Thursday, July 22, 2010


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Friday, July 16, 2010

Nashville Mayor's Bike Ride and Walk to Celebrate Greenways

Nice to see they included pedestrians as well. I also like the fact they are using this to celebrate=(encourage) walking and cycling not SAFETY FEVER. This may seem like harsh criticism, but the fact that Huntsville can not think or act outside the box might explain why we are so behind. 

Nashville Mayor's Bike Ride and Walk to Celebrate Greenways

Immediately after the Flood of 2010 Metro Nashville started assessing damages to the entire Greenways network. Some greenways were in the direct line of the flood and suffered significant damages. But other greenways faired well despite the heavy hit from the flood. Greenways for Nashville, Walk Bike Nashville, various Parks-Friends groups, and concerned citizens from neighborhoods throughout Nashville came together with our Parks Department for several clean up efforts to reopen our greenways. This Saturday (July 17), Mayor Karl Dean will celebrate the volunteerism spirit and hard work to restore our greenways.
The bike ride and walk will start on the "hill" in Shelby Park (green star on map attached) next to the Cumberland River Bike/Ped bridge. The 2-mile walk will be lead by Anne Davis and the 6-mile bike ride will be lead by Mayor Dean. Participants are encouraged to walk or ride to the event and to the start location. All bike riders are encouraged to wear helmets. Vehicle parking is available at 2 locations: Shelby Bottoms-Forrest Green Trail Head (off of Forrest Green Drive) , and Wave Country in Two Rivers Park. 
WHO: Karl Dean, Mayor of Metropolitan Government of Nashville
WHAT: Celebrate Greenways post Flood of 2010
WHEN: Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 8:00 AM
WHERE: Shelby Bottoms Park (next to Cumberland River Pedestrian on the "Hill").

Bicycle group praises city

Much better to praise the city after they have done something real for us! Considering pedestrians seems smart as well. Way to go Tuscaloosa!!!

Efforts help make city more ‘bike-friendly’

Staff photo | Dusty Compton
A “Share the Road” sign is in the foreground as Tuscaloosa resident Tim Crumly rides along Sanders Ferry Road in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday. Tuscaloosa received an honorable mention as a Bicycle Friendly Community.
By Ashley Boyd Staff Writer
Published: Friday, July 16, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 10:55 p.m.
TUSCALOOSA | Advocates say cycling in Tuscaloosa is only getting better.

Planned bicycle projects
The bicycling component of the Tuscaloosa Area 2035 Long-Range Transportation Plan proposes about 200 bicycle projects in Tuscaloosa County. Projects under way include the construction of sidewalks at area schools, the pedestrian and cycling component of the city’s Riverwalk plan and the proposed McWright’s Ferry Road extension.
With experience hosting large events such as the Tour de Tuscaloosa and the USAT Triathlon Elite National Championships, the city is becoming better known as a friendly place for bicycles. The city’s recent “honorable mention” by the League of American Bicyclists as a “Bicycle Friendly Community” reflects an effort to make the city even friendlier for people on two wheels.
“Tuscaloosa is really a beautiful place to ride,” said Charlie Walbach, a member of the Druid City Bicycle Club. “The terrain is great. You can ride north of the river and be in hilly terrain or south of the river, and it’s fairly flat. You don’t realize it, but Tuscaloosa is a scenic community.”
The League of American Bicyclists’ campaign to identify bike-friendly communities provides incentives, assistance and award recognition for communities that actively support cycling. Cities that apply for such a designation are judged in five categories, including a city’s engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation and planning efforts.
Tuscaloosa applied for the designation, saying it had made significant strides to improve bicycle facilities, implement new trails and encourage more people to bicycle in the community. Tuscaloosa wasn’t selected, but the league gave it an honorable mention and praised the city’s progress.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Going somewhere?

