Transportation Progress in Tulsa People

June 1, 2012 in Complete Streets

TULSA – Seven out of 10 Tulsans spend more than 45% of their income on transportation and housing combined, according to a study by the Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG). If you’re looking for ways to get that number down (who isn’t?), you might be interested in an article in the June edition of Tulsa People on the progression toward more transportation options in our city.

Bus, bike and sidewalk

Buses, bicycles and walking can provide Tulsans the ability to reduce their car dependence and save money. (photo: pedbikeimages.org / Dan Burden)

Written by INCOG’s Transportation Projects Coordinator James Wagner, the essay touches on what’s being done to improve bus service, how the city is working toward Complete Streets, and the long-time-in-coming-hopefully-sometime-soon addition of city-installed bike racks around the city.

Back to that statistic on the portion of income Tulsans spend on transportation and housing, Wagner explains the impact transportation costs have on families in the Tulsa area:

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is using this new measure of housing plus transportation cost to determine the relative economic impact of the “drive till you qualify” phenomenon, in which would-be homeowners ventured farther into the suburbs to find houses they could afford, only to pay higher transportation costs.

HUD noticed that transportation costs often outweighed the cost of similar housing closer to work, resulting in a net loss for families trying to keep their housing costs low.

More transportation options in Tulsa can help families save money. A city focused solely on the automobile — a mode of transportation that, per vehicle, can cost as much as $8,000 – $10,000 per year to own and operate — is not serving the needs of families who are looking for ways to reduce that 45% statistic. Better transportation options will provide Tulsa families the opportunity to choose the right mode of transportation to fit their budget.

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: www.pedbikeimages.org / 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.

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

February 28, 2012 in Bicycling

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.

Tulsa to Host Bicycle-Friendly Community Workshop

February 15, 2012 in Bicycling

Bicycle Friendly Community

Source: bikeleague.org

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

Clarke will explain how to make your community more bicycle-friendly 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.

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. Click here for more information and to register for this free workshop.

KRMG Confuses ‘Walkability’ With Trails, Riles Up Listeners

December 9, 2011 in Bicycling, Walking

TULSA – Two tweets from Bike Walk Tulsa spawned two news stories about biking and walking on Tulsa radio station KRMG Wednesday and Thursday. The stories, unfortunately, were filled with misspellings (their specialty is talking into a microphone) and factual inaccuracies that generated tweets, status updates and comments, oh my!

Joe Kelley

Joe Kelley, News Director and host of The KRMG Morning News (photo: KRMG)

It all started on Tuesday when KRMG’s news director and morning show host, Joe Kelley (@talkradiojoe), tweeted

“I’m FIRST today in the school pickup line for the kids!

This must have been how Neil Armstrong felt.

#booyah

In a nudging effort to get Kelley to explain the obstacles that prevent his and other Tulsa-area children from biking and walking to school, Bike Walk Tulsa (@bikewalktulsa) responded by tweeting,

“Y not let em bike or walk?”

Bike Walk Tulsa expected standard responses like “too dangerous to have my kids cross a busy street”, “no sidewalks” or “cul de sacs and dead ends mean the kids would have to walk/bike along busy streets to get there” – you know, common suburban problems. Instead, @talkradiojoe responded with,

“It’s 9 miles away. And they’re 5.”

Apparently, Kelley has his kids in private school or some kind of magnet school because most public elementary school kids don’t have a nine mile commute.  Although it wasn’t quite the expected answer, @bikewalktulsa responded anyhow by telling Kelley about the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program,

“If school is ever closer, check out Safe Routes to School bit.lysqy9En good day!”

The link in the tweet takes you to a Bike Walk Tulsa story on SRTS that contains an embedded video about the program’s work in Tulsa.

Trails Alone Don’t Make A City ‘Walkable’

In the Tuesday edition of ‘Word on the Street’, Bike Walk Tulsa included a link to a story about Tulsa earning the ranking of seventh most artery-clogging city in the U.S. The story attributes Tulsa’s ranking to its “low walkability.”

“According to Walk Score, an organization which promotes pedestrian-friendly communities, only 6% of Tulsa residents live in a neighborhood with a walk score of 70 or above (100 being best) and 57% live in entirely car-dependent locales.”

The difference between a walkable neighborhood and a sprawling neighborhood.

Source: WalkScore.com

A quick and easy search of the Walk Score website finds that a walkable neighborhood is one where schools and workplaces are close enough that most residents can walk from their homes, affordable housing is located near businesses, buildings are close to the street with parking lots in the rear, streets are designed with pedestrians in mind, there are plenty of public places to gather and play, and there are enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.

Fast forward to Wednesday night – after checking out Bike Walk Tulsa’s site and seeing the artery-clogging article, KRMG gets a little creative (i.e. makes stuff up) by posting a story on its website with the headline:

Claim: Tulsa is 7th Most Artery-Clogging City Due to Lack of Trails

Lack of trails? Nevermind the article that prompted KRMG’s story did not even contain the word ‘trail’. Evidently, Joe Kelley and his news staff didn’t do enough fact-checking to gain an understanding of what makes up a walkable city. According to KRMG, if you can get into your car and drive a few miles to River Parks or LaFortune Park, Tulsa must be very walkable. Then, in an admirable effort to help combat Oklahoma’s obesity epidemic, KRMG reveals the mind-blowing secret that if you just park your car a little further away from Walmart, your obesity problems will disappear.

“…we can all do more to keep ourselves healthy by making small adjustments to our lifestyle.

For example, park on the far side of the parking lot rather than as close to the door as you can get.”

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