Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Link-o-Rama 7/31/2009

Free-Range Kids - What's the best way to ensure cyclist safety? According to a fireman from Asheville, NC, this can be accomplished by shooting them in the head.

Bicycling Magazine - Bike Lawyer Bob Mionske begins a study of road rage and what causes it. Here's Part 2, as well.

Elephants on Bicycles - Andrew Miller talks about how sidewalks and bike lanes can make or break a neighborhood.

Carbon Trace - Bexley's look at a texting-while-driving ban has some research to back it up.

Transportation Alternatives (via @konaworld) - NYC passes legislation to allow cyclists to bring bikes into buildings - overcoming a major barrier for many to begin to cycling to work!

Slate (via @streetsblog)- All about Roundabouts. With the discussion over the North High/North Broadway intersection I thought this might be interesting for some.

BikePortland.org - The story of how good samaritan cyclists can make someone's day. A fine lesson for all cyclists to remember.

People, not speed.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday Cycling Soapbox: Those Darned Bikes Shouldn't Be on the Street!

Whenever a cycling-related accident happens anywhere, it seems, the occasion of its reporting in local media brings out a certain group of people holding the belief that the only vehicles that belong on the street have motors.

Case in point: the recent drunk-driving case of Edward Miller and the late Steve Barbour. Story from the Dispatch, of course.

If you head out to the comments for the article, most people are calling for drivers to be more judicious about when they get behind the wheel after having had a few drinks, or about helping stop your friends from driving drunk.

But of course, there are a few who take this stance:

I feel sorry for the loss but when are bicycle riders going to wise up and ride where it's safe? I just find it STUPID to use the same access that a car uses - there are paths all over the counties now called BIKE PATHS! Blame it on alcohol - that's fine .. but watch out the next time someone behind the wheel behind you has a heart attack, aneurism, or something similar!
Or this one:

Wait for all the facts. ANYONE who has seen bicyclist downtown running lights, going the wrong way,ileagally passing stopped traffic at stoplights , ect know the driver, MIGHT be telling the truth.If the deceased ran a stop sign, or jumped to the street from the sidewalk, ect he could have committed the first HARMFUL event in the incident. As bikes become more prevalent, it is incumbant on riders to obey ALL the traffic laws, all the time.

Or even this one:

Many bike riders seem to think they are invulnerable and will stay in the lane with cars backing up behind them. I have seen them flip people off and and say stuff and in general act very arrogant. But mostly it's the idiots that insist on staying in the driving lane when they know a car is coming up behind. It doesn't matter whether somebody was drinking in some cases. It could well be that the bike did swerve into the path of the car. Everybody that wasn't there thinks they have it solved.
So let's start with the idea that bikes don't belong on the streets, but on bike paths alone. I'll give this commenter credit for not saying "get on the sidewalk." As many studies have shown, it's more dangerous for bikes to ride on sidewalks than on the street (see Ken Kifer's webpage for Why Sidewalk Cycling is Dangerous).

Bicycles are not simply toys and recreational vehicles. There are many (vastly increasing numbers, in fact) of people who use their bicycles for basic transportation worldwide. As the price of gas goes up, more people take to the streets on two wheels instead of four. And the trend seems to be that those numbers don't go back down all the way when gas gets cheaper. People discover just how convenient it is to ride to their destinations instead of having to drive, park, pay for parking, pay for gas, etc. They get exercise and in many cases get to their destinations more quickly.

If bikes were simply for recreation, then I can see an argument for using bike paths alone. But given the use of bikes as transportion, that argument fails. Bike paths are not designed with destination in mind. Look at the paths in Columbus (pre-Bicentennial Bike Plan, naturally). They follow the rivers, the intent being to give cyclists and other path users a pleasant ride while they enjoy their exercise. But the rivers in Columbus all run north-to-south. If a rider is trying to move across town east-to-west, there are no facilities for doing so. So forcing cyclists to use paths to get to their destinations simply is not feasible. And cyclists pay more than their fair share for the streets, a topic I'll get to in a future soapbox article.

