Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summerville Assesses Regional Bicycle Trail System

Representatives from multiple jurisdictions met to discuss the development of a regional bicycle trail system. Those present included Summerville Mayor Bill Collins, Dorchester County Councilman Jay Byers, who ran the meeting, neighborhood association leaders, a consultant, a representative of SCDOT, and John Pardee, of this coalition and the Town's bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee. 
The aim of this group is to develop an interconnected trail system that spans the region, and how to fund it.  This is a departure from the way things have been done in the past, where municipalities and different levels of government tend to work in isolation and sometimes at cross purposes. A regional approach is needed, if we are truly going to have a connected and functional system. I look forward seeing what can be accomplished here.
Mark Greenslit

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Judge Rules in Favor of Brooklyn Bike Lane

It was hotly contested, viewed as a litmus test of New York City's aggressive drive to re-think transportation, incorporating bicycle lanes on a large number of streets in the city's five boroughs.  This particular challenge was launched by some well-connected Brooklynites who contended that the statistics used by the city to argue in favor of the bike lanes were flawed.  But, today, their appeal was dismissed...


Post & Courier Editorializes on Ashley Crossing

A bike lane across the Ashley River, now a very real and exciting possibility, would dramatically enhance the area's livability and benefit its health, environment and connectedness.
By persevering on behalf of the project, despite setbacks, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, City Councilman Mike Seekings and Charleston County Council Chairman Teddie Pryor have advanced a plan that could provide a vital link now missing in the Lowcountry's transportation system.


Charleston Moves Clocks Big Support for Ashley Crossing Coalition

Thirty-five institutions, including eight Peninsula & West Ashley neighborhood associations, have gone on record in support of Charleston Moves’ popular  initiative to create a dedicated bicycle/pedestrian lane on the Legare Bridge which connects West Ashley with the Charleston Peninsula.

Institutions include the Faculty Senate and Student Senate at the College of Charleston, plus hospitality, architecture, landscape architecture, construction, urban planning, real estate and engineering businesses.   Bicycle shops from Mt. Pleasant, across the Peninsula over to John’s Island have replied a quick “yes”.

Additionally, thousands of individuals have signed the ACC petitions all over Charleston County, and numerous individuals (143, to date) have “liked” ACC via Facebook.

At festivals around town the reaction that the non-profit gets is that this initiative is a “must” and a “no-brainer”. “ Walkers, bicyclists and runners alike tell the non-profit that they need this safe bridge crossing for their health, getting to work (many locals don’t own a car), school and place of worship, the Farmers Market, the local park and to the beaches.  Over and over Charleston Moves members have been told that locals would much rather leave their car at home and ride their bike, but they’re not willing to put their lives at risk.  A MUSC bicycle patrolman said recently that now he drives his car from West Ashley to the Peninsula because he thinks the Ashley River bridges are much too dangerous.  He would much rather ride his bike from home to work and leave his car at home.  Overriding all of these reasons, bicycling is just plain fun.

Charleston County Roadwise engineers delivered a report yesterday saying it was feasible to re-dedicate one lane on the Legare Bridge for use by people on foot and on bicycles.  The finding was made public in a joint news conference by Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. and Traffic/Transportation Department Chief Hernan Pena, Charleston County Council Chair Teddie Pryor, County Deputy Administrator Kurt Taylor, and Roadwise Chief Jim Armstrong. Funding for the work is not in place.

The Legare Bridge, northbound Rte. 17, now carries four lanes of traffic and a comparable amount of traffic as the three lanes on the World War Two (Southbound Rte. 17) Bridge, paralleling it just to the north.

Charleston Moves continues to collect support via resolution, petition, and online at facebook.com/ashleycrossingcoalition and via its website, www.charlestonmoves.org.

Here is a quote worthy of contemplation - from BIKE&CHAIN:

(.....on riding a bicycle...)

Fears and joys saturate this activity like blood stains. It's very Taoist, enhancing your perception of darkness and light. 
On the plus side, there's no better way to quickly reconnect with your community, shrug off alienation, smell the roses — and everything else! 
For short distances in a city, it's almost as fast as motoring, twice as fast as riding a bus, and five times faster than walking. 
Human bodies, unless crippled by age or disease, can handle considerable distances at about 1/5 the effort of running. (Often he felt like telling people waiting at bus stops, "If you had a bike, you'd already be there.")
On minus side, bicycling can be less convenient, can't carry passengers and heavy goods, and seems scarier than driving to those oblivious to the greater risks of motoring. 
Skills for maneuvering in travel lanes can be gradually developed by using bikeways. Accosted or attacked by dogs? Mostly it's creatures and people greeting you and simple curiosity for your geeky behavior. 
Ostracized? Lately, more people questioned him, interested in following his example. 
More than anything else, to ride is to thumb your nose at institutions set up to milk you dry. It's an exercise in liberty in which you become aware of just how intimately connected you are to everyone else.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gmail - FW: Bike Sharing Saves Lives in Barcelona - thomasabradford@gmail.com

Ride For Your Life: In Barcelona, Bike Sharing Saves More Than Gas

Urban bike sharing programs improve city dwellers' lives by offering a convenient way to get around, exercise, and reduce pollution. But could cycling instead of driving could actually save lives? So says science. According to a study published earlier this summer by the British Medical Journal, a successful and widely used bike sharing program in Barcelona prevents 12 deaths a year.

