Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Americans Are Still Buying Gas-Guzzlers, But Here Are 7 Signs That the Market for Green Transport Is Exploding

Americans get a lot of flack for their big cars. And often for good reason.

After sales figures for the first half of 2009 came in, it's looking like Ford's F-Series pickup trucks are set to make their 28th year at the top of the charts, with nearly 180,000 sold in the first two quarters.

With gas mileage near the bottom of the heap -- 15 miles per gallon in the city and around 20 on the highway -- the trucks are icons of America's suicidal obsession with gas guzzlers. read more here

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hoover General Contractors

Thsi morning I was harassed by the middle aged white male driver of a Hoover General Contractors truck. He got too close, honked at me, then passed right before a red light when I had signalled to get in the turning lane. At the red light he told me that I don't have a right to the road, and he was not hearing it about what the law really is. If you don't know the law for driving, you shouldn't have a drivers license. I wished they were more easily revoked and tested at least every 5 years. I plan to call Hoover later and complain about their driver's reckless driving, honking, and making the company look bad.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Critical Mass Tonight

C.A.R.S. gets $197,600 to help cyclists, drivers

From The Huntsville Times

The death of two bicyclists in Huntsville in the past year didn't spur the city to initiate a traffic safety campaign, but they do remind city officials that more awareness is needed to help make bicycle riders and motorists safer.

The city will spend almost $200,000 in the Bicycle/Pedestrian Education: Operation C.A.R.S. (Citizens Advocating Rider Safety) campaign with the aim of making streets safer for bikers and automobile drivers.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization amended its transportation plan Wednesday to add the $197,600 project to the plan. The MPO had to put it in the plan because any transportation project using federal highway money must be in the plan.

Read more here

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Taking back the streets one bicycle at a time

Here is the best quote "All it would take is some paint, new signs and a little cash, said Scott Clein, who heads the Detroit office of Giffels-Webster Engineers." I mean if Detroit gets it why cant this town.

In Detroit, there are cars. And then there is something known as “non-motorized transportation.”

That means bicycles, y'all.

Believe it or not, people in the Car Capital of the World love their bikes. And there is a huge movement to create a culture here that is friendlier to two wheels than four.

One such project would develop about 400 miles of bicycle lanes throughout Detroit. All it would take is some paint, new signs and a little cash, said Scott Clein, who heads the Detroit office of Giffels-Webster Engineers.

The firm, along with other key partners, mapped out every one of those miles with the city's cooperation and a Michigan Department of Transportation grant. Clein and a support staff spent 18 months on the project, studying Detroit and trying to connect its waterways, landmarks and neighborhoods.

These paths have the potential to draw the creative class – artists, singletons and young couples – to the city, Clein said. It also might improve our collective health (Detroit typically ranks as the Top 1or 2 on obesity lists).

“Bikes are all about freedom. It's about access. And that's what makes a city great,” Clein said. read more here

Madison Police Charge Man In Wreck That Killed Pregnant Woman, Unborn Child

MADISON, AL - The Madison Police Department has arrested a Bob Jones High School student in a deadly wreck that happened August 22. A woman who was pregnant was killed, and so was her unborn child.

Police have charged David James Mears with two counts of manslaughter. Mears, who is 16, is being charged as an adult due to the nature of the crime.

The wreck happened at the intersection of Wall Triana Highway and Gooch Lane, killing Cynthia Sandefur and her unborn child. Sandefur was in the third trimester of her pregnancy.

"We at the Madison Police Department want to impress to all drivers and parents of young drivers what a huge responsibility it is to operate vehicles safely on our roadways," said Madison Police Chief Larry R. Muncey. "It's not just your life you endanger, but others as well."

David Mears is out of jail on a $40,000 bond. No court date has been set. He is being charged with two counts of manslaughter because of the Brody Bill, which Governor Bob Riley signed into law in 2006. The bill is named in memory of Brody Parker, an unborn baby whose mother, Brandy, was shot and killed in Albertville. That crime happened on July 27, 2005. Police have not found the killer.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Colorful lights will 'enhance' downtown Huntsville power substation

Not one word from me on this one, I got this from the "Bus Stops Here" section of HSV Times Online.