This could have been written about here. 
Where  I live right now is one of those small cities where no one uses a bicycle, or few enough to say no one.  I cannot understand how or why so many cars and trucks go by the house.  I’m not on a main highway.   Sometimes, this constant barrage of traffic gets to me.  I do not like living in a world of noise – but what gets to me the most is that it’s almost 90 degrees out and STILL WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE ON BICYCLES?
Nope, not in this shit hole.  Ain’t nothing changing but the demand going up for fuel.  99.9% is a pretty bad statistic, but if you sat by and counted the cars and bicycles going by, you’d have that number.
A young lad skips out of his house, able bodied and strong, with a low watt smile on his face, no thought of responsibility for what he’s about to do.  He gets in his car and GOES somewhere.  This is the diseased disconnect we have – that we (the collective, self not included) equate GOING somewhere with starting up and operating a massive 4 wheeled power plant with incredibly complicated systems running and regulating it.  How did our cities become hot hells of pavement with all these rolling power plants blasting heat and filling the air with toxic fumes?

Yes, youngster – that’s what you’re doing.  You’re not only getting your body from your home to your friend’s house, or to the store, or to work – you’re spewing filth into the air.  You’re consuming 10.000 times the amount of calories you should be consuming to bring YOU there.  Do I have this right?  The idea is to get yourself somewhere, and the car being brought along is only a result of that action, right?  Because it looks like the idea is to drive around every day.
When I live in boring shitty places full of boring shitty people (I didn’t choose this place, it chose me, and maintenance camp still rages on with more and more to do – the endless gopher pounding game) I start to lose faith in humanity.  When I hear the news that China is buying up cars faster than we are replacing them, I get a shudder.  Where are we going?  Going somewhere?  Do they want to become like us – oblivious insensitive people who are defined as CONSUMERS first and foremost, driving to and from work with music blaring, never thinking for one second that this blaring noise may be disturbing someone in the houses you are passing?  In a car, people are empowered to disturb the peace like never before – with loud FART exhausts, blaring ‘music’, and horn honks whenever you please.  I fell asleep about 12 times and was re-woken up by people driving by after midnight blaring their fucking stereos.
The whole of all the oceans could be covered in oil, and still these people would be gunning it to get home, singing to their blasting radios, in time for a certain TV show and the comfort of self poisoning.  If it was one person acting in such a manner, an intervention would be called for – but this mentality is pervasive and fed continually by those agents who wish for us to remain, first and foremost, the CONSUMER, and maybe a person too sometimes.
It’s tough enough being one of the only cyclists in a sea of cars and trucks.  It truly sucks when someone yells at me to get on the sidewalk, and then gets through the next green light so I can’t run up and assault this person verbally, because that’s what yelling out of a car is – it’s the most cowardly form of verbal assault – it is a ‘hit and run’ with words.  Knowing there is nothing I can do about it, it continues to occasionally happen.  This time, the dipshit yelling out of his red cherokee to tell me to get on the sidewalk didn’t realize that indeed I WAS at that time on the sidewalk.  Dumb fuck.
“No harm, no foul” is my policy – so if a vehicle doesn’t give me enough clearance and passes a little close, I ignore it, unless it accompanies monkey howling or threats.  The horn honking is upsetting – do you assholes who drive cars realize how loud the horn is right beside your car, asshole?  Some fuck in a black truck recently blew a fucking TRAIN HORN at me – not only was it a fucked up thing to do, my ears were ringing after that.
Shame is what I feel, but not the shame of one of these losers that rides a bike because he had the license taken away and can’t wait to get it back, or one of these kids that feels ashamed to be on a lowly bicycle and is working towards getting a car so he can finally be _______ because when you get a car your life becomes live-able, according to these people.
I feel shame that my country is under the incessant grip of an omni-demic disease I call car dependency.  I feel shame at the land, water, and wildlife that has been laid to waste by the roads we’ve built to allow this disease to progress.  I feel quite ashamed that no one wishes to address or recognize this collective condition for the disease that it is, and to take steps to heal from it.  I say there should be a ’school of not driving’ and now I’ve got some screws loose.  I say “We should ride bicycles to work” and I must be some east coast liberal fuck coming up here to change things.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason why people aren’t choosing to ride a bicycle and continuing this destructive and expensive activity of taking the 150 hp power plant along is not as complicated as some might make it out to be.  PEOPLE HATE EXERCISE.  That’s it, that’s the reason.  They avoid exercise as much as possible, and therefore they avoid health.  They avoid healthy eating along with avoiding the exercise – and in the minds of 99% of people here in Shithole USA, the bicycle is associated NOT with going somewhere but with that dreaded thing exercise.
People aren’t in a ‘learning stance’ to find out this revolutionary concept of riding a bicycle to go somewhere when all they see is other cars being driven, the occasional cyclist, and hear stories of being assaulted and yelled at by those crazy people on bicycles.  Because we’re all crazy eco-nazis to them.  The message of getting this one ship we are all in to STOP SINKING is lost in a sea of emotional reactions and re-affirmations of fucked up ways of life.  If the government cared enough to want a change, they would have funded schools of not driving long ago.  This is what we need, philanthropists – we need a SCHOOL to train people to fix a tire, ride a bike, and most of all to BELIEVE in it.  Fat chance of that happening.  Around the corner from me – a driving school and a funeral home, a McDonald’s and a gas station where not one item inside is locally sourced.  Ain’t nothing changing.
The people that hate exercise lay around and fuck more often than those of us, we few, that like to exercise.  Therefore, they have more children.  Laziness is on the rise, not on the decline.  You and I might be making a difference, but the prevalent mindset and behavior set sure is making it hard to survive any other way but theirs.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bicycle Mafia

