Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Triggering Traffic Signals

video detector; humantransport.org 
Triggering "demand" traffic signals by bicycles has been has been a problem for time immemorial... However it looks as though newer technology is creating the opportunity for more effective sensing. In general the best chance you have of triggering a demand signal is to pull up to the stop line in the center of the lane.

We've all been there -- a traffic light that won't change.

For what to do about the immediate problem, ADOT's Arizona Bicycling Street Smarts recommends waiting, or failing that, treating the signal as inoperative:
...If your bicycle doesn't trip the detector, you have to wait for a car to do it, or stop and wait until it is safe to go through the red light. Going through the red isn't against the law, because the light is inoperative (Arizona Revised Statutes 28-645).
-- retrieved from Chapter 9, When Traffic Lights Don't Turn
But in the longer view, it's important to get the situation remedied so that you and all bicyclists can avoid having the problem. The most common type of detector is still the inductive loop -- such loops can readily be adjusted to detect bicycles (even alloy ones; the exception is carbon-fiber *wheels* are not possible to detect with the loop). And cites are transitioning to more and more use video detection; which can also be adjusted.

The trick is to report and follow up with the jurisdiction who controls the signals. I recently had very pleasant experiences with both the City of Chandler (special thanks to Mike Mah), and the City of Tempe (special thanks to Christine Warren); by submitting requests to their streets departments. In both cases the results were prompt; and city personnel followed up with me to make sure the problem was corrected.
Brandon Forrey informed us that the City of Peoria now uses video at all new installations.

Below is a sample of how to contact a few cites -- most cities have something similar... Please share your experiences.
__________________________________________________

City of Chandler:  Contact Chandler Form at http://www.chandleraz.gov/forms/sr.aspx,  Please choose Streets & Transportation as the category. Or by phone: for Traffic issues, such as bike lanes, striping, signing, traffic signals and street lights, you can call (480) 782-3454. For Streets issues, such as pavement condition, sidewalks, street sweeping, wheelchair ramps, etc, you can call (480) 782-3499.

City of Tempewww.tempe.gov/311 (click "submit request") or smartphone app (android/ios) or call 480-350-4311 for non-emergency requests for service or information, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

City of Phoenix:  phoenix.gov/streets/neighborhood/maintenance/emstmnt/ or Problems also can be reported to Street Maintenance Division staff during normal business hours at (602) 262-6441

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Savvy Cyclist Safety Class offered in Flagstaff

Be a savvy cyclist for Bike-to-Work Week!
The Savvy Cyclist class will help any bicyclist understand the basics of on-street cycling, learn how to ride safely and legally, and bike with confidence in any traffic situation.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 5:00 to 6:30 pm
Flagstaff Medical Center
McGee Auditorium
1200 North Beaver Street

  • .. Learn to ride safely and legally 
  • .. Bike with confidence in any traffic situation 
  • .. Understand basic principles of on-street cycling 
  • .. Discover tips and tools for bicycle commuting 

Free of charge! And there will be a raffle for various bicycle safety gear after the class For more information, call 928 773 2080.
Thanks to FMC for sponsoring this Bike-to-Work Week event for the past 5 years

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

League Announces Spring 2014 Bicycle Friendly Communities

League Announces Spring 2014 Bicycle Friendly Communities

There have been no changes in Arizona communities;

Arizona communities currently enjoying BFC status are
  • Gold -- Tucson/East Pima Region, Scottsdale
  • Silver -- Tempe, and Flagstaff
  • Bronze -- Chandler, Cottenwood, Gilbert, Mesa and Sedona

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Arizona ranked 15th among Bicycle Friendly States

Kicking off National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists has released its latest ranking of Bicycle Friendly States. In the seventh annual assessment, Arizona ranked 15th nationally, slipping from 10th last year. Visit bikeleague.org/content/ranking to see how all the states ranked and individual states' report card with more details.

The Bicycle Friendly States ranking is based on a number of key indicators, including infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; education and encourage programs that promote cycling; and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride.

Despite ranking 15th; Arizona has the 4th highest percentage of population living in in Bicycle Friendly Communities; see here for more about cities and towns in Arizona that are ranked bicycle friendly.
...

