Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bike the Bars: An Alternative Transportation "Message" Ride

(from Mike Wagers of the Pivotal/LowCountry VW Racing Team)

We all like to ride our bikes. Most of us like to drink beer (too much sometimes). Some of us are combining the two -- well, not actually at the same time –- this Saturday night (Aug. 1) for a Bike to the Bars night. (We proudly ripped it off from here: http://www.biketothebars.com).

This is a non-sanctioned, unofficial social ride and get-together for like-minded people. We’ll meet at Oakland Market in Mount Pleasant at 6:15 PM and probably hit Mellow Mushroom, Neil Jordan’s, and Dog and Duck in Park West.

We are not pounding beers and riding our bikes. We're riding our bikes to local bars (yes, it can even be done in the suburbs) to advocate alternative means of transportation, to hang out with other cool cyclists and to enjoy a few Belgian beers. If this goes well, we may try to do this once a month or so (alternating nights; maybe doing it on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon once football season starts; and hitting different bars).

It goes without saying that we encourage everyone to drink and ride responsibly. We will have a pedal wrench and will not be afraid to take your pedals off your bike if you get out of hand! Go out and get your hard miles in on the Saturday morning group ride, take care of business at home in the afternoon, and come out and join us for some fun Saturday night. This is a social get-together: wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, etc. are welcome to ride and drink along.
sent an e-mail to:

mikewagers@gmail.com

...if you plan to attend and he'll send out more details

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sticking up for Herself as a Pedestrian

A lady was videotaping her son riding a skate board when her attention switched to an old woman trying to cross the street.
It is the best direct hit I have seen in some time. You can hear the lady taping giggling as she records the event...Keep your eyes on the air bag too! THE CAR IS A MERCEDES BENZ



(Wasn't She in a Crosswalk??)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Man Arrested in Hit-and-Run Death of Bicyclist

Man charged in bicyclist’s death
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
from the Post and Courier

SUMMERVILLE — The S.C. Highway Patrol has charged a 19-year-old Summerville man in connection with a hit-and-run fatality involving a bicyclist.

Between 10 and 11 p.m. Sunday, a witness noticed a bicycle in a ditch on S.C. Highway 165 between Tyvola and Tasker drives, but didn't see anything else. On Monday morning, a different witness noticed a body in the ditch and called 911.

Dorchester County Coroner Chris Nesbit identified the bicyclist as Samuel R. Cox Jr., 60, of Summerville.

Cox was traveling against traffic in the roadway and was struck, a patrol spokesman said.

About 9:15 p.m. Monday, troopers arrested Collin Vincent Kentrus of Summerville. He is charged with leaving the scene of a collision involving death and is being held at the Dorchester County jail, Patrol Lance Cpl. Bob Beres said.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bicyclist killed in Summerville Hit-and-Run Accident


Photo by Summerville Journal Scene staffer Michael Tannenbaum

A man described as black and in his fifties was found dead by the side of Beacons Bridge Road following an accident that apparently happened sometime Sunday night. Authorities told the Journal Scene that the bicyclist had apparently been traveling against traffic, possibly after dark.

For more on this, CLICK HERE for the Summerville Journal Scene coverage.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Compelling! The Growing Case for Walking and Biking!

Great article on benefits of bicycling and walking

Includes a good statistic: By 2040, Rails to Trails calculates, Portland’s net benefit from better health and reduced fuel savings will be $1.2 billion, representing an eye-catching 8-to-1 return-on-investment ratio.

READ MORE AT CITIWIRE!


Thanks to Rachael Kefalos at Palmetto Cycling Coalition

Savannah Coalition Pushes Big Changes


(photo & item courtesy Project for Public Spaces)

Things appear to be on the move in Savannah. Last February, over 300 Savannah citizens met to discuss how to transform the city’s car-oriented streets into pedestrian-friendly destinations, and how to create true gathering places in Savannah’s beautiful natural environment and historic squares.

Since then, Savannah’s citizens have taken bold action to begin making these plans reality. As Theodora Gongaware writes in Savannah Now , Savannians are working energetically to “make each neighborhood a destination by taking advantage of resources that were already in place. Our community accepted this challenge with style and vigor.”

Among the inspired changes taking place in Savannah are the premiere of the Blue Ocean Film Festival and (believe it or not) the creation of a citywide Traffic Calming Task Force! For more, CLICK HERE to go to the Project for Public Spaces Blog

Monday, July 13, 2009

What You Can Do to Boost the West Ashley Greenway



THE SUBJECT: How to get pedestrians and cyclists safely and economically from the Legare Bridge over the Ashley to the foot of the West Ashley Greenway.

