Friday, May 30, 2008

LAB Alert: CNN Seeks Bike Commuting Documentation


(This from the League of American Bicyclists)

Dear League Members:

Do you fight your way through traffic each morning, even with gas prices surging to record levels?

Do you bike to work, or use public transit?

CNN wants to see the sights and sounds of how you get to work. Document your daily travel schedule. (Drivers, please be careful not to distract yourself behind the wheel.)

If you have a unique way of getting to work, please share your story. Send photos, video and audio to share the story of your commute. Visit the following website to learn more about making a submission:

http://www.ireport.com/ir-topic-stories.jspa?topicId=27556.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Charleston Moves: Your Thoughts?

If you have any suggestions about projects we should be working on in the Charleston area, please let us know!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Help Push the SC Bike Safety Bill!

Bicycle Safety Bill H3006 (05/23/2008 Update)

A bill that would put South Carolina on par with good bike safety legislation in many other states is at a critical point in Columbia. With your help, we may be able to ensure the quality of the legislation.

Here's the situation:
The South Carolina Senate had its second reading of H3006 "The Bicycle Safety Bill" Wednesday May 14, and the third and final reading of the bill Friday, May 16. The Senate version of the bill strengthened the House version in protecting bicyclists' rights and kept the key provisions of the PCC's original bill approved by the House in January.

The Senate version changes include:

1. Maintaining the current language of SC statutes permitting bicyclists to ride two abreast on SC roads.

2. Imposing clearly defined fines for motorists when a cyclist is injured in an auto/bicycle crash where the motorist is at fault.

3. An amendment to make it "unlawful to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle" with a person found guilty of violating this provision subject to being "fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both."

We have one final hurdle to overcome! The Senate version of the bill was sent back to the House Tuesday, May 20. We are urging the House members' concurrence to adopt the Senate version of the bill to avoid going to a conference committee. The bill has not yet come to the floor of the House as expected.

Here's where we need your help! Contact your House member to ask him/her to vote to concur with the Senate amendments. If you contacted them and got no response, please contact them again. If you contacted them and they said they support the bill, please call or e-mail thanking them and reminding them that it will be back on the calendar Tuesday, May 27.
Let them know that if the bill goes to conference committee it will likely die there.

Come to press conference is in the works for Tuesday, May 27th, at the Statehouse from 11:00 to 11:30 AM to support this bill. It is very important to have a good turnout of cyclists there. We know it is bad timing the day after Memorial Day, but please try to be there if at all possible. If you are interested in carpooling send an e-mail to Paul LeFrancois .

Find your representative's name and address here.

Talking points:

· The House voted unanimously for H3006 in January. Thank your representative for his/her past support of the bill.

· Let your representative know that the Senate version is strongly supported by the South Carolina cycling community and by cyclists in your community.

· The legislation improves safety for all South Carolina road users and has the potential to reduce crashes and save lives on South Carolina roads.

East Bay Bike/Pedestrian Lane Opening Ceremony

Here's the official invitation mailed to us!



Mayor Riley invites you to join the City of Charleston in celebrating the opening of the East Bay Street Bicycle Pedestrian Path. The path is nearing completion and is already seeing a lot of usage by cyclists, runners and walkers.
The Mayor will also be announcing the City’s intention to become a nationally recognized Bicycle Friendly Community as designated by the League of American Bicyclists. Please join us.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

11:00am

At the foot of the East Bay Street Ramp

of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge


We hope you'll be there!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

West Ashley Greenway Workshop Set

The Byrnes Down Neighborhood Association has scheduled two workshops to discuss possible improvements to the West Ashley Greenway. The two meetings are scheduled for June 5 and June 7. Please see the official notice, posted below.
Charleston Moves views the West Ashley Greenway as a still-unpolished gem in the City of Charleston and has pledged to work with city officials and community groups to make it more useable by a larger number of citizens.
The Greenway will soon link to the Charleston penninsula via a cantilevered addition to the Legare Bridge over the Ashley River.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Post & Courier Editorial Calls for Bike/Ped Facilities on All Bridges

In an editorial published in Wednesday's editions of the Post and Courier, the newspaper called in no uncertain terms for connectivity for bicyclists and pedestrians on all major bridges in the greater Charleston area.

It noted the recently-published study by the College of Charleston showing physical activity rates rising due to the popularity of the bike/ped lane on the new Cooper River Bridge and said this facility should be an example for all crossings.

The editorial called upon State authorities to change their tune about making a bike/ped lane available on the "North Bridge," which crosses the Ashley River carrying Sam Rittenberg Blvd. and Cosgrove Ave. traffic.

