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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hwy 95 Trail...The first step was a success!

The meeting to adopt the 95 trail last night was a success! Thanks to all of you attending! The overwhelming support definitely made a difference. The Parks and Recreation Commission voted for this issue to pass to the General Services Committee meeting on January 7th at noon in the CDA Library Community Room. General Services is made up of 3 members of the City Council. If we can show the same amount of community support at that meeting our chances of getting the approval to go to full council will be much higher. I know noon is a difficult time, but this committee may be a tougher sale so hopefully we'll get enough people to show. Another important meeting will be held the next evening on the 8th at Hayden City Hall. The Hayden City Council will be voting to approve their portion that night and the vote could go either way....so please show up to that meeting as well. A special thank you goes out to all of you that made the drive in blustery weather from the Silver Valley. And to those of you that spoke....you each made made very compelling arguments that helped sway the vote!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Highway 95 Trail


The Idaho Transportation Department is poised to build a 16 mile bike path along Highway 95 from Highway 53 north to Granite Hill and possibly rebuild 8 miles of trail from Appleway north to Hwy 53. This would bring a trail from Coeur d’Alene to Sandpoint close to completion. ITD’s policy on building trail facilities is to build and abandon since they don’t have the resources to maintain trails. In order for ITD to build this trail they must have a commitment from the City of Coeur d’Alene, Kootenai County, and the City of Hayden to maintain the trail. This is a one-time offer and if any of the agencies turns down this offer then ITD will not build the trail and we lose 2.2 million dollars’ worth of trail facilities. Please attend the Coeur d’Alene Parks and Recreation Commission meeting at the CDA Library on Monday, December 17th at 5:30pm in the Community Room to show your support for this trail. Without the support of the community there is a chance the commission will pass on this opportunity. Another very important meeting to attend is the Hayden City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 8th at 5:30 at Hayden City Hall on Government Way. Please show up and let them know of your support as well.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cyclists and Pedestrians Can End Up Spending More Each Month Than Drivers

Cyclists and Pedestrians Can End Up Spending More Each Month Than Drivers
Kelly Clifton has heard this stereotype a number of times: "Cyclists are just a bunch of kids who don’t have any money," says the professor of civil and environmental engineering at Portland State University. "They ride their bikes to a coffee shop, they sit there for four hours with their Macintoshes, they’re not really spending any money."


If you’re a shopkeeper with such suspicions, you’re probably not on board with any plan that would cut down on parking right outside your door. Cyclists are the ones with time to kill; drivers are the ones with money.
This perception is problematic in a place like Portland, where the bike-friendly city government is now looking to extend the reach of bike infrastructure – and the appeal of bikes themselves – to newer riders and neighborhoods farther afield from the urban core. "As we move out beyond those areas into more auto-oriented areas," Clifton says, "we start to see businesses say, ‘Hey, wait a minute. You’re taking away on-street parking to put in bike lanes, you’re taking away the one parking spot in front of my store to put in a bike corral. I don’t see many bikers around here. So what does this mean for me?"
Until now there hasn’t been much empirical evidence to allay such concerns. Clifton and several colleagues have attempted to fill that research gap in a project for the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (read a PDF of the draft report here). They surveyed 1,884 people walking out of area convenience stores, restaurants and bars, and another 19,653 who’d just done their supermarket shopping. Some of the results are unsurprising: Drivers still make up a plurality of customers to all of these businesses. And, with greater trunk capacity, they far outspend people who travel to the grocery store by foot, bike or transit.
Click here for the entire article

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cool Bike Designs



Although most bikes nowadays look relatively the same, designers in the past few years have decided to make more modern designs. To be innovative. To become famous. Or, just to get a few strange looks.

Electric Bike Concept ver2 by Yuji Fujimura
 Although I don't feel inclined to try this electric bike from Yuji Fujimura, there are some that I definitely want to add to my wish list.

Hybrid City Bike by Peter Dudas 

This hybrid city bike by Peter Dudas could become the next big thing. It has a sleek design and is most importantly different, in a good way. There's no doubt we would stand out while riding this.

For more cool designs go to...

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2012/01/creative-bicycle-designs.html

Friday, October 12, 2012

Traffic Pong!