THE QUESTION: Which of three routes (mainly over wetlands) would be best.

THE BUZZ: All Positive

Thursday evening's meeting to address this issues was one of the significant mileposts on the way to linking all of West Ashley to the Charleston peninsula for walkers, runners and bicyclists.

The general plans for the bridge attachment that will carry the traffic have been known for some time. The extension of the West Ashley Greenway from Albemarle Road about a third of a mile to Folly Road (at Windermere Blvd.) has been paved, operational now for over a year.

The actual route from the bridge across the marsh still must be determined, though the choice seemed clear to most of those attending last night.

All the remaining hurdles have everything to do with money – a substantial amount of it. There’s the cantilevered bridge addition, the cross-marsh link, a (possible) bridge over the Folly-Windermere intersection, and finally, the whole package of improvements to the Greenway itself, covering over eight miles.

In attendance at St. Andrews: numerous folks who might walk or ride to destinations downtown including members of Congregation Brith Sholom Beth Israel, members of the staffs of both MUSC and Roper-St. Francis, members of City Council, and a variety of people eager for the completion of this plan.

Another significant item on the checklist: a $25,000 grant from the shopping center firm, Kimco, to the City of Charleston that’s being used to formulate an overall plan for the Greenway. Once that study is complete, the vision will come into focus and we all will see more clearly what we have to work for.
But the challenge of funding all of this is huge. And the atmosphere – a recession.

So, there’s momentum in public opinion and in the overall vision. But the funding is the hard part.

OUR PICK
Of the three alternative routes, Charleston Moves agrees with the (apparent) prevailing viewpoint, that the third (alternative “C” -- or 3 -- the blue line) is best. It’s most direct, and therefore most economical. It also has less impact on the environment and probably would be most pleasant.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
1. Show your support. Go to the Roadwise website and select the “C” alternative. (CLICK HERE)

2. Stay tuned. We believe the momentum to complete this project will pick up now and we will do everything in our power to encourage that process.

For even more on this, CLICK HERE to go to the Post & Courier’s coverage.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cities Lose Out on Road Funds From Federal Stimulus

...from The New York Times

July 9, 2009

By MICHAEL COOPER and GRIFF PALMER

Two-thirds of the country lives in large metropolitan areas, home to the nation’s worst traffic jams and some of its oldest roads and bridges. But cities and their surrounding regions are getting far less than two-thirds of federal transportation stimulus money.

According to an analysis by The New York Times of 5,274 transportation projects approved so far — the most complete look yet at how states plan to spend their stimulus money — the 100 largest metropolitan areas are getting less than half the money from the biggest pot of transportation stimulus money. In many cases, they have lost a tug of war with state lawmakers that urban advocates say could hurt the nation’s economic engines.

The stimulus law provided $26.6 billion for highways, bridges and other transportation projects, but left the decision on how to spend most of it to the states, which have a long history of giving short shrift to major metropolitan areas when it comes to dividing federal transportation money. Now that all 50 states have beat a June 30 deadline by winning approval for projects that will use more than half of that transportation money, worth $16.4 billion, it is clear that the stimulus program will continue that pattern of spending disproportionately on rural areas.

“If we’re trying to recover the nation’s economy, we should be focusing where the economy is, which is in these large areas,” said Robert Puentes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, which advocates more targeted spending. “But states take this peanut-butter approach, taking the dollars and spreading them around very thinly, rather than taking the dollars and concentrating them where the most complex transportation problems are.”

...to read the entire story, CLICKEZ ICI

Broadway’s Car-Free Zones: This Space for Rent

...from The New York Times

July 9, 2009

By LIBBY NELSON

When Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced plans in February to close stretches of Broadway to traffic to create pedestrian plazas, it was billed as a way to ease congestion and create oases for walkers, people watchers, idlers (chairs and tables were provided) and cyclists. Since the car-free zones were opened in May, they have been home to predictable urban vignettes: tourists resting with their shopping bags, New Yorkers pausing with their cellphones as buses go by a few feet away.

But the plazas can also make money for the city.

All or any of them can be rented by private companies, which could pay substantial fees — the highest is $38,500 a day. So far, the city said, 10 permits have been granted for the plazas in Midtown, with one — for a VH1 special in Herald Square — bringing in $20,250. Roughly 18 others have been granted for other pedestrian malls around the city, including the plaza at 23rd Street and Broadway.

It was there last week that Glidden Paint paid $11,000 a day to promote its products. That plaza, which opened in 2008, is visually identical to the Midtown plazas. Glidden’s fee, officials said, was high because it was part of a previous schedule that has since been adjusted. The company will pay, in all, $66,000 to set up at several locations around the city.

