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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Is it too early to dream of Spring?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bicycle Bell

I love the escalator and grocery store scenes at the end.
How dedicated are you?

Friday, December 16, 2011

We Can Learn a Lot from the Dutch

Cycling For Everyone from Dutch Cycling Embassy on Vimeo.

How Bikes Can Save Us

Biking And Health
Created by: Healthcare Management Degree

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bicycle Crossing

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Every Body Walk!

The Double Standard

A Streetsblog commenter sums up the cyclists/motorist double standard with this:

Yesterday I saw a bicyclist do [insert dangerous, stupid, inconsiderate, boneheaded move here] and it nearly inconvenienced me. This means all bikers better watch out because the responsible, productive, law-abiding members of this community aren’t going to tolerate this kind of of anti-social behavior from you riffraff much longer.
Yesterday I saw a car driver do [insert dangerous, stupid, inconsiderate, boneheaded move here] and kill someone! A tragedy, but it was an accident, no one’s fault really, just one of those bad parts of living in the modern age that we all have to put up with. After all, anyone can make a mistake. It would be a shame to even suspend the driver’s license over it because they really might need it to get to work. It certainly is no reflection on me or how most people drive.

Monday, December 12, 2011

9 minutes that could change your life...

This is impressive!

Boulder Bike Story from Bikes Belong on Vimeo.

Pedestrian Peek-a-Boo

Friday, December 2, 2011

Bike-car disputes covered by laws

Here is a great "My Turn" column from today's CdA Press from Kathleen Kelly. Thanks Kathleen for taking the time to educate the public!


I've been hearing quite a few stories lately about how bicyclists are being assaulted both verbally and physically. This is quite unfortunate, yet I believe it to be because the public doesn't realize there are laws pertaining to the rules of the road and bicyclists. These rules are different when it comes to cars and bikes which is something I didn't know until I started riding and researched the law myself. For instance: I've been yelled at while riding my bike on the edge of the road to and from Higgens Point. You see, if I'm traveling 16 mph or over, I'm not allowed on the Centennial Trail. Much like the road speed limit, the trail also has a speed limit and it's in place to keep all users safe.

Someone will usually yell for me to "get on the sidewalk" when I ride downtown. Most Cd'A downtown sidewalks are posted with signs telling me the opposite. Also, if I'm not hugging the white line at the moment, it usually means there are rocks and/or debris that I am avoiding. Give me a minute and I will gladly move back over because I know I'm on the losing end of a collision between us. Additional info ... A bicyclist legally does not have to stop at a stop sign. Idaho State Code 49-720(1) states "A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed or stopping, the person shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping. "Now at a "steady red traffic control light shall stop before entering the intersection and shall yield to all other traffic. Once the person has yielded, he may proceed through the steady red light with caution. Provided however, that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a right-hand turn. A left-hand turn onto a one-way highway may be made on a red light after stopping and yielding to other traffic." Code 49-720(2) Once again, this is Idaho Code.

Unfortunately, I have seen bicyclists roll through stoplights when they shouldn't. It's those that give the rest of us a bad name as well as increasing the confusion the non-bicyclist may feel. There are a few that push the envelope, but don't hold that against (what I hope) is the majority that tries to adhere to the law. Coming from the other perspective, if you have no interest in road bikes, it must be hard to understand why you should have to put up with delays because you can't get around a cyclist in a timely manner. Realizing that we too have a right to be out there is key. There is actually a national campaign running called "Share the Road." It is designed to educate everyone on the "rules of the road" and how we can safely co-exist. It addresses a multitude of questions regarding safe cycling in a community.

This is especially timely and informative since the majority of our roads do not have special bike lanes yet. We hope that one day we do have a separate lane to ride in, which would lessen conflict and confusion. Until that day ... you should know that for some people, riding a bike is a hobby or a passion or a ride to school. For others, it's their transportation to work to feed their families; the same families that rely on them to make it home safely after work. Looking ahead ... as gas prices keep rising, YOU TOO might find yourself riding on two wheels instead of four. The wave of alternative transportation is coming, it's just a matter of time. Let's not be the last to jump on board.

Lastly, although the numbers on the road decrease dramatically during the colder months, there are still those that venture out with fat tires on their bikes for their commute to work or a good workout. It's more dangerous for us all this time of year as our ability to stop quickly dramatically decreases, increasing our risk for more car vs. car and/or car vs. bike/pedestrian incidents. So let's work hard to peacefully and safely co-exist and remember the ' rules of the road. I hope this helps us all.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why I'm thankful for walking...

From Where the Sidewalk Starts:

1. Even my most expensive pair of shoes is cheaper than new tires.

2. There are no one-way sidewalks.

3. Unlike at the gym, if the person next to you grunts or wears too much perfume, you can walk away.

4. It's better at reducing healthcare costs than Congress.

5. No one celebrates International Drive to School Day.

6. A lot of people in the street = block party. A lot of cars in the street = roadblock.

7. You can't get a ticket for walking too fast.

8. Building a sidewalk next to your community doesn't increase asthma rates.

9. Bumping into someone you know while driving isn't a pleasant surprise.

10. You don't burn off Thanksgiving dinner by going for an after-meal drive.

How the Dutch got their cycle paths

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Paralysed cyclist is 'cured' by bike crash

Monique van der Vorst was partially paralysed at 13 after ankle operation created nerve damage. Years later she was hit by a car, leaving her paralysed from the waist down. But after yet another crash, she now can walk, is riding a standard bicycle, and dreams of riding in the 2016 Olympics.
Read the complete inspiring story at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2065790/Paralysed-cyclist-cured-bike-crash-Olympic-hope.html

Couldn't We Ride?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Winter Riding

Here is some good information on riding in the winter:


I would add studded tires to her list. They are worth the extra money.

There is also more good information here: http://bikewinter.org/
and here: http://www.icebike.org/

I look forward to riding this time of the year. With the right equipment it is a fun way to
stay in shape and beat the winter blues.

Friday, November 18, 2011

How Blind People Cross the Street Alone

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Benefits of a Bicycle

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Traffic School

This should be mandatory in the U.S.

Self-Reliance Grows in the Utrecht Traffic Garden from Streetfilms on Vimeo.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Woman Steal Bike Back From Theif

Here's a great story about a woman in Boulder, Colorado who steals her bike back from a theif.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Study Reports that Biking Saves Lives and Dollars

University of Wisconsin researchers found that bicycling could answer many of their environmental and health problems. According to the report published in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives, if Mid-westerners replaced half of their short trips with bicycle trips during the warmest six months of the year, they would save about $3.8 billion per year from avoided mortality and reduced health care costs for conditions like obesity and heart disease. The report calculated that these measures would save an estimated $7 billion, including 1,100 lives each year from improved air quality and increased physical fitness.The length of trips in the study were 2.5 miles one way and less than 25-minutes by bike.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Streetless in Seattle

The mayor imposes a diet on cars.