Nine Reasons to Create a Bicycle-Friendly Business District

There is compelling evidence for the economic and livability benefits Bicycle-Friendly Business Districts (BFBDs) can bring to businesses and neighborhoods.
We asked a national expert, April Economides, to educate us about those benefits. Earlier this week Economides explained the concept of BFBDs and how they are spreading throughout the community earlier this week in our story “Emerging Trend: Bicycle-Friendly Business Districts.” Economides created the nation’s first Bike-Friendly Business District program for the City of Long Beach and has launched similar efforts in San Diego and Oakville (Canada). She speaks around the U.S. and Canada about “The Business Case for Bicycling” and Bike-Friendly Business Districts. For the complete article click here.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The future of the Bicycle?



When Israeli designer Izhar Gafni heard that someone built a usable, watertight canoe out of cardboard, one thought began to obsess him: What about a cardboard bike? The result is the world’s first paper bicycle, an uber-efficient, beautifully designed, and eminently sustainable tool that could change transportation the world over.
Gafni’s final product, a striking cycle painted in lacquered, waterproof white with a bright red seat, costs just $9 to $12 in materials ($5 for a kids version), weighs 20 pounds, and supports a total weight of up to 485 pounds. They key to the bike’s design is that paper’s strength increases exponentially as it’s folded — Gafni compares it to origami, noting, “if you fold it once, it’s almost three times the strength.”
The impact that the bike’s design could have is hard to underestimate. The project, which Gafni is currently raising funding for, could put wheeled transportation in the hands of those who couldn’t otherwise afford it. The $9 bike reminds me of the XO One Laptop Per Child project, which designed a cheap, accessible, internet-enabled laptop for just $199 and created a program in which buyers could purchase an extra computer to send to children in third-world countries. Could we soon see a rash of high-design cardboard bikes taking over the streets of both New York City and rural India?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

This is pretty interesting...I think the actor playing the boy's father was in the Time Machine.

Bicycle superhighways

Picture your daily commute to work. Wake up, get into your car, sit in traffic for an hour, listen to bad talk radio and get to the office late because you couldn’t find parking. Now imagine this: wake up, jump on your bike, and meet your friend at the bike path which is conveniently located near your home. Take a leisurely ride along a serene bike path free of car traffic and stop lights. Park your bike in a locker located inside your office, and arrive on time at work stress free. For some cities in Europe, this dream has become reality.

As of the end of April, Copenhagen, Denmark has completed an official bicycle superhighway. The superhighway was the brain-child of city planners looking to increase bike commuter traffic from surrounding suburban communities. “A typical cyclist uses the bicycle within 5 kilometers,” said Brian Hansen, head of Copenhagen’s transportation department. “We thought, ‘How do we get people to take longer bicycle rides?”

To encourage more bicycle traffic, planners designed the bicycle path to look more like automobile freeways. For the project, Copenhagen and 21 other local governmental bodies collaborated to ensure a continuous, standardized bike route was established. “We wanted people to perceive these routes as a serious alternative.” Mr. Hansen said, “like taking the bus, car or train.”

In Denmark, many commuters are choosing bicycles now as their main form of transport; not because of the environmental and health benefits, but simply because it is the fastest and most convenient transportation option. Simply providing easy access and a safe trip has increased ridership significantly in Copenhagen.

Some features of the new superhighway include air pump stations, foot rests and hand rails, and timed green lights if the cyclist continues at a speed of 12 miles an hour or faster. Smoothly paved bike paths that are clearly marked with proper signage are also impressive features incorporated in the superhighway design.

Copenhagen isn’t the first city to have conceptualized this idea. The Netherlands already has five “superhighways”, and Freiburg, Germany also has an impressive bicycle exclusive pathway. This pathway is oriented along the Dreisam, an 18 mile river that cuts through the center of Freiburg. The bike route includes tunnels and bridges over main streets so cyclists aren’t exposed to crossing or riding in automotive traffic. 34% of all residents now commute via bicycle to and from work every day, and Freiburg is hoping to increase that number to 50% by 2015. Even the design of the city’s train station incorporates important bike-friendly design features including valet-checking for bikes. The station also contains a bike repair shop, a tourist office for cyclists, a café and a meeting place.
Copenhagen’s super highway project is far from perfect. The superhighway is actually a patchwork of smaller routes. Some parts are fully dedicated to bicyclists, but bikers must share the road with drivers in some places. Test bikers from Politiken, a Danish daily newspaper, have expressed dissatisfaction, claiming that there is nothing “super” about the super highway.

