The RCA works to create better cycling infrastructure and a stronger voice for cyclists in Rochester, NY.

For information on getting involved, visit rochestercyclingalliance.org

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bicycle Sharing Systems

Alta Planning & Design, http://www.altaplanning.com/ announces its sister company Alta Bicycle Sharing, Inc. (ABS) launches bike sharing systems in Melbourne, Australia and Washington, D.C. There’s no question that the success of bike share programs rests upon not just great technology, as provided by companies like Bixi, but on top-notch operations management, as provided by ABS.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Greater Rochester Area Bicycling Map @ Google Maps

Greater Rochester Area Bicycling Map
Genesee Transportation Council -- 2010

These ratings represent the opinions of experienced bicyclists on the rideability of major roads based on existing road conditions and features such as pavement width and quality, traffic volumes, presence and type of shoulders, and posted speed limits.

Please be aware that road conditions may change and bicyclists must always be aware of vehicular traffic, potholes, and other road hazards.

Further information is available at: http://www.gtcmpo.org/Bike_Map/BikeMapInfo.htm


http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=https:%2F%2Fsites.google.com%2Fsite%2Fgreaterrochesterareabikemap%2Fmap%2Fv2GreaterRochesterAreaBicyclingMap.kml%3Ft%3Dp&sll=43.14183,-77.570686&sspn=0.067137,0.219383&ie=UTF8&t=p&lci=bike&ll=43.157297,-77.606306&spn=0.073381,0.181789&z=13

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A new study of data from Lyon’s bike-share system could help planners

Grist by Sarah Goodyear 1 Dec 2010 10:24 AM

http://www.grist.org/article/2010-12-01-a-new-study-shows-that-bike-share-users-beat-average-car-speeds-

A couple of weeks ago, Elly Blue wrote here about the need for better data about bicycling here in the United States. In Lyon, France, the hugely popular Velo'v bike-share system is providing a source for at least some of types of bicycling numbers, having to do with travel times and routes.

The Lyon study looked at 11.6 million trips taken on the city's bikes between May 2005 and December 2007. It shows, among other things, that . From an item on the Physics arXiv Blog of MIT's Technology Review:

Over an average trip, cyclists travel 2.49 km in 14.7 minutes, so their average speed is about 10 km/h. That compares well with the average car speed in inner cities across Europe.

During the rush hour, however, the average speed rises to almost 15 km/h, a speed which outstrips the average car speed. And that's not including the time it takes to find a place to park, which is much easier for a Velo'v bike than a car.

Other results reveal the habits of the urban cyclist for the first time. For example, there is a clear peak in average speed at 7.45 am and 8.45 am on working days, when presumably there is rush to get to work. The average speed drops to a more leisurely 10 km/h at weekends....

The data also shows that bike journeys between two points are shorter in distance than the corresponding journey by car. There are no bike lanes in Lyon so this suggests that cyclists use other techniques to make short cuts, say [the researchers]. Their shocking conclusion is that cyclists often ride on the pavement, along bus lanes and the wrong way up one-way streets.

That kind of information will be useful for urban planners. For the first time they have real data to show where to build cycle lanes and how well they will be used.

Bike-share systems now up and running in Denver and Washington, D.C., could be a source for similar data. Let's hope it's made available to researchers.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Presentation of Final Rochester Bicycle Master Plan 6pm-8pm Monday, Dec 13

The final resentation of the Rochester Bicycle Master Plan will take place on Monday, 12/13, from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Kate Gleason Auditorium of the Rochester Central Library - Bausch & Lomb Building (116 South Ave). Your attendence and input will be most welcome.

The final version of the report will be available on the Web approximately one week prior to the meeting on the Rochester Bicycle Master Plan Website:

http://www.cityofrochester.gov/bikeplan/

I hope to see you there.

Scott

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ithaca Bike Symposium and Bike Boulevards

With the Rochester Bicycle Master Plan almost completed, one of the options for providing access is bike boulevards as noted below.

Summary Jon Schull and Scott MacRae’s Trip to Ithaca Bike Symposium 11- 19 &20, 2010

We were fortunate to attend the Ithaca Bike Symposium. Unable to make the afternoon sessions, we joined the Bike & Beer Gathering Friday Night. We met some Ithaca bike advocates and were introduced as the “Rochester Brothers” because Jon and I both put Rochester after our first names.

The next morning Mia Burke, Alta Planning, former bike coordinator for Portland, Oregon 1993-1999 who now runs a 60 employee national bike consulting company gave a talk on Bicycle Boulevards” or “Neighborhood Greenways”. Here are the highlights.

60% of the population is classified as “Interested and Concerned” and these folks are that the population that responds Bike Boulevards appeal to. (There are the 1% young and fearless and 7% are enthused and confident, 30% are uninterested in bicycling.)

Bike Boulevards or Neighborhood Greenways, have been very successful in Portland but the first one is a challenge since the community does not know what to expect. The cost is $250,000/mile so they may not be cheep compared to the $10-20,000/mile for painting lanes. They are ideal to set up on streets that run parallel to preferred routes. The preferred traffic volume is 3,000-4,000 but 1,500 or lower is ideal. Some bike boulevards are now shooting for <500 cars/day.

There are different levels of commitment for Bike Boulevards or Neighborhood Greenways. The first level is signage and pavement markings. Another is prioritizing traffic so that the cyclists don’t have to stop frequently. They also traffic use traffic calming (slowing) techniques like elongated speed bumps, traffic circles and curb extensions to slow traffic ideally to 15-25 mph. A higher level of commitment is auto traffic diversion to a different street. Adjoining street dwellers often complain about this driving more traffic to their streets but this is typically less than expected because traffic disperses more to other non adjacent streets.

Public involvement is important and the process should not be rushed into. The neighborhood needs to be surveyed and canvassed as well as ride and public workshops all contribute to educating the neighborhoods on the positive effects. This includes the increase in land values of neighborhoods around bike boulevards.

They use median and refuge islands which are separate from the pedestrian islands to allow the cyclists to cross busy streets. A street may be blocked off from 2 way car traffic and become a one way street but allow bikes to go 2 ways.

A popular trend is to combine “bike boulevards” with “green streets” which includes bioswales and storm water management as well as green plantings to improve the livability for everyone. The park service people like this because it can create an atmosphere of a mini park in a park inaccessible area. Bike Boulevards are one part of the puzzle of making a community bike friendly.


A great video on Portland, Oregon’s Bike Boulevard Program is available at:

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/11/portland-mode-share-tops-7.php?campaign=th_rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+treehuggersite+(Treehugger)

Scott

Thursday, November 11, 2010

University of Rochester Bicycle Active Transportation Forum, Monday Nov. 15, 5:30pm SMH, Flaum Atrium Case Method Room

University of Rochester Bicycling – Active Transportation Symposium – Workshop

5:30 pm, Monday, November 15th, Case Method Room # 9576, 1st floor Adjacent Flaum Atrium off the Mezzanine


The University of Rochester Center For Community Health and the Rochester Cycling Alliance are sponsoring a forum on bicycling and active transportation with a specific focus on educating the audience on the successes of Northern cities like Minneapolis, Minnesota and Madison, Wisconsin as well as opportunities for Rochester.Dr. Brad Berk Strong Health Systems CEO, will be introducing a symposium on bicycling and active transportation. The City of Rochester is in the final stages of developing its Bicycle Master Plan that will be finalized in early 2011. The University of Rochester will play a critical role in the success of encouraging the Greater Rochester Community to promote bicycling and walking as economical, safe and healthy modes of transportation for adults and children.

