Friday, May 28, 2010

From Streetfilms: Big Progress in Boston

The Boston metro area has always had plenty of cyclists.  But other than some fantastic greenways like the Minuteman Trail, riding along the Charles, and some ahead-of-its-time traffic calming & bike lanes in Cambridge, cyclists have had very little to crow about.  In fact, it wasn't uncommon to hear murmurs that Boston was the worst cycling city in the U.S.
But that's all slowly changing. Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino hired Nicole Freedman - a former U.S. National Champion and 2000 Olympian - as his "bike czar" to head up Boston Bikes in late 2007. Though there is still quite a ways to go, Boston is rising from decades of bike rust and planning to make its city more bike-friendly. Recently, the Mayor told a gathering of cyclists at Boston's first "Bicycling Safety Summit "The car is no longer king in Boston."
While Streetfilms was in town with we got to spend a few minutes with Nicole in between her busy schedule to file this report.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

POST & COURIER STORY: Cyclists decry lack of lanes on Maybank

DOT says not enough room to stripe for bikes

BY ROBERT BEHRE
The Post and Courier
Originally published 12:00 a.m., May 25, 2010
Updated 06:26 p.m., May 25, 2010

Charleston cycling advocates voiced exasperation Monday at the state's unwillingness to stripe bike lanes on a newly repaved stretch of Maybank Highway, and they say it's proof that the S.C. Department of Transportation needs a housecleaning.

The issue goes well beyond the four-lane artery on James Island but reflects on the state's inability to provide for those who want healthier, less environmentally damaging ways to get from one place to another, they say.

Cars travel down Maybank Highway toward Old Folly Road on newly repaved roads Monday. Cycling advocates are frustrated that the roads have not been striped to allow bicyclists to travel safely.

The reaction from Coastal Conservation League director Dana Beach was representative.

FOR MORE CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL POST AND COURIER STORY

Monday, May 24, 2010

Live5 News Coverage of News conference on SCDOT & Maybank Hwy.

Taking on SCDOT: STAY TUNED!

Last week we got the news that SCDOT was not going to put bike lanes on the newly-resurfaced portions of Maybank Highway. It appeared to be a no-brainer. We had phoned early as workers started the resurfacing to make the suggestion.

Later, having gotten no satisfaction, the decision was made to conduct the petition drive. As you know (many of you helped with this) we collected almost 2000 signatures in approximately five days.

SCDOT did bend to the point that the outer lanes were widened to 14', and they made it sound as though they were considering the bike lanes. But ultimately, last week I was told the department declined to stripe them.

Two days later, at a meeting we had with Charleston County officials on a number of issues, the subject of Maybank Highway was raised and Councilwoman Colleen Condon suggested that county workers undertake the striping project at county expense. It was quickly endorsed by Deputy County Administrator Kurt Taylor who is in charge of expenditure of all half-cent sales tax money. The promise of stripes was official.

Then, we made the decision was reached to "take the gloves off" and roundly criticize the DOT for its lack of flexibility and the horrible effect this has on pedestrian and bicycle safety.

We invited other organizations (Palmetto Cycling Coalition, Coastal Conservation League, MyBikeLaw.com) joined us for this news conference. Coverage was excellent, with all three major network affiliates attending as well as Robert Behre of the Post&Courier.

The news conference produced two calls for changes in leadership of the DOT. I am attaching my statement. There will be substantial coverage of this overnight and tomorrow morning.

Additionally, we have had detailed conversations with two members of the DOT Commission, Danny Isaacs and Ken Willingham. We have their attention -- at least for the moment.

Here is a copy of the Charleston Moves statement. Click on the image to read in its entirety.
Charleston Moves News Release: Maybank Hwy. Bike Lanes

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Charleston Ride of Silence 2010

Jane West organized this year's ride. Peter and Cappi Wilborn hosted the usual post-ride feast on Grove Street. As in many cities everywhere, those who died on bicycles and traffic were honored.
Here is Carl Miller's slide show:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Michelle Obama Backs "Complete Streets" as Key in Fight Against Obesity

The First Lady's childhood obesity report includes a recommendation for Complete Streets in authorization:

Recommendation 5.8: Reauthorize a Surface Transportation Act that enhances livability and physical activity. A complete network of safe bicycle and pedestrian facilities would allow children to take more trips through active transportation and get more physical activity New Federal aid construction projects should accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians by incorporating “Complete Streets” principles. As improvement projects for existing facilities are undertaken, transportation infrastructure should be retrofitted, where feasible, to support and encourage bicycle and pedestrian use State and local money can also be leveraged to support safe facilities for children to walk or bike to places like parks, playgrounds, transit, and community centers The reauthorization could adopt Complete Streets principles that would include routine accommodation of walkers and bicyclists for new construction, to influence retrofitting of existing communities, and to support public transportation In addition, it could enhance authority for recreational areas on public lands.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Join this year's Ride of Silence

With thousands of bicyclists across literally hundreds of cities, come out at 7pm next Wednesday, May 19 at Hampton Park in Charlestonfor the annual Ride of Silence to honor fellow cyclists who have died in traffic accidents.

The ride is short and slow, and silent. (More information about the Ride of Silence can be found by CLICKING HERE)
Once again this year, participants have been invited by the Wilborns to their home on Grove Street.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mayor Riley Proclaims May Bike Month in Charleston

Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. read the following proclamation during the Tuesday, May 11 meeting of the Charleston City Council.


The Mayor singled out his aim of retrofitting the Legare Bridge over the Ashley River with a 10' wide bicycle/pedestrian lane as among his highest priority, and he listed numerous Bicycle Month activities (published elsewhere on this blog and at www.bikecharleston.org).

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Belgium Wishes Everyone a Happy Bike-to-Work Month!


Hey Team,
Happy Bike to Work Month! This is a great time to get your non-bikey pals out there for a ride or commute. Motivate them with a sense of patriotic duty or simply guilt them into parking the car for a while. To learn more about Bike to Work month events in your area checkhttp://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bikemonth/ and commit to 100% cycling during Bike to Work Week, May 17th thru 21st. That’s our time to claim it!
Alright – quick call out for film entries to our brand new traveling beer and film tour, Clips of Faith. We are seeking digital, film and video shorts of all kinds for our fifteen-city show. Beer, fame and prizes await you at http://www.clipsoffaith.com/ Submission deadline is May 20th. So get shootin’, Tex.
Also, the good folks over at Bikes Belong are taking pledges for their People for Bikes program at http://www.peopleforbikes.org/. Their goal is to get a million riders signed so that we can share a collective voice – a worthy mission. So head over and support them.
And finally, send in your ideas as to what we should do as a bike collective this year. How do we make Team Wonderbike live in the streets as it does on the web? Good ideas come from everywhere. Send them in and we'll share them around.

Bike on!
B. Simpson

Monday, May 3, 2010

MUSC President Backs Battery2Beach

Raymond Greenberg, the President of MUSC has issued a letter backing the Charleston Moves Battery2Beach route initiative.  Greenberg said in his letter: "I think this is an excellent idea and give it my strong support."  The letter was addressed to Dr. Sandra Fowler, a member of the MUSC Faculty and of the Board of Directors of Charleston Moves.