People on bicycles are frequently seen on that bridge, and they take their lives in their hands as they use it because there is no provision for them at all. CARTA is allowing them to take a bus across the bridge for free.

Click here to read the full P&C editorial.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Charleston Moves Powers "BlenderBike" at Charleston Battery Game



Charleston Movers Lenny Greene and Tom Bradford took part in a The Charleston Battery's recent "Go Green" day. The pro soccer team was taking on a team from Miami. Greene and Bradford "spun" almost 100 Margaritas for soccer fans, and passed out Charleston Moves literature on the "green" qualities of walking, bicycling, and taking mass transit.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Feedback!

I would like to tell you how pleased I am to find such
an organization. I just recently received a used bike
and have been riding it from my home in Pepperhill,
down Ashley Phosphate to the Food Lion to buy a few
items and to visit my sister, in Wescott. I am deeply
saddened that our local, State and Federal governments
have not addressed and/or taken seriously the issue of
getting to and from point A and B by ways other than a
personal automobile. There are many healthier,
cheaper and environmentally friendly ways, one of
which is riding a bike. All blame cannot be placed on
our elected officials but on the voters for allowing
it. I still have hope for the future thanks to many
fine organizations like this one. Again, Thank you so
much for all your efforts.

Becky Kapperman
North Charleston, SC

Monday, May 12, 2008

PROOF: Bike/Ped Lane Encourages Exercise




The bike and pedestrian lane is doing what people thought it would: encouraging people to get out and excercise!



That's the finding of a new study done for the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments with the backing of the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation. Further details will be released later.
For many, including a Mount Pleasant octegenarian, it has brought new vitality, perhaps even new leases on life.


Charleston Moves supporters never needed proof, but we're happy to show it to those who may have doubted----and we're sure it'll help us make the case for more such wonderful additions throughout the Low Country.
Add YOUR OWN comments about what the bridge has meant to you!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Bike Lanes for Spring, Cannon Streets !?!

After convincing the city of overwhelming support in the downtown neighborhoods of Elliotborough and Cannonborough to return Cannon and Spring Streets to their original two-way configuration, a small cadre of neighborhood residents is now suggesting bicycle lanes for these prominent streets.

“The major change about to be undertaken on Spring and Cannon Streets is an ideal opportunity to try bike lanes in Charleston,” reports Kirsty Sutton, representing the neighborhood association. “We believe that dedicating a lane to cyclists, simply a stripe on the road, will make these roads far safer places to bike, and may even encourage more commuters to cycle in from West Ashley.”

City engineers and their consultants are now reviewing this idea alongside other neighborhood input. It does appear that these streets are wide enough to allow space for parking, wide sidewalks, and dedicated space for Charleston. The provision of bike lanes would prove that the city is serious about its intentions to become more bike-friendly--crucial in a state with some of the highest cyclist and pedestrian accident rates in the country.

Bike Lanes for Charleston Streets: Post Your Input Here!

Charleston Moves & Charleston Battery's "Green Night"


Come out to Charleston Battery's "Go Green" celebration tonight (Friday, May 9), and grab a drink concoction stirred up by Charleston Moves members pedalling a human-powered blender.
The Battery takes on the Miami FC Blues. The match is presented by MUSC and the first 2000 fans will receive a free recycled plastic water bottle. As part of the celebration there will be over 30 local green businesses and vendors on the stadium concourse with displays and information about various GREEN happenings in Charleston.
Besides Charleston Moves, participating organizations include: Charleston Green Committee, City of Charleston Greenhouse, Coastal Conservation League, DesignWorks, Dwellsmart, Earth Comfort Company, Fisher Recycling, Global Awakening, Green Drinks, Mixson, Mount Pleasant Open Space Foundation, Natural Awakenings, Solar Hot Water Works, South Carolina Aquarium, Sustainability Institute and many more.
In addition the Battery will be donating $1 to the Sustainability Institute from every beer purchased until kick off at the Bud Light Beer Garden. Immediately following the match there will be a fireworks display from the solar panel end of the stadium. The Charleston Battery is committed to reducing its carbon footprint as and has implemented a wide range of energy-saving and environmental initiatives at Blackbaud Stadium. One of the more visible additions was the installation of 60 solar panels behind the goal at the north end of the stadium. There are 6 poles, each mounted with 10 solar panels generating 11kW of power through photovoltaic, the conversion of sunlight into electricity. The system is expected to offset approximately 12 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

West Ashley Bike/Ped Progress
......Developments from City of Charleston, Charleston Moves & Others Point to Better Biking, Walking Days in West Ashley

The Mayor's announcement about plans for an Ashley River crossing (see below), and growing support for improvements to the West Ashley Greenway point to much brighter times ahead for alternative forms of transportation in the West Ashley section of Charleston. After years of imperceptible progress, it seems the community is showing signs of coming together to make things happen!

