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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rear-end collisions cause a huge number of cyclist deaths


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Would Protected Bike Lanes Encourage You to Bike More?

This article was originally published in the May-June 2014 issue of Arlington’s The Citizen.)

In the last few years, bike-lane design has seen big changes in cities across the United States.

The most notable change is the emergence of protected bike lanes. This relatively simple layout option is based on the concept that streets should be designed for safe use by all people – not just for cars – and that physical separation is the best way to accomplish this.

Since Arlington, Virginia is committed to a Complete Streets policy (streets should be planned, designed, operated, and maintained for all users) and providing safe streets for a broad range of users, protected bike lanes are a perfect fit!

What is a protected bike lane?
Protected bike lanes, also known as cycletracks, green lanes, and separated bike lanes, go above and beyond the painted bike lanes that we typically see on Arlington streets and provide physical separation between people on bikes and motor vehicles. The separation can be provided in a number of ways, including:
  • Plastic bollards or “flex posts”
  •  Landscaping and large planters
  • Curbs
  • Car parking
There are some examples nearby in the District of Columbia, such as 15th Street, which uses car parking as the separator, and L Street which uses plastic bollards. There are many other successful examples around the country, including in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Austin, Memphis, and Indianapolis.

Why do we need them?

Protected bike lanes are a big upgrade over traditional painted bike lanes because they provide all road users with more confidence and reassurance. This is especially important to the many people that fall into the large “interested but concerned” category (see graphic at right and click on it to zoom in).

They go a long way towards making getting around by bike a realistic option for the majority of people, including those who are not experienced cyclists.

Protected bike lanes contribute to making our streets safer, calmer, easier to understand, and more useable for people from age 8 to 80. You shouldn’t have to be young, brave and athletic to get from A to B on a bike.

Well-designed protected bike lanes have also been shown to create more order and predictability on the streets. Cyclists tend to behave themselves and do a better job of following the rules when they are using properly designed and separated facilities. Drivers also appreciate a sense of order and clarity that the separation provides. In fact, recent studies from New York and Chicago found that adding protected bike lanes had little to no effect on vehicle travel time.

In Arlington, there is a great framework of off-street trails for biking and walking, but the trails can’t go everywhere. Protected bike lanes bring the separated trail-like experience to the streets and extend the network of comfortable, easy-to-use bike facilities to more places that people want to go.

Protected bike lanes are good for the local economy. Money talks – so this is a benefit of protected bike lanes that everyone can appreciate. Recent studies by the New York City Department of Transportation and the Clean Air Partnership show that when an area becomes more bikeable and walkable, there is an economic boost to local business. Local stores become more accessible and appealing, plus saving on gas and parking costs means people have a few extra dollars to spend. Companies like to locate in areas that are walk- and bike-friendly because it improves their ability to recruit and maintain talented employees. In general, protected bike lanes are quality-of-life improvements for everyone, and this leads to a strong local economy.

On top of all that, Arlington needs protected bike lanes because people want them – even the drivers! BikeArlington recently went out into the community to interview drivers and ask them what they think of all the cyclists in Arlington. What we heard repeatedly was “I think it’s great, they just need their own space.” Protected bike lanes do this, to the benefit of all road users.

What are Arlington’s plans for protected bike lanes?
The first protected bike lanes in Arlington County are planned for the Crystal City area. These include Eads Street (you can also take a survey about the project here), Hayes Street, Clark Street, and Army Navy Drive. They will be carefully studied to evaluate their impact on safety, the local economy, traffic flow, and mode choice (drive, transit, bike, or walk). If the results are favorable, expect to see more protected bike lanes on county streets in upcoming years.

If you can ride a bike, you should be able to use that bike to get around, go shopping, go to school, go to work or run errands easily and comfortably. Protected bike lanes help make this possible for more people. Look for them coming soon to an Arlington street near you.
Conventional Bike Lane. Only a painted white line separates cyclists from moving vehicles. Adjacent parked cars create a dangerous door zone.

 Protected bike lanes. Physical separation between cyclists and moving vehicles, in this case by planters and parked cars.

Click here for the original article

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What If You Behaved Like an Obnoxious Road Hog at the Supermarket?

I've often thought "what if people acted like drivers when standing in a line for the movies...tailgating, honking, yelling, cutting, etc?" I always assumed they would get punched. This Norwegian PSA speaks to that message...without the punching.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


May 16, 2014
Michael Andersen, Green Lane Project staff writer
Modern bike lanes call for modern reference guides.
With so many different methods being used to physically separate bike and auto traffic, the tradeoffs can seem countless. That's where this infographic comes in. One part inspiration and two parts catalog, it's intended for anyone who wants to quickly get up to speed on the most popular tricks being used by cities around the world to improve bike lanes.

Feel free to share or republish this image in any way you'd like.
It's based primarily on research by Austin engineer Nathan Wilkes, whose work on this issue we published in March in the form of a less web-friendly (but much more detailed) spreadsheet.
Some details  to keep in mind: first, there's judgment wiggle room in a lot of these ratings, especially the one for aesthetics. Your mileage may vary, in large part based on what a street looks like. Also, the cost figures include various assumptions. You can learn more about each by downloading Wilkes's full spreadsheet and clicking the "cost estimates" tab. You can also download a print-quality PDF of this infographic and hang it to your cubicle wall. As cities everywhere prepare to install more of these, would there be any better way to proclaim the nature of your infrastructural nerdiness? We submit to you that there is not.
The Green Lane Project is a PeopleForBikes program that helps U.S. cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets. You can follow us on Twitter or Facebook or sign up for our weekly news digestabout protected bike lanes. Story tip? Write michael@peopleforbikes.org.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Coeur d'Alene's First On Street Bike Parking Corral