So what makes a state bicycle friendly? The League of American Bicyclists summed it up in two pages:     Attributes Of A Bicycle Friendly State and at www.bikeleague.org/states

Monday, April 7, 2014

ReinventPHX Canals

Canal Photo courtesy of
Roadboy's Travels
There was a major series of articles in the Arizona Republic spotlighting potential upgrades to Phoenix's canal infrastructure:

Dubbed Reinvent PHX, the project includes plans to transform areas where the canal crosses rail lines, creating urban hubs that celebrate the iconic waterways. Residents who have commented on the planning effort have listed canal development and improvements as a top priority...
 Bob Jenson, an avid biker who lives near the canal, said the ride is so unpleasant that he's avoided it for years, instead taking surface streets or heading north to the more commuter-friendly and scenic Arizona Canal. But Jenson sees major potential if Phoenix moves forward with plans to create a series of highly visible, safe crossings along the Grand Canal.
"It could be taken all the way down from my house to Tempe," said Jenson, vice president of the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists. "One of our problems is we don't really have that much in the line of east-west connections" for bicyclists. Phoenix is studying areas where the Grand Canal crosses major streets, such as Seventh Avenue, Seventh Street and Indian School Road. The Street Transportation Department wants to turn the canal into a major corridor for bike riders and pedestrians to safely travel across the city.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Meet Eric Post

Eric Post
Eric is the Coalition's legal adviser. 

Eric generously supports the Coalition both with his legal expertise as well as financially. Eric is also a LCI (League Cycling Instructor) and is very active with the Tuscon-Pima County bicycling community.

Eric runs a law practice based in Tucson, with a focus area of representing cyclists who have been injured in collisions -- please visit his new site at ericpostlaw.com. The law Offices of Eric Post have been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a sliver-level bicycle friendly business (BFB).

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Capitol Hill visits: 2014 National Bike Summit

Last week CAZBike prez Bob Beane, along with Global Bikes co-owner Brandee Lepak, and PortaPedal's Al Capello attended LAB's 2014 National Bike Summit in Washington D.C...

AZ meetings on The Hill
Visited all 9 Representative offices and Senator Flake’s. We could not get an appointment in McCain’s office, but we will try to do that here in Phoenix within the next 7-14 days.

Of the 10 office visits, we had 5 actual meeting to discuss the bills. Nobody flat out turned us down, but nobody committed to either sponsor or vote for them, and all committed to presenting key points to their Senator/Representative.
Interestingly, we found out that Kyrsten Sinema is a triathlete and was actually at Brandee Lepak’s Global Bikes shop back here in AZ the week before our visit to kick-off an event. Here are the people we met and with whom we discussed the bills and bicyclist concerns anywhere from 5-20 minutes:
  1. Senator Jeff Flake’s Office – Michael Nelson, Legislative Correspondent. 
  2. Representative Matt Salmon’s Office –Lliam Norrison, Legislative Assistant
  3. Representative Kyrsten Sinema’s Office - Michael Brownlie, Legislative Director
  4. Representative David Schweikert’s Office – Beau Brunson, Legislative Director
  5. Representative Paul Gosar’s Office – Trevor Pearson, Legislative Aide
I believe that the consensus of the three of us who made these visits is that we have a lot of work to do in AZ aligning support from tourism, business and healthcare in order to make political gains. We believe that this, combined with more frequent visits to Congressional offices and, better yet, asking these folks to attend bicycling events (as honored guests) is how we will make progress toward more support for more favorable treatment in federal legislation and budgets.
We believe that the cities in Arizona are on board (we have 9 BFCs and two honorable mentions, which represent most of the largest communities in the state). It is the state legislature, federal representatives and ADOT that need more impetus to change. The Summit was helpful in prioritizing opportunities for our limited resources.