In order to create a better cycle superhighway, certain key design components should be involved. Ensuring these pieces are in place will increase ridership, and guarantee the safety of the rider.
Completely separate cyclists from pedestrians and automobile riders. Having a dedicated bicycle path that separates riders from slower moving pedestrians, and faster moving automobiles is an essential part of the design. This may mean building bicycle bridges or underpasses to avoid all intersections with busy highways.

Display proper signage and lighting. Signage should clearly indicate where cyclists should go, when to stop, and when crossing a pedestrian walkway or a street. Lighting helps ensure safety for the riders at night, encouraging greater ridership amongst daily commuters throughout the year.
Orient the bike lane along a scenic route. Bikers will be more likely to utilize a bike lane if it is surrounded by trees and other natural features.

Provide ample bike parking, easy access to air pump stations, repair shops, maps, water fountains and resting places. At a central bike station, provide a café, showers, and bike visitor resources. These simple amenities could be invaluable design features for the superhighway.
Many European countries are dedicated to creating and improving bike infrastructure. The Copenhagen bike “Superhighway” is an important step toward the establishment of a better bicycle culture, and lessening our dependency on automotive transport. While the design needs further improvements, this is a major step toward a better bike future.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trail Improvements Begin July 31st

Two trails, the North Idaho Centennial Trail and the Prairie Trail, need to be seal coated.  Both seal coating projects will be “rolling projects,” meaning that the seal coating takes about two hours to dry, so the trail will be usable soon after the contractor has sealed it.  The contractor can seal about one mile of trail per day.

During the seal coating period, users will not be directed to an alternate route – rather, please be aware of the project, use the shoulder when traveling around the work area, and, when appropriate, walk bikes around the work area.

Work on the Prairie Trail begins Tuesday, July 31st.  It will start where the Prairie Trail intersects the Centennial Trail north of Riverstone and the work will continue to Huetter Road.  The nearly 4 ½ miles of Prairie Trail should be completed by August 3rd.

Work on the Centennial Trail begins Monday, August 6th.  It will start at Higgins Point at the east end of the trail, working west.  Through August 10th, work will be done on the section of trail from Higgins Point to Riverstone Park, which includes the preparation of all shoulder work on the Class 1 section of the trail.

Beginning August 13th, the section of trail from Higgins Point to Riverstone Park will be seal coated.

Also during the week of August 13th, trail patch and repair work between I-90/Northwest Boulevard and Highway 41 will be completed on the Centennial Trail.  During the week of August 20th, crews will be crack filling and seal coating this same stretch of trail.

Between August 27th and September 7th, the remainder of Centennial Trail from Highway 41 to the Idaho/Washington state line will be completed, barring any bad weather.

For our trail enthusiasts – please know that we’ll have spotters in front of and in back of the construction to remind people to slow down and ride on the shoulders.  For more information, please contact the Parks Department at 769-2252.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Iron Kids Today!!!

IronKids 2012 Web Site Poster final

Iron Kids is today! If you haven't pre-registered you can sign up at the Picnic Shelter in City Park between 1pm and 5:30pm.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bike Photos that make you go "Hmmmmm"


For more interesting bike photos click here

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sign your child up for the IronKids event


Lexus doesn't just make cars!!!

Eddy Merckx partners with Lexus to create new time trial bike

Eddy Merckx Cycles announced a partnership with Lexus to develop their ETT time trial bike.
Eddy Merckx Cycles recently went to a wind tunnel belonging to TMG, the Cologne-based motorsport division of Toyota. In addition to using the resources of the major automotive company, Edddy Merckx Cycles could also incorporate some of the technology used in cars in their bikes.
Lexus is no stranger to carbon fiber construction. Lexus built the chassis and body of it LFA supercar largely with Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP). The LFA's 4.8-litre engine delivers 560 horsepower, enough to hit 325kph (202mph).
Outside of the TMG wind tunnel testing, Eddy Merckx has put the ETT to test on the road with its sponsored teams Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator and Wallonie-Bruxelles-Crédit Agricole.
No specific details on the bike have yet been revealed. But the project is just getting started.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Lexus," said Kurt Moons, CEO of Eddy Merckx Cycles. "I’m sure that this is a huge opportunity for us to learn from their expertise in materials science and aerodynamics."
The staff at Lexus Europe is fired up by the project, too. “We are all excited by the prospect of working with Eddy Merckx Cycles," said Jozef Vandecruys, General Manager Marketing Communications and Network Development for Lexus Europe. "It’s a famous name with a history that speaks to our imagination.”