The forum will present a concise overview of the safety, health, economic and lifestyle benefits of active transportation (bicycling and walking) and will invite the audience to comment on the barriers to promoting bicycling and walking both on and off campus. Transportation challenges of the University Master Plan and Rochester Bicycling Master Plan as well as logistics of bike commuting will be presented. The workshop is to educate and organize individual’s interest in promoting better access to biking and walking in Rochester.

This is the first of 4 progressively larger symposiums on bicycling and Active Transportation which will be held over the next 6 months.

For further information contact Scott MacRae via Scott_macrae@URMC.rochester.edu or Glenn Cerosaletti at Glenn.cerosaletti@rochester.edu

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don't Be Ridiculous! How one Swedish city gets people to trade silly car trips for bikes

Here is a Swedish video about how to motivate, cajole and humerously encourage people to use active transportation, biking and walking, rather than hopping into the car for short trips. They've used some non conventional techniques for social marketing. Scott

http://www.grist.org/article/2010-09-29-how-one-swedish-city-gets-people-to-trade-silly-car-trips-for-bi/

Dutch Cyclists Shun Helmets - Wall Street Journal Article

Dutch cyclist are fighting the recommendaton by health professionals to wearing helmets. This is a familiar controversy where some cycling advocates are wary of encouraging helmets because it sends a message that cycling can be dangerous. The other side argues that not wearing a helmet is risky behavior. I think we've heard this argument before but which ever side you are on you can read about it below in the motherland of cycling in Europe. I personaly perfer to maintain as many brain cells as I can. Link below: Scott

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304248704575574250616160146.html?mod=ITP_TEST

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bicycling Master Plan Meeting # 3

Things are getting interesting and exciting!

The Rochester Bicycling Master Plan had it's third meeting on Thursday, Oct. 21nd with the Master Planning Advisory Committee and the Rochester Cycling Alliance members, Bill Collins and Scott MacRae participated. Sprinkle, the national consulting group gave a summary of the Draft Recommendations and Prioritization on Street Changes with weighting based on a customary fomulae along with the public & committee's suggestions.

The target "Level of Service" for this project is to get roads up to a "C" level although we'd all love to get most of the roads up to a C or better. We're currently at a D+ rating. There were some who argued that we should be shooting higher (for an A or B) but the Sprinkle group was confident once we get the process going then we can up our target level later.

The prioritization identified 4 major categories:
  1. Existing Bicycle Facility 4% of roads (6 miles) which have 4 foot bike lanes and meet criteria. This also includes roads that are programmed for next year as well.
  2. Target Bicycle Level of Service Met 29% (41 miles). These streets are typically low volume with infrequent parking which don't require striping
  3. Roadway Restrip Candidates 46% (65 miles) These are streets where roadway restiping is the first option to meet the C level of service. Streets with minimally utilized on street parking are good candidates for high ranking in this category.
  4. Detailed Corri9dor Study Needed (DCSN) 21% 30 miles. These streets don't lend themselves easily to the above criteria and restriping. These streets need more detailed extendsive and detailed operational -level investigations of the constraining factors and opportunities along these roads.

The exciting thing is that we will have about $400,000 worth of restriping and infrastructure improvements that the city will be acting on over the next few years. We will be seeing some bike symbols on bike lanes more and more over the next 2-3 years. It is very inexpensive to do this when a road is reconditioned. The $400,000 will be spent on roads that have already had repaving but need restriping depending on the priority score that was derived and the opportunity to do this in a cost efficient maner.

The mood of the meeting was definately upbeat and the engineers and designers from the city, state and county were very enthusiastic about what will be happening.

Sprinkle has identified Boulder, Colorado, Montreal, Canada, Minneapolis- St Paul, Minnesota and Madison, Wisconsin as our "Peer Cities" that have already made significant advances and can help us establish best practices for Rochester. More on this later. The Rochester Bicycling Master Plan Website is noted below

PS. Mayor Dave Cieslewicz of Madison, Wisconsin is coming to the Rochester Community Design Center Lecture Series "Reshaping Rochester" on April 26th, 2011, 7-9pm. He is a terrific bike advocate and gave a great talk at the National Bike Summitt in Wash. D.C. this spring on how Madison has became a bike friendly city despite being in a cold snowy enviroment. I spent some valuable time talking with him on the economics of biking and how it transforms communities. He went with his transporation team to Holland for a site visit on how they designed their infrastructure to encourage bicycling and active transportation. This is something we should consider when we meet our new mayor. Holland has programs which sponsors mayors and city leaders from around the world to visit to study their transportation system. Scott

http://www.cityofrochester.gov/bikeplan/

Saturday, October 2, 2010

RIT Alumni Jason Berry

Jason Berry is an RIT Alumni and film professional who has just completed a feature film on the Tour De France. The film depicts the history of the Tour De France and follows the tour team High Road and sprinter, Mark Cavendish as they journey through France. The filming and soundtrack is terrific!

Due to an outpouring of requests and with the help of the RIT
Alumni
Association we are having another screening of "Chasing
Legends" in
the Rochester area. Wednesday, October 6th at 8pm, Webb
Auditorium
on
the RIT campus. Please help us spread the word and I hope to
see you
at the show! Scott
Here is the description:
Chasing Legends screening in Webb Auditorium
The Office of Alumni Relations is hosting a special screening of alumnus filmmaker Jason Berry's gripping and award-winning documentary on the toughest and most celebrated sporting event in the world — the Tour de France — on Wednesday, October 6 at 8:00 pm in Webb Auditorium. Experience the heartfelt narrative story told by the athletes and announcers who bring this epic race to life each July. Go inside the peloton with Mark Cavendish, Lance Armstrong, and George Hincapie while cameras mounted on bikes, cars, helicopters and helmets take you on a ride that doesn't let up.

$10 per person/$7 students.

To purchase tickets, please click here.

This event is expected to sell out. Tickets are first come, first serve so register today!

Questions? Contact Jon Rodibaugh in the Office of Alumni Relations at jprrar@rit.edu

RIT Alumni Filmaker Jason Berry Encores Bicycling Tour De France Film "Chasing Legends

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

For cyclists interested in cycling adventure stories, the "Books Sandwiched In" series at Rundel is having a discussion of the book "The Lost Cyclist" on September 28- hosted by the owner of Full Moon Vista bike shop. I'll be out of town that day, but it looks fun!

http://www.cityofrochester.gov/article.aspx?id=8589944052

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rails WITH trails? Advantage to Railroads


from 
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy www.RailstoTrails.org


They should see their rates go down. Sometimes people will walk on
the track as a shortcut, then don't hear the train in time and get
hit. This is eliminated by having a multi use path next to it.

http://www.railstotrails.org/ourwork/trailbuilding/toolbox/informationsummaries/rails-with-trails.html

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rochester Bicycle Master Plan, Brighton, Wegmans and 360/365 Movie Festival

The last 2 weeks have been very productive for Rochester Cycling Advocacy. Two weeks ago RCA members Jon Schull, Scott MacRae and Tom Robinson (EDR) met with Brighton Town Surpervisor Sandra Frankel to discuss ways to make Brighton more bike friendly. She agreed to initiate creating a Brighton Bike Advisory group and with the help of RIT's Center For Student Innovation perhaps create a Brighton Bicycle Master Plan which would integrate Rochester's Plan as well. GROC also had a major victory getting their County Parks programs approved. Congratulations GROC.

