Monday, May 31, 2010


Thursday, May 27, 2010

City employees promote bicycle commuting

City administrative assistant Peach Stebbins bikes 13 miles round-trip to and from work about three times weekly in the summer. “It gives me great energy and satisfaction,” she said. Photo by Kathie Meyer
City administrative assistant Peach Stebbins bikes 13 miles round-trip to and from work about three times weekly in the summer. “It gives me great energy and satisfaction,” she said. Photo by Kathie Meyer
Bike-to-work basicsFor more information about bicycle commuting, download the handout (PDF, 66 KB).

Fourth annual Fort2Fort Bike Ride
The Fort2Fort ride offers three choices, beginning at McCurdy Pavilion in Fort Worden State Park: a fun ride of 17 miles round-trip, a more challenging 42-mile loop to Old Fort Townsend or a 62-mile round-trip to Fort Flagler. Riders may start any time between 8 and 10:30 a.m. Preregistration is $35 if postmarked by Saturday, May 29; cost is $40 after May 29 and on the day of the ride. For more information, visit Mail the registration fee to:
F2F Ride
c/o Friends of Fort Worden
200 Battery Way
Port Townsend, WA 98368

By Kathie Meyer of the Leader

Bust out the bike!City employees are making a commitment to ride their bicycles to work more often and want others to join them. Last week, some of the city’s most ardent and aspirant bikers met for a short training and encouragement session on the benefits of biking, led by Rick Sepler, director of development services. The training was sponsored by the city’s Wellness Committee.
“We figured everyone in Port Townsend can be well,” said Mary Heather Ames, civil engineer.
City employees who bike to work regularly are Sepler, Ames, Judy Surber, Peach Stebbins, Tyler Johnson, Ken Clow and Ian Jablonski. Some of them meet at the Haines Place Park-and-Ride, at Haines and 12th streets, at 7:30 a.m. and bike to City Hall together. While they don’t do this every day, any other interested bikers are welcome to show up and join them, they said.
Some of the essentials for bike commuting are a headlight, a rear red blinking light, a bell and panniers for transporting a change of clothing, your lunch and other daily needs.
Sepler, who coordinates the upcoming Fort2Fort Bike Ride (see sidebar), has an answer for every excuse in the book that people can use for not riding more often.
“The hills are the biggest reason people don’t bike here,” said Sepler. To tackle the steepest inclines, he said, use the smallest front gear with the biggest back gear. Using alternate, less direct routes that are flatter is also an option.
One can always drive to work, ride their bike home and ride back the next day, said Sepler. Jefferson Transit is another way to get your bike back home, if a two-way commute feels daunting or the weather turns sour. Jefferson Transit also offers bike lockers for use at the park-and-ride and at the Jefferson County Library.
“Right now, all four [lockers] at the [county] library are available, and three of the six at the park-and-ride are available,” said Carla Meyer, transit services administrator.
The lockers, which come with a built-in lock, are available for an indefinite period of time and are renewed semi-annually. Occupants must sign a user agreement and pay a $45 refundable security and key deposit. Call 385-4777 and ask for Meyer.
The benefits of cycling include less pollution, staying fit, saving money and a sense of accomplishment, said Sepler. Biking from work to home is a great mental transition from those stressful problems we sometimes carry home with us, he said.
For those who also want to ride recreationally, the Port Townsend Bicycle Association is the best resource for area cycling activities. Visit

Monday, May 17, 2010

Man charged in hit and run on River Road

Man charged in hit and run on River Road
Louisiana State Police have charged Marshall A. Hahn, 30, of Lacombe, La., in the hit and run on River Road Saturday morning that severely injured LSU graduate student Michael Bitton.
Investigators received a tip last night that a Black 2006 Toyota Tundra matching the description involved in the hit and run was parked behind Walk-On's restaurant near the LSU Campus.
According to sources, he was most recently employed as a manager at Walk-On's.
Saturday night, State Police confirmed it was the car and Sunday morning took the car into evidence.
Hahn faces five different charges, including: felony hit and run, passing a bicyclist, careless operation of a vehicle, driving under suspension and negligent injury.
We'll have more on News 2 at 5:30 and 10:00p.m.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Biking around town with Randy “The Ethicist” Cohen

