Friday, October 31, 2014

Cazbike 2014 Annual Meeting Wrap-up

The Coalition held its annual member's meeting Saturday 10/18/2014. Thanks to all who came out to hear what we've all been up to. For a look forward to 2015 please see Striving for Significant Advocacy Milestones in 2015

Changes to Board and advisory positions are detailed below -- the updated positions are listed at cazbike.org/Contact.htm

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MEETING MINUTES

The meeting was called to order by president, Bob Beane, at 1:00 pm. Having made introductions during the preceding lunch/meet-and-greet period, the board was recognized by raising hands. The agenda for the meeting was then reviewed.
Joe Perez, City of Phoenix, was not present due to schedule conflict, but hoped to arrive before the meeting concluded. As such, regional/community CAzB advocate discussions were moved to into this agenda slot.
  • Glendale (presented by Gail Hildebrant) – Gail reported on the initiative to prepare a short bicycle-related law enforcement training course for the Glendale Police Department. As a foundation, a similar course outline from Cary, NC, was used with permission of the creators of that course. CAzB board and advisors reviewing/editing the material included Gail, Eric Post, Ed Beighe, Radar and Sharon Matt and Bob Beane. Gail’s presentation of the draft course materials was very well received by reviewers from Glendale PD. Instructor voice over will be provided by Glendale PD using agreed instructor text. Reviewers suggested the possibility of a second module in the near future, due to the amount of content not able to be included in the initial 15 minute course. The intention of the CAzB is to offer the same course content to all law enforcement agencies throughout the state in an effort to reach common understanding of Arizona Laws and related safe bicycling practices between bicyclists and law enforcement.
  • Yuma (presented by Gene Dalbey) – Gene reported that he has had a number of successful contacts and meetings with Yuma County officials, the Mayor of Yuma and other city officials. The emphasis of his discussions has been bicycle safety. He has also taken the approach of “It’s about Yuma”, which can have tourism, economic impact and health aspect. One local perception is that there are some road cyclists exhibiting bad bicycle behavior. Gene put together a 100K major bicycling event for the Yuma Centennial, and is trying to follow that with at least one recreational ride per month. Gene noted that Yuma has a very high unemployment rate, and that a number of people ride bikes because they don’t own or can’t afford to operate a car. Gene is working on forming a Yuma Regional Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and is working on some signature events such as a closed-course ride on the General Motors test track that could draw participants from all over AZ and outside the state.
  • Tucson (presented by Wayne Cullop) – Wayne reported that one of the main issues in Tucson are the trolley tracks near the University of Arizona. The Living Streets Alliance is compiling information on the numerous crashes related to those tracks. Regarding Tucson bicycling infrastructure, “The Loop” is a large loop route, mostly pathway, that is substantially completed but with a few remaining sections and challenges to be addressed. One issue on The Loop is the speed of some bicyclists, as the paths are shared with pedestrians and slower riders. Bob Beane noted that similar infrastructure in the SF Bay area has a 15 mph speed limit. Wayne also reported that GABA-Tucson is running a Bike Ambassador program that includes “Bicycling 101” education classes, bike maintenance classes, bike repair events, Cyclovia and Perimeter Bicycling bike patrol. There is a bike repair program available for Boys/Girls Clubs, grade schools, etc. Wayne also reported that the bicyclist diversion program is working well and is full (bicyclists cited for traffic violations may avoid driver’s license points by attending this educational program). Car/bicycle crash data in Tucson continues to be “scrubbed” in order to have the most accurate causal data possible.


