Monday, July 21, 2008

Consider Biking Newsletter

In an attempt to make up for the lack of news I've had about bicycling in Columbus recently with my job search taking precedence, I am posting Consider Biking's July newsletter for you (that I got in email - you can sign up for it too at the CB site).

This includes news about the plans for a bike boulevard on Milton Ave. in Clintonville, and the flap about the new youth helmet law (and the misreporting that went along with it by local media).
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Consider Biking Newsletter
July 2008
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Wow! 2008 has been a time of explosive growth for Consider Biking (formally known as COBAC) We'd like to thank you for signing up for our newsletter list at one of our events in May, or by virtue of registering on the Consider Biking website, or through past involvement with COBAC.

We hope you'll find the news of our challenges and accomplishments to be relevant and inspiring.

Have you Noticed?
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There are more bicycles on the road than ever! We are continually excited to hear stories of folks that consider biking instead of driving their cars. While we haven't been able to quantify the increases in cycling, a quick look up and down our arterial roads shows cyclists riding to & from work with their backpacks and baskets. Our neighborhoods seem to be bustling with more families and seniors riding for leisure and to accomplish simple errands. The multi-use trails are busier than ever. The one constant, is that all these cyclists look happy!

When we're on the road, we find out that many of these cyclists have just started this behavior in the last few months. So, lets keep suggesting that people "consider biking" and find the joy of a simple bike ride!

Did you know that 85% of all (automotive) trips are 5 miles or less? And 42% of trips are 2 miles or less? Lets keep encouraging our friends and family, and demonstrate that these distances are easily achievable by bike.

Our website forums, are a wealth of information for anyone interested in bicycling. Please join the discussions.

A Tale of Two Laws - Children's Helmets & Bicycle Traffic Code
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Columbus City Council passed legislation last week to require all children under the age of 18 to wear a helmet. This law will take affect in about a year. Consider Biking strongly encourages all cyclists to wear helmets; so, we are excited that this law will protect some of our youth from unnecessary injury. We were at the table as this children's helmet legislation was proposed, and eager to support the concept. It should have been an easy process.

However, the draft legislation suddenly appeared with additional changes to the Traffic Code as it relates to operating a bicycle. The most alarming portion of the proposed legislation was a clause which would have allowed all bicyclists to ride on sidewalks. While we encourage our children to learn on sidewalks, research indicates that for everyone else, riding on sidewalks is five times more dangerous for both cyclists and pedestrians. Add to that problem, the local press reported that cyclists would be "required" to ride on sidewalks, and all heck broke loose! We hope you noticed that we did a lot of damage control in the press last month.

Consider Biking volunteers testified to the problems with the proposed traffic code changes, and provided a strong recommendation to City Council. We asked that the proposed changes to the Traffic Code portion of the "Helmet Law" be removed, and asked that the city undertake a more thorough process to make the needed updates to the Traffic Code. The air was tense with back-room negotiations on the night of the vote; but finally, the Traffic Code changes were removed, and the children's helmet law passed. Phew! Here's a news report for more details.

However, there's more work to do. The current Traffic Code regarding the operation of bicycles has inconsistencies and isn't aligned with the recently updated Ohio Better Bike Law (2006). The good news is that our recently adopted Bicentennial Bikeways PLAN has all the recommendations to make our Traffic Code regarding bicycles one of the most progressive in the country. So, stay tuned over the next four months as the City convenes all stakeholder groups (like Consider Biking) to fully vet the needed changes, and seeks the testimony of those that bicycle our roads every day!

The City is looking to Consider Biking as an expert voice for our cycling constituency! If you're interested in helping advocate for the best bicycle operation laws, please contact Jeff Stephens (jeff@considerbiking.org) so we can include you in the process.

Bike Boulevard in Clintonville - Public Meeting This Week
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The City of Columbus is wasting no time in implementing recommendations in the recently adopted Bicentennial Bikeways PLAN. One of the 10 "demonstration projects" that will be implemented in phase #1 of the PLAN is the conversion and enhancement of Milton Ave. into a "Bike Boulevard." This will encompass the half mile of neighborhood streets that connect the Olentangy Trail in the North Broadway area.

Consider Biking invites you to attend the first open house, and unveiling of the plan:

What:
City engineers and consultants from EMH&T will outline plans to improve bicycle safety by turning Milton Avenue into a Bikeway Boulevard, which gives cyclists priority over cars and trucks and is signed to alert motorists of the presence and rights of bicyclists.

When:
5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Where:
Clinton Heights Lutheran Church
15 Clinton Heights Avenue

We encourage your feedback and opinions regarding the plan. The Bicentennial Bikeways Plan is online here. Bicycle Boulevard standards are in section 8-13.

A New Tour - Bike the C-Bus
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Consider Biking is proud to partner with the Long Street Businessman's Association and encourage you to enjoy a relaxed tour in the heart of Columbus on Saturday, August 23rd.

Bike the C-Bus will cover approximately 30 miles and feature stops that highlight exciting changes that are occurring in our urban neighborhoods. Each stop will be sponsored by businesses and community groups and provides snacks, drinks and entertainment for the riders.

Experience segments of the King Lincoln District, Downtown, Short North Arts District, Italian Village, University District, Harrison West, Victorian Village, Arena District, Franklinton, Brewery District and German Village. The ride is configured to allow cyclists to complete segments if they do not feel comfortable riding the entire route.

The ($25) registration fee includes an official 2008 "Long Street Tour" t-shirt and wristband along with drinks and food at designated rest stops. "Bike the C-Bus" is considered a ride and not a race and will offer a variety of course options to accommodate everyone from recreational riders to hard-core fitness enthusiasts.

And, your paid registration in Bike the C-Bus, qualifies you for a $15 discount toward a Consider Biking Membership.

Bike the C-Bus will launch a new, and different, type cycling event for recreational cyclists in Columbus. We look forward to your participation. Bike the C-Bus website

Become a Member Today!
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Consider Biking is a member-supported organization. We can only accomplish our goals through the support of our cycling constituents. There are over 130 peer organizations across the country, demonstrating a need for cycling advocacy groups. Many of these organizations have THOUSANDS of members, and benefit by the financial support, and the "body of cyclists" that stand behind them when they advocate for enhancements to cycling accommodation.

We'd like to ask you to join Consider Biking. We need your support to represent our common interests in Central Ohio.

What's in it for you??
  • You benefit by knowing we'll have the resources to fight for our needs.
  • You'll benefit by knowing that we're working hard so you can "just ride."
  • You'll benefit by knowing we partner with strong coalitions to advance the healthy movement of people, not just cars.
  • You'll benefit by knowing we coordinate unique events that serve some of the dynamic segments of our cycling audience.
  • And, you'll benefit through our on-line presence, where ALL cyclists are welcomed, respected, and have a safe place to share their perspective.
Your membership donation to Consider Biking is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. We thank you for your support.



Quick Links...
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Our Website
Membership

Contact Information
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Executive Director, Jeff Stephens - jeff@considerbiking.org 614-579-1127

President Board of Directors, Meredith Joy - meredith.a.joy@gmail.com
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People, not speed.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this Jamie!

    Jeff STephens

    ReplyDelete
  2. My pleasure, Jeff. And thank you for all that you and the rest of CB do for everyone!

    ReplyDelete