Archive for August, 2011

FTA Issues Policy on Funding Eligibility For Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements

A final policy statement providing guidance on federal funding eligibility of pedestrian and bicycle improvements near public transportation facilities was issued by the Federal Transit Administration in the Aug. 19 Federal Register.

Under federal transit law, funding administered by FTA can be used to construct bicycle and pedestrian improvements in and around transit facilities when there is a “functional relationship” to the facility. To further the USDOT policy of making communities livable, the notice said, the FTA policy statement provides that projects within the one-half mile pedestrian “catchment area” or the three-mile bicycle “catchment area” have a de facto physical and functional relationship to the transit facility, and therefore are eligible for federal funding.

According to the notice, pedestrians generally are willing to walk at least one-half mile to train stations and other public transportation facilities when in a safe and well-designed streetscape. This half-mile radius around a transit facility is considered the pedestrian “catchment area.” Similarly, the bicycle “catchment area” is determined to extend three miles from the transit facility. Design features for these catchment areas should include adequate sidewalks, pathways, and roadway crossings as well as amenities such as benches, shelters, and lighting.

Pedestrian and bicycle improvements beyond the one-half-mile and three-mile distances may be eligible for FTA funding by demonstrating that the improvement is within the distance that people will travel by foot or by bicycle to use a particular stop or station, the notice said.

The statement received overwhelming support from stakeholders and commenters during the proposal comment period. Commenters included the American Public Transit Association, the National Complete Streets Coalition, Smart Growth America, and various state departments of transportation and local transit authorities.

According to the 2009 notice of the proposed policy statement, grantees previously lacked guidance on how to meet the “related physically or functionally” condition, since FTA had “made no determination of the specific distances pedestrians or bicyclists can be expected to travel to access a public transportation stop or station.” The relationship has been determined case by case, based on a narrative set of criteria.

The new policy statement simplifies the process of determining whether pedestrian and bicycle improvements are eligible for funding, according to the notice.

By providing improved pedestrian and bicycle access to transit, there are additional benefits to the community, including reduced traffic congestion, safer streets, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and increased transportation choices, according to FTA. “The success of public transportation can often be limited by poor ‘first and last mile’ access to the system,” the notice said.

For the text of the policy statement and additional information, link to the Federal Register notice.

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Tour de Fat returns to Tempe, Arizona on Saturday, October 15th and we need volunteers! All proceeds of the event go to local bicycling groups, which get funneled into local programs to help you as a cyclist. Attendance at Tour De Fat has grown each year so we’re looking for 300 volunteers to make sure everything runs smoothly.

We promise it won’t be all work – there’s play too! Volunteers have a great time organizing the parade, selling tokens, and pouring beer, in order to make sure the attendees are having fun too. Shifts are only a few hours so volunteers can enjoy the festival too. With all the bikes and music, how couldn’t it be fun?

Volunteers will receive:
- A free Tour de Fat t-shirt
- Free beer tokens
- Access to an area set up for exclusive use by volunteers

Go to http://www.biketempe.org/events/tour-de-fat/ for the sign up link. Email tourdefat@biketempe.org if you have questions.

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July 14, 2011
Introduction by Ashley “to tired to be creative” Lanoue.

Great things are happening in Tempe! Check out the College Ave. Project and start marking the days off your calendar until Tour de Fat 2011! Out of school with nothing to do??? Sign up for one of TBAGs great committees and get invovled!


 
 Upcoming Events and Rides by Ryan Guzy and Jeremy Deathrage.
Calendar of upcoming events, and special notes about weekly rides in Tempe

We’ve begun planning for the 2011 Tempe Tour de Fat which is on Oct. 15th this year. If you are interested in helping with the planning and managing an area at the event, please contact ryan@biketempe.org

We also have two other events in October that need shift leaders and managers. First is the bike valet at the Tempe Octoberfest on Oct 7th-9th. We need shift managers for all three days of the event. Volunteers will receive free food and beer tickets.

We are also taking a larger role in helping the City of Tempe with the Tour de Tempe on Sunday Oct 23rd. We need a few people to help with the planning and doing route marking and setup of this event. Volunteers at either of these events will get free beer tokens at the Tour de Fat, whether you volunteer at the Tour de Fat also or not. If you can help, please contact ryan@biketempe.org

TBAG THIRD FRIDAY RIDE: Join TBAG Friday July 15th for Handlebar Happy Hour. Meet up at the entrance to Tempe Beach Park at Rio Salado and Mill at 730pm, ready to roll out at 745pm. Check out https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=184915471567906 for more information.

Advocacy Updates by Eric Iwerson and Aaron Golub.
Updates on local, regional, and federal advocacy topics

Check out the City of Tempe’s College Ave. Streetscape and Pedestrian Improvement Projects going on now!

There are several on-going advocacy projects, such the work on the Alameda St. bike/ped bridge and the recent bike count. TBAG is represented on several transportation planning committees – do let us know if you want to help out and represent TBAG. If you have other ideas about what TBAG should be working on – please email Aaron Golub at aaron@biketempe.org

Bike Culture by Eric Iwersen and Joe Perez.
Sharing the love of bicycles

City of Phoenix has secured an illustrator for its Bicycle Safety graphic novel and posters. Anticipated to be available on Sept 30. City of Phoenix will be applying for Bicycle Friendly Community status this month. Applications are due July 22.

Bicycle Public Art: 17 submissions were received from the call to artists. The selection committee (made up of TBAG representatives, project area neighbors, and a public artist) will convene July 21 to select a preferred artist. The artist will be contracted and begin project concept development in August.

Adult Education by Ashley “to tired to be creative” Lanoue.

Information on upcoming classes and online resources

TBAG is gearing up to educate the masses! TBAG will be sending a few people to become League of American Bicyclists League Cyclist Instructors. TBAG will be offering Traffic Skills 101 classes in the near future!

Have suggestions or contributions for future newsletters, or commentary on stories? E-mail them to ashley@biketempe.org

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Thank You from the TBAG Board!


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