Wednesday, April 22, 2009

...from Palmetto Cycling Coalition

H. 3595 Jesse's Way

On July 31, 2008, Jesse Gamble tragically lost his life while riding his bicycle home from work in Columbia on the Blossom Street bridge. In honor of the wonderful and talented person that Jesse was, the PCC worked with the South Carolina Legislature to pass a resolution dedi
jessecating the Blossom Street bridge in memory of Jesse. Yesterday, this resolution passed, thus naming the bike lanes on the bridge "Jesse's Way."

We are now working with the SCDOT to have appropriate signs erected on the bridge, and we are looking forward to having Jesse's family recognized at the Statehouse in honor of this momentous occasion.

A special thanks to James Smith and his staff for introducing and pushing this bill, and to the several Senators and Representatives who supported it.
Promotion
Make a difference this Earth Day by bike

Commute by bike!
In metro areas, 65% of trips under one mile are taken by car (2001 NHTS). Consider taking your next short trip by bike. It will make a difference in reducing the amount of pollutants emitted in our air. It will also reduce the amount of cars on our roadways, which in the long-run translates as fewer resources spent on road construction. And it helps reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, one of Earth's finite natural resources.

Burn calories to reduce global warming. According to a new study, thinner people contribute less to global warming: "...[A] 19 percent increase in food consumption translates into an increase of 270 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions." And what better way to burn those calories than by bike. On average a 130 pound cyclist burns 402 calories while riding 14 miles in an hour.
Promotion
May 2009: Bike Month in SC

The PCC has been working with the Governor's office to have May recognized as bike month. Much to our delight, earlier this week Governor Sanford issued a proclamation stating that May 2009 is Bike Month in South Carolina!
I, Mark Sanford, Governor of the Great State of South Carolina, do hereby proclaim May 2009 as Bike Month throughout the state and encourage all South Carolinians to recognize the benefits of riding a bike to the health, fitness, well-being, and improved quality of life of the people of the Palmetto State and to work together to raise awareness of bicycle safety issues.
There are many events happening around the state in recognition of Bike Month. Check out the events page of the Palmetto Cycling Coalition's website for details.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Amazing Race" on Daniel Island Seeking Teams- This Weekend!

Creative Spark’s Amazing Race
An active, zany day of fun to benefit Creative Spark Center for the Arts

Ride the bike trails of Daniel Island solving cryptic clues and completing crazy tasks to win the Amazing Race. Teams of four bicycle riders consisting of either four adults or mixed teams of at least one adult and children will compete. Teams with children have beaten teams with adults every year so far! The race requires more ingenuity than athleticism. Quick thinking is more important than quick riding.

The race begins and ends at Pierce Park Pavilion on Daniel Island where all the racers will enjoy a party sponsored by Moe’s Southwest Grill and Red Bull after the race. Two teams will win grand prize ribbons and awards from the sponsors. Better prizes than ever this year!
The Amazing Race will be on Saturday, April 25 from 3 to 6PM with the party to follow. Team entry fees are $90 for a team of four participants. Registration is available on line at www.active.com or by calling Creative Spark at 881-3780. On site registration will begin at 2:30 at Pierce Park.
Charleston Moves is planning to man a table at the event to answer questions and distribute literature and membership forms. (IF YOU'RE AVAILABLE TO MAN THE TABLE, PLEASE E-MAIL US!)

Sponsored by the Daniel Island News, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Red Bull, Daniel Island Realty, Japan Karate Institute and benefiting Creative Spark Center for the Arts.

www.creativespark.org
843-881-3780

Friday, April 17, 2009

The New Charleston Moves Bicycle Education Safety Trailer

Charleston Moves people are committed to education as well as advocacy.
Our new "Bicycle Education Safety Trailer" will transport equipment to schools and other venues for classes our members will provide, teaching bike-handling and how to ride safely on the streets.
For now, our Board President Charles Fox and Board member Peter Wilborn, instructors certified by the League of American Bicyclists, will be teaching many of the classes, but others can get training for this certification as well.
The trailer was provided through FestiVelo, with assistance by the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments and Yvonne Gilreath.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Don't We Know This Guy??


Is it Board member Peter Wilborn?
Is it Board member Don Sparks?

It is the new 'fashionable' mode of transport, chronicled in today's New York Times. Click here for the entire article.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where in America is Charles??


Our Board President, Charles Fox, has been on the road, on his bike, for many days now, riding cross country to benefit Charleston's Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy. His goal: $36,000.

He may be sweating it out on the saddle, but he's sweating about making that target, too. Check out his progress by clicking here.

Lend Charles and The Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy a hand!