A few years back, Randy Cohen, writer of the NY Times Magazine "The Ethicist" column, visited the Streetfilms set for a unprecedented interview with Mark Gorton about "Transportation Ethics.".  Well we wanted to talk more, so this time we got out of the studio to take a two-wheeled jaunt around New York City and visit many of his favorite spots and take in the alfresco enchantment of the capital of the world.
As you'll see during our ten mile journey, Mr. Cohen offered up some very decisive opinions about car-free Central Park, weighed in on the ethics of  "bike salmoning" (riding wrong way in bike lanes), whether he stops for red lights (you might be surprised by his answer), and comments on how transformative our streets have become for pedestrians and cyclists.
He also doesn't hide the fact he has a massive "policy crush" on NYC DOT chiefJanette Sadik-Khan.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Driving without Dying

Thought about Clint on this one from our friends at in Louisville.

Found this one over at Copenhagenize and it’s got some really great points. Check out Jack’s 10 reasons to wear a helmet in the car. This coupled with another post by Mikael really got me thinking about the whole cycling helmet issue. Riding a bicycle down the street is not a dangerous activity. It’s the cars and neglectful driving that create the hazard. I’ve always had an issue with this from a parenting standpoint. The mother of my children is very much on the side of helmets. “The kids need to wear helmets when riding their bikes.” This I don’t have so much of a problem with when we’re at the skatepark or trails. That has a danger element thrown in. However, I feel they’ll be just fine riding over to their friends or up to the store.
Well, what about in the car? The spot where the real danger emerges from while traveling. Driving is dangerous as fuck, plain and simple. Over 1 million people die from car crashes a year. That’s insane! Regardless, communities still push forward with a carcentric infrastructure with no plans on vearing in another direction. As Mikael mentions over at Copenhagenize, we have to stop falling into this wear your bike helmet bullshit. Riding a bike isn’t dangerous, cars are dangerous! The general ideas behind so many bicycle advocacy measures focus on safety and honestly it makes riding a bike on the road sound scary. No wonder more people aren’t out there riding. All they hear is how dangerous it is to be on the road.
Bicycles are a fast form of transportation. However, here in America the landscape has been designed for the car. Nothing is convenient. I really don’t know what the answer is. How do you turn generations of thought around? We’re raised in cars in this country. How do you convince cities to take driving lanes away, narrow roads and reduce the amount of space for cars to travel in? I suppose this is nothing new and I’m just bitching and moaning as we all know these aspects. I’m just asking for everyone to stop making bike riding sound so damn dangerous and slow the fuck down if you’re driving. The speed limit is that, a limit. You can go slower.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ride To Earth Fare

Rode out to Earth Fare today to see what all the hoopla was about. They did have a bike rack as they promised they would. And although I could not fit my tires in the rack because they were 700s and not 26". It was still nice to lock my bike up to something other than a hand-rail or cart return. They did inform me that the beef was grass fed up until 90 days before slaughter and then grain fed. I asked the clerk at the meat counter if the beef had been fed corn during those 90 days. He turned to a supervisor who then informed me that the beef had been fed corn, but maybe I am becoming a food snob after reading The Omnivores Dilemma. I am sure the meat is better than what I would get at other stores and looked very good, as did the fish and cheese. They are also the only grocery store I have seen so far to carry High Gravity Beer, and right along side all the other beer. They had some good prices on things and others I thought were a little high and could be purchased just as easily at Fresh Market. Downside is that it is a little far for me to shop on a regular basis but I did enjoyed the bike ride out there. On the plus side unlike the other three stores I shop at: Kroger, Publix, and Fresh Market. Earth Fare is the only one of them to provided a bike rack to secure my bike. I know that Star and Garden Cove have done their part in providing bike racks, but bottom line the produce sucks at Star, and Garden Cove is always out of everything. Very ironic that the least bike-able place for me would be the only one with a bike rack, but hey what are you going to do "Welcome to Huntsville."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Major Bike Mojo in Minneapolis

In a surprising choice, the May edition of Bicycling Magazine named Minneapolis America’s best city for biking. The city still trails Portland, Oregon in the percentage of commuters who bike to work (4.3 percent to 5.9 percent, respectively, according to the most recent American Community Survey), but Minneapolis has been gaining momentum.
Next month, Minneapolis will launch the largest bike-share program in the country, building on a strong foundation of extensive bike trails and a thriving bicycling community.  They're also using federal funds to double the mileage of on-street bike lanes, build more road diets, introduce bicycle boulevards, and more. Have a look and see how Minneapolis has shot to the top of America's best bicycling cities.
[Editors Note: This film was produced in association with NACTO - the National Association for City Transportation Officials.]

