Saturday, February 27, 2010

Primo Spot

Biking to somewhere in the New York or Boston area and need to know where to find the closest bike rack. Now you can thanks to Primo Spot.

Visting or live in NYC and own a car and need to find on street parking. Primo Spot shows all on street parking including days left on spots and what times that those spots are unavailable.

Primo Spot is also available as an application for iPhone or any Android based smartphone. Don't want to purchase this application or have some other WAP internet-enabled smart phone then simply go to

Friday, February 26, 2010

Streetfilms: Fixing the Great Mistake of Planning for Cars

Fixing the Great Mistake: Autocentric Development

"Fixing the Great Mistake" is a new Streetfilms series that examines what went wrong in the early part of the 20th Century, when our cities began catering to the automobile, and how those decisions continue to affect our lives today.
FTGMlogo4webIn this episode, Transportation Alternatives director Paul Steely White shows how planning for cars drastically altered Park Avenue. Watch and see what Park Avenue used to look like, how we ceded it to the automobile, and what we need to do to reclaim the street as a space where people take precedence over traffic.

Alternative Needs Transportation

a video of A.N.T. (alternative Needs Transportation) founder Mike Flanigan

TIGER grants for cyclists

Some TIGER projects will fund bicycle infrastructure.   (Credit: Lionshadow)
Only a small sliver of the funds that were part of the Recovery Act's Competitive Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program went to funding bicycle infrastructure, and many deserving projects didn't make the cut. Still, for bicycle advocates DOT's announcement last week wasn't all bad news. Philadelphia and Indianapolis benefited the most, but a number of other projects will improve cycling infrastructure across the nation.  
Indianapolis, IN: Received $20,500,000 to complete an extensive bicycle and pedestrian network in the center of the city called the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. The completion of the trail, which will connect five key neighborhoods, will put Indianapolis in the top tier of bicycle-friendly downtowns in America. In some areas, city planners are taking a full lane and turning it over to pedestrians and cyclists. The Indianapolis Star has more. The video below is a good overview.  
Indianapolis Cultural Trail from Gail Payne on Vimeo.

Philadelphia, PA: Received $23,000,000 for a major overhaul of bike paths in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. Some of the area's poorest neighborhoods, including Southwest Philadelphia and Camden, will be linked to a 128-mile network of bicycle paths in the region. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Inquirer have more details. Below: An artist's representation of a proposed boardwalk that would be part of the Schuylkill Trail.
Revere, MA: Received $20,000,000 of TIGER funding that will go toward the creation of a multimodal transit facility and plaza on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The plan notes a number of areas for bike storage and a rental facility for bicycles, but I don't see much beyond that.  More details are available here. Below: A diagram showing the project's bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
Burlington, VT: Received $3,150,000 for a project that will rebuild a section of Lake Street. Reconfiguration of the road and bike path should reduce conflicts between bicyclists and motorists. A PowerPoint presentation detailing the plan is available here. An image from that PowerPoint is below:
Normal, IL: Received $22,000,000 to build a multimodal transportation center that's located near a heavily used leg of a 26-mile bicycle lane that connects to the town of Bloomington. The Pantagraph has more info on the project. Below: An illustration of the station from the application.  

Saint Paul, MN:  Received $35,000,000 for a multi-modal transportation hub at Union Depot that will accommodate bicyclists. Full details of the project are available here.  I wasn't able to find details on the bicycle features, but I did notice an animation showing the cyclist below inside the station with her bike. 
Ames, IA: Received 48,463,000 for an intermodal transportation facility that will cater to cyclists.  As part of the project, there will be an 800-foot shared use bicycle path that runs through the property and connects to nearby paths. The facility will have 60 bike lockers and two locker rooms for bicycle commuters.  More details of the plan are available here.  The diagram below shows the location of the proposed paths in the dotted white line.  
Milton, KY:  Received $20,000,000 to help rebuild the Milton-Madison bridge. The rebuilt bridge will contain a bicycle and pedestrian path. More on the project here. The animation below shows what the completed bridge will look like, though it unfortunately doesn't show the bicycle path. 
Kent, OH: Kent State University received $20,000,000 for a new bus transfer station that will include bike storage. Kent State has more details, including footage of a press conference with key planners. E-portage, as well as FOX, has more.

