Monday, February 27, 2012

Video: National Bike Summit in DC - March 20-22 2012

Save the date and REGISTER TODAY FOR THE
NATIONAL BIKE SUMMIT in Washington DC. 


Storm causes havoc on Vermont roads

From Burlington Free Press

Vermont State Police in Middlesex reported multiple accidents related to the snowstorm that hit the state.
One state police cruiser with its blue lights flashing was parked on the side of Vermont 100 in Waitsfield when it was struck Saturday as a trooper tried to assist another motorist who had gone off the road, Sgt. Michael Kamerling said.
Cameron Nevin, 20, of Moretown received a civil ticket for driving at an unreasonable speed under poor weather conditions, which included snow and ice covered roads, Kamerling said.
Earlier in the day, Mary Sheehan, 67, of Danvers, Mass., was eastbound on Vermont 17 in Fayston when she lost control of her car. It went off the right side of the road by German Flats Road, rolled down an embankment and onto the ice of the Mad River, Sgt. Ray LeBlanc said.
Rescue people pulled Danvers and a juvenile passenger from the car. They were taken by Mad River Valley Ambulance to Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin for precautionary reasons and later released, LeBlanc said.
In a third crash, Todd Cassell, 37, of Middlesex sustained possible neck and back injuries in a crash on Center Road in Middlesex and was taken to Central Vermont Medical Center following a crash during the snowstorm Friday, Trooper Michael Muise said.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

SB Residents Seek to Transform Williston Road

From Local Motion

On a rainy February night,  10 visionary  South Burlington residents gathered at Rick Hubbard’s house to consider a big idea.  They want to turn a four lane section of Williston Road into a three lane ‘complete street’.
Williston Road will be repaved this summer and residents want to have the City try aComplete Street demonstration.  Between Hinesburg Road (Rt 116) and Ace Hardware (past the Airport), the proposed design would take the 4 lane road and turn it into a 3 lane road with two bike lanes.  If the demonstration 3 lane design works (two travel lanes and a center two-way turn lane), the City of South Burlington will be able to create a much safer pedestrian culture along the road as well.
Amazingly, 3 lane reconfigurations can handle nearly as much traffic as their four lane predecessors — with greater safety for all modes.   Essex Junction has had a success with their reconfiguration of Route 15 by the Fairgrounds and Burlington has had its success with Colchester Avenue.  This is South Burlington’s first attempt at such a reconfiguration.
Many of the attendees lived in the Williston Road neighborhood and they want to figure out how to make the road more friendly to those who live nearby.
Are you South Burlington resident?  Get involved!  Attend the Tuesday, February 21st South Burlington City Council meeting at Marcotte Central School.
For more information, contact Rick Hubbard.

Take Action Again -- Nation's Transit, Bike and Walk Funding On Chopping Block

Local Motion Members, we need you to maintain pressure on Congress for a smart, modern transportation bill. Both chambers of Congress are moving towards floor debates on their versions of the bill, so we are again asking you to take action.
Over 40 sidewalk, trail and complete streets projects get federal funding across Vermont each year.  The proposed bills would terminate the programs that fund these projects.
Contact your Representative and Senators today and ask them to save our streets. Take Action Now!

SENATE: Support the bipartisan Cardin-Cochran amendment
As written, the Senate’s transportation bill removes dedicated funding for walking and biking and allows state DOTs to opt-out of safe street programs. The bipartisan Cardin-Cochran amendment ensures local governments can fund walking and biking infrastructure.
Tell your senators:
  • Local governments deserve a voice in transportation. The Cardin-Cochran amendment ensures that cities and counties have a voice in making transportation decisions for safer streets in their communities.
  • Safety matters. Bicycle and pedestrian deaths make up 14% of all traffic fatalities, but only 1.5% of federal funds go towards making walking and biking safer. These programs provide funding for sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways that make streets safe for all users.
  • Active transportation is a wise investment. Walking and biking infrastructure is low-cost, creates more jobs per dollar than any other kind of highway spending, and is critical to economic development for main street America.
Email your Senators here or...
Call Senator Bernie Sanders' Office:             (202) 224-5141      
Call Senator Patrick Leahy's Office:             (202) 224-4242      