HUNTSVILLE, AL -- Big Spring Partners, the downtown development group, has contracted Theatrical Lighting Systems for $2,500 to color the power substation in red, blue and green lights in the hopes of beautifying Huntsville.

Staring Thursday night, that big, ugly power substation located near the corner of the Heart of Huntsville Drive and Monroe Street will be made beautiful thanks to colored lights.

“We’re always looking for enhancements for downtown,” said Big Spring Partners president Mary Jane Caylor.

The goal, according to an announcement from Caylor, is to “attract individuals to the downtown area to see another beautification area of interest. read more here

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

2010 Bianchi Pista Classica

This year Bianchi released four different models of is popular Pista Including the new Super Pista and two other classic looking models in addition to the famous chrome Pista. For 2010 Bianchi has released images of the Pista Classica.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Community Bike Day Oct 4th 10am -2pm

We are currently seeking Volunteers for the Community Bicycle Day @ The Seminole Boys and Girls Club On October 4th from 10am - 2pm

The Seminole Boys and Girls Club Currently Serves over 350 Children in this neighborhood alone.

This event will include the following:
Fun Safety Course
Safety Information
Minor Bicycle repairs
Bicycle care
Scraper Bikes
Blender Bike for smoothies and healthy drinks
DJ Bike
Shirt Stenciling
Goofy Bikes

We need mechanics, artists and anyone willing to help. Please Contact for questions or to volunteer

We will also be accepting donations of: Bicycles, Helmets and Lights and you can drop them off Monday - Thursday 2pm- 7 pm or Friday's 2pm-6pm
The Seminole Boys And Girls Club 2201 Clinton Avenue Huntsville Al 35801 (256) 564-7018

This location does not currently have a Bike Rack if anyone wants to see what they can do on this.

Bike Racks at AAMU


We tentatively decided that we will install two to three bike racks; due to the other projects that have been in the pipeline already, the bike racks have not yet been ordered/purchased. I am hoping that by mid November the bike racks would have been installed.

Marshall Peter Chimwedzi

Thursday, September 17, 2009

bill 2371

Yesterday Senate Bill 2371 to remove the 10% appropriation for bike infrastructure was voted down. Richard Shelby voted against it. Jeff Sessions voted for it. I've been pretty unimpressed with Sessions in the past year. And he is failing to realize that this is a more efficient method of spending money for transportation than more highways. He supports more highways. ALDOT just recently started getting hassled by the feds because they haven't been spending as much money on bike infrastructure as they are supposed to. So we don't need any amendments to reverse that. Some people are really looking forward to the projects that will get started in the next 3 years due to federal money being spent like it is required to be.

Incident on Governors 9/11

I saw the car skim you on Friday the 11th, I hope you will report it so they can educate her:

Down side of Governors. He was clearly over to right of side white lane marker/ shoulder. Left lane was 100% open & I moved over & repeatedly signalled from her to change lanes. Road was moist (post rain). Jeff was going downhill and seriously is a pro racer, so was going FAST, He was blocking no one & not slowing traffic, nothing. Bright clothes. Doing everything right. She did not budge one inch!

Jeff has skill most of us only wish for. One the moist roads, the gust from being skimmed so close would have resulted ion my being seriously hurt, especially at his speed. Seriously, he has skills most of us don’t and he in used to racing side-by-side, where I might have freaked & skidded.

So I caught up to her & shot her a bird. Then I had to be tricky to get her license as she would not let me behind her. I pretended to be turning.

Then rode back to see if I could find Jeff (Critzer), could not-- I figure he was way down Dug Hill or he was doing hills. Time was tight, so I only looked for him for a few minutes.

Went OOT an few hours later and misplaced info. Friday, hmmm, the 11th.

