Monday, February 13, 2012
Posted by Tom Bradford at 4:21 PM
Sunday, February 12, 2012
On June 21st of 1895, the "Newark Sunday Advocate" ran an alarming story — syndicated from New York World — about a recent gathering of the Unique Cycling Club of Chicago; an event that saw two lady riders publicly punished/shamed for having the audacity to turn up wearing short skirts over their bloomers. Accompanying the news story was a list of "Don'ts for Women Riders."
Transcript follows. Click here for a larger image. Huge thanks to the wonderful brainpicker for bringing it to the attention of the folks at listsofnote.com.
Posted by Tom Bradford at 4:53 PM
Friday, February 10, 2012
Charleston Moves Joins the Palmetto Cycling Coalition and bicycle advocacy groups around the nation to spread this urgent notice.
For Charleston, this could be horrible! Funding for the Ashley Crossing, for the West Ashley Greenway and many, many more projects could be affected!
Both chambers of Congress are developing versions of the Federal transportation bill that are detrimental to bicycle funding. We've already asked you once this month, and we're already asking again: please contact Congress to save bicycle funding that is extremely valuable to South Carolina.
Act on Key Transportation Votes. The current Senate transportation bill dilutes walking and biking programs. To improve the bill, we're asking Senators Graham and DeMint tovote for the Cardin-Cochran amendment on the floor to guarantee local governments a voice in transportation decisions, allowing them to build sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways that keep people safe. Tell Senators Graham and DeMint:
Why now, why again? Both Chambers of Congress are developing versions of a new Federal transportation bill to update the last bill, of which we are currently operating on the 8th extension. As they are working to develop these bills, both the House and Senate continue to make motions to eliminate funding for biking and walking. Last week, we needed your support as were working to get House Committee votes in favor of an amendment to protect bicycling and walking. Today's alert, and future ones that are sure to come, are to let Congress know that we will not stand for these short-sighted bills.SC's Members of Congress needs to know that that finding effective, efficient transportation solutions to keep South Carolinians safe on the streets should be a national priority.
This debate matters to South Carolinia, so please contact your Senators and Representativestoday. And, the battle is far from over, so stay tuned to future alerts where we will need you yet again.
Thank you so much for your support and time.
Take action, and thanks!
Thanks to our America Bikes affiliate organizations for helping us send this message in a timely fashio
Posted by Tom Bradford at 5:55 PM
Posted by Tom Bradford at 5:30 PM
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
But, it's not all bad.
From the opposite side of the spectrum, in today's Post and Courier:
Posted by Tom Bradford at 4:14 PM
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Chris Tullmann has accomplished more for "complete streets" in Charleston in a short amount of time than anyone could have imagined.A LEED-certified engineer and avid cyclist, Chris saw a need, rolled up his sleeves and pitched in for Charleston Moves. Chris met and developed relationships with countless road engineers, neighborhood groups and more. And when he called on the engineers, he had an easy way about him, calmly suggesting small shifts that wound up making a huge difference for Charleston's bike-friendliness.
Chris charted a new course for Charleston Moves. His generous contribution of time and talent made it clear that we have no choice but to replace him. And frankly, it can't be done further on a volunteer basis. Our community must rally to make it possible to hire an engineer to do the work Chris has been doing, being a practical liaison to road engineers and community groups alike.
He invented the job description: Make a list of street and road projects planned or underway. Find out which engineers are working on them. Call them, visit them. Examine the plans with them. Make suggestions. Find the leaders of the communities for which the projects are planned. Meet with them and find out their hopes for the project. Make suggestions.
All in all, Chris' contributions were spectacular.
Now, Charleston Moves is mounting a major fund drive to acquire funds necessary to hire his replacement. If you can help (or know someone who would be interested in helping), please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
We'll miss him, his wife Paige and their son Max.
We hope Chris can continue to do some work for Charleston Moves. We know he'll be an asset to his new community.
Some of his friends are getting together for a farewell. More information by clicking here.
Posted by Tom Bradford at 5:24 PM
We're working with other organizations on a variety of fronts to reverse the Connector bike ban. By far the most promising avenue is a possible amendment to state law that would allow for for a waiver to the law that bans bikes (as well as pedestrians and other forms of transportation) from limited access roads.
Work is proceeding on that amendment. We'll keep you posted on progress.Charleston Moves is trying to advance discussions that would 1/allow the waiver to state law and let people use the Connector 2/put forward a plan that would route cyclists over the Legare (Rte. 17) bridge, and via Albemarle and adjacent roads utilize a leg of the Connector that would make it possible to cross the river without crossing an on-ramp or off-ramp. Of course, this will be entirely dependant upon officials finding the funds to complete the work on the Legare Bridge tentatively OK'd.
