Tulsa Neighborhoods Take Leap, Approve Bike Lanes for 4th Place

February 29, 2012 in Bicycling, Featured by bikewalkadmin

4th Place Bike Lanes

Cross section depiction of the redesign of 4th Place between Sheridan & Yale with bike lanes. Source: City of Tulsa

TULSA – Bike lanes were approved for 4th Place between Yale and Sheridan by the White City and Glenhaven neighborhoods at a public meeting Tuesday evening. The bike lanes would be the first neighborhood bike lanes in the city and could be in place within a year and a half.

The City of Tulsa conducted the public meeting at Yale Avenue Presbyterian Church in an effort to reach out to the neighborhood and ask the citizens what they wanted their street to look like since the street is being entirely reconstructed as part of the Fix Our Streets program.

City Planner, Theron Warlick, conducted the meeting in an effort to build consensus among the neighborhood residents on the new design for the 40-foot-wide curb-to-curb reconstruction project. Several engineers from the City of Tulsa and District 5 Councilor, Karen Gilbert, were also in attendance.

Theron Warlick

Theron Warlick leads a neighborhood meeting about the 4th Place street redesign. photo: Lassiter

Warlick presented attendees with four street design options. The first option was to simply rebuild the street the same way it is now, a four-lane street. Option A would change the street to a two-lane street with marked parallel parking. Option B, the one the neighborhood ended up selecting, converts the street to a two-lane street with two six-foot bike lanes and parallel parking on one side of the street. Option C involved converting the street to two 14-foot travel lanes and one 12-foot center turn lane, a design usually reserved for business districts.

All street design options include the addition of a sidewalk on one side of the street.

“At one time this was supposed to be an arterial street, just like Yale or Sheridan or 11th Street,” Warlick said, “but it never really panned out that way.”

When I-244 was built in the area, Admiral became the more important street, yet 4th place is still striped like a four-lane arterial even though it carries only 2,900 vehicles a day. Yale Avenue, by comparison, carries 20,000 vehicles a day. The traffic-control-device-free mile-long stretch of 4th Place encourages traffic to cut through the neighborhood, oftentimes much faster than the posted 35 mph speed limit.

“Cars zip up and down there at 60 mph,” said one concerned resident.

The task for residents at Tuesday night’s meeting was to determine how 4th Place could be turned back into a neighborhood street. Warlick began the meeting by asking residents what they liked and didn’t like about 4th Place, sometimes referred to by locals as “Big 4th.”

Many residents believed cars traveled too fast down the street, making the street unsafe for kids crossing on the way to school, edging the front yard, or even parked cars. Read the rest of this entry →

Word on the Street: Leap Day Edition

February 29, 2012 in Word On The Street by bikewalkadmin

Word on the Street is a compilation of links to active transportation headlines from around the web:

  • Tulsa Kicks Off Small Area Plan Process
    Dawn Warrick, the city’s planning and economic development director, said small-area plans are intended to enhance and clarify the policies of the comprehensive plan as they apply to a particular area.
  • OKC Now On List of Fittest American Cities
    A high ranking on a magazine’s list of the fattest cities in America inspired Mayor Mick Cornett’s public challenge for Oklahoma City to get healthier. But the magazine’s new rankings put Oklahoma City among the fittest communities, signaling to Cornett that awareness is making an impact.
  • Parking Shortage in OKC: Is That a Bad Thing?
    Plentiful parking encourages driving while discouraging biking, walking, and transit use. Oklahoma City’s downtown parking system is running at 95 percent occupancy and property managers are being advised more parking can’t be guaranteed for any new companies that might relocate to the central business district.
  • Don’t Call It a Merger: American’s Big Three Bike/Ped Advocates Join Forces
    Last week, three leading organizations advocating for biking and walking issued a communiqué about their intention to unify. According to the plan, hashed out two weeks ago at a top-level meeting in San Diego, the League of American Bicyclists, the Alliance for Biking & Walking, and Bikes Belong will become one organization, with one board of directors. 
  • Boehner Ally, Critic Rep. LaTourrete Holds Keys to House Transpo Bill
    Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who led an effort to amend the original highway bill by restoring the mass transit money to the Highway Trust Fund, credited LaTourette with playing “a large role” in gathering GOP opposition to the provision.
  • House Seeks to Revive Transpo Bill
    The bill has been attacked by members of the bipartisan congressional bike coalition because it ends dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects. Mica told the gathering of state transportation officials that decisions on those programs should be left to them rather than mandated by Washington.
  • Judge: “Mrs. Morgan, you should not have been riding your bike on the road.”
    It had been a hard, difficult road for Jan Morgan, but she was finally having her day in court. She was finally going to see justice done. But standing there before the judge, the tables were suddenly turned, and she was now the one being lectured from the bench.
  • Even in the 1940s, If a Cyclist Got Killed They Blamed the Victim
    It isn’t for the faint of heart; never have you seen so many heads smashed in and sweet young kids killed as in this Official Safety Manual published in the Retronaut.
  • Strong Towns: Paying for Parking Again, and Again, and Again…
    An obsession over parking can turn the once intimate “downtown” of an area into a road to somewhere else.
  • Nationwide Data Show How Transportation Costs Hurt Families, Better Planning Can Help
    Between 2000 and 2009, US transportation and housing costs increased at nearly twice the rate of incomes. What if every home came with something like the “Energy Star” stickers on appliances that would provide information on combined housing and transportation expenses to give some sense of the impact of transportation costs on the affordability of the home?

Andy Clarke to Speak at “Sold-Out” Bicycle-Friendly Workshop in Tulsa

February 28, 2012 in Bicycling by bikewalkadmin

Bicycle-Friendly Community

L-to-R: Andy Clarke, NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Source: bikeleague.org

TULSA – Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists (LAB), is coming to Tulsa on Thursday, March 1, to speak to a capacity crowd for a workshop on how to make your community more bicycle-friendly.

The free workshop “sold out” quickly, which seems to indicate a strong desire in Oklahoma for more bicycle-friendly streets.

Bike-friendly enthusiasts from across northeastern Oklahoma have registered for the workshop, including people from communities like Stillwater, Tahlequah, Pawnee, Muskogee, Collinsville, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Bixby, Owasso and more.

Clarke’s presentation will cover what communities need to do to achieve the League’s bicycle-friendly status by assessing the conditions of bicycling in the community, providing an introduction of the issues affecting bicycle safety and use, creating an informed action plan to improve conditions for bicycling, and encouraging physical activity through bicycling in the community. Clarke will also speak at a similar workshop in Oklahoma City on Friday.

Designed for city engineers, public works directors, city planners, mayors, city councilors and bicycling advocates from around the region, the workshop was developed by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as part of their program to implement the National Strategies for Advancing Bicycle Safety.

In addition to Andy Clarke’s presentation, James Wagner, Transportation Projects Coordinator at INCOG, will share his experience on completing the LAB’s bicycle-friendly application and will lead a discussion around local bicycling issues.

Wagner’s efforts in submitting the bicycle-friendly application helped Tulsa earn a bronze-level Bicycle-Friendly Community status in 2009. Tulsa and Norman are currently the only cities in Oklahoma recognized by the League as Bicycle-Friendly Communities.

The workshop will be held from 9am to 1pm, March 1, on the 2nd Floor of Williams Tower II located at Two West Second Street in downtown Tulsa. Bike Walk Tulsa will cover the event, so check back later this week for the story.

You can see Andy Clarke in the CNN Video below about gas prices and bicycling.

Bicycle Rights!!!