Saturday, May 8, 2010

New StreetSense Bike Safety Video!

Check out our brand-new bike safety video for Louisville, featuring Kirby Adams and co-written by local cycling guru Joe Ward! The video covers the ABC Bike Quick Check, where to ride in traffic, where not to ride and lots more! Thanks toVia Internet Studio for work on the production. The video was funded by a Paula Nye Education Grant. Learn more.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Transportation advocate urges Mobile to make streets safer for bicyclists, pedestrians

We are second in the state maybe we can get them to come here?

By Mark R. Kent

May 07, 2010, 9:00AM
MOBILE, Ala. -- The greater Mobile area leads Alabama in the rate of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities -- 31 deaths in 2007-08 alone -- but an advocate of traffic re-engineering says it's more than just judgment errors that kill.
During a seminar Thursday night, Dave Goldberg of the advocacy group Transportation for America cited a national problem of urban and suburban street and road design that favors expanding auto needs at the expense of those who walk, ride bikes or use public transportation.
And it's nothing new, according to Goldberg. Highways feeding suburbs that sprung up after World War II separated residential areas from commercial zones and schools, making walking both impractical and increasingly dangerous. It made America a society increasingly dependent on the car, he said.
Speaking at a seminar titled "Dangerous by Design" as part of Healthy Coast Week, Goldberg showed pictures of numerous examples of roads that he said ignore the needs of pedestrians, including one along which he walks his son to school in Decatur, Ga.
"More than half of pedestrian fatalities happen along arterial roads, often state roads widened from two lanes to four or more," Goldberg said. "About 40 percent are killed where there is no crosswalk available."
Goldberg's group was one of several that advocated the establishment of "complete streets," arteries that serve not only cars but dedicated passage for public transportation, bicycles and walkers.
Three area communities -- Fairhope, Daphne and Chickasaw -- were cited at the seminar for complete-street policies already in place.
Goldberg said his group's long-term goals are to instill policies that repair existing roads and bridges, promote public transportation and complete streets, reclaim aging corridors -- especially in areas "where big-box stores stand vacant" -- and to give new life to arterial roads.
Citing an aging population in the United States, an AARP spokesman said that future community developers need to address not only outdoor needs, but development of homes more easily accessible to older people who may have trouble getting around.
Adam Goldberg -- no relation to David Goldberg -- displayed a number of illustrations showing homes with wide entrances and no porches situated in communities where people can move about "without fear of isolation."
Citing a figure of 29 percent of non-drivers among more than 404,000 people in greater Mobile, Sharon Z. Rorety of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking echoed the sentiments of both Goldbergs in advocating more space for cyclists and walkers.
Smart Coast honored longtime activist Teko Wiseman with its "Giraffe Award" for "sticking her neck out" with her work in helping develop bike and walking trails from Fairhope through Daphne and on to the Battleship USS Alabama.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Considering that Huntsville seems to model itself after Atlanta, cars, suburbs, sprawl.

City gets nod for being bicycle-friendly

Saturday, May 01, 2010
It still takes some willpower to navigate what Stephen Patchan, city bicycle-pedestrian coordinator, called Pittsburgh's "spaghetti network" of roads.

But the ride is a lot smoother than it used to be, according to a national group that today will announce that the city is a "bicycle-friendly community."

In all, 140 communities nationwide have the designation, recognizing their efforts to make bicycling safer and more convenient. Pittsburgh is one of 16 cities new to the American League of Bicyclists program today. Others include Dayton, Ohio; Spokane, Wash.; and Roanoke, Va.

