Rollin cycles is again offering their $39 tune-up deal, this time with Amazon Local. I got one of these with Living Social and found RC to be a fine little bike shop. Not worth biking past 4 shops for me to continue to use it, but it serves its neighborhood well.
I like the CaBi bikesharing map (except for the lack of a station in front of Frager's). I can't believe the AoC still doesn't allow stations on Capitol grounds. We might have one at the Pentagon before getting one at the Capitol. Still, there's one closer to the Library of Congress which I like. The stations continue to push out to Maryland, with one station only two blocks away. And maybe there are enough infill stations the satisfy the people who think stations are too far apart. If a station opens on the Bethesda side of the CCT, the one at the DC terminus could get a lot of business.
Your typical "Can you believe we're spending money on transit, walking and biking when people are stuck in gridlock?" opinion piece. They claim that even though 82% of trips will be by car in 2040, we still spend "inordinate amounts of available transportation money on things like streetcars and bike lanes which will not reduce automobile traffic, but will reduce existing capacity on the roads, thus guaranteeing future gridlock." There are several things wrong with this, starting with the fact that claiming that spending is out of proportion is more convincing if you provide the actual proportion. For example, as the Examiner points out 11% of trips are by foot and bicycle, but only 2% of spending in the TIP is for biking and walking. So does the Examiner think we should be spending more on these modes? Another issue is that looking at spending % and mode share may not be the relevant way to look at our investments. Building in urban areas will always be more expensive than in rural areas, which will push the cost of transit up.
There are some good common sense improvements suggested in this article about the place where the Rock Creek and Potomac Park Trail crosses the old western turnaround of Constitution Avenue. I reeally like the idea of closing the circle and extending the trail straight across the site along the road. It would make for a nice park and perhaps the site of a future memorial.
A cyclist crashed on Qunicy Street in Arlington because of a very poorly patched utility cut in the pavement (video), and Mark Blacknell points out that poor pavement is often the cause of crashes. "Failure to aggressively hold itself and others to reasonable standards of safe pavement — both temporary and permanent — does a real disservice to Arlington County." In a later column, he follows up with Dennis Leach, the county's transportation director.
A couple of weeks ago, WABA met with Montgomery county officials and representatives of Montgomery Preservation Inc. (MPI) " to resolve the impasse on the trail alignment as it crosses Georgia Avenue and passes the historic B&O Train Station that serves as a headquarters and event space for MPI. At this meeting, MCDOT officials stated that the agency, the County Executive, and the County Council were committed to the Master Plan Trail Alignment and to a grade separated crossing of Georgia Avenue, and that design work is beginning." So, according to WABA the issue of alignment is resolved. That's good news.
"Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Dist. 1) of Bethesda has proposed the county seek authority from the state to establish either a local gas or sales tax to fund transportation." This is relevant for two reasons. One, higher gas prices might induce more biking (though probably not much) and, two, some of the money would likely go toward building the Purple Line. The Purple Line will change the Georgetown Branch Trail from an unpaved tree-lined trail that ends suddenly, into a paved and completed Capital Crescent Trail all the way to Silver Spring.
Next week, the Virginia Transportation Board will be holding a public meeting in Fairfax to "discuss projects and programs in the CTB’s current Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP) and provide comments for the development of the Fiscal Years 2014-2019 SYIP"
The $20 bike with a cardboard frame could change the world. "These bikes need no maintenance and no adjustment, a car timing belt is used instead of a chain, and the tires do not need inflating and can last for 10 years," he said. It would also put an end to bike theft.
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."
A pilot program that makes CaBi bikes available to the homeless, has been going well. "he ten riders have embraced their memberships and have been using the bikes avidly. Taylor said he uses the bikes every day and has tallied 97.53 miles. Dave Withers, 53 , is the program’s top rider with 136.55 miles and owns the distinction of renting a bike 246 times in one month....“People are super excited to use the Bikeshare so we do have plans to expand to an additional ten member in our program,” said Gates. Members use the bikes to reach a variety of destinations such as stores, 12-step recovery meetings, potential job interviews, appointments and school classes. "
The theft of a bicycle in Bethesda leads to a lot of thoughts about the police, security, crime and - oddly - speed cameras. I know what this guy wants, but I'm not sure how he expects to get there. The only way I know how to live in a neighborhood in the DC area where you can leave your bike on the front porch and not have it stolen is to be stationed at Ft. Myer.
Young people are buying fewer cars than their parents did. "30% of Baby Boomers considered themselves "car enthusiasts," said Bluhm, buying showcase vehicles like the Camaro, Corvette or Jeep. Less than 15% of Gen-Yers say the same, and they're flocking to more practical models."
I expect to see everyone wearing one of these as soon as they come on the market. If you don't think it works, try smashing your face into the pavement without one.
A profile of Proteus Bicycles in College Park. "But while the bike-lined walls and vast inventory have created many loyal customers, the shop is as much a social hangout as it is a business. On weekends, workers and friends take customers on rides throughout area trails and on Thursdays, they gather for a potluck from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., in line with a long tradition of serving visitors more than spokes and wheels."
Call of Duty Ride comes to DC. "The 24 cyclists are half Americans and half Australian—united in their call of duty. They are all first responders—pedaling more than 2,600 miles together in memory of the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedom." They're heading to NYC for the 11th anniversary of 9/11.
Pittsburgh cyclist stabbed in possible road rage incident.
Bike crashes in Chicago are up 38% since 2000, but bike commuting is up 140% over the same time. And those 2001 numbers don't include doorings which account for about 1 in 5 crashes. The 2011 numbers do. One problem that Chicago has identified is the short yellow cycle - it may not allow enough time for a cyclist who enters on a green to clear the intersection. "city transportation officials say that the yellow lights there — as well as all others in the city — are set according to federal standards based on the speed limit and that changing them would open up the city to lawsuits in the event of crashes. Still, the standards “are time-tested recommendations developed over many, many years by many committees, so sometimes they’re not quite up to date in terms of how cities are changing quickly, especially with bikes,” says Luann Hamilton, a CDOT deputy" commissioner.