From the HSV Times Letters to the Editor , I would much rather see a bicycle mafia than the current good ole boys network which is currently in place. The race to the bottom has been won by this 3rd world state and douche bags like this are why. South Hatesville zip code as well. I do not agree with the parking ordinance, I think tax dollars from the city should be used for bike parking.  Might be time for this welfare state to start paying it's own way and get off the federal tit.
Bicycle Mafia

Is Bicycle Mafia taking over Huntsville? We already have 158 miles of bike routes. How many do we need? How many bicycle, as opposed to auto, licenses have been issued?
Don't get me wrong, I like bikes. I've lived in Holland where bicycles and autos share the road equally.
But Holland has more bikes than cars to begin with. The whole country has the same rules and they've been in place for a long time. Also the Dutch climate is somewhat different from here.
Bikers should be able to pedal through parks and greenways. Likewise a route or a few intersecting routes to get around town. We don't need every street or very many of them where bikes share lanes originally designed for cars, with cars.
Good for Tommy Battle to push bikes and ride around City Hall once a year on a weekend. But, I don't need to see his backside creeping along a major thoroughfare at rush hour when I'm in a hurry and all lanes are full of cars. Share the road, but sensibly?
Making new businesses or apartments reserve so many places for bike racks smacks of Big Brother.
If they're needed or are asked for I'm sure they'll be there. City Council should not pass such an ordinance. In fact they shouldn't even vote on it until all of them ride to the meeting from their homes on a bike (no fair jumping on one just for the final photo op).
Bill Barry
Huntsville, 35803

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC)

Nashville BPAC logo
The Nashville BPAC is an advisory committee for the Metropolitan Government established by Mayor Karl Dean to promote and encourage safe bicycling and walking to further Nashville’s goal of becoming a bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly city. One of the BPAC’s main focuses will be on Nashville’s interest to increase the safe usage of bicycle and pedestrian facilities as a significant and beneficial mode of transportation and recreation.
In addition to Transportation and Recreational benefits, there are four major benefits of creating a more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly Nashville.


  • Attracts business to Nashville-vibrant communities
  • Increases property values
  • Provides improved transportation access – MTA, RTA, sidewalks and greenways
  • More walking/biking foot traffic for businesses
  • “Eyes on the street” - safety increases: commercial, office, and neighborhood areas
  • Reduces health care costs
  • Decreases future capital expense – with complete transportation options


  • Improves air quality – asthma, lung disease
  • Reduces obesity, overweight population (Nashville 56%)
  • Reduces cardiovascular diseases and diabetes
  • Fewer ER patients and associated costs
  • Lowers general health care costs


  • Improves air quality (CO2 reduction, CMAQ funding)
  • Reduces carbon footprint – fossil fuel, heat electricity
  • Reuse of existing infrastructure – infill development
  • Less greenfield development – growing smart

