Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

BIG APPLE TO LANDLORDS: PROVIDE FOR BICYCLES!

Bikes will soon become a more familiar sight around office cubicles in New York City. On Friday, a new bike access law takes effect in the city, stipulating that buildings with freight elevators must allow employees to use those elevators to take their bikes upstairs. Passed in July, the law aims to encourage bicycle commuting by eliminating worries about the security of street parking.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL NEW YORK TIMES ACCOUNT

The Inspriation for a New Vision of King Street (and Coleman Boulevard)

...from New York's TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES, a visit to a transformed Copenhagen:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Form Follows Function: Elegant Bike Locking Station with Built-In Pump

...towards more bike-friendly places...



More at:
http://www.heklucht.nl/

FIREMAN SHOOTS CYCLIST; DRAWS MERE 120-DAY SENTENCE

Charles Diez Gets 120 Days for Shooting Cyclist in the Head

(FROM STREEETSBLOG)
by Brad Aaron on November 23, 2009

(To Read from original with all links click here)


Charles Alexander Diez, the former North Carolina firefighter who shot cyclist Alan Simons in the head, has been sentenced to four months in jail.

In an Asheville, NC courtroom last week, Diez pled guilty to shooting Simons during a July 26 roadside confrontation. Said to be upset that Simons was riding his bike with his 3-year-old child, Diez fired his .38 caliber pistol as Simons walked away after the two exchanged words. The bullet struck Simons' bike helmet, narrowly missing his skull.

In August, Agrand jury reduced charges against Diez from attempted first degree murder to felony assault. While assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill certainly sounds like an offense worthy of a lengthy prison term, the presiding judge apparently agreed that this was a case of a stand-up guy having a bad day. Mountain Xpress reports:

Convictions on such a charge result in an average 20-39 months in prison for the defendant. But in the sentencing, Superior Court Judge James Downs found that Diez’s military service, along with testimony from former colleagues about his good character, were mitigating factors, and chose to sentence him to 15-27 months instead. Downs suspended all but four months of that sentence unless Diez breaks the law again in the next 30 months.

Diez must also undergo anger management counseling and pay Simons $1,200 "for damage to his eardrum."

The slap on the wrist issued to Diez has some worried that authorities have pretty much declared open season on area cyclists. Asked Brian Jones, who along with his wife is a regular victim of harassment and worse at the hands of local motorists: "If a cyclist shot a fireman, judge or prosecuting attorney in his head, in front of his family, what sentence do you think he/she would receive."

The travesty in Asheville comes amid continuing reports of driver-on-cyclist violence, with, as Sarah noted this morning, recent incidents in Austin and Miami.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Whimsical Bike Racks Liven Up Nashville

(courtesy the City Paper/Nashville)

Corn & Tomatoes' will be installed outside the Nashville Farmers Market.

Cyclists riding in the urban core of Nashville can park their bikes at a giant padlock, a row of soaring cornstalks or a winding microphone perhaps as soon as late spring.

Those are just three of the seven imaginative bicycle racks approved Thursday by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission out of 139 designs submitted in the open contest, finalizing the first wave of an undertaking billed as a “template” to install more public art in Nashville.

“My impression is there’s something here for everybody,” said Pepe Presley, vice chair of the commission and chair of Nashville’s Public Art Committee. “It’s a great (project) for the city and it’s something I think we’ll be strutting out to different locations.”

The project’s total price tag of less than $100,000 came from funds collected through Metro’s “Percent for the Arts” program, which dedicates 1 percent of all net proceeds of general obligation bonds issued for public construction projects to the funding of public art.

The commission, which began accepting applications in September, only considered professional artists who live within a 200-mile radius of Nashville. Winning design teams of the bike racks each collected $2,500.

Arts commission chair Jane Alvis said the installment phase of the project should begin by late spring or early summer 2010, with the hope being to eventually approve more bike racks for others areas.

Locations that will receive new racks are the downtown Nashville Public Library, the Farmers Market at Rosa Parks Boulevard, Bicentennial Mall, the Music Row Roundabout, the Fulton Complex at Second Avenue South and on Commerce Street on between Fourth and Fifth avenues.

The approved bike racks are:

1. “Padlock Emerging from Ground” by Matt Young of Memphis, which will be installed at the downtown Nashville Public Library. Made of stainless steel and set in a concrete base, the design will be replicated in a group to accommodate multiple bicycles.