Other approved events in Midtown have included promotions for “Top Chef,” the cooking competition on the Bravo network, Hula-Hooping classes and a simulcast of the Tony Awards. Permits have also been issued for classes in yoga and capoeira (a Brazilian martial art), for a woodwind performance and for Come Out and Play, a festival dedicated to street games.

for the entire story, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Public Meeting on Connecting to the West Ashley Greenway

..from Charleston County Roadwise:

Public Meeting on Ashley River Bridge Bicycle and Pedestrian Path Project, July 9

Public meeting from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, at St. Andrews Elementary School to
discuss plans for a bicycle and pedestrian path from Albemarle Road to the Ashley River Bridge.

Charleston County Government is holding a public meeting from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, to gather input on a proposed Transportation Sales Tax funded project located within the city of Charleston for a new bicycle and pedestrian path from Albemarle Road to the Ashley River Bridge.

The meeting will be held in the cafeteria of St. Andrews Elementary School (30 Chadwick Drive; Charleston, SC 29407).

EDITOR'S NOTE: This meeting will be focused on how pedestrians and cyclists will be routed across the marsh from the foot of the Ashley River Bridge over the marsh to Albemarle Road at the beginning of the West Ashley Greenway extension. Visit the Charleston County Roadwise website for details on the alternatives. (The difference between the alternatives has to do mainly with environmental impact.)

Bicycle parking pod with lockers and solar showers

(photo via treehugger.com)
(...from Springwise.com)

Plenty of cities around the world have acknowledged that a single auto parking spot can hold a comparatively large number of bicycles, and there are many ideas floating around as to how best to utilize the space in a parking space for cyclists....

Among the entries: Cycle Center in Chicago, Bikestation in California, Bike Central in New Zealand and Cycle2City in Australia. Adding to Australia's bike station innovation comes the Green Pod, a modular facility from Brisbane's Penny Farthings Pushbikes.

About the size of a parking space for one car, the Green Pod comes in two configurations: one with a single shower and changing room along with 10 lockers and parking for as many bicycles, and the other with double those facilities. The pod features a solar hot water system, electronic locking system, LED lighting activated by motion sensors, timed showers and a grey water treatment unit that discharges grey water into green areas. The unit can be integrated into indoor or outdoor applications, and it operates on a 12V DC system that can be powered by solar panels on the roof. Also part of the pod is a self-cleaning mechanism that can detect when no one's inside and lock its doors for some self-cleaning, according to a report in Catapult. Access is via swipe card for registered users.

The first Green Pod is now being used at Queensland University of Technology’s Kelvin Grove campus, and Penny Farthing is also talking with Queensland Rail about tailoring a pod for bicyclist commuters, Catapult reported. Indeed, the modularity of the Green Pod's design and its diminutive stature give it the potential to be more flexible and easily accommodated than many built-in solutions. One to partner with early and bring to the bicycling masses near you...? (Related: Self-serve parking bay for bikes.)

Website: www.pushbikeparking.com/green-pod
Contact: info@pushbikeparking.com

FOR THE TECHIES: An iPhone App Links to Bacelona's Bike Share Program

(This from Springwise, the website devoted to finding new business ideas:)

Barcelona, like Paris and now Washington, DC, has a bike-sharing program aimed at letting people get around easily while reducing auto congestion. In Barcelona, the program is called 'Bicing.'

Now, bringing the service into the iPhone era, Bicing recently launched a mobile application that consumers can use to get location-based information about bicycle and parking availability.

Residents of Barcelona use Bicing by applying for a personal card and then using that card to rent and pay for use of one of the service's 6,000 bicycles. Bicycles can be picked up from and returned to any of 400 stations throughout the city. With the new iBicing application—downloadable from Apple's iTunes Store for EUR 0.79, (around a buck) consumers can now see in advance the best place to find or bring back a bicycle. All they need do is send an SMS to "7010" for information about the availability of bikes and parking slots at the stations nearest them. iBicing taps the iPhone's GPS capabilities to pinpoint a user's location and select which stations would be most convenient, but users can also search for information about others. Google Maps with interactive navigation can be displayed as well.

Bike sharing schemes are already laudable for so many reasons, most notably their benefits for the environment and urban congestion. Making such services more convenient for consumers through maps and the increasingly ubiquitous iPhone is the obvious next step toward realizing those benefits more fully. This is "mapmania" at work, ... and it's one to emulate in bicycle-sharing cities around the globe! (Related: Zipcar's iPhone app will find and unlock cars — Free coffee for iPhone users at Swedish 7-Eleven.)

Website: www.bicing.com