HOUSE:  Say “NO” to H.R. 7
On the other side of Congress, the House is about to consider a transportation bill that reverses 20 years of progress in making streets safer for people. Despite the fact that walking and biking make up 12% of trips but receive only 1.5% of federal funding, the House bill eliminates dedicated funding for walking and biking. It’s time to defeat this bill.
Tell your representative:
  • HR 7 takes us back to the 1950s. HR 7 takes us back to a 1950s system by eliminating dedicated funding for biking and walking AND kicking   transit out of the highway trust fund. We need a transportation bill to meet 2012 needs, not 1950 needs.
  • HR 7 doesn’t invest wisely. Federal transportation laws should invest our finite resources in cost-effective, efficient infrastructure solutions that create jobs and keep the economy moving. The House bill eliminates walking and biking, despite the fact that walking and bicycling infrastructure is low-cost and creates more jobs per dollar than any other kind of highway funding.
  • HR 7 makes streets more dangerous for kids. By repealing the successful and effective Safe Routes to School program, the House bill makes the streets more dangerous for kids on their walks and bike rides to school.
Call Representative Welch's Office:             (202)225-4115      
Want to know more about transit cuts?  Read this. Congress needs to know that that finding effective, efficient transportation solutions to keep people safe on the streets should be a national priority. Please contact your representative and senators today.

More drivers than ever may pay $5 per gallon

From the Burlington Free Press

More drivers than ever could soon be paying $5 for a gallon of gasoline. And the national average, up sharply in recent weeks, is likely to top out at about $4.
Rising oil prices, lower refining capacity, Middle East tension and speculators are propelling prices. The spike in crude, now at nine-month highs, has driven regular gas to a record February high of $3.61 a gallon — up 42 cents over a year ago.
Motorists along both coasts are paying more: an average $4.14 in California and nearly $3.90 a gallon in New York.
Taxes, shipping and regional formulations make gas even pricier in some regions.
Florida drivers are paying $5.89 a gallon near Disney World, while gas at some Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles stations is up to $4.85.
"I don't foresee any situation — even a worsening crisis in Iran — that results in $5 a gallon gas nationally," said Patrick DeHaan of price-tracker gasbuddy.com. "You're going to see hot spots … that push prices towards $5, but the national range will be $3.75 to $4.15."
Typically, prices climb through Memorial Day. Increased pain at the pump is already heightening fears that consumer spending will slow, derailing the economic recovery. Prices hit a record $4.11 a gallon in July 2008.
Hoping to ease griping over a hot button issue in an election year, President Obama said Thursday that there are no quick, easy fixes and ridiculed any Republican plan for "$2 gas."
"Step one is to drill, and step two is to drill, and step three is to keep drilling," Obama told a University of Miami crowd. "The American people aren't stupid. They know that's not a plan, especially since we're already drilling. That's a bumper sticker."
Speculative frenzy, driven by mounting tensions in Iran, adds $15 to $20 crude oil costs, said Oppenheimer industry analyst Fadel Gheit. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate is now at $107.83 a barrel, its highest since May.
Consumers are already reacting. Over the past month, consumption fell 1.4% to the lowest since April 1997, the Energy Department said.
High prices will continue slicing gas use. "This tempo won't prevail," said Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service. "It's as difficult to sustain $4 gas as it is to hit .400 in baseball."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Three US cycling orgs agree to merge

From Bikebiz.com

Bikes Belong, the League of American Bicyclists, and Alliance for Biking & Walking, hope to become one organization.
Three US cycling orgs agree to merge
Leaders of the Alliance for Biking & Walking, Bikes Belong, and the League of American Bicyclists Leaders met in San Diego, on February 13-14th and have issued a joint statement announcing they are to merge.
It was agreed that uniting the three organizations would dramatically improve their effectiveness in increasing bicycle use in the US. 
Chris Fortune, Chairman of the Bikes Belong board and member of the transition team empowered to facilitate unification of the three groups said: “We can transform communities across the United States and accelerate the creation of a more bicycle-friendly America by combining the programs, resources, and members of these three leading organizations."
Bikes Belong was founded by the US bicycle industry.
Hans van Naerssen, Chair of the League of American Bicyclist’s board and a member of the transition team said: “There is a lot of work ahead. We must determine how to combine the diverse strengths of a powerful alliance of state and local organizations, a storied national user group, and a vibrant industry association in a way that preserves their unique attributes and realizes the game-changing potential of a single entity.”
Noah Budnick, board Chair of the Alliance for Biking & Walking said: “Our enthusiasm to take this momentous step for the movement is matched by a commitment to do this right."
The boards of all three organisations must ratify the agreement. Once, and if that occurs, the transition team will work with a variety of board, staff, partners and advisors to determine the initial programs, membership structure, and staff needs of the new organisation.
“Changes will be implemented carefully and respectfully over time and it is important to say that all existing contractual agreements will be honored and the continuity of existing memberships is assured.”
A joint statement said the "proposed unification would combine the significant resources of the three groups into one effective, powerful organization with a clear, integrated structure and a single voice.This agreement must be ratified by the board of directors of each of the three participating organizations."
The decision to proceed (or not) must be made by September 2012.
An acting board of directors includes Noah Budnick, Transportation Alternatives; John Burke, Trek Bicycle Corporation; Chris Fortune, Saris Cycling Group; Leah Shahum, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition; Gail Spann, League of American Bicyclists; Hans Van Naerssen, League of American Bicyclists.
The acting CEO will be Tim Blumenthal of Bikes Belong.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thoughts on Recreation and Transportation Cycling

Once more a very nice article from anniebikes blog. There has been a lot of talk about the Transportation bill and (the lack of) support for bicycling and pedestrians lately. Here is a well written article from a riders standpoint. Thanks for sharing. Also, check out more from annibikes right here.