Barcelona started its bike sharing program, Bicing, in 2007. Two years later, more than 180,000 citizens had enrolled: a full 11 percent of the city population. Since many of the people who participated in the program were likely new bikers transitioning from driving, the BMJstudy examined the net impacts on public health resulting from a significant citywide shift to biking from driving. The researchers measured the health outcomes and mortality risk associated with changes in residents' amount of physical activity, chance of accidental injury, and exposure to air pollution.

Crunching data provided by the city of Barcelona and Bicing's management company, the researchers determined that despite increased risk of injuries and exposure to air pollution from biking (yes, even cycling has some negative health effects), the increased physical activity still decreased the death rate.

Get the full story on GOOD.is

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Post & Courier Cites Charleston Moves Work on Harborview Road

The following is the "top" of a Saturday editorial in the Post & Courier, Charleston...
Nobody said it would be easy to make the Lowcountry bike-friendly. Every project has challenges of finance, function and feasibility.
But if this area is going to reap the environmental, health, safety and economic benefits that come with accommodating bicycles, those challenges will have to be met street by street in every jurisdiction.
So Charleston County Council was wise to make bikeways a key part of planned improvements to Harbor View Road on James Island. And council members were right to postpone bidding out the project on Thursday. That will allow time to study new insights from Charleston Moves, an advocacy group for safe biking and walking environments.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Charleston Moves Suggests a NEW LOOK at Harbor View Road on James Island

Could it be widened to 66 feet?  Could the current bike lanes be eliminated in favor of a single multi-use path? Would more crosswalks help?  How can road plans preserve quality of life in a community?
Charleston Moves, responding to requests for help from the community, undertook a review of Charleston County Roadwise plans for this road and has submitted its suggestions to County Council. We hope these suggestions are taken seriously at a meeting of the Council's Planning/Public Works Committee meeting this afternoon at 4:15 pm.  Harbor View Road is likely to be discussed early. (directions link below)

Click here to read the Charleston Moves letter to members of the council.  

Here are directions to the County Building.

Tax Personal Auto Travel by the Mile? The Dutch are Mulling it Over!

Just as Americans often discuss more equitable forms of taxation, the Dutch are mulling a more equitable way to pay for roads and other transportation-related costs.  Why should it be a tax per gallon of gasoline?  And if technology now makes it possible to clock everyone's actual miles driven, why not compute taxes on that basis.

It could directly affect the horrors of rush hour, exhaust pollution and many more of the negative byproducts of driving.  (And remember: The Dutch already treat bicycles as a serious component of their transportation system. The percentage of commutes by bicycle in Dutch cities is among the highest on the globe. Those bike commuters wouldn't have to worry about this tax.)
Click here to read Today's New York Times account of this system.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Phenomenal Success of Capital Bikeshare

Nearly three years ago Streetfilms took a day trip to Washington, D.C. to see their Smart Bike DC  in action.  We found the trial bike share system a fun ride with great potential, but with only 120 bikes there wasn't a great sense of widespread use.
Flashforward to 2011 and with over 1100 bicycles and 110 stations D.C.'s Capital Bikeshare's is amazing testament to having to "go big or go home" when deploying bike share programs.  Currently the largest bike share system in the United States, the District's 2.0 version gives users much more flexibility and options to accomplish short errands, commute to work, and to integrate other transit modes into their daily lives.
In fact, the next phase of expansion has just been announced, with 18 more stations and 265 more bikes coming this Fall.
The handsome red bikes are easy to ride, with one swipe of a keycard you're off and biking. During the am and pm commutes (and lunch hours) you'll see the bikes in very heavy rotation.  But what left Streetfilms most flabbergasted was how many people were riding them in full business attire in the hot & humid summers around the Capital. If that isn't a sign of success, what is?
Streetfilms would like to thank the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) for partnering with us on this project.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

People Are Awesome: European Mayor Uses Tank to Crush Car Blocking Bike Lane

"I’ve had enough of these drivers parking their luxury cars on bike lanes and pedestrian crossings," said Vilnius, Lithuania Mayor Arturas Zuokas, a former war reporter. "This tank is a good tool to solve the problem of parking in the wrong place." With that, the 43-year-old mayor rolled over a blue Mercedes that was parked in a bike lane.
see a complete report and the video at GOOD.