Word on the Street: 4/16/12

April 16, 2012 in Word On The Street

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

  • Tulsa Shopping for New Parking Meter System
    City officials will issue a request for proposals in May to have private companies supply new infrastructure, operations and maintenance for Tulsa’s broken parking meter system.
  • Summit Seeks Tulsa Area Residents’ Ideas for Regional Improvements
    Modeling the successful Vision 2025 process, regional residents are invited to participate in the enVision Summit, a free three-hour forum intended to gather public input on how to best improve the region.
  • Claremore Juvenile Killed Crossing Railroad Tracks
    Claremore Police say the incident happened just before 9:30 p.m. at a crossing at 7th and Missouri. Police are not releasing the juvenile’s name or age other than to say the victim was a boy.
  • Wall Street Journal: American’s Don’t Want to Live in Ray Lahood’s Car-Free Utopia
    The Journal ignores induced demand and calls for more highways to solve congestion.
  • GOP Turns Focus on Gas Prices
    Starting this week, the House GOP will try to push a temporary highway funding bill that includes mandatory approval of construction of the Keystone energy pipeline, setting up a negotiation showdown with the Senate.
  • About 100,000 Cyclists and Pedestrians Participate in Ciclavia
    This was Los Angeles’ fourth CicLAvia, which shut down numerous streets to traffic from East Los Angeles to East Hollywood and turned them into one big bike lane. The first event was held in 2010. The event is intended to inspire people to get out of their cars, explore the city and burn a few calories at the same time.
  • Walking in America Series Part IV: How American Can Start Walking Again
    “If you have fewer lanes, tighter curb returns, lower speeds, then it works for pedestrians.” Shorter blocks are key too. “We don’t build enough streets,” Lagerway says. Rather, we have superblocks. “The visual messaging is go fast. The blocks are really long, you pick up speed between them. The town may not allow street parking, which gives it a wider feel. They haven’t put in street trees because they put a sidewalk where the trees should go. The houses are set way back.”
  • More Bike Lanes = More Cyclists, Regardless of Weather
    Studying bike lanes in 90 or the 100 largest American cities, Pucher and collaborater Ralph Buehl used Pearson’s correlation, bivariate quartile analysis, and two different types of regressions to measure the relationship between more and longer bike lanes and quantity of cyclists.
  • Bike Share is Coming to Los Angeles
    Unlike systems in many other cities, L.A.’s bike sharing system will be implemented, operated and funded by a private company. It’ll be the largest privately funded bike sharing system in the country, according to Navin Narang, founder of Bike Nation, the L.A.-based company that will be running the system.
  • Seeking Pedestrian Advocates in LA, Where People Actually Do Walk
    “Everybody’s a pedestrian,” says Deborah Murphy. It might seem like semantics, but the clarification is important, says Murphy, an urban designer and long-time pedestrian advocate in Los Angeles. By thinking about pedestrianism as a natural act rather than a specific interest, it become clear that the idea of making the city a better place for walking really does serve the interests of all.

Word on the Street: 4/10/12

April 10, 2012 in Word On The Street

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

  • Bill Nye the Science Guy: The City of the Future Will Be Built Around Bicycles
    Bill Nye the Science Guy envisions bicycle arterials all over the city, with showers in workplaces and lots of places to lock your bike securely. And in his dream world, those bike arterials would be covered by a roof to make the cycling experience independent of the weather. That might seem excessive and expensive, but do you know how expensive roads are? Bill does, and he thinks bikeways are a better investment.
  • Walking in America Series, Part I: The Crisis in American Walking
    America is a country that has forgotten how to walk. Witness, for example, the existence of “Everybody Walk!,” the “Campaign to Get America Walking” (one of a number of such initiatives). While its aims are entirely legitimate, its motives no doubt earnest, the idea that that we, this species that first hoisted itself into the world of bipedalism nearly 4 million years ago—for reasons that are still debated—should now need “walking tips,” have to make “walking plans” or use a “mobile app” to “discover” walking trails near us or build our “walking histories,” strikes me as a world-historical tragedy.
  • Evanston, IL Gears Up For Protected Bike Lane
    The new path physically separates bicyclists from motorists via lane separators. The path is also distinguished by a jade pavement coloring. The designated bicycle patch drew praise from the nonprofit Active Transportation Alliance, which applauded Evanston as a “leader in the Chicago region” for installing a protected bicycle lane.
  • Getting Stuck in Traffic On The Way to the Gym
    Tom Vanderbilt took to Twitter to see if people really do get stuck in traffic on the way to the gym to ride stationary bicycles.
  • Why Young Americans Are Driving So Much Less Than Their Parents
    Money doesn’t explain everything. Sixteen to 34-year-olds in households with incomes of more than $70,000 per year are increasingly choosing not to drive as well, according to the report. They have increased their use of public transit by 100 percent, biking by 122 percent, and walking by 37 percent.
  • Idaho Enacts Texting While Driving Ban
    Support for the ban increased after Clay and Shauna Sauer–parents of an 18-year-old daughter, Taylor, who died in a crash last January–appealed to Idaho legislators. At the time Taylor crashed into a truck, she had been texting every 15 seconds. Her final message: “I can’t discuss this now. Driving and facebooking is not safe! Haha.”
  • Why Generation Y is Causing the Great Migration of the 21st Century
    After 60 years, many commentators have announced that the American Dream is poised to make its next great shift — this time from the suburbs to the urban core of our cities.