Mike McGinn, the mayor of Seattle, won office in 2009 after making transportation policy a centerpiece of his campaign. He catapulted himself over his establishment-friendly opponents, including the incumbent, by vigorously opposing the construction of a multibillion-dollar highway tunnel beneath the city’s waterfront. McGinn also gained fame for bicycling to and from campaign events. And he promised to put Seattle on a “road diet” in which car lanes on many busy multilane roads would be converted into bike lanes. The city’s paper of record, the Seattle Times, has called McGinn “philosophically anti-car.” A former Washington State Sierra Club chairman, McGinn likens autos to in-laws: “You want to have good relations with them, but you don’t want them to run your lives.”

Click here for the entire article

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Bike That Shifts With Your Mind

Toyota has come up with a bicycle that will shift just by thinking. Hard to believe?

Read about it here: http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Tech/2011/1101/The-Prius-of-bicycles-switches-gears-by-reading-your-mind

Post Falls Wants Your Input

The City of Post Falls Engineering Division is seeking public comment on priorities established for pedestrian & bicycle facilities within the community. Comments will be accepted through Jan. 3, 2012. The survey, supporting maps and ranking tables are available on the City’s website http://www.postfallsidaho.org/.

The current pedestrian and bicycle facilities within the community were reviewed by City staff, who developed a list of priority improvements for those facilities. One of the focus efforts was to provide for improved access to the City Center area. The public comment survey, maps and decision ranking table are the result of a series of workshops with City staff to develop the plan. Facilities improvements that are currently funded were not placed on the list. At present, no funding sources have been identified or provided for any of the listed projects. It will involve staff’s efforts over the coming years to pursue dollars where available, to address these areas.

At this stage in the process, the City is seeking public comment on the priorities as established. It is important to receive feedback from the community; as to how they view the plan that was developed, so those comments can be included in the implementation of the plan.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Well Said!

Letter to the Editor in the Idaho Statesman responding to a letter complaining about cyclists paying their "fair share".
BOISE - Paula Riehl of Boise (letters, Oct. 19) would have you believe that bicyclists are a bunch of freeloaders who ply the roads on specially designated lanes for free, at the expense of the hard-working, taxpaying drivers who have graciously allowed our presence. She suggests that we pay additional license fees to maintain the patchwork of bike lanes through our communities.

Well, Ms. Riehl, let me tell you something. The vast majority of bicyclists are just like you. We have cars, we pay taxes and we use the roads for both automobile and bicycle travel.

The major difference is that we, as taxpayers, believe that some small percentage of those dollars should be spent ensuring bicyclists safe and efficient passage from one place to another. Not unlike what you expect for your car. Given the growing number of bicycles in our community, we probably need to devote even more money to bike lanes. Just to make it fair.

Dave Fotsch,
Ada Bike Alliance, Boise
I would also add that a very large portion of our road funding, especially on local roads, is from property taxes, not fuel taxes and registration fees. So, when we get a 5-foot bike lane on a 5-lane road, who is really paying their "fair share"?

Be Extra Careful Tonight!

From Where The Sidewalk Starts:
It's one of the three deadliest nights of the year for pedestrians (the others fall around Christmas and New Year's Eve), particularly for young walkers: deaths among pedestrians between 5 and 14 years are four times higher on Halloween than other nights of the year. If you're trick-or-treating--or driving--make sure to take special care tonight.

It's usually a good idea to where something reflective, carry a flashlight, and use the sidewalks. Motorists need to really look out for the ninjas out there.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dezy the "Pianobike Kid"

Dezy Walls, the "Pianobike Kid", frequents Portland area farmer's markets and makes his living selling CDs and putting on performances at corporate parties and events with his 300lb piano bike. Read more at: http://bikeportland.org/2011/10/25/meet-dezy-walls-the-pianobike-kid-61030

Friday, October 21, 2011

Giant Fires Back at GM

A couple weeks ago, GM ran this horrible ad in some college newspapers, pretty much insulting the entire cycling community. They got a lot of negative feedback from all over the country for it.

They subsequently pulled their ad, but not before Giant fired back with this ad.

Unfortunately, to my knowledge, GM hasn't pulled these versions ripping on walking and transit.

Copenhagen....City of (Bike) Dreams

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wine for Wheelchairs

From the Huckleberries Blog:
When Gordon Holmes takes the podium tonight in the Davenport Hotel’s swank Isabella Ballroom, it’s a given the subject of precious metals will come up. Holmes, after all, is the featured banquet speaker for the annual Silver Summit. This year’s two-day confab will unite 700 investors, explorers, vendors, silver producers and metals aficionados. But here’s the thing about Holmes. While the 60-year-old has been dubbed “an evangelist” for the silver-and-gold crowd, his real zeal centers on one of the most compelling charities I’ve ever encountered. “Wines for Wheelchairs,” Holmes calls it. Here’s how it works: Buy a bottle of wine from his premium Lookout Ridge Winery (www.lookoutridge.com), and Holmes will donate a wheelchair to someone in desperate need of mobility/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Ped/Bike Education Campaign

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

No Comment

Coolest Crosswalk Ever

Check out Monica Broere's painted crosswalk, installed this weekend at Conkling & Eastern Aves. in Highlandtown, MD! The crosswalk was sponsored by ha! (Highlandtown Arts). How cool would it be to have a couple of these in downtown CdA?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Pursuit to Bicycle Friendliness

This 10 minute video shows why Boulder, Colorado is a Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly Community. There is much we can learn from communities like theirs to make ours even better.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Computers are like a bicycle for our minds...

Steve Jobs, R.I.P.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Freshman Stripe

Now that rain season meets bike commuting, this article from KCRA.com reinforces the need to get fenders on your bike. It only took me one rainy ride many years ago to convince me to buy fenders; the wet seat of my pants swinging around like a full diaper...

DAVIS, Calif. -- Some new students at UC Davis have this week received a mark of shame, known as the "freshman stripe." From The Field: Bikes At UC Davis As rain fell on campus Monday afternoon, roads and bike paths became wet, and so did the backs of uninitiated bicycle riders. Students who have experienced the "freshman stripe" describe a mixture of discomfort and shame. "It was bad. Everybody was looking at me. And I was like 'No!' " transfer student Eric Lal said. "All my bag got wet. And then my books got wet, too." At the on-campus bicycle shop known as the Bike Barn, riders were lined up out the door. Most had come to pay $21 for a set of plastic tire fenders. "Biking in the rain sucks. And the 'freshman stripe' or the newbie stripe? Nobody wants it," transfer student Samantha Torsky said. The Bike Barn said business picked up as soon as the rain started to fall Monday, and it continued to be steady Tuesday. In addition to bike fenders, the shop also recommends rain jackets designed with long backs and without hoods, so that they can be worn with a helmet. "A lot of people come in right at the beginning of the year, as well. But pretty much as soon as the first rain hits, they'll come in," said Kristin Snow, one of the managers at the Bike Barn. Read more: http://www.kcra.com/news/29386203/detail.html#ixzz1ZvOA4d7d

Monday, October 3, 2011

Walk to School Day

This Wednesday (October 5th) is National Walk to School Day. If you want to know more about this event, check out http://www.walktoschool.org/. Otherwise, the least you can do is walk or bike to school on Wednesday. Who knows, it may become a habit for you.

