Thursday, March 31, 2011

CCTA Welcomes Back Bikes on All LINK Buses

Contact: Rose Getch, Public Affairs & Marketing Manager
(802) 864-CCTA or
March 30, 2011 – The Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA) is pleased that the headlights on all of the LINK buses have been reconfigured so that bikes may once again ride the LINK buses to and from Middlebury, Montpelier, and Saint Albans.
“Safety comes first at CCTA, and when there is a concern, we take immediate action.”  says Peter Aube, Maintenance Manager.  “When the LINK bus drivers had an issue this past January with bike racks blocking the LINK headlights, we researched, reconfigured, and road tested until we were sure that the safety issue had been resolved.”
Walking or biking to and from the bus adds up to a great way to commute for work, play, or everyday appointments while decreasing carbon emissions and traffic congestion.  CCTA thanks you for making a difference when you choose to ride.
The mission of CCTA is to operate safe, convenient, accessible, innovative and sustainable public transportation services in the Chittenden County region that reduce congestion and pollution, encourage transit oriented development and enhance the quality of life for all.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Moving Beyond the Automobile: Highway Removal

In this week’s episode of “Moving Beyond the Automobile,” Streetfilms takes you on a guided tour of past, present and future highway removal projects with John Norquist of the Congress for the New Urbanism.
Some of the most well-known highway removals in America — like New York City’s West Side Highway and San Francisco’s Embarcadero Freeway — have actually been unpredictable highway collapses brought on by structural deficiencies or natural disasters. It turns out there are good reasons for not rebuilding these urban highways once they become rubble: They drain the life from the neighborhoods around them, they suck wealth and value out of the city, and they don’t even move traffic that well during rush hour.
Now several cities are pursuing highway removals more intentionally, as a way to reclaim city space for housing, parks, and economic development. CNU has designated ten “Freeways Without Futures” here in North America, and in this video, you’ll hear about the benefits of tearing down the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle, the Sheridan Expressway in the Bronx, the Skyway and Route 5 in Buffalo, and the Claiborne Expressway in New Orleans.
Streetfilms would like to thank The Fund for the Environment & Urban Life for making this series possible.

Biking to Work = Workplace wellness

From Chicago:
Covered previously on this blog, Grist's Elly Blue continues her series on the economics of bicycling with "Pedaling Away From the Healthcare Crisis."  The new column makes the case for active transportation as a large part of the answer to solving economic hardships stemming the nation's enormous healthcare costs. 
Fifteen percent of our entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) -- according to Grist -- is spent on healthcare.  And 20 percent of that goes to managing type 2 diabetes, alone. Yes, that's right, 3 percent of our GDP is spent on managing one chronic disease that is directly attributable to lack of exercise and poor diet.
That's as much as $400,000 in additional costs per sufferer, per lifetime. And that burden is borne by the providers, workplaces, and ultimately, you.
Those are sobering numbers. And yet, at the same time, it is an incredibly empowering realization.
Here's the good news: We can make a big dent in this trend by getting more people to use active transportation during their commute. 
You can get the ball rolling at your workplace by participating in Active Trans' Bicycle Commuter Challenge, which takes place during Bike to Work Week, June 11-17. Registration opens very soon; join us as a team leader during Bike to Work Week this year and show your colleagues how it's done. And if you are a CEO, department head, or human resources leader, consider giving your organization's team leader the full-weight of your support through promotions and incentives.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Free Webinar: Women Can Change the World Through Cycling

From the Alliance for Biking and Walking:
By Carolyn Szczepanski on March 25, 2011
Last year, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals jumpstarted a key discussion within the movement with its Women Cycling Project. In early 2010, more than 11,000 American women responded to APBP’s public survey, which gathered information on how much women ride, the barriers that keep them from pedaling and much more. Though the effort wasn’t a scientific survey, it yielded plenty of interesting and actionable data, including thousands of responses to open-ended questions like, “What would cause you to start or increase your cycling?”

Next week, APBP will release new insight and continue to explore this important topic with a free webinar: “Women Can Change the World Through Cycling.”