Monday, March 3 Sessions
Keynote Speakers – Phillip Darnton, Executive Director, Bicycle Association of Great Britain, and Andy Clarke, President, League of American Bicyclists

How to be successful in bicycling advocacy…
  • Focus programs
  • Work with the willing (rather than wasting energy on those who are not)
  • Talk to people who want to listen
Keys to success
  • Get a mayor (and city council or county supervisor) on board (most successes come from local leaders of change)
  • Continuity of effort and communication
  • Work on building resources: People, organizations, sources of funding, etc.
  • Emphasize route networks and connectivity (broken and incomplete routes/networks don’t encourage people to ride)
  • Have a long term strategy/plan/goal to provide a framework for shorter term projects and “asks” and to help maintain priority perspective
  • Train children to ride at ages 8-12. This is the critical time when persons incorporate bicycling into their lives…or not
  • Women need to feel safe bicycling…they determine whether children ride, or not, which affects the next generation’s view of bicycling
Tuesday, March 4 Sessions
Opening Plenary Mayor’s Perceptions on Bicycling: Benefits, Challenges and Opportunities

Panelists included Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Representative Albio Sires (D-NJ), Texas Senator Rodney Ellis and Pittsburgh Mayor, Bill Peduto

  • Mayors can be a major ally as they are highly motivated to have vibrant, economically successful communities
  • Developers are also interested…car parking lowers return on investment of real estate projects. Bike-in and walk-in retail is economically attractive
  • Advocate for “multi-modal” and “quality of life”…the “one less car” approach is a losing argument and doesn’t win supporters
  • We are facing a likely 30% cut in transportation funding over the next 10 years…it’s more important than ever to build alliances (other modes, health care organizations, retailers, community planners, developers, etc.)
  • The country needs a national bike strategy/policy framework…be a part of developing and supporting that
March 4, 9:30 am breakout sessions Rural State Success Stories
Improving bicycling in “Rural” states often requires different strategies and tactics than in more urban areas…
 Panelists: Dick Norford, Executive Director, Bicycle South Central Pennsylvania Shane Marshall, Deputy Director, Utah DOT Melinda Barnes, Executive Director, Bike Walk Montana Martin Shukert, RDG Planning and Design

  • Solicit community priorities and opinions, first, to see where support might come from. Then, look for projects that can tap into that support.
  • In smaller communities, identify key destinations first (library, community/retail center, schools) then explore connecting route options (e.g Hay Kansas Bicycle Master Plan)
  • Pick a project that is grant-eligible and pursue a specific goal (e.g. a trail-building grant from the Alliance for Biking and Walking for a Montana trail project to a local lake)
  • Engage local businesses and tourism officials in support for projects that will draw visitors and economic benefit (e.g. In Utah, this developed broad support for a DOT shift to an “active transportation” policy that supports bicycling infrastructure INCLUDING off-road paths in some areas)
  • Emphasize “quality of life” benefits that support tourism and property values
  • Work through others (e.g. engaged with a mountain bike group to connect with an effort to provide MTB access for inner city kids…this created support for bicycling and related infrastructure funding)


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Brandee Lepak attends 2014 National Bike Summit

Below is Brandee Lepak's reports from the 2014 National Bike Summit. Brandee is owner of Global Bikes, she attended along with Coalition president Bob Beane, and PortaPedal's Al Capello...

Thank you for allowing me to be one of the representatives for Arizona. The trip was amazing and I was very proud to be one of three attendees from our state. At the summit I attended two of the break out sessions and spoke at a third.

The first session was called Bike Advocacy as a Political Platform. The panel consisted of local level elected officials who used their bicycle advocacy to get elected and used their positions to change the conversation about transportation. By attending this session, I learned how important it is to involve our political leaders in our cycling community. A guy asked the question of Dave Cieslewicz, the former Mayor of Madison, WI, “How can we influence politicians to be on our side?” He answered frankly, “Get me money, get me votes and get me in front of people/potential voters.” I host several cycling related events throughout the year and could easily involve politicians in my events. This was an "Ah-Ha" moment for me and I realized how much easier it would be to encourage them to vote on the side of the cycling community if they were involved in the process the entire time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Report from 2014 National Bike Summit

Last week CAZBike prez Bob Beane, along with Global Bikes co-owner Brandee Lepak, and PortaPedal's Al Capello attended LAB's 2014 National Bike Summit in Washington D.C...

Report #1, Monday, March 3
Keynote Speakers – Phillip Darnton, Executive Director, Bicycle Association of Great Britain, and Andy Clarke, President, League of American Bicyclists