Word on the Street: 4/9/12

April 9, 2012 in Word On The Street

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

  • enVision Summit to Focus on Future of Green Country
    enVision Summit is a collaboration between Tulsa County Commissioners and mayors from across northeastern Oklahoma. The summit provides an opportunity to discuss what Green Country residents want to see happen to the community in the future. Tell ‘em you want a community designed to encourage active transportation.
  • Street Cred Works to Revitalizes Red Fork
    Elly Blue’s Dinner & Bikes Tour is coming to Tulsa as part of Tulsa Young Professionals’ Street Cred event. For several weeks volunteers have been helping to clean up buildings and shops in the Red Fork area with hopes of revitalizing that community.
  • Why So Few Fatal Bike Crashes Lead to Arrests in NYC
    “We as a society have chosen to drive these big cars,” said Joe McCormack, an assistant District Attorney for the Bronx. It’s his job to prosecute traffic crimes. “And we also as a society have chosen not to criminalize every single small mistake that just has a dramatic consequence because you’re driving a car,” he said.
  • Does Your Neighborhood Make You Fat?
    For obesity, your zip code matters as much as your genetic code.
  • Indianapolis Adds 64 Miles of Bike Lanes
    As prime cycling weather takes hold — and as motorists grapple with what the sometimes-confusing markings and symbols all mean — now comes the test for the city’s newly expanded 64-mile network of on-street bikeways: Will bicyclists start using them?
  • Detroit’s Bicycle Boom
    A 2012 report by the Alliance for Biking & Walking found the number of bicycle commuters in Detroit rose 258 percent over the last two decades.
  • We Don’t Need New Roads
    America’s love affair with cars is finally waning. Investing in more highways is bad policy.

Word on the Street: 4/6/12

April 6, 2012 in Word On The Street

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

  • Report: Young Americans Are Dumping Cars for Bikes, Buses
    Federal and local governments have historically made massive investments in new highway capacity on the assumption that driving will continue to increase at a rapid and steady pace. The changing transportation preferences of young people — and Americans overall — throw those assumptions into doubt.
  • America’s Romance with Sprawl May Be Over
    Population growth in fringe counties nearly screeched to a halt in the year that ended July 1, 2011. By comparison, counties at the core of metro areas are growing faster than the nation as a whole.
  • How Bicyclists and an Open Street Festival Made L.A. a Better Place
    They said it would never work here. This wasn’t San Francisco, this wasn’t New York, and this was most certainly not Portland. This was Los Angeles, where the car is king. To close seven miles of streets — and for what? To the city bureaucracy, it sounded like madness.
  • Bicyclists at Center of Bitter Debate Over Bike Lanes
    Yesterday, NPR’s Talk of the Nation discussed the idea that the toughest obstacle to bike lanes is the reputation of the cyclists themselves, who are often seen as rude and dismissive of the rules of the road.