While I was out pedaling, enjoying this February sunshine, my thoughts wrestled with the current lack of federal encouragement for pedestrian and cycling in this country. And it seems to be getting worse.

For years support for cycling and pedestrian safety has been viewed by congress as discretionary spending, much like music programs in city schools. As parents we plead and prod and vote on a school budget each year. It is often a gut wrenching decision to cut programs, or vote NO, but we speak through our wallets. Sometimes a second language class is cut, sometimes the arts. Some people do not view these programs as necessary curriculum. Much like congress cannot automatically fund bike and walking infrastructure as a requirement when there are roads to maintain, wars to fight, social security, and unemployment programs to fund.

It's a sad reality that just as cycling for transportation is growing, it's still a widely-held view that bicycles are strictly for recreation. I think that's the crux of this issue. Sure, we all love bike paths. They were pushed through and funded by partial federal dollars, but promoted for health and recreation. And now many Americans are beginning to ride to work and for short errands, using these paths. The cycling as transportation movement is expanding. Look around.

Yet, year after year we are approached by Adventure Cycling, Rails-to-Trails, and League of American Bicyclists (not to mention our local advocates) to write letters and e-mail our representatives to support the current rehash of the transportation bill. In light of this year's politics, it feels like an uphill battle. And frankly, I'm growing tired of all the contact from these groups. Would it make an impact if our congressional representatives were required to pedal to their office?

I don't have a solution nor am I politically savvy to this particular bill. I am a pedestrian and cyclist trying to make my way with less impact on the planet. But it strikes me as odd the way walk and bike advocates have to fight for what should be an inherent part of the transportation budget.  And clearly, this bill has come at a time when every program in this country will be highly debated to cut "unnecessary" waste. With our country's debt at an all-time high and ever-shifting world-wide crises, I believe there will eventually be a new norm for Americans. The middle class is struggling. There is less money, period, for us all. Will the future include a pared down existence with more bikes and buses? Maybe. We can only hope.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Women's Cycling Forum announces keynote speaker

From Bicycle Times

Sue Macy, author of "Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flats Tires Along the Way)", will appear as the keynote speaker at the inaugural National Women Cycling Forum. The forum will be held Tuesday, March 20, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in conjunction with the 2012 National Bike Summit.
Women still cycle at much lower rates than men in the United States—making up just 24 percent of bike trips in 2009, but that trend is shifting. The Forum will be the first national gathering specifically dedicated to raising awareness about and discussing how to engage more women in bicycling.
Macy will provide unique inspiration to kick off that discussion. Among other accolades, Wheels of Change was named to the 2011 Best Books lists from the Washington Post and the San Francisco Book Review.
Other confirmed speakers include:
  • Elysa Walk, General Manager, Giant Bicycles Inc.
  • Marla Streb, former World Mountain Bike Champion
  • Andrea Garland, Planner, Alta Planning + Design
  • Veronica Davis, Founder, Black Women Bike D.C.
  • Kimberly White, Youth Advocate, Recycle-A-Bicycle
  • Nelle Pierson, Events Coordinator, Washington Area Bicyclist Association
Registration is free, and everyone is encouraged to attend.
On Wednesday, March 21, the conversation will continue with a Women Cycling Social at Busboys & Poets from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Both events are co-hosted by the Alliance for Biking & Walking and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals and are generously sponsored by Giant Bicycles Inc., CLIF Bar, the League of American Bicyclists and the National Center for Bicycling and Walking.

Monday, February 13, 2012

What are YOUR priorities for the City of Montpelier? Take the survey today.

From Montpelier Bikes:
Where do BIKES fit into the City's Envision Montpelier process -- or do they?
 Survey Logo
Take this month’s survey related to Infrastructure and help us prioritize action strategies for Montpelier’s future.
Copy and paste this link into your browser:

Your feedback will guide the enVision Montpelier Steering Committee and the Montpelier Planning Commission as they review and prioritize the Community Action Plan, so please take time to complete the survey.

HINT: you can prioritize MULTIPLES of the transportation items, and vote for COMPLETE STREETS and WRITE-IN a vote for ON-ROAD bicycle facilities, as a Montpelier Bikes leader did here.