According to APBP: “This webinar builds on last year’s session, “Writing Women Back into Bicycling.” Five speakers offer compelling insights about cycling projects run by inspiring women, illuminate what women told APBP they want in a cycling environment, and suggest best practices to help you make a difference in your community. Don’t miss the stories of some of the wonderful women leading the cycling movement, and results of APBP’s 2010 survey on Women Cycling. APBP encourages individuals to gather colleagues and friends together to watch the webinar and discuss and plan afterwards. Build your team. Check out the Women Cycling Project here.”

Presenters include:

Andrea Garland, Alta Planning + Design, presents women’s viewpoints on three of the open-ended questions from the 2010 Women Cycling survey: “What would cause you to start or increase your cycling?”, “What reaction do you get when cycling for transportation?” and “Why do you use your bicycle for trips?”
Kristin Gavin founded the Gearing Up program in Philadelphia, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide women in transition from drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence and/or homelessness with the skills, equipment and guidance to safely ride a bicycle for exercise, transportation and personal growth.
Fionnuala Quinn, PE, Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling, offers up a brief history of APBP’s Women Cycling Project which she helped to inspire, points to resources we can use, and suggests next steps for the project.
Anna Sibley, Masters in Public Health candidate at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, summaries the results of the 2010 APBP Women Cycling Project and survey.
Carolyn Szczepanski, Communications Coordinator, Alliance for Biking & Walking, and columnist for Bicycling Times magazine, profiles some of the women leading the bicycling movement. Her talk is inspired by

Register now!
Free Webinar: Women Can Change the World through Cycling
Wednesday, March 30, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. EDT
Register here:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Here it is! Contribute to Burlington's Pothole Map

A big Thank You to Burlington resident Steve McIntyre! He created this public Google map of Burlington potholes. Please everyone, edit this map and add new locations and detailed descriptions as well as links to photos and videos.

View BTV Potholes in a larger map

Burlington cab companies threaten to leave city

Sitting in his cramped office on North Street, surrounded by hunting trophies that include a stuffed turkey, Yellow Cab Co. owner Larry Bushey insists that if the City Council makes good on its proposal to require meters in Burlington taxi cabs, he’ll abandon the city.
“I’m telling you right now, flat out, I will not run meters,” Bushey said Thursday.
He says he’ll be fine without Burlington, if it comes to that.
“I’ve been in this business since I had hair,” Bushey said. “I got my first cab license in 1976. All my adult life I’ve been in this, I know what I’m doing.”
The city began looking into taxi regulations two years ago, said City Councilman Vincent Dober, chairman of the License Committee, because of the volume of complaints it was seeing. A 43-page cab ordinance was sent by the council Monday night to the Ordinance Committee for further study that could last until June.
“I’ve been working on it for 18 months,” Dober said Thursday. “There’s not a company out there we don’t get complaints about.”
Paul Robar, who owns the other major taxi company operating 24/7 in Burlington, Benways Transportation, seconded Bushey’s threat to pull out.
“Everybody says, ‘You’re afraid of meters,’” Robar said. “I own 40 of them. A meter is nothing more than an instrument that measures distance and time and puts them into a calculation that comes up with money.”
Robar claims taxi customers will rue the day the city goes to metering because it will cost them.

In the zone 

Currently, charges are based on zones with minimum and maximum charges established by the city — flat rates that don’t vary according to what route a driver follows or whether a driver is sitting at a red light. With meters, Robar said, if he hits four red lights en route to a destination, the charges keep on mounting while he sits, as opposed to the flat rate, which remains the same no matter what.
According to Bushey, the problem is not with Yellow Cab or Benways, but with the independent drivers who have proliferated in the past five years or so. Robar says there are some 217 taxis plying the streets of Burlington today, compared to fewer than 100 a decade ago.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Your Opinion about Bicycle Parking at State Buildings

From VT Bike Ped Coalition / ORS

Hi Folks, we thought a few of you might want to weigh in on the bicycle discussion going on at the Statehouse right now. We just got this from the VT Bike Ped Coalition:
Rep. Jason Lorber (D-Burlington) is working with the VBPC to pass a bicycle parking bill (H.307).  Rep. Lorber needs to hear from bicyclists so that he can demonstrate to fellow members of the House Institutions Committee that, indeed, good quality bicycle parking for employees and visitors should be provided at state buildings.  The House Institutions Committee is expected to act very soon.  An email message from you sent asap to Rep. Lorber is key to advancing this bill into law.
If you are a resident of Burlington, your message at this time would be especially helpful.
Please send a message to and include your full name and town of residence.  List H.307 in the subject line and cc A short message expressing your support for H.307 is sufficient.  The actual bill can be found here:
Please forward this message to other members of the bicycling community.  Thank you.
Nancy Schulz
Executive Director

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

City's design, transit system can ease gas costs

By Larry Copeland, USA TODAY

Some cities in the USA are better positioned to deal with rising gas prices than others because of their design and transit systems, according to a national non-profit group that works to build stronger cities.

