* * * Welcome to News and Views Weekly Blog bicycle like a husband* * *

The bicycle is like a husband. When it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community.~Ann Strong

Send us your comments, photos or articles so we can share them. This is YOUR blog. You are the community voice of bicycle advocacy. CABA is a 501-(c)-3 corporation.  Annual memberships are tax-deductible

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34 Responses to * * * Welcome to News and Views Weekly Blog bicycle like a husband* * *

  1. Pamela Murray says:

    Great news about the Recylery grant for the mural. Along the same lines the greenway that runs from Cordelia Park to 12th near Seigle Point is complete. The greenway planner is coordinating a mural to be done under the train trestle near Myers using formerly homeless artists. I’ve volunteered to provide public input and will keep you up to date. These artists may be helpful to the Recyclery project. I also want more people to use this greenway to make it safer for everyone. I felt uncomfortable as a single woman since there are not alot of entrance egress points in some parts. The solution is more use. I saw Seigle Ave as a suggested route but went down it today to discover it’s being worked on and traffic is down to one lane.

  2. Martin Zimmerman, Exec Director CABA says:

    Pamela

    Thanks for the report. The solution is also emergency call boxes (if they can afford them) and that you carry your cell with you and buy a can of mace (costs about $20). – mz

  3. Jonathan Harding says:

    There are some excellent CABA and bicycling references in the local media this past week. There was a very good article on “sharing the road” in the observer on Friday: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/279/story/927738.html . Also, The news aggregation site MSNBC.com picked up a story which originally appeared on WCNC.com on CABA’s new initiative to track bicyling accidents: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32710544 .

  4. Nicole says:

    Here is an interesting article about a boy who was banned from riding his bike to school. I hope that CMS never decides to implement a policy like this. I believe that the work of this group would prevent that from ever happening
    http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=847190

    • martinzimmerman8 says:

      Some responses Nicole:

      1 CMS has already banned kids on bikes in effect but in a defacto manner rather than by official policy. This is a serious national probelm and not just a Union County of CMS problem

      2 Contact Dick Winters whose job it is to get tons of kids on bikes going to school. Scroll down our news and views page for his contact info.

      3 Is there anything YOU can do to help the cause ?

      – martin zimmerman / CABA

      • Nicole says:

        Wow – I didn’t realize CMS had in effect banned biking and that this was an issue here. My kids attend Eastover and tons of kids ride their bikes. I’m certainly willing to help if this is a local issue.

    • Pamela Murray says:

      Would you as a parent support a ride/walk to school day at Eastover? Would you have a contact such as a PTA representative, SLT rep or staff memboer who could help plan and coordinate an effort? Members of CABA could share the “Bikes Belong” presentation and connect you with the Safe Routes to School coordinator.

  5. Andrew Israel says:

    Martin:

    I want to first of all thank you and your organization
    for the hosting the event at the Dowd YMCA last night.
    I thought the format was really good. I think
    you scored some excellent P.R. points by having
    a forum that was positive and respectful in tone.

    From my perspective bicycle advocacy is an issue
    which seems kind of trivial in the eyes of
    those who subsribe to the urban sprawl-SUV paradigm. I think Anthony Foxx hit the nail on the head
    when he said that this issue is the policies we enact
    in the area of land use.

    I was dispppointed to hear Mr. Lassiter point the
    negative aspects of closing streets for persons
    who are particiapting in the annual 5k run that
    occurs in Uptown during Christmas. First of all
    these type of events are held early in the morning
    on a weeekends. By coordinating
    these closures with police, and staggering
    the street impacts in a strategic way these
    events can be done in with the objective of creating a win-win for citizens who are running enthusiasts
    and business owners who feel slighted by the street clousures. I realize that there is an impact on business owners but a city like New York
    Marathon on 3-4 different bridges and go through
    5 boroughs, I think Chalotte can withstand the impact
    of streets being closed for a few hours during the
    Christmas Holiday season.

    Bottom line we need to the elect the person who
    will be willing to see that there are ways to
    achieve a win-win for those who wish to expand
    the role of the bicycle as a mode of transport,
    and those who see cyclists as being a traffic
    nuisance.

    I will be joining CABA and look forwarding to
    participating at a future event.

    “2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad”

    Andrew Israel

  6. Will anyone from CABA be attending the League of American Bicyclists National Bike Summit 2010 March 9-11, 2010 in Washington, D.C?