Last Wed. the Rochester Bicycle Master Plan Group met which included RCA members Bill Collins, Jon Schull (substituting for Andrew Dollard, Richard DeSarra (also representing RBC) and Scott MacRae all participated in the discussion and critique of the Existing Conditions Map which was very detailed for each major street. Rochester rated a D+ on "Level of Service - LOS" which is above average but leads lots of room for improvement. This input as well as the input from 4 city community quadrant meetings which also allowed riders to compare their real life experience of riding the streets to the survey ratings to further refine the ratings. The participants were also able to rank which destinations and streets are higher priority and this information will also go into the master plan to help create priorities for the plan. You can review the plan at;
http://www.cityofrochester.gov/bikeplan/

Go to the existing level of service map and review it. If you agree or disagree, let them know. There will be a more detailed description street by street listed soon.
You can also give your comments to Erik Frisch City of Rochester at: Frische@CityofRochester.gov

Jon Schull, Richard DeSarra and Scott MacRae met with Judy Cama Community Relations Coordinator and Marcie Barcotta of Wegmans about getting Wegmans support to make Rochester more bike friendly. We discussed getting support for Jon's Active Transportation Network Map adnthe suggested Richard help them create some maps for their Passport to Family Wellness Program which currently encourages people to walk for Wegmans credits and gifts. The new program would encourage biking in the community. We also discussed how to make the New East Ave. Wegmans the poster child for a bike friendly store and neighborhood with indoor bike parking, lockers and showers for employees and incentive programs such as bike days with gifts for cyclists. They were very interested in supporting us.

Richard and Scott then met with John Richardson Director of the 360/365 film festival about incorporating 2 recent full lenght films involving bicycling at the 360/365 film festival in 2011. They are now also considering having a contest for the best 3 minute film on bicycling in 2011 as well.

Bill Collins is continueing to lead the dialogue with RGRTA's on the new transit center and is coordinating a meeting with RGRTA to discuss ways to make the center and the system more bike friendly.

Scott

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This is it! Bicycle Master Plan Public Meetings Wedesday and Thursday Night 6pm Aug. 25-26

Dear Cyclists,
Here is a repeat listing of the Rochester Bicycle Master Plan Rochester Quadrant Citizens Meetings if you have not seen the listing already. We are welcoming all citizens and cyclist to attend. The meetings will be facilitated by Bruce Landis and his team of bicycle design consultants from Sprinkle Inc., who are nationally recognized for their expertise on urban bicycle master plans.

The information gathered here will be combined with the other information already gathered through an extensive street by street analysis of the bicycle friendliness of existing conditions. A prioritization of streets with recommendations on next steps will be completed by early 2011. There are also numerous other recommendations that will be made as noted above in the BMP (Bicycle Master Plan) in the above enclosure.
Scott MacRae
Rochester Cycling Alliance

If you cannot make the meeting you can send your comments directly to Erik Frisch, Transportation Specialists at the address below or at:

Frische@CityofRochester.gov
Erik Frisch | Transportation Specialist
City of Rochester | DES | Architecture & Engineering Bureau
City Hall | 30 Church Street | Room 300B
Rochester | New York | 14614-1279

NORTHWEST QUADRANT

DATE: August 25, 2010 TIME: 6:00 PM – 8:00PM

LOCATION: Aquinas Institute, Cafeteria
ADDRESS: 1127 Dewey Avenue, Rochester

SOUTHWEST QUADRANT

DATE: August 25, 2010 TIME: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

LOCATION: Phyllis Wheatley Community Library

ADDRESS: 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way, Rochester

NORTHEAST QUADRANT
DATE: August 26, 2010 TIME: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

LOCATION: North Street Community Center

ADDRESS: 700 North Street, Rochester

SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
DATE: August 26, 2010 TIME: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

LOCATION: Artisan Church

ADDRESS: 1235 South Clinton Avenue, Rochester

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Save Recission $$$ for Bikes!

Protect vital bicycle funding programs- demand proportionality in rescissions! Take Action!

The Jobs Bill passed by Congress last week contains a $2.2 billion rescission of transportation funds from state Departments of Transportation. In many states, the DOT will likely target bike funding programs for the money to send back to the federal government – unless local advocates speak up and make sure that doesn’t happen. States must report which program funds are affected by August 25th- so action is needed this week!

Unlike previous rescissions there is no proportionality requirement calling for equal distribution of funding program cuts. Instead, the law gives the States maximum flexibility to choose the unobligated balances of funds to be rescinded.

The amount each state has to rescind is up to $200 million for the largest states. Many programs that fund bicycle projects are threatened by these rescissions including. These programs are often unfairly targets for cuts or rescissions, and in some cases have been completely gutted.

Take action now! Please contact your Governor and ask that rescissions be done equitably across programs, and that those that traditionally fund bicycling projects not be unfairly targeted.

Go to League of American Bicycles and send your message thought their website:

http://www.bikeleague.org/

Scott

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Getting the word out

Mostly, I just wanted to hightlight the GRATS idea with the article below that I have posted in various venues--and to mention that I hope the next meeting of the RCA includes some time devoted to communications--getting the word out about RCA's mission alternative transporation as a real option in our area.

So, here's the article:

Rochester bike commuting, the tipping point

Remember when you were a kid and used to watch water drops form? You’d stare at a point where a water drop was building, then after a while a tipping point would be reached and the drop would, well…, drop. Magic didn’t cause it; it was physics and surface tension and (not to bore you) things were building up.

Something like that is occurring in Rochester, NY on alternative transportation. Things are building up. 1. The public’s desire to do something about Climate Change. 2. Rochester, NY’s location at the confluence of several major off-road trails. 3. Many influential organizations willing to work together to solve the transportation conundrum facing us. 4. A five-mile direct trail from Rochester Institute of Technology, Genesee Valley Park, the University of Rochester, and downtown Rochester. All of this is coming together in a new concept by Professor Jon Schull, interim Director, Center for Student Innovation at Rochester institute of Technology. The concept is called GRATS: Greater Rochester Active Transportation System.

Here’s the skinny on the GRATS project: “Rochester has an enviable network of bikeable and walkable trails and boulevards that connect neighborhoods, campuses, and natural attractions. Connect the dots and a few gaps, and give Rochesterians, visitors and businesses new options for local travel, regional recreation, and economic development. With intermodal links to bus stations, train stations, waterways and airports, GRATS gives us a sustainable transportation system. Over half of our trips are under 5 miles. Why not bike? Why not walk? HELP MAKE GRATS A REALITY.” GRATS.

What’s compelling about GRATS is the map. Instead of the usual busy road/bike map, you see a lean, instantly comprehensible grid that conveniently intersects our community north, south, east, and west. You spot your house, your job, or your local grocer and you see how close you are to GRATS. You and GRATS will get you to those important short distances without polluting the planet or costing you an arm or a leg.

Of course, there will be much resistance to the kind of changes needed to seriously change direction on transportation and mitigate its effect on our environment. Some resistance will come from those of us disinclined to change our driving habits. It’s convenient to simply hop or jump into our car and buzz down the road. But the personal fossil fuel vehicle is expensive. The sticker price is only a fraction of the cost of a car. You have to ask yourself: How much did your vehicles cost? The second car? How much does it cost to run it? How much of your taxes go for the upkeep of the infrastructure for your vehicle? How much for insurance? How much do you pay to park? Repairs? Inspection? Insurance? Accidents and deaths? How many jobs do you work to pay for your vehicle? Subsidies to the oil industry? What if gasoline prices start to reflect their true cost—some say $10 per gallon?

More resistance will come from the car and fossil fuel industries. They’ll feel threatened by a public willing to forgo the car for the bike, though that’s a great big hypocrisy: When you’re an employee and your job is being replaced by outsourcing or by new technology, they tell you to get over it. Get retrained and deal with it. But if you are an industry that pollutes and compromises our environment, they don’t succumb to reason and deal with it, they hire lawyers to fight it. They spend a zillion bucks on advertizing and influence peddling to convince you and your representatives that life without a car is unthinkable.

