Saturday, October 6, 2007

does huntsville have a vision or is it blind?

Tried to find a interesting article and found this one here

However this makes me wonder what the "leaders" here have planned. I am speaking of your mayor and her administration. I have seen those green signs with bicycles and numbers on them, downloaded the map or plan and tried to figure it out..... well I am still lost and everyone I ask is too. I really do not think change here will happen unless a couple of things are addressed.

1: The Mayor steps up this would entail having a safety plan and educating the public about bicycles.

2: Bike racks, bike racks, bike racks, this is a no brainer you can not ask people to commute if you can not park and lock your bike( star market understands this) what about the city?

3: Cyclists pull together and actually commute.

I rode up monte sano and there is only one sign "share the road" why not have more signage to educate and make cars aware of cyclists?

The mayor and your city officials are elected by you and work for you. I don't see why they are not held accountable by their constituents.

What do you think? Leave it in the comments.


clintpatty said...

The Bikeway Plan includes all the proposed routes. You gotta look at the Greenway plan to get a better idea. It says they don't plan to have it finished until something like after Governors and Parkway are widened. They are ahead of schedule on the bus bike racks, which sorta makes it more disappointing when the backup buses with no bike racks are out and you expected a bike rack.

It would be nice if the parking garage downtown had a bike rack or good place to park them. Unless somebody jumps out the side 'windows' with your bike, it's already pretty protected and not a good place to steal a bike from, plus it's downtown so maybe less likely. It is also already covered, which is always a big plus to me, especially when leaving your bike for a while. Maybe they could have bike parking for 25 cents a day or something. Maybe 1 dollar due to volume, but for size and wear and such, a quarter is more appropriate relative to the car charge.

We need to give input on the type of bike racks to get and where to put them and such. A covered rack is always nicer than one in the open. Closer to the door is always better for individual businesses. The individual bike locking things seem sweet, but I've never used one. It might not seem all that necessary over a u lock and cable lock in Huntsville, but there is probably someone that would commute on their expensive road bike or Trek Portland or something with that added security. Some people complain about the type of racks at Target and how they are prone to scratch paint, but I frequently shop at Target due to the racks and park there no problems. I think these people like the designs that Publix and Trailhead have. There are also the places with latent bike racks or something that don't need racks so much, such as Lewter's Hardware and Garden Cove which both have wooden posts. I'm pretty sure those don't accept mini u-locks, though.

There should be some focus on areas where cyclists would go if only it were more cyclist friendly. I don't know how to determine these areas since I'll go pretty much anywhere on mine, but maybe they exist. 5 Points is already pretty cyclist friendly. It's pretty hard to promote bicycle commuting to non-cyclists in places like Hampton Cove due to the long ride and climb and all (even though if you exclude reading on transit, you can commute to Research Park in under an hour), but people think of 5 and 10 miles as over biking to work distance. Maybe showers would alleviate this. A 10 mile bike ride is an hour commute or less, and there is a good chance you can add transit if you want. If you're using south Parkway much, there's a good chance that you're spending over half that much time for the 10 miles anyway.

And back to Hampton Cove. Kudos for having the bike path that helps kids ride to school easier. The tiny yield signs are also good for them even though the cars should be the ones yielding. But don't expect road cyclists to be on it. Those bumps at the intersections are kinda rough, and at 1 of them it's rough enough to probably knock a cheaper low spoke count wheel out of true at 20mph. Also, turn off the fucking sprinklers. God. You bought fucking fill dirt to put on the low-yield fields. Don't expect it to look good. The landscaping isn't making it look good. But it is making the bike path muddy. Yall need to cut that shit out. No road cyclist without fenders wants to get in the wet or mud. Most cyclists would rather avoid it.

Anonymous said...

You win the "angry cyclist award" of the week, knocking jim garvins reign of terror to "mediocre animosity level 2"

cynical jim

Bella Vella said...