Dog Powered Bikes?

Perhaps the market for this is a bit limited, but you can't accuse them of not being entrepreneurial.

More at: http://www.dogpoweredscooter.com/

Saturday, October 1, 2011


A little long, but the graphics are great...


Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Door Zone

For a very convincing video of why you shouldn't ride too close to parked cars, follow the link.


They also have an animated educational video about riding in the "door zone".

Friday, September 23, 2011

IMBA Trail Building Class

IMBA Trail Building Class
October 1, 2011
8am to noon
McLain Hall in the Outdoor Center
North Idaho College

Followed by an afternoon(1-4pm) Of trail building At Wallace Conservation Area at Blue Creek Bay-Eastside of Blue Creek Bay-North east end of Coeur d’Alene Lake.

Cost is FREE Bring/wear: work gloves, hiking boots, water, snack, etc.- Lunch is provided.

Contact Jon Totten at NIC jon_totten@nic.edu LCTBA at LCTBA83814@hotmail.com

Support your Adventure!

Sandpoint Passes Cell Phone Ordinance

From the Bonner County Daily Bee:

SANDPOINT — Cellphone addicts may have to put the brakes on their habits with the passage of a new ordinance banning hands-on mobile device use while driving.

Council members passed the draft ordinance on its third reading after allowing for several months of public comment opportunities.

The ordinance is the culmination of council members Carrie Logan and Marsha Ogilvie’s efforts to implement local or statewide cellphone regulation.

“Even if we just get people to think about picking up the cellphone or texting while driving, at least we’re doing something,” Ogilvie said at the July council meeting. “We’re making a step in the right direction instead of still leaving it up to the state legislators.”

Logan initially proposed the restriction as a ban strictly on texting while driving. However, her original vision cited the action as a primary offense, authorizing officers to initiate a traffic stop.

In its revised form, the ordinance restricts all mobile device use while driving. The broadened parameters stem from Sandpoint Police Chief Mark Lockwood’s concerns that the specific act of texting could be difficult to prove, resulting in weakened case law.

However, the ordinance also downgraded a violation to a secondary offense similar to required seat belt use. That means that officers will need another infraction like speeding to justify a traffic stop but can cite the ordinance for an additional $10 fine.

Cellphone conversations, on the other hand, are still perfectly legal. Once the ordinance is passed into law in 90 days, however, a hands-free set will be required.

Council members like Jamie Brunner and John Reuter, initially hesitant about the ordinance, eventually offered their support after its revision to a secondary offense meriting a small fine. They also expressed hope that the state legislature will address the issue, an action that would void the ordinance.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rexburg, Idaho Pass Texting While Walking Law

To add to their distracted driving law, Rexburg, Idaho just passed a law against crossing the street while texting.  See the article and video at http://www.localnews8.com/news/29174107/detail.html.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cyclists need be cowboys no more...

Although this article from the Montreal Gazetter is written about cycling in Montreal, it rings with familiarity in regards to how Coeur d'Alene is growing up as a bicycle friendly community.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Traffic Signals and Bikes

Do you ever get frustrated at a traffic signal because it doesn't recognize your bike? Sure, riding over to the pedestrian button will help, but it is very awkward, especially if you are pulling a trailer. This article over at Urban Velo has some good advice to trip the signal. http://www.ecovelo.info/2011/09/19/trigger-happy-2/

Bike Parking Video

Although this video is basically an infomercial for this company's bike racks and is intended for those in the market for purchasing a bike rack, it has some great information on the strengths and weaknesses of each bike rack type and can help you choose where to park your bike.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Lake City Celebrates Park(ing) Day

From the Huckleberries blog:

(Today) you will see parking spots in downtown Coeur d’Alene transformed into temporary public open space… one parking spot at a time. PARK(ing) Day is a annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. So again this year, with the generous good humor of the City of Coeur d’Alene, KEA will be participating in the annual global Park(ing) Day event calling for a reclamation of parking places for the benefit of people and parks.  We will reclaim a few downtown spaces on Friday to make our point. Admittedly, downtown Coeur d’Alene is probably the most walkable and appealing destination in our entire region. But it’s not because of parking.  In fact, much of the plan for renovating McEuen Park is motivated by removing a dreadful mistake of a parking lot from what is an extraordinary lakeside location.

Call for Volunteers

Volunteers are needed to help count bicyclists and pedestrians on 15th Street in Coeur d'Alene. We will be perfroming counts on Wednesday the 21st and Saturday the 24th. Please contact Chris Bosley (cbosley@jub.com) if you would like to help.

Why are bike and pedestrian counts important?  One of the greatest challenges facing the bicycle and pedestrian field is the lack of documentation on usage and demand. Without accurate and consistent demand and usage figures, it is difficult to measure the positive benefits of investments in these modes, especially when compared to other transportation modes such as the private automobile.  

Accurate counts will provide a better understanding of non-motorized usage of roads and pathways, improve the discourse of policy makers, and successfully attract more funding and support for these beneficial programs.

We won! Federal support for bicycling is preserved

From People For Bikes:

The U.S. Senate affirmed its time-tested support of bicycling Thursday by forcing Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to withdraw his proposal to eliminate dedicated funding for the Transportation Enhancements program.

Peopleforbikes.org supporters and our advocacy partners influenced this outcome by sending close to 50,000 emails and making thousands of phone calls to their U.S. Senators in just 48 hours. Thank you!

As a result, funding for all federal transportation programs has now been extended to March 31, 2012. The key, cost-effective programs that make bicycling safer and easier -- Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trails -- will continue to receive modest, dedicated support -- about 1.5 percent of the total federal transportation investment.

Every U.S. Senate office received an unprecedented number of well-crafted emails and articulate phone calls this week from people who bike. This powerful show of support for bicycling made a strong impression on Congress and influenced the positive outcome.

We reminded the Senate that bicycling investments support a growing number of transportation trips coast to coast, and save government agencies money on road repairs, parking infrastructure costs, and health-care costs. They recognize that this is a small investment with a big payback that makes Americans safer.

A huge thanks to the thousands of Americans, our supporters, who rallied quickly to contact their elected officials on this challenge. We will continue to keep you posted on key issues and opportunities that affect the future of bicycling in the United States.

I hope you'll join me in taking a ride this weekend to celebrate!

Tim Blumenthal

Director, Peopleforbikes.org

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ride Bikes Every Day

Route of the Hiawatha Sets New Record

From the Coeur d'Alene Press:

The Route of the Hiawatha continues to grow in popularity. Another attendance record was set in August as riders flocked to the world-renowned bike trail that follows the historic Milwaukee Road rail line in the Bitteroot Mountains of Idaho and Montana.

Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area, operators of Route of the Hiawatha, reported 12,844 visits last month. August’s rider total was a 4.4 percent increase over 12,301 riders recorded for the same month last summer. This summer, the momentum continued into September with a record Labor Day weekend crowd of just over 3,000 riders.