So, what’s the tipping point? What will it take for us to adopt an alternative transportation system like GRATS? What about bicycling in winter? What about getting sweaty and going to work? What about bike storage? The answer is: The tipping point is you. Get involved. Go to Rochester Cycling Alliance and chime in.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Comrades- they're on to us!

"Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes knows you might think bicycles and bicycle riding are harmless, but beware: "That's exactly the attitude they want you to have."

The Denver Post reports that Maes, a Tea Party friendly candidate facing former Rep. Scott McInnis in the August 10 Republican primary, has come out against a public bicycle program run by the city of Denver. Denver's mayor, John Hickenlooper, is the presumptive Democratic nominee, and a cycling supporter.

"This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed," Maes said at a small campaign rally last week, according to the Post. "These aren't just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor. These are very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program that mayors have signed on to."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/co-gov-goper-maes-hickenloopers-bike-love-is-a-un-plot.php?ref=fpblg


-Bill Collins

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dangerous Pedestrian Crossings PBS Special

Dear Group,

Here is a nice link to a PBS treatise on dangerous pedestrian road crossings which has plenty of relevance to our travials trying to get safe bike lane design in challenging places like Monroe Ave around Pittsford Plaza. During the presentation they mention that the current trend is unsustainable and very bad for the evolving demographics, ie more older people who won't be able to drive and are stuck in their suburban houses locked in by 6&7 lane roads.

I had a discussion a few weeks ago with Rich Perrin, head of Genesee Transportation Council who made the same point. Our current road design strategy of continually adding lanes and moving further away from the city is unsustainable. The federal govenment is only able to fund 40% of the roads and bridges that need repair. That is why we are so appealing to tranportation planners. We represent a solution that is not expensive and essentially puts everyone on a "road diet".

Scott

http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/2010/07/26/pbs-dangerous-crossing/

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Greater Rochester Active Transportation System brochure

Click on images for a printable PDF.
Spread the word!
Now seeking endorsements and logos from allied organizations.




Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dark forces are waiting for us to let down our guard

Electronics companies try to start a pro-distracted driving lobby, but backtrack quickly when the Secretary of Transportation raises a fuss.

-Bill Collins

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Safe Passing" Law passes NYS Legislature

A bill that mandates cars to pass a bicyclist at a "safe distance" passed the Legislature yesterday:
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2010100630006

Thanks to Richard, Harvey, and all the other NYS cyclist advocates that worked hard to get this bill passed! Hopefully the governor will sign, but it appeared to pass both houses with more than 2/3 vote, so an override shouldn't be difficult, if it comes to that.

-Bill Collins

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And another City bike tour

This one focuses on Artwalk and Cobbs Hill area, July 20th:


-Bill Collins

Guided Bike Ride

Free guided bike tour of Marketview Heights and the Arts District, sponsored by the City of Rochester and MVP, July 6th:


-Bill Collins

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A group of cyclists in Canada gets impatient with government inaction regarding cycling infrastructure and takes measures into its own hands.



-Bill Collins

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beyond The Motor City Screening Monday, June 28th Dryden Theater George Eastman House 7pm Open to Public

Below please find info about a free documentary screening at the George Eastman House's Dryden Theater on Monday, June 28. This film and the panel discussion that follows will address issues pivotal to the future of our region. This is a film about the past and future of transportation. Info requests to RRCDC phone 271 0520.

We hope you can attend the screening and panel discussion on June 28. Please forward and post to your Facebooks, Twitters, etc. etc. etc.!

Evan Lowenstein
Empire State Future (www.empirestatefuture.org)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bike Master Plan website now up

The City of Rochester has launched the website for the Bicycle Master Plan currently being developed. It's pretty limited right now, but more information will be added as the project progresses. Check it out!

http://www.cityofrochester.gov/bikeplan/

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

No Kidding!!! Business Week: Los Angeles plans to spend $230 million on 1,700 miles of bicycle paths

SPECIAL REPORT June 3, 2010, 3:09PM EST
Fighting Carbon Emissions: Cities Take the Lead
From Los Angeles to Amsterdam, city hall is becoming the best hope for climate action
By Mark Scott and Jeremy van Loon
Los Angeles: city of freeways, smog, and...bike lanes? That's where Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants to take his town. In one of the less likely
transformations in the global effort to cut carbon dioxide emissions, Los Angeles plans to spend $230 million on 1,700 miles of bicycle paths. Most of the
program will be completed by 2015 and includes changing rooms, showers, and bike storage areas operated by the city and private partners. It comes on
top of subsidies for installing solar panels and incentives for planting trees and switching to electric vehicles. "We have to make a change," says Michelle
Mowery, senior coordinator for the bike program. "We can't fit any more cars in."
From the freeways of Los Angeles to the canals of Amsterdam, cities are taking the lead in the fight to reduce carbon output.

As world leaders squabble
over how to cut greenhouse gases, city hall is becoming the best hope for climate action. Given their smaller jurisdictions, local officials can green-light
eco-projects faster than nationwide schemes can be implemented. "We're not going to wait for national politicians, we're acting right now," says Toronto
Mayor David Miller, who plans to invest more than $1 billion in public transport and eco-friendly air-conditioning systems for buildings by 2017.
The efforts could have a profound impact: Cities are home to more than half the world's population and pump out more than two-thirds of global carbon
dioxide. That share will surely grow as people flock to megacities in the developing world. "It's obvious where the fight for a sustainable civilization will be
decided, and that's in large cities," says Peter Loescher, chief executive officer of Siemens (SI), which aims to profit from selling its streetcars, wind
turbines, and other technologies to municipalities worldwide.
Just as no two cities are alike, there are vast differences in local strategies. In Toyko 68 percent of trips are already made by bike, subway, or on foot.
Houston residents, by contrast, make 95 percent of their journeys by car. So while the Texas city is giving officials electric vehicles to reduce emissions,
the Japanese capital in April announced a citywide CO2 cap-and-trade program—the kind the U.S. Senate has been unable to pass so far. Copenhagen
will spend $1.6 billion by 2012 on bike paths, green energy projects, and retrofitting city buildings. Melbourne plans to bar cars from downtown and offer
incentives to developers who invest in efficiency. "It's a green gold rush," says Robert Doyle, Melbourne's Lord Mayor.
In Amsterdam, city elders are in the midst of a five-year, $1 billion program to improve creaking infrastructure. Amsterdam's 2,400 houseboats have been
fitted to use electricity instead of diesel, and cargo barges are now being converted as well. Some 300 homes are testing display panels that show energy usage in real time, a program that may be expanded citywide. If residents can be persuaded to use the technology to cut power use at peak times, their
electricity bills could fall by up to 40 percent, says Ger Baron, who oversees the project. "Our biggest challenge is changing people's habits," he says.
New York, meanwhile, has laid out a program called "PlaNYC." The scheme includes tax breaks for solar panels, legal changes that spur property owners
to make buildings more energy-efficient, and power plants that use food waste and wood chips. Though a proposal to charge a congestion fee for drivers
entering much of Manhattan couldn't pass the state legislature, the Big Apple hopes to quadruple its 450 miles of bicycle paths by 2030. New York's plan
has even sparked envy on the West Coast. "Los Angeles isn't New York," says L.A. cycling chief Mowery. "But we're getting there."
The bottom line: As national governments fail to cut carbon, cities are starting to take the initiative with programs aimed at reining in emissions.
With Stuart Biggs. Scott is a correspondent in Bloomberg Businessweek's London bureau. Van Loon is a reporter for Bloomberg News.