The next comment brings up the predictable "scofflaw cyclist" arguments. The "cyclists don't stop at lights, don't use turn signals, ride erratically, etc." accusations always rear their heads in such discussions. And it's true - many riders don't follow the traffic laws. I'll be the first to admit that I see such cyclists every day, whether they flout the law because of lack of knowledge or simple wanton ignoring of the law.

But this is definitely a case of who's going to throw the first stone. If every motorist was to avoid rolling stops, stop behind the proper line on the road, use their turn signals, and most importantly NEVER speed; in other words follow all the rules of the road to the letter, then there'd be a place to argue this point. But we all know this doesn't happen. Prime example: I ride past the Franklin County Courthouse every day on my commute, and there are clear "no stopping" signs along High Street in front of that building. Yet, despite these signs, people stop to drop off passengers there almost every day as I pass. It's illegal, yet motorists just ignore the signs.

So who's to blame here? Well, the vehicle operators know the law and ignore it. But the ones who are supposed to enforce the laws, namely the police, let these sorts of things go all the time. Enforcement of supposedly minor traffic laws in the Columbus is hideous. I've ranted before about this topic, and even written a letter to the mayor about it on one occasion. If you're going to have a law but not enforce it, then it's the same as not having a law. And those who DO follow the law are put at a disadvantage to the selfish other people who don't follow it as the roads are less safe, road rage rates go higher, etc. Proper consistent enforcement of the existing law would clean things up quickly.

Finally, there's a lack of knowledge in this city about how to properly ride a bike. And this is on top of the previous issue of "scofflaw cyclists." I'm talking about drivers knowing why cyclists do things and what's legally allowed. Yesterday's post addresses that last comment immediately, as the commenter is quite clearly describing his dislike of cyclists who take the lane. The post discusses how and why to do it, and also quotes state law making it not only acceptable but legal.

I'd like to see motorist education be mandatory - including the testing of cyclist-specific knowledge in order to get your driver's license EVERY time you renew it. Teach it as part of driver's education. The League of American Bicyclists has a Motorist education course. With the preponderence of League Certified Instructors that Columbus will have (after this very weekend as Columbus is hosting its first LCI certification seminar, which I'll be attending) getting someone to teach such a class will be very easy.

So, as usual, it's easy to tear apart most motorists' dislike of cycling as pure selfishness and haste. Auto-related deaths (both bike/car and otherwise) number in the 40,000 range each year, but for some reason this is regarded as acceptable as long as people are able to get where they need to go quickly. Well, it's not acceptable. The key factor that should drive all roadway decisions, whether by drivers, planners and politicians, engineers, or otherwise should be safety. It's not, obviously, but hopefully we'll get to a point where it is.

People, not speed.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Commuter Cycling 101: Taking the Lane

In the first installment of our 101 series, we're going to talk about one of the primary ways to remain safe as you ride the road, called "taking the lane." I've talked about it before but this is going to go into some depth as to why you should be taking the lane and what exactly it means.

The idea behind taking the line is simple. You, as a cyclist, decide upon your position in the lane - in other words, where in the lane you will ride. Thus, you will control how traffic behaves around you.

"Well, that's simple," you cry! "We're supposed to ride all the way to the right!" And it's that very type of thinking that might get you hit. See this article from Cycle Smart Dallas for evidence.

Here's the nitty-gritty: based on the width of the lane and even its condition, you judge whether a car can safely pass you without crossing over the lane lines. If you judge that you can safely share a lane with a car, then taking the lane is not necessary. Ride three to four feet from the curb (or, if the lane is extra wide - 14' or more - ride three to four feet from the right side of motorized traffic).

