I saw a lot of cyclists out last night. Unfortunately a lot of them without lights - including one guy on a folding bike. Which makes even less sense, since you can throw that in the trunk of a taxi home.
The director of the Transportation Department for the City of Annapolis wrote an editorial on how to facilitate all forms of transportation in a city designed for horse and buggy. He writes about the problems of parking and how to move people short distances from parking garages to commercial areas. He only mentions cyclists once, and only in passing. It would seem like bike-sharing could help a lot - especially in a college town with military retirees who are probably fitter than your average citizen.
Disturbing news out of interbike. Even though cycling is up as a means of transportation, "the bicycle market in the US has been relatively flat (in terms of revenues) since 2004 and that trend continued in 2011. The number of bicycle shops in the US has declined by over 22% in the
last 9 years (over 1,000 shop locations have closed their doors during
this time)." [Thanks to the Arlington BAC for the data]. Perhaps the Lance Armstrong effect is wearing off, and there are now fewer people buying high end bikes even as more bikes are being sold. And/or perhaps the internet is cutting into LBS sales.
NYC launches it's new LOOK campaign. [Despite angering advocates for the blind, it's likely to be much more successful than the previous TASTE campaign]
REI gave millions to 260 non-profits, though I don't see any local ones that jump out at me.
Iris Stagner, a member of the BikeTexas Board of Directors
and a longtime promoter of bike safety and education, was killed on Monday after
being hit from behind by a pickup truck while riding on U.S. Route 180 outside Mineral Wells,
Texas. "Sheriff Ira Mercer said the driver of a white pickup involved stopped.
Mercer said indications were the incident was nothing more than an
accident and that the setting sun likely played a factor."
Most of Capitol Hill could soon find themselves in a Performance Parking Program zone, which - among other things - would mean more money for non-automotive transportation projects such as bike parking.
The SW Waterfront, aka "The Wharf", might include a no-curb design that would make it easier for bicycle mounted police to patrol. "Thinking ahead, Lanier and Hickson figured officers on bicycles and on foot would handle most patrols at the Wharf; its dense layout would make it difficult for cars to maneuver"
On the Montgomery County transportation impact tax revenue change for CaBi: "If approved, bike sharing would be the ninth transportation-related feature to gain access to impact taxes, the levy paid by every developer on a per residential unit or commercial square foot basis. The first eight: new and widened roads, transit centers and park-and-ride lots, new buses, new bus shelters, hiker-biker trails, large capacity bicycle lockers, sidewalk connectors, and transit operating expenses."
Reportedly, several cyclists were ticketed during last weekend's Reston Century by the Loudoun County sheriff’s office for failure to stop at a stop sign.
The officers positioned themselves such that they would maximize their opportunity to ticket cyclists and were ticketing as many as possible for minor infractions. One rider reports that as they wrote his ticket they made comments indicating that they were irritated that the ride organizers did not hire them to manage event safety. They reported having requested that the ride organizers route the entire event on the bike trail (which ride organizers deemed far too narrow and dangerous given the number of participants). Their ticket-writing campaign appeared to have been a vendetta against the ride organizers for utilizing the roads.
So, if all of this is accurate, then it appears that the Loudoun County’s sheriff’s office decided that keeping bikes off the road was more important than public safety; they were willing to bully cyclists as payback for the event organizers, and they would target cyclists for a technicality rather than watching for cyclists and drivers who are actually operating their vehicles unsafely.
Good morning. OT: Once the expanded Panama Canal opens, what will happen to all the ships that are perfectly designed to use the current Canal. Are they just going to be scrapped or what? Anyone know?
Another month, another set of records for CaBi. 202,822 trips and 245,877 miles in June both of which are new highs. That makes for 4.88 tpbpd still below the record of 5.069 set last year. Trips are up 41% from last year and 3.5% above May. Miles are up 49% from 2011.
A woman was sexually assault on the Capital Crescent Trail just north of Georgetown. "Investigators say an adult woman, jogging alone at 9:15 p.m., was attacked from behind, put in a choke hold and passed out. When she awoke, her pants were down and a man was fondling her. She screamed and he ran off." Video below the bump.
Look, I know that drunk driving isn't funny, but the guy's last name is Martini. That's a little bit funny, right? Also, he assaulted a bicycle police officer in Ocean City after the officer attempted to pull him over.