The times,they are a changing: Posted by Scott MacRae

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rochester bicycle boulevard ride a success



On Sunday, May 23 at 1 PM in Cobbs Hill Park, over forty bicyclists began a bicycle boulevard demonstration ride through the Upper Monroe neighborhood in Rochester, New York. They were not racers, or members of a single bicycling club, or recruits for a charity ride. They were just ordinary folks finding out what a bicycle boulevard would look and feel like in our area.

Maybe it is a harbinger of things to come. Portland, Oregon’s next generation bicycle boulevards is already achieving what we are attempting here: “A low traffic volume and low traffic speed street where bicycles, pedestrians and neighbors are given priority.” Already, this concept is being introduced as one of the choices for the Bicycle Master Plan being developed by the City of Rochester and the county of Monroe.

Preparation for this demonstration ride began almost a year ago by choosing a neighborhood properly situated near the heart of the city, en route to popular generators. A generator is a destination that attracts traffic, like a supermarket, a city center, a theatre district, or, in Rochester’s case, its wonderful network of trails (including the New York State Canal Trail) which come to a hub at Genesee Park.

For this specific demonstration ride, a route from the Upper Monroe neighborhood was mapped out and temporarily signed, pointing out each turn of the ride. When fully developed, this bicycle boulevard would not only have permanent signage, it might have many other features like auto speed reduction, auto traffic reduction, and various changes to make crossing busy streets easier and safer. (http://www.bta4bikes.org/) Ultimately, Upper Monroe bicycle boulevards would be linked to a series of other boulevard routes throughout all our neighborhoods providing safe and enjoyable routes that make our neighborhoods more neighborly. Not to mention fewer fossil-burning vehicles, fewer ozone alert days, and a lighter impact on climate change.

What might tip the community from one that views bicycles, walking, and public transportation as peripheral ways of getting around to a city that is designed specifically around these transportation options? Maybe we could take our lead from Portland, Oregon, pack up all our influential community leaders, and send them to Boulder, Colorado or The Netherlands and let them see how they do it. Don’t laugh, it’s been done—and it worked!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bike 4 Breakfast

Bike 4 Breakfast (a Bike Week event) took place on Sunday, May 23rd from 8:00am - 11:00am. The ride started at Eastern Mountain Sports in Pittsford Plaza and followed the Canal Path to the Genesee River Path in route to the South Wedge Diner (located in Rochester's South Wedge neighborhood). The people, weather and ride were all great! The total number of riders that participated was 14. Great event - look forward to offering it again sometime this summer.
Thanks to Chintana for helping out.

Get that pothole filled!

For motorists, potholes are an annoyance, but they can be extremely dangerous for cyclists! If you encounter potholes in the City of Rochester, you can use this on-line form to report them to the City for repair:
In my experience, the City fills the pothole within a couple of days.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Rochester Cycling Alliance / Bike Week Commuter Race just finished - cyclist won after a close race. Times will be updated later and possibly a video too! Thanks to everyone who helped out with the race. Great way to start out Bike Week. Don't miss the Light-up the River Ride tonight at 9:00PM. Visit: www.rochestercyclingalliance.org for details.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rush hour.

Here's a time-lapse video of rush hour in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Dream big, folks.


Friday, May 21st - Commuter Race (First Bike Week Event)

Rochester's Bike Week starts tomorrow! Tomorrow is also National Bike to Work Day - BIKE TO WORK! Come support the Bike Week Commuter Race at 7:00am (Bicyclists vs. car vs. bus). Race will begin at Starbucks (Corner of Winton and Monroe) at 7:00am and terminates in front of the museum on Monroe Ave (just before Manhattan Sq Pk).

Monday, May 10, 2010

RCA T-shirt Orders


Anyone interested in a limited edition RCA T-shirt please email us
with your name, T-shirt size, phone number, and email. T-shirt cost
will be $20 per shirt. This cost is based on buying 12 T-shirts to start. The more people who buy them the cheaper they will be. We need orders by 10AM tomorrow (5/11) in order to get the shirts by this Friday. Please pass this message along and let all RCA'ers know about the shirts.

Shirts will be Red 50/50 cotton shirts with a white RCA Chain ring /Cityscape logo on the front and white "ROCHESTER CYCLING ALLIANCE" lettering on the back across the shoulders. To place an order for your shirt click here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

TELL YOUR FRIENDS!


ATTENTION all RCA members with a Facebook page! If you have been looking for a way to help and support the RCA and Bike Week, but have been too busy to make it to meetings, etc. you can help-out by letting your friends know about the event through Facebook or email.

If you have a Facebook page please cut and paste the following message into your status:

Rochester Bike Week is May 21st thru 28th. For a list of events visit: http://www.rochestercyclingalliance.org/

If you do not have facebook, but have an email account.. then simply send the above message to your friends via email.

Your help with messaging and getting the word out is crucial to the success of this event! What good is this event if no one knows about it! Also, frequent posts to your Facebook page over the next two weeks leading up to Bike Week will increase our messaging success!

SPREAD THE WORD! Thanks for your support...

Bike Week Committee

Saturday, May 8, 2010

LAST Rochester Bike Week Volunteer Meeting


ATTN: All RCA Members and Volunteers...

We will be having the last volunteer meeting at Spot Coffee on Tuesday, May 11th from 7-8PM. At this meeting we will cover: upcoming confirmed events, distribute fliers to volunteer (for later distribution), discuss where fliers have been distributed thus far (bike shops, etc.), schedule volunteers for flier distribution at the Lilac Fest, determine the number of Bike Week shirts to purchase, and implement Social Media strategies and get our network of volunteers involved with spreading the word via FB, Twitter, Blogs, etc.

Please come to see how you can help support the event.

Thanks,
RCA Bike Week Committee
For more info. please email: info@rochestercyclingalliance.com

Friday, May 7, 2010

Maplewood Bike Rodeo needs volunteers!

The Maplewood Library is having a bike rodeo for kids next Saturday (May 15) at 10:00, and needs additional volunteers, preferably people who have some experience with minor bike and helmet adjustments/repairs. About 26 kids, all active users of the Maplewood Library, will be attending. It will take place in the front parking lot of Aquinas High School. The RPD will be supervising the actual cone riding course. Volunteers will be needed for the helmet/bike adjustments and possibly helping kids learn to ride. Please contact me if you are interested: alamedajunk@yahoo.com .

-Bill Collins

Transportation reform IS health reform

Via Streetsblog, an article about a CDC report quietly issued last month which affirms that reforming transportation policy to encourage pedestrian and bicycle use will improve the health of our country-
This CDC brief should be mentioned every time we advocate for better cycling facilities.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rochester Rated 18th of US Cities in Bicycle Commuting


In 2008 Rochester has the 18th highest of 51 cities over 1 million population based on US Census Data with a bicycle commute rate of 0.6%. The rate has grow substantially from it’s 0.2% rate in 2000 based on US Census Data.

I’ve been in contact with Steve Clark, who works for Transit for Livable Communities in Minneapolis and is highly respected in the Minneapolis cycling community. He notes that they are seeing an increase in all year bike commuting as well as an overall increase. One third of Minneapolis bike commuters are now cycling year round as born out by the bike counts. Minneapolis's bike commuting rate is 4.2%, Ottawa's is 1.9%, Toronto's is 0.8%. Minneapolis built the lanes and trails and they cycled.