Seattle, WA: Received $30,000,000 to realign a major roadway, widen sidewalks in the area, and add bicycle lanes along key streets. The redesign will create urban boulevards that provide more space for cyclists. The sketch of the boulevards below comes from LMN Architects.

Denver, CO: Received $10,000,000 to upgrade the portion of U.S. 36 that runs from Denver to Boulder. One component of the project is a new 18-mile commuter bikeway that will run adjacent to the highway. The bikeway will be well integrated with buses and transit. More details on the project are available here.   
Tulsa, OK: Received $49,480,000 to build the city's first multimodal bridge as a replacement for the structurally deficient bridge that currently crosses the Arkansas River. The structure will accommodate highway, rail, pedestrians, and bicycle traffic. The full application is available here.  
Dubuque, IA: Received $5,600,000 to help complete the streets in the Millwork District.  More information here.

Magazine Ranks Most Bike-Friendly Cities

Check out how much money this brings in. 

Biking across the St. Johns Bridge over the Willamette in Portland, Ore.David N. Seelig for The New York TimesBiking across the St. Johns Bridge over the Willamette in Portland, Ore.
In its March issue, National Geographic Traveler ranks the most bike-friendly cities in the United States for visitors. Topping the list, predictably, is Portland, Ore., which boasts dozens of bike rental shops, 75 miles of bike paths and guided bike tours along its waterfront and nearby gorges.
New York City, which rolled out 6,100 bike racks last summer and doubled the number of miles of bike lanes over the past three years to about 400, comes in a surprising second. The city also earned points for its car-free “Summer Streets” program as well as bike-friendly areas like Governors Island. Chicago is third, thanks to Mayor Richard M. Daley’s expansion of the city’s bike lanes and shared trails. Rounding out the magazine’s list are San Diego and San Francisco.
Boston, which perennially ranks near the bottom of most urban bike lists because of its narrow streets and traffic-choked rotaries, received a shout-out from the magazine. With an eye toward luring more cycling visitors, Mayor Thomas Menino recently installed 15 miles of new bike lanes and handed out 40,000 cycling maps. “Boston is known as a walking city,’” said Nicole Freedman, the city’s newly appointed “bike czar.” “Now we are fast on our way to being known as a biking city.”
Bicycle tourism is good for local economies, according to a new study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.  The study found that nonresident bicyclists generated over $535 million in annual revenue for Wisconsin.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wheels come off Huntsville's proposed cycling-safety ad campaign

Why did the reporter not contact ALDOT or the Feds for their side of the story?

By Steve Doyle

February 25, 2010, 7:12AM
Mayor's Bike RideMayor Tommy Battle pedals through downtown Huntsville during the inaugural Mayor's Bike Ride last May.HUNTSVILLE, AL -- Lack of money has derailed Huntsville's proposed bicycling safety ad campaign.
Things seemed to be on track. Officials announced the idea months ago, the City Council gave its blessing and the Alabama Department of Transportation promised a $197,000 federal grant to pay for it.
But James Moore, a senior city planner who works on cycling issues, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently "rescinded" the money it had earmarked for such grants.
"It's a real punch in the gut," Peter Hannah, who chairs the city's cycling task force, said Tuesday. "We're still going to plan for the mayor's bike ride and some other things, but things that are low-budget.
"Where we go from here, I don't know."
Mayor Tommy Battle pedaled around the city last spring to draw attention to cyclists' rights and plans to do it again in May. Three cyclists have been killed in traffic accidents here since September 2008.
Rumors have been flying that the city failed to get the grant application in on time, but City Administrator Rex Reynolds said that's not true.
The paperwork was done properly, he said, but state transportation officials needed extra time to review it because what the city wants to do has never been tried in Alabama.
Huntsville is proposing to plaster city buses with cycling-safety messages and pledged $40,000 toward the campaign. While the state was analyzing the idea, Reynolds said, the feds took the grant money off the table.
"This was the first type of bike awareness grant that had been reviewed by the state," he said Tuesday. "That in itself is a sign that we've got to do a better job about bicycle awareness.
"It needs to be second nature to us, rather than something odd."
While the city has started looking around for other grants, Reynolds said he is not ready to give up on the $197,000.
"We have not been told it's a dead end," he said.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Great Bike-Friendly Cities