Word on the Street: 4/5/12

April 5, 2012 in Word On The Street

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

  • Pearl District Form-Based Code Expansion Proposed
    It aims to make the Pearl District more urban, pedestrian friendly, and include mixed-use developments. But some worry this code will change the look of all 700 properties in the area.
  • Huge Crowd Packs Pearl District Form-Based Code Hearing
    In general, the form-based code encourages the development of dense, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods and discourages the use of automobiles. Existing structures would be grandfathered in, but remodeling or future building could be subject to the new rules.
  • Urban Tulsa Cover Story: Waiting for Disaster
    According to the National Transportation and Safety Board, one in five licensed drivers will be 65 and older by 2025, with that part of the population in Oklahoma rising by about 20 percent. Cities like Tulsa are engineered around the automobile, which means the elderly lose their independence when they lose their license.
  • AAA Survey Reveals Aging Drivers’ Concerns
    90% surveyed said being forced to surrender their license would pose a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem.
  • Bikes Belong Selects Six Cities to Fast Track Protected Bike Lanes
    Austin, Chicago, Memphis, Portland, San Francisco and Washington D.C. will receive a leg up from Bikes Belong’s new “Green Lane Project.” The two-year, intensive technical assistance program is intended to help these cities develop protected on-street bike lanes and make this type of bike infrastructure a mainstream street design in the U.S.
  • How Local Transportation Decisions Can Put Public Health Front and Center
    Transportation projects often have profound consequences for public health, whether negative (in the case of fossil fuel-burning highway expansions) or positive (in the case of calorie-burning bike-friendly, walkable streets). So why don’t cities and states always consider health impacts when evaluating a transportation project or policy?
  • Nine Reasons Why You SHOULDN’T Bike to Work
    Next month is Bike to Work month. Here are some reasons to justify your lack of participation.
  • Providing Bikes and Cars Their Own Space Proves Popular
    It is only when cycling doesn’t feel like an extreme sport that it can become so popular as it is in the Netherlands.
  • Encouraging Biking, Walking in Large U.S. Metro Areas
    When home, work, school and shopping are in closer proximity, travel is easier. What can cities do to help get people out of their cars and onto their feet?

Word on the Street: 4/3/12

April 3, 2012 in Word On The Street

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

  • Tulsa Cyclist Ticketed for Riding in the Street
    Tulsa Police Officer Wyett Poth initiated a traffic stop last week after seeing Brian Potter riding in the center of the right lane on 15th Street.
  • Midland Valley Trail Project Under Way
    The trail, maintained by the city’s Park and Recreation Department, is being widened and paved with concrete instead of asphalt, said city spokesman Bob Bledsoe. New lighting also is being added, and a new pedestrian crossing signal will be installed where the trail crosses 21st Street just east of Boston Avenue, he said.
  • TMAPC to Consider Expansion of Pedestrian-Friendly Form-Based Code in Pearl District
    Generally speaking, the form-based code encourages the development of dense, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods and discourages the use of automobiles. Wednesday’s public hearing is sure to be contentious, with some business owners having already voiced their opposition to the new code.
  • Family of Killed ODOT Worker Present at Accused Teen’s Hearing
    The group of 25 attended the court appearance of Deven Wayne Franklin, 19, who is charged with first-degree manslaughter and possession of marijuana and paraphernalia in relation to the death of Ira Henderson, 42, of Bartlesville.
  • Congress Fails on Infrastructure. Again.
    On Friday, President Obama signed the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012. Odds are you didn’t hear about it. There wasn’t a signing ceremony in the Rose Garden, and no one on the Hill rushed to the cameras to take the credit. The White House’s statement was less than 50 words, and neither John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or Mitch McConnell even issued a press release. And for good reason: Each and every one of them is ashamed of this bill.
  • Advocates See Little Hope in Pre-Election Long-Term Transportation Bill
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive director of transportation and infrastructure Janet Kavinoky said the 90-day extension could lead to a longer agreement, but only if lawmakers get right back to work after the two-week recess.
  • More States Privatizing Their Infrastructure. Are They Making a Mistake?
    A road that’s privately owned for 75 years has the potential to conflict with other public-policy goals. For instance, as a recent GAO report found, four of the five privately-funded toll road projects in the last 15 years included non-compete clauses that prevented the government from building nearby roads.
  • Photos From the National Bike Summit
    The 2012 National Bike Summit was an inspiring whirlwind of speakers, workshops, networking and, of course, meetings with elected officials on Capitol Hill. Luckily, photographer Chris Eichler was there to capture it all.
  • The Race to Support Advocacy
    When cyclecross racing superstar Tim Johnson rode 538 miles from Boston, MA, to Washington, DC, in time for the kick off of the National Bike Summit, he wasn’t just pumping his legs; he was pumping up the racing community to become more involved in advocacy. It appears to be working.

Word on the Street: 3/30/12

March 30, 2012 in Word On The Street

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

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.

Word on the Street: 3/27/12

March 27, 2012 in Word On The Street

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

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.