Click Link To Read More!


Friday, June 1, 2012

Walk [Your City]


If you're having trouble watching the video click here

Tuesday, May 29, 2012



You Know You're A Cyclist When...

You use your helmet as a hair-styling device.

You think nothing of walking into public places dressed in tights like a super hero.
You can give instantaneous directions to any corner in the city, but only for those using bike paths and public transportation.
Multi-ton cars and trucks are tearing along in front, alongside and coming up behind you... your pulse rate: 66.
All of your pants have frayed cuffs and chain-grease marks.
You keep deodorant and baby wipes at the office.
You are polite to most everyone, you blush at some rap songs, but you swear like a drunken sailor when a grandma in an SUV cuts you off.
You've been asked if you're a tap dancer.
Although you speak only English, you're perfectly capable of pronouncing several words in Italian.
The friend who was so happy to see you on his morning drive wonders why you gave him the finger when he honked.
You know the location of all the major potholes between your home and office.


Click on link to see more. http://pedbike.net/articles/you-know-youre-a-cyclist-when...-pg63.htm

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Most Compact Urban Folding Bike Ever

and now....the rest of the story...CLICK HERE

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pedaling to Prosperity: Biking Saves U.S. Riders Billions A Year

New data highlight that bicyclists in the United States save at least $4.6 billion a year by riding instead of driving.

The analyses were released on Friday to coincide with National Bike to Work Day, part of National Bike Month, which occurs each May.

The average annual operating cost of a bicycle is $308, compared to $8,220 for the average car, and if American drivers replaced just one four-mile car trip with a bike each week for the entire year, it would save more than two billion gallons of gas, for a total savings of $7.3 billion a year, based on $4 a gallon for gas.

Biking on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, MichiganThe findings were announced by the League of American Bicyclists, Sierra Club, and the National Council of La Raza, an advocacy organization for the Hispanic community, to reflect the strong economic and health benefits of bicycling, and its importance as a safe and efficient mode of transportation.

“There are so many reasons more people are riding, from improving their health to protecting the environment,” Andy Clarke, the League’s president, said in a statement. “But, especially in tough economic times, bicycling can also be an economic catalyst, keeping billions of dollars in the pockets of American families.”

More Americans are choosing to bicycle for everyday transportation. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of bicycle commuters grew 40 percent nationwide, and was even greater — 77 percent — in the some cities, according to the report. Yet “government funding of safe bicycling projects is not keeping up. Though biking and walking account for 12 percent of all trips in theU.S., these transportation modes receive only 1.6 percent of federal transportation spending.”

The average American household spends more— 16 percent of its budget—on transportation than on food or healthcare. Low-income families spend as much as 55 percent of their household budgets on transportation, the report noted.

Making it easier and safer for people to walk or bicycle “is a matter of fairness,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wrote on his blog Fast Lane on Friday. “Many Americans cannot afford a car or are physically unable to drive. According to a recent Brookings Institute report, more than 10 percent of Americans not only don’t own a car, but don’t even have access to a car. In our cities, that number is even higher.”

LaHood noted that walking and bicycling are options people want, citing a national poll released by Princeton Survey Research Associates International in March that indicated that “more than 80 percent of Americans support maintaining or increasing federal funding for biking and walking.” “The benefits of bicycling are real, and there’s no arguing with the impressive ridership data,” LaHood said. “Bicycling is an important part of the 21st century transportation mix.”

Click here for the full fact sheet and more about National Bike Month, and here to read: New Report Finds That More Biking and Walking Do Not Increase Crash Rate.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bike to Work Week

Hi Everyone! Don't forget....next week is Bike to Work Week! Come join us on Monday morning for the Kick-Off Ride. We will be meeting at 7:30am at Riverstone Park and we'll be riding down NW Boulevard (with a police escort) to City Hall. For more info on bike to work week and all the other activities go to our website...
Bike to Work

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How nice would it be to have this in CDA?

What Is Capital Bikeshare?

Capital Bikeshare puts over 1,200 bicycles at your fingertips. You can choose any of the 140 stations across Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA and return it to any station near your destination. Check out a bike for your trip to work, Metro, run errands, go shopping, or visit friends and family. Join Capital Bikeshare for 24 hours, 3 days, 30 days, or a year, and have access to our fleet of bikes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The first 30 minutes of each trip are free. Each additional 30 minutes incurs an additional fee.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy Bike to Work Month!