The key factor: whether residents have to drive everywhere, or have other options.
That's according to CEOs for Cities, a Chicago-based network of civic, business, academic and philanthropic leaders seeking to build and sustain stronger cities for the future. Researchers analyzed federal government data on vehicle miles traveled in 51 metropolitan areas that have at least 1 million residents.
It's a timely analysis: Gas prices have eased a bit in the past few days — to a national average of $3.60 for a gallon of regular unleaded Monday — but they are still 28% higher than a year ago.
The average American driver logs 25 miles per day. Motorists in compactly developed cities that have extensive transit systems can drive nearly 50% less.
The way to cut back on driving miles in a city isn't by reducing commutes, says Carol Coletta, president and CEO of the group.
"What adds up is all those small trips, which are much shorter and not as necessary," she says. "The question is, how do we make the city a place where we don't have to drive as much or as often?"
Edward McMahon, an expert on sustainable development at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Washington, D.C., says the analysis confirms a study done in 2009 on the relationship between urban design and driving.
"Most trips in a car are not back and forth to work," he says. "Most trips — 80% to 85% — are lifestyle trips to the movies, the grocery store, taking the kids to school, and so on. What we found is if you live in a community where you can walk, ride a bike, take a short trip, those savings start to add up really quickly."
McMahon says ULI examined automobile usage trends in two Maryland cities: Bethesda, a mixed-use community with transit, and Germantown, a traditional car-oriented suburb. "We found that in Bethesda, about 75% of trips during the day were in fact on city transit," he says. "In Germantown, 90% of all trips were by car."
Cities where people drive less tend to do well in three essential areas, Coletta says:
 Land use. People running errands, such as to buy milk, can walk instead of getting in the car and having to park, Coletta says.
 Urban design. Sidewalks or bike trails are designed in such a way that people want to walk.
 Transportation. The public transportation network is extensive enough that residents have choices.
CEOs for Cities estimates that if every driver in those 51 metro areas cut their driving by just 1 mile a day, the savings on gas and other costs would total $29 billion a year.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Drowsy driving a risk to everyone on the road

Does this sound familiar?  You're driving on a quiet stretch of highway.  Your eyelids start drooping.  You blink hard to keep your eyes focused.  Your head begins to nod, and you snap it up into position.  Yet you continue driving, thinking you can manage your obvious fatigue.
This is drowsy driving, and it is a danger to everyone on the road.
According to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2009, drowsy driving crashes injured more than 30,000 people.  And, because police can't always determine with certainty when driver fatigue causes a crash, the actual number may be higher
.At the Department of Transportation, safety is our number one priority.  We have worked hard to reduce the risks of fatigue among airline pilots, commercial drivers, and rail and transit operators.  But we also recognize that drowsy driving is a problem for the rest of us on America's roads.
And we are working hard to make our roads safer.
Innovations introduced by our Federal Highway Administration have already helped.  Continuous shoulder rumble strips and raised lane dividers alert drivers when their vehicles drift.  Cable barriers reduce the risk of collisions. 
And a new approach called Safety Edge will help even more.  This approach paves the edge of a road at an angle of 30 degrees instead of 90 degrees.  This more gradual separation allows a driver whose car has drifted to steer the vehicle back onto the roadway more safely.
Our National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also entered into a cooperative agreement with a group of automakers to help develop vehicle-to-vehicle communications.  With features like Forward Collision Warning, Lane Change Assist, and Advanced Object Detection, vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems can alert drivers to potentially critical situations. 
This technology holds great promise for increasing driver awareness and safety.
These technological advances to our roads and vehicles are terrific, but we can't win this fight withoutsafer drivers. So please, when you are feeling fatigued, don't pick up your keys

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rapha will match your donations for Japan!


