Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mayor's Press Conference Tomorrow at 1:00pm

Please go its a good thing we need a lot of people. remember it is a commuter issue...car,bikes, peds, public transit. the whole community. all of us please show up.

Good afternoon –
We would like to have a press conference tomorrow, Wednesday October 1st from 1 to 1:30 p.m. in Big Spring Park, East near the red bicycle-shaped bike rack close to Church Street. This will cover several items discussed in the meeting and address public awareness of sharing the road. I hope that you will be able to attend.

Denise Taylor
Director of Public Communications
City of Huntsville

Monday, September 29, 2008

San Francisco Bike Coalition

Check out this site.... If you find one add it to the comments.

Working for a bicycle-friendly, greener and healthier San Francisco since 1970

A new rider takes off at SFBC Family Day.
Through day-to-day advocacy, education, and working partnerships with government and community agencies, the SFBC is dedicated to creating safer streets and more livable communities for all San Franciscans.

Our active 9,500 members represent San Franciscans of all ages, from all neighborhoods, who are working towards more safe, efficient, and green ways to move around our city.

more here http://www.sfbike.org/

Bicycle Rodeo teaches youngsters how to be safe riding their wheels

Have you ever had to do the figure 8 one-handed on a bicycle? Well that was one of the five activities 53 children under 5 through the sixth grade were able to compete in at the 21st annual Bicycle Rodeo sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6873 and its Ladies Auxiliary.

The rodeo is one of the post's service projects and is held in the parking lot outside its home across from Dyess Air Force Base.

"It's fun," said 11-year-old Jeremy Gillentine, of the rodeo. This was his fourth year to compete. "The most fun was probably the food," he said with a big grin.
read more here

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bike Fixin @ Mill and Manna House

Bike Fixin @ The Mill 12 to 4

LifeCycles More Fixin 6 till ??? Manna House

Friday, September 26, 2008

Critical Mass Tonight

Meet SE Corner of Courthouse @ 6:30 ride @ 7pm.

Last Night Council Meeting

Everyone who showed up and supported one another thanks!!! You are making this a better place to live and ride.

Huntsville Times

City leaders agree to study ways to improve streets

Huntsville leaders set the wheels in motion Thursday night for a comprehensive study on making city streets more bicycle friendly.

The announcement came after a crowd of bicycle enthusiasts - including the boyfriend of a UAH student killed last week when her bike was struck from behind by a car - packed Thursday night's City Council meeting to demand action. Many were clad in bicycling gear from pedaling to the meeting. read more here


From WAAY :

Cyclists urge council to act on bike safety

This is the article about last night's meeting by John Peck. It was featured on the front page.

City leaders agree to study ways to improve streets

Huntsville leaders set the wheels in motion Thursday night for a comprehensive study on making city streets more bicycle friendly.

The announcement came after a crowd of bicycle enthusiasts - including the boyfriend of a UAH student killed last week when her bike was struck from behind by a car - packed Thursday night's City Council meeting to demand action. Many were clad in bicycling gear from pedaling to the meeting.
A meeting will be held Monday in the mayor's office with the mayor, representatives from various bicycling groups, police and planning officials and a city council representative.

Department of Public Safety Director Rex Reynolds announced the organizational meeting at the City Council meeting. The police department's bike patrol began communicating with some biking groups about a year ago to produce public service announcements on bike safety. Reynolds said those efforts could be incorporated into the new planning group's initiatives along with additional input from HPD's bike patrol.

Reynolds said the initial meeting Monday will decide objectives, who should serve on the actual committee, how to proceed and, perhaps, short-term safety steps. Reynolds wants the review to identify streets that are popular biking routes and look at what other cities have done to make bicycling safer.

read more

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cyclists to urge council to make roads bike-friendly

Thursday, September 25, 2008
From staff reports
Huntsville Times
Huntsville bicycling enthusiasts plan to pack the City Council meeting tonight to rally for help in making Huntsville roads more bike-friendly.

E-mails were making their rounds Wednesday calling on bicyclists to show up in support.