Safe Riding Video....this is in New Zealand they ride on the opposite side of the road. Not ok here!

Monday, April 30, 2012

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Pure Awesomeness

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bicycle-Safety Tips

Warm weather is just around the corner, and soon it will be time to dust off those bicycles. Here are some tips for safe riding:


Bicycle-Safety Tips

  • Always use hand signals when turning at intersections. There's nothing motorists pay more attention to than hand signals from bicyclists.
  • Leaving your bike out in the ice and cold all winter may cause serious damage. But it makes a nice subject for the cover illustration of a short-fiction quarterly.
  • Always wear a helmet. If this makes you uncomfortable, think of the helmet as a crown and yourself as King Dorko.
  • Placing your feet firmly on the pedals of the bike will help reduce the "Wheee" sound emitted from your mouth while going downhill.
  • Insist on a bicycle made of solid matter. Liquid and vapor bikes are a passing fancy; argon frames are particularly shoddy.
  • Taking your bike in for a professional tune-up is a great way to waste $25.
  • Be sure to wear your seatbelt, even if just biking down to the corner store.
  • Fat-bottomed girls may be riding today, so look out for those beauties, oh, yeah.
  • Visibility is crucial when biking. Ride with a lit highway flare in each hand.
  • Every three to four weeks, lightly oil the chain. Then dip it in flour and fry it for a real taste treat.
  • As soon as you buy a bike, talk to your friends about how great Shimano crank sets and STX hubs are.
  • Does your city have adequate bike paths? If not, consider complaining about it to your local government for the next 40 years.
  • If rich, spoiled Francis Buxton steals your bike, go on a hilarious and heartwarming journey through the American Southwest to get it back.
  • Bike safety can never be stressed enough. If you doubt this, try stressing it as much as you possibly can. It won't be enough–guaranteed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Please Watch This Video...It may Save Your Life!

Another reason to ride bikes!
Please take the time to watch this video...it is an report on the dangers of old car tires...that you thought were new!
video platform video management video solutions video player

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Love It!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A "Green" Bike


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Crisis in American Walking

Walking Club Real
A few years ago, at a highway safety conference in Savannah, Ga., I drifted into a conference room where a sign told me a “Pedestrian Safety” panel was being held.

The speaker was Michael Ronkin, a French-born, Swiss-raised, Oregon-based transportation planner whose firm, as his website notes, “specializes in creating walkable and bikeable streets.” Ronkin began with a simple observation that has stayed with me since. Taking stock of the event—one of the few focused on walking, which gets scant attention at traffic safety conferences—he wondered about that inescapable word: pedestrian. If we were to find ourselves out hiking on a forest trail and spied someone approaching at a distance, he wanted to know, would we think to ourselves, “Here comes a pedestrian”?
Of course we wouldn’t. That approaching figure would simply be a person. Pedestrian is a word born from opposition to other modes of travel; the Latin pedester, on foot, gained currency by its semantic tension with equester, on horse. But there is an implied—indeed, synonymous—pejorative. This dates from Ancient Greece. As the Oxford English Dictionary notes, the Greek πεζός meant “prosaic, plain, commonplace, uninspired (sometimes contrasted with the winged flight of Pegasus).” Or, in the Latin, pedester could refer to foot soldiers (e.g, peons), “rather than cavalry.”

Click here for the entire article

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Man Who Lived On His Bike

Monday, April 2, 2012

One mile on a bike is a $.42 economic gain to society, one mile driving is a $.20 loss

 
Photo by Mikael Colville-Andersen.

Copenhagen, the bicycle-friendliest place on the planet, publishes a biannual Bicycle Account, and buried in its pages is a rather astonishing fact, reports Andy Clarke, president of the league of American Bicyclists:
“When all these factors are added together the net social gain is DKK 1.22 per cycled kilometer. For purposes of comparison there is a net social loss of DKK 0.69 per kilometer driven by car.” 1.22 Danish crowns is about 25 cents and a kilometer is 6/10 of a mile, so we are talking about a net economic gain to society of 42 cents for every bicycle mile traveled. That’s a good number to have in your back pocket.
And what are all the “social gains” that bicycling grants the city of Copenhagen?
A number of factors are included in the equation such as transport costs, security, comfort, branding/tourism, transport times and health.
Considering that both sitting and car exhaust kill you, it’s a safe bet a lot of the net benefit to society is simply that cycling makes you less of a drag on health insurance and the safety net.
Since the total health benefit of Copenhagen residents’ healthy cycling habits is DKK 5.51 per km, the annual benefit is worth the equivalent of approx. DKK 2.0 billion.
Which means that Copenhagen, a city of 1.2 million people, saves $357 million a year on health costs because something like 80 percent of its population commutes by bicycle, even in winter. That’s $300 per person per year. Clearly, the reason the new Danish minister of the interior said she’d “rather invest in cycle tracks than freeways,” is that only one of those has a positive return.