Michael Sanders, ADOT Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator, discussed priority topics related to ADOT and the Federal Highway Administration, as relates to bicyclists. ADOT’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan has been signed by Governor Jan Brewer. This plan includes as a priority non-motorized roadway users. As a result, some bicycle-related safety project could be funded by the FHWA (note: opportunity for advocates to identify and push important safety-related projects…can we include driver and bicyclist education in projects for funding?). FHWA also the following focus areas for AZ: (1) Pedestrians, (2) Intersections, (3) Roadway/lane departure crashes (note: rumble strips are the instinctive/preferred roadway engineer solution to this, which is generally not good for bicyclists’ available riding space and safety). How can bicyclists have a voice and make a difference? Get to know your ADOT District Engineer, and attend State Transportation Board meetings (held around the state…check their calendar).
Anthony Quintile, Flagstaff Biking Organization (and General Manager of Absolute Bikes, Flagstaff) discussed the bicycling environment in Flagstaff. IMBA has made a grant for a bike park in Flagstaff. Flagstaff has a trail network and trail user events, generally weekly. FBO conducts both MTB and road cycling advocacy, organizes a Bike to School day (900 students this year), helps promote Bike to Work Week (this year, 13th annual, 1500 participants logged in), Mega Bike Rodeo (160 kids this year, 35 business sponsors). Flagstaff (City and County) has a texting and driving ban and bond issue on the ballot for roadway improvements that would benefit bicyclists. A recent ADOT pavement preservation project between Flagstaff and Snowbowl resulted in rideable paved shoulder the whole route. FBO has worked with Navajo school to change policy to allow bikes at dorms, and has an ongoing communication with Sheriff’s department to address a few issues that have come up with bicyclists (in particular, on Lake Mary Road). A number of lanes on streets have had sharrows added, and some green bike lanes are now in place.
Bob Beane presented a brief list of CAzB accomplishments and reviewed a list of upcoming known opportunities for 2015, including:
  • POST training material review (in progress)
  • Glendale PD training class course content (in progress)
  • US Bicycle Route – Help insure bicycling community involvement
  • AZ Tourism – Content for web site
  • ADOT bicycle-relate program participation (ongoing)
  • Growing CAzB membership and volunteer base
A discussion of CAzB’s role in AZ followed, which has historically been focused on education, non-lobbying advocacy, connecting and supporting local/regional advocates, outreach and participation in community/state organizations as a representative of the bicycling community.
Suggestions from attendees included:
  • Wayne Cullop – Organize an annual meeting of all AZ advocates and a follow-up day visiting state representatives.
  • Spencer Scharff – Web site upgrade.
Board Elections – added to the board by unanimous vote of members attending were:
  • Sharon Matt
  • Spencer Scharff

Two donations of $1,000 each were approved to We-Cycle; and The Yuma Mission's bike program. (more on this later).

The meeting was adjourned at 4:10 pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Robert A. Beane

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists Striving for Significant Advocacy Milestones in 2015

CAzBike pres.
Bob Beane
Bob is the Coalition's President. 

The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists began in 1991 with a dream of developing an effective statewide bicycling advocacy organization/network in Arizona. When we consider that meant developing a functioning team across geography the size of New England, with 45% of New England’s population, this was no small task. Early on, the founders expanded the group to include members from metro-Phoenix and metro-Tucson. In more recent years, the CAzB built a leadership team that included advocates from Kingman and the Verde Valley. In 2014, the group expanded further to add board and advisory board members from Yuma and Flagstaff, and we have assisted and/or worked with advocates in Sierra Vista, Green Valley, Prescott and Casa Grande.

As we continue to broaden and strengthen the team, we are finding more ways to make a difference for bicyclists in Arizona. Here are a few examples of programs in progress or on the docket for 2015:
  • We have been given an opportunity to review and comment on AZ’s bicycle-related standardized training outline for law enforcement officers (POST training). Our interest is in trying to get bicyclists and law enforcement officers closer to a common understanding of bicycle-related laws in Arizona, and to become a resource for law enforcement in that area..
  • Complementing the above, we have been invited to draft content for a short (15 minute) on-line police officer training course, bicycling related, for the City of Glendale PD. The reaction to the material has been extremely positive (of course, we provided much too much content), to the extent that the reviewers are suggesting that a second module be done to include more of the material.
  • The US Bicycle Route system is taking shape across the country, and we are being asked to help foster bicycle community involvement and comment on proposed route segments in Arizona.
  • After a presentation by Michael Sanders, ADOT Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator, that touched on Federal Highway Administration priorities, we want to alert the bicycling community to the potential for rumble strip issues in our future. FHWA is increasingly concerned about lane departure vehicle crashes, for which the top perceived remedy is rumble strips. Location, design and frequency of using rumble strips are all on the table. We want to publicize this and make sure our advocates keep a watchful eye for this issue in 2015.
  • Helping AZ Tourism promote bicycle-related tourism is another opportunity for us in 2015. We believe that AZ Tourism needs web site content (great ride descriptions, photos, video, etc.), and there has been initial feedback that we can work with them to accomplish this.
Other projects on the horizon include continued involvement in the ADOT bicycle-related safety plan and ongoing programs where bicyclist input is needed. Also, at least three new bicycle parks are being built between 2014-2015 (Mesa, Sedona and Flagstaff), and the Maricopa Association of Governments is in the design stage of a project to brand and sign the network of canal paths throughout metro-Phoenix. Great strides are being made in Yuma to revitalize bicycling there, including nearly monthly recreational events and a return of the North End Classic road race…Articles for IMBA and the LAB are planned to help promote these positive developments. There are “bicycle friendly” applications to review, infrastructure project rankings to do, and so much more.