Look a Mayor encouraging and Louisville mentioned again. Thats what I love about here no matter how much the people are presented with facts they still don't get it. 

Bike Friendly Cities
Freewheeling is the way to go in these cities.
By David Swanson
Photo by Loic Bernard/
These North American metropolises welcome visitors on two wheels.
If Boston's confounding roads have never been easy to explore by car, imagine the obstacles visiting bicyclists face. In 2006 Bicycling magazine put the city on its list of America's worst cities for cycling—for the third time.
Enter Mayor Thomas Menino. Recognizing the benefits of a bike-friendly culture—for the environment, to ease traffic congestion, for public health—the mayor appointed a former Olympic cyclist as the city's bike coordinator, launched an annual cycling event, and became a biker himself. The city installed 15 miles of bike lanes and distributed 40,000 cycling maps. While Boston has a long way to go, Bicycling named it a "future best city" in 2008. Cities from Louisville to Los Angeles are ramping up their bike accessibility, and visitors are a big part of the game plan. The result may be a boost in car-free tourism across North America, like that which has existed in European cities such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen for years. Here are the leaders among North America's bike-friendly cities.
• Portland At the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, Portland is "arguably the best big city in America for cycling," says Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. The city boasts the nation's highest percentage of bicycle commuters—nearly 11 times the national average. Visiting cyclists will find dozens of rental shops, 75 miles of off-street pathways, and a cycling culture that has produced educated drivers used to navigating around bikes. Local accommodations supply bike maps, and some, such as the Hotel Monaco, have created a car-less package that features a light-rail airport transfer and a guided bike tour. One of the city's most scenic rides is the Waterfront Loop, which cruises along both sides of the Willamette, passing over or near 12 bridges. A cup of joe or microbrew is always nearby. Just west of downtown are miles of paths in Forest Park. They provide dramatic views of the glacier-carved Columbia River Gorge and—on clear days—nearby volcanoes Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens.
• New York Since 2006, the city has almost doubled to 400 its miles of bike lanes in the five boroughs and the Department of Transportation plans to add 50 miles annually. The NYC Greenway circles almost all of Manhattan with water views and many of the city's top sights along the Hudson River. Make sure to stop at the new pocket parks near Ground Zero. Rental company Bike and Roll has six rental stations between Battery Park and Riverside Park. One of the city's iconic rides is across the Brooklyn Bridge. There's a dedicated bike lane, but watch out for pedestrians who inadvertently cross the line on busy weekends. For the best views of the city, start on the Brooklyn side. In summer, put your bike on the ferry in Lower Manhattan and cycle car-free Governors Island, a five-mile loop.
• Chicago With cycling mayor Richard M. Daley leading the charge, the city now has 12,000 public bike racks, 141 miles of marked, on-street bike lanes, and 35 miles of shared-use trails. Bobby's Bike Hike and the McDonald's Cycle Center in Grant Park offer tours and rentals. The cycling season kicks off the Sunday of Memorial Day with a fund-raiser. An eight-lane, 15-mile stretch of Lake Shore Drive closes from Grant Park to Bryn Mawr for "Bike the Drive," drawing nearly 18,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities. The rest of the year, bikes are welcome on the 18-mile Lakefront Trail. Visitors with bikes can board Chicago's Metra trains to suburban stations like Aurora and jump onto the Fox River Trail to Elgin (about 20 miles), returning to the city using a different Metra line.
• San Diego A favorable climate encourages cycling year-round. One of the most popular rides is a 26-mile loop around San Diego Bay on relatively flat terrain, using the ferry to access Coronado Island and the Silver Strand. But in addition to easy beach rides, San Diego County is a haven for advanced riders. Few restrictions limit bikes on public transportation, making it convenient to access the backcountry or cycle up the coast along Old Highway 101 for great ocean views.
• San Francisco While the hilly city might not seem like the most obvious place for a leisurely ride, one of the country's most picturesque routes is the Bay Trail, following the shoreline from downtown San Francisco to Sausalito. Along the nine-mile trip: the Palace of Fine Arts, the Presidio, and Fisherman's Wharf. Riders can even return via ferry. Another highlight: crossing the Golden Gate Bridge; it's an experience anyone can tackle using dedicated bike lanes. "You can get a lot closer to San Francisco's sights on a bike than you can on a bus," says Aimee Harcos of Bike and Roll, which rents bikes from four locations and offers daily guided tours. From the Golden Gate, more advanced cyclists can access the Marin Headlands, Muir Woods, and 2,572-foot Mount Tamalpais.
• Montreal Last year Quebec's largest city became the first in North America to launch a full-blown bike-share system (see box, page 15). Visitors (and residents) can pick up and return bikes to any one of 400 solar-powered facilities sprinkled around the city for just $5 a day. A popular ride within the city follows car-free Olmsted Road along the gentle slopes of Mont-Royal, designed by New York's Central Park architect Frederick Law Olmsted. A longer path follows the Lachine Canal past locks and small bridges.
• Washington, D.C. Pierre-Charles L'Enfant did not have had bikes in mind when he laid out Washington, D.C., "but he did a marvelous job for cyclists," says Andy Clarke of the League of American Bicyclists. "The monumental core has great bones for cycling." Rather than freeways, grand avenues define the capital, and along the nearly two-mile National Mall there are pools, memorials, and museums connected by a network of quiet service roads and paths—ideal for bikes. The Mount Vernon Trail runs 18 miles south along the Potomac River from Roosevelt Island to George Washington's stately estate in Virginia.
• Tucson Miles of bike lanes criss-cross the old Spanish pueblo. One popular route follows the (usually dry) Rillito River for about 15 miles, much of it along an arroyo and encompassing sweeping Santa Catalina Mountain vistas. Just outside the city, bikers can ride amid stands of cacti in Saguaro National Park.