The campaign comes in the wake of a car-bike collision last week that killed the cyclist. The victim, a 20-year-old University of Alabama in Huntsville student, was struck from behind as she was pedaling her bike from campus on Technology Drive toward Wynn Drive. Police reports say the motorist reported adjusting the wipers and turning to look at her ringing cell phone around the time of the accident. Witnesses reported the cyclist veered before being hit. Police labeled the incident an accident and did not file charges.

Organizers of the tonight's showing at council say the message to Huntsville leaders is the city has a responsibility to address the fact that more cyclists are commuting and that actions should be taken to make the roads safer.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 308 Fountain Circle.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

City Council Meeting

We all met last night to outline a statement for thursday night city council meet. use the comments for the rough draft.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

To prevent more bicycle fatalities

Sunday, September 21, 2008
For The Huntsville Times

Bicycle safety rules misunderstood by nearly all involved

The tragic fatality last on Monday put bicycle safety back in the spotlight here.

Bicycling is a viable form of transportation with current gas prices. However, there are a lot of misperceptions about how to ride safely. It is not intuitive and cyclists and motorists must be educated to improve bicycle safety. There are many details on cycling safety that need to be covered; here are some fundamental principles.

Understanding crash statistics is essential to bicycle safety. The most common fear is that a car will hit a bicyclist from behind. The reality is that half of bicycle crashes are falling off the bicycle. Less than 20 percent involve motor vehicles.

In fact, collisions with pedestrians, animals and other bicycles are twice as likely as motor vehicle collisions. Only about 5 percent of bicycle crashes with motor vehicles involve the cyclist getting hit from behind. Over 85 percent involve crossing traffic. Either the bicycle pulls in front of the car or the car pulls in front of the bicycle.

Since any crash can result in serious injury or death, bicycle safety must focus on reducing these risks.

The concept that reduces crash risk the most is called vehicular cycling. John Forester, author of "Effective Cycling," says it best: "Bicyclists fare best when they ACT and are TREATED as drivers of vehicles."

Alabama law reflects this principle and grants cyclists the same rights and responsibilities as any motor vehicle drive on the roadway.

The reason why cycling in the road with traffic reduces the crash risk is that is where motorists expect high-speed traffic. Bicycles easily reach 25 mph on level ground and go even faster on steep descents. Segregating bicycles from motor vehicle traffic makes cyclists less visible to motorists and thus increases the crash risks.

Alabama law defines the cyclist's position as "as far right as practicable. " This causes considerable confusion. This does not mean "as far right as possible."

"Practicable" means what is safe and reasonable and may be the left hand portion of the left most lane. The right one third of the right most lane is a good starting point but may change further left or right depending on the circumstances.

Since most roads are not wide enough for a cyclist and motorist to share the lane, cyclists should use the full lane. Most cyclists want to get out of the way of traffic, but in this case moving further into traffic reduces the crash risk.

Most bicycle crashes with motorists traveling the same direction do not involve getting hit from behind, but hit from the side by the right rear quarter panel. Cyclists that are too far right invite motorists to try to "squeeze by" when there is insufficient room.

Cyclists using the full lane reduce this risk by making motorists pass them as they would pass any other vehicle - in the next lane. If traffic is backed up, a courteous cyclist will pull completely off the road and stop while motorists go by. Once the road is clear, the cyclist can continue. Motorists should not expect cyclists to move as far right as possible while still moving.

Many motorists feel that bicycles should be on sidewalks or bike paths.Sidewalks increase the risk of a collision with a motorist two to four times because motorists are not looking for high-speed traffic where they cross the road. Sidewalks are not considered usable for cycling except for young children.

Bike paths increase the risk 2.6 times, but this can reach 1,000 times depending on the design. Even greenways that do not intersect roads have higher crash risks due to collisions with pedestrians, animals and other bicycles.

Shoulders can be a viable facility for cyclists depending on the design. Shoulders with too many intersections, where the shoulder turns into a right-turn-only lane or on steep descents should not be used. Bike lanes area shoulder with additional paint. They suffer the same risks as shoulders at intersections since cyclists are not where motorists are looking.

Motorists also do not know how to turn right across bike lanes and cyclists do not know how to turn left from a bike lane, both increasing crash risks. Debris is a significant issue with bike lanes and shoulders because it is not swept away. It can cause a fall, the most common crash type.

Bicycle Friendly Pipe Dream ?