...photo courtesy Post & Courier

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Volunteers Needed! Earth MONTH events!

Response has been sparse at best...

But today, a new friend to Charleston Moves, Chris Beebe (a Charleston cabinetmaker), raised his hand to undertake a couple of chores: 1/to make a portable kiosk which will allow us to tell our story at events, and 2/to help round up and organize volunteers to man the kiosk at events.

Looking for more helpers... Just e-mail Tom Bradford if you can help!

Monday, April 13, 2009

"Can't Get There From Here"



...from today's Post and Courier:

Reporter/Columnist Robert Behre on the Perils of Trying to Ride between Charleston and North Charleston


(photo: Wade Spees, Post & Courier)

What if a state's second- and third-largest cities sat right next door to each other, but there was no easy way to bike between them?

Then you would be talking about South Carolina.

The distance between peninsular Charleston and Park Circle in North Charleston is several miles — too long to hike but close enough to bike for someone with a little extra time.

Anyone who attempts to make this trip — crossing the area know as "the Neck" — is in for a harrowing ride.

The obstacles include rough railroad tracks, pockmarked pavement and fast-moving cars and trucks on occasionally narrow lanes.

Even those willing to bike on the sidewalks — technically a no-no but something many cyclists do if there are few pedestrians around and if they deem the streets too risky — are in for a rough trip.

While a sidewalk along Upper King Street is essentially navigable by bike, none exist along stretches of upper Meeting Street. And those along Spruill Avenue still have high curbs that make them essentially useless for cyclists, or for folks in wheelchairs.

For bicyclists, it's like that old backwoods Maine joke: You can't get there from here.

While the popularity of Wonders Way, the bike and pedestrian lane on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, has won over a lot of converts to the value of creating bike lanes not just for recreation but for transportation, the Neck Area underscores that much remains to be done.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey says the Neck Area has been industrial for so long that few people raised the issue of a bicycle route there, but he also says that has started to change, particularly as North Charleston's Old Village returns to life.

"It's something that probably the cities of Charleston and North Charleston should look at together and how do we make them connect," he says.

Part of the problem also seems to be the sheer number of players that would need to be involved to build a quality hiker-biker route.

Not only do the two cities need to get on the same page, but stretches of land also remain outside either city and major roads are maintained by the S.C. Department of Transportation. Also, the State Ports Authority's work on a new port terminal and private developers' plans will affect changes to the area's roads.

Charleston planning director Christopher Morgan notes the city is pursuing several new bicycle links to improve circulation within its own limits. One project — improvements to make room for bicyclists and pedestrians on the World War II Memorial Bridge, or north bridge — would connect the city's West Ashley suburbs with southern North Charleston.

"It's tougher going up into some of those streets in the Neck," Morgan says. "One reason we haven't had as much emphasis on this area is that the area from Interstate 26 east is going to remain more industrial."

He also says the new Magnolia development is making it easier for those wanting to bike up the western side of the Neck Area but admits it still will be a challenge to bike from there to North Charleston.

Still, he offers up one other option for those truly intent on taking their bike safely between downtown and North Charleston:

Put it on a Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority bus.

Our Two Cents' Worth: There's been much talk over the past few years about utilizing the railroad right-of-way between Upper Meeting and King Streets as a pedestrian and bike path, or even to make a beautiful boulevard that would properly connect Charleston and North Charleston. It seems to have died down lately. But, as the livability of North Charleston improves, and the old industrial nature of that corridor evolves, there's certainly a good rationale for resurrecting the talk. Perhaps, some "stimulus money" could help??

Could This Happen on King Street???













Our friend Dan Kelley of the Holy City Bike Co-op sent us the following:

I found a case study that should be mimicked here in Charleston. Last year NYC started a program called Summer Streets. The program has three significant parts: temporarily (summer months) close car-access to streets in neighborhood business districts, survey people's preference for pedestrian streets before and after, and create follow-up application to make pedestrian change permanent.

This is a very brief summary, I know, but here are the survey results from the article "Report: New Yorkers Like Ped Streets More Than They Expected."

  • Before Summer Space, only 42% of respondents said they would visit Montague Street more often if it were closed to auto traffic; during the closure this number jumped to 72%.
  • The percentage of respondents who rated the pedestrian experience of Montague Street as “Good” or “Very Good” increased from 79% before the closure to 97% during the events.
  • 100% of those surveyed at the 78th Street Play Street felt that the event “enhanced the park and farmers’ market.”
  • Pedestrian streets encourage walking: during the Williamsburg Walks event, 47% of those surveyed said that they had walked to the event, a 14% improvement over normal levels.
  • Montague Street retailers experienced 26% higher sales during Summer Space than on comparable days in 2007, on average.
Here is link to the archive of articles on Summer Streets on StreetsBlog.org: http://www.streetsblog.org/2008/08/11/summer-streets-headlines/

Dan says (and we agree) that King Street specifically between Calhoun and Broad (or Market, if Broad is too ambitious) would be a great initial opportunity.