Donate HERE
Rapha is organizing a series of world wide charity rides in order to help the victims of the worst disaster in Japan since World War 2.
Make a donation (minimum $10), and Rapha will match your amount.
Japan will lead the way in at least four different locations with a printed black ribbon on our sleeves.
You can also search for your ride in your region with the Rapha Rendezvous iPhone app.

Bikes are back on the LINK Buses!

As of March 7th the CCTA LINK buses do allow you to bring your bike on the bus again. Here is the most recent notice from CCTA:

Until further notice, due to safety concerns, restrictions regarding transporting bikes on LINK buses (Middlebury, Montpelier, & St. Albans) are as follows:
  1. If you are boarding an AM LINK trip and it is still dark, you may notbring your bike.
  2. If you are boarding an AM Link trip and it is no longer dark (after sunrise), you may bring your bike.
  3. If you are boarding a MID-DAY trip, you may bring your bike.
  4. If you are boarding a PM LINK trip, you may not bring your bike.
  5. FYI, short-term bike lockers are available in the Winooski Ave. parking garage.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bike Share Program is coming to UVM Burlington!

Good news for Burlington students: UVM's Bicycle Users Group (B.U.G.) is planning on launching its long-awaited bike share program from the UVM Campus this week! 

Here is an older excerpt from 's FAQ site:

UVM strongly supports bicycle and pedestrian mobility. The University already takes significant measures to promote these forms of transportation, along with mass transit, by limiting its amount of automobile infrastructure and pricing it accordingly; providing student, faculty, and staff with free CCTA bus passes; investing in efficient compressed natural gas CATS shuttles; and providing numerous bike racks for cyclists. We also realize that more can be done to improve the bike and pedestrian experience on campus. While the Office of Sustainability recognizes the benefits of a bike sharing program, it also recognizes the need for bike sharing to be integrated with a comprehensive campus bike and pedestrian plan, which in turn must be integrated with a municipal plan from the City of Burlington. Some of the current challenges facing cycling as a serious mode of transportation in Burlington are its hilly topography, its cold climate, and Burlington’s lack of a safe, extensive cycling infrastructure throughout the majority of the city. Communities with bike sharing have generally waited until the safety and infrastructure was already in place before starting their programs; those dealing with cold weather suspend their programs during the Winter; and all bike sharing programs—especially those in communities with lots of hills—use trucks to constantly recirculate bikes to match the needs and riding patterns of their users.

Burlington Bicycle Coalition looking for your support

The BBC is looking for enthusiastic bikers who want to work with the many bike groups in Burlington to organize events, and to help communications between the groups. Did you love the Halloween ride? Want more? Have ideas? 
Contact them HERE.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dangerous By Design

Not directly Vermont-related: From

In the last 15 years, more than 76,000 Americans have been killed while crossing or walking along a street in their community. More than 43,000 Americans – including 3,906 children under 16 – have been killed this decade alone. This is the equivalent of a jumbo jet going down roughly every month, yet it receives nothing like the kind of attention that would surely follow such a disaster.
Children, the elderly, and ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented in this figure, but people of all ages and all walks of life have been struck down in the simple act of walking. These deaths typically are labeled “accidents,” and attributed to error on the part of motorist or pedestrian. In fact, however, an overwhelming proportion share a similar factor: They occurred along roadways that were dangerous by design, streets that were engineered for speeding cars and made little or no provision for people on foot, in wheelchairs or on a bicycle.
While it is still unnecessarily dangerous for pedestrians to walk, health experts are making the case that it can be just as deadly not to walk. Even as these preventable deaths mount, there has been a growing recognition that walking and bicycling – what many now refer to as “active transportation” – are critical to increasing levels of healthy exercise and reducing obesity and heart disease.
At the same time, it has become increasingly clear that these clean, human-powered modes of transportation are an essential part of efforts to limit the negative impacts of traffic congestion, oil dependency and climate change. In recent years, community after community has begun to retrofit poorly designed roads to become complete streets, adding sidewalks and bicycle lanes, reducing crossing distances and installing trees and crosswalks to make walking and biking safer and more inviting. The resulting safer streets have saved the lives of both pedestrians and motorists even as they promote health by leading many residents to become more physically active.
There still is a long way to go to repair the damage done to communities in the past, even as we begin to shift policies and design philosophy to build streets that are safer for pedestrians and motorists alike. However, there are a growing number of excellent models to build on and thousands of communities eager to move forward. The forthcoming rewrite of the nation’s transportation policy presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create safer streets that will be critical to keeping our neighborhoods livable, our population more fit and our nation less dependent on foreign oil.

