Thursday, January 27, 2011

20's PLENTY WHERE PEOPLE LIVE

This is an initiative that is growing big roots in Great Britain. Think about it! 20mph in a residential area is an appropriate, safe speed. Too slow? No! Not in a residential area! And it has the added benefit of helping assure safe sharing of the thoroughfare by all people entitled to use it. It makes the neighborhood vastly more pleasant, perhaps even raises property values!!

SHOULD WE START A 20'S PLENTY MOVEMENT IN CHARLESTON??

20's Plenty For Us from Streetfilms on Vimeo.


FOR MORE ON 20'S PLENTY VISIT THE 20'S PLENTY WEBSITE. AND FILE A COMMENT HERE!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Milestone Handshake on Battery2Beach Route

Charleston Moves has gotten a "green light" for a partnership with Charleston County Parks and Recreation Department to complete the Battery2Beach Route, 24 miles of safe bicycling, running and walking from the County Park in Isle of Palms to the County Park at Folly Beach.

The plan for collaboration was presented Monday evening to the CCPRC Commission, and the idea was welcomed by Commission members. The presentation was made by Dr. Tom Mather, an old friend of Charleston Moves, himself a former member of the CCPRC Commission.

The B2B Project is an embodiment of a CCPRC dream: to link all Charleston County parks for bicyclists. Since our B2B project already has substantial name recognition and popular "traction," it made great sense that the B2B route should become the foundation of PRC's wider project.

CCPRC Director Tom O' Rourke indicated he'll soon allocate staff time and department resources to the project. Charleston Moves is thrilled at the prospect and eager to begin working with PRC Staff.

"This welcome agreement is just that: an agreement," says Tom Bradford, director of Charleston Moves. "We hope to sit down soon with PRC staff to begin working out the wrinkles."

Bradford said he hopes Charleston Moves' involvement will help ensure that this project attracts wider and wider public support and that the actual execution of work along the route ensure that the B2B route will be safe and comfortable for even relatively novice users and set the standard for bike and pedestrian accommodations throughout the region. "In the larger sense, we hope this project leads to broad, quick, acceptance of "Complete Streets" by the public and politicians alike," said Bradford.

Charleston Moves intern Tiffany Norton, a College of Charleston graduate student in Environmental Studies, is working with CM Board Member Jeff Davis, professor of engineering at The Citadel, and one of his engineering classes on a B2B cost-benefit analysis of the route, a study that will include new engineering recommendations for the route.

Lanes and Sharrows...

WHY NOT MORE,  FASTER??

it's urgent

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Charlotte Seeks Pedestrian Program Coordinator

(should Charleston, too??)


Charlotte CityJob Details
Major Duties:

The Pedestrian Program Manager plays a key role in advancing Charlotte's nationally-recognized "complete streets" philosophy and helping to make Charlotte a more walkable city.  This position manages the City of Charlotte's Pedestrian Program for the Charlotte Department of Transportation.  The Pedestrian Program consists of a $7.5M annual capital program that is used for construction of pedestrian facilities, including new sidewalks, mid-block crossings, accessible ramps and education and encouragement-related programs. This highly responsible position coordinates pedestrian activities and represents pedestrian interests for transportation projects and emerging opportunities.  This position requires the ability to work closely with citizens, elected officials and upper City management. This position supervises a transportation planner that assists with the Pedestrian Program.  The City of Charlotte is nationally known for its multi-modal planning initiatives and the Pedestrian Program Manager position serves a critical role in promoting quality pedestrian facilities and creating a more walkable city. 