Monday, March 19, 2012

From the Netherlands to America

From the Netherlands to America: Translating the World's Best Bikeway Designs from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Good message....

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Excellent Video on Bike Theft....
Remember.....thieves won't be caught if you don't report them.
Also....it was interesting to note that it took 9 minutes to cut through the tougher U-shaped locks.
http://video.nytimes.com/video/2012/03/12/opinion/100000001423494/bike-thief.html

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cher the Road

Cher the Road....because bikes are out there all the time....not only when it's Sonny ;)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Our poll asking what kind of cyclist you are has closed and the results are:

#1 I have a bike for every occasion                   44%
#2 I don't know....as long as it has wheels         27%
#3 Road Bikes and Spandex all the way!          16%
#4 I believe bikes are for mountains                  11%

Participate in our new poll...Which type of bicycle facility would you prefer?

Bikes Belong

McMahonBicycle_2_619

Would you prefer to live in a community where you had to drive everywhere for everything, or would you prefer to live in a community where you could walk, ride a bicycle, take public transportation, or drive to get to where you want to go?
This question is at the heart of the current debate over how transportation funds will be spent over the next few years. The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted on February 2 to eliminate funding for nonmotorized transportation (e.g., bike paths and sidewalks) from the federal transportation bill working its way through Congress. The “wildly imbalanced transportation bill” also imperils federal support for public transportation systems.

Click here for the complete article

Thursday, February 23, 2012

BIKE TO WORK WEEK IS COMING....GET INVOLVED!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Ped/Bike Workshop with the Coeur d’Alene Mayor and City Council will be on Thursday, February 23rd in the Old City Council Chambers at City Hall. (710 Mullan Ave., CdA) It’s being held at noon.

This is a great opportunity to show our City Leaders just how important Ped/Bike infrastructure is to our community. So walk, pedal, or roll to this workshop and come be a part!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Not Every City Can Be the Most Bicycle-Friendly

Not Every City Can Be the 'Most Bicycle-Friendly'
A couple of weeks ago, Chicago transportation commissioner Gabe Klein mentioned to us that Mayor Rahm Emanuel had set a goal for his hometown to become the bike-friendliest city in America. This was right around the time Nate Berg reported on Long Beach, California, which is awkwardly planning to do the same.

A quick Internet search reveals that this is more than just a two-town contest. Portland, Oregon, and Minneapolis didn’t even realize other cities seriously thought they were in the running. Davis, California, already has the official motto on lock-down as “most bicycle friendly town in the world” (not to mention the most bicycle-friendly municipal logo). Boston is aiming for the slightly less measurable promise of becoming “the leading bike-friendly city.” Meanwhile, New Orleans also has its eye on the mantle. As do bike advocates in Buffalo, New York, Columbus, Ohio and Flagstaff, Arizona.

This is a great development for the U.S. bike scene. Nothing motivates Americans (and our elected officials) quite like the race to appear in a magazine as the “best” at something. Unfortunately, we can’t all be superlative at the exact same thing at the same time. And so as a public service to the collective imaginations of these and other cities out there, we thought we’d propose a couple of civic distinctions they could aspire to instead. In a world where it will hopefully soon no longer be so notable to befriend cyclists, who wants to fight for these titles?

1. Most Aging Baby-Boomer Friendly City in America. We imagine this would be a place where the public transit is extensive, the walkable one-bedroom housing is ample, the hospitals are superb and no one ever has to shovel the sidewalk.

2. Least Car-Friendly City. It’s one thing to embrace bikes. But are you willing to go all the way and shun cars? Jack up your meter rates, put all your downtown parking garages to more productive use and then accept the political fallout from publicly stating that your city is not meant for cars.

3. Most Solo-Friendly City. More and more Americans are living alone, and those who do don’t want to live in a place where people will look at them funny. In this city, single women don’t fear walking alone at night, there are more Trader Joe's than Costcos, and indoor stroller bans are socially acceptable.

