The choice to ride

Moving Beyond the Automobile: Biking from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Representatives from the Committee for a Bikeable Community met recently with some others from Tallahassee to discuss a CBC proposal to establish bike routes within the city.

It was a wide-ranging discussion that at one point touched on the proposal, now under long-term study, to convert a short stretch of West Tennessee Street from six conventional auto lanes to four lanes of auto traffic and two lanes, one each way, of combined bus and bicycle use. The Committee for a Bikeable Community endorses this pilot project.

Someone noted that the West Tennessee Street concept drew a lot of attention, some negative. “People do not want to be told they have to ride a bike,” someone said, summarizing the strongest, and strangest, comments heard about the plan.

This odd but apparently not entirely uncommon fear is addressed in this video by Streetfilms.

Modern transportation is about more choices, not less. That means the car, of course, but more options than just the car. So don’t worry. Your Chevy is safe.

The video includes comments from Earl Blumenthal, late of the U.S. Congress. I hope he takes his new freedom as an opportunity to share his wisdom on cycling and modern transportation nationwide.

— Bill Edmonds

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Red-light cameras: Talk talk

Tallahassee recently installed some red-light cameras at intersections where drivers regularly drive through red lights.

Here, as in other communities, the debate over the cameras was hot.

There are legitimate reasons to question whether we should have cameras everywhere, though that line was crossed years ago (Wal-Mart keeps customers under camera scrutiny, McDonald’s does, too, as do most chain retail stores … why is not clear).

Here is a video by the Traffic Safety Coalition that pairs some of the arguments against the cameras with some video from the streets where cameras are in place.

No cyclists in the video, but two pedestrians get taken out by red-light runners, one in chilling fashion in the first driving scene.

 

 

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Winter riding … how it’s done up there

Winter is tough in Chicago, but people ride their bikes to work all year long.

This short and entertaining video, by Streetfilms, explains how it is done.

Winter Biking Primer from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

So, get out and ride, Tallahassee. If they can do it up there …

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Bike routes — our city needs some, and we are on the lookout

By Roger V. Holdener

The “Bike Tallahassee” Web site (biketallahassee.com) created by the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department is a nice tool for any cyclist trying to figure out a good route to take to get from one part of town to another. But it also reveals that there are too many gaps in the routes.

The Committee for a Bikeable Community is attempting to close these gaps in the bike routes, on the paths and on the street bike lanes a cyclist encounters while riding about our city by working with the Tallahassee and Leon County officials.

We are also are plotting out new routes with destinations such as schools, parks and office complexes, routes that avoid major arterial roads as much as possible.

We will actually be riding the mapped out routes and inviting cyclists and potential cyclists to ride with us and rate the various routes. Stay tuned for the invitation to join us.

In the past, bike routes in Tallahassee were marked with a small green sign. There are a few of the signs still standing here and there. The Committee for a Bikeble Community will be submitting ideas for more easily recognizable markers of bike routes.

These signed routes will not only encourage more people to ride they will alert drivers of cyclists on the roads.

The “Bike Tallahassee” Web site (biketallahassee.com) created by the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department is a nice tool for any cyclist trying to figure out a good route to take to get from one part of town to another. But it also reveals that there are too many gaps in the routes.

The Committee for a Bikeable Community is attempting to close these gaps in the bike routes, on the paths and on the street bike lanes a cyclist encounters while riding about our city by working with the Tallahassee and Leon County officials.

We are also are plotting out new routes with destinations such as schools, parks and office complexes, routes that avoid major arterial roads as much as possible.

We will actually be riding the mapped out routes and inviting cyclists and potential cyclists to ride with us and rate the various routes. Stay tuned for the invitation to join us.

In the past, bike routes in Tallahassee were marked with a small green sign. There are a few of the signs still standing here and there. The Committee for a Bikeble Community will be submitting ideas for more easily recognizable markers of bike routes.

These signed routes will not only encourage more people to ride they will alert drivers of cyclists on the roads.

— Roger V. Holdener, member, Committee for a Bikeable Community

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BikeTallahassee.com

When your city and county go together to launch a pro-cycling Web site, you know something is right with the world.

So it is in Tallahassee and Leon County … and the new BikeTallahassee.com. The Web site is designed to show cyclists (and pedestrians, too) good options for travel.

This is excellent work by the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department and by the Tallahassee-Leon County Geographic Information Systems staff, which put together an interactive map of all cycling facilities now in existence.

Thanks to all who had a hand in this effort. Give it a look — http://biketallahassee.com/.

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Helmet or no helmet? Use your head

Josh King, a commuter in Seattle, writes a good rejoinder to the arguments against wearing a helmet when cycling.

“Why,” he asks in a post on Commute by Bike, “… should we demand absolute scientific proof before admitting that wearing a helmet is a risk-minimizing choice?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a link to his clear and sensible thoughts on helmet use: Four Myths About Helmets and Safety

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The art of the possible — Portland, Oregon, shows what Tallahassee could do

Portland, Oregon, has a good head start on other cities when it comes to managing its grid of streets and roads for the use of bicycle commuters.

But Portland has not done the impossible — our town, Tallahassee, Florida, could do the same, and the Committee for a Bikeable Community is committed to helping Tallahassee and Leon County take the right steps in this direction.

Here’s a video that gives a good look at what Portland has accomplished.

Portland’s Bike Boulevards Become Neighborhood Greenways

We could do this, and we can take advantage of the two decades of development, successes and errors that Portland has gone through.

Think of this video, and what it demonstrates, as a shortcut to Tallahassee’s Bikeable future.

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