From T Cozy

What a busy week! It was the home stretch of the work I needed to do for my new website. I barely left the house so that I could finish designing the last of the site's 24 pages and get them off to Dave who is doing the production of my site. (A few more weeks, and I hope to have it up and running.) And what a lovely week of weather we had, too. So even though I was confined to my studio, I made sure to have my windows open wide to enjoy the fresh, cool air.

When I did need to go out for an errand or two, I hopped on my bike instead of using the car. Luckily the post office, bank and a small neighborhood market are just down the street. It felt good to break up the busy days with a little invigorating exercise.

Along those lines, here's another interesting tip from 365 Ways to Save the Earth . . .

Use public bicycles in your city or create your own program.
For transportation in town, the bicycle has some unique advantages: it is clean, silent, compact, fast, and economical. The city of Rennes in France decided to make 200 bicycles available to its citizens, free of charge. Users must first obtain a magnetic card from the city council, which gives them access to the bicycles between the hours of 6 a.m. and 2 a.m. The bicycles must be returned after use to any one of the 25 pickup points provided all over the city. The system has been running since 1998 and has some 2,000 regular users.
read more here


This almost sounds like fun.....

Bicycle polo enthusiasts gather in a Eugene park to knock-it-around

No horses allowed.

Just bring your fixed-gear bike, your homemade mallet and your joie de vivre — because they play bike polo in France, too, you know.

It’s been around for more than a century, but the “urban version,” the let’s-get-together-and-find-a-hardcourt-surface-to-play-on version, is “growing exponentially,” Eilif Knutson of Corvallis says.

Knutson, 24, has been playing bike polo for about five years. Last winter he found a “bike-trick” video on YouTube made by Eugene’s Sean Watters. It was filmed on the basketball courts in Washington-Jefferson Park, under the Interstate 105 bridge. “And I just thought, ‘Cool, we’ve got some skilled riders here in Eugene — let’s see if any of these guys are interested in polo,’ ” Knutson said Thursday night in the park.
read more here

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sarah Chapman Article and Ghost Bike In Saturday's HSV Times

I can not believe that this is a controversy. Why would any one see this as anything but a memorial to bring attention to a tragedy. I am also concerned that a UAH Professor and cyclist has a problem with this. It seems that the very conservative nature of this "community" infects all aspects of life here.

Please email the city to demand that something be done. Consider PSA's to Educate all of us, This includes: Drivers, the Police, Cyclist's and Pedestrian's.








Tommy Battle http://tommybattle.com/contact/

From the HSV Times

Report says driver glanced away just before accident

The driver of a sports-utility vehicle that struck and killed a 20-year-old bicyclist Monday was distracted by her cell phone, according to a police traffic accident report.

Huntsville police Sgt. Mark Roberts said investigators have ruled Sarah Chapman's death as accidental and don't anticipate any charges against the driver.

"It was just an accident, as far as we can tell," he said. "It's one of those terrible things we wish didn't happen."

The SUV's driver told police that she had turned her windshield wipers on and had glanced down at her beeping cell phone just before her 1994 Jeep Cherokee struck the bicycle, the report said.

A witness told police that Chapman, a University of Alabama in Huntsville student, was cycling "a bit erratic" before the SUV hit her. Police believe Chapman was trying to avoid an obstacle in the street on Technology Drive when she was hit from behind.

The accident report shows police didn't think the SUV's driver was drinking or using drugs when the accident occurred, and her estimated speed was 40 mph - the speed limit on that stretch of road.

The wreck was the result of the SUV driver not being in control her vehicle, the report said.

Chapman was wearing a helmet, the report said, but it came off when the SUV struck her.

A group of local cyclists left a "ghost bike" at the site of the wreck Friday afternoon.

"Ghost bikes" are nothing more than old bikes spray-painted white and left at a wreck site as a memorial, said cyclist Victor Burlingame.

Burlingame, who works at Bicycles Etc. on Meridian Street, said he had posted a picture on his blog of a ghost bike - popular in cities like Chicago and New York - and other cyclists here picked up on the idea and decided to leave one for Chapman.

"They're meant to build awareness and serve as a memorial," Burlingame said. "Having a bike there lets you know that something tragic happened."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tommy Battle Info

Voter turnout was low. About 28 percent of the city's 108,000 registered voters turned out on a rainy day. In the 2004 mayor's race, 38 percent of 103,543 voters turned out.