Leaving three to four feet between you and the curb will allow you room to move in case you need to go around an obstacle suddenly, or need some room to hop the curb in an emergency, or what have you. Getting too close to the curb is not particularly safe as you could need extra room, not have time to react, and throw yourself head over heels.

And if the lane is NOT wide enough that you feel comfortable allowing a car to ride next to you as it passes you (at least three feet of clearance is the most conservative recommendation by many, I prefer four)? Then ride right out in the middle of the lane. Seriously.

You're accomplishing two important things here:

  1. You're making yourself more visible to traffic and reducing the chance that your presence will be missed.

  2. You're removing what I like to call the "force field" of the lane line. Cell-phone babbling drivers notwithstanding, most traffic tries very hard to stay in one lane of traffic, between the two lane lines it's given. If a car thinks it can pass you without crossing over the lane line, it will - hugging that left lane line as closely as it can without going over it. If it doesn't think it can, it'll move into the next lane, and usually far enough that you're going to avoid being sideswiped.

So it's really as simple as that. You have the right to do this. It's in the law (at least in Ohio). The Ohio Department of Public Safety Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws (PDF) clearly states:

Bicyclists must keep to the right edge of the roadway, allowing faster traffic to safely pass. Cyclists can travel in the middle of the lane if they are proceeding at the same speed as the rest of the traffic or the lane is too narrow to share safely with a motor vehicle.

Also, don't be concerned that you're holding up traffic for any legal reason. The Ohio Bicycle Federation has helped to ensure that cyclists can't be prosecuted for impeding traffic as long as they're traveling at a proper speed for a bike. The case of Trotwood vs. Selz ensured that.

A point of courtesy: If you're on a two lane road (one lane of traffic in each direction), and you notice traffic backing up behind you, it's considerate to move over on occasion and let faster traffic pass you, especially if the road is busy. A little courtesy goes a long way sometimes.

There are a couple of other times that I like to take the lane even when the lane seems wide enough to be passed, and that has to do with the condition of the road. If the side of the road is in poor repair, has lots of parallel cracks that might grab your tire (particularly if you have narrow road bike tires), too much gravel, a preponderance of poorly smoothed pavement, or is too close to the "door zone," then I also take the lane. Your safety is number one here.

So be safe. Take the lane.

People, not speed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bike Commuter Accessories from the Outdoor Retailer Show

As mentioned in a previous post, one of the biggest events of the year for the outdoor sports industry is the Outdoor Retailer show. This convention is where outdoor gear manufacturers show off their newest wares to the retailer public and try to grab some attention to their efforts. And it's always a great source of new stuff to look anticipate and plan your budget to fit in!

This year was no exception, and as bike commuting gets more and more popular, we're seeing increasing numbers of products that support our carless commutes. I'll be giving you some samplings of items that I saw that might be just the thing for us commuters!

Today's installment is Cycling Accessories. We have a couple of neat items for which I think bike commuters might find a use!

The first item that stuck out was the EverLite Solar Light and Charger. This is a small 3-bulb LED light with a built-in solar charger (hence the clever name) that clips to the bill of your hat, and gives you a some light for those night rides. Jokes about solar powered flashlights aside, think of how often you're out in the daytime but also have to make rides at night! Now there's a way to use that time to your advantage and save money on batteries on your headlights.

EverLite also will have 12V, cell phone and USB converter kits to allow you to use their items to recharge phones, iPods, and other items! Sounds like a winner tome.

The KangaTek GO is a bandolier-type item that loops around your shoulder like a bag, but keeps your small electronics, wallets, keys, and other small items close at hand. Tired of fishing through your pannier or messenger bag, or trying to reach into pockets while in the saddle, for things you might need while you ride? Here's a lightweight way of holding that stuff! I'd also imagine that with some ingenuity and sewing/webbing skill you'd be able to turn this into a strap for your messenger bag!

Look us up next Equipment Tuesday for new items in the realm of Commuter Apparel.

People, not speed.

