Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No Need for Speed: 20 mph Plenty (in Residential Areas)

From StreetFilms:
Posted: 30 Aug 2010 12:14 PM PDT
Earlier this month, the New York City Department of Transportation announced plans to experiment with 20 mph zones -- replacing the city's default 30 mph speed limit in one pilot neighborhood. Whoever gets the first 20 mph treatment will see benefits that residents of British cities and towns have become increasingly familiar with in recent years.
In the UK, some 3 million people live in areas with 20 mph speed limits. The experience there shows that not only do slower speeds save lives, but lowering the limit to 20 mph improves the way local streets function in more ways than one. According to the 20's Plenty for Us campaign, the change has produced wide-ranging benefits, including less traffic, increased walking and biking, greater independence for children, the elderly and infirm, better health, and calmer driving conditions for motorists.
The mission of 20's Plenty For Us is to establish 20 mph as the default speed limit on all residential roads in the UK. I recently met up with the campaign's founder, Rod King, as well as other advocates in the towns of Warrington and York, to understand how the idea of slowing down traffic has spread so fast throughout the country.

20's Penty For Us from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bike-Sharing Goes Completely Mobile? Watch This!

(from Fast Company..)
Car-sharing hit big with Zipcar, bike-sharing got its 15 minutes with Paris' Velib, and now, well, smartphone-enabled bike sharing might be the next big thing, with SoBi's (Social Bicycle System) plans to launch a test run of its GPS and mobile-enabled bike network in New York City this Fall.
According to their website: "This system will be more affordable and scalable than existing bike share systems and can be deployed in a wider range of settings--small cities, universities, and even corporate campuses. SoBi will allow a user to find and unlock bikes using a mobile phone and provide a viable public transportation alternative."

The Social Bicycle System from Ryan Rzepecki on Vimeo.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Charleston Bicycle Company Designated to Build BikeTown Bikes

Charleston Bicycle Co. & Running Shop has been chosen to build the bikes for Bicycle Magazine’s designation of Charleston as a 2010 “BikeTown.” This is on the heel’s of Charleston recently achieving a rank of 29th in Bicycle Magazine’s “America’s Top 50 Bike- Friendly Cities.”

BikeTown is an effort created by Bicycling Magazine, sponsored this year by Jamis Bikes and Metlife, to see how a bike can change a person's life. In 2003, the magazine started an essay contest in which people were required to state why they felt they deserved a new bike. That first year was in Portland, OR, and since then the program has grown to multiple cities and countries and more than 3,000 bikes have been given to people in the hopes a new bike can change a person’s life.
This year’s BikeTowns include: Boston, Indianapolis, Charleston, Minneapolis, Cleveland, New Orleans, Denver, and Best Buddies (CA).

BikeTown, Jamis, and MetLife will be visiting Charleston on September 23 at the Green Fair in Marion Square to give away 30 bikes to the people best responding to the request of how a new bike would change their life.  (Charleston Moves will have a booth at the fair, too.)

John Glover, CBC Owner, is excited to be involved in this step of Charleston’s ever growing bike community. “We are proud to have been selected to build the bikes for this year’s BikeTown in Charleston,” Glover said. “This is great for the shop, but I think it also highlights all the hard work and recent success stories of Charleston’s cycling community pushing to improve bike infrastructure, local ordinances, and acceptance of cyclists on the roads.”

Glover went on to cite many of the recent efforts and achievements Charleston has seen that have lead to the Top 50 and BikeTown designations. “Mayor Riley’s press conference concerning the bike lanes on St. Andrews Blvd is the most recent success for cyclists, but there is so much going on...the Battery2beach route and signs, the city’s Transportation Committee, the Greenway improvements, all the local rides...the list is getting big and we are making great strides.”

Mike Tremann, Owner and General Manager of CBC, said CBC has been a Jamis dealer for more than seven years.  He said: “Everyone at the shop worked together in one effort to build these bikes; it was a good time, and we are looking forward to being at the Charleston Green Fair to help distribute these bikes to the winners of the BikeTown contest.”

Straighforward Street Art Makes the Case for Cycling..

Well put, and it's true enough! Unfortunately for me, only one of these can get you from Isle of Palms to Upper King Street in fewer than 30 minutes, but I'm rethinking that commute.
The art is by Australian Peter Drew. The photo is by Carlton R

Live5's Tracey Amick on Ticketing Cyclists

Tracey got the word that Charleston Police were stepping up enforcement of traffic laws with cyclists and did a report yesterday (Thursday).
You can read her written account and see the report by clicking here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Charleston Police Continue Crackdown

These photos were taken around just before 11am today
(Thursday, Aug. 26) on King Street.  I was following
Officer Smoak southbound on my bike when he headed this
rider off.  He had been on his way, against traffic, to the Apple
These two young women were stopped just a block or two south
of the first guy. The woman closest to the camera told me she had just
moved to Charleston from Ohio.
This is photo #2 of the first guy.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Come Out Friday Sept. 3 ! !

This event supports things our late friend Edwin Gardner stood for.  As you may know, Edwin was struck by an auto and fatally injured July 21 here in Charleston.

It's the bi-annual "Fat Tire Friday" event presented by Pearlstine Distributors and the Riverdogs.