3 Events and One exciting announcement

1: Alabama Department of Transportation seeks public input on proposed Bike and Pedestrian Routes.Thursday Feb, 25 @ 320 Fountain Circle from 5-7 p.m. Two of the eight state bicycle routes proposed by the Alabama Department of Transportation will go through Huntsville. DOT representatives will be present to discuss the plan and to answer questions. more info here 
2: Critical Mass Friday Feb 26, meet @ 6:30 ride @ 7pm SE Corner of Courthouse Downtown. This months theme "Does anyone in Huntsville really believe in Climate change?"
3: Vintage Ride Sunday @ 2pm starts from Huntsville Middle School always a good time with some good people!
And now for our exciting announcement.........
Huntsville Safe Streets Advocates will be offering "FREE" Commuter Classes starting in April and again in May for Bike month, more info and a sign up are currently in the works this will not be a "Fear Based Initiative", but a fun learning experience!!!! Learn from commuters from Huntsville, NY, Boston, Minneapolis, Portland and Chicago. These instructors will apply the challenges of Big City commuting to the Streets of Huntsville and I hear there might be some great coffee and snacks a brewing by some of Huntsville newest micro business's.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

State DOT pushing pedal power plan Be There Thursday

Looks like our State is encouraging walking and biking, Let's all try and show up and voice our support