“August 2011 was the biggest single month we’ve ever had since we partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to operate the Hiawatha trail in 1999,” said Phil Edholm, president and CEO of Lookout Pass. “With cooler temperatures and fall colors, September is a great time to ride the trail and we expect attendance to remain strong until we close for the season on Oct. 2.”

In addition to the foliage and weather, Route of the Hiawatha in September features the Ride & Slide Package, an unprecedented partnership with Silver Mountain Resort’s Silver Rapids Waterpark in Kellogg. Lookout Pass and Silver Mountain are teaming up to offer the Hiawatha trail in a bundle with the Silver Rapids Waterpark. The $29.95 package is good for both attractions on the same day and is available online at skilookout.com and silvermt.com.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

School Bus Safety

School Safety Tips from the National Safety Council

Transportation Safety

Whether children walk, ride their bicycle or take the bus to school, it is extremely important that
they take proper safety precautions. Here are some tips to make sure your child safely travels
to school.

Walking to school

 Review your family’s walking safety rules.

 Walk on the sidewalk, if one is available. When on a street with no sidewalk,
walk facing the traffic.
 Before you cross the street, stop and look all ways to see if cars are coming.

 Never dart out in front of a parked car.

 Practice walking to school with your child. 
Riding a bicycle to school

 Make sure your child always wears his helmet when leaving the house.

 Teach your children the rules of the road they need to know to ride their bicycles.

 Ride on the right side of the road and in a single file.

 Come to a complete stop before crossing the street.

Riding the bus to school

 Go to the bus stop with your child to teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus.

 Make sure your children stand six feet away from the curb.

 If your child and you need to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the side of the road until you are 10 feet ahead of the bus. You always should be able to see the bus driver, and the bus driver always should be able to see you.
School Safety

Many school-related injuries are completely preventable. Follow these steps to ensure your
child’s safety at school.

Preventing backpack-related injuries

 Chose a backpack for your child carefully. It should have ergonomically designed
features to enhance safety and comfort.

 Don’t overstuff a backpack; it should weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of your
child’s body weight.

 For example, a child that weighs 60 pounds should carry a backpack no heavier
than 12 pounds.

 Ask your children to use both straps when wearing their backpack to evenly distribute
the weight.
Preventing playground-related injuries

 Encourage your child only to use playgrounds with a soft surface. Avoid playgrounds
with concrete, grass and dirt surfaces, as they are too hard.

 Children under the age of four should not use climbing equipment and watch older
children when they’re climbing.

 Do not let your children use monkey bars. They are unsafe and should not be used by
children of any age.

Important Action Alert

This year, around $700 million of Federal transportation funds, which is less than 2 percent of total transportation dollars, will be spent on bicycling and walking. In 2012 that figure might be a big fat zero. Please contact your Senators TODAY and let them know you support continued funding for biking and walking.

In the next few days, Senator Coburn will ask Congress to eliminate the federal Transportation Enhancements program – the primary funding source for the past 20 years for bike lanes, trails, bike racks on buses, bike education etc. This isn’t safe or smart; it’s not good for the economy or the environment; this is bad health policy and bad transportation policy. But they are going to try because they don’t think bicycling matters.

Even though bicycling projects create more jobs per dollar than highway-only projects and cutting enhancements won’t impact the deficit – the money just won’t be spent on bicycling – some Members of Congress want to force us backwards to a 1950s highway-only mindset: as if oil embargoes, congestion, smog, the obesity epidemic and climate change never happened.

Now is the time to save biking and walking. As we expect the Senate to move first, we are asking you to contact your Senator and urge them to support continued funding for biking and walking. Don’t let them take away this vital investment program for smart, sustainable, safe transportation choices.

Please take action today.

Thank You.
Cynthia Gibson
Executive Director
Idaho Pedestrian and Bicycle Alliance
P.O. Box 1594 Boise, Idaho 83701

"The Idaho Pedestrian & Bicycle Alliance promotes walking, bicycling and other forms of human-powered transportation as healthy, sustainable, reliable and viable options for all Idahoans."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bike Safety

Calm down

With a very few exceptions, America is no place for cyclists

Sep 3rd 2011
from the print edition

..DYING while cycling is three to five times more likely in America than in Denmark, Germany or the Netherlands. To understand why, consider the death of Michael Wang. He was pedalling home from work in Seattle on a sunny weekday afternoon in late July when, witnesses say, a brown SUV made a left turn, crunched into Wang and sped away.

The road where the 44-year-old father of two was hit is the busiest cycling corridor in Seattle, and it has clearly marked bicycle lanes. But the lanes are protected from motor vehicles by a line of white paint—a largely metaphorical barrier that many drivers ignore and police do not vigorously enforce. A few feet from the cycling lane traffic moves at speeds of between 30 miles per hour, the speed limit for arterials in Seattle, and 40 miles per hour, the speed at which many cars actually travel. This kind of speed kills. A pedestrian hit by a car moving at 30mph has a 45% chance of dying; at 40mph, the chance of death is 85%, according to Britain’s Department of Transport.

Had Mr Wang been commuting on a busy bike route in Amsterdam, Copenhagen or Berlin, his unprotected exposure to instruments of death—namely, any vehicle moving at 20mph or more—would be nearly nil. These cities have knitted together networks for everyday travel by bike. To start with, motor vehicles allowed near cyclists are subject to “traffic calming”. They must slow down to about 19mph, a speed that, in case of collision, kills less than 5%. Police strictly enforce these speed limits with hefty fines. Repeat offenders lose their licences.

Calmer traffic is just the beginning. In much of northern Europe, cyclists commute on lanes that are protected from cars by concrete buffers, rows of trees or parked cars. At busy crossroads, bicycle-activated traffic lights let cyclists cross first. Traffic laws discriminate in favour of people on bikes. A few American cities have taken European-style steps to make streets safer for cycling, most notably Portland, Oregon, which has used most of the above ideas. The result: more bikes and fewer deaths. Nearly 6% of commuters bike to work in Portland, the highest proportion in America. But in five out of the past ten years there have been no cycling deaths there. In the nearby Seattle area, where cycling is popular but traffic calming is not, three cyclists, have been killed in the past few weeks.

From the Economist http://www.economist.com/node/21528302

Park(ing) Day

Thanks to Terry Harris for reminding me that this Friday is Park(ing) Day.

From the Kootenai Environmental Alliance website:

PARK(ing) Day is a annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.

The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out!

If you would like to participate in PARK(ing) Day Coeur d'Alene, Contact KEA at kea@kealliance.org or 208-667-9093.

The Pedestrian Jar

The Pedestrian Jar - Teaser from pedestrian jar on Vimeo.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Vancouver Gets Parklets

Vancouver, BC, like other cities before it, is turning car parking spaces into mini "parks" to create a more liveable community. This would be really cool to see in downtown CdA. Read more about it here.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

River City Mobile Veterinary Service

Sorry, this is not Post Falls (our River City). This one is in Portland.