If you ride your bike to the Riverdogs game that night, you receive $1.00 off admission.  There will be prizes, some specialty New Belgium craft beers and we will be raffling off a NEW, limited edition Fat Tire bicycle.  

All the proceeds from the bike raffle will go to the Coastal Community Foundation in memory of Edwin.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bike Lanes on St. Andrews Blvd. in West Ashley

Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. and South Carolina Department of Transportation Commissioner-at-Large flank graphic showing bike lanes on each side of St. Andrews Boulevard in Charleston
Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. today announced that bicycle lanes will be striped on St. Andrews Boulevard.

The Mayor said the reconfiguration of the lanes will contribute to overall safety, not only for cyclists but for motorists as well. (By narrowing the lanes, auto traffic should move somewhat slower with very little adverse impact on how much traffic the road can carry.)

Charleston Moves congratulates the City of Charleston, Charleston County and SCDOT for working together to initiate the design and fund this project.

Mayor Riley said the City sees these lanes as part of a growing network of bicycle lanes that eventually will link West Ashley with the peninsula over a contemplated cantilevered addition to the Legare Bridge over the Ashley River.

This highly-visible project, we at Charleston Moves hope, will help us and our allies among public officials promote similar projects throughout the Lowcountry.

The Charleston County Transportation Committee awarded the necessary funds last night.

The lanes will run from Wesley Drive on St. Andrews Boulevard to just north of Sycamore Avenue.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Police Ticketing Cyclists

One of our fellow cyclists, apparently a skilled and experienced one, received a ticket on Saturday for running a red light. The cyclist was told the fine will be $185 and that it will result in four points. This apparently took place out around Bees Ferry Road and Rte. 61. A court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 15.

The patrol officer reportedly told the rider that he was cracking down on cyclists for "running red lights, listening to head phones, and just not following the rules of the road." He told the rider he had ticketed 5 cyclists in the past few days days.

Obviously, if this rider believes there's a reason the charge should be dismissed he/she should probably take the matter up with Peter Wilborn who helped rewrite the laws governing the relationship between cyclists and motorists. No matter the merits of this particular case, perhaps we all should settle down and think.

We all have sneaked through red lights. Before doing so, the most cautious among us slow almost to a dead stop to verify that there are no cars approaching before we cross. It often seems safer not to stop but to keep our momentum.

But in the long run, this doesn't help our cause.

At Charleston Moves we hear all the time that our work on behalf of cyclists is respected. But we also constantly get an earful from people who tell us we won't get public support for our work on behalf of cyclists until we find ways to educate cyclists about obeying traffic laws.

We all know that the rider who got the ticket on Saturday isn't the kind of rider who causes the greatest problems in how the public sees bicyclists. It's true: More often it is the college kid who either doesn't have a clue about the law or who choses to ignore it. They're blowing red lights left and right, zooming the wrong way against traffic.

But every time someone on two wheels (whether skilled or scofflaw) is seen breaking the rules, it hurts all of us.

For the cyclist-haters out there (and there are plenty), it's probably people in lycra who make them see red quicker.

Meantime, patrol officers aren't told how to discriminate between folks in lycra and folks in shorts t-shirts. If they've been told to ticket cyclists, that's what they'll do. (We can only hope that they make the greatest effort in downtown Charleston.)

We're looking for more respect from drivers. We're looking for lanes that make it safer for bicyclists and motorists alike.

If we want these things, we have to play by the rules. It's pretty simple.
But one of those rules, we're told is South Carolina vehicle code section 56-5-970,C,5 that says - The cyclist can proceed after 2 mins against a red light.
But that still means coming to a stop and waiting for two minutes..

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Charleston Police Reverse Initial Findings; Cite Driver in Edwin Gardner Death

Following an intensive re-examination of all evidence and circumstances surrounding the accident that took the life of Edwin Gardner on July 21, Charleston Police have issued a new report that places all the blame on the driver of the automobile.

The full Post & Courier report can be seen by clicking here.

It is a shame that some of the people issuing comments this morning fail to understand the meaning of this complete about-face by the police who are rarely if ever known to reverse themselves so thoroughly.

This welcome turn of events simply means that the evidence didn't add up to support the motorist's story, and that police cared much less in the end about saving face than for finding truth.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Definitive "State of Cycling" & the Public Debate

Following the tragic death of Edwin Gardner, Charleston City Paper has published a thorough review of the state of the public debate on the place of bicycling in the transportation picture in Charleston.
The article is an extraordinary service to the city and its leaders, defining the summer of 2010 as a watershed moment in the long, difficult effort to convince our politicians to take bicycling seriously, as citizens clearly are doing.
Take a few minutes and read the article. And think about what you can do.
Also, on the front page, City Paper's touching video account of last Saturday's memorial ride honoring the life and work of Edwin Gardner.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The CARTA Report CARD: Room for Improvement

The Coastal Conservation League recently assigned "Jesse" and "Beau" to take the bus (and videotape their adventure). Here's their account:

CARTA Adventure from Dana Beach on Vimeo.

(Charleston Moves consults with CARTA from time to time and considers the health and wellbeing of CARTA to be key to transportation progress in the Lowcountry.)

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Here is Mark Nowling's wonderful sequence of photographs from the Edwin Gardner Tribute Ride

to read David Quick's coverage from the Post and Courier click here.