Archive for March, 2013

That was amazing.  Neighbors, commuters, retirees, students, cycling
enthusiasts from other cities, and one city council member joined
forces to do real work to make Tempe a more safe, friendly place.

A lot is happening in Tempe right now.  Tempe in ten years is going to
look very different.   University Drive from Ash to Priest is being
redone, largely in response to influence from the surrounding
neighborhoods:
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/jackalope/2012/08/tempe_university_drive_bike_paths.php
(the design has changed since then).  Likewise, Broadway,  http://www.tempe.gov/index.aspx?page=492, and Hardy are
set for renovations.  The city is looking into executing plans to put
in an overpass over I-10 connecting Tempe to south Phoenix.
Currently, bicycles must ride on Southern to make the trip.

We’re interested in seeing how new and improved infrastructure affects
cycling.  We expect to learn a lot next year about the impact it has
on cycling volume and habits.

Every one of the 56 intersections were selected for some reason and helps us tell something — how much people are riding under some condition, the degree that they don’t ride in other conditions, the degree that they don’t or can’t ride safely under different conditions, and much more.  Some give us raw numbers and help us track trends.

In a fit of optimism, we added a new count site this year — University and McClintock.  Something happened this year that almost, but never quite happened last year — volunteers picked up all of the assignments.  Previously, we had to decide which handful we’d have to do without.  More people turned out to help.  I want to continue this trend.  Thank you very much to those of you who took two, three, or even four or more count shifts to make this happen.  One of the best things that could happen is for this to continue to grow so that we don’t over tax our volunteers.

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The City of Tempe and the Maricopa Association of Governments aren’t just big scary governmental organizations.  They’re made of real people, and a lot of them are really cool people, and a lot of them ride bikes.  They want the same things we do, and we can help them by showing up to meetings and politely, briefly voicing support.  Really, all you have to say is, “This is great!  Please do this.”

Tempe has a lot of projects going on to add and improve bike infrastructure.  MAG is getting ready to do a bike count of their own, city wide, and they’re also asking for feedback on their designs for how to make cities bike/ped friendly.

These are the meetings TBAG plans to have an attendance at.  If you go, you won’t be alone.  Besides TBAG, Phoenix Spokes People (formerly DBAG/PBAG) will be there.

April 11 – MAG (Maricopa Association of Governments) – Designing Transit Accessible Communities Study Feedback
https://www.facebook.com/events/325259440929996/?ref=14
“The Maricopa Association of Governments is requesting your input on the Designing Transit Accessible Communities Study. The intent of the study is to encourage planning practices that improve bicycling and pedestrian access from neighborhoods to transit service”
Meetings like this where you can go and give positive feedback (and say thank you for doing this, this is exactly what we want) are great.

April 12 – ADOT general plan meeting in Tucson
Encourage ADOT to use funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects, not just more traffic lanes.  The City of Tempe and MAG are forward thinking and support bicycle projects, but ADOT controls how most transportation money is spent, and they aren’t hearing from cyclists, only motorists.  We need cyclists to stand up and say simple, obvious (to us) things such as “I ride my bike to work.  Bike lanes are transportation for me.”

Jun 18 – MAG Bike & Ped Committee — MAG Bike Count Meeting
Their bike/ped count consultants are presenting count tech recommendations and locations.  Unlike our Bike Count, they’re spreading their resources across the metro area.  This is mostly of interest to the people who organize the bike count and do stats for it.
302 N 1st St Suite 300, Phoenix, 2nd floor, 1:30pm
http://www.azmag.gov/Committees/Committee.asp?CMSID=1044

MAG: Designing Transit Accessible Communities Study – Public Input

April 11 at 1:00pm in MST
Ironwood Room, 2nd Floor Maricopa Association of Governments 302 N 1st Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85003

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The Livable Cities Coalition meetings are easy to go to.  They’re full of like minded individuals working on really cool things, and working together.

Last month, the lady who worked for Governor Napolitano and Governor Brewer to head up the head up the light rail project from that side talked about a non-profit she founded to finance development along the rail line unwritten with grant money.  Many of the developments along the rail line are financed by her organization.

