City of Tulsa Produces Video of Bike to Work Week Event

May 16, 2012 in Bicycling

TULSA – With two days left in Bike to Work Week and a long bicycling season ahead, the City of Tulsa released a short video documentary of Monday’s Bike to Work Week event with Mayor Dewey Bartlett and Councilor Skip Steele.

Let’s hope this willingness to participate in bicycling events progresses from talk into action in improving Tulsa’s streets for bicycling.

Training Wheels Workshop Series Begins Saturday

April 20, 2012 in Bicycling

TULSA – Next month is National Bike-to-Work month and to get ready, a workshop series called “Training Wheels” gets underway Saturday.

The free workshops are designed for “bike newbies” – people of all ages who are interested in bicycle commuting but have questions or need some encouragement.

On-Street Bike Corral

On-street bike parking is coming to Tulsa. Learn more at "Bike Racks Around Town," part of the Training Wheels workshop series. Photo: / Heather Bowden

The first class, “Bicycle Basics”, kicks off at 10am, April 21 at the Tulsa Hub, a bicycle non-profit located at 601 W. Third Street in downtown Tulsa. The Tulsa Hub will explain everything you need to know to get started. They’ll go over the benefits of bicycling, how to select a bike and how to prepare for different kinds of rides. There will even be a short fun ride.

“Gear Up”, the second class of the workshop series, will teach the basics of bicycle maintenance. When you’re out on a ride, you need to know how to change a flat. And much of the maintenance needed for a bicycle can be done cheaply by yourself at home. The staff of Tom’s Bicycles on Cherry Street will cover basic bike tunes that can save you money and keep your bike running smooth. This class starts at 2pm on April 29 at Tom’s Bicycles, 1506 E. 15th Street.

The third class in the workshop series, “Road Rules”, will give you confidence to ride on the street. You may not know it, but bicycles actually belong on the street and not the sidewalk. In fact, you can ride legally on any city street in Tulsa. League Certified Instructor James Wagner will teach the rules of the road and put your fears to rest with essential riding techniques that will keep you safe and having fun. Wagner will even take you out on the road for a spin. This class starts at 10am, May 5 at the Brookside Library located at 1207 E 45th PL.

Nearly 100 bicycle racks are coming to downtown and other areas of Tulsa. If you’ve been frustrated by the lack of bicycle parking in Tulsa, come to the fourth workshop called “Bike Racks Around Town”. From 6 to 8:30 am on Monday, May 14, City of Tulsa officials will be on hand at the Coffee House on Cherry Street to explain where the bike racks will be installed and to answer questions. It’s a great way to kick off Bike-to-Work week. Free refreshments and breakfast pastries will be provided.

To cap off the series, there will be a Bike-to-Work day celebration at Joe Momma’s Pizza form 4:30pm to 6:30pm, Friday May 18. There will be music, beer specials, prize drawings, and you’ll have the chance to sign up for the 2012 Bike-to-Work Commuter Challenge.

Pilot Program to Provide Tulsa’s First-Ever On-Street Bike Parking

January 10, 2012 in Bicycling, Featured

TULSA – Nearly 100 bicycle racks, including bicycle corrals that will provide the city’s first-ever on-street bike parking, are coming to Tulsa as part of a bike rack pilot program, according to city officials.

The bike racks will be installed in various locations in Tulsa’s downtown, Brady District, Blue Dome District, Pearl District, Kendall-Whittier, Brookside and Cherry Street.

“The plans for the racks are about 95% complete,” says Doug Duke, Senior Traffic Engineer for the City of Tulsa. Duke expects a contract to be awarded sometime in March with installation beginning as early as April. All the racks could be in place as early as June.

Bike Racks in Pilot Program

These bike racks will be installed as part of Tulsa's pilot bike rack program. Image: City of Tulsa

Most of the racks being installed will be “Type A’s”, according to Duke. “They are basically inverted U’s with a logo plate attached.”

Each district or neighborhood will have its own logo displayed on the logo plate of the bike rack.

Yet, one of the most exciting aspects to the pilot program is the addition of on-street bicycle corrals to locations downtown and on Cherry Street. The corrals will create the first on-street bike parking in Tulsa in modern history.

Each bicycle corral will replace an on-street car parking space or other vacant street space with five racks that can fit 10 bikes within the space of one car. Placing the racks in the street ensures pedestrians have room to move on the sidewalk.

The on-street corrals are planned to be installed in front of Caz’s Chowhouse in the Brady District, Joe Momma’s in the Blue Dome District, and TCC’s downtown campus. Five on-street corrals are planned for Cherry Street.

