Thursday, January 29, 2009

TN Health Dept Hosts Bicycle Safety Poster Contest

Tennessee Department of Health
Traumatic Brain Injury Program
Bicycle Safety Poster Contest for grades K-8

The purpose of this contest is to decrease the incidence of traumatic brain injuries by promoting the use of bicycle helmets.

New Bicycle Safety Video for Nashville

Nashville has a new video on bicycle safety guidelines produced by the Renaissance Center in cooperation with Music City Moves and Active Living by Design. The video is being distributed on DVD to local bike clubs and schools. The eight-minute video covers bike maintenance, riding rules, and proper use of helmets and other safety equipment.

To request a copy of the video, email

Click here to view a shorter version of the video in a Public Service Message.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

11-Year Old's Dream Comes True of Owning a Bicycle

(from News Channel 5)


Like any father, Scott Monteiro simply wanted to make his son's dreams come true.
For years, money and a debilitating illness got in the way of 11-year-old Josh Monteiro's greatest wish. That is - until this week.

As NewsChannel 5 photojournalist Nathan Sharkey and reporter Jeff Tang show us, a few kind teachers and a group of bikers changed one boy's life forever. Scott Monteiro makes his living explaining things as a 7th grade social studies teacher at West Creek Middle School in Clarksville.

But Mr. Monteiro explains no map, no battle, no story of history better than he explains his son's love of bicycles. "It's a dream of his. It's something he's always wanted just like any kid since he was three, four years old.

A bike never quite fit into Josh Monteiro's life.
"He has an illness called Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2," Scott explains. "He has no use of his legs anymore from the waist down." His disease does not change the fact that he still wants the same things other boys his age want.

"You know, every time we go past the bikes he still looks at them. He doesn't' mention them but he still looks at them," Scott says.

Josh did not know, but a visit to his dad's school Wednesday had something to do with his dream. All he knew was that a surprised waited for him. While waiting, Josh didn't talk much - nor did he ask for much. Maybe it's because he already knows exactly what he wants.

"What would be the one thing that would be a wish come true?" he was asked.
"Having a bike," he replied. "I've been having that dream almost every night."

Josh had no idea it was coming, but at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, his one dream came true.
Everyone gathered around Josh as a surprise pulled into West Creek Middle School.
A large smile found its way onto his face when the bike was unveiled. Tears soaked his eyes as he gave his dad a big hug. His one wish came true.

Scott Monteiro makes his living explaining things, but there are some things that hardly need explaining at all. "That smile... I have never seen him smile as big as today. This is the happiest day of his life. Thank you... thank you... thank you," Scott told those who made his son's wish a reality.

There is no cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Many with Josh's condition do not live past the age of 20. His family says exercise can help improve his quality of life. They're hoping the new bike does just that.

Several of Scott's co-workers donated money to help purchase the specialized bike. The group "Bikers Who Care" covered the rest.

View the video.

Local Scout Troop Builds Greenway Connector in Mt. Juliet

Boy Scout Troop 150 in Mt. Juliet recently worked on earning merit badges for surveying as part of a greenway connector project. The troop is assisting Josh Tuttle in constructing a greenway connector for Tuttle's Eagle Scout project. The connector is between Old Mt. Juliet Road and New Mt. Juliet Road near the Mt. Juliet Church of Christ.

The greenway will cross Stoner Creek using an old bridge built in 1930.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bicycle Track Riding Now at Nashville Motor Speedway

The Harpeth Bicycle Club has signed a one-year lease with the Tennessee State Fairgrounds to allow recreational bicycling on the Motorsports race track. Separate areas will provide opportunities for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders to ride on the track.

For more information, visit the Harpeth Bicycle Club website.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bicycle and Pedestrian Survey

The Nashville Area MPO is conducting a survey to obtain a better understanding of the walking and bicycling needs in the greater Nashville Region. The survey asks questions about current walking and bicycling habits as well as improvements that could be made to make these modes more appealing, safe and enjoyable.

The MPO seeks to gather input not just from those who already walk and bicycle but also those who do not. These answers will help to assess what the region is already doing to address walking and bicycling needs and what improvements could be made to encourage more people to use these modes.

Click here to take the survey.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

City Paper Reports On Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator

Toks stands in front of his new office talking to Glen Wanner of Walk/Bike Nashville during the 2008 Great Commuter Race.

The City Paper reports on the appointment of Toks Omishakin as the Nashville Mayor's Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator.

Read the article.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nashville Bike/Ped Coordinator Moves to Mayor's Office

Work to include coordinating efforts of recently formed Bike/Ped Advisory Committee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean announced today he has appointed a Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the Mayor's Office. Toks Omishakin, currently the Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner for the Metro Planning Department, is moving to the Mayor's Office.
The appointment follows an update to the Strategic Plan for Sidewalks and Bikeways, initiated by the mayor shortly after taking office in the fall of 2007. Dean also recently appointed a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) to assist in the implementation of the updated sidewalks and bikeways plan and other efforts to make Nashville a more walkable and bikeable city.

"My goal is to transform Nashville into one of the most walkable and bikeable cities in the country, and to do that will take consistent effort and coordination from my office," Dean said. "Toks brings to my office the right experience and expertise in this area. I look forward to what I know he will be able to help us accomplish."

Omishakin will work with various Metro and State departments on policy issues related to pedestrians and cyclists, including coordinating efforts of the BPAC. During his tenure with Metro Planning, Omishakin spent five years managing Music City Moves, a community partnership committed to community design that supports active lifestyles. He also worked on bicycle and pedestrian issues for Nashville's 14 planning communities, and on the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Sidewalks and Bikeways, which was originally completed in 2003.

