Word on the Street: 3/30/12

March 30, 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:

  • INCOG Announces 2012 Training Wheels Workshops
    The four-part workshop series offers free classes on the basics of bicycle commuting in preparation for Tulsa’s Bike to Work Week and ends with a Bike to Work Day celebration at Joe Momma’s Pizza.
  • Man Struck While Walking Dog on U.S. 75
    The man apparently walked into the inside southbound lane of the highway at the West 23rd Street off-ramp about 5:45 a.m. Friday.
  • Tulsa City Councilors Mull Parking Lot Moratorium
    “We have more surface parking now than we did 35 years ago, and we have fewer people working downtown,” Councilor Blake Ewing said during a council committee meeting Thursday.
  • Valet Parking Under Scrutiny
    Traffic Engineering Manager Mark Brown said both the Mayo Hotel and Courtyard by Marriott hotel offer valet services that take up parts of the street, as does Mi Cocina restaurant on 15th Street during the dinner hour. “Businesses don’t have the right to take out public parking spaces “exclusively for their efforts,” Brown said. “The city and the taxpayers need to be compensated.”
  • Congress Approves 90-day Transportation Bill Extension
    The House on Thursday morning approved a 90-day extension of federal highway programs over the objections of angry Democrats. The Senate on Thursday afternoon also passed the extension. The bill will now go to President Obama. The White House has indicated the president will sign the bill.
  • Politico: Senate Clears Transportation Extension
    Finding a more permanent solution may be even harder, judging by the amount of partisan rhetoric generated by an extension that’s typically considered routine. This is the ninth such extension enacted since the last transportation law expired in 2009.
  • NYC Bicycle Commuter Inspires Others to Join In
    Kimberly Kinchen, New York City cycling activist and developer of a group commuting meet-up called nycbiketrain, is one of the city’s dedicated, hardcore cyclists. But just nine months ago Kinchen was building up the courage to ride on city streets for the first time.
  • The A$#&^% Biker Problem: Why It’s Hard to Share the Road
    The relationship between cyclists and drivers is notoriously tense. A simple Google search will yield scores of articles and videos about fights.

Word on the Street: 3/29/12

March 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 City Councilor Fears Downtown Has Too Many Parking Lots
    “Walking past nothing is the biggest thing to kill walkability,” Councilor Ewing said. “People will walk for days if they are walking past activity. But as soon as you’re walking past nothing, it seems like a burden.”
  • Streetcar Named Desire
    While listening to Bill Leighty talk about his vision for Tulsa, about streetcars and walkable, sustainable communities, about bike lanes and sidewalks, it’s hard not to get excited.
  • Today’s the Last Chance for Congress to Act on Transportation Bill Before Recess
    House passage of the three-month extension will toss that bill to a Senate that has been calling on the House to take up the Senate-passed, two-year reauthorization. In doing so, they are likely banking on the pending expiration of federal highway programs to build pressure on the Senate to take the short-term bill.
  • Transportation Bill Gridlock Worries States
    The Highway Trust Fund — the place where federal gas taxes are deposited — will start incurring losses to the tune of $110 million each day the law is lapsed. That means states won’t be reimbursed for projects already under way.
  • The True Cost of Unwalkable Streets
    Why don’t Americans walk more?  Because, as Dr. Howard Frumkin, another of our leading experts on environmental health, puts it in a fantastic presentation, “we have engineered walking and bicycling out of our communities” with community design oriented almost exclusively to driving.
  • Bikes Are Key to Economic Freedom
    Culturally we believe that the car is a symbol of personal freedom. But the truth is that car ownership can be oppressive on several levels. Personal mobility represents freedom to the individual, but it’s the form it takes that tells the story of freedom.

From Minnesota to Mississippi, America Tells Congress to Preserve Bike-Ped Funding

March 27, 2012 in Bicycling by bikewalkadmin

WASHINGTON, D.C. – To hold you over until Bike Walk Tulsa can report on last week’s National Bike Summit the Streetfilms video above shows how, for more than 20 years, federal funding for bike and pedestrian safety has enabled American cities and towns to invest in transportation projects that state DOTs would otherwise have overlooked. Thanks to these programs, communities have helped main streets thrive, provided kids with safer routes to school, and made biking an attractive transportation option. All that is on the chopping block right now as the House attempts to pass a transportation bill that would decimate these programs.

Word on the Street: 3/27/12

March 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:

  • House Republicans Delay Vote on Transpo Extension
    House leaders on Monday decided to delay a planned evening vote to extend authorization of federal highway programs, citing a new bipartisan effort to agree on how to extend the programs in the short term.
  • Politico: Boehner Didn’t Have Votes for Transpo Extension
    House Republican plans to pass a three-month extension of the surface transportation law fell apart Monday as it became clear that the leadership didn’t have the votes to move the bill.
  • Three House Republicans Voice Support for Senate Bill
    House Republican Reps. Robert Dold (Ill.), Judy Biggert (Ill.) and Charlie Bass (N.H.) are calling on leaders in their party to pass a transportation bill that has been approved by the Senate, rather than a short-term extension.
  • Hill Visits Inspire Advocates and Members of Congress
    The energy on the Hill was fantastic. As always, bright bike pins were seen all over the capitol. At the Congressional reception, Rep. Blumenauer told the crowd about how one of his colleagues, who did not seem like a big supporter of bicycling investments, said, “the bicyclists are here. Do you have any more bike pins?” Mr. Blumenauer did, of course.
  • Is Walking a Form of Activism?
    For all but the last hundred years, walking has been humanity’s primary mode of transportation. Today, though, simply strolling down the block in the evening might constitute an act of dissent.
  • Free Webinar: Empowering Women to Bicycle for Transportation
    One of the most talked-about events at last week’s National Bike Summit was the Women Cycling Forum, an event sponsored and moderated by the League.

Word on the Street: 3/26/12

March 26, 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:

  • Obama Calls for House to Pass Senate Transportation Bill
    The current legislation that authorizes funding for road and public transit programs is set to expire on March 31. The House has said it will not vote on the Senate’s two-year, $109 billion version of the transportation measure, but the lower chamber has said it will attempt to pass a three-month extension of the current legislation, which expired in 2009.
  • Federal Transportation Funding Expected to be Extended This Week
    The House is scheduled to act first and will take up a 90-day extension that makes no changes to the existing law (aka “clean extension).  That’s a relief to many stakeholders, who feared that Republicans would force through unwanted policy changes or spending reductions.
  • New Tool Calculates the Health Savings of Bike/Ped Infrastructure
    The WHO, which is on a mission to rein in the worldwide epidemic of traffic deaths and injuries, has developed a tool that measures the health impacts of bike and pedestrian infrastructure projects, calculating cost-benefit analyses as well as the economic value of reduced mortality.
  • Why Bicyclists Are Better Customers Than Drivers for Local Business
    Far and away, the biggest reason business owners resist the addition of bike infrastructure is that they’re afraid it will limit parking. Once they realize they can get 12 bike parking spaces for each car spot, sometimes they begin to change their tune.
  • To Change Your Community’s Streets, the Action Is in the Statehouse
    Anxious about Congress messing up the federal transportation bill? There’s a lot at stake in Washington, but consider this: 78 percent of transportation funds come from the state and local levels.
  • To Draw Reluctant Young Buyers, GM Turns to MTV
    Ross Martin and his team are trying to help General Motors solve one of the most vexing problems facing the car industry: many young consumers today just do not care that much about cars.
  • Planners Find It Tough to Resist the Automobile
    We may like our automobiles and our suburban lots and we may demand free flowing highway conditions for every trip and an empty parking spot at every destination, but those likes are going to come crashing into something called Reality. And Reality doesn’t really compromise. Our financial ability to maintain what we have built is simply not there.

National Bike Summit in Washington, DC This Week

March 19, 2012 in Bicycling by bikewalkadmin

Pennsylvania Avenue bike lanes in Washington, D.C. photo: pedbikeimages.org / Elvert Barnes

WASHINGTON, DC – Bike Walk Tulsa will be reporting from the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC this week. The timing couldn’t be better. The Senate just passed their transportation bill last week, while the House still has work to do. And just because the Senate has done their work doesn’t mean they don’t matter. The bills still have to be conferenced if the House decides to get a bill out before the March 31 deadline.

We have meetings scheduled with the offices of U.S. Rep. John Sullivan, Senators Tom Coburn and James Inhofe, as well as other Oklahoma representatives.

The House has been threatening to eliminate dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects despite the fact that biking and walking make up 12% of trips, 14% of fatalities and only 1.6% of the federal transportation budget. More than 700 bicyclists are descending upon Washington, DC this week with the goal of preserving funding for biking and walking infrastructure.

Bike Walk Tulsa will try to post stories to this blog from Washington, DC. For the latest updates you should follow the Bike Walk Tulsa Twitter feed @bikewalktulsa for live tweets beginning Tuesday.

Word on the Street: 3/16/12

March 16, 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:

  • Giving a Child a Bike for Every 100 Likes
    Car dealerships know the popularity of bikes. One Tulsa car dealership is trying to get attention by giving away bikes to kids simply for liking a Facebook page.
  • Tulsa Volunteers Checking Handicapped Parking Violations
    Volunteers will patrol parking lots, spot the vehicles and call police. Officers will respond as they can to issue the tickets. Maybe violators should just park a few spaces over and walk a little.
  • Staffers: House Won’t Pass Transportation Bill This Month
    The House will not take up the Senate’s transportation bill and its own version won’t hit the floor until mid-April at the earliest, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee aides told industry officials Thursday morning.
  • Transport Politic: The Senate’s Transportation Program
    The political conditions in which MAP-21 did pass are indicative of the bill’s importance. We are, after all, in a tightly contested election year in which Republicans have set their sights on the White House and Senate as Democrats eye the House.
  • The Quest for Safer Intersections
    The “dilemma zone” – do I have enough time to make it through, or should I slam on the brakes? This dilemma zone is of course also a danger zone, as the decision of whether to stop or keep going can have disastrous or even deadly results.
  • Blind Pedestrianism, as a Video Game
    “Extreme Walks” is a goofy short film that illustrates the difficulties faced by the various types of pedestrians who may have some disability or limited mobility.

Word on the Street: 3/15/12

March 15, 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:

Word on the Street: 3/14/12

March 14, 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:

Word on the Street: 3/12/12

March 12, 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:

  • Walkable Downtown Tulsa Development is Booming
    Tom Taylor’s apartment at the newly completed $12 million Metro at Brady building is just blocks from his new job at Emergency Infant Services, a short walk to numerous bars and restaurants, and minutes on foot from the BOK Center and ONEOK Field.
  • Urban Houses Up For Sale in Downtown Tulsa
    Gary Phillips and his daughters Chloe and Nikki spent their Saturday afternoon on a bike ride through downtown. It’s not far from home. The Phillips rent a loft in the Philtower.
  • Ride America for Safe Routes Rolls Thru Tulsa
    They started in Key West and will end up in San Francisco. All long the way they are promoting Safe Routes to School and bicycle friendly streets.
  • Tulsa Man Arrested After Allegedly Aiming Vehicle Toward Crowd
    A Tulsa man was hospitalized and later arrested after ramming his pickup into a minivan surrounded by several people Saturday evening.
  • OKC Mayor Among Those Calling for Bipartisan Transportation Bill
    The original House bill talks about devolving power away from Washington, but it actually takes away some of the latitude that local areas have today. It is important to place responsibility for planning and investing decisions at the regional and local level, where people actually live their lives.
  • Boehner: We’ll Work with Senate if GOP Balks on Transportation Bill
    House Republicans leaders have been struggling for weeks to drum up enough support in their own ranks to pass a 5-year bill. Now, faced with a ticking clock on an expiring law, they may be forced to align instead with a bipartisan alternative now on the Senate floor.
  • Do More Bikeways Mean More Bicycle Commuting?
    Cities with a greater supply of bike paths and lanes have significantly higher bike commute rates. They find this to be true even after controlling for land use, climate, socioeconomic factors, gasoline prices, public transport supply, and cycling safety.
  • Are Cars to Blame for Distracted Driving?
    Automakers plan to testify today that smartphone and portable GPS makers should be included in new federal efforts to combat technology-related driver distraction.