4. Most Transparent City. This town would set national records for the fastest turn-around on FOIA requests, the deepest open-data website and the toughest protections for public access to government business.

5. Least Wasteful City. This title could be awarded to the town that produces the least trash per capita, with bonus points for the maximum use of innovative recycling.

6. Most Edible City. This would be the urban center that produces the largest share of its own food (and has the friendliest laws for doing so) – from rooftop gardens to public fruit trees to backyard chicken farms and bee hives.

7. America’s Best Prepared City for Climate Change. Obviously, the people in this city would first need to admit that climate change exists. Then they would invest actual resources and planning to make sure vulnerable infrastructure and local communities can withstand oddball weather, rising sea levels and strange migrating insects.

8. Least Unequal City. This motto would probably work better on a bumper sticker than “Most Equal City,” which we suspect would confuse folks. This is where the gulf between the highest and lowest earners (and the neighborhoods in which they live) is the smallest. It also may be where 100 percent of the people are in the 99 percent.

9. Hardest City in America To Find and Have a Smoke. We wanted to suggest a public-health honor, but "least obese city" seemed tacky. So this town is one where smokers are least welcome in public places, and where cigarettes are the most expensive to buy where you can find them.

10. America’s Safest City to Cross a Street on Foot. More than just a reflection of walkability, this superlative would also factor in degrees of locally specific aggressive driving behavior and relative ratios of car-on-pedestrian collisions.

Aspiring cities are invited to steal any of these (just please don't all reach for the same one).

by Emily Badger


Emily Badger is a contributing writer to The Atlantic Cities. She also writes for Miller-McCune, and her work has appeared in GOOD, The Christian Science Monitor, and The New York Times. She lives in Washington, D.C. All posts »

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Little Humor...

Brought to you via http://thehubofdetroit.org/

mmmmm.....pancakes!

Coexisting With Bicyclists: 10 Rules for Drivers


Bike Lane

Love Them or Hate Them, Cyclists Have Road Rights

Horrific accidents involving bicyclists and drivers have made headlines recently, including a 2010 collision between an SUV and a bicycle in Largo, Maryland. On the bike was 30-year-old law student and Green Party candidate Natasha Pettigrew. The driver thought she had struck a deer and kept driving, according to news reports. Pettigrew later died from the injuries.
Traffic accidents involving bicyclists and vehicles killed 630 people in the U.S. in 2009, the latest available figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Another 51,000 bicyclists were injured, sometimes critically.
Bicycling advocates say drivers can play a big role in reducing those grim statistics, paving the way for peaceful coexistence. It's a two-way street, of course. Bicyclists have responsibilities, just as drivers do.
For this story, Edmunds.com asked bicycling advocates, bicycling-accident attorneys and other experts to give their recommendations on how drivers can coexist more peacefully with bicyclists. In a companion story, we'll outline bicyclists' responsibilities. But for you drivers, here are our 10 rules of the road for driving near bicyclists.

For the complete article click here

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Two Wheels and High Heels

Ten lessons from the great cycling cities.
Kyoto
Kyoto

In the Seattle suburb where I grew up, the main transportation choice most residents face is what kind of car to buy. I moved to Seattle after college and, inspired by the “car-lite” lifestyles of several friends, decided to give cycling a try.

I fell in love with it. Urban cycling freed me from slow buses, parking meters, and mind-numbing elliptical machines. I arrived at work with more energy. I lost weight. I discovered charming neighborhood restaurants. I could smell fresh laundry and dinners in the oven while I pedaled home through residential streets. Getting from A to B on my bike became the best part of my day.
Recently, I won a fellowship and got to spend six months living life on two wheels in the world’s most bike-friendly cities. I brought home ten lessons, and thousands of photographs, for Cascadia:

1.) Its the infrastructure, stupid! Amazing infrastructure makes cycling normal and safe in bike meccas, but not yet in the Northwest. For example, parked cars to the left of the bike lane not only provide a barrier between motorized traffic and cyclists, they also minimize a cyclist’s chance of getting “doored.” Most cars in Denmark (pictured) only have one occupant, the driver, and drivers get out on the left. Same goes for the Northwest.