Dr. Marasco uses his bike to make veterinary visits within a 5 mile radius.

How cool is that?


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Just for fun...

Reasons to Bike or Walk

According to Amber Mace, executive director of Ocean Protection Council, oil from cars in the US accumulates on road surfaces and eventually gets washed out into oceans at the rate of an Exxon Valdez spill EVERY 8 MONTHS.

Stolen bike story tugs at community's heart

From the Coeur d'Alene Press:

Kristian Parrett was a wanted boy Saturday morning.

People googled his name. They phoned the police. They called and emailed The Press. They drove on west Rousseau Drive to knock on the front door of his home.

All sought the 11-year-old for the same reason: They wanted to replace his stolen bike.

And just a few hours after the simple story of a theft was published in Saturday's Press, Kristian was pedaling a new bike, wearing a huge grin.

He will not be walking to Woodland Middle School next week, after all.

"The generosity from all the people was amazing," said Kristian's mom, Stacey Sprock. "His smile is so big, I can't imagine him being any happier. Now, he's excited for school to start."

Not only did he receive a new Mongoose 26-inch mountain bike, he was given gift certificates and cash, which he's not keeping for himself. Instead, Kristian plans buy bikes for kids at Children's Village.

"I really want to thank everyone who wanted to help me with a bike," he said. "l like it so much."

He wasn't so happy last Friday.

Following a summer of chores to earn $100, he bought a cherished two-wheeler at the Walmart in Hayden. That same day, just a few hours later, it was stolen while he was at the Kroc Center picking up free school supplies.

A disappointed Kristian said he would start over, work hard, save money, buy another bike.

But hold on.

His mom notified the Press, which ran a story and photo on page C1. One of the people who read that article was Steve Stoops, shift manager of the Hayden Walmart. It was "automatic," he said, to want to help.

His wife Julie also saw the story. She turned to her husband and said, "Are you taking care of that?"


"I saw the work he put forth, saving up to buy the bike. It brought me back to when I was a kid," Stoops said. "I would have been devastated if that happened to me."

One problem: He had no idea where Kristian lived, so he called the police to see if they could help. An officer soon arrived at the Parrett door with a message that Stoops and Walmart wanted him to see him at the store.

There, a thrilled Kristian shook his head in disbelief and said thank you as he accepted the shiny black-and-red bike.

"I'm surprised and really, really happy," Kristian said.

Stoops also gave him a heavy duty bike lock and also presented a bike to Kristian's little sister.

"It was just something I wanted to do," he said.

The Press received around 20 calls and emails from readers on Saturday, looking for Kristian. One man wanted to give Kristian his son's old bike, which he said was like new. Another wanted to take him to a store and have him pick out a new bike. A bike shop owner called and offered to give him a free bike.

When Kristian was at Walmart, a customer gave him a gift certificate. When he got home, someone had dropped off an envelope with cash.

One reader who called the Press but wanted to remain anonymous was not surprised at the outpouring for a boy.

"It was kind of as I suspected. In this town, you publish a story like that, you've got people who will come out of the woodwork," he said. "I think it's one of the charming things about this town."

Robert Krumsick of Hayden said he wanted to help because when he was a child, he had a bike stolen within a week of its purchase. He said how Kristian worked hard to earn the bike, and how he responded after it was stolen, made him want to buy the boy a new bike.

"He sounded like one hell of a kid, he really does. To work that hard and get it stolen, unbelievable."

"As soon as I read the article, I looked at my wife and said, 'I want to buy that kid a new bike.' and she said, 'Do it then.'"

Stacey Sprock said she is proud of her community for being so loving and caring.

"I never in my wildest dreams thought people would offer to give him a bike," she said.

Kristian, who will be a sixth-grader this year, plans to do more than just guard his bike better. He'll be collecting money to buy bicycles for Children's Village.

"All these kids will be really eager to have these new bikes, and they'll be really happy," he said. "I like it when kids are happy."

Staff writer Tom Hasslinger contributed to this report.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mom biked to hospital to deliver baby

From the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

Tess Weber, just 3 months old, already has been out cross-country skiing and snowshoeing with her parents, Paul and Susie.

That shouldn't come as a surprise. She enjoyed a bike ride the day of her birth.

Susie Weber, an active 41-year-old, shared her story of biking to delivery - a one-mile ride from her home in Menasha to the Theda Clark Medical Center - in the January issue of Silent Sports Magazine.

"On the day my daughter was born, I stayed at home until my contractions were about three minutes apart and increasing in intensity. When it was time to go to the hospital, the last thing I wanted to do was get on a bike. But my husband had the bikes ready, my doctor was expecting to see my bike in the lot, and my own internal voice was telling me I couldn’t give up now.

"I somewhat reluctantly got on the bike and, to my surprise, enjoyed every minute of the ride, even when I was having a contraction. Despite all the dire warnings that I would crash my bike when the pain hit, I found that I could power through it. In fact, the contractions on the bike were the easiest to bear because I was distracted and doing something I love."

While biking to birth would be an extreme example of maintaining fitness during pregnancy, Weber's piece provides excellent advice for expectant women (and their partners).

Her pregnancy was high-risk due to her age and previous miscarriages, but she kayaked, skied, swam and biked from start to finish. She biked to her first appointment in March, and that day "set a goal of biking to every appointment," including the delivery.

"I think it was better for me overall and I recovered quickly and was down to my pre-birth weight in three weeks," said Weber, who is on maternity leave from her job as a pilot for United Airlines. "My doctor was a great person to work with.

"I think people treat pregnancy as a sickness; and you're not sick. You just have to be reasonable, I think."

Tess was born on Oct. 7 and weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces and measured 19 1/2 inches. On Thursday morning, Weber proudly reported that Tess had rolled over, apparently starting her own fitness regimen.

How young is too young to bike with your kid?

From the Globe and Mail:

Biking has always been a big part of Todd Beernink’s life. The Vancouver resident has worked as a bike courier, competed in cycling races and uses a bicycle as his main mode of transportation.

Then his son Tayo was born. Mr. Beemink wanted to start riding with his baby as soon as possible. “I would get so excited thinking about my son enjoying something I enjoy too,” he says. But his in-laws weren’t so excited. In fact, they were terrified.

To allay their concerns – and his own – Mr. Beernink reconfigured an old bike trailer to hold his son’s car seat. He knew that most cycling safety sites warn against infants under one wearing helmets, since a baby’s neck is too weak to support the weight. So he improvised and put toques and blankets around Tayo so that his head was cushioned and didn’t have much room to move. It was his imperfect solution: All cyclists and passengers are required to wear a helmet under B.C. law.

By the age of three months, Tayo was hooked into his five-point harness in the car seat and fastened into the trailer. His father still vividly remembers their first ride together, in January. “I rode so slow that my fingers froze because my heart rate was so low,” he said. “There were dogs passing us.It took us an hour and a half to go five kilometres.” The ride was a success, and he’s been cycling with Tayo since. But having been in a few accidents before he had a child, he’s well aware that biking comes with risks.