People don't vote because of rain give me a fuckin break.

Don't forget to Vote October 7

Tommy Battle on Public Transportation

The soaring cost of gasoline is forcing many people to rethink the city’s transportation system. Unfortunately, Huntsville is not an easy town to get around if you don’t own a car. There are few bike paths and the city’s major arteries, like University Drive and Memorial Parkway, are not pedestrian-friendly.

A 2000 study reported that more than 95 percent of Huntsville commuters drive to work daily, and 86 percent of those drive alone. But, with gas at $4 per gallon and rising, many Huntsville drivers might opt for public transportation-if they had a choice. read more here

Tommy Battle on Education
Huntsville’s successful rise as a high tech community has been, in large part, because of the quality public schools that the city once provided for our children.
Huntsville, the 4th largest city in the state, now ranks 77 out of 127 in Alabama’s school system. During this campaign I have heard about schools across our community - North Huntsville, South Huntsville, East & West Huntsville.

The Mayor must act as an advocate for the school system while being a fiscal agent for the people of Huntsville. As Mayor, I would work on three aspects of public education- accountability, community support and “bricks and mortar.”
read more here

SUV Kills UAH Student On Her Bicycle

From Two Five Fix

This story has been all the talk today. While I only met Sarah a handful of times, she was a very sweet, beautiful, vibrant girl, a real pleasure to hang out with. This incident is so tragic and our hearts go out to the Chapman family and Sarah's friends. I wish there was some way we could ease your suffering. Davis, hang in there man; I don't even have words to tell you how sorry I am. If you need anything, please let me know.

Via WAFF.com, Ch. 48

"Huntsville police officers say the bicyclist who was struck by a Jeep Cherokee Monday morning has died. The crash happened at around 10:30 a.m. on Technology Drive near Wynn Drive in Huntsville. 20-year-old Sarah Katherine Chapman died shortly after the traffic crash. Chapman was traveling westbound on a bicycle on Technology Drive at 10:30 a.m. today. As the SUV approached from behind her, she swerved into its path and the driver was unable to avoid the collision. Sgt. Mark Roberts of the Huntsville Police Department says no charges are expected to be filed against the driver of the vehicle. This is Huntsville's 16th traffic fatality for 200"

*picture of Sarah, third from left, along with Ruth Behling, George Preussel, and Sarah Fisher) at the Berlin Wall borrowed from UAH Blog
I don't claim to understand everything and there are a few things I am confused about. One, why don't they name the motorist who struck and killed Sarah? Two, if the law says motorist are to give a cyclist a minimum of three feet clearance to pass, then how did Sarah swing across more than half a lane to hit the car as the driver claims? In order to swing that far, she would have to be turning, not swerving unless going an incredibly slow speed. Third, how does HPD investigate this sort of thing? Also, the news states how many traffic fatalities we've had this year; wouldn't it be more interesting to know how many of these were cyclists killed by motorist and whether any of those led to criminal charges? Why was this motorist passing Sarah so closely to risk her life? Was getting to Subway two minutes sooner worth rolling the dice on something that wasn't yours? Why doesn't the law do more to punish motorist who endanger cyclist? Again, not a lawyer here, but couldn't this be considered criminal negligence? Maybe if the law was harder on these people, others would think twice before buzzing a cyclist.

Monday, September 15, 2008

cyclist from UAH killed

Sarah Chapman was killed this morning on Technology Drive. She was a really sweet girl and Honors student at UAH. We should have a Ride of Silence soon. An SUV hit her from behind and no charges are intended. The story doesn't add up to me though. And they didn't give the name of the driver. Read more here and here

Friday, September 12, 2008


A spontaneous evening goes awry, leaving skid marks on this cyclist's view of his city. > By Stuart Post