Ban Cell phones while driving, make helmets for motorcyclists the law, survey says

From Sevendays:
With 34 towns reporting and 3587 votes tallied, the 2011 Town Meeting Survey results were released this week by Sen. Bill Doyle (R-Washington).
Doyle has conducted this unscientific survey of residentsacross Vermont for more than 40 years, and said this year's 13 questions included what he believes to be a record number of "new" queries. In past years, Doyle has tended to rely on very similar questions. This year, several politicians, and members of the public, asked him to put specific items on the survey ballot.
Big winners from this year's survey are: expanding the bottle bill, keeping the state's motorcycle helmet law intact and,  once again, banning the use of cellphones will driving. Those who filled out the survey also said there should be tougher penalties for repeat DUI offenders.
By a slight margin, those who filled out the survey said that Vermont Yankee should not have its license renewed in 2012, and that people should not be mandated to buy health insurance.

Of those surveyed, 46 percent have "confidence" in Gov. Peter Shumlin, while 28 percent did not. Another 25 percent weren't sure.
Here are the results (so far):
1. Should  Vermont Yankee's license be renewed in 2012?
Yes: 1441 (40%)
No: 1681 (47%)
Unsure: 429 (12%)
2. Should drivers be prohibited from using cellphones while driving?
Yes: 2749 (77%)
No: 630 (18%)
Unsure: 177 (5%)
3. Should Vermont legalize physician-assisted suicide?
Yes: 1906 (53%)
No: 1194 (33%)
Unsure: 464 (13%)
4. Should Vermont have a four-year term for governor?
Yes: 2147 (60%)
No: 1021 (28%)
Unsure: 385 (11%)
5. Should there be a mandatory minimum sentence for repeat DUI offenders?
Yes: 2733 (76%)
No: 477 (13%)
Unsure: 343 (10%)
6. Should Vermonters be required to buy health insurance?
Yes: 1123 (31%)
No: 1720 (48%)
Unsure: 682 (19%)
7. Do you have confidence in Governor Shumlin?
Yes: 1654 (46%)
No: 1000 (28%)
Unsure: 901 (25%)
8. Should Vermont continue to require the use of motorcycle helmets?
Yes: 3273 (91%)
No: 228 (6%)
Unsure: 68 (2%)
9. Should law enforcement personnel be permitted to use Tasers?
Yes: 1790 (50%)
No: 1048 (29%)
Unsure: 716 (20%)
10. Should Vermont's legislature encourage bicycling and walking?
Yes: 2598 (72%)
No: 631 (18%)
Unsure: 284 (8%)
11. Should Vermont's bottle deposit law be expanded to include all bottled beverages?
Yes: 2814 (78%)
No: 499 (14%)
Unsure: 252 (7%)
12. Are you willing to pay more for locally grown food?
Yes: 2386 (67%)
No: 834 (23%)
Unsure: 317 (9%)
13. In order to encourage wind, solar and other renewable energy sources, are you willing to pay higher prices?
Yes: 1701 (47%)
No: 1324 (37%)
Unsure: 510 (14%)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Storm challenges Burlington street-clearing crews

From Burlington Free Press
Patrick Giroux (left) and Ezat Mullis help push Tracy Hatin's car out of the snow on Decatur Street as Burlington digs out of a massive snowstorm.
BURLINGTON -- The full fleet of Burlington’s snow-removal equipment is struggling to keep pace with today’s storm, said Director of Public Works Steve Goodkind at 10:30 a.m.Fast-falling snow, relatively warm temperatures, combined with an icy underlay, has rendered conditions “extremely slippery” on city roads — which have slowed plowing efforts, he continued. 

“Everything's rolling. But even our largesttrucks are having some problems moving through this,” he said. 

Sunday night plow crews faced a more-than-usual number of vehicles bucking the parking ban — because tow trucks’ progress was slowed, Goodkind continued: “The wreckers couldn’t move.” 

Snow banks remaining from the last large storm added to the apparent magnitude of accumulation. Plowing will raise and widen those roadside mounds, and slow the progress of sidewalk clearing, he added. 

Salt will not be applied until the storm slows, and plows are able to scrape more snow from road surfaces, Goodkind said.