Omishakin holds a master's degree in urban and regional planning from Jackson State University in Mississippi. He is a member of the American Planning Association (APA) and a long-time member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals.
As an expert on street design and multi-modal transportation issues, Omishakin has frequently been called upon to present at national conferences, including the National APA Conference, International Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference and the American Public Transportation Association Conference.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Vote on Parking in Bicycle Lane Deferred

(not image of Douglas Avenue)

The Tennessean reports that a vote on the issue of parking vehicles in the bicycle lane on Douglas Avenue in Nashville has been deferred at the request of Council member Pam Murray. The issue will be heard at the February 9, 2009 meeting of the Metro Nashville Traffic and Parking Commission.

Read the article.

Friday, January 16, 2009

TN State Legislature Bill Proposes Bicycling Ban

TN State Legislature House of Reps. Bill HB0095 filed on 1/15/09 proposes a ban on bicycling on River Road from Charlotte Pike (Highway 70/State Route 24) to the Cheatam County line. If you would like to read the bill or contact your Legislator about the bill, click on the links below.

TN General Assembly Bill History

Find my Legislator and View District Maps

Thursday, January 15, 2009

To Park or Not To Park: That is the Question

This video article from the Tennessean highlights the problems created for area bicyclists when encountering parked cars in bicycle lanes. (Click here to view the video article.)

The Metro Code was changed in late 2008 to prohibit vehicle parking in a bicycle lane unless an exception is granted by the Traffic and Parking Commission. The Commission heard its first exception request on January 12, 2009 for Z' Chicken Shack in East Nashville to allow on-street parking in the bicycle lane in front of the business. The vote on the request is delayed until the February 9, 2009 Traffic and Parking Commission to give the community more time to comment.

You may email the secretary of the Traffic and Parking Commission, Diane Marshall at and request that your email be considered at the meeting if you can't make it in person.

View the original article in the Tennessean from January 12, 2009.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2 Billion in Bicycle Projects Ready for Stimulus Package

America Bikes has put together a list of "shovel-ready" bicycle projects from all 50 states totaling about $2 Billion in infrastructure. The intent of the list is to demonstrate that infrastructure projects that are ready to be constructed should be considered for all modes of transportation.

Read the report.

Meet Earl Blumenauer

The NY Times has published an article on Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D) from Oregon. Blumenauer is considered a long-time bicycle champion at the Federal level.

Read the article .

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pet Owner Faces Charges After Bicyclist Injured By Dogs

(not picture of actual rider)

By Amy HunterReporter / Bristol Herald CourierPublished: January 6, 2009
A Blountville, Tenn., woman has been charged with allowing two dogs to run loose after police said they ran into a bicyclist, who was seriously injured.
Barbara Pearce was cycling with a small group on Barger Hollow Road between 1-2 p.m. on Dec. 27 when two dogs struck the bike she was riding, said Sullivan County Sheriff’s Capt. Keith Elton.
Pearce was hospitalized at Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., with multiple injuries, including a broken collar bone, broken shoulder blade, bruised brain, seven broken ribs and a broken hand, Elton said. She was released Friday, according to a hospital spokesman.
The dog owner, who Elton would not identify until the arrest warrant has been served, faces felony charges of allowing the dogs to run loose; each carries a maximum sentence of one to three years in prison, he said.
Rick Heppert, an officer in the Kingsport Bicycle Association, said it’s extremely rare for charges to be filed in connection with crashes between dogs and bicycles, which he said are the most common danger to cyclists in the area.
“I’ve been at several scenes before where cyclists saw dogs take someone down and officers said they couldn’t issue charges because they didn’t see anything,” he said.Heppert said he does not know Pearce, but he has heard a great deal about the incident from the biking community.
“This [owner] had been warned before and the dog was still out there, the police said,” Heppert said. Heppert explained that new legislation was approved more than a year ago that changed the penalties for owners of loose dogs. Now, he said, any owner whose dog is loose can be fined $50, regardless of how the dog gets out, he said.
And if a loose dog causes any personal injury, Heppert explained, the new penalty is a $2,500 fine.

Cost/Benefit Website for Bicycle Facilities has created a Cost/Benefit tool to calculate how the benefits of bicycle infrastructure can be related to the cost of installing the infrastructure. The tool is described as being able to calculate generation of new bicyclists, economic benefits to a community and health benefits to users.

View the cost/benefit tool.

Monday, January 5, 2009

U.S. Bicycle Route Map

The United States is on a path to what could become the largest official bicycle route network in the world, thanks to the approval of a new plan by America’s leading authority on national route designations. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has just approved a National Corridor Plan laying out the framework and guidelines for the development of this system.

"The plan -- under development over the last four years -- identifies corridors connecting America’s urban, rural, and suburban areas. The corridors cover well over 50,000 miles, which, if transformed into routes along roads and trails, would create the largest official bicycle route network in any country or on any continent. By comparison, the planned Euro-Velo network in Europe is projected to be 60,000 kilometers or 36,000 miles..." (from National Center for Bicycling and Walking)

View the map and learn more about the planning process.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Years Resolution - Six Reasons Why You Should Walk

Six Reasons Why You Should Walk

1. It's easy. You already know how.

2. It's safe. Walking is low impact yet can burn as many calories as running.

3. It's cheap. You just need a good pair of walking shoes.

4. It helps manage weight. Walking burns calories and may reduce appetite.

5. It's weight bearing. Walking helps build bone mass, important for fighting osteoporosis.

6. It's a lifesaver. Walking is good for the heart - it lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer.

Go for a walk. You'll be glad you did!