And given that, beyond city safety by-laws, there are no federal guidelines for cycling with kids, he and other parents are left to answer for themselves a critical question: How young is too young to bike with a baby on board?

One vocal opponent to parents riding with their babies is Pat Hines, founder and executive director of Safe Moves, a safety organization in the United States. In an online video, Ms. Hines flatly states: “There is no age when a child should go on a bicycle with a parent … Who would want to take a chance of the child falling? Even if you weren’t in danger of being hit by a car, just a slip, the baby goes down and the baby would go down very hard.”

Jennifer Gruden, a Toronto mother of two boys, shares Ms. Hines’s fear of falling, especially since she was in a serious crash when she was 25. It took two years of physiotherapy to fully recover from the accident, caused by a dog rushing up and clipping her wheel . A doctor told her that if she hadn’t been wearing a helmet, she would have cracked her skull. So when she became a mother, Ms. Gruden decided against biking with her son Noah, now 5, until he was old enough to wear a helmet. Ms. Gruden is now looking forward to biking with her second baby, who’s six months old. This time around, though, she expects to try a bike trailer – generally considered the safest way to transport kids, since it’s low to the ground in the case of a fall – rather than the front-facing bike seat that Noah rode in. “It is a sliding scale for me,” she says. “From zero to 12 months, it’s not worth it to me to put him on a bike. From one to three, I think it’s about picking the time and place and using a trailer. But after that, I feel that the risks turn around – if you’re not as a family doing [physical] activities, then there are long-term health risk that are too easy to ignore.” But the health benefits of cycling are limited to safe roads, she says. Without bike lanes, Ms. Gruden said she would be too nervous to commute on busy roads with her sons. She admits that she probably wouldn’t ride daily with her older son if they lived downtown.

Cycling advocate Todd Litman, Executive Director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, says many people overestimate the risk of riding with children. “There is no greater risk to biking with children than there is taking them in a car,” says Mr. Litman, who rode a bike with his sons (now university-aged) when they were three weeks old.

Statistics Canada does not collect data on how many parents bike with their kids. But it does monitor cycling fatalities involving young children. According to StatsCan, no children aged zero to four died from being on a bike with their parents from 2001 to 2007. That reassures Edmonton mom Sarah Chan, who rigged a platform on her Madsen cargo bike for her son Dexter’s car seat when he was four months old.“There is a whole culture of fear around parenting, and it doesn’t begin or end with a bike,” says Ms. Chan. “If parents are careful on their bikes, it isn’t that dangerous. It’s actually fun.” Especially for Dexter who, now age two, sits up in her cargo bucket, pointing and waving to passers-by. And much to his mom’s delight, he copies her hand signals when they’re out in traffic.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


According to an Aug. 30th Daily Mail article, "Taking intense exercise helps you live longer than if you choose long periods of gentler activity, research shows. A study found fast cyclists lived up to five years longer than those who cycled at a slower pace -- and the speed was more important than the duration. The 20-year study, involving 5,000 healthy people who cycled every day, found men who cycled quickly survived 5.3 years longer than those cycling the most slowly."

"Men pedaling at an average pace lived 2.9 years longer. Among women, fast cyclists lived 3.9 years and average speed cyclists 2.2 years longer than those in the slow lane. Fast cyclists who spent no more than an hour a day on a bike had the best chance of avoiding premature death from any cause, the Copenhagen City Heart Study found. Dr Peter Schnohr, who led the research at Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, said: 'This study suggests that a greater part of the daily physical activity in leisure time should be vigorous, based on the individual's own perception of intensity...'"

Bicycles in Movies Montage

Untitled from Todo Mundo on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Arrested for Riding Bike to School

How did we get to this?

Read about it over at Bike Walk Tennessee.

Longboarding on the Centennial Trail (and the Prairie Trail)

Found over at Bikes and Brews Northwest.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Commuting

From the Toronto News:

Cyclists are the happiest commuters. And walkers, too. That isn’t according to bikers and pedestrians, but to Statistics Canada, which released a study on travel time to work Wednesday.

Read more here.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Spokesman Review Letter to the Editor

Here is a great response to an inaccurate letter to the editor that appeared last week claiming that bicyclists are getting a "free ride" on public streets.

Letter to the editor: The Spokesman Review

SPOKANE - When Richard Haste shared his thoughts on bicyclists, he left me with the impression that he doesn’t personally know any bicycle enthusiasts. Unless the bicycle riders are underage, they most likely also own and operate a motor vehicle and they do pay their share of taxes, fees and insurance premiums.

They are not getting a “free ride.” The vast majority are responsible adults who are gainfully employed. They choose to ride bicycles because they want to conserve gasoline, reduce pollution and maintain physical strength, resulting in a healthier lifestyle. Shouldn’t we all strive for those goals?

A mature person knows that they are responsible for their attitude. Instead of being annoyed at the bicyclist, we can choose to appreciate their efforts in these areas and recognize that the bicyclist is contributing to society in a positive way.

I think Mr. Haste’s remarks were a little “Hastey.” We can all agree that some motor vehicle drivers and some bicycle riders are discourteous and forget the “rules of the road,” but with patience and mutual respect, we can make our roads safe for everyone.

Joyce Henry,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

BSU unveils cycle learning center

From KTRV TV in Nampa:

Boise State University is beefing up its bicycle-friendly campus, with a grand opening for its new Cycle Learning Center.

The CLC will be the school's centralized source for repairs, instructional clinics, and alternative transportation info. Transportation officials say it all boils down to three things: education, access, and health.

J.C. Porter with BSU Transportation Department explains, "We want to help promote health and have a healthy student population, and we thought cycling was a good route to promote a healthy student body."

The CLC will also offer a bike rental program for students, featuring one-of-a-kind Bronco bikes, which were created at the school.

The Cycle Learning Center is located in the Lincoln parking garage, right across from the student union building.

Quote of the Day

“I have witnessed the most conservative, anti-bike/ped engineers transformed once they are on a bike and realize firsthand the challenges and obstacles bicyclists face. This training, along with similar pedestrian and ADA trainings, should be offered by all state and/or municipal DOTs. ”– Mike Amsden

In response to "Michigan Puts Road Engineers on Bikes"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bikes Fly Free with Frontier Airlines

Cyclists taking their bikes as checked baggage in recent years have faced ever-escalating fees and charges from every airline. So for once, for those of you who fly Frontier, there is good news! Frontier has removed the flat fee for checked bicycles and will now include them in the standard baggage allowance, meaning customers traveling on Classic or Classic Plus fares can include their bike as one of their two complimentary checked bags and Economy passengers would pay $20 if the bike is one of their first two checked bags. Read more about the rules on bikeleagueblog.org.

Back to School Safety

As part of AAA's annual School's Open ― Drive Carefully campaign, AAA offers tips to help reduce the number of school related pedestrian and bicycle fatalities and injuries.

 Ditch distractions. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.