It was taupe Chevy Malibu, a woman upper middle age also taupey hair, license started with a big S, so I think state. She was headed East over Governors.

Here! Tag:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Incident on Bankhead 9/11

MDG - Why is everyone in such a huge hurry?!?! Today I was coming down Bankhead at around 34 mph and at the "S" turns (near HLT) where the posted speed limit is 25 mph, two cars passed me! The green Mercedes SUV darted around followed by a beige/...silver 4-Runner with a COEXIST sticker and nearly had a head on collision with an oncoming car! Guess the driver of the 4-Runner doesn't mean for cars and bikes to coexist... ;-(

MDG - 2-3 MINUTES!!! 2-3 minutes is all the time it would have taken to get to a straightaway with a clear line of site where the cars could have safey passed...minutes! Instead, the 4-Runner squealed brakes, fishtailed and could have easily flipped! Plus, it was like 2 o'clock in the afternoon and I was riding on a designated bike road with "Share the ... Read MoreRoad" signs!!! ARGH!

SS - Holy Shit, was that you? That was me in the white pathfinder that almost lost my life to the 4 runner. Talk about fired up, I was cusing mad, and felt bad for the rider (you). SHIT!!! I'm glad you are ok, I could just see that 4runner moving back over and clipping you. I ride that road often, and have many close calls. Someone is going to get... Read More killed. We have a freaking right to ride that road. We need to organize a "sit in" and shut that road down one day and make the city realize that many people, runners included like to train on that road. Maybe some cops patroling it. Glad your OK Missy. And by the way, I wasn't speeding, maybe 28 mph or so, pathfinder doesn't have too much horsepower.

Incident on Bankhead 9/8

The other incident happened on 9/8. I was climbing up Bankhead and was at the beginning of the entrance to the Huntsville Land Trust parking lot when a big truck pulled up next to me, we made eye contact, I gestured that I was going straight, so he sped up and cut me off by turning into the parking lot. (He's one of the Bankhead cruisers, if you know what I mean, because I saw him hanging out at the overlooks later in the week.) Anyway, he forced me off the road. And when I had a talk with him he swears he gave me enough room to which I informed him that he did not - not when I intended to go straight. Literally if I hadn't made a hard right turn and bail, I would have run into the side of the truck. It's like driver's don't even consider physics - speed, velocity, braking distance, etc. I will say that the next time we saw each other, he gave me lots of space! ;-)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Another Incident

On Thursday, September 10, 2009 around 4:00 pm as I was making my usual commute back home after class my life was put in danger by a negligent driver. I was riding close to the right hand side of the road on Technology Drive, no more than 30 feet from where the life of my girlfriend of 2 years was taken only five days short of a year ago, when a green Ford escort passed between myself and a vehicle in the travelling left hand lane traveling at a rate of ten or fifteen miles an hour over the legal speed limit heading towards a red light. This was not a case of a driver's inattentiveness as before, but pure impatience and disregard for human life.

Davis Yarbrough
Registered voter, District 5

No Impact Man

Friday, September 11, 2009

Motorists Assaulting a Cyclist

I was riding my bike in the early morning of August 1, 2009. I was heading southbound on Whitesburg Drive. I had just past the Airport Road intersection. I noticed headlights brighten the pavement from behind me quickly. I knew the truck was too close. I noticed that when the truck went to pass me he stayed in my lane. He yelled some profanities at me, which I could not make out and before I could comprehend the reason for all of this I was struck with a beer bottle. I crashed my bicycle and banged myself up a bit. I got the tag information and reported it the police the next business day.
Derek Johnson.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

2010 Blackburn Flea

No you can charge your bike light
with a usb port or with free clean
solar power.

From Blackburn

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

European Union Backs Cycling

The European Parliament is now upping the stakes to increase funding for cycling in the EU. The European Cyclists Federation would like to see €1 out of every €10 spent on European urban infrastructure funding used for bicycle friendly initiatives. A group of Members of the European Parliament have now hopped on board.