  7. martinzimmerman8 says:

    I don’t know which post you are referencing in this comment, Jonathan.
    -mz

      • martinzimmerman8 says:

        My sense is that the White House has put this announcement out before the rules come to play to test the political winds. Under current rules 40 Metro areas don’t comply; imagine – what that would mean if the new rules are enacted – mz

      • I’m sorry I wasn’t more clear on my opinion, as I assumed you shared it (and could read my mind). According to the NYT article, the new rules will be up for review and comment until August. If enacted they will be phased in between 2014 and 2031 depending on how dirty the air is in a given region.

        I believe air quality is a major threat to the bicycling minority in Charlotte. Charlotte has consistently ranked in the top 10 metro areas in the country regarding asthma rates, and last year has creeped up to number 5 on the list. It is also a known phenomena for previously healthy, but very active adults to develop lung diseases including asthma because of the regional air quality, and this sad phenomena is most common in the Southeast. Here is an article titled Gasping for Air in the magazine “Blue Ridge Outdoors”, which discusses the problem faced by active adults in the our state: http://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/issue/gasping-for-air/ .

        Active transportation including bicycling can be part of the solution to this problem in Charlotte, but it must be a coordinated effort because of the required political capital. It’s our responsibility to enlighten the general public to this potential solution to the air quality problem in Charlotte. Why not make mention of bicycling as a way to confront the air quality problems in Charlotte either as a submitted Op-Ed to the Observer, on the Blog, on the CABA facebook page, or all three?

      • martinzimmerman8 says:

        Good ideas Jonathan ! What CABA can do quickly is add the Carolina Clean Air Coalition logo to the News and Views page and reference your concern in next week’s posts.

        – mz / CABA

  8. Pamela Murray says:

    http://nacto.org/citiesforcycling.html

    If Charlotte has a plan to get to Silver, we should join and support this organization.

    • martinzimmerman8 says:

      CABA can pass this onto the CDOT staff since this organization is really about government and not so much about grass roots advocacy.

    • I very much agree. Although LAB ratings may not be a silver bullet for creating bicycle friendly cities, it’s certainly a great goal to work towards.

      Is there any organization in Charlotte which has the specific goal of making Charlotte a LAB Silver city?

      • martinzimmerman8 says:

        Regarding the LAB Bike Friendly City awards, Ken Tippette, City Bike Manager is the source. I could comment about to what extent either CDOT or LAB did adequate homework in the process of receiving the Bronze a few years ago, but that is outside the scope of this blog. I am very familiar with that process including a personal meeting I undertook with LAB staff in D.C. the results of which were helpful to KT and staff.

        The bottom line from what I have witnessed is that the awards program has been successful from a p.r.standpoint but not particularly productive from a substantive standpoint. – mz / CABA

  9. andrew israel says:

    http://cyclinginfo.co.uk/blog/cycling/best-of-cycling-info-2008/

    I found this great BLOG in England. Its full
    of really great photos and packed with interesting
    wiki type articles. On the same page as the link above Check out the picture of 6 guys
    riding brompton foldables in suit jackets and bike shorts. LOL

    Jonathan, I could not agree with your comments
    more. I have a daugther who is very prone to
    pulmonary ailments. I suspece the air quality in
    Charlotte is a contributing factor.

    You can count me in to do my part to help
    enlighten the citizens of our fair city, how
    our auto dependency is takes a severe toll of
    public health.

    “2 WHEELS GOOD 4 WHEELS BAD”

    “Don’t buy upgrades; ride up grades.”
    – Eddy Merckx

  10. I noticed a mention of an interesting initiative called “cities for cycling”, which is being sponsored by the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Their goal is to promote and implement the world’s best bicycle transportation practices in American municipalities. Unfortunately, Charlotte is not in the list of participating cities.

    More information from the site (http://www.nacto.org/citiesforcycling.html):

    Bicycling is good for cities. Providing safe, comfortable, convenient bicycling facilities is a cost-effective way for American municipalities to improve mobility, livability and public health while reducing traffic congestion and CO2 emissions.

    Cities for Cycling focuses on implementing world-class bicycle transportation systems through design innovation and the sharing of best practices. American municipalities are increasingly pioneering new designs and adapting international best practices to local conditions. To assist this local-level leadership, the Cities for Cycling project works to share and promote state-of-the-art practices that ensure safe traffic conditions for all modes of travel.