New Posting Schedule

A message from the management:

For a while, I've been trying to figure out a good way to run this blog other than to simply post news, tips, and ideas as I get them or they come to me. And that's not to say that this hasn't worked, but many times it's left me scrambling for something to share with you when I feel I haven't posted in a while; or it's had me post four to five times in a day and then nothing for a week; or it's had me get into a rut where I post nothing but one topic of posts for a week or two, and so forth. And that's not a good way to run things, I think.

So what I'm going to try to do for you is to have "topics of the day" like many sites have. This is going to be done for a couple of reasons:

  1. Not everyone is interested in every topic that I cover. Some folks who read this site aren't as interested in the Columbus news as they are in equipment previews and reviews, or advice and tips on managing your ride, etc. So you'll be able to tune in on days that interest you and ignore days that aren't quite as important to you, if you so desire.

  2. Having a specific day to cover a specific topic will allow me to write posts in advance and set them for automatic publishing on the appropriate day, and that'll give you more constant content.

My goal is to get you something every weekday. And that's the schedule I'm going to work toward. So, to that end, here's the topic schedule I plan to use:

Monday: News from the Columbus Cycling world. I'll round up the latest news stories regarding the latest in new cycling policy from the city, let you know about accidents and court cases, tell you what groups like Yay Bikes and Consider Biking are up to, etc.

Tuesday: Equipment round-up. Previews and reviews of new gear in which commuters may be interested.

Wednesday: Commuting 101. Getting back to the basics of bike commuting, and sharing my experiences with you so that we can all learn from experience. This will include new stuff I've learned as well as re-posting and updating old stuff that is timely (for seasonal reasons, for example). I'll NEVER just start recycling old content willy-nilly, but I may add new or changed information to old posts.

Thursday: Opinion, or stuff that usually shows up with the "Cycling Soapbox" tag. In which I expound upon my experiences with bike commuting and try to draw a lesson from them.

Friday: Link-o-Rama. I've gotten some good feedback on this feature where I collect links that may interest you that don't fit into my other four categories or aren't meaty enough to put into a post of their own. This will include national and international news, feature links, and more.

I also reserve the right, of course, to add posts of a "breaking news" nature if such things come up. These will be big news stories of interest to us - for instance, if the city were to decide to turn High Street into a bike boulevard, that'd be of the "breaking news" category. But those posts will always be EXTRA. We'll still have posts each day that fall into the above categories.

As always, I welcome your comments about this plan. I hope this makes the site more useful to you and helps the cause of bike commuting in the city of Columbus!

People, not speed.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Commuter Clothing by Merrell Featured at Outdoor Retailer Show

The annual Outdoor Retailer show featured a number of new offerings that might interest commuters. Merrell, the footwear and apparel company, is now also offering a line of bike commuter clothes. This line is designed to protect you from elements on the ride, and make you look fashionable off the bike. I like it! The line is apparently going to be available in Spring of 2010.

Check it out at Outside Magazine.

People, not speed.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Consider Biking Newsletter: July 23, 2009

From our friends at Consider Biking:

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Consider Biking Activity Update
July 23, 2009
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With deep sadness, we must share that local cyclist Steve Barbour passed away on Wednesday, July 22. Steve had been riding westbound along Cemetery Road in Hilliard on Saturday. As he did so often, he was riding to the start point of the COP ride he was leading. Steve was struck and critically injured by an (allegedly) intoxicated motorist, who was also driving westbound. Details of the accident can be found at NBC4 online, Columbus Dispatch,and CBS10TV.

Take the time to mourn Steve's loss; turn to your friends, and share your stories of Steve. Think about what he has done for cycling, and celebrate his life. Steve lives on in every cyclist he mentored.

We must remember that Steve modeled safe riding behavior. His was attentive to his equipment, and his on-road actions. He was a champion of safety. However, despite all the experience in the world, oftentimes, there is no defense against an impaired or distracted motorist.This fatality has shocked our cycling community, because so many knew and respected Steve. In the coming days, emotions will run high. It's important that we not do anything to compromise the judicial process or any legal action Steve's family may take. Consider Biking is confident that there will be transparency in the proceedings, and we'll suggest ways you can help ensure that.