Vienna discusses how to make the W&OD Trail safer. "the Vienna BAC is planning, to create an on-street alternative for bicyclists through Vienna....NVRPA plans to move the trail adjacent to the Community Center to pass through the existing parking lot, which is owned by NVRPA. The current trail location is on Town of Vienna Property and is one of the more narrow sections. This would also reduce a tight curve and should be a benefit trail users and eliminate the many people who now cross the trail to get to their cars in the existing parking lot."
Technically, I think it's illegal to enter the intersection if it reads anything other than "Walk" so this guy may be in the wrong and screwed. But maybe not in NYC or maybe not on this bike path. Either way, it does feel like retribution since the law is so rarely enforced.
The meeting started with a presentation by the Green Lane Project, an initiative of Bikes Belong. They're focused on adding protected bike facilities (Cycletracks, separated bike lanes etc... which they're putting under the umbrella of "Green Lanes" even though they recognize that not all of them are painted green). There are about 50 such projects in ~20 different cities.
During the discussion, Bellamy said that directors of transportation nationwide are talking about cycling more and more. That DDOT is trying to tie the investment on trails to on-street facilities like protected bike lanes. The reduction in federal funding for bicycling and transit is a step in the wrong direction, as he sees it.
There was also a discussion of what kinds of vehicles green bike lanes were meant for, and project representatives said it was mainly for bicycles, but that over time that may need to be expanded.
Safety Committee - The safety committee focused on crash reporting. Changes to the crash form could help with reporting, but this requires federal clearance.
The MPD representative said that police do ride the cycle tracks and enforce violations. They're trying to use more social media to show enforcement against all users. They're also trying to inves more resources in traffic enforcement, which is funded by DDOT. In April they wrote 723 citations to cyclists. Ward 7 has been doing enforcement at least once a week.
Facilities Committee - The committee when for a ride on Rhode Island Ave and identified sevearl problems. For one, in the summertime, trees hang below street lights and block out the light at night. There's also poor lighting under the CSX bridge. There is a peristent problem with right turning slip lanes that are unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians. Newton Street, the last residential street before entering Maryland, has an unsafe pedestrian crossing near the assisted living center. MPD was well aware of the crossing and how difficult it is. It was recognized by the BAC that Rhode Island is an efficient a direct route for cyclists and so it should be a high priority for improvements including better destination signage.
Legislative Committee - DDOT's bicycle team met with the Department of General Services to discuss the Bicycle Commuter Act and getting the city in compliance with it. The Act requires that facitilies have adequate parking and a 2010 report showed that 94% did not. They laid out a strategy for compliance wherein they would start with schools and move on to other facilities. This will be a effort using DGS money, but DDOT will help since they have experience with bike rack installation
The Washington Monument repairs could start this fall. It will require closing off the sidewalk along the south side of the Monument for 12-18 months, which should be no more than a minor inconvenience to cyclists.
Lance Armstrong takes his doping case to the courtroom. Also "The agency says it has...along with blood samples from 2009-10 that are "fully consistent" with doping." If the 2009-10 blood samples are the ones that do him in, that would make his the worst comeback decision of all time.
"In a June 27 letter signed by [Lance] Armstrong’s attorney, the seven-time Tour de France champion claims USADA broke its own protocol this week by belatedly providing information about two witnesses against him. Armstrong further contends the new information — which comes from a television interview and letter previously made public — is so feeble and fraught with problems that it actually undermines USADA’s case and even jurisdiction in the matter."
On the transportation bill, Republicans agreed to drop two issues that have nothing to do with transporation (the Keystone pipeline - an issue of their own creation - and the EPA coal ash regulations) and in return Democrats "gave up on $1.4 billion for conservation and agreed to allow states more leeway in how they use money that was once mandated for landscaping, bike improvements and pedestrian walkways" much of which is directly related to transportation. This from a bill that was already a compromise with Senate Republicans. So Democrats gave into Republican demands not once, but twice, and somehow Barbara Boxer can say with a straight face "“I am so glad that House Republicans met Democrats halfway." I'm sorry to tell you, but that is not halfway. If she thinks it is, then I would love to sell her a used car.
NYC police are taking criticism for the way they handle pedestrian fatalities. And I have to disagree with John Pucher here: "The influx of new bicyclists this summer from the city’s bike-share program will most likely increase the strain, experts said. “I fear it will lead to a really big jump in fatalities and injuries, among both cyclists and pedestrians,” said John Pucher, a professor at Rutgers University who has written on global bicycling trends."