    Cities for Cycling is pleased to present a sampling of Design Resources for Urban Bicycle Transportation that have been developed by and for leading bicycling cities.

    More detailed Emerging Best Practices Sheets highlight a few of the engineering techniques being deployed by NACTO members to make bicycling safer, more comfortable and more convenient. The dissemination and fine-tuning of these designs will prove to be key elements in unleashing the potential of American cities to achieve world-class levels of bicycling.

    Emerging Best Practices Sheets

    * Bike Boxes
    * Bicycle Preferred Streets
    * Bike Signals
    * Buffered Bike Lanes
    * Colorized Pavement
    * Contra-flow Bike Lanes
    * Cycle Tracks
    * Shared Roadway Markings

  11. andrew israel says:

    http://taylorbicycles.com/taylorblast3.jpg.
    I saw this website this morning and it made
    me think it would be great to adopt a similar
    tag line.

    Charlotte’s Universal Health Care Plan:
    “Ride a bicycle more often.”

    Andrew

    PS.
    Also not a bad deal custom made American bicycle frame
    for $1300.00.

  12. I was very impressed with the the planning meeting held Sat, Feb 8th. I have been a part of a lot of groups in Charlotte over the years and I know how much work you have done to get to this point. I visited Amsterdam a couple of years ago and loved it. And cyclists have the first right of way, then pedestrians THEN cars. And the culture was healthy and very well you know, european. But it was exciting to see everyone walking around. Although I don’t know how they make a trip to Home Depot:)

    Anyway, I’m very excited to be a part of the group and will help anyway I can. I offered to help with logo, apparel and other needs for the marketing committee that Weldon is running. It’s what I do everyday so I’m here when you guys need me.

  13. Kent Snelson says:

    I am happy to see some of the positive work going on for Bike advocacy in our area. I live just outside of the beltway and just inside Union County. Our roads are narrow and Union does not have the same sidewalk rules as Meck, so it makes for harrowing rides to less experienced people. I’m fine with it as I am used to it, but to get wider shoulders, bike lanes, etc in Union has been a challenge. I have made a couple half-hearted efforts in the past decade to get some attention on the issue but with no result. I’m made calls to council members with no return calls received. I Emailed the transportation department and did get a response, but it was to email another fellow who in turn did not respond to me emails.

    Its sad. We have such beautiful areas to bike, but so little comfort in our safety.

    • martinzimmerman8 says:

      I wish we had a greater presence in Union County. Thanks for your persistence and please keep CABA posted.

      martin zimmerman/ Exec Director

  14. Google maps for bicycling has arrived. It works in Charlotte, but I don’t know that I agree with the routes it is recommending for me. The computer logic used to select a bicycle route needs to be much more complex that what one would use for traveling by car. For example, I would go 10-25% out of my way to avoid traffic and stick with secondary roads.

    • martinzimmerman8 says:

      Jonathan

      I haven’t had a chance to look at the site in detail yet, but at the LAB conference presentation they showed (I think it was the lower right corner of a typical webpage) where anyone could suggest changes.

      mz / CABA

  15. Richard Kent Snelson says:

    My wife and I have been riding the greenways on weekends and as a long time rider, having ridden in groups and on teams, I know and have taught her the value of calling out to pedestrians and other riders. Not once has this same courtesy been done for us. I live in Chicago suburbs during the week for work and trails around here have signs instructing riders to call out and I see more of it, though still low. I think our mixed-use trails and greenways in Charlotte need more signage as well as rider awareness. Who can we contact about the signage? Also, is CABA doing rider community education on how bad rider behavior hurts our causes?

    REPLY: We not yet have the volunteer base and $$ grants to do comm educ unfortunately.

    these are the contacts.please mention CABA. I know these people very well. Julie Clark ; GWEN COOK Julie Clark

    Thx for your interest. I also encourage you to join CABA at the reduced rate of $15 and support the cause of bicycling in our community. Deadline is this Saturday.

    martin zimmerman Exec Director.

    • martinzimmerman8 says:

      REPLY to Richard Kent Snelson May 11 2010: We not yet have the volunteer base and $$ grants to do comm educ unfortunately.

      these are the contacts.please mention CABA. I know these people very well. Julie Clark ; GWEN COOK Julie Clark

      Thx for your interest. I also encourage you to join CABA at the reduced rate of $15 and support the cause of bicycling in our community. Deadline is this Saturday.

      martin zimmerman Exec Director.

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