For starters, you can show your support of Steve's family and friends by coming to the preliminary court hearing. It will be Tuesday, July 28, at 9:30 a.m, at the Franklin County Municipal Court, Courtroom 4C. The courthouse is located at 375 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215. If you choose to ride to the hearing, we hope you will observe the rules of the road, honoring the memory of Steve, who cycled with skill and safety. Even if you don't ride, please bring your bicycle helmet as a way to show you are one of the many vulnerable users of our public roadways. A courtroom filled with a helmeted gallery, will send a powerful message!

We plan to provide the latest news and updates on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Please use this opportunity to follow Consider Biking on these two social media sites so we can activate our troops quickly to ensure justice in this case...and for our cycling cause in general.

Social Meet-up #1 Mont Ventoux Viewing at Trek Store
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Consider Biking invites you to join us at the Dublin Trek Store this Saturday (July 25) from 8:00 - 11:30 a.m. for a special viewing party to watch Stage 20 of the Tour de France.

The climb of Mont Ventoux is a monster. It's 22 km and steep. (I know - that's a picture of me racing above the clouds there!) As the next-to-last stage of a 3-week race, the battles on this stage will be epic, heroic, and probably crush a dream or two.

So, join all the fun being hosted by our friends at the Trek Store on Sat morning. Consider biking will be on hand to answer questions about our efforts in bike advocacy (which Trek supports on a national & local level!) and, to hear your input about our work. Plus, this is a party! We'll be having fun cheering for Lance & others.

What - Special Stage 20 (Mt. Ventoux) Viewing Party at Trek Store Columbus
  • Jeff the French Chef cooking real French food and coffees
  • Lots of door prizes (Astana Jerseys, TSC Jerseys, etc.)
  • Live viewing of Stage 20 on widescreen
  • Old and Classic Bike show (prizes for best vintage bikes)
  • Prizes for best vintage cycling outfit
  • Surprise appearance from the Piano Peddler
  • Both store locations (Consider Biking only at Dublin)
Where - 2720 Sawmill Place Blvd
When - 8:00 am to 11:30am (Mont Ventoux action at approximately 10:00 am)

Social Meet-up #2 - Thursday, July 30 - Cafe' Bella
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Thanks to the 30+ cyclists that joined us earlier in July at the Pig Iron for our social meet-up; we had a wonderful time and listened to some good feedback. We'll continue to host informal gatherings of our membership (and prospective members) to convey information about our work at Consider Biking, and to solicit your input and feedback about our efforts. We'd like you to become engaged in our important work of enhancing the cycl
ing culture in Central Ohio!

Most importantly, we're looking for an excuse to ride our bikes to & from a happy hour or party...and another excuse to get together with our best friends and talk about bicycling. Let's have some fun and share in the successes of Consider Biking!

Consider Biking Board Member & "Two-Wheeling" hero, Doug Morgan, will be our host on Thursday, July 30th at Cafe Bella at 2593 N. High St. (just north of Hudson). We'll be there from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. - on the patio in the back. Ride your bike to the parking lot from the back alley. Come learn why great folks like Doug (pictured right) are card-carrying members of Consider Biking!

If you haven't been to Café Bella, you're in for a treat! Café Bella does not have a liquor license, but the proprietor, Vince, kindly allows customers to bring in beer and wine when they are eating there. Thus, we will be providing beer and wine free of charge, but we are asking you to donate $10 per person to pay for the wonderful spread of Italian appetizers Vince will be preparing for us. Vince is an engineer by training and is pioneering a fascinating version of urban gardening which he will explain and demonstrate for us.