Quality of life

  • Neighborhood access to parks, greenways, sidewalks
  • More Livable communities
  • Eyes on street – decreases safety concerns
  • Varied access to community services
  • Improves vitality rate, decrease health concerns

Friday, July 9, 2010

Nashville will launch bicycle sharing program

Hmm, I don't hear Nashville wimpering "we don't have any money"
The city will be launching a pilot bike share program, starting with a fleet of 30 bikes in two locations and expanding to thousands of bikes citywide by next spring.
"We don't really have a biking culture in this city," said Toks Omishakin, the man Nashville MayorKarl Dean has charged with the job of turning the city into a bicycle-friendly, pedestrian-friendly mecca. "But change is happening. If you build it, they will come."
What Nashville has built are two pilot bike stations — one at Shelby Bottoms and one at the Music City Star riverfront train station on First Avenue South. There, any Davidson County resident can take one of the city's new bright yellow and blue one-speed bikes out for a spin.
An attendant will take down the cyclists' driver's license information, provide them with a helmet if they don't have one of their own and send them on their way with a map of the city's bike paths, bike lanes and suggested cycling routes — and the understanding that they will return the bike.
The pilot locations were chosen because they will attract plenty of people on foot, looking for a way to get around without a car. In Shelby Bottoms, park visitors could take the bikes for a spin on the greenway's miles of bike paths. The train station bikes might appeal to the Music City Star commuters.

More Cities Share Bikes

Bike share programs are popular in Europe and in a growing number of American cities — includingWashington, D.C.DenverMinneapolis and Portland, Ore. Boston, Chicago and San Antonio are in theprocess of launching pilot programs of their own.
The question will be whether a bike share program appeals in a city where most people use their bikes for weekend recreation, not weekday commutes. Omishakin, Metro's new director of healthy living, is investing$300,000 out of a multi-million dollar grant from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, hoping it will.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Yes, You Can Move the Needle on Public Support for a Gas Tax Hike

gas_tax_graphic.jpgPublic support for increasing the federal gas tax rises if revenues will be spent to combat global warming. Graphic: Mineta Transportation Institute
Last week, USA Today reported rather gleefully that the U.S. gas tax has never been lower. Having remained unchanged at 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993, American drivers are now paying half as much in inflation-adjusted gas taxes, per 1,000 miles driven, that they did in 1975. We can pretty much forget about investing in new and expanded transit systems — or even just holding up our bridges — as long as this is the case.
USA Today also cited a recent national survey by the Mineta Transportation Institute, which pegged public support for a 10-cent gas tax increase at a paltry 23 percent. Thanks to a post from Streetsblog Network member TrailBlog, penned by Steve Schweigerdt of the Rails to Trails Conservancy, we have a more complete — and interesting — picture of what this survey actually revealed. Schweigert reports from a recent panel discussion about the survey:
A couple key points from the survey were that:
  • Linking transportation tax to environmental benefits will increase support, specifically if the tax helps address global warming.
  • Support for gas taxes can be significantly increased with good program design.
The panelists portrayed the gas tax increase as a needed short-term fix, but a restructuring of transportation financing is necessary for long-term investment in the system. William Millar [of the American Public Transit Association] reminded the audience that we shouldn’t assume that the way things are can never change. We spent the last 60 years building the system we have, he said, and we can spend the next 60 building a better system.
You can download the survey results here. Of particular note: Support for the 10-cent gas tax hike rose to 42 percent if the revenue would be spent to reduce global warming. The survey also gauged public opinion on a mileage tax, finding that support increased from 21 percent to 33 percent if the rate would vary according to the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

AT&T backs Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle's proposed texting while driving ban