So much is going on, and so many opportunities exist, that the CAzB leadership has come to the conclusion that we are primarily constrained by volunteer/member resources. That leads us to the final goal I’ll discuss for 2015: more resources. Please take a few minutes to visit our Facebook page (hopefully, you’ll “like” us while you are there) and our web site at www.cazbike.org. Also, please consider becoming a member and/or making a donation of time or financial assistance. We are a 501 c 3 non-profit organization. All of us are volunteers, and many work long hours for nothing more than the satisfaction of knowing that we are helping Arizona become a better, more safe place to ride a bicycle. Thanks for your time!

Bob Beane, President
Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Meet Spencer Scharff

The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists is pleased to announce that Spencer Scharff of Phoenix has joined the Coalition’s Board of Directors. Spencer has been a cyclist since he was very young and is looking forward to contributing to the Coalition's important mission.

Spencer received his bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law in 2010. After law school, he clerked for the Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He then practiced commercial and appellate litigation in the Los Angeles office of Paul Hastings LLP. This past year, he returned to Phoenix and the Ninth Circuit for an additional one-year clerkship with Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz. Following the end of his clerkship with Judge Hurwitz, he joined Thorpe Shwer P.C.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

CAzBike Membership ANNUAL Meeting: Sat Oct 18, 2014

When: Oct 18, 2014 Lunch 12-1PM, meeting 1-4PM
Where: Boulders on Broadway, Tempe
(Boulders is bike-friendly with indoor bike parking).

The Coalition will be springing for lunch and softdrinks (cash bar available)!

All members are cordially invited and encouraged to attend. The meeting is open to the public.
For space planning purposes, please drop us a line if you can attend, or you can respond to the facebook event.

Want to get involved? Check out are-you-new-face-of-bicycling-in-arizona for more info...

TENTATIVE Meeting Agenda:
  • 12:00-1:00 Meal and informal introductions/discussions 
  • 1:00 (Sharp) Review of Agenda, Housekeeping, formal introductions of CAzB Board/Advisory staff
  • 1:15 Joe Perez, City of Phoenix
  • 1:45 Michael Sanders, ADOT
  • 2:15 Anthony Quintile, FBO (Flagstaff, FBO’s perspective) 
  • 2:30 Some Community/Regional CAzB perspectives: Glendale (Gail), Tucson (Eric), Yuma (Gene), Flagstaff (Mark)
  • 3:00 Overview of CAzB recent role and accomplishments, Discussion of upcoming opportunities and future role 
  • 3:30 Elections, Appointments and required annual business 4:00 Adjourn (informal discussions may continue)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Meet Mark Aasmundstad

 Mark Aasmundstad At AZ Time 
Trial Championships, 2013
Introducing Mark Aasmundstad, Flagstaff Representative

Bicycling is a good way of spending time outside every day and it makes me feel so alive.  I like the rhythm, motion, intimacy and freedom of moving through landscapes on a bike.   Bicycling is an excellent way to meet great people, and helps me stay in touch with what is happening in my community.  Commuting by bike keeps me mindful of my health and it feels right to practice a cost effective, renewable, and sustainable way to get around.  Sometimes I ride on lunch breaks too to get the blood flowing, have a rolling chat with a friend, and to invigorate my senses and mind.  On the weekends I like to go for social rides and tour places that interest me.  Occasionally I’ll train for specific events to give myself a challenge and see how far discipline, practice and love can take me.   It’s amazing the places you can go on a bike, the people you can meet, and how a small commitment through a daily practice can provide a good base for overall health and for doing longer rides.

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.
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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.
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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