What - Social Happy Hour Meet-up
Where - Cafe Bella 2593 N. High St
When - 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Please RSVP to dmorgan@calfee.com so we'll know how much beer to bring, and how much food to prepare.

We Support Columbus Issue 1
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The Board of Directors of Consider Biking officially endorse and support Columbus Issue 1 to be voted on in the special election August 4, 2009. In short, we support this tax increase because it will ensure resources to implement the Bicentennial Bike Plan, and all efforts to improve accomodations for bicyclists in Columbus.

In November, 2008 the Columbus bond levy for transportation projects, including bike/pedestrian projects, was passed by the voters of Columbus. However, the City of Columbus, as announced by City Auditor Hugh Dorrian, has cut back on the issuance of bonds for capital projects except for capital projects absolutely required by law, due to the decline in general revenue funds that include the 25% set-aside for capital spending. Without an increase in general revenue from an increase in the income tax as proposed in Issue 1 the City of Columbus will not be able to issue bonds for capital projects including the bike/pedestrian projects listed in Public Service/Transportation 2008-2013 Capital Improvements Program.

If you are a Columbus resident, we ask you to vote in favor of Issue 1 on August 4th.

More information about Issue 1 can be found here

We Need your Membership Support Today!
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Consider Biking has an incredible list of successes in the last few years. This has been driven by the passion and commitment of a few. However, we can't expect this to continue without the support of our cycling community as a whole. Our future lay in your hands. Now's the time to support Consider Biking...so we can continue the "in the trenches" advocacy work that allows you to "just ride."

Consider Biking provided leadership in these major successes:
  • Secured LAB Bicycle Friendly Community Award for Columbus - May 2009
  • Bike Suitability Map - Release May 2009
  • Columbus Revised Traffic Code re: bicycles - Passed Dec.2008
  • Columbus Mandatory Childhood Helmet Law - Passed July 2008
  • Columbus Bicentennial Bikeways Plan - Passed May 2008
  • Pedal Instead Bike Parking Valet - Founded 2006
  • COTA Bus Racks - Installed 2005
  • Ride of Silence - Founded 2004
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. The support for these cycling advocacy groups, is a primary reason that regions like Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Portland, Austin, Madison, and even Pittsburgh, are years ahead of Central Ohio in bike-friendliness! If we aspire to model the successes of (and compete with) these regions, we need your support now.

What's in it for you?

  • Consider Biking works to give you more places to ride.
  • Consider biking helps you enjoy bicycling more.
  • Consider Biking makes it safer to ride. (education, share the road, etc)
  • Consider Biking advocates for more investment in our trail system.
  • Consider Biking provides encouragement for businesses to accommodate their cycling employees.
  • Consider Biking offers the area's most comprehensive, compiled, resource of local cycling information. And....
  • Almost every local bike shop will offer Consider Biking members retail benefits (e.g. discounts)
  • Membership spans the calendar year, and partner benefits will be listed on our website within days.

Consider Biking, an Ohio 501c(3), was incorporated in 1991 as the Central Ohio Bicycle Advocacy Coalition, and is governed by a 12 member Board of Directors. Consider Biking is also a member of the Community Shares of Mid Ohio Workplace Giving federation and recognized by the Columbus Foundation.

You can join in three ways:
  1. Go to our website and join on-line via Paypal
  2. Mail a membership form to P.O. Box 937, Worthington, OH 43085
  3. Join at one of our Bike Shop Retail Partners - read on below...
Please visit these partner bike shops as soon as possible, and join Consider Biking!

Bike Source - 3 Stores - Clintonville, Sawmill, & Westerville
Cyclist Connection - Canal Wichester
roll - 3 Stores - Easton, Polaris & Dayton
Trek Stores Columbus - 2 Stores - Sawmill & New Albany

So, in addition to joining at a reduced rate, you'll also get a new Consider Biking water bottle. Please visit these retailers partners today, and support not only your local businesses...but, your local bike advocacy organization too!