February 28, 2012 in Bicycling by bikewalkadmin

Word on the Street: 2/28/12

February 28, 2012 in Word On The Street by bikewalkadmin

Word on the Street is a compilation of links to active transportation headlines from around the web:

  • Unique Way to Travel Turkey Mountain, On One Wheel
    The trails at Turkey Mountain are well known for being a major challenge to mountain bikers, but what about mountain unicycles?
  • Long-Term Transportation Bill Faces Detours
    After more than 800 days of stopgaps, an impending deadline and a series of delays in the Senate and House, local politicians and transportation officials across the country are grabbing the popcorn. They just don’t know yet whether they are watching a horror flick or a coming-of-age film. “We’ve been following it very, very closely,” said Oklahoma Transportation Secretary Gary Ridley in an interview. “Certainly we’re anxious for them to pass both.”
  • Americans Can’t Afford a Highway-Centric Transportation Bill
    Even with the House and Senate neck deep in the process of updating national transportation policy, few in Congress are willing to point out the obvious: The next transportation bill is a golden opportunity to save Americans money by giving them more affordable ways to get around.
  • House GOP Regroups While Senate Dems Tackle Amendments
    Five- or six-year transportation bills have been the norm for decades, but since the last long-term bill expired in 2009, efforts to pass a new one have failed — whether proposed by a Democratic majority or the current Republican one.
  • Baltimore Sun: Gridlock Over Transportation Bills Proves Washington Can’t Maintain Its Transportation Infrastructure
    When U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Republican, recently called the House transportation bill the worst such measure he’s seen in 35 years of public service, he was being kind. Surely, it’s among the worst, most cynically partisan bills to ever threaten U.S. highway and transit infrastructure in all of recorded history.
  • Consumer Reports: American Transportation System Does Not Meet the Needs of Aging Population
    As Baby Boomers age, older Americans will be more mobile and active than any previous generation, and our nation’s transportation system—including roads, traffic signs and vehicle safety—is inadequate when it comes to the safety of these drivers
  • Real Estate Investors to Washington: Transportation is About More Than Roads
    Would you prefer to live in a community where you had to drive everywhere for everything, or would you prefer to live in a community where you could walk, ride a bicycle, take public transportation, or drive to get to where you want to go?
  • The Biggest Bike-Share Beneficiaries Won’t Be Cyclists
    Whether you consider yourself a cyclist or not, it provides a convenient way to make trips in a city environment. In fact, the people who get the most out of bike-share are the subscribers who have no bike of their own.
  • In Defense of Loitering
    Not long after American inner cities started to empty of street life in the 1960s and 70s, government officials went for the benches. Benches encourage people to sit still. And sitting still is a quasi-crime in urban America commonly known as “loitering.” You may recognize its related anti-social behaviors: standing still, milling about and strolling a little too slowly.
  • Making Cities Safer for Cyclists and Pedestrians
    Can increased enforcement using the “broken windows” approach create safer streets?
  • Putting Congestion in Perspective
    Car congestion is a problem for drivers of private cars, and when transit planners worry about it, it’s a sign that they’re thinking more about those drivers than about their own passengers.
  • Pent-Up Demand for Mixed-Use, Walkable Neighborhoods
    Boomers and Millenials want something that the U.S. housing market is not currently providing: small, one-to-three-bedroom homes in walkable, transit-oriented, economically dynamic, and job-rich neighborhoods.
  • End of the Roads: When Highway Removal Works
    Can you imagine removing the Broken Arrow Expressway or the Inner Dispersal Loop? The numbers exist to back up claims that highway removal can restore a city’s social fabric and facilitate local development, all without severely impacting traffic or commerce.
  • Bringing Walkability Back to Houston
    The Greater East End Management District was set up in 1999 by the Texas Legislature as a way to promote economic development and improve infrastructure on Houston’s east side. The goal is to create a place where longtime residents who invested in the neighborhood can stay there.