Wow are uber Mayor is now being supported by AT&T, what a proud day!! This bill is bullshit and impossible to enforce. How in the hell will the cops be able to enforce this when they are talking on their phones themselves? Hands free anyone? 
HUNTSVILLE, AL -- AT&T officials today are expected to announce support for Mayor Tommy Battle's proposed texting while driving ban.
According to a press release, Battle and Dave Hargrove, regional director for AT&T Alabama, will appear together at a 3 p.m. news conference to discuss the mayor's "Eyes on the Road" effort.
Battle wants to make it illegal to send text messages or check e-mail while driving anywhere in the city limits. Huntsville would become just the fourth Alabama city to crack down on texting drivers, joining Jacksonville, Vestavia Hills and Roanoke in Randolph County.
Texting would be considered a secondary traffic violation here, meaning Huntsville police could stop a texting driver only if they were doing something else wrong like speeding.
The proposed ordinance reads, "No person shall operate a vehicle upon any highway, roadway or street while using a wireless communication device to send, receive, download or view any electronic or digital content including music, video, picture or communication including, but not limited to, electronic mail, instant messaging or text messaging."
The Huntsville City Council is expected to vote on the idea tomorrow night.

Wilsonville to form bicycle and pedestrian task force

What might interest you is that when you don't live in a "third world state" there seems to be funding available. I guess with being last you appreciate the crumbs that are fed to you more.

From WILSONVILLE – The city along with South Metro Area Regional Transit will host an informational meeting and kick-off off for the city's new Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force. 

The group funded through a Regional Travel Options grant from Metro, will meet at 6 p.m. July 21 at the City Hall building, 29799 S.W. Town Center Loop E. 

Jeff Owen, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator said the task force is designed to open lines of communication between SMART employees and local citizens interested in the topic. 

In 2006, the city adopted a master plan that outlined projects and ideas about how to connect the two sides of Wilsonville since the city is split down the middle by Interstate 5. 

"Overall the task force is designed to be a platform to get feedback and news about anything bicycle or pedestrian related and to provide residents with materials and knowledge," Owen said. 

Thus far, SMART has received about 20 responses of interested participants for the task force and is expecting more in the coming weeks. 

While the task force does not have any voting power to speak of, Owen said the idea is not to be a governing body but a way to get people talking about bikes and walking in Wilsonville. 

"This idea is a little new to the city, we just want to set up an informal gathering ... we want people to see the future in this sort of thinking and sharing," he said. 

The task force also hopes to involve citizens in projects around the city such as the Wilsonville Road project and designing a bike road map. 

That project, funded by the city is part of an expansion near the Interstate 5 on ramp at Wilsonville Road. It will include a raised bike and pedestrian path with art along the sides of the overpass. 

The group will also be posting information on the new city website that is expected to launch later this week. 

Owen said all information from meetings and discussions will be updated on a regular basis to help include those who can not attend regularly. 

He hopes regularly meeting with a group of people interested in bike and pedestrian information will lead to more projects and finding out what citizens of Wilsonville want from the city and how to make emission-free commuting a bigger part of everyday life.

Public Transit Good for Your Health

considering how obese Huntsville is, seems like a no brainer
Yet more proof that public transportation has very real and significant positive impacts on the health of a population. A study conducted in Charlotte, NC by the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and the RAND Corporation has “found that construction of a light-rail system (LRT) resulted in increased physical activity (walking) and subsequent weight loss by people served by the LRT.”
So you’re telling me that the availability of a reliable and convenient alternative to driving encourages people to become less dependent on their cars, and, subsequently to walk more? And that this is good for our health? Surely this is something that we knew already — yet, for some reason, public policies on transportation rarely account for these benefits and the potential long-term cost-savings. Indeed, lead investigator on the study, John M. MacDonald of the University of Pennsylvania, stated that we need to focus on the public policy implications of these findings:
Public policy investments in transit should consider potential increases in physical activity as part of the broader set of cost-benefit calculations of transit systems. Land-use planning and travel choice have a clear impact on health outcomes.
It is incredibly important to note this last point — the effect of land-use planning on overall quality of life. It’s no secret that well-planned transportation networks rely on effective land-use planning strategies (ones that put people before cars). This is part of the reason why RenewLV’s Sustainable Transporation Initiative has a strong focus on regional land-use planning. It seems appropriate then to make the connection between the overall health of a population and the design of a community (i.e. the presence of sidewalks, bike lanes, etc.).
Unfortunately, many transportation policies still favor the the building of new roads rather than creating robust public transit systems. I believe that there should be a balance struck in funding roads and transit — one that can be advocated for by public health professionals. Perhaps creating stronger ties between transportation and public health can encourage this.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Urban Artisans: A Collective Thrives in Brooklyn

Piotr Redlinski for The New York Times
A bicycle ballet at 3rd Ward, the arts and design collective in Bushwick.
A proclamation from Marty Markowitz, the excitable Brooklyn borough president, is no rarity. But receiving it under the head of a quasianimatronic wolf-creature, while, around the corner, a guy upholsters a seat cushion in brown argyle, and another blends cocktails by bike — that is something special.


