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Friday, January 29, 2016

Polka Dots Help Pedestrians Reclaim Space in Austin

Image City of Austin
City of Austin

From CityLab

One of the busiest intersections in Austin, Texas, has gotten a makeover. White stripes adorn the barren pavement that once made pedestrians hesitant to cross, poles separate pedestrian space from the roadways, and stop signs now sit at every corner. Then there are all the polka dots, painted in green and baby blue.
They aren’t there just for decoration, says Anna Martin, traffic engineer for theAustin Transportation Department. The whimsical polka dots at the corner of East 6th and Waller Streets in East Austin are curb extensions, or “bulb outs,” designed to “give space back to the pedestrians.” Evenings and on weekends, the area, known for its walkability and bustling night life, is teeming with people.
Yet residents have complained that the intersection there is anything but friendly to pedestrians due to a lack of crosswalks or measures to slow down traffic. This specific intersection has seen dozens of crashes in 2015, according to local news channel KXAN.

(City of Austin)
In response, the city council decided to install four-way stop signs and dedicate what Martin calls “wasted no-man’s land” to pedestrians. But instead of building out the curb with concrete, Martin says they opted for a low-cost option using what they already had handy. And instead of regular white paint, they took colorful inspiration from various parklet and pedestrian plaza projects in New York City and Los Angeles.
The blue and green dots Austin is using, she adds, clearly define the pedestrian space, and they stand out just enough to make drivers slow down without causing a distraction. The upgrades debuted Wednesday, and so far the feedback has been positive.
“It's a testament to the character and energy of Austin,” says Marissa Monroy, public relations specialist for the city of Austin. “People are really excited to see a project that emphasizes safety but, at the same time, really shows that we like to have a little bit of fun.“

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

10th St Accessible Non-Motorized Launch and Water Trail

The City of Coeur d’Alene is in the process of applying for Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant funds through the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.  The proposed project is located at the City-owned East Tubbs Hill Park property.  The scope of the project includes installing an accessible non-motorized watercraft launch, a walk-in non-motorized watercraft launch, an unloading area, and a water trail for non-motorized craft users around Tubbs Hill.  The project will complement the Tom McTevia memorial area planned in this area.  To comment on the project proposal or for further information, contact Bill Greenwood at the Coeur d’Alene Parks Department at (208)769-2251 or bgreenwood@cdaid.org.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Adaptive Mountain Bike Trails

This is really cool. Should we be next to build one?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

New Shoes (or Bikes)

New Shoes

Sometimes my non-bikey friends don’t quite understand my bike obsession.
New Shoes
So I have to find ways to make it relatable to those not as familiar with the lifestyle.

New Shoes
I find it makes more sense to compare bikes to shoes than cars or household appliances like vacuum cleaners. Shoe obsessions are very relatable.
New Shoes
And both bikes and shoes are very useful for getting around. Cars and vacuum cleaners, not so much.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Around the World on a Bike

BACK STORY He didn’t take a giant leap for mankind, but Thomas Stevens took a giant spin, becoming the first person to complete a trip around Earth by bicycle, on this day in 1887. Considering that 71 percent of the planet’s surface is covered with water, an explanation is in order. Mr. Stevens moved to the United States from England in the 1870s. He bought his first bicycle, a penny-farthing with one large wheel, in San Francisco and dreamed of becoming the first person to cross America on a bicycle.When he felt ready, he donned a jacket that doubled as a tent and headed for the East Coast on April 22, 1884. He made it to Boston 103 days later. Plans for a global journey began to take shape. The next spring, Mr. Stevens started in England and headed east through Europe and the Ottoman Empire. He continued on to Persia, Afghanistan, India, China and Japan, before returning to San Francisco. Throughout the trip, he sent letters to Harper’s Magazine, which were compiled in the best-selling two-volume book “Around the World on a Bicycle.” But wait: How did he make it across two oceans? He was a passenger on steam ships. It is not known if he rode his bike on deck. Victoria Shannon contributed reporting.