 Stay alert. Don't rush into and out of driveways. Expect pedestrians on the sidewalks and bicyclists just about everyplace, but especially around schools.

 Stop at all stop signs. Obvious, yes, but research shows that more than one third of drivers roll through stop signs in their own neighborhoods.

 Watch for bikes. Children on bicycles are often unpredictable; expect the unexpected.

 Brake for busses. It may be tempting to drive around a stopped school bus, but it's dangerous and it's against the law.

 Plan ahead. Leave early for your destination and build in extra time for congestion. Modify your route, if possible, to avoid school zones.

 Look for Safety Patrollers. Many are AAA patrollers at 31,000 schools across the country.

 Slow down. It's the most obvious way to see what's going on around you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

How to become a cycling "ambassador"

A new cyclists' initiative has become a buzzword in US bike advocacy, but what does it mean to be one?

Sorry, too long to post it here...

Read the story at The Guardian.

Walking for Exercise

From the Examiner:

Minneapolis is one of the country’s most walkable cities according to recent news reports. Of course, for those of us who live here, this isn’t really news. The abundant walking paths, trails and parks are popular with residents all over the metro area. For some, a walk around the lake is just a chance to get outside and enjoy the scenery. For many, the daily stroll is exercise. So what’s the difference? Knowing exactly what makes walking a workout may help some exercisers become more successful at reaching their fitness or weight loss goals.

The best way to evaluate your walking workout is to monitor intensity. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that healthy adults should get 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise for a minimum of five days per week. According to the ACSM, “moderate intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation.” Another great way to monitor the intensity of a workout is to wear a heart rate monitor. In order to reach a moderate intensity, 65-75% of your maximum heart rate, your walking stride needs to be fairly brisk.

Keep in mind that the ACSM does not recommend using a pedometer to measure exercise quality. While the step counting devices can accurately compute the quantity of steps taken each day, they don’t measure intensity and therefore do not help exercisers adhere to the recommendation for moderate intensity exercise. They can, however, be used to measure steps per minute. By walking 3000 steps in 30 minutes, researchers have found that most exercisers should reach the recommended intensity to meet the ACSM guideline.

The local walk and run specialists at Marathon Sports are a great resource for walkers who need to get equipped. On your next walk around Lake Harriet, stop in to check out their selection of heart rate monitors, walking and running shoes and training logs to make sure that your workouts stay on track.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Is walking really exercise? - Minneapolis fitness | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/fitness-in-minneapolis/is-your-walk-really-exercise#ixzz1VlsqGtoH

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bicycle Education at the DMV

Bike Louisville has managed to get bicycle and pedestrian safety banners at drivers license centers in the city. The banners, located in five driver centers, were paid for with the share the road license plate funding. This would be a great thing to implement in Coeur d'Alene, or even better, in all of Idaho.

Choose. Bike. Be Happy.

Two Mornings from Sierra Club National on Vimeo.

Monday, August 15, 2011

What is the impact of your commute?

Michigan Engineers Get Training on Bicycles


This is certainly a step in the right direction. As a transportation engineer who rides a bike nearly everywhere I go, I can say that this will be a real eye opener for a lot of these engineers.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Street Dancer - The Fun Theory

"Nobody pays attention to the little man who indicates us to stop and wait. Maybe he should do something more than simply be standing there. Can we give to people an entertaining way of waiting before crossing in a right form? Yes! With the red dancer man nobody will want to miss the show. A led display shows his movements, accompanied with the rhythm of a cheerful music that comes out from small incorporated speakers."

Speed Camera Lottery - The Fun Theory

I've got your plans for Monday night right here...

Help support the North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation!

Head to Bardenay Monday August 15 between 5 – 8 pm.

20% of sales of food and drink
will go to the North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation.

Please spread the word and encourage your family and friends to come down.  And to really show your support, ride your bike there...on the Centennial Trail...then become a member of the Foundation...

Update: I guess I shouldn't assume that everyone knows where Bardenay is. So, here is a link to their website and the map to their location at Riverstone.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Coffee Brake

A sturdy mug for sturdy folk.

Created by a world traveler who dared to ask the question:

"What good is a sturdy metal mug with a flimsy plastic handle?"

Whether you're a hardcore coffee drinker or a dabbler, this 14 oz. double-walled insulated stainless steel mug is what you're after. Non-skid bottom and snug-fitting plastic lid.

Necessity is the mother of addiction...er, invention.

More info at: http://www.the-scallywags.com/

Dutch Cycling Federation Advertisement

Award-Winning ADA Sidewalk Hazard Abatement Program Creates Walking Friendly Community

If you’ve driven down 7th Street recently, your eyes will be drawn to the many, bright, yellow-domed pedestrian ramps that have been added to sidewalk corners. You’ll also see the city’s Street Maintenance Department crews completing new sidewalks.

Although spring was not conducive to concrete work, Field Supervisor Robert Royce and his team of sidewalk enhancement experts have been pouring some of the smoothest, travel-friendly sidewalks this side of the Mississippi. Last week, the concrete crew finished the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)-funded portion of 7th Street.

The ADA Sidewalk Hazard Abatement Program started with the passage of the 2008-2009 budget. In that budget year, City Council created a program supporting systematic sidewalk repairs, tied to foregone taxes. The program is budgeted at $200,000/year and produces approximately 5,000 linear feet of sidewalk repairs annually, based on a five-year plan.

Although homeowners are still responsible for sidewalk repair and maintenance in accordance with Municipal Code Chapter 12.20., the city's five-year plan is a systematic approach to meeting ADA standards. Within the five-year plan area, work is accomplished primarily by the Street Maintenance Department. The city anticipates sidewalk repairs to pose some of the same challenges as pedestrian ramps, with which city street crews are already familiar. They've learned that every corner in town is unique just as every sidewalk repair will have its distinctive features.

This ADA Sidewalk Hazard Abatement Program account will fund repairs for ADA sidewalk deficiencies that are included in a Five-Year Priority Plan that will be updated and approved by the City Council on a yearly basis. The ADA Sidewalk Hazard Abatement Program was created from input by the ADA Transition Plan Advisory Group. The group consisted of community members, staff, and representatives from the community who are disabled.

Of particular note is a contribution which led to more efficient sidewalk planning. “It was such a learning experience to have input from those representing the community who are disabled,” said Renata McLeod, Project Coordinator. “They were able to open our eyes to the need for having complete routes, even if it was just one side of the street.” Because of their contributions, first-year sidewalk abatement on 3rd Street from Harrison south to Lakeside was all on one side of the street to create a “complete route.”

In general, ADA guides cities to prioritize repairs first in civic areas, followed by commercial areas, then residential areas. The first Five-Year plan focused on "catch up" work necessary to establish an accessible route to connect the investment already made in the 300+ pedestrian ramps constructed on 3rd Street, 4th Street, Lakeside Avenue, Best Avenue, and Harrison Avenue. By completing these areas first, the pedestrian ramps already built and paid for would provide a complete and usable ADA route. In general, they are also in high traffic, civic corridors with some residential and commercial benefit.