Columbus Recognized in "Most Sustainable" City List
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We've known it for some time. Columbus is a special place.

We've also known that we cyclists play a key role in making a difference for the future of our community. Well, it's nice see the validation for our cycling community's efforts.

Read about the 15 "Most Sustainable Cities" (we're #15)

Read about Columbus ranking and the importance of our cycling movement as a critical determinent in this ranking.

Let's keep the momentum, and keep on pedaling! Congratulations.

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

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People, not speed.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Local Cyclist Steve Barbour Killed By Driver in Hilliard

It's happened again.

Steve Barbour, a long-time cyclist and member of Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, was riding on his way to a COP ride when he was struck by a driver that police suspect of being under the influence. He died last night after the accident put him into a coma. You can get more information at NBC4's website.

Some discussion of this accident and its causes, aftermath, and legal situation are also available at Yay Bikes. Also, there are some folks who knew Steve, who was active in the Columbus cycling community for years, who are talking about him a bit there. Please drop by and give your condolences if you can.

Update: The Dispatch is reporting that the killer's name is Edward S. Miller, 28. The charge against him will be aggravated vehicular assault - aggravated because he was under the influence. They also mention that Barbour was obeying all the rules of the road. Sad that they have to mention that, but it's nice to see them sticking up for him.

People, not speed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Columbus Ranked #15 Most Sustainable US City By NRDC

Largely on the basis of the bike plan, it seems, Columbus has been ranked as the #15 most sustainable city in the country by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The report cites the plan to double our current bike path/lanes mileage and the effort to connect them past existing barriers such as the miles of train track in town. Also mentioned are Mayor Coleman's push for 4700 new downtown housing units and more in the Bicentennial Plan.

I think a lot of folks out on the west coast, particularly in a little town in Oregon, are going to have a chuckle about the following quote:

Taking advantage of its flat terrain, Columbus aims to be the bicycling capital of the country. Its Bicentennial Bikeways Plan, finalized in May 2008, calls to double the city's 50 miles of biking lanes and trails by 2012, when the city celebrates its bicentennial.

On the other hand, one doesn't become a leader by trying to become pretty good, but by aiming for the highest that they can. So even if we fall short of that somewhat nebulous goal, we'll still improve the situation and that's what's important.

So kudos to the Mayor's office, the great folks at Yay Bikes and Consider Biking, and the hundreds, if not thousands, of people who've been working to improve our city. There's a lot of notice being taken of Columbus and its efforts, which can only be a good thing!

People, not speed.

REI's Introduction to Bike Commuting

I just found this today as I was perusing YouTube. REI has released a great series of videos about bike commuting, covering many of the basics of equipment, safe riding tips, and situations to think about as you ride.

I recommend that all commuters check these out - REI has really put out some simple but quality videos here.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Link-o-Rama 7/3/2009

Totcyle - Family Biking - Ruminations, ponderings, and some concrete advice for taking newborns on bike rides. It's safer than you think.

Road Rights (Bicycling Magazine) - "Why We Need Cycling Insurance." From the Dutch model of correctly assigning blame to motorists in most cases of bike/car accidents to the problems of underinsured and uninsured motorists, Bob Mionske covers the entire issue and encourages us all to get cycling insurance - when it's offered.

Carbon Trace - Is the term commuting getting misused by cyclists in a way that's confusing traffic engineers? Should we be saying something else?

DowntownColumbus.com - Confused About Commuting. With all the easy traffic close to downtown, why do people choose to live in the suburbs?

Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery - Thoughtful words from Mr. Moon about where cars are REALLY going.

BikePortland.org - Remember Rep. Patrick McHenry? With the help of one open minded advocate, he may be changing his mind on bikes. Read more!

Sierra Club Compass - Transit prices rising? Biking is still free! San Francisco's story is similar to ours here in Columbus. Transit prices are rising due to fuel costs but there's movement afoot to improve cycling in the city.


People, not speed.