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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.