Considering the fact that the European Union is the world's largest economy, you'd think that there was enough money to accommodate more bicycle infrastructure and projects. The European Cyclists Federation, which features in the piece, is Europe's premier cycling organization with 60 member organizations in 37 countries.

They are active in promoting cycling positively throughout Europe. In August 2009 they sent a response to the European Commission regarding the public consultation on the Evaluation and Revision of the Action Plan for Energy Efficiency.

The ECF asked the Commission to take into account the potential of cycling in the reduction of CO2 emissions instead of focusing mainly on car technology. It has been calculated that an increase of cycling modal share from 5 to 15% in Europe could save almost 50 million tonnes of CO2.

It's worth mentioning that while Brussels, featured in the film, is a hellhole for cyling, there are many cities and towns in Belgium that are lightyears ahead.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cell phone law called tricky

39 states have done it and they say it is tricky here. Why are the words too big. The point is that in the 39 other states there are consequences, here it is encouraged. Thanks Derek for the link.
From it is not too tricky considering it is written at the 4th grade level.

Safer driving effort raises questions over enforcement

Eleven states do virtually nothing to prevent drivers from talking and texting on cell phones while driving.

Alabama is one of them.

Other states' laws range from disallowing only school bus drivers or those under 18 from using cell phones; some ban all drivers from the use of hand-held phones when behind the wheel.

"It's one of the hottest topics out there," said Jonathan Adkins, spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association in Washington, D.C.

Though Alabama has no laws on the books, the subject has seen debate in the Legislature. Last spring, the House overwhelmingly passed a bill to prohibit motorists from sending or reading text messages while driving. The Senate Judiciary Committee prevented the measure from coming up for a vote.

As the Scottsboro community continues to mourn the death of 49-year-old businessman Carlos Serrano, killed July 29 on his bicycle by a driver reaching in her purse for her cell phone, some ask when Alabama will do more to protect citizens.

But even those who say they want nothing more than safe highways don't believe that an all-out cell phone ban is practical.

State Sen. Paul Sanford, R-Huntsville, said he posed the question on his Facebook Web site last week, asking constituents how they felt about cell phone bans for drivers. Almost 30 people "engaged in lengthy conversation" about the issue.

"There is a general consensus that there's an inability to enforce a law," he said. "A lot of people mentioned that there is a law against speeding, but people speed by me every day. read more here

Friday, September 4, 2009

Meet Veronica Moss, A.U.T.O. Lobbyist

Overturned pedestrian law: sending motorists the wrong message

I know how everyone loves the west coast and the pacific northwest and looks to them as beacons of cyclist freedom. I rarely see these people riding here when it rains though.

"THE state Court of Appeals appropriately rejected a Seattle law that automatically criminalized traffic infractions resulting in serious injuries or death. The court correctly concluded that the 2005 ordinance conflicted with state law decriminalizing most traffic offenses. "

Cyclists, pedestrians not just collateral damage in accidents

Is the life of a bicyclist or pedestrian worth no more than the life of a deer shot out of hunting season?

That appears to be the opinion of The Seattle Times in its Aug. 21 editorial ["Court right to reject Seattle traffic law," Opinion]. Per The Times and the Court of Appeals, drivers who kill or injure cyclists or pedestrians are at most guilty of traffic violations. Let the motorist pay a few hundred dollars to the city treasury and take his SUV back out on the road.

According to The Times, any death or injury is just an unfortunate result of "the increased competition for road space." Has the Times decided that the unfettered competition championed by its business columnists is an ideal policy for traffic as well?

Cyclists and pedestrians beware. You are potential collateral damage in the competitive road economy, and The Times says that's how it should be.

Court rejected accountability from motorists

Perhaps the Court of Appeals ruling isn't anti-cyclist ["Court rejects city traffic law," NWTuesday, Aug. 18]. But it sends an awfully disturbing message to the cycling community.