Word on the Street: 2/27/12

February 27, 2012 in Word On The Street by bikewalkadmin

Word on the Street is a compilation of links to active transportation headlines from around the web:

  • Tulsa World Spotlights Planning Director Dawn Warrick
    Warrick said she envisions lots of opportunities for the city as it embarks on a new path in re-creating its built environment through its comprehensive plan, PlaniTulsa.
  • Tulsa Development Meeting On Small Area Plans Open to the Public
    On Tuesday, city officials will host a public meeting to spread the word that more small area plans are on the way and to explain the process and encourage participation.
  • Turkey Mountain Cleanup
    Volunteers want to keep Turkey Mountain a riding and hiking trail for families. They say the land is priceless and something no developer could replicate.
  • Boulder Avenue Bridge Construction Going Full-Steam Ahead
    Officials say the new $8.3 million bridge will be supported by two abutments at either end and two piers in between, creating three spans totaling 290 feet. The bridge will have sidewalks but no parking spaces.
  • Transportation Bill Faces Wall of Opposition From Both Parties
    With support for their highway bill crumbling, Republican leaders spent much of a weeklong Congressional recess considering a variety of changes to the bill, including shortening it and thus its price tag, and restoring transit financing, with the hope of blunting the biggest objections and securing the bill’s passage in the coming weeks.
  • Do Bike Paths or Bike Lanes Promote Bike Riding?
    With each study of this kind that’s completed, it seems more clear that in many cities, for many different purposes, there does appear to be some fundamental demand for sustainable transportation just waiting for a share of the urban landscape. In some places, tapping that potential just means adding a bike path. In others, it may take a bit more.
  • Eight Reasons Why Gas Will Hit $5 a Gallon This Year
    Oil prices have moved up from $75 a barrel in October of last year to more than $100 a barrel currently. Although gas prices may skyrocket, prices for bicycling and walking are expected to remain stable.
  • Get Rid of Your Extra Cars, You Might Be Able to Afford an Extra House
    The average American family owns 2.28 cars, and even in genuinely car-dependent areas they could probably get away with one. How much does that excess auto capacity cost?
  • In Miami, Passions Run High When Bikes and Cars Share the Road
    The debate, advocates say, underscores the hazards and frustrations produced by a road system designed almost exclusively to funnel fast-moving cars, and not as urban streets that can be shared safely by motorists, pedestrians and people on bikes.
  • Opposition to Sidewalks in Florida
    Some area residents who oppose the entire project believe the sidewalks will prevent or delay expanding the roads from three to four lanes, which has long been planned.
  • Researchers Developing Smartphone App to Help Blind Pedestrians at Crosswalks
    A single tap on the phone will give the user an audible message that describes the direction he or she is heading, as well as what street they are facing and how many lanes of traffic they’ll have to navigate. A double tap will send a signal to the traffic box that the pedestrian is ready to cross. The phone vibrates and declares “walk now, 26 seconds left” when it is safe to cross.

Word on the Street: 2/23/12

February 23, 2012 in Word On The Street by bikewalkadmin

Word on the Street is a compilation of links to active transportation headlines from around the web:

  • Hit-and-Run Driver Sought After Fleeing Owasso Police, Leaving Child in Yard
    A man who was fleeing from Owasso police on foot after a hit-and-run automobile collision left a 5-year-old boy in a stranger’s yard Wednesday afternoon.
  • House Bill Delayed, But Transit, Biking and Walking Aren’t Safe Yet
    Congress is in recess, and the House’s atrocious transportation bill has been dismembered and delayed, but if you want to preserve funding for transit and active transportation, don’t let your guard down yet. There’s still plenty to watch out for as the House and Senate attempt to reauthorize federal transportation programs.
  • Trasnportation Bills to Get Tune-Up During Recess
    It may be recess, but House and Senate leaders are working overtime this week to make the massive transportation bills more attractive to skeptical lawmakers.
  • Transportation For America: Top 10 Reasons Opposition to House Bill is Growing
    The country desperately needs a new transportation bill that provides robust funding and updates national priorities and policy for the needs of this century. But HR7 falls short in a number of key areas according to this growing chorus of groups.
  • Three Major Bike Advocacy Organizations Have Agreed to Merge
    The League of American Bicyclists, Bikes Belong and the Alliance for Biking & Walking have agreed that uniting the three organizations would dramatically improve their effectiveness in increasing bicycle use in U.S. communities.
  • The Top Seven Reasons to Attend the National Bike Summit
    Hundreds of bicyclists are descending upon Washington, D.C. next month. With a transportation bill up in the air that threatens to eliminate dedicated funding for bicycling and walking projects, now is the time.
  • Study Shows How to Improve Bicycle Commuter Safety
    “A basic premise in this report is that cycling should be encouraged because as the number of cyclists increases, the attention of motorists and safety improve,” said Dr. Osland. “However, an important caveat is that the number of cyclists must be commensurate with the infrastructure built for cycling to enhance their safety. This report discusses and evaluates various bicycle commuter settings against a framework of what are called the 5 Es – engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation.
  • Connecticut Pushes for Vulnerable Road Users Bill
    Those who hurt pedestrians, highway workers, cyclists, skateboarders, inline skaters, tractor drivers, or wheelchair users would have to undergo driver retraining, perform community service, and pay a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Two Cars Collide Behind Reporter on Live TV
    It was meant to be a report on high gas prices, but it turned into an accident report after two cars collide.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Word on the Street: 2/22/12

February 22, 2012 in Word On The Street by bikewalkadmin

Word on the Street is a compilation of links to active transportation headlines from around the web:

  • Rep. John Sullivan to Host Town Hall Tonight in Bixby
    Sullivan’s town hall presents an excellent opportunity for constituents to make their views known on the House transportation bill, HR-7, that would completely eliminate dedicated funding for bicycle/pedestrian projects, dedicated funding for mass transit, and the Safe Routes to School program.
  • Tulsans’ Ideas Sought for Proposed Park
    The project, estimated to cost between $100 million and $150 million, would stretch from 26th Street to just south of 31st Street. The land includes the 33.6 acres of the Blair Mansion property at 26th Place and the 21.5-acre tract where the Crow Creek Apartments sit just south of 31st Street.
  • Oklahoma Lawmakers Seek to Increase Maximum Penalty for DUI Drivers
    Currently, the maximum penalty is five years in prison, but this new measurement would increase that to ten years.
  • Julie Chin: Running an Errand… The Old Fashioned Way
    Since leaving KJRH, meteorologist Julie Chin has slowed down some and recently ran some errands by foot.
  • Roads in Rogers County Due for Improvements
    District 2 is contracting with a Missouri company to use a machine called a reclaimer. Rogers County Commissioner Mike Helm plans to implement it on a 45-mile, $2.5 million overlay project beginning in early March.
  • Surging Gas Prices Threaten to Derail Economic Recovery
    Nationally, drivers started this week paying on average $3.565 for a gallon of regular gas, up more than 5% in the last month. The price surge and wide variance by geography have triggered consumer anger and cries of gouging and speculation.
  • DOT Issues Voluntary Guidelines for Driver-Distracting Electronics Systems
    Distracted driving has become one of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s banner issues under secretary Ray LaHood’s tenure, with agencies launching safety programs and awareness campaigns aimed at preventing the practice. Last week, LaHood stepped into new territory by recommending that cars be built to automatically disable potentially distracting electronic devices when in motion.
  • Seattle Bicyclists Find Safety in Numbers
    In the last three years, the cycling rate has grown a dramatic 55 percent, while crashes have hovered in the mid- to high-300s. It’s the old phenomenon that more cyclists means safer cyclists.
  • Roads to Ruin
    For those of you who are just tuning in, Republican leaders in the House unveiled a transportation bill earlier this month that was widely hailed as a train wreck. Literally. It would cut all designated funding from mass transit, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and even a program that creates safe routes for kids to get to school.
  • Driverless Cars Would Likely Lead to Sprawl
    If the driverless car reduces congestion by maximizing the use of existing highways and taking passengers farther and faster with greater comfort, it could lead to even more dispersed cities. But it could also have the opposite effect.
  • Retrofitting Suburbia: An Interview with Ellen Dunham-Jones
    There are still plenty of households in suburbia that have children, but two-thirds of suburban households do not have children in them, and as people desire to get a little more social, they are finding that walking is great. They’re really looking for that life that exists in those walkable places.
  • Speeding Tickets for Going 26 MPH
    Last week, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn approved Chicago’s new plan to monitor speeding via camera in safety zones near schools and parks. In advocating for the bill, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “My goal is only one thing: the safety of our kids.”

