Archive for December, 2008

By now some of you have had the opportunity ride the light rail, and some of you with your bicycles. I personally have encountered standing room only trains and trains with more than a handful of empty seats. I have taken my bicycle on twice and had to stand at the doors with my bike both times as folks were sitting underneath the bicycle racks. I have watched kids cumbersomely hang (youtube video showing how to hang your bike) their BMX bikes from the racks. I have encountered folks of many ages, races and socio-economic backgrounds. What we have all yet to do, however, is pay to ride. At 4:40am on January 1 fares go into effect. Those of you who plan on riding regularly should be aware of a public hearing on January 7th, 5:30pm at the Tempe Transportation Center to discuss proposed fare increases of up to $1.00 on single ride passes as well as increases on all-day and multi-day passes. The fare increases could go into effect by July 2009. Interested parties should attend in person or submit comments on fare increases via one of the following methods:

Email comments to fares@ValleyMetro.org
Customer Service will accept comments at 602-253-5000
Written comments can be sent to:
Valley Metro RPTA
Attn: Fare Program Manager
302 N. 1st Ave. Ste. 700
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Should anyone wish to discuss their light rail experience I have added a Light Rail specific forum.

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Tempe Bicycle Action Group, in cooperation with Destination Tempe, will operate a free bicycle valet service on December 27th at the Tempe Transportation Center located at 200 E. Fifth Street. Bicycles will be securely parked and monitored. The bicycle valet will open at 9 a.m. and all bicycles must be picked up by 5:30 p.m. Overflow bicycle valet parking will be available at Tempe Mission Palms. Please bring your bicycle lock in the event the valet parking reaches capacity.

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged to help us estimate demand. Pre-registrants will be eligible to win one of several bicycle related prizes via a random drawing on Jan. 3, 2009. To pre-register please visit this link.

TBAG is still seeking more volunteers to assist in operating the event. Please email action at biketempe.org with your preferred shift:

  • Set-up (8:00-9:00)
  • Shift 1 (9:00-12:00)
  • Shift 2 (12:00-3:00)
  • Shift 3 (3:00-5:30)
  • Tear-down (5:30-6:30)

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GreenlightRide.com is an online community (completely free) where individual cyclists and teams (groups of cyclists) compete against each other to rack up mileages all in the name of fun. They even go so far as to form leagues to have multi-team challenges. If anyone is interested in participating in a TBAG team, I’ve created one and will be logging my mileage (mostly work commutes and bike rides with the dogs) to the team. If enough are interested and participate we should consider joining a league for a little friendly competition with other teams. Below is a short blurb from the site and you can read more at greenlightride.com. Once you’re registered email your username to tom at biketempe.org and I’ll invite you to join the TBAG group.

Welcome to Greenlight, your portal to a world of cycling, competition and community. Part online game, part real-world sport, Greenlight transforms your ordinary commute into a high-stakes scramble to rack miles and leave your rivals grinding their granny gears. Whether you want to set new personal goals or team up with others to conquer the world, Greenlight helps you do it—one ride at a time.

The description makes it sound like it’s geared towards competitive cyclists or commuters but mileage is mileage, so if you only hop on your cruiser once a week to pedal around the local park it’s still cycling and you can add your mileage to the team.

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The City of Tempe has just issued a Request for Proposals for the Tempe Bikestation, which is scheduled to open along with the light rail on December 27. The RFP is for those who are interested in operating the Bikestation–more information is below. As a reminder, TBAG will be operating a bicycle valet out of the Bikestation during the light rail grand opening festivities. Stop by to check out the space!

The RFP is available on-line at www.tempe.gov/purchasing

Bid/Proposal/Solicitation No.: 09-044
Procurement Description: Regional Bicycle Center

Bid Due Date: 1/8/2009 (3pm)
Buyer: Lisa Goodman
Bid Title: Regional Bicycle Center

Summary: The City of Tempe Regional Bicycle Center (RBC) is a one-stop
regional bicycle commuter parking facility located at 200 E. 5th
Street in the Transportation Center at the northwest corner of 5th
Street and College Avenue. The Transportation Center offers a variety
of mobility choices and amenities to encourage travel trips that
improve air quality, reduce traffic and parking congestion, and
enhance the community’s livability. The RBC is located on the first
floor of the Transportation Center and has 2,000 square feet of
bicycle storage racks, lockers, and restrooms.