Montpelier Bikes' current projects include:

  • Developing a Complete Streets policy for the City of Montpelier.
  • Bicycle Parking - Working with the City of Montpelier and private property owners to install additional bicycle racks, bicycle shelters, and bicycle lockers in the downtown area.
  • Advocating for bicycle lanes on Route 2 / 302, and for bicycle facilities on other city streets.
  • Bicycle safety education & tips through classes and a one-on-one "Bike Buddy" program.
  • Having fun with relaxed bicycle rides such as our "Bike to Brunch" series and our Neighbohood Bike Tours.

We need you to be part of the process.  

While at times we may ask for volunteers, or request that you contact decision makers to show the constituency for bicycling — most of the time, we just want you to participate by riding your bike. 
The more bicyclists we have on the roads in Montpelier - the stronger our presence in the city.  The more bicyclists on the roads - the more drivers are aware of bicyclists on the roads, and the safer it is for everyone.

Please join our email list to stay in touch - just send an email to pedal@montpelierbikes.org to ask to be added.  Thanks!

NACTO's "Cities for Cycling" Roadshow Rocks Chicago

From WashCycle:
Here is a nice little Streetfilms video about the latest developments of bicycling infrastructure in Chicago, IL. With help from experts from cities like New York and Portland, OR Chicago is stepping it up a notch by hosting their fourth 'Roadshow'. How can cycle-tracks, new lanes and bike/ped facilities be effectively implemented into Chicago's urban environment. Enjoy.



Find more info on NACTO here.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Save the Date: Walk/Bike Summit March 31

From Local Motion

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2012 Walk/Bike Summit
Saturday, March 31, 2012
8:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Main Street Landing
Burlington, VT


Participate in a variety of exciting workshops, engage with others on new initiatives, and get inspired by keynote speaker Jeff Olson of  Alta Planning + Design!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Take Action Again -- Nation's Transit, Bike and Walk Funding On Chopping Block


Take Action Again -- Nation's Transit, Bike and Walk Funding On Chopping Block
US_Capitol_paintingLocal Motion Members, we need you to maintain pressure on Congress for a smart, modern transportation bill. Both chambers of Congress are moving towards floor debates on their versions of the bill, so we are again asking you to take action.
Over 40 sidewalk, trail and complete streets projects get federal funding across Vermont each year.  The proposed bills would terminate the programs that fund these projects.
Contact your Representative and Senators today and ask them to save our streets. Take Action Now!

SENATE: Support the bipartisan Cardin-Cochran amendment

As written, the Senate’s transportation bill removes dedicated funding for walking and biking and allows state DOTs to opt-out of safe street programs. The bipartisan Cardin-Cochran amendment ensures local governments can fund walking and biking infrastructure.
Tell your senators:
  • Local governments deserve a voice in transportation. The Cardin-Cochran amendment ensures that cities and counties have a voice in making transportation decisions for safer streets in their communities.
  • Safety matters. Bicycle and pedestrian deaths make up 14% of all traffic fatalities, but only 1.5% of federal funds go towards making walking and biking safer. These programs provide funding for sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways that make streets safe for all users.
  • Active transportation is a wise investment. Walking and biking infrastructure is low-cost, creates more jobs per dollar than any other kind of highway spending, and is critical to economic development for main street America.
Email your Senators here or...
Call Senator Bernie Sanders' Office: (202) 224-5141
Call Senator Patrick Leahy's Office: (202) 224-4242

HOUSE:  Say “NO” to H.R. 7
On the other side of Congress, the House is about to consider a transportation bill that reverses 20 years of progress in making streets safer for people. Despite the fact that walking and biking make up 12% of trips but receive only 1.5% of federal funding, the House bill eliminates dedicated funding for walking and biking. It’s time to defeat this bill.
Tell your representative:
  • HR 7 takes us back to the 1950s. HR 7 takes us back to a 1950s system by eliminating dedicated funding for biking and walking AND kicking   transit out of the highway trust fund. We need a transportation bill to meet 2012 needs, not 1950 needs.
  • HR 7 doesn’t invest wisely. Federal transportation laws should invest our finite resources in cost-effective, efficient infrastructure solutions that create jobs and keep the economy moving. The House bill eliminates walking and biking, despite the fact that walking and bicycling infrastructure is low-cost and creates more jobs per dollar than any other kind of highway funding.
  • HR 7 makes streets more dangerous for kids. By repealing the successful and effective Safe Routes to School program, the House bill makes the streets more dangerous for kids on their walks and bike rides to school.
Call Representative Welch's Office: (202)225-4115
Want to know more about transit cuts?  Read this. Congress needs to know that that finding effective, efficient transportation solutions to keep people safe on the streets should be a national priority. Please contact your representative and senators today.