“Installing angled parking [on Cherry Street] created opportunities for on-street rack corrals in hatched-out areas where we didn’t want vehicles parking as they would block visibility of traffic,” said Duke. “Not wanting these areas to go to waste, we thought they would be ideal areas for the corrals, as the bikes and racks would not block views of traffic and would put the racks “front and center” to vehicular traffic.”

In bicycle-friendly cities like Portland, businesses are on waiting lists as long as two years to receive bicycle corrals because they know it means they can have more customers park directly in front of their establishment.

In locations where bike racks cannot be placed in the street, the single Type A racks will be installed on the sidewalk in an orientation parallel to the curb to ensure bicycles don’t encroach upon the expected or normal pedestrian path.

In addition to the regular Type A racks, several locations are set to receive upgraded custom “art” racks in the shape of oil derricks, bison and the city skyline.

The custom art rack upgrades are being funded by the Tulsa Beautification Foundation and the Zarrow Families Foundation. The city has been working with these foundations and the Tulsa Hub to develop the designs and the desired locations.

The pilot bike rack project is a joint effort between the Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG) and the City of Tulsa, who recognized the need for bike parking as a result of the Trails Master Plan, according to James Wagner, INCOG’s Transportation Projects Coordinator.

“We conducted webinars and provided “best practice” material from the Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals to the engineers at the City of Tulsa to identify the best designs used around the country and placement of the racks within the sidewalk space,” said Wagner. “Plans are to provide this same opportunity to other communities in the metro area in future years.”

INCOG allocated $50,000 in federal grant funds for the bike rack program. The funds came from the Federal Highway Administration’s Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality (CMAQ) program designed to encourage alternative transportation.

To learn more about bicycle corrals, check out the Streetfilms video below.

Pedestrian Struck Crossing 91st at Hunter Park Had No Crosswalk Available to Use at Park Entrance

December 28, 2011 in Walking

View Larger Map

TULSA – A 16-year-old pedestrian was struck by a car Tuesday evening on 91st Street while attempting to cross the street at Hunter Park, a location that has no crosswalk for pedestrians to get to Hunter Park directly from the neighborhood to the north.

KTUL published the story on its website. The tone of the police and the news report seem to place blame on the pedestrian:

Police say the 16-year-old stepped out in front of car [sic] in a dimly-lit area. He was not in a cross walk. We’re told the teenager is in serious condition tonight. The driver was not ticketed.

The description that the teenager was crossing in a dimly lit area and was not using a crosswalk leads many to believe the pedestrian was at fault. We simply do not have enough information to determine fault, but often pedestrians (victims) get the blame in auto-pedestrian collisions instead of drivers of motor vehicles, who have an obligation to drive with due care and avoid hitting human beings.

The design of the entrance to Hunter Park is completely auto-oriented. So much in fact that the only way to walk to Hunter Park from the neighborhood to the north via crosswalk is to either take more than a half-mile detour by walking west along the north side of 91st Street, crossing at an unmarked crosswalk at Canton Ave., and then returning to Hunter Park along the south side of 91st Street, or take a mile-long detour by walking east along the north side of 91st Street, crossing with the light at Sheridan, and then walking back to Hunter Park along the south side of 91st Street. There are no sidewalks on either side along 91st Street in this location to assist pedestrians in making such a trek.

Walking east to Sheridan would be extremely difficult to do safely because of the guardrails over the creek that runs under 91st through Hunter Park. The creek and guardrails would force a pedestrian to walk in the roadway to make this trip.

View Larger Map The entrance to Hunter Park is hostile to pedestrians.

So what would most people who want to get to Hunter Park from the neighborhood to the north do? They would most likely cross 91st Street directly. After all, crossing 24-28 feet of right-of-way is a lot quicker and easier, and is possibly safer, than hoofing it 3,200 feet or 5,280 feet along the pedestrian-hostile, sidewalk-absent right-of-way that is 91st Street.

This kind of pedestrian predicament brings to mind the horrific story of Atlanta’s Raquel Nelson who received the ultimate in pedestrian victim-blaming when she was convicted of vehicular homicide – yes, even though she was not driving a car – after her son was killed by a hit-and-run drunk driver while she was crossing a major street from the bus stop directly to her apartment home where there was no crosswalk.

In keeping with KRMG’s idea that the ability to drive to a park for a walk means Tulsa is walkable, the City of Tulsa and designers of Hunter Park have made no effort to accommodate anyone other than motorists at this park entrance.
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