When I read the Motor Vehicle Laws and got my driver's license, I was sobered to learn that I would be held accountable for any damage I did with the several-thousand-pound vehicle I was being allowed to operate. Perhaps the court has rejected accountability for motor-vehicle operators by their ruling in this case, too.

The Times cited the defense attorney's earnest claim that his client had not failed to do anything that was asked of him. But he left one thing out: The motorist failed to observe the traffic law. He failed to yield the right of way to the cyclist, who subsequently died.

I learned of the circumstances of this case only through reading Times' accounts and opinions of it. Nonetheless, it now seems that all noble promises made by the Department of Licensing about traffic laws being equally enforced for all users of the roads are false, and those who take to the streets on bicycles had better ride as if every car on the road is out to do them serious bodily harm.

That certainly fits my experience of commuting to work on a bicycle. And it fits the facts of this case.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Another Working Class Cyclist Killed by Wealthy CEO

I know they are Canadian and they are Socialists, but they do seem to "act" more civilized than us. Oh and their evil government is already setup to charge him. USA was 15th and 25th in reading and math respectively compared to other countries. Canada was ranked 3rd in both areas! Wait you can make more money here in the USA right?

The cyclist killed Monday in a collision with a car on Toronto's Bloor Street has been identified as Darcy Allan Sheppard, 33.

Originally from Edmonton, Sheppard worked for a city courier service and was also the father of an infant son.

Sheppard, who worked for a courier company, was the father of an infant son.
Michael Bryant, a former Ontario attorney general and the current CEO of Invest Toronto, has been charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death. read more here

Quotes for Your Commute

“Outside of traffic, there is nothing that has held this country back as much as committees.” - Will Rodgers

"It wasn't the Exxon Valdez captain's driving that caused the Alaskan oil spill. It was yours." ~Greenpeace advertisement, New York Times, 25 February 1990

"Americans are broad-minded people. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater, and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there is something wrong with him." ~Art Buchwald, "How Un-American Can You Get?," Have I Ever Lied to You?, 1966

"A commuter tie-up consists of you - and people who for some reason won't use public transit." ~Robert Brault

"A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after." ~Peter De Vries

"You can't see anything from a car; you've got to get out of the goddamn contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbrush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail, you'll see something, maybe." ~Edward Abbey

Pedestrian killed on Whitesburg Drive

Pedistrian killed on Whitesburg Drive

This city is fucked. This time people won't be able to post their comments about how a poor black person from the projects was darting across University Drive. This goes to show all of us that know one is safe to walk or ride a bike anywhere in this fucking city.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bicyclist hit on University Drive

Bicyclist Hit on University Dr.

Don't forget to look at the comments. I am sure we will here from the city soon how it was the cyclist fault and they had beer, no lights, helmet, were not certified to be on the road and why would anyone be on university. read more here

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Transportation Report For Alabama

I am sure that our city engineers and council people have been pouring over these numbers. Heard today via Tommy Battle that state revenues had fallen last year for the first time in 20 years and expected to fall again next year. Could this be the sign of this state following in the foot steps of California, Michigan and others who have thrown all their cities future in to the gamble that these good times would continue to roll. Keep in mind this is just my opinion. Enjoy the drive.
So read on here and relax

Canadian Politician Charged in Death

The interesting part of this beside the obvious victims rage is who he lobbied for a bailout?

OTTAWA — As the high-profile attorney general for Ontario, Michael Bryant had championed severe and controversial traffic safety laws. On Tuesday, he was charged with criminal negligence causing death and with dangerous driving causing death in an unusually violent episode of road rage involving a bicyclist. read here for the answer

Driver hits cyclist he thought stole son's bike

From the AP

Colorado Springs police said a minivan driver intentionally hit a cyclist who he mistakenly thought had stolen his son's bike. Police said the cyclist suffered minor leg injuries when he was hit Monday but didn't require hospitalization. Investigators said the driver got out of the minivan and approached the cyclist, and the cyclist punched him, fearing he would be hit again.

Read more here