From HSV Times

By Keith Clines

February 23, 2010, 6:28AM
Bikes on Dug Hill RoadView full sizeThe state plan would use many existing roads to create a statewide system of bike routes.HUNTSVILLE, AL. - Two of the eight state bicycle routes proposed by the Alabama Department of Transportation will go through Huntsville.
Local residents can view the routes Thursday at a DOT-sponsored public involvement meeting to gather public comments about the draft Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.
The meeting will be in the first-floor conference room in the city engineering building at 320 Fountain Circle from 5-7 p.m.
DOT representatives will be present to discuss the plan and to answer questions.
The draft plan is available for review on the DOT Web site at at each of the nine DOT division offices across the state.
The state’s goal for the statewide bicycle route system to provide access across the state, between metropolitan areas, and to natural and cultural sites.
The routes mainly would involve roads, trails and greenways. Bicycle and pedestrian facilities include striped bike lanes on a road, a road designated by signs as a route for bike use and shared use paths such as greenways and trails.
The plan has connectors to link the proposed state bike routes with local bike facilities, such as Huntsville’s bikeway routes.
The eight proposed state bicycle routes include five east-west corridors and three north-south corridors.
Both an east-west route and a north-south route would go through Huntsville.
The east-west route would connect Huntsville, Madison, Athens and Florence and use each city’s bicycle-pedestrian plan. It would connect to the Natchez Trace Parkway near the Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee state lines.
The route’s primary roads would include Alabama 99, U.S. 72 and Alabama 35.
The north-south route would run along east Alabama from Huntsville to Geneva near the Florida state line.
The state route would connect with city networks in Huntsville, Troy and Enterprise.
The route would use U.S. 431 across Guntersville Lake, Alabama 227 to Lake Guntersville State Park, and connect with the Appalachian Highlands Scenic Byway on Alabama 68 east of Interstate 59. It would continue on the byway through Talladega National Forest.
The purpose of the plan is to guide the DOT’s decisions where bicycle and pedestrian
facilities should be provided to meet the demands for bicycling and walking.
The plan’s aim “is to identify opportunities statewide that will give rise to bicycling and walking as viable and safe modes of transportation.”
The state developed the plan after compiling an inventory of existing and proposed bicycle facilities and assessing present bicycle and pedestrian activities.
“Public opinion surveys throughout the last two decades have demonstrated strong support for increased planning, funding and implementation of shared-use paths, sidewalks and on-street bicycle facilities,” the plans says. “Much of the public interest stems from the increased awareness of the health and environmental benefits of walking and bicycling.”

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Different Path: SXSW 2010 Accepted Film

A Different Path' follows a sidewalk activist Senior, a Critical Mass trumpeter, city Kayak-er, and others, as they struggle to make their way through the modern automobile-centric urban environment. Each character uses ingenuity and humor to try and solve their modern mobility dilemma. The film is an artistic and poetic treatment of personal struggle and environmental concern over livable cities. Animation, carefully crafted cinematography, and original music created by the director with cast member Michael Louis Johnson, contribute to this documentaryÕs distinctive style from the director of "Hybrid" (Independent Spirit Award Ð 2001).