This month, one of the members of a committee with grant money from the Pew Charitable Trust/Robert Wood Johnson Health Impact Assessment Grant talked about how she got grants to do “health impact assessments”.  Health impact assessments quantify cost impacts on health made transportation decisions.  For example, public transportation and cycling infrastructure have a strong positive impact on public health by promoting walking and recumbent riding.  Cities looking at costs of things can consider public health costs related to transportation decisions.  This work provides them with that data.  I talked to her about possibly including some of this data in our Bike Count Report for 2013′s Bike Count.

Tucson (if I got this straight, there was a lot of talk about Flagstaff, too) is doing BRT (Bus Rapid Transit).  They drove a new hybrid bus around to neighborhoods, set up shop there, had people come and check it out, and had them fill out an online survey from terminals set up in the bus.  They got 11,000 survey responses, overwhelmingly positive, in favor of the BRT.   Public transit options reduce traffic congestion and help car-free cyclists with many of the times they would otherwise need to use a car.

Doug Hirano, the Executive Director of Asian Pacific Communities in Action talked about his organization and its goal of empowering and serving the Asian and Pacific communities in the Phoenix metro area.  They’re providing health services, translation services, and are looking into outdoor gym equipment, which reportedly has wide adoption in several Asian countries (including Australia, I think).  I talked to him about the impact Bicycle Saviours has in Tempe.

The presentations are fantastic, but the table talk is also excellent.  AZPIRG’s outreach coordinator made it to the meeting again and we talked about ADOT meetings coming up and the topics being discussed at them.  MAG is trying to extend the rail lines, and there’s some debate between street cars versus running the light rail trains on roads shared with cars in places where roads cannot be widened to accommodate the train.  Gene from Phoenix Spokes People (formerly DBAG, formerly PBAG) was there both times I was.  They’re doing a good job of making it to meetings and sharing the cyclist’s perspective with policy makers.

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flierashbash

UPDATE! Get your bike on before the beer & band show up for the Maple Ash Bash Saturday, March 30. Show up at 11 a.m. Saturday at the downtown Cartel (1 N. 1st Street Phoenix) for a fun and festive photo scavenger ride to the Tempe Cartel. The 13.7-mile ride will stop at five locations, where cyclists will be invited to take a pic of a secret item – the winner will get tattooed! Wondering what to wear? Get out your tutu and leotard, any wacky costumes are welcome!

Find the Cartel-to-Cartel route here.

Once back, enjoy some brew and friends at the main Maple Ash Bash from 1- 8 p.m. at the Tempe Cartel Coffee Shop.

Come check out a few bike races and live music while sipping on suds poured by your trusty TBAG friends. TBAG will collect the $4 per beer cost and make your money work for you in our many community and awareness projects. Not feeling thirsty yet? Brews will be donated by:

►Four Peaks Brewery
►SanTan Brewing Company
►New Belgium Brewing
►Odell Brewing Company

… so come spend like like a crazy person. Buy your mom a beer. Buy your beer a beer. And we’ll be gosh-darned pleased if you’d be willing to buy us a beer.

RSVP – and invite your friends – on Facebook!

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TaubersIt’s coming! Mark your calendar now, because you’re going to be busy this Oct. 5. New Belgium Recently released the calendar for the Tour de Fat stops, and October is Tempe’s month!

Last year, the Tour de Fat raised $87,000 for local Arizona nonprofits like TBAG, Bike Saviours and the Mountain Bike Association of Arizona. This was the largest amount raised of any Tour de Fat stop, including New Belgium’s home town of Ft Collins!

This year, let’s go even bigger.

As always, this event depends on your participation – and we don’t just mean dancing  around in your puppy suit or tutu, we need your help to volunteer. In 2012, 350 volunteers helped make the Tour de Fat possible, so be sure to sign up for the all-call for volunteers again this year.

Interested in joining any of the other Tour de Fats? Here’s the newly released schedule for 2013:

Atlanta – May 11
DC – June 1
Durham – June 15
Nashville – June 22
Chicago – July 13
Minneapolis – July 27
Boise – August 17
Ft. Collins – August 31
Denver – September 7
San Francisco – September 21
San Diego – September 28
Tempe – October 5

More stats on the 2012 Tour de Fat in Tempe:

Attendance: 10,000+

Bike Parade Attendance: 5000+
Money Raised: $87,216
Waste Diversion Rate: 88%

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The 3rd annual Tempe Bike Count takes place in just three weeks, on March 26-28.  Training meetings are in just two weeks.  Each of 50 intersections has an AM shift and a PM shift.  76 of those 100 shifts are still available.  You can sign up for just one 2 hour shift, or more shifts on more days if you want.

If you think you can make it, please sign up now to reserve your intersection, and so that I know that we’re going to have enough people, but do let me (scrottie@biketempe.org) know if you have to cancel or switch days.

RSVPs for training dates are used to figure out how much pizza to order.  Local comedian Tim Tagtmeyer will introduce the Bike Count and all of the ways to get confused that you never even thought of.

When:

The count will take place over three days. Each volunteer counts during commuting hours, with morning (7:00am to 9:00am) or afternoon (4:00pm to 6:00pm) shifts (or both).

  • Tuesday, March 26th
  • Wednesday, March 27th
  • Thursday, March 28th

For full details on the Tempe Bike Count and to sign up please go to: http://www.biketempe.org/events/bike-count/

Why:

Traffic Engineering responds well to serious safety problems.  People ride bikes even where safe infrastructure doesn’t exist.  Often, the only way through is on roads like Southern, McClintock, or Rural, where bicycles were not taken into consideration.  The Bike Count lets us show the city where cyclists overwhelmingly feel they have to ride on the sidewalk, something that the city knows is not safe.  It also shows the City of Tempe how many bicycles do come out where safe facilities do exist, which helps them with their goals of smug reduction and congestion reduction.  The raw data has been requested by environmental engineering firms, traffic engineering grad students, and others.  The Bike Count is a fantastic way to encourage making Tempe bicycle friendly, and to quantify progress.  It helps the city help us!

Afterparty:

We’re throwing an appreciation party at Boulders on Broadway for our volunteers!  Come turn in your count sheets, have a beer, and tell tales of the craziness you saw out there on the streets of Tempe.

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BikeActivist

UPDATED: email your city council

Support proposed local bike infrastructure such as green bike lanes and traffic slowing medians by emailing the Tempe City Council at councilcommunicator@tempe.gov

Businesses hoping to dissuade the council from going forward with some of these changes have been meeting with your city leaders. Make sure their voices aren’t the only ones heard.

Online public comment on the city’s forum has closed, but you still have time to contact your city leaders directly by emailing councilcommunicator@tempe.gov.

Want to post your support but don’t know what to say? Here’s a few lines you can simply copy and paste;

  • Thank you for adding green bike lanes to Tempe, they are greatly needed!

  • Please continue to go forward with all median plans. They will help keep traffic from colliding with cyclists on the roadways.

  • Please install a stoplight at Roosevelt and Farmer, this will help cars, bikes and pedestrians safely cross, rather than forcing us to play frogger in traffic.

(From previous TBAG post)

The city of Tempe is introducing plans that help you and your fellow two-wheeled friends to more easily and safely commute through Tempe. These plans could have a great impact not only on the safety of the roadways, but also in the beautification of our city… that is, if the city continues to hear from YOU!

Bike lane modifications, medians and other proposed changes are being fought by some who may not understand what it’s like to cycle in traffic with little to no bike infrastructure. Don’t let the proposed plans fall by the wayside. Join in on meetings, email your city leaders and let Tempe know that the growing bike community demands safer, bike-friendly streets.

Thanks to those of you who joined the University/Hardy Drive Screetscape Project open house, the Broadway Road Screetscape meeting and every one who has been submitting comments and statements on behalf of bike Tempe cyclists.

Be seen. Be heard. Be a bike champion in Tempe!

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MrMustacheGrow it out, stick it on, or doodle on your upper-lip ‘do, just don’t come to the March 9 ride without a sweet ‘stache.

So fluff up your fu manchu, primp your pencil ‘stache and give Hasselhoff a run for his money. This nighttime ride is a chance for all cyclists, young and old to take their whiskers on a tour of the finest drinking establishments in Tempe.

All cyclists are invited. Please RSVP to the Facebook event at the Tempe Bicycle Action Group Facebook page.

Where: Meet at Tempe Beach Park entrance: the northwest corner of Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue in Tempe

When: Saturday, March 9, 7:30 p.m.

Cost: FREE

How: For more information and to register for the event, go to facebook.com/biketempe

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