We published an account of Summer Streets back last summer...but now, this new survey shows just how positive the impact was!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spin With Charleston Moves at The Fitness Expo April 25

Charleston Movers:
Let's put a team together and enter the Spinning marathon set
for April 25th at Riverfront Park in N. Charleston. There'll be 100+ bikes lined up alongside the Cooper River in beautiful Riverfront Park. There'll be a fee...but it's a worthy cause, benefitting Louie's Kids. Check it out at www.obliquefitnessexpo.sc

PLEASE sponsor me on a bike for the 2009 Oblique Fitness Expo Spinning
Marathon -go to http://www.obliquefitnessexpo.sc/donations
scroll down choose Louie's Kids and make a donation that will help a
kid struggling with obesity!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Volunteers Needed! Earth MONTH events!

Charleston Moves needs volunteers!. It's pleasant duty...sitting and passing out literature, chatting about what Charleston Moves values and about our projects...

The first big obligation is to be at Whole Foods in Mount Pleasant. It's a great opportunity to tell folks what we're about and to book new members and enlist support.


We can man a table in the store any time during the month of April, so if you can spare a couple of hours, we can use you! It will be best to man our table at Whole Foods on their busiest days, Saturdays and Sundays, and/or their busiest hours, between 12 and 6pm.

Board member Tom Ucciferri
has graciously consented to coordinate volunteers for us. Click on his name to send him an e-mail about your availability, please.

ITS IMPORTANT THAT WE KEEP WHOLE FOODS POSTED ON WHEN WE'RE PLANNING TO BE THERE SO THEY CAN HAVE A TABLE AND CHAIRS READY FOR US. AND WE'LL HAVE THE CHARLESTON MOVES BANNER THERE, AND READY TO SET UP WHEN WE'RE MANNING THE TABLE. TOM WILL HAVE A SUPPLY OF CHARLESTON MOVES LITERATURE.

Charleston Moves also will be manning an information table at
Charleston County Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 18, 2009, Park Circle in North Charleston, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you can help, e-mail Tom Ucciferri at tu702@aol.com

IMAGINE! (Change "Portland" to "Charleston" and Dream!)

(from today's New York Times -- April 3, 2009)

PORTLAND, PORTLAND-STYLE -- TOURING BY BICYCLE.
Careering through streets on a bicycle in Portland, Ore., this time of year can be an easy weekend adventure that mixes showers, sunbursts, cafes and a robust bicycle culture. And equipped with a sturdy rain jacket, booties, fenders and a bike map (a waterproof version that folds to the size of a credit card is handy), visitors can enjoy the city the way locals do.

On a recent misty Friday evening, bicyclists wearing blinking safety lights formed a spontaneous, festive parade across the Hawthorne Bridge. The impromptu peloton flashed by like a line of flickering fireflies.

Tourists will find that Portlanders seem to know how to avoid the biggest gushers, perfecting the art of ducking into a cafe at the moment that passing showers soak the streets. “I’ve seen a lot of double rainbows this winter,” said Andrew Butterfield, a teacher at da Vinci Arts Middle School, who was drinking a coffee in the Hollywood neighborhood during one cloudburst.

For visitors, it’s possible to land at Portland International Airport and hop the MAX Light Rail to start a city tour. “You can just load your bike on the train and head into town,” said Don Shepler, a Portland-trained chef who, together with his wife, Erin Zell, runs Galena Lodge, a Nordic skiing retreat and summer hiking stop in southern Idaho. The couple enjoy returning to Portland for biking-and- food tours.

“The last time we were there we rode to a bunch of different restaurants on Alberta Street,” Ms. Zell said. “We’d enjoy a drink and appetizers and ride somewhere else.”
Days of clear weather come and go this time of year, but it never really rains that hard, Mr. Shepler said, adding that he liked the flow of bicycle traffic in Portland. “On the side streets with bike lanes you’re on the grid, and you can just go,” he said.

It helps to have a Bike There! map, published by the regional governing body known as Metro and available at bike shops and the downtown visitors center. A mapping program, found at byCycle.org, can help visitors pick the best biking route to markets, galleries, museums or other destinations.

