Monday, December 29, 2008

Report: Active Transportation for America

A new report released by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy entitled "Active Transportation for America" quantifies for the first time the benefits of building and using infrastructure for walking and bicycling. The report states that in a modest-case scenario, Americans could avoid driving 69 billion miles per year in their cars, resulting in saving 3.8 billion gallons of gasoline and not emitting 33 million tons of carbon dioxide.

The report talks about Active Transportation being the missing part of our national transportation system, and also discusses the role that transportation can play in our quality of health, especially relating to the diabetes and obesity epidemics.

Click here to read the report.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Employer Incentives to Walk, Bicycle or Take Transit

Mast General Stores, headquartered in North Carolina, reportedly rewards employees who walk, ride or take transit with $4 a day. These transportation modes are not only better for environmental health, but for physical and emotional health as well.

Do you think that local employers would consider a similar type of incentive program?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Universities - More Bicycles, Less Parking for Cars

Some universities across the nation have stopped building expensive parking decks for students and started providing bicycles and bicycle accessories such as helmets and lights instead. The result -- less money spent on unsightly parking structures, less traffic around institutions and a healthier student population.

Nashville is known for its many universities. Do you think encouraging bicycle use by providing reduced cost or free bicycles would help with traffic and parking around universities?

A few examples:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nashville Goes Green with Green Ribbon Committee

The Nashville Green Ribbon Committee appointed by Mayor Karl Dean is looking into ways that Nashville can become more green and sustainable. The Committee conducted a survey this fall in which almost 2,000 people responded. The number one sustainable practice that people want to see is availability of mass transportation.

Important to a successful system of mass transportation are connections for bicycle and pedestrian travel. After all, taking transit involves some walking or bicycling to or from a place of origin (like a home) or a destination (a school or office, for example).

What are your thoughts on mass transportation being the most important green practice on the minds of Nashvillians?
View the Green Ribbon Committee website.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Paris Bicycle Rental Program Celebrates 1st Year

The Paris Velib program is an extensive system of thousands of bicycles available for rent all across the city. The program has seen extensive success in its first year of service. Check out this great video documenting the successes of the program.

Do you think a bicycle rental program like this could ever work for Nashville? Perhaps in the downtown area or near some of the colleges like Lipscomb, Belmont and Vandy?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Can Cars and Bikes Coexist?

View this article from the Sacramento Bee entitled: The Conversation: Can Cars and Bikes Coexist?

TDOT Safe Routes To School Grants

The Tennessee Department of Transportation will be awarding over $3 million in Safe Routes to School funds in 2009. These funds are provided at 100% to local municipalities who receive grants to install infrastructure and provide education to students on walking and bicycling.

Sample infrastructure projects include sidewalks and crosswalks. All projects must be located within 2 miles of an elementary or middle school.

Projects must demonstrate 5 E's: Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Encouragement and Evaluation.

To apply, visit the TDOT Safe Routes to School Website. Project applications are due March 27, 2009 and will be awarded in late fall 2009. Maximum project awards are $250,000.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Parking Cars in Bicycle Lanes - Updated

It's official! Parking a vehicle in a bicycle lane is now illegal in Nashville, unless a sign is posted to permit parking. This is a big win for cyclists. The next step is education for the public and enforcement by police.
Original Post:
Walk/Bike Nashville reports on the debate and proposed ordinance in Nashville over whether/not to allow vehicular parking in bicycle lanes:

Metro Nashville City Council passed Ordinance BL2008-307 on second reading on Tuesday, November 18. The ordinance is scheduled for its third reading on Tuesday, December 2nd. Walk/Bike Nashville has been very active in promoting the creation and approval of this ordinance.

Erik Cole championed this ordinance and vocal supporters of the council include: Mike Jameson, Erica Gilmore, Jason Holleman, Vivian Wilhoite, and Karen Bennett.

Eric Crafton was concerned about inner city parking issues and raised the question during the Traffic & Parking committee meeting just prior to the council meeting on Monday.

The ordinance is an amendment to Chapters 12.40 and 12.60 of the Metropolitan Code to prohibit the parking, stopping, or standing of motor vehicles within bike lanes. A copy of the ordinance can be found here:
Walk/Bike Nashville encourages you to contact the five at-large council members and your local council representative to share your thoughts on this ordinance.

Find your council member here: