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Friday, December 31, 2010


I stumbled across these informative videos explaining how pedestrians and bicyclists should negotiate a roundabout.  From my experience as a bicyclist, I've found that it is important to take control of the lane early when approaching a roundabout to prevent a motorist from attempting to overtake you, keep control of the lane as you negotiate the roundabout, and travel through at a moderate speed.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Man playing real-life "Frogger" hit by SUV

From the Idaho Press Tribune:

CLEMSON, S.C. - A man has been hospitalized and is in stable condition after police in South Carolina say he was hit by an SUV while playing a real-life version of the video game "Frogger."

Authorities said the 23-year old man was taken to a hospital in Anderson after he was struck at around 9 p.m. Monday.

In the "Frogger" arcade game, players move frogs through traffic on a busy road and through a hazard-filled river. Before he was hit, police say the man had been discussing the game with his friends.

Chief Jimmy Dixon says the man yelled "go" and darted into oncoming traffic in the four-lane highway.
Really?  Come on people...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This is how I feel today...

After spending a week in Florida where I saw very few cyclists and pedestrians, I was pleasantly surprised to see several people out riding bikes, walking, and running in the snow during my commute this morning. 

Biking to School Makes Girls Smarter

Girls who walked or biked to school in a recent Spanish study performed better at school in verbal and math skills then their cohorts who rode the bus or rode a car, according to this story from Reuters News.

And the longer the girls in the study commuted, the better they performed - regardless of how much other exercise and sports activity they reported.

Interestingly, the Spanish study indicates that it didn't have the same effect for boys.  But don't get discouraged, boys, it will still make you healthier.

Photo courtesy Sabine Bungert.

Walkable Communities Have Happier People

While we are awaiting the results on our application to be recognized as a Walking Friendly Community, a new study illustrates why it is so important for us to continue our push to make our community even more pedestrian friendly.  The new study reveals that residents of walkable communities are more likely to be socially engaged and trusting than people in less walkable areas. They also reported being in good health and happy more often than their counterparts.

The full report can be found here: http://www.springerlink.com/content/xtq06270p27r1v0h/

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from the Coeur d'Alene Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Trail of the Coeur d'Alene's Guide

The new updated guidebook for the Trail of the CdA is now available online through the link at southlakecda.com. Public transportation options to and along the trail inched forward in 2010. Two new restaurants are open in Wallace -- the historic Jameson Inn and A Taste of Aloha. The McKinley Inn is reopening in Kellogg as a hotel/hostel for cyclists and skiers. There is now a shuttle up the North Fork near Enaville Trailhead, for folks who want to float the river. Look for the freebies and discounts for guide holders.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Centennial Trail Snow Plowing

For those of you who depend on or just appreciate the wonderful job our Parks Department does in clearing the Centennial Trail of snow within the Coeur d'Alene city limits, you will be pleased to know that the City of Post Falls plans to join the effort in keeping the trail clear through their city as well.  The trail is used, not only as a recreational facility, but as an important transportation facility year-round.

ITD Bicycle and Pedestrian Website

In addition to the new Facebook page, ITD has a new and improved bicycle and pedestrian resource page.


It is filled with tons of information on state-level pedestrian and bicycle related issues in Idaho.

ITD's new pedestrian and bicycle coordinator, Maureen Gresham, has done a great job of increasing ITD's efforts to improve pedestrian and bicycle transportation in Idaho.

ITD Bicycle and Pedestrian Facebook

The ITD Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Facebook page is up and running.  Check it out here:


Test your knowledge on the weekly question while you're there.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Livable Streets

This video highlights some of the main points in Don Appleyard's book "Livable Streets" and why they are so important to a community.

Revisiting Donald Appleyard's Livable Streets from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Helmet Ordinance Poll

The Huckleberry's Blog from the Spokesman Review held a poll on whether an oridinance requiring helmet use by children is a good idea.  The results show support for it.

•Tuesday’s Poll: 75 of 137 respondents (54.74%) voted that children under 16 years old should be required to wear helmets when riding bikes. 57 of 137 (41.61%) said they shouldn’t be required to do so. 5 were undecided.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Light vs Heavy bikes

For an unscientific review of commuting on a light bike vs a "heavy" bike, check out this article about the study published in the British Medical Journal.


Personally, I don't think it was much of a comparison considering they were both road bikes that are pretty similar except for a few pounds.  Change it up with a fat tired mountain bike and the results are likely to be quite different.

But, it just goes to show, ride what you've got...it beats driving any day.

Twin Falls Helmet Ordinance Rejected

The Twin Falls City council rejected adding an ordinance that would require children riding bicycles to wear a helmet, stating concerns over cost.

More here: http://www.magicvalley.com/news/local/twin-falls/article_aeaaca30-aa73-553d-8461-981322b6325e.html

Monday, December 13, 2010

Are we making progress?

Opinion: The Oregonian

PORTLAND - Academic studies so often promise new insights, even revelations, about the commonplace. A report this month about Portland bicyclists seemed to be one: It shows everyday bicycle commuters are at significant risk of being injured a bleak, one-in-five chance in any given year for anyone pedaling off and braving the rain.

But the picture quickly complicates.

The rate of injury among Portland bicyclists 20 percent of those studied reported an injury from crashing, with 5 percent crashing badly enough to seek medical help corresponds roughly to bike-active places such as Toronto and Phoenix. So Portland, increasingly branding itself as the nations bike mecca, hardly leads a road race to calamity.

Yet the researchers, from Oregon Health & Science University, also found that bicycling skill level didnt matter a whit when it came to pitching over the handlebars or losing the front tire in a rail track.

For the 962 commuters followed over the course of a year roughly half men and half women with an average age of 37 skinning knees and cracking teeth were equal-opportunity perils. (Other factors you might guess would count age, gender, body mass index, even ones history of crashing held no sway in the probability of colliding or taking a dive.)

If there's no getting better at bike commuting, then, where do we go from here? What stands in the way of reducing an injury rate that hits everyone with the same force particularly in a city that intends to spend $613 million over the next two decades on new, yet safer, bikeways?

There are no easy answers.

Yes, the researchers found roughly 20 percent of injuries occurred where challenging road conditions prevailed loose gravel, wet leaves, slick steel plates covering construction, streetcar tracks. Those things are easy enough to stay after.

But against expectation, bicycle commuters were found to be more likely to experience serious traumatic events in places the researchers had considered among the safest: on residential streets and on bicycle boulevards, those low-traffic streets designed to give priority to bikes over cars.

It just doesnt seem quite enough to wear a helmet (95 percent of study subjects did) or use lights in the dark (96 percent did) or, for that matter, assume that segregating bicycles and cars solves everything (48 percent of serious traumatic injuries did, however, involve a motor vehicle, and bicyclists are 12 times more likely to suffer injury in a crash than occupants of cars).

But taking into account the study's results, however counter-intuitive some of them are, will help planners challenge orthodoxy every step of the way as Portland proceeds with installing the right kinds of things for safe bicycle passage.

A curious thing happens, it turns out, when greater numbers of bicyclists show up: Injury rates decline. The bicycle-dense Netherlands boasts a low injury rate among bicyclists, and researchers here link better, expanded bicycle infrastructure, which invites more riders of all skill levels, with greater overall safety.

Dr. Melissa Hoffman, one of the Portland study's authors, concurs. The more people who are riding their bicycles, the safer we all are.

Well, there's no telling how far away that day is. What is clear is weve got a way to go. It will take not only money, and lots of it from a willing public, but even more of the right questions along the way.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bikes for the Rest of Us

I've been a follower of Bikes for the Rest of Us for a while now.   Not that I'm in the market for a new commuter bike, but it's nice to keep an eye out for what's available.  Forget high-performance.  Forget feather-weight.  Forget unobtanium.  Bikes for the Rest of Us features bikes for practical cycling...utilitarian cycling...commuter cycling...you know, bikes for the rest of us...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Trails and Bikeways Master Plan

The City of Coeur d'Alene Trails and Bikeways Master Plan has been added to this website.  (It is located under "Coeur d'Alene Trails and Bikeways Maps" on the right.)  The Master Plan details our existing trail network, proposed additions to the network, standards, policies, and other information regarding our trails.  It is a comprehensive document that sets out an overall strategy for the management of the Coeur d’Alene trail system over the next ten years.

As the Master Plan Visions Statement reads: “We will actively strive to provide a quality trail system that offers uses for both recreational purposes and as a means for commuters to safely use alternative modes of transportation, provide connectivity throughout the city, and promote healthy life styles through physical activity.”

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Let's have a moment of silence for all those Americans who are stuck in traffic on their way to the gym to ride the stationary bicycle."

-- U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D, OR)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hey, Shovel Your Sidewalks

There is a discussion on shoveling sidewalks over at the Huckleberries Blog. 

The comments are great, putting into perspective the trouble that some have in dealing with snow on the sidewalks.  It really is a barrier to many people's mobility.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Snow Emergency for Pedestrians

Spokane declared another snow emergency with crews focusing on removing snow from the major streets.

But if you think travel in a car is difficult these days, try getting around by foot, bike, or wheelchair.

This video from KXLY illustrates why it is so important to keep those sidewalks clear of snow.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why plow bike paths?

Found over at the Huckleberries blog...


I, for one, think that plowed bike paths are a benefit to the community.