter party affiliations have given way to every household having a different arrangement of issues, and every individual is different. That’s why it is important to meet real people in person.” Mike says that with very few exceptions, the vast majority of people, though upset with politics in general, are extremely cordial and welcoming of his efforts.”

Mike started out walking, but that wasn’t fast enough, so he reached down into his roots for a better way. As a youth he did not have a car through high school or college. Mike traveled by bike, even dating by riding girls on his handlebars. (Not many agreed to that, but they were the best ones). Now, with a little outfitting from one of our great local bike shops, he is rolling through the precincts. So far he has knocked on doors of 2500 voters. Five precincts down, sixteen to go by November. He doesn’t stop at every house, but if you see him, flag him down and ask him why he’s running, or give him a piece of your mind. You can’t do that with a robo call! Or check out mikebullard.org.

Can't we all just get along?

From the CDA PRESS:

When I heard about the vehicle vs. bicycle collision that occurred Wednesday on
Government Way, I cringed.

First, for the obvious reason - there's a lot of heartache that can come from such a thing. I was also troubled because that driver could have been me. It almost was, a few times this summer.

Like most people, I find the thought terrifying.

At least four times since last spring, I've had to hit the brakes to narrowly avoid a bicyclist suddenly in my vehicle's path.

Each time, the pedals were being pushed by a teen or very young adult. That's good, because if they were seasoned motor vehicle drivers, I'd have to question whether they should have driver's licenses at all.

I'm not sure why anyone would think it's OK to shoot off a sidewalk into
the roadway in front of a moving vehicle, or fly off a curb into a crosswalk in
front of a vehicle moving 35 mph.

The young riders do it with heads held high, without flinching or looking both ways.

They cruise quickly, mindlessly and lawlessly into the road in front of me, as if in a trance - until they sense my car stopping. Then, they stop and look at me.

In three out of four cases, they've yelled, gestured or said something indicating I had done something wrong.

I was so relieved to avoid colliding with one backpack-wearing boy, that I must have smiled a bit.

"Yeah, real funny. You almost hit me," he screamed into my open car window, before riding away on two wheels.

This, after he shot off the curb in front of me at an intersection. How was this near-crash my fault?

I spent years living back East, developing the kinds of defensive driving skills you need in a place far more congested than North Idaho. I know there are a lot of you out there just like me. Maybe that's why we haven't had more tragedies here.

I'm generally one of the slowest drivers you'll ever meet. Never got a speeding
ticket, was never stopped for speeding. I don't take risks on the road. Yes, I'm
that lady at the stop sign or red light in front of you who won't move or turn
left until everybody is past. Maybe you've honked at me in frustration.

I don't expect other drivers with the right-of-way to stop or slow down
for me. I'd like the same kind of respect from others on the road, or the
sidewalk, whether they're behind the wheel or pushing pedals.

For bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers, attitude is a matter of life and death.

Perhaps the young bike riders I've encountered don't realize there are
state laws that apply to them?

It's right there under Idaho Title 49,
the state's Motor Vehicle Code, in Chapter 7:

"Every person operating a vehicle propelled by human power or riding a bicycle shall have all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under the provisions of chapters 6 and 8 of this title."

Chapters 6 and 8 cover "Rules of the Road," and "Signs, Signals and Markings," and apply to motor vehicle drivers and cyclists.

The one big difference for bicyclists is what's often called the "Idaho Stop Law."

It's a cyclist-friendly part of the state's biking regulations that says it's legal for a bicyclist to cautiously roll through a stop sign without completely halting, and to proceed through a red light after stopping.

Simply put, if you're on a bicycle, you can treat a stop sign like a yield sign, and a red light like a stop sign.

Unfortunately, many people have the impression that bicyclists in Idaho
can legally sail through stop signs. Not so.

I like the bicycle "stop-as-yield" law. I haven't done much riding here in Idaho, but when I did, I often enjoyed cruising slowly through stop signs when no other traffic was present. I think I might have been breaking the law when I did that in other
states, which is silly.

I wouldn't want Idaho to change the bicycle stop law, but as the region and our roads keep becoming more heavily populated, we're going to have to work together to continue having such a friendly statute.

At this point, I'm so daunted by the possibility that a bicyclist will ride in front of me that I'm slowing down everywhere for everyone and everything.

I'm worried about our kids' safety, and I'm concerned for my emotional well-being. If I hit a bicyclist, even if it wasn't legally my fault, I don't know how I'd live with myself if the person were seriously injured or killed.

I hope the boy involved in Wednesday's crash is OK. The reports said it was a "low-speed collision," but the 14-year-old was taken to Kootenai Medical Center.