Responsibilities:

1.  Serves as the City of Charlotte's pedestrian expert and as a source of information to public  and private sector stakeholders on pedestrian issues and infrastructure needs, including sidewalk construction and pedestrian street crossings.
2.  Manages the City of Charlotte's Sidewalk Program which includes: responding to citizen, City Council and City Manager requests and inquiries, evaluating potential streets for new sidewalk construction and making funding decisions on pedestrian related projects and managing the overall Sidewalk Construction Program Budget.  This position works very closely with Engineering and Property Management Department staff who advance sidewalk design and construction.
3.  Requires extensive contact with citizens, City Council members, the City Manager's office, other public agencies, developers, and consultants in a one-on-one and/or group setting.  Includes the ability to aid citizens with telephone/walk-in inquiries concerning pedestrian and related road projects.
4.  Continually reviews and monitors the Sidewalk Construction Program budget and meets with staff to program new sidewalk projects for the upcoming fiscal year.
5.  Ability to prepare, write and review technical or planning reports and understand construction plans.
6.  Works with the private sector through participation in development review, workshops and design charettes to promote knowledge of pedestrian-oriented design. 
7.  Co-Chair's the Charlotte Department of Transportation's Pedestrian Crossing Committee which evaluates and makes recommendations on requests for street crossings. 
8.  Represents pedestrian issues on the CDOT Safety Committee.
9.  Serves as the liaison for the Transportation Department for the Disability Rights and Resources Accessibility Committee to address accessibility issues regarding ADA regulations. Administers the Minor Gap and Accessible Ramp contract.
10.  Prepares grant and award applications related to pedestrian projects or initiatives.
11.  Works on a variety of transportation planning programs as an individual or as part of a team.
12.  Performs other related tasks as needed/assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

Four-year degree in civil/traffic engineering, transportation planning, urban planning, landscape architecture, public health or related field, preferably supplemented by a Master's Degree.  Considerable experience in transportation planning/engineering or a related field, with an emphasis on pedestrian-oriented design and safety.


Salary Range:

Market Rate: $64,022

Monday, January 24, 2011

CARTA East Cooper Hearing Feb. 10


The Long Walk Home and a Journey Forward Together   -- William Hamilton, advocating for better service

Cold rain filled the night along the windy IOP connector bridge in December.  It had been over a month since CARTA ended night transit service to the restaurants and front beach commercial district to fit a shrinking budget.  A solitary figure trudged along the sag lane of this most unforgiving road, surrounded by a universe of wet concrete, unprotected from the racing steel automobiles.  It may have been the Low country’s worst walk home from work.

Bad as it was, there were other people waiting for buses which weren’t coming elsewhere East of the Cooper too.  Students at Wando High School headed home on the school bus to empty houses and afternoons because they had no way to get home later after tutoring, sports or extracurricular activities at their award winning school.  Untreated pain and illness could not reach the ECCO clinic.  Employers picked up brooms and washrags because potential employees could not reach their places of business.  Potential customers with enough money to shop, but not enough for an automobile, stayed home while too many empty storefronts displayed “space available” signs.  In the summer, children who could swim safely at the Isle of Palms beachfront park under the supervision of lifeguards risked drowning in creeks and detention ponds.

On February 10 your help is needed to bring more CARTA bus transit to the communities East of the Cooper.   At 7 pm, a community workshop will be held in the Darby Building at 302 Pitt Street in Mount Pleasant’s Old Village.  Citizens representing business, non profits, churches, schools, parks, recreational programs and neighborhoods will come together to formulate a community response to the CARTA board’s proposal to add a new neighborhood route to the East Cooper system, to extend the existing Route 40 to the new hospital and Wando High School and to provide limited Flex service to the Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island.  The existing, dysfunctionally overextended Flex Bus system will be terminated.

These new services have a marginal cost after using funds now being applied to running the flex system of $49,196.00.  The community needs a plan to put 541 additional full fare riders per week on the East Cooper Route system to cover that cost.  We’ll be asking every part of the community too contribute, from big organizations like Wando High School, with 3400 students, down to individual businesses and neighborhood associations.  A simple form will help you formulate your organization’s contribution.

The hard lesson of the last three years of economic problems and high fuel prices is that the East Cooper area needs transit and its people need each other.  On February 10, join us in helping bring community and opportunity together.