Riding bicycles on freeways has long been against South Carolina law, but in Charleston, this was ignored in the case of the connector because there was (and is) no route begtween the peninsula and James Island that is anywhere near as safe as the Connector. This all changed when SCDOT erected the signs banning cyclists, pedestrians and others. Charleston Police then had little choice. They'll enforce it -- but for now, apparently, there'll be no tickets written, just warnings. (That could all change if someone creates a "scene.")
Meantime, while there's been plenty of talk about a mass protest, we advise no such action unless it has a specific focus: a pending government decision or something else that would give it real meaning and purpose.
Posted by Tom Bradford at 5:21 PM
Upcoming Meeting Could Finalize PlansLast year, working with the James Island group "Will You Remember Our Trees," we made great progress toward a better plan for the reconstruction of Harborview Road.
Charleston County Roadwise had submitted a reconstruction plan that struck us as horrible: an ugly high-speed more than two-mile long gash through a number of residential neighborhoods. The real clue about just how bad it was: the fact that there were no provisions whatsoever for even a single pedestrian crosswalk!
But ultimately, County Councilman Joe Qualey showed great leadership, coming up with a compromise plan that saved many trees and included pedestrian crosswalks as well as a better plan for bicyclists and pedestrians. (The previous plan had a bike path that meandered through the trees and crossed dozens and dozens of side streets and driveways, a no-no. Planners have learned that motorists concentrate on the road intersection ahead of them, and not on these paths and the people on them, a fact that leads to higher accident rates.)
Not only did Charleston Moves wish to promote a road more suitable for the neighborhood, but we were also sticking up for our own vision of our Battery2Beach Route. A portion of that planned 32-mile bike/ped route will very likely utilize Harborview Road.
The next crucial meeting is a county-sponsored "public information meeting" to be held on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 6-8 p.m. at Stiles Point Elementary School (883-A Mikell Drive; Charleston, SC 29412).
- It better preserves the essential, traditional character of James Island.
- It reduces the overall width of the “Typical Section” from 69’ to 61’.
- It reduces the tree/s and shrub/s hack down from 271 trees to 91.
- The two bike lanes are returned to the roadbed rather than crossing over numerous driveways as the “multipurpose path” would do. This is the preferred option by cyclists. (including Charleston Moves)
- The road narrows from 3 lanes to 2 lanes from Affirmation Boulevard to the Fort Johnson intersection.
- Install traffic control devices as follows:
- A roundabout or a traffic light (operating during peak hours on school days) at the intersection of Harborview and Ft Sumter in order to improve overall traffic throughput.
- A roundabout or a traffic light at the intersection of Harborview and Mikell Drive to control traffic going to the Stiles Point Elementary School complex.
- A roundabout at the intersection of Harborview and Ft. Johnson to improve a difficult, acutely angled intersection which is difficult to navigate for reasons of visibility.
- Install pedestrian crosswalks at the intersections of Harborview and: Mikell, Affirmation, Quail and Ft. Sumter to connect the sidewalk on the south side of Harborview with neighborhoods on the north side. Currently, parents are unwilling to let their kids walk along the road for reasons of safety and difficulty to cross on foot or with a bicycle.
- Extend the sidewalk and bike lanes to the James Island Creek bridge and beyond. This is currently an unmarked and unsafe area to walk or ride a bike.
- Designate that traffic entering Harborview from North Shore Drive can turn right only. This is a dangerous intersection and a major cause of morning congestion.
- Do not add additional turn lanes on Harborview. With the above changes they are unnecessary and detract from the scenic nature of the community.
- Utilize rounded (S-shaped) curbs along Harborview as a safety measure for bikers and cars to avoid other traffic, if necessary.
Posted by Tom Bradford at 5:14 PM
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Congressman John Mica (R-FL) has announced the introduction of the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act. The proposed bill eliminates dedicated funding for bicycling and walking as we feared, and it goes much further and systematically removes bicycling from the Federal transportation program. It basically eliminates our status and standing in the planning and design of our transportation system -- a massive step backwards for individuals, communities and our nation. It's a step back to a 1950s highway- and auto-only program that makes no sense in the 21st century.
The bill reverses 20 years of progress by:
- destroying Transportation Enhancements by making it optional;
- repealing the Safe Routes to School program, reversing years of progress in creating safe ways for kids to walk and ride bicycles to school;
- allowing states to build bridges without safe access for pedestrians and bicycles;
- eliminating bicycle and pedestrian coordinators in state DOTs; and
- eliminating language that insures that rumble strips "do not adversely affect the safety or mobility of bicyclists, pedestrians or the disabled."