Steve also gave me two terrific links that are used to educate the public as well as maintenance personnel on winter street care. He recently completed an all day workshop with street maintenance workers and the have bought into the program as well and some are now cycling. These are enclosed below.

http://www.c-d-g.org/projects/TLC/WinterWalkBike/LeadershipBreakfast.htm

http://www.c-d-g.org/projects/TLC/WinterWalkBike/Dec4WinterWorkshop.htm

Steve also attached his research on winter riding. "What we have found is that winter riding is especially high on commuter routes. Not so high on paths that have high rates of recreational use during the summer months. Based on all of our counts, we conclude that nearly a third of regular bike commuters continue to bike during the winter." He also sent us a nice 4-3 conversion image shown here. Scott

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sustainability Mobility Fair

Sustainability Mobility Fair “Future Transportation Choices for Short Trips" Admission is free and open to the public. At the May 8th Sustainability Mobility Fair you can view over 20 full-size alternative vehicles in a casual setting.


WHEN & WHERE: When: Saturday, May 8, 2010 from 10:AM - 2 PM
Where: The Center for Student Innovation at RIT, 1 Lomb Memorial Dr Rochester, NY 14623-5698

Most of the trips we take are 6.5 miles from our homes. Either traveling to work, to school, to shop, or just for fun, you will have many transportation choices in the future. Whether your reasons for considering alternative transportation are to cut commuter costs, concern over greenhouse gas emissions, or to improve your health, get an idea of your choices by coming to our first Sustainability Mobility Fair. This event is sponsored by The Center for Student Innovation at RIT (CSI) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the Center for Environmental information (CEI).

Our vision for creating this expo is to offer the public an opportunity to see and examine possible alternative transportation for those short distances.
Attendees will be exposed to what is new and now available on the markets and able to experience the latest choices in electric (bicycles, trikes, cars and motorcycles), hybrid electric, GEM car, Zip car, hydrogen, biodiesel, compressed natural gas, propane hybrid, plug-in electric, ethanol, Walking School Buses, bicycles, ‘veggie’ vehicles, and cycling transportation technologies.. All alternative fuel options will be on display. As more commuters become aware of travel choices, we expect to see more of them regularly choosing transportation alternatives because of the benefits. For more information, please check out: http://ceinfo.org/

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

3 Foot Passing Law in NY?

Via Streetsblog, an article about the current status of bills to help keep cars away from bikes in New York State. David Gantt, a Rochester Assemblyman, is currently Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, and is mentioned in the article as being currently opposed to a 3 foot rule, preferring instead a "safe distance" rule. Any area bicyclist, but especially constituent's of Mr. Gantt's, should contact his office about these bills.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Rochester Bicycle Master Plan

The first "pre kick off" meeting of the Advisory Committee met on Friday. RCA members Andrew Dollard, Bill Collins, Richard DeSarra also representing Rochester Bicycle Club and myself (representing U. of R.) as well as others, were there as well as city representatives Chuck Thomas, Steve Beauvaias, Pete Siegrest and Erik Frisch. Scott Leathersich represented Monroe County and a proxy GTC rep was there.

This meeting was to prepare for the outside national bicycle planning/consultanting group Sprinkle from Tampa, Fl. who will be coming the week of May 24-28th to do their preliminary assessment. This visit will overlap with bike week and we are planning to see if we can get Mayor Duffy and Sprinkle to participate in some of our Bike Week activities. The details of this need to be worked out but it looks encouraging that this will fall into place. Local firms ERD a landscape design and engineering company as well SRF, which offers expertise in transportation planning, pedestrian and bicycle safety, traffic calming ect. will be assisting Sprinkle. They want to do this plan expeditiously in 8 months since all parties are eager to move forward because of potential funding opportunities.

We discussed a variety of issues which need to be addressed by the master plan including how to meter progress, weather, representation of low income groups and the format of the upcoming meetings. Overall everyone involved seems committed to making a difference in making Rochester a more bike friendly town. More later.

Scott

Sunday, April 25, 2010

RCA T-shirt Design

Please provide feedback about this t-shirt design (graphic, colors & pricing). Would you support our efforts and mission by purchasing one of our t-shirts?








Make custom t-shirts at CustomInk.com

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Trails, Canals, and Project Green


Rochester's routes have shaped its history and will determine its destiny. From its Native American days to the present, Rochester's historical pathways continue to shape and affect its vibrancy. We've come full circle.

Trail. Indian trails shaped today's street arrangement. Instead of a simple urban grid we have Genesee Street, Plymouth Avenue and the trail along the east bank of the Genesee River.

Canal.
Our nineteenth-century canal system built on these Native American routes. The largely-forgotten Genesee Valley Canal followed closely South Plymouth Avenue and the Feeder Canal paralleled much of today's Mt. Hope Avenue. The Erie Canal followed a curving West Broad Street route as it entered downtown.

Rail.
Starting in 1878, railroads began supplanting canals. Five different railroad systems operated in downtown Rochester around the early 1900s.

Fail.
But interstate highways, suburban development, governmental policy, and automobile lobbies eventually supplanted the dominance of the railroads.

Stale.
In the 1970s, urban redevelopment gave us the Inner Loop, suburban sprawl, and neighborhood separation. Subsequently, the city economi staled and people moved elsewhere. Many of Rochester's core urban neighborhoods inherited surplus housing beyond reclaiming.

Trail! New hope now comes with the City of Rochester's Project Green. The idea is to turn swaths of vacant and substandard housing into greenspaces that will enhance property values and quality of life. Some greenspaces would be used for community gardens. Some greenspaces would be "land-banked" for future development when the economy improves. And some greenspaces will be developed as linear parks for pedestrian and bicycle reconnecting neighborhoods, encouraing active living, reducing carbon footprints and parking pressures, combatting obesity, and generally making life better!

The Rochester Cycling Alliance strongly supports the City's efforts to re-envision and re-provision former canal and rail routes, and to develop a bicycle master plan that uses them to reconnect and re-invigorate our city.

Rochester will blaze new trails by recovering old ones. Bike to the future!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Google Maps - Bikes Is Working & Responding To Route Recommendation

Google maps bikes is now up, working and responding to suggestins. It is in beta testing so they are continuously refining things and encourage us to critique thier suggested routes. I'd encourage you to use it and post your favorite cycling routes to work, schools shopping etc. This can be a powerful tool to direct cyclists to the safest routes. It automatically takes into consideration things like hills ect to make it easier for cyclists. Here is my experience as an example:

I checked out a route my wife wanted to take for a bike trip from Park Ave. to Pittsford and it suggested she go down Monroe Ave directly which was the most direct by car but not the safest.

I typed in an alternative route down Clover using the bike lane and then to the Erie Canal and East as a safer alternative. A week later Google responded with this message. Very cool!

Hi scott, Your Google Maps problem report has been reviewed, and you were right!
We'll update the map soon and email you when you can see the change.

Report historyProblem ID: EDE2-41E3-816A-096AYour report: I would suggest that one continue South on Clover even though this is not the greatest road, it has a 4-5 foot bike lane and certainly better than Monroe Ave which is a 4 lane road with no bike lanes. I would continue south and then pick up the Erie Canal trail and take a left which would lead me into into the town of Pittsford without the danger of Monroe Ave which is a mess and dangerous especially south of Clover where it turns into 5 lanes, has lots of stores and cars turning without remotely considering cyclists or pedestrians. Scott MacRae Rochester Cycling Alliance

--Thanks for your help,The Google Maps team


Check it out by going to Google Maps and then click on the "More" icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen, then click "bicycling" and it will give you a preferred route. If enought of us refine the routes, it should be very handy for folks with time. The system learns by our direct feedback.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Upper Monroe Bicycle Boulevard Ride


Upper Monroe Bicycle Boulevard Ride

The Upper Monroe Avenue Neighborhood Association has stepped up to the plate and become the first neighborhood in our city to endorse the City of Rochester’s decision to include bicycle boulevards in its Bicycle Masterplan. Eventually, we want to provide the Rochester community with an example of bicycle boulevards designed to connect neighborhoods with the city-wide trail system and to encourage bicycle use by casual bike riders to nearby destinations.