I don't know whose fault it was. A police investigation is taking place.

What I do know is, the crash caused anguish.

As school is getting ready to start up again, let's work together to avoid more of

Let's share the road like we're supposed to, and all work on being less cranky or cocky whether we're behind the wheel or pedaling along.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Program encourages safe bicycling and walking to school

ITD Press Release:

One in three Idaho third-graders is overweight or likely to become obese so the Idaho Transportation Department's Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program helps communities support more children walking and bicycling to school to combat the problem.

"SR2S helps communities achieve new balance at a time when escalating transportation costs are forcing schools to reduce busing," said Jo O'Connor, ITD SR2S coordinator. "Choosing to walk or bike to school will benefit kids, parents and the community."

Childhood obesity has increased more than fourfold among children ages 6 to 11 since the 1970s, O'Connor explained. That's why Congress has declared September 2010 as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. (www.healthierkidsbrighterfutures.org

"A growing number of leaders at both the national and local levels are recognizing that getting children active is one way to counteract a sedentary lifestyle, improve health and reduce traffic congestion," O'Connor said.

SR2S is designed for children from kindergarten through eighth grade, including those with disabilities, who live within walking and biking distance of school.

O'Connor advises people interested in the program to begin planning and organizing in close cooperation with schools and local leaders, parents, children, organizations and other individuals dedicated to improving their communities and promoting safe bicycling and walking.

ITD provides a website at www.itd.idaho.gov/sr2s
that includes useful tools and guidance. People also are invited to connect with other Idaho communities interested in SR2S on Facebook.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Artistic signal cabinets

This idea from Boise could very well add some character to signal cabinets in the CdA area...

Photo and information from Downtown Boise Association Facebook page and KBOI.

The Downtown Boise Association received a grant from the Mayor’s Neighborhood Reinvestment Program to commission five Idaho artists to design five different murals for the cabinet controller boxes in Downtown Boise. Cabinet Controller boxes are located at intersections to control the traffic signals.

The program in association with Ada County Highway District and the City of Boise’s Art & History Department that brings public art to the street level is a pilot project to decrease graffiti and increase the unique character of downtown. This project is a model project and would pave the way for more Cabinet Controller boxes at prominent intersections to be made into artwork in the future.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Education Corridor Open House

An Open House for the Education Corridor Transportation Plan will be held at the Lake City Senior Center on Lakewood Drive, Wednesday, August 11th, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to familiarize the public with the selected alternatives for road alignments and widths, intersection locations and geometry, bike and pedestrian plans, and general infrastructure improvements. Comments will be solicited from the general public, as well as the broader stakeholders groups.

Who is subsidizing who?

From "Whose Roads? Defining Bicyclists' and Pedestrians' Right to Use Public Roadways" by the Vicoria Transport Policy Institute; 2004

"Pedestrians and cyclists pay more than their fair share of roadway costs. Although most highway expenses are funded through motor vehicle user fees, local roads and traffic services are funded primarily through general taxes that residents pay regardless of their travel habits. Motor vehicle use also imposes a variety of external costs, including parking subsidies, congestion, uncompensated crash damages, and environmental impacts. Pedestrians and cyclists impose much less external costs, due to lower costs per mile, and because they tend to travel fewer miles per year. In general, people who drive less than average overpay their true share of transportation costs, while those who drive more than average underpay. As a result, pedestrians and bicyclists tend to subsidize motorists."

Friday, August 6, 2010

Driving with Bikes

Cycling in Traffic

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cycling benefits outweigh risks

A new study completed by the Dutch company, Environmental Health Perspectives, finds that the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks. The study goes in depth on air quality, obesity, etc. The study can be found at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20587380

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Job Announcement

Idaho Pedestrian & Bicycle Alliance (IPBA) is looking for a dynamic leader based in Boise with exceptional fundraising and organizational skills to take us to the next level. We are committed to providing $1,460 per month for a ½ time Executive Director (initially as a contractor) and seek a professional to meet the challenge of raising the operating budget and advancing the priorities of this start up organization. This will grow into a full time position when budget permits. Skills in marketing, fundraising, membership development, organization, outreach and program and working with a board. Work initially from your home office with your computer, telephone, etc. Resume and cover letter to president@idahopedbike.org by August 23.

Please share the job description widely!

Thank you,

The IPBA is the first statewide pedestrian and bicycle advocacy group in Idaho.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Run Bike

This video is great, but just so you all know...the way the kid flys out of his driveway riding the wrong way against traffic is not good. Enjoy...

Ride Idaho

Ride Idaho will be taking off from Hayden City Hall at 8:00 am on Sunday, August 8th. The public is free to join them on their take off ride.

Art bike racks in Moscow