2. “Corn & Tomatoes” by Paige Easter and Dan Goostree of Nashville, which will be installed at Rosa Parks Boulevard outside the Farmers Market. The rack presents large sliced tomatoes and corns stalks that are made of durable exterior materials.

3. “Capitol” by Luke Tidwell of Nashville, which will be positioned at the Bicentennial Mall side of Farmers Market. The rack combines the stars from the Tennessee flag with a symbol of cycling.

4. “Microphone Rack” by Franne Lee, Keith Harmon and Mac Hill of Nashville, which will go at the northeast corner of Demonbreun Street and Music Row. The rack, made of stainless steel, represents Nashville’s history as a communications, broadcasting and music center.

5. “Bicycle Copse,” by Anice Doak of Nashville, will be installed at Commerce Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues. The 11-foot tall structure, made of stainless steel, is designed to be reminiscent of a group of trees found in nature.

6. “Banjos,” by Ric Howse, a Middle Tennessee native, will be placed at the Fulton Office Complex at Second Avenue South. Its design is intended to complement the musical heritage and tradition of Nashville by displaying upright, slightly tilted banjos.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Return of the Two-Way Street

(from GOVERNING --Connecting America's Leaders
By Alan Ehrenhalt | December 2009

Why the double-yellow stripe is making a comeback in downtowns.

Over the past couple of decades, Vancouver, Washington, has spent millions of dollars trying to revitalize its downtown, and especially the area around Main Street that used to be the primary commercial center. Just how much the city has spent isn’t easy to determine. But it’s been an ambitious program. Vancouver has totally refurbished a downtown park, subsidized condos and apartment buildings overlooking it and built a new downtown Hilton hotel.

Some of these investments have been successful, but they did next to nothing for Main Street itself. Through most of this decade, the street remained about as dreary as ever. Then, a year ago, the city council tried a new strategy. Rather than wait for the $14 million more in state and federal money it was planning to spend on projects on and around Main Street, it opted for something much simpler. It painted yellow lines in the middle of the road, took down some signs and put up others, and installed some new traffic lights. In other words, it took a one-way street and opened it up to two-way traffic.

The merchants on Main Street had high hopes for this change. But none of them were prepared for what actually happened following the changeover on November 16, 2008. In the midst of a severe recession, Main Street in Vancouver seemed to come back to life almost overnight.

Within a few weeks, the entire business community was celebrating. “We have twice as many people going by as they did before,” one of the employees at an antique store told a local reporter. The chairman of the Vancouver Downtown Association, Lee Coulthard, sounded more excited than almost anyone else. “It’s like, wow,” he exclaimed, “why did it take us so long to figure this out?”

A year later, the success of the project is even more apparent. Twice as many cars drive down Main Street every day, without traffic jams or serious congestion. The merchants are still happy. “One-way streets should not be allowed in prime downtown retail areas,” says Rebecca Ocken, executive director of Vancouver’s Downtown Association. “We’ve proven that.”

The debate over one-way versus two-way streets has been going on for more than half a century now in American cities, and it is far from resolved even yet. But the evidence seems to suggest that the two-way side is winning. A growing number of cities, including big ones such as Minneapolis, Louisville and Oklahoma City, have converted the traffic flow of major streets to two-way or laid out plans to do so. There has been virtually no movement in the other direction.

(to read the whole article click here.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

On2Wheels A BIKING PLAN FOR METRO-CHARLESTON

CAC.C
FINAL REVIEW
2:00-5:30 PM FRIDAY 11 DECEMBER
at the Charleston Civic Design Center, 85 Calhoun Street

THIS SESSION
The purpose of this final review is to evaluate the BIKING PLAN and BIKE POINT from both an academic and a community perspective.
This will be the last opportunity to offer criticism and input on the BIKE PLAN as a Clemson project.

SCOPE
Based on the meetings and public input to date, the scope and goals of our project are:

* EXISTING: To document, evaluate, and synthesize existing cycling plans and infrastructure in Charleston.
* VISION: To develop an urban design vision that will make Charleston a premier biking community.
* 1ST STEPS: To propose a biking plan for Metro-Charleston that will move the community toward the long-range vision.

This plan is being coordinated with the Charleston Department of Planning and will influence the forthcoming revision to the Century V plan.

* BIKE POINT: To design/build a generic Bike Point (a prototype for civic street furniture to support cycling).


NEXT
SPRING 2010: To design/build a site-specific Bike Point for the Charleston Civic Design Center.
_ _ _ _ _
A project of
the Charleston Department of Planning
The Charleston Civic Design Center
and
the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston (CAC.C)