Click here for the entire article

Monday, February 13, 2012

Most Americans Want a Walkable Neighborhood, Not a Big House



The symbol of American success often involves having the biggest house possible, but our outsized fantasies seem to be shifting. According to a new survey, more than three quarters of us consider having sidewalks and places to take a walk one of our top priorities when deciding where to live. Six in 10 people also said they would sacrifice a bigger house to live in a neighborhood that featured a mix of houses, stores, and businesses within an easy walk.

For once, our preferences align with our impending reality; in the future, we may not have a choice whether or not to downsize our lifestyles. The housing bust exposed that the McMansion phenomenon is unsustainable, which has forced us to re-examine our priorities. In another study in 2010, the ideal number of square footage people desired for their houses dropped dramatically. It's becoming increasingly clear that the American dream of buying a big old house will need to be revised for the youngest generation.

Regardless of our financial situation, living in walkable areas is just better for us. There have been numerous studies concluding that suburban and rural lifestyles are actually less healthy than cities, while New York City, the mother of all walking cities, enjoys a record-high life expectancy. Urban planners are already trying to figure out ways to design suburbs that necessitate less driving. Things that are good for us all too often require a bit of sacrifice. But in this case, our ideal and our fate are perfectly in line.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dutch Kids Pedal Their Own Bus To School

Dutch Kids Pedal Their Own Bus To SchoolIn the Netherlands, bikes abound. And now, they even take kids to school. Behold, the bicycle school bus.

The Dutch are bicycle fanatics. Almost half of daily travel in the Netherlands is by bicycle, while the country’s bike fleet comfortably outnumbers its 16 million people. Devotees of the national obsession have taken the next logical step by launching what is likely the first bicycle school bus.
Built by Tolkamp Metaalspecials, and sold by the De Cafe Racer company, the bicycle school bus (BCO in Dutch) is powered entirely by children and the one adult driver (although there is an electric motor for tough hills). Its simple design has eight sets of pedals for the kids (ages 4 to 12), a driver seat for the adult, and three bench seats for freeloaders. The top speed is about 10 miles per hour, and features a sound system and canvas awning to ward off rainy days.
Co.Exist spoke with Thomas Tolkamp who built the BCO about its origins and how the idea is catching on around the world for the sets of 11 lucky kids who get to arrive in school pedaling their own school bus.
Co.Exist: What was the inspiration for the bus?
Tolkamp: I had already made other big bikes (like the Beerbikes) and a few years ago someone mailed me with the question if I could develop a bike especially for transporting kids. So for that other company (a child care) I made the first bicycle. Some other companies were also interested, so I began to produce more bicycles and have improved the bike.
How many of these have been sold? How many are in use?
We’ve sold around 25 bikes. They are still all in use, except for the very first one, which was a prototype.

Does it only come in yellow?
No, we’ve sold bicycles in green, blue, purple, grey, red, yellow, but all [standard] colors are available.

How much does it cost?
Around $15,000, so less than a taxi or normal bus.

Can the kids alone make it go?
It’s possible to ride the bike without the motor when most seats are in use, but it wouldn’t be safe to ride without an adult.

Do you have plans to export it?
We have already exported some bikes to Belgium and Germany, but not this kind of bike. We have gotten frequent requests for information about the bike from all around the world (North America, South America, Europe) but we’ve never sold a bike outside of Europe.

Do you think it will work well in other countries, or is it something special about the Dutch culture?
I don’t know really, but what I do know is that people from all around the world like the idea. We have gotten interest from the press all over the world and all people are positive.
I hope I can sell the bike in the near future to a foreign country and see how people at other countries react on the bike. I think it will work well in other countries, because as more and more people [are] becoming fat and "green living" becomes more important, ideas like this get more popular.

Hat tip: Yes! Magazine

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In Local News...

News Crashes that hurt one man and killed another in Spokane last weekend occurred as local authorities are working to emphasize pedestrian safety to motorists. Emphasis patrols today and next month in Cheney are part of an ongoing effort in Spokane County to reduce the number of pedestrians injured or killed by motorists each year. “We use it as an educational opportunity to make sure people really are being careful,” said Kim Papich, spokeswoman for the Spokane Regional Heath District, which sponsors the grant-funded patrols. “In Spokane, we have a big problem with failure to yield.”

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cycling Road Show

Monday, January 23, 2012

Some day....

This guy is great....

Sponsoring Real Riders

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Protected Bike Lanes....what a great idea!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wow....


Urban Tree to Bicycle from Spots Unknown on Vimeo.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Running Man

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Making Streets Safer with On-Street Bike Parking