Scope & Operations guidelines – start on pg. 27 for those who may
want to check it out.

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Last Wednesday, the Tempe Transportation Commission Multi-Modal Planning & Project Review Committee (the Transit Committee for short) had its usual monthly/bi-monthly meeting.

For those who don’t know, the Transit Committee reviews projects that are in all stages of implementation throughout Tempe, and these are public meetings where you can find out what Tempe is up to in terms of alternative-transit projects. This includes things like the traffic calming measures that are in the testing phase along College Avenue and in the Maple-Ash/Mitchell Park East neighborhoods, as well as all of the canal renovation projects (but see the Tempe in Motion website for much more information).

Aaron Golub is currently the TBAG representative at Transit Committee meetings, but I also went for fun and have two items to bring to your attention:

1. Traffic calming: The City has received a lot of feedback from the public during the testing phase of traffic calming in the two above-mentioned neighborhoods. The testing phase is due to end relatively soon. You can provide public comment on the projects through Tempe’s website by going to the “Traffic Calming” tab, clicking on the relevant project, and sharing your opinion. Get involved!

2. The Tempe Bike Hero Award Nominations are still open until at least December 31, and there have only been 2 nominations so far. Let’s make sure that Tempe’s best get recognized–take a few minutes to help recognize Tempe’s best. See Tom’s previous post for more details on the nomination process, which is pretty simple and fast (heck, maybe I’ll nominate you if you can give me a convincing reason to do so!).

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For those of you who can’t get enough bicycle related reading, I present to you BikeBlogs.com. A directory of bicycle related blogs. In addition, if you’ve got a bike blog, you can request addition to their directory.

Don’t forget about the Mustache Ride tonight, Farmer’s Market Ride Sat. 8am and Bicycle Bar Crawl for Charity Sat. 11am, visit the Events page or the Events & Rides Forum for more details.

Coming Soon: Details on the Free Bicycle Valet service TBAG will be running for the Light Rail Opening Party on 12/27! Interested in volunteering to help us run the valet service? Email action@biketempe.org!

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Apologies for the “details forthcoming” on the Handlebar Happy Hour you may have seen posted on the Events page. The ride was discussed several weeks ago but the information never materialized. However, the 2nd Annual Mustache Ride ride was just announced on AZFixed.com yesterday evening and is scheduled for 8pm tomorrow (Friday) evening. For details on the ride, visit this post on AZFixed.com.

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This Saturday, December 13, I will lead another ride to the Downtown Phoenix Farmer’s Market. We’ll meet at the entrance to Tempe Beach Park at 8 am for the 9-mile ride downtown. If there’s interest, we can also stop somewhere downtown for breakfast or coffee. Remember to bring cash to buy things at the Market and your favorite grocery-getter system!

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If you haven’t visited http://www.bikehacks.com, it’s worth a look-see, the URL is self explanatory. Their most recent topic comes from a blog called The Well Run Dry. Here are a few bicycle related posts for your perusal.

Don’t forget about tonight’s First Friday Ride and tomorrow’s Cupcake Ride.

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For those who aren’t subscribed to the member mailing list, have a peek at the web version of our December Newsletter. Topics include:

  • Call for Volunteers (Bicycle Valet Service)
  • Member Survey
  • December Events
  • Discussion Forums!
  • Annual Volunteer Meeting
  • Holiday wishes & safety review

We’ll now be sending out newsletters on a monthly basis with other “as necessary” emails in between (Call for Volunteers, Call to Action, last minute items, etc.).

Also, be sure to check out our new Tempe Bicycle Action Group Forums!

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