We can support them by riding on May 23!

Please consider riding your bicycle with us on our our first Upper Monroe bicycling boulevard ride on May 23rd.  This is just one of the events for Rochester's Bike Week to show off our neighborhood and the bicycle boulevard concept.
We'll meet up at Cobb's Hill Park and bike to Ford's Street Bridge then on to Boulder Coffee shop on 955 Genesee Street and back. 
  • When: 1 PM, Sunday, May 23rd, 2010
  • Where: Cobbs Hill Park (near the corner of Norris Dr. and Culver Rd.
  • Helmet required
  • Total bicycling distance:  7.34 miles of fun.
  • Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Free and Open to the public
  • Ride lead by a Rochester Bicycling Club Board member

Bicycle Boulevards

This is the route we will be taking on May 23rd. 


View Upper Monroe Bicycle Boulevard Ride in a larger map

Tour de New York returns to Rochester in August

http://rocnow.com/article/sports/20104100326


ANNETTE LEIN file photo 2007
This summer’s five-stage Tour de New York bicycle race in Rochester is expected to draw 125,000 spectators.
...
Mayor Robert Duffy has called pro cycling a major tourism engine for the region.
He’s been my saving grace,” Page said. “He’s always been supportive and he’s had the vision of where this thing is going.”
While the event is labeled Tour de New York, the race’s long-range intention is to remain centered on western New York.
Unlike the Tour de France or Tour de California in which riders and their entourages move from location to location, the Tour de New York will use Rochester as its base of operations.
TOUR DE NEW YORK
What: 5-day stage road cycling event for professionals and elite amateurs sanctioned by Union Cycliste Internationale.
When: Aug. 7-11 on courses through Rochester and Finger Lakes.
Format: Criterium downtown, Saturday, Aug. 7; 10-mile time trial on Lake Ontario Parkway, Sunday, Aug. 8; three road races of varying lengths Aug. 9, 10 and 11.
Information: www.tourdenewyork.com.

Weather Factor: 5 of Top 10 US Bike Cities in Cold Snowy Climates

Well the word is out as Bill has posted. Cold winters are no longer a good excuse for cities being hesitant to build bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. If you build it they will come. Incidentally, Rochester bike commuting rate in 0.6% and rates sixteenth highest of US Cities.

Minneapolis was given the # 1 Bike City rating and 5 of the top 10 US bike cities are in cold climates. These include Minneapolis, Boulder, Madison Wisc., NYC and Chicago. Minneapolis has a 4.3 % bicycle commuting rate and an impressive 6.1% walking commuting rate. That rate grew by 68% between 2006 to 2008 because of trail and bike lane expansion, grass roots advocacy and supportive politicians. Mayor RT Rybak is a regular bicyclist and the County Commisssioner is also strongly supportive.

I've had the opportunity to discuss with Dorian Grilley, of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota and Steve Clark of Bike Walk Twin Cities about their programs. The program has grown because of infrastructure investment and they plan to expand bikeways 40% over the next few years. The average temperature in Minneapolis is around 25 degrees F in January and Febuary which is similar to Rochester. This is also true for Milwaukee and Madison which are also biking cities. They get less snow, about 54 inches, compared to Rochester's 94 inches which gives us a bit more challenge. In discussions with Steve Clark he noted that they are working directly with the city maintance crews discussing ways to improve the snow clearance using maintanance equipment and salt brine. The winter cycling rates have climbed as a result of this so that now one third of bike commuters are commuting year round. The bike commuters percentage drops down to 10% on cold snowy days but may climb to 40% on nice mild winter days. Walkers use the trails even more consistantly with three forths of walkers continuing to walk through the winter which is a very good argument for why we should be keeping our trails plowed and maintained year round. I've been investigating how northern climate cities have implemented their bicycle/pedestrian friendly strategies because this is the most common question that politicians, administrator and community leaders have asked when discussing Active Transportation with them.

My sister lives in St. Paul and I've cycled around Minneapolis and the trails and bike lanes are terrific. The following video gives you a feeling for the spirit that the Minneapolis community has in about biking and walking. We can learn a lot from them and use thier example to show it can be done in Rochester:

http://www.bikewalktwincities.org/bike-walk-twin-cities-video

The Bike Walk Twin Cities Wesite is excellent. Check it out. The Midtown Greenway Website is also excellent and gives you a feel for their 5.5 mile trail from the Mississippi to Minneapolis.

http://www.bikewalktwincities.org/
http://www.midtowngreenway.org/

Scott

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cyclists are traffic! Welcome to Capital Coexist

CAPITAL COEXIST is a localized education campaign geared towards cyclists and motorists safely coexisting when using the region’s roadways.

This project was developed by the Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) in response to the recently completed Albany Bicycle Master Plan and public requests for bicycle education and safety information.

It is anticipated that the Capital Coexist website will become the clearinghouse for bicycle education material in the Capital Region; a one-stop location for bicycle educational material, safety tips, current bicycle projects and events.

http://www.capitalcoexist.org/

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rochester is #50!

Rochester NY is listed as #50 on Bicycling magazine's list of "America's Best Bike Cities". The link to the map of the cities is here: http://www.bicycling.com/topbikefriendlycities/. Click on the pin for Rochester to see our slide. The article is in the May 2010 issue.

-Bill Collins


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sustainability Mobility Fair - May 8th FREE

“Sustainability Mobility Fair - Future Transportation Choices for Short Trips"
Admission is free and open to the public.

When: Saturday, May 8, 2010 from 10:AM - 2 PM
Where: The Center for Student Innovation at RIT, 1 Lomb Memorial Dr Rochester, NY 14623-5698

Attendees will be exposed to what is new and now available on the market and able to experience the latest choices in Electric, Hydrogen, Biodiesel, Natural Gas, Propane, Hybrid, Plug-In, Ethanol, Walking School Buses, and cycling transportation technologies.

All alternative fuel options will be on display. As more commuters become aware of travel choices, we expect to see more of them regularly choosing transportation alternatives because of the benefits. Sponsored by Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the Center for Environmental Information (CEI).

For more information and directions, surf over to ceinfo.org or http://www.rochesterenvironment.com/SMF.html

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Safe Routes to Schools, Obesity Issues and RCA The Safe Routes to Schools groups were at the National Bicycle Alliance Meeting in Washington DC. Through my contacts there I contacted Kathy Cook a coordinator of Safe Routes to Schools in Portland, Ore. She told me of their program in Portland and the program that was funded in New York last year but wasn't renewed this year. She suggested identifying parents, teachere, PE, health teachers, and principals who like to cycle and encouraging them to get involved with the safe routes programs. I've enclosed the Safe Routes Websites which can be of help to these individuals. I'd consider it a big win if we could identify one or 2 individuals/champions to get things started with Safe Routes to Schools and then move forward from there. The web sites are below: I also had an excellent discussion with Andrew Dolinger MD, County Health Comissioner, who is very interested and sympathetic to our work. He has a huge task of trying to combat an epidemic of adult and childhood obesity and things like pedestrian and cycling activity are music to his ears to promote exercise and health in Monroe County. He is working with a number of health organizations including Greater Rochester Health Foundation and the Adult Obesity Coalition, the latter run by Nancy Bennett, Head of Center for Community Health - U of R. who are very sympathetic to what we are doing. These are natural alliances that can help us with time and support our efforts to get people more active.