Locking up at on-street bicycle parking stands downtown near the Portland Museum of Art, cyclists also take advantage of Benson Bubblers, drinking fountains in various locations around town. While filling a water bottle, it was impossible not to notice how many people are on bikes despite the rain.

“Portland is a really easy and comfortable city to use a bicycle as transportation,” said Roger Geller, Portland’s bicycle coordinator since 1994. “There is a lot of energy around cycling right now and it’s not just 20-year-old men racing. I see average people out biking.”

Mr. Butterfield, who has been a bicycle commuter in Portland for 20 years, suggests that visitors take a tour over the four bicycle-friendly bridges on the Willamette River (the Broadway, Steel, Burnside and Hawthorne Bridges) as a good way to get oriented. But a bridge tour only scratches the surface of biking opportunities in and around Portland. A trip on the tram from the river to the hillside campus of Oregon Heath & Science University reveals a compelling green landscape. Fresh snow on the volcanic peaks of Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens in the Cascade Range makes the view of the city hardly seem urban.

Riders who wish to delve deeper into Portland’s diverse bicycle culture can simply drop in on pubs like Hopworks Urban Brewery in Southeast, a tavern decorated with spare bike parts that serves organic beer.

Stopping at Hopworks pub was Brian Schultz, an engineer with Chris King Precision Components, a manufacturer of bike parts, transplanted to Portland from California, and his wife Molly Mattecheck Schultz, a former employee of Team Estrogen, an Oregon-based company specializing in fitness apparel for women. Conversation quickly turned to tales of their recent 5,000-mile coast-to-coast bicycle tour, inspired by their love of cycling in Portland.

“People were amazingly generous and trusting,” Ms. Shultz said of their trip, adding that it helped her gain a new appreciation for the commitment to bicycling in Portland. It’s not unusual to see women riding through the winter in skirts and knee-high boots, followed by athletes training in winter riding clothing, she said.

Portland’s embrace of bike culture means that there are hundreds of miles of bike lanes and multiuse paths already in place. “The goal is to become a world-class bicycling city,” Mr. Geller said. “There has been a linear rise in bike use, but in the last four years it’s been exponential.”

The steady flow of bicycle traffic also makes it easy for visitors to commune with fellow cyclists or at least to ask for directions. Street signs indicating the distance between points, including an estimated bicycling time, make Portland a logical city to navigate on two wheels. The signs are posted on streets commonly known as bicycle boulevards — quieter, safer alternatives to busier roads with bike lanes.

Visitors will find that special bike-crossing signals and bike lanes highlighted in bright green help to guide traffic in the most complicated intersections. Breaking up a ride with a stop at a cafe or a pub adds to the pleasure, said David Lord, a bike racer and elementary school teacher, who commutes by bike more than 4,000 miles each year. Bicyclists might also find themselves steered toward a slice at Mississippi Pizza Pub, chased by a beer down the road at Amnesia Brewing.

“There is an amazing selection of restaurants and brewpubs like the Lucky Lab and the Bridgeport Brewery, but my favorite thing to do is hit Powell’s Books,” said Mr. Rogers, the shoe designer. “Every trip I spend a few hours there, not only to check out books, but to check in with the world.”

Back on the road, Portland can sometimes look like an elaborate model railroad table with everything in motion, especially if viewed from one of the Willamette bridges. Riding toward North Portland on the Broadway Bridge, it is not unusual to see the Amtrak Coast Starlight train crossing the Steel Bridge headed for Union Station a little after 3.

“The thing about Portland is there are so many world-class rides at your fingertips,” Mr. Rogers said, as he prepared to ride with his best friend across the Willamette to Council Crest, said to be the highest point in the city, with a panoramic view of the Cascade volcanoes. “Portland’s pretty much roadie heaven.”

IF YOU GO. . . . . .

byCycle.org is an interactive trip planner that integrates the regional bicycle map.

BikePortland covers the Portland bike scene.

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is a nonprofit organization that works to promote bicycling and improve bicycling conditions in Oregon and southwest Washington. Its Web site has plenty of links to resources for bicyclists.

The Community Exchange Cycle Touring Club
promotes cycling as “a means of cross-cultural interaction and earth-friendly transportation by providing bicycle maintenance and bicycle touring resources.”

Shift calls itself a “a loose-knit and informal bunch of bike-loving folks” who organize bicycle events, including social rides, educational tours and art-bike parades.

“Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities” by Jeff Mapes investigates how cyclists in Portland and other cities and college towns work with the support of local government.

“Veer”
is a film that looks at the lives and bike-centric social groups of five people in Portland over the course of a year. It is to be shown the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center in New York on May 5 at 6:30 p.m. Charleston Moves is working toward a screening locally! Stay Tuned!