Bike/Pedestrian Lane Over the Ashley!
Mayor Joseph Riley has announced the city's plan to add a cantilevered 10-ft wide bicycle and pedestrian lane to the southernmost of the two Ashley River bridges. An engineering feasibility study concluded that adding such a structure would be safe.
The Ashley River Bridge is the primary conduit for travel between the peninsula and West Ashley. But it's been a roadblock to cyclists and pedestrians, severely curtailing prospects for those modes of transportation. Charleston County's RoadWise worked with the City's Department of Traffic and Transportation and the selected consultant to complete the feasibility study.
Charleston Moves supported the proposal and believes traffic on this new lane could easily surpass traffic on the bike/ped lane on the Cooper River Bridge.

The City is actively seeking funding for construction.
View the complete story on charleston.net

West Ashley Greenway Initiative
Charleston Moves has begun work with the city on an initiative to improve the West Ashley Greenway and hopes to collaborate with community groups including the Byrnes Down Neighborhood Association and others.

Mayor Riley has accepted our offer to help raise public awareness---and money---to help see that the Greenway lives up to its great promise. Right now, its condition is inhospitable to all wheeled vehicles except "fat-tire" bikes. Even those in wheelchairs are at a distinct disadvantage, given its condition.

With the addition of a lane over the river, improvements to the West Ashely Greenway will make it a key transportation and recreation element for the neighborhoods it will serve and for the entire city. The number of users, we believe, could easily exceed traffic counts on the Ravenel Bridge.

The vision: a beautifully-appointed "linear park" with park amenities all along is 12-mile-plus length as well as a paved surface that will safely serve cyclists (of all types), pedestrians and the disabled.
As we all cope with shockingly high gasoline prices and our own "epidemic of inactivity," the Bikeway and the Greenway can (and should) play a much more significant role in the life of the city and its residents.
Watch this space for news about this important initiative, and how you might pitch in.

Shutterbugs! Help!
Volunteers are needed for a new Charleston Moves initiative to document bicycle commuting in Charleston. We all know that large numbers of people are using their bicycles to get to and from work or school, but conducting a census is difficult.
The alternative?: Photograph as many bike commuters as possible. The idea is to get out on the streets with cameras as early as possible during a specific period of time (one week, perhaps, if we can enlist ten people to pitch in).
If you're interested in taking the photos or serving as a project coordinator (or both) please e-mail Tom Bradford at tom@tombradford.net.
The media are full of reports about increased mass transit ridership and the huge swing toward smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. We see evidence of a large swing toward using bicycles right here in the greater Charleston area. It's time to document it so we can better make our case for better street provisions for cyclists, including signage and striped bicycle lanes.
Maybank Highway Update
Charleston Moves was among the voices raised in opposition to Roadwise's plans for a five-lane "gash" through John's Island. Our position was that even with a bike lane and sidewalks, this huge road would be more like Savannah Highway, Rivers Avenue or Sam Rittenberg Boulevard. We got the attention of County Council which has now voted to cooperate on a detailed traffic study with the City of Charleston. The City's alternative plan would channel car traffic over a network of smaller roadways, dispersing it and keeping everything on a more human (safer for cyclists and pedestrians) scale. Stay Tuned.
Johnny Dodds Boulevard Update
Charleston Moves, with the East Cooper Planning Council and other, made our voices heard on this project, apparently with good results. The presentation made to the Mt. Pleasant Planning Commission last month had provisions for east and westbound bike lanes on the "side streets" that will parallel a new six-lane-wide Rte. 17 through the town. These "side streets" (deliberately NOT termed "access roads") will allow for slow traffic of all kinds, for access to stores the planners hope to move up close to the road and sidewalks, once again creating something far more human-scale and friendly than what we know now of that corridor.

Upcoming Events
May is National Bike Month!The League of American Bicyclists is promoting Bike-to-Work Week from May 12-16 and Bike-to-Work Day on Friday, May 16. Need some ideas? Check out 50 Ways to Celebrate Bike Month

June 7th 8:00AM-5:00PM: LAB Road 1 Course
There will be a League of American Bicyclists Road I course held at Trident Hospital Cafe B at 8 AM to 5 PM on June 7th, 2008. Road I gives cyclists the confidence they need to ride safely and legally in traffic or on the trail. The course covers bicycle safety checks, fixing a flat, on-bike skills and crash avoidance techniques and includes a student manual. Recommended for adults and children above age fourteen, this fast-paced, nine-hour course prepares cyclists for a full understanding of vehicular cycling. For more information contact John Pardee at (843) 709-1194 or by email.