The latest on the arts, coverage of live events, critical reviews, multimedia extravaganzas and much more. Join the discussion.
Piotr Redlinski for The New York Times
From left, Brooke Smith, Charlie Mirisola and Jason Goodman.
At a party for its fourth anniversary last month, 3rd Ward, the arts and design collective in Bushwick, received a commendation from Mr. Markowitz for its program giving free bicycles to members. But 3rd Ward hardly needed the boost: hundreds of people had come to its brightly painted labyrinthine space to celebrate. Outside were bands and burgers; inside there were demonstrations of screen-printing, woodworking, weaving, designing jewelry and welding, as well as vodka-spiked strawberry lemonade. (A bike was powering the blender.)
Since its inception, 3rd Ward has become something of a D.I.Y. utopia. When Jason Goodman, 31, and his partner, Jeremy Lovitt, 30, conceived of it, it was as a continuation of the facilities and atmosphere they had had as students at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston: a grown-up art campus. Instead 3rd Ward has evolved into an art and design incubator, where members pay a fee for access to wood and metal shops, photo studios, media labs and other spaces. It attracts hobbyists and professionals alike, as well as dabblers who sign on for a class at a time. As a one-stop network for the creative set, it has managed to be profitable even in a down economy, with annual revenues of about $1.5 million, Mr. Goodman said. It has expanded to a second location, in Williamsburg, and, as of this month, opened a restaurant, Goods, out of a converted trailer nearby.
As a model for the development of a creative business sector, 3rd Ward has attracted attention from other entrepreneurs, community leaders and cities. Six months ago Mr. Goodman and Mr. Lovitt were finally able to quit their day jobs as freelance designers and contractors to focus on 3rd Ward full time.
“We’ve changed a lot,” Mr. Goodman said. “When we opened, because we came from art backgrounds, we were thinking, like, artist, artist, artist, but really it’s like designer, designer, designer, artist. We have way more inventors, furniture makers, cabinet makers, commercial photographers, hackers, than we do what you would originally conceive of like an artist.”
Their success came in identifying a market and tailoring to it. “The industry here that’s really exploding right now, and it’s really underserved, is this freelancing creative industry,” Mr. Goodman said.
Chiun-Kai Shih, 34, creative editor for Condé Nast China, has been a 3rd Ward member for three years, commuting there several times a month from his home on the Upper West Side. He parks his assistant there full time; hired a 24-year-old woodworking teacher, Becky Carter, to build sets for a photo shoot; and, more than a studio, considers 3rd Ward a resource for young talent.
“I just went to the front desk and said, ‘Do you know any great graphic designers,’ and they said, ‘Yes, we’ll give you names,’ ” he recalled.
Mr. Shih holds casting sessions there too. “Even supermodels who don’t like to travel for casting, I drag them out to 3rd Ward,” he said — via car service, of course.
In September 2005, when Mr. Goodman and Mr. Lovitt signed a lease on a 20,000-square-foot shell of a warehouse on a desolate block in Bushwick, they had no business plan. By the time they opened their doors in May 2006, nothing had changed. While they built their clientele and space, they sustained themselves by hosting lavish rent parties in partnership with underground promoters.
The raucous till-dawn affairs, with rooftop fire spinners and marching bands in the hallways, often attracted the attention of the police. After about a year, the parties had to end. If you want professionals to come work during the week, Mr. Goodman said, “you can’t trash a place every weekend.”
Not that 3rd Ward has become a party-free zone: it is still home to art receptions, concerts, barbecues and the occasional blowout. (The underground promoter William Etundi is now on the payroll.)