New bike paths for region, courtesy of U.S. stimulus

Ten new bike and pedestrian paths will be built in Philadelphia and South Jersey with $23 million in federal stimulus funds, local officials announced today.
The trails will fill in some of the gaps in a planned 108-mile network that eventually will link Philadelphia, Reading, Chester, New Hope, Cherry Hill, and Trenton.
"This will transform the network we have and make it accessible to a much larger and more diverse segment of our population," said Sarah Clark Stuart, campaign director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, which helped prepare the proposal approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The three paths in Camden County and seven in Philadelphia will be constructed in the next two years, said Stephen Buckley, Philadelphia's deputy commissioner of transportation.
The Philadelphia paths will extend existing trails along the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers. The seven include new trails along the Delaware in North Philadelphia and Northeast Philadelphia, said Spencer Finch, director of sustainable development at the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. The council helped write the proposal.
The most expensive path is a 2,000-foot boardwalk to be built for $10.6 million along the east bank of the Schuylkill, from the end of the current trail at Locust Street to South Street. Construction could begin in a few months.
One Camden trail will connect the Benjamin Franklin Bridge walkway to the Wiggins Park promenade along the Delaware waterfront, while another will link the waterfront to the Campbell Soup Co. headquarters and Cooper University Hospital. The third Camden trail will connect the waterfront to paths along the Cooper River.
Construction of the approximately eight miles of trails will provide 600 to 800 jobs, Finch estimated.
The Philadelphia-area trails were approved for funding today, part of $1.5 billion allocated for 50 projects, as the Obama administration marked the one-year anniversary of the $787 billion American Economic Recovery and Investment Act.
"Not many bicycle or pedestrian projects got funded," Finch said. "These are relatively easy, quick, and cheap to do."
Buckley said, "We're really excited that we got this award. . . . Only 3 percent of the projects nationwide got funding."
Eight trails outside of Philadelphia and Camden in the local proposal did not receive funding.
In praising the award today, Mayor Nutter said he would support efforts to fill in the network's remaining gaps.
"I pledged," Nutter said in a statement, "that the city will support Delaware County, Montgomery County, Chester County, and Schuylkill County as they pursue state and federal funding to complete the regional trial network."

Cargo trikes are the new biodiesel delivery truck

By Jennifer L. Schwartz
One of my favorite local companies, Boston Organics, is hopping back on the bicycle bandwagon. Literally.
For local deliveries in close proximity to their Charlestown headquarters, Boston Organics will be using their new cargo trike to bring boxes of organic, local produce directly to customers’ doors.
Kudos to Cathy for powering the trike. I’m sure you’ll be well rewarded with some beautiful glutes.
Boston Organics isn’t the first company to employ pedal power. In fact, Jeff sought the help of Boston Pedicab to get started. You’ve seen the pedicab “drivers” around town… they wear fluorescent yellow shirts and are especially popular before and after Red Sox games.
Use these guys! It’s a huge step in reducing your company’s greenhouse gas emissions, plus you’re supporting a local business that’s doing real good for the community.

Camco gets $5.8M for bicycle paths

CAMDEN — Camden County will receive $5.8 million in federal stimulus money to construct two miles of bike paths through Camden to connect the suburbs to the waterfront and Philadelphia via the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
That's nearly $3 million a mile.

Camden County's share is part of a $23 million, bistate grant to create a regional network of bike paths.
Philadelphia and surrounding counties will receive $17.2 million for the same purpose. The total grant is part of $1.5 billion in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants that have been earmarked for improvements to roads, bridges, rail, ports, transit and intermodal facilities.
Though multiple agencies on both sides of the river collaborated on the application, Philadelphia's Deputy Transportation Commissioner Steve Buckley was the principal applicant. Together, the two states applied for $36 million to create 17 trails.
Work on the paths must be completed by 2012, said Jacob Gordon, general counsel for Cooper's Ferry Development Association, which will manage Camden County's share.
The grant, he said, will cover improvements to three trails:
Martin Luther King Boulevard from Cooper University Hospital to the waterfront (0.76 mile);
Pine Street from Haddon Avenue to New Camden Park behind Camden High School in Parkside to Farnum Park (0.74 miles);
Pearl Street to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge (0.51 miles).
A bike path already exists from North Park Drive in Pennsauken, around The Pub restaurant, to the south side of Admiral Wilson Boulevard. Still missing is a short link near a Hess gas station on the boulevard to 11th Street that would pass in front of a Campbell Soup Co. building that is under construction.
Though the grant does not cover this vital link, Gordon said he is confident the state Department ofTransportation and the county will close the loop.
When the proposed trails are complete, a bicyclist will be able to pedal safely from the suburbs to the Camden Waterfront or Philadelphia from either side of Cooper River.

read more here