"I know Pittsburgh is definitely moving forward quite quickly," Meghan Cahill, spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C.-based league said.

Read more:

Cycling Up, Injuries Down: NYC Bike Policy Is Working

In recent years NYC has invested in cycling infrastructure like this separated lane on Sands Street, which created a much safer approach to the Manhattan Bridge.
Fewer bicyclists were injured in 2009, even as more New Yorkers take to their bikes, according to a new analysisof city and state data from Transportation Alternativespublished in the Wall Street Journal.
2,730 people were injured while bicycling in 2009, a 7 percent drop from 2008, and marking five straight years of declines. Since 1998, cycling injuries have fallen by more than 45 percent.
The numbers are especially compelling given the dramatic growth in cycling in the city in recent years. Some estimates suggest that the number of people bicycling in New York City has grown by 20 percent in the past year, a testament to the improvements NYC DOT has made to the city’s bicycling infrastructure.
While at first blush it may seem contradictory that injuries are declining even as cycling rates climb, several academic studies have found that cycling safety improves when there are greater numbers of bicyclists as drivers grow more accustomed to sharing the roads. And certainly NYC DOT’s efforts to improve safety for cyclists and other road users deserves credit.
Image: Gersh Kuntzman/Brooklyn Paper.

Monday, May 3, 2010

More 'ghost bike' memorials erected around Colorado

It's time Alabamians look outside the state to solve the Bicycle safety issues.
"Vermont had zero fatalities, and Alabama had the most: 22.5 deaths per 10,000 bicycles."

 A “ghost bike” memorial to Marvin “Chip” Webb is shown April 13 in Lafayette. Webb, a Lafayette cafe owner, died after a collision with a bus while riding his bike near Lafayette City Hall.
Photo by JOE AMON/The Denver Post/AP
A “ghost bike” memorial to Marvin “Chip” Webb is shown April 13 in Lafayette. Webb, a Lafayette cafe owner, died after a collision with a bus while riding his bike near Lafayette City Hall.

DENVER - The mountain bike, spray-painted white, is chained to a lamppost at the busy intersection in Lafayette where Marvin “Chip" Webb was hit on his bicycle by an RTD bus. He died the next day.

The bike is adorned with some flowers, a memorial card signed by friends and a stenciled sign that reads “A Cyclist Was Struck Here 4-6-10."

Read more here

EDITORIAL: City must come clean on its glass recycling program

By John Peck, The Huntsville Times

May 03, 2010, 9:50AM
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. _ Huntsville's Solid Waste Disposal Authority has trashed - pun emphasized - the principles of honesty and responsibility.
For years, the agency that administers the city's highly acclaimed recycling program has steered residents wanting to recycle glass to specially marked dumpsters at a recyclerly in southwest Huntsville.
From there, the old glass was to be delivered to a remanufacturer to turn into new eco-friendly products.
The SWDA is now left red-faced by a dirty little secret that has been revealed. Turns out the glass hasn't been recycled for a couple of years.
At least not in the traditional sense. Instead, it has been burned with other garbage in the city incinerator -  its ash then used as landfill cover.
Thanks for telling us.
What that means is every citizen who dutifully hauled their empty glass containers to Allied Waste's recyclerly off Triana Boulevard - burning their time and their gas - did it all for naught. The glass could just as easily have been tossed in their garbage at home.

Huntsville residents: Your 'recycled' glass has been ending up in an incinerator

This should be listed with the Huntsville's other awards.

By Steve Doyle, The Huntsville Times

May 02, 2010, 8:33AM
Man recycling glassView full sizeMichael Jones drops off glass bottles for recycling in the public glass recycling bins at Allied Waste's Huntsville Recyclery.
HUNTSVILLE, AL -- For six years, the Lowe Mill arts center took great pride in lugging its empty glass bottles to Allied Waste's Huntsville Recyclery off Triana Boulevard.
Assistant Manager Grace Billiter didn't mind the smelly, heavy work because keeping the bottles out of the landfill was good for the planet. She assumed they were being turned into new, eco-friendly products.
But Allied officials confirmed last week that glass hauled to the recyclery by green-minded residents - about two tons every month - has not been recycled.