Coeur d'Alene has it's first Bicycle Parking Corral! It's located in front of Calypso's on E Lakeside Ave between 1st and 2nd street.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why cyclists should be able to roll through stop signs and ride through red lights

Cyclists reading this might be nodding guiltily in recognition of their own behavior. Drivers might be angrily remembering the last biker they saw flout the law, wondering when traffic police will finally crack down and assign some tickets.
But the cyclists are probably in the right here. While it's obviously reckless for them to blow through an intersection when they don't have the right of way, research and common sense say that slowly rolling through a stop sign on a bike shouldn't be illegal in the first place.
Some places in the US already allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yields, and red lights as stop signs, and these rules are no more dangerous — and perhaps even a little safer — than the status quo.

This is called the "Idaho stop"

There are already a few places in the US that allow cyclists some flexibility in dealing with stop signs and red lights. Idaho has permitted it since 1982, which is why this behavior is known as the Idaho stop.

Idaho's rule is pretty straightforward. If a cyclist approaches a stop sign, he or she needs to slow down and look for traffic. If there's already a pedestrian, car, or another bike there, then the other vehicle has the right of way. If there's no traffic, however, the cyclist can slowly proceed. Basically, for bikers, a stop sign is a yield sign.
If a cyclist approaches a red light, meanwhile, he or she needs to stop fully. Again, if there's any oncoming traffic or a pedestrian, it has the right of way. If there's not, the cyclist can proceed cautiously through the intersection. Put simply, red light is a stop sign.
This doesn't mean that a cyclist is allowed to blast through an intersection at full speed — which is dangerous for pedestrians, the cyclist, and pretty much everyone involved. This isn't allowed in Idaho, and it's a terrible idea everywhere.
For the entire Article click here

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bike to Work Week

We are halfway through Bike to Work Week!!!
Still more upcoming events

Bike to Work Week 2014
will start Monday, May 12th and end Saturday, May 17th
Monday the 12th: Kick-Off Ride. We will meet at 7:30am in the Home Depot Parking Lot and ride down Government Way to City Hall, where we will gather for coffee and doughnuts to talk about the upcoming bike events.
Wednesday the 14th: Moonlight Ride. We will meet at Vertical Earth on Sherman Avenue at 8pm and ride out on the Centennial Trail to Higgins Point and back. We will gather at Moontime afterwards for refreshments. Bring a bike light and wear reflective clothing.
Thursday the 15th: Beer Tasting and a Movie. We will meet at Pilgrims market for beer tasting and a movie about cycling. Beer tasting starts at 6:00pm and the movie starts at 6:30pm.
Saturday the 17th: Roots Pursuit & Awards Ceremony. The event begins at the Community Garden on the corner of 10th and Foster Ave at 10am. After party and awards are from Noon to 2pm. PRIZES AND GIVE-A-WAYS TO PARTIPANTS!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bike Enthusiasts Unite!

Imagine waking up, enjoying a cup of coffee and a hearty breakfast, then strapping on a helmet and jumping on your bike for a nice commute to work. The sun is shining as you wave to the shop owners opening up for business. You look at all the disgruntled drivers stopping and going at every light, rushing to work while you pedal along unwittingly invigorating your body for the day ahead. This has been my experience on many occasions but with few options to avoid speeding traffic and the constant worry of being pegged by a texting driver (ashamed to admit I’m guilty) many would-be bicycle commuters defect to gas guzzling, fury invoking, automobile travel.

Well Stuck in North Idaho fans, I am pleased to announce that there is a bike group gaining some momentum in Coeur d’Alene. Their call sign Bike CDA, ringing out like a manifesto to the wellness warriors such as myself. I met with this group on Saturday morning at Calypso’s. The congregation was filled with bikers of all sorts. Mountain bikers, road riders, beach cruisers and pub crawlers. And the person who is bringing everyone together for the cause of making Coeur d’Alene more bike friendly happens to be one of our city’s finest, John Kelly.

I sat down with John at Java Monday and we discussed what it takes for a community to make a social movement, such as alternative transportation, a reality. The idea is connectivity, creating corridors for bikers to commute and then having a place to store your bike safely when you get to your destination. It’s a complex task indeed because of the logistics of connecting say Coeur d’Alene to Hayden. The challenge is getting all the respective cities on the same page. Now to be honest local government is a bit over my head but I believe we can still make a difference just by joining the conversation and being heard.

Coeur d’Alene is my home and I love it here. I can’t help but feel we are on the brink of something really big that will create opportunities for local entrepreneurs, develop safe routes for bikers and reduce the amount of car traffic.  So what I’m really saying is that I endorse Bike CDA and I encourage all Stuck in North Idaho followers to find out more about them whether you are a bike enthusiast or not.
  • Kyle
Update: You can check out more information about Bike Cd’A via this Cd’A Press story, on their website or this article from Coeur d’Alene Living Local

For the original article with pictures (since blogger isn't letting me upload pictures lately) click here.

Monday, May 5, 2014


National Bike Month

May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.
Promotional materials for National Bike Month are now available to use! Click here.
Whether you bike to work or school; ride to save money or time; pump those pedals to preserve your health or the environment; or simply to explore your community, National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride.

As a national sponsor, the League provides resources to help you plan an event in your area, and each year the number and diversity of Bike Month celebrations continues to grow, accelerating the momentum around bicycling nationwide.
And don’t forget: May is the start of the National Bike Challenge; learn more here.

For the originating page click here