I think I am about the only one who regularly writes the mayor, city council etc. If you want a voice, speak up, email, etc. Email addresses on the city's web site but here are some for starters:

Police Safety Chief:


City & school contacts- for the Safe Routes to Schools Program:
Tom. Sisco@Hsvcity. Com

School Board Prez:

School Superintendent:

City Council/SchoolBoard/city employees people who seem helpful/responsive:

HSV GreenTeam:

City Council contact:

Also post responses her & the SCCC advocacy forum so others can help out:

For those who wish to chg some of the way things are done at SCCC-- try enrolling as a member so you can vote & voice your opinion

Bello Velo said...

We have contacted the city and got a canned response from the mayor's assistant.

I think my point is that maybe we should all show up at city hall on our bikes for a council meeting. They think we are just a fringe group with one or two people emailing them.

If you think they are serious about this why is it that the person in charge of the bike plan does not even ride a bike.......

Anonymous said...

I think we should seriously work with Alabike more on this and run these ideas past jaime miernik. We all know that jaime can be a little edgie some times but was the one who has been pestering the city for more than 10 years on the issue.

So we have to ask ourselves, what will we do different to accomplish our said goals?

First we must re examine what has been done, then we must find the right approach to the problem. I know the city's excuse is usually "we do not have the funds for it" but....and this is where the Safer Routs to School Program comes in...We can look at the statewide funding for alternative transportation and get them to funnel some money our way as being perhaps the "model city" for bicycle commuters.

By the way I will be writing the city once again about a recent incident on my street where a car struck yet another boy. This is the second incident in 2 years on my street. I like to start locally with shit, so im starting outside my front door.


clintpatty said...

I'm all about working more with AlaBike and Jaime. We are a fringe group. There are thousands of bicycles in Huntsville, but I suspect less than 100 are used by adults for commuting on a given day. Maybe I am underestimating the number of poorer riders commuting by bike, though. I also expect that, especially with rising fuel costs, there will be latent utilitarian bicycle traffic for the greenways. How many people would ride if it weren't for all the traffic? Who hates 10+ minutes of sitting in a non-moving car on south Parkway but doesn't know the neighborhoods to avoid it or doesn't want the extra riding? How about Huntsville Spring Branch Greenway that pretty much serves the same purpose as Parkway for a section but is quicker and has no car traffic? I wouldn't be surprised if all the planned greenways could be completed in a few years for less than the cost of adding a lane to Governors Drive and Parkway. If both would attract latent traffic, doesn't the city prefer latent bike traffic that would lower the automobile traffic on both those roads? If biking was cheaper and easier than driving in Huntsville, it would be a lot more popular. I think the Huntsville Spring Branch Greenway would make it quicker for many people.

Does anyone know the sources for the money for the Hampton Cove bike path? It gets a lot of traffic, including getting used as a safer route to Hampton Cove school. Is it maintained by the city or Hampton Cove? Is the whole thing the Big Cove Creek Greenway and maintained by Huntsville? The greenways don't have to be 8 feet wide or whatever and 20 feet mowed on each side. There are cheaper and effective alternatives. We could volunteer with maintenance to reduce the costs if it is a greenway that we could actually use for transportation and not just through neighborhoods for recreational use where we wouldn't be riding anyway or we would just assume ride the neighborhood roads because the route would be shorter. The neighborhood cruiser riders could volunteer for maintenance, though.

Bello Velo said...

I do not agree greenways are not the answer. These are for recreation. Look at any progressive city and you will see people ( the fringe) commuting. as far as alabike the jury is out I am sure they are up to some good things.

The fact that there are no bike racks here is well just the fact that this was not the first thing to get done is a little ..... well duh. They cost 250 bucks and know one has pressured the city or even asked to get this started till now says a lot.

I would rather be in the fringe.

Here is the score:
Star Market,
Garden Cove(approved coming soon) Fresh Market(approved coming soon)
Downtown Courthouse 2 Racks ( coming after city finishes tearing up streets)
Kroger's (follow up)

Critical Mass Rides averages 30 people for 1 hour or more not in a car, not consuming, every month.

I know they have the safe routes and thats great but you need activists ( fringe) as well as advcates.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last comment. Consider every city in the US that has a progressive plan. It all starts with the mayor. People are trying to get this elderly woman to ride a bike instead of showing up at ther city council meeting ( with their bikes) and showing them that we want action.

It is ok to speak up and ask them for what you want.