Since the program was adopted, over 17,500 linear feet of sidewalks planned for abatement have been completed and over 400 truncated domes on sidewalk corners have been poured in place. At the 2011 Association of Idaho Cities Conference, the city’s ADA Sidewalk Hazard Abatement Program was recognized with an AIC City Achievement Award. Winners are selected for improving quality of life, reducing the costs of resources, or solving a community problem.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Teach your kids to ride a bike in 15 minutes

Hiawatha Trail Sets Attendance Record

From the Coeur d'Alene Press:

Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area announced a new Route of the Hiawatha record on Tuesday.

An unprecedented 12,766 bicyclists rode the famous rail-trail in July - a 12.7 percent increase over the same month last year, according to a press release.

"It's been really steady, and there haven't really been any off days," said Lookout spokesman Bill Jennings.

Last Saturday, for instance, nearly 1,000 cyclists explored the 15-mile route.

"Word's getting around," Jennings said. "What's interesting is seeing people from around the world. You hear lots of different accents. It's pretty cool."

Throughout the busy season, Jennings has encountered travelers from England, Scotland and Germany, he said.

The Route of the Hiawatha was inducted into the Rails to Trails Conservancy's Hall of Fame in April 2011. Winding through 10 tunnels and 7 high trestles, the gentle downhill grade traverses the rugged Bitterroot Mountains between Idaho and Montana.

It's known as the "crown jewel" of the U.S. rail-to-trail system, the release said.

Lookout Pass operates the route in a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. A shuttle service operated by the ski area returns riders to the uphill trailhead.

"It's just a great opportunity for people who aren't used to getting up in the mountains to have a real easy way to do that," Jennings said. "A lot of the country that you see on the Hiawatha trail you would have to backpack for a couple of days to get to."

July 2011 revenues increased 11.3 percent over July 2010, the release noted.

Last year, more than 34,000 paid visitors rode bikes on the Route of the Hiawatha, a mark that could be surpassed by the time the trail closes on Oct. 2.

"Even though the cold, wet spring delayed our projected opening by about three weeks, we're on pace to break all the records our customers set in 2010," Lookout President and CEO Phil Edholm said in the release.

Car-free Families

Here is a link to an article on being a car-free family: http://streetsblog.net/2011/08/03/the-road-less-taken-car-free-family-life/

Although my family is no car-free, we are what we consider car-light. We have only one car and it sits idle most of the time. My kids often head to their bikes when we are going somewhere, and when we tell them we have to drive the car to get there we get an "Aww, why do we have to drive the car?" from them. I'm a bit proud of that.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Signal lights return to Fifth and Sherman with audible crosswalk alert

From the Coeur d'Alene Press:

COEUR d'ALENE - The signal, after all, was right where it belonged.

Now, just like before, traffic by both foot and motor will be controlled by lights at Fifth Street and Sherman Avenue.

With the old, new addition comes an added wrinkle - an actuated, audible crosswalk that beeps and barks orders.

"Having (the light) without actuation was problematic," said Jon Ingalls, deputy city administrator, on the old signal that was removed in November on grounds that it was outdated, breaking down, and ran on a predetermined timer system that could hold up traffic unnecessarily, and vice versa. "Actuation was the best thing, especially with the amount of pedestrian traffic."

A review by the city's Engineering Department showed that the vehicle and pedestrian cross traffic was minimal, and the signal wasn't warranted there, according to a press release at the time.

Since then, though, City Hall has fielded its share of concerns, including a pair of letters to the editor in The Press questioning the change.

The city reanalyzed the light and, as of last weekend, it was resurrected with actuation, which is a timer-based technology that can switch its time limits based on demand.

"I know people are happy to have it back," Mayor Sandi Bloem said, standing near the intersection Tuesday afternoon.


Some - especially those hanging out right next to it - could do with a little less noise.

The signal, designed to aid the visually impaired, beeps to indicate its location and tells you when the coast is clear.

"Beep, beep, beep ... Wait, wait, wait, ... Sherman, cross," for example.

Eating lunch Tuesday at Scratch Restaurant's outdoor seating on Sherman Avenue, just a few feet from the crossing, Deb Saunders and Brenda Gabriel spent 40 minutes or so listening to the beeping and commands.

"Grrrrrrr," Saunders said on how she was handling the noise, which she later articulated as: "It'd make me certainly not want to come back here."

The beeping grates worse than the talking, both said, but the talking commands are catching passersby off guard, too.

"You see people turning around looking," Gabriel said, of the voice that seems to come from nowhere.

Jeri Schaffner, Scratch manager, said she's worried it could be something that could negatively affect business if the beeping isn't tweaked, although she's thrilled to have the crosswalk back. After the old light was removed, the pedestrian walkway wasn't controlled by anything except the old pedestrian-has-the-right-of-way rule, and Schaffner said she saw dozens of pedestrian and vehicle near-misses.

"And that's just one person," she said. "That's huge, the light."

As signals need to be replaced, verbalized, Americans With Disabilities Act compliant crosswalks will be the direction the city goes, City Engineer Gordon Dobler said. The city, which has been adding several of the signals over the last two years, will lower the beeping levels at the Fifth Street intersection.

The new devices, several of which are around town including at Kathleen Avenue and Government Way, are music to Larry Kimble's ears.

The legally blind Coeur d'Alene resident lives near the one on Kathleen Avenue, and it has made a "phenomenal" difference, he said.

"Absolutely," he said. "That's a great thing."

His advice to people who are put off by the noise?

"I'd tell someone like that you may lose your eyesight yourself or someone in your family may have diabetes and lose their eyesight," he said. "You never know."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cars parked in the bike lane?

Perhaps the City of Coeur d'Alene should get one of these...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bike Parking at Art on the Green

For the third year in a row, patrons of Art on the Green can come and go from
the event with more ease while saving time and gas thanks to a “bike corral” organized by the
North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation with support from the Kootenai County Young
Professionals. “The Bike Corral is basically valet parking for your bicycle,” said Charlie Miller,
Manager of the North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation. “Parking and traffic can be a huge
challenge during Art on the Green, but people can easily ride their bicycle to the event, leave it at
the Bike Corral, and enjoy the festivities knowing their bike is looked after.”

The Corral will be located at the main entrance to Art on the Green on the North Idaho College
Campus and will be manned during the hours of the festival, beginning on Friday, August 5 and
ending on Sunday, August 7.

“We want to encourage people to get out on their bikes and enjoy the community. The Bike
Corral was a huge success the past two years, and we hope to see even more people on bikes this
year,” said Miller.

The Kootenai County Young Professionals will help run the corral but anyone form the community
interested in volunteering is encouraged to spend a few hours in the shade tending to the corral.
Contact Charlie Miller at (208) 292-1634 or charlie@nictf.org to sign-up for a shift. "This is a great
opportunity to not only ride your bike, but also to help out.”

The North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation is a membership-based organization that strives to
help preserve, develop, and improve the trail systems in our community. Visit http://www.nictf.org/ for
more information.