Because of these urgent new developments, and the vital importance of a HUGE turnout on Capitol Hill in March, the National Bike Summit early bird registration deadline has been extended to Feb 20. We need every single cyclist in Washington, D.C. that the city can hold (and that's thousands ...). Register today!
Stay in touch by visiting bikeleague.org and americabikes.org for background and breaking news.
President, LEAGUE OF AMERICAN BICYCLISTS
Posted by Tom Bradford at 2:24 PM
This is from the Rails to Trails Conservancy. Congress is looking at removing all the Transportation Enhancement money related to Bicycles and Pedestrians from the latest Transportation bill. We need to have everyone contact them at let them know that using money to support all modes of transportation is better for everyone. It costs less, it saves more, it makes the US more independent, it is better for our health, ... Don't let congress kill the progress that is being made around this country.
Locally we have a lot of projects that can not be funded any other way; like the Ashley Crossing projects on the Legare Bridge and James Island Connector. With out funding, there is little hope of making the updates needed for a safe and connected community.
Please follow the links below, or contact your representatives on your own. We only have a few more hours before the vote, so do it now.
We aren't exaggerating when we say this ask has never been more urgent.
Please read more and take action now. We have until 4 p.m. EST today to have our thoughts heard.
Tomorrow, Thursday, February 2, the Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives will be voting on our nation's next multiyear surface transportation bill.
There's no way to spin this: From the perspective of trails, walking and bicycling, the bill is a total disaster.
Among its worst features are:
- It eliminates dedicated funding for the Transportation Enhancements (TE) program—the nation's largest funding source for trails, walking and bicycling. (Terrible news, but we expected it.)
- It removes the rail-trail category from TE eligibility.
- It completely eliminates funding for the Safe Routes to School program.
- It eliminates funding for bicycle and pedestrian coordinators at state DOTs.
But there's still a chance...
Representatives Tom Petri (R-Wis.) and Tim Johnson (R-Ill.) are considering the introduction of an amendment in the committee that would right many of the bill's wrongs.
But they need to hear from other committee members that their amendment has a fighting chance.
Please: Take two minutes and ask your representatives to defend trails, walking and bicycling. We only have until 4 p.m. EST today, so any additional support you're able to gather will make an enormous difference!
Posted by Chris at 1:57 PM
I hope it's ok that I'm contacting you directly! I'd like to thank you for the information that I have found on www.charlestonmoves.org.
In the Fall, my son was in an accident involving his bike that would have been far less severe had he been wearing a helmet (isn't that always the story!). He survived and has fully recovered, however I don't think that bike safety can be stressed enough and I'd like to share this article I found with you...
"Ride Your Bike Safely"
I would strongly urge you to add this link as an additional resource to your links area (http://www.charlestonmoves.
There are a lot of unnecessary accidents every year in this country, and my hope is that at the very least, when someone even sees the title of this article, the idea will be planted in their mind to be a little more cautious and ensure their child's safety.
Thank you again for the information and please don't hesitate to contact me if you post the link, I'll certainly be curious!
Tori and family.
Posted by Tom Bradford at 1:56 PM
On a biennial basis, the Alliance for Biking and Walking releases the U.S. Bicycling and Walking Benchmarking Report. This project is an on-going effort spearheaded by the Alliance to collect and analyze data on bicycling and walking in all 50 states and the 51 most-populated U.S. cities.
In the 2012 Report, released on January 23, South Carolina ranks 49th among states for bicycling safety. The Report shows that while 2.1% of work trips in South Carolina are by bicycle or foot, bicyclists and pedestrians account for 11.9% of traffic fatalities in the state.
Lack of investment in bicycling and walking could be to blame. When compared to the national average, South Carolina spends very little on bicycling and walking investments. Just 0.6% of federal transportation dollars, or $0.95 per capita, are spent on biking and walking projects. This puts South Carolina at 46th among states for investing in biking and walking.
The Report is a glaring reminder of the importance of federal programs that invest in biking and walking. Even though South Carolina's investment of federal transportation dollars remains low when compared to other states, without these programs, it is certain that virtually no funds would be invested from other sources. Local and state investment relies on a Federal match in funds, and without these Federal funds, very few communities would be willing to foot the entire bill for biking and walking programs.
Read more about South Carolina's ranking in the report on the Palmetto Cycling Coalition's website and blog. And please--contact your member of Congress!
Posted by Tom Bradford at 1:39 PM