Walkability 101

February 21, 2012 in Walking by bikewalkadmin

Walkable 101: The Basics from Martin County CRA on Vimeo.

TULSA – Walkability is about more than sidewalks and trails. A town or city becomes walkable when the entire built environment supports walking, biking and other forms of active transportation, even while cars remain part of the culture. Walkable communities are great places to live, work and play and to simply enjoy life outside of the car.

In the video above, Dan Burden of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute explains the fundamentals of creating walkable communities.

Word on the Street: 2/21/12

February 21, 2012 in Word On The Street by bikewalkadmin

Word on the Street is a compilation of links to active transportation headlines from around the web:

  • Developer Eye’s Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain For Possible Amusement Park
    Turkey Mountain is covered with trails that are popular with hikers and mountain bikers – and it’s busy even on less than perfect days.
  • Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain: Why Urban Wilderness is Important
    More properly known as the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area, this rare piece of earth has become a refuge of nature inside the city limits of Oklahoma’s second-largest city. Mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners, dog-walkers and horseback enthusiasts regularly visit this heavily wooded ridge on the west bank of the Arkansas River.
  • Transpo Bills Delayed in House and Senate as Congress Enters Recess
    Both houses of Congress are in recess this week, putting off their mountain of unfinished transportation business until next Monday.  The momentum carrying transportation bills forward in each chamber has eroded recently. Rep. John Sullivan is coming back to Oklahoma for a town hall meeting in Bixby on Wednesday.
  • Coming soon to freeways: Drivers tweeting at 70 miles an hour
    As safety officials fret about drivers taking their eyes off the road to play with smartphones, automakers from Detroit to Japan are rolling out vehicles that are becoming virtual iPads on wheels. Next-generation vehicles, safety experts warn, could make multitasking motorists even more of a hazard on the nation’s roads and freeways.
  • Mom Faces Jail for Making Son Walk to School
    An Arkansas mother faces a year in prison and a $1,000 fine for forcing her son to walk to school after the child was suspended from riding the bus.
  • School Board Votes 3-2 Against Allowing Kids to Ride Bikes to School
    Though it was not an action agenda item on Thursday evening’s agenda, trustees voted 3-2 not to reevaluate its policy that labels riding a bike to school as an unsafe activity.
  • San Francisco Pushes for Downtown Bike Parking
    The proposal would require all downtown building owners to allow bikes to be stored inside or provide parking within three blocks of the building.
  • Costs of Sprawl — The Speed Burden
    The need for speed devours huge chunks of American cities and leaves the edges of the expressways worthless. Busy streets, for almost all of human history, created the greatest real estate value because they delivered customers and clients to the businesses operating there. This in turn cultivated the highest tax revenues in town, both from higher property taxes and from elevated sales taxes. But you can’t set up shop on the side of an expressway. How can cities afford to spend so much to create thoroughfares with no adjoining property value?
  • Paper Tulsa
    Ilia Shvetsov, “Russian Sam” on Flickr, from Saint Petersburg, Russia, has built a 1:2000 scale model of downtown Tulsa out of paper –1st to 8th, Detroit to Denver.