HB 145 also would enable stopped vehicles to proceed through stoplights if detectors malfunction, preventing red signals from changing green.
Rep. Michael Henne (R-Clayton), the primary sponsor, offered sponsor testimony on the legislation May 14 before the Ohio House’s Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
He said the law changes, developed with assistance from the Ohio Bicycle Federation, are needed to accommodate a growing number of bicycle commuters.
Existing state law requires vehicles to pass bicyclists at a “safe distance,” though an actual measurement is not defined. Henne’s bill would codify a 3-foot rule, something more than 20 other states, including Pennsylvania, and three Ohio cities have already adopted.
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Seven riders including two from the Active Transportation Committee. A chilly ride starting and ending at the AGMC Health and Wellness Center on Steels Corners Road. Approximately 18 total miles on both the Hike and Bike Trail and county roads. Some of us gathered afterwards and discussed the nearly fifty year history of the Akron Bicycle Club.
Tuesday, May 14 – Summit Cycling Center Social Ride
Five riders, two from the ATC. A safety check was completed on one bike and they received a light set. It was about a twelve mile ride starting and ending at the Bike Kitchen at Lock 3. We rode north across the All America Bridge and down Howard Street to the Towpath Trail. We rode south on the trail to the continental divide and looked for the spot where the water flows in both directions. A quick stop on the floating trail at Summit Lake and back to Lock 3.
Wednesday, May 15 – Bike Kitchen Open House
A chance for the public to see what Summit Cycling Center is doing at the Lock 3 location. Half a dozen attendees in addition to 3 members of the ATC.
Thursday, May 16 – Spring Color Tour of Akron
A ride on the streets of Akron to familiarize those who attended with a ride on parts of all six of the color coded, “Distance Akron” routes. Two riders got safety checks and light sets. Three members of the ATC participated. Due to an unfortunate injury to one of our riders, the ride was cut short and we completed about half of the intended route.
Friday, May 17 – Ride Your Bike to Work Day
Akron Family Restaurant offered a free bottle of water to anyone on a bike stopping in for breakfast. One member of the ATC stopped in. The owner was very happy to have participated and wants to do it again. Committee member talked with a rider on Market Street who knew about Ride to Work Day and said it was his first time riding his bicycle to work.
Saturday, May 18 – Cadillac Hill Climb Challenge and Akron Bicycle Club Social Ride
Three timed attempts with the fastest time of 00:39.18 belonging to Liam Murray. Second place cyclist finished the climb in 45 seconds. One rider did not finish due to an equipment problem. Too much torque on the climb and he bent his back wheel. Two committee members attended and both attempted the climb with only one able to finish.
The social ride included 26 cyclists. Choice of an 18 or 35 mile ride starting and ending at Lock 3, utilizing the Towpath Trail to head south and enjoy the scenery outside of the city. All but 5 cyclists chose the 35 mile ride all the way to Canal Fulton and back. Organized by one member of the ATC.]]>
The Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) is hosting its first Bike-N-Brainstorm ride for 2013 in Kent on Saturday, April 20. The agency’s Bike-N-Brainstorms are an innovative way that the agency uses to gain public insight as to what should be done to improve biking in the Greater Akron area.
The Kent Bike-N-Brainstorm will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 20 at the new Kent Central Gateway located at 201 E. Erie Street in downtown Kent. The city of Kent, Kent State University (KSU) and the Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority (PARTA) are partnering with AMATS in this event.
A Bike-N-Brainstorm begins with cyclists meeting at a designated area before embarking on a group bike ride along key corridors to experience firsthand what it’s like to bike there. At the end of their ride, group members are invited to participate in a brainstorming session with agency personnel to share their ideas as to what can be done to improve bike travel within the corridor.
The agency hosted two well-attended rides in Akron in 2012 and a number of the ideas offered by cyclists during these events made their way into the 2012 Bike Plan, the agency’s long-term vision and priorities for bike transportation.
Participants may choose to travel on a 5.3-mile or a 10.3-mile route through various parts of Kent. Short breaks are scheduled along the ride to highlight future bike projects in the city, such as the addition of new bike lanes, upcoming links between the city and the KSU campus, and connections to The PORTAGE Hike & Bike Trail.
Bikes will be available for rent through KSU by contacting Dave Herpy at email@example.com or 330-672-2803. Those interested in renting should contact the university by Wednesday, April 17.
The Kent Bike-N-Brainstorm coincides with the Main Street Block Party, which is part of the city’s Seventh Annual Who’s Your Mama? Earth Day and Environmental Film Festival. The block party will begin at 11 a.m. on East Main Street, between Depeyster and Water streets, and will feature “green” vendors, alternative energy displays, music, children’s poetry and a parade. To learn more about the festival and related events, please click here.
AMATS is the regional planning agency serving the Greater Akron area of Summit County, Portage County, and Chippewa Township in Wayne County. For additional information, please call AMATS at 330-375-2436 or visit us at amatsplanning.org.]]>
Up to 60 percent of people living in cities have indicated that they are interested in riding but are afraid. Also noted is that protected bike lanes are by far the safest type of infrastructure. Clearly, protected bike lanes are the key to increasing the number of bicycle trips because they provide the highest level of safety. In most of North America, women represent only 25–30 percent of bike commuters, whereas in Amsterdam and Copenhagen, where protected lanes already exist, more than half of trips by bicycle are made by women.
In our efforts to get more people riding bikes, focusing on women is an important consideration. The new Women Bike initiative, led by the League of American Bicyclists, aims to raise the profile of women in cycling and to find additional solutions that reach the mainstream and encourage more women to ride. We need to continually engage more women if we want to reach 50 percent of the population and encourage them to ride bikes, and this effort needs to start today.
Read more here.]]>
After studying the possibility of implementing a bike-share system beginning in 2007, Chattanooga, Tennessee (pop. 170,000) was able to cobble together enough funding and support to