Editor's note: Using a bicycle for transportation on the streets of New York City can be an intimidating, and downright dangerous, endeavor. The Bloomberg administration is working to make the city more bike-friendly – through newly designated bike-only lanes, to cite the most visible example. But how bike-friendly can a city be if its premier grassroots cycling event operates in an atmosphere of police hostility? That's one question that occurred to self-described "accidental anarchist" Stuart Post, a 48-year-old resident of the Gramercy Park area, who joined last month's Critical Mass bike ride.
Begun in San Francisco in 1992, Critical Mass is a deliberately leaderless happening (thus its anarchist cred): a regularly occurring, yet informal, group bike ride. These days it's taking place in hundreds of cities around the globe. It started up in Manhattan in 1993; currently it leaves from Union Square Park at around 7 p.m. on the last Friday of every month, destination unknown. "Because I went on the ride, I was able to get used to riding in traffic," says Barbara Ross, spokeswoman for the bicycling and environmental group Time's Up! Acclimating to city streets is something the administration presumably would support. But, Ross said, "Our feeling is that since 2004 the city has been trying to stop the ride, or at least the NYPD [has]." On Aug. 27, 2004, just days before the last Republican National Convention opened here, the ride took place with thousands of participants – and mass arrests by the police. read more here

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beating the pump: Bicycle commuters see benefits for themselves and the environment

The odds are that Jackie Green doesn’t begin his morning commute the way that you do.

Instead of piling into a car to fight the traffic, the 56-year-old Highlands resident bicycles four miles to his Bike Couriers Bike Shop, 107 W. Market St., and to a second shop with the same name at 2833 S. Fourth St. read more here

If Obama Unleashed 527s On His Behalf...

...we might be seeing ads like this:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Advertisement Promoting Cycling

death of a taboo

big jonny over at drunkcyclist points out how the GOP will be gearing up the fear factory for your manipulation.

big jonny, concurring…

The RNC ran with it as only they could.

One of the most enduring taboos in American politics, the airing of graphic images from the September 11 attacks in a partisan context, died today. It was nearly seven years old.

The informal prohibition, which had been occasionally threatened by political ads in recent years, was pronounced dead at approximately 7:40 CST, when a video aired before delegates at the Republican National Convention included slow-motion footage of a plane striking the World Trade Center, the towers’ subsequent collapse, and smoke emerging from the Pentagon.

The September 11 precedent was one of the few surviving campaign-season taboos. It is survived by direct comparisons of one’s opponents to Hitler.
Source: www.boston.com

I find myself in agreement.

Keith Olbermann apologizes to viewers for the graphic imagery and exploitive nature of the RNC’s tribute to the victims of 9/11.
Video: www.msnbc.msn.com

Watch: The RNC in a Minute

3rd Party Palin

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Virtuous Cycle: Safety In Numbers For Bicycle Riders

Scientific Research here, so please all you creationists and white wingers please don't read this. Go to the palin, mccinsane site for your info.

ScienceDaily (Sep. 7, 2008) — It seems paradoxical but the more people ride bicycles on our city streets, the less likely they are to be injured in traffic accidents.

International research reveals that as cycling participation increases, a cyclist is far less likely to collide with a motor vehicle or suffer injury and death - and what’s true for cyclists is true for pedestrians. And it’s not simply because there are fewer cars on the roads, but because motorists seem to change their behaviour and drive more safely when they see more cyclists and pedestrians around.

Studies in many countries have shown consistently that the number of motorists colliding with walkers or cyclists doesn’t increase equally with the number of people walking or bicycling. For example, a community that doubles its cycling numbers can expect a one-third drop in the per-cyclist frequency of a crash with a motor vehicle. read more here

Friday, September 5, 2008

Unburdened by Gas Costs, Bike Couriers See a Chance

New York City’s bike messengers remain a fixture on the streets, having weathered the advent of the fax machine and, of course, e-mail. Now, with the cost of gas pummeling courier companies that rely on motorized vehicles, a few enterprising cyclists are using the opportunity to generate more business. read more here

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

For Bicyclists, a Widening Patchwork World

U.S. Lags Behind Two-Wheeled Boom
By Blaine Harden
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, August 31, 2008; Page A01
TACHIA, Taiwan -- Antony Lo is one happy biker. He is 60 but looks younger, with a body buffed by commuting 130 miles a week on his bike. He is also president of Taiwan-based Giant, the world's largest bicycle company, where sales are soaring, helped along by global anxiety over oil prices. With undisguised glee, Lo says: "High-priced gasoline is here to stay. I tell my people we are just at the beginning of a very big cycling boom." read more here