Here's the main website link for Safe Routes To Schools for our reference as well as a tips for starting a program. There may be some walking bus programs in the area according to Dr. Dolinger :

www.saferoutespartnership.org

The tips for starting up SRTS in your backyard are here:

http://www.saferoutespartnership.org/media/file/school_resources--health_and_green_version.pdf

Join us here:

http://www.saferoutespartnership.org/about/3302

And also, check out your State's page on our website:

http://www.saferoutespartnership.org/state/5043

Scott

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Commuter Race

I have been talking with bike advocates in Madison and Minneapolis and getting some interesting ideas from them. One idea is to have the mayor ride the bike in the race. The mayor of Minneapolis who is a bicyclist and an strong bike supporter has won the commuter race against the car and bus every year he has done it.

I think we should invite the mayor to do the race on a bike. We should do some dry runs prior to the race to make sure the route is safe, passable ect. and then get him involved. There would be no better way to get him into what we're doing than by asking him to jump in. I'd be glad to approach him with the idea. I think we're ready for a meeting with him anyways. If we want to do it, we need to do it soon to get on his calender. I've also got lots of ideas on how to deal with the snow and northern climate issue from the midwestern city folks west of us.

Scott

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bike Share is Happening in the US.

I think this has excellent potential on college campuses in Rochester. Read on. Scott M.

Public bike share is gearing up in Minneapolis
Blue Cross to be lead sponsor, bike share equipment featured at State Fair
September 2, 2009 (MINNEAPOLIS) – Mayor R.T. Rybak said today that Minneapolis is on track to launch the first large-scale bike share system of any city in the country. In May 2010, Nice Ride Minnesota will launch a bike share system in Minneapolis, similar to systems in Paris, Barcelona, Montreal, and more than 100 cities across the globe.
Nice Ride Minnesota will put 1,000 bicycles onto Minneapolis streets, locked in 80 self-service kiosks. Bike share kiosks will be located in downtown Minneapolis, on the University of Minnesota campus and in nearby commercial districts, including Uptown, Eat Street, Midtown, Seward, Dinkytown, Cedar Riverside, and the Warehouse district.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) today announced it will be the major sponsor of Nice Ride Minnesota. Nice Ride previously received a $1.75 million award from Bike Walk Twin Cities, a federally-funded initiative to increase biking and walking and reduce driving.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Case Statement For Active Transportation Genesee - Finger Lakes Region, New York

I had a very productive discussion with Bob Torzynski head of bicycle and pedestrian affairs at Genesee Tranportation Council (GTC) and got some background on the proposal discussed by Rich Perrin head of GTC when he visited us last month. This $50 million proposal is just for the Rochester area and is part of a bigger proposal. (More details are in Jeff Mapes's book Pedaling Revolution on page 59. )
After the 2006 elections Rails To Trails started shopping a plan around the country to give forty communities, $50 million dollars to increase bicycling and pedestrian use - that's a total of $2 Billion, yes $2 Billion, nationally.
This is being made possible by the introduction of Oregon House Representative Earl Blumenhauer's Active Transportation ACT of 2010 or ACTA or House Bill # 4722 which asks for $ 2 billion dollars over 6 years. This is the potential source of our funding for our $50 million dollar application. Today I sent a 10 page draft of the Rochester Case Statement to Rails to Trails to critically review and make suggestions to strengthen our proposal. The draft was originally created by the Rochster Area Community Foundaton inconjuction with the GTC. Rails To Trails is very supportive of our application and encouraged us to move forward when we visited their offices when when in Wash. DC.

If the Active Transportation bill passes, they will porbably fund 40 communities. Currently they have 53 case statements from different communities and we would have a very good chance of getting funded. All this is dependent on getting house Bill # 472 passed. We need to encourage all of our congressmen to support and more importantly cosponsor house bill # 4722. This is the most important national letter we can do probably this year so I'd encourage you to do write your congress man or woman. I will keep you posted on our progress.

Scott

Rochester Subway : $510 Million No One Seems To Care About

I hope no one is offended, but I've lifted this entire article from RochesterSubway.com.

Our friends at GTC are presenting again Wednesday morning.  We should be there.


Rochester Subway : $510 Million No One Seems To Care About


$510 Million No One Seems To Care About

March 14th, 2010



This is the Mortimer St. design for a transit center that was part of the Renaissance Square project. RGRTA still wants to build this portion of the project on Mortimer St.
Last Tuesday I attended a public presentation by the Genesee Transportation Council (GTC) to review their Draft 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program Project List external link. It contains over $500 million in new transportation spending for our region over the next few years. And I don’t mind pointing out that I was the only one in attendance. I don’t mean the only one from RochesterSubway.com… or the only one from my neighborhood… I mean THE ONLY PERSON in the entire city of Rochester and 7 county region in attendance. No one from the community, no one from the press, no raging activists… no one. It was literally me and about 5 or 6 representatives from GTC.
I’m more than a little perplexed by the lack of interest. Especially given the amount of money on the table and the shear number of proposed projects and purchases. For example, $6 million for work on the Aqueduct/Broad Street Bridge and subway tunnel, nearly $50 million for new transit buses, and over $45 million for a new RTS Transit Center. These are not small potatoes—there are over 200 other projects and purchases in this draft proposal—and if you wanted to speak your mind about any of it you may have just missed the boat. Don’t blame me, I posted the meeting on theRochesterSubway.com Facebook page external link and pleaded with our 460+ fans to come out. You can’t even blame GTC—the meetings are posted on their site and the Democrat & Chronicle announced them last Sunday.

A Second Chance To Give A Damn…

I can hear reading this and saying to yourself, $510 million is a lot of money and you’d like to bitch and complain about how MY MONEY is being spent! Okay, you know what? This is your lucky week. GTC is holding 2 more public meetings this Wednesday (3/17) in Henrietta and Ogden. See the times and locations here external link. And if you really really REALLY can’t make be bothered to show up in person, you can write, fax, or email your comments and concerns to GTC until March 26.
RGRTA is on target to build their bus terminal on this  Mortimer St. parking lot.I don’t have nearly enough time to get into all the projects that are on this list so you’ll have to download the PDF external link and thumb thru it on your own. But I will touch on the one that you may have heard of before. Item #144 on the list is $45.7 million in federal, state, and local funding for a Downtown Transit Center—formerly Renaissance Square. Looks like we can forget any dreams of a real intermodal transit station. RGRTA is moving ahead with it’s plan to build a slightly scaled down version of it’s bus terminal on Mortimer St. and Clinton Ave.
RGRTA is on target to build their bus terminal on this  Mortimer St. parking lot.RGRTA CEO Mark Aesch says, “We picked this site and worked on it for 10 years for a reason. Mortimer Street is the right location to build a transit center. It’s environmentally approved. We’ve spent millions of dollars getting the design to where it is today. That’s the right place to build this project. We’re hopeful that’s where it’s going to be.”
According to Aesch the terminal will cost in the mid to high $40 million range. If the GTC’s Draft Project List becomes reality, and I’d judge by the lack of public interest that it will, Aesch will have his $45.7 million and we’ll have a bus garage downtown very soon. Goodie.
Item #69 on GTC's list of transportation projects has $6 million marked for the east end of the Broad Street Tunnel and Aqueduct. More on this later...I’ll save my comments on line #69, Broad St. Tunnel & Aqueduct, for a future post. I’m awaiting comments from the City on this one. Though I’d say it reeks pretty heavily of the canal re-watering plan external link. Stay tuned.Share this on Facebook