CARTA in Mt. Pleasant, Online Resources
East Cooper CARTA riders Face book Group- http://tinyurl.com/ecbus11
Transit Alternatives for East Cooper- Staff Report to the CARTA Board (with proposed route maps) Jan. 2010- http://tinyurl.com/eccartaplan
Printable flyer promoting this workshop (PDF) for distribution to your members, neighbors or other interested people - http://tinyurl.com/feb10rcarta
CARTA Website – http://www.ridecarta.com

Volvo Makes A Car That Stops For Pedestrians (and Next, For Bikes)

(FROM TREEHUGGER)

by A.K. Streeter, Portland, Oregon  on 10.26.09


We talk a lot about cycling at TreeHugger, and cyclist safety. But the truth of the matter is we're all vulnerable pedestrians at one point or another, and speed still kills. But asCopenhagenize reports, Volvo, those Swedish safety experts, have been working on a system that recognizes pedestrians as they walk in front of a car's front end, and if the car's speed is under 25 kilometers per hour, automatically puts on full brakes.

Volvo may not be the best at snappy marketing monikers - the safety system is called Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection, and will be included in the next S60 sedan as an optional add-on in the $3,500 "premium package." The system is far from perfect -- it doesnt work at night, and it doesn't recognize bicycles -- but Volvo says it will continue to improve upon the design.
The system is a radar hidden behind the car grill and a video camera mounted by the rear-view mirror. While the radar spots objects at a distance, the camera hones in to identify where the object is say, a lampost or a little kid. If the system identifies a person and a potential danger, an audible warning is accompanied by a flashing red light, similar to a brake light, designed to prompt a driver to brake. If the driver doesn't brake, the car brakes automatically.
Because pedestrians are definitely the most vulnerable members of the traffic fabric, Volvo engineers have focused on creating a system (10 years in the making) that could reduce accident rates -- 16% of all traffic-related deaths in Sweden are pedestrians, according to the Copenhagenize post, and 11% of all serious injuries in accidents are pedestrians. In fact, those safety-focused Swedes have a national goal that "nobody should be killed or seriously injured on the road transport system."
"Our aim is that this new technology should help the driver avoid collisions with pedestrians at speeds below 25 km/h. If the car is travelling faster, the aim is to reduce the impact speed as much as possible. In most cases, we can reduce the collision force by about 75 percent. Considering the large number of pedestrian fatalities that occur, if we manage to lower the fatality risk by 20 percent this new function will make a big difference." Volvo's Thomas Broberg said at motorward.com.
An even more interesting statistic is this -- Swedish research into collisions finds that 93% of accidents that occur happen because the "driver was occupied with something else other than driving."
Of course, there is the argument that smarter cars will equal dumber drivers. We vote for simply slowing down city traffic - when you are driving more slowly you have time to react to the unexpected, such as the child darting out in front of you. But would slower cars and trucks equal more road rage and more hatred for the human elements on our "complete" streets?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

First Annual Youth Bike Summit

....from StreetFilms....


The first ever Youth Bike Summit brought bicycle advocates of all ages together last weekend in New York City.   Organizations from Tucson to Boston participated in the three day summit, which was full of workshops, presentations, and inspiration.  Organizer and Executive Director of Recycle A Bicycle, Pasqualina Arrazello, said that she hoped this summit would be the first of many.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Invisible" Bicyclists: The Unrepresented Folks on Two Wheels


(....this is about immigrant and other 'dependent' bike riders in Los Angeles, but the same situation exists in Charleston and every American City....)
They ride on the sidewalks around the city, many of them without helmets or lights. For thousands of immigrants in Los Angeles, the bicycle is their primary means of transportation. But while “everybody’s sort of aware of these bikers,” says Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition organizer Allison Mannos, "there’s not really any outreach. My interest is to address the people who never get taken into account."
Mannos has co-founded a program, called City of Lights, to do just that. The program is bringing material benefits to immigrant bike riders, but, more broadly, is trying to strengthen the sometimes tenuous-seeming links between transportation and social justice.

Monday, January 17, 2011

33 Spots Remain on the Battery2Beach Route!

Pat Sullivan of Mt. Pleasant has become the newest renter of a quarter-mile on the B2B Route! Only 33 spots remain on our quest to rent out the entire route! 



Thanks Pat!

Here's how to rent yours today:



What's your type of bike?
Renters Name for Listing




Every piece of the route rented helps to make the Battery2Beach track a safer place for our community.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

CARTA East Cooper Update..

(...apparently good turnout for a CARTA public Hearing on this topic the other day..

now...another powwow..
Carta on Coleman Coffee Klatch
Saturday, January 15
10 am

Starbucks at 730 Coleman Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

We’ll gather for coffee and pastries (Dutch Treat) and to discuss options for Public Transportation on Coleman Blvd. and in other parts of Mt. Pleasant in view of upcoming changes to the system. Linda Page, a member of Mt. Pleasant Town Council, the CARTA Board and an owner of two businesses on the Coleman Blvd. / Ben Sawyer commercial area will be present to receive input.
This input will be presented to the CARTA board at their meeting the following week.
(from William Hamilton)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Curtailing Some CARTA East Cooper Service?

Speak for CARTA Service East of the Cooper, Tues. January 11
6 pm, Visitor’s Center Bld., Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Memorial Park



Join Mt. Pleasant Town Councilwoman Linda Page and other Transit Advocates in helping shape a better set of CARTA transit options for the East Cooper area including the possibility of fixed route scheduled bus service to Wando High School, Coleman Blvd., the Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. Stand up and be counted for transit in your community in a time of competitive budget cutting.

The future of CARTA bus service in the East Cooper area will be the subject of a public hearing on Tuesday. The CARTA board is currently considering terminating the Flex Bus route which serves the Isle of Palms, Old Village. Coleman Blvd. corridor, and Sullivan’s Island. Options for using the funds saved by cutting flex service include new fixed routes serving Wando High School and the other areas currently getting flex service, other service or no bus service to these areas at all, using the funds to establish a funding reserve. Previous budget cuts have already eliminated CARTA at Night Service and Sunday Flex Bus Service. Express and #40 service has also been reduced.

A large turnout is needed at next week’s meeting to assure that the East Cooper Area retains service in an extremely competitive political environment where other areas are organizing to preserve or increase service. Funding for CARTA from the half penny sales tax has already fallen by over two million dollars per year and several routes and services have been eliminated or reduced. Ridership on CARTA has increased despite cuts in many areas.

Here is the official notice from CARTA

“The public is hereby advised that a public hearing will be held by CARTA (Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority) in The Cooper River Room of the Mount Pleasant Visitors' Center Waterfront Memorial Park, 99 Harry Hallman, Jr., Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 It will begin at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, January 11, 2011. The purpose of the hearing is a consideration of the possible elimination of CARTA Route 401 (a FLEX/on-demand service), and/or its replacement with a new proposed fixed route serving Mt. Pleasant.

Interested parties are invited to attend the hearing and express their views. Extended presentations should be submitted in writing to CARTA, 36 John Street, Charleston, SC 29403.

Christine Wilkinson, Transit Administrator”

Linda Page, of Mt. Pleasant Town Council and the CARTA Board needs your input and support.

Linda Page, MPPA, CAI
Page's Thieves Market, Inc
1460 Ben Sawyer Blvd.
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
843-884-9672
843-729-5406
lindapage10@mac.com

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Quantifying the Value of Biking




(...from GOOD...)
What's biking worth? A January (2010) study tried to give it a dollar value for the state of Wisconsin.

They found that, between the money spent on bikes and related services, the tourism generated by the state's biking trails, and the positive health and environmental effects, the benefits of biking totaled $1,927,943,157.

The study was conducted by the a team from the University of Wisconsin at Madison's environmental studies school.

Here's their topline chart:
Of course, this figure isn't exact. The value of greenhouse gas reductions, for example, was calculated based on carbon's value in the offset market, and it would never actually be sold that way. Also, if there weren't biking opportunities in Wisconsin people would be going to the movies or buying gas and those things would have their own economic benefits and drawbacks.

This is still a striking assessment, though. Wisconsin ranks 2nd on the League of American Bicyclists' list of bike friendly states. It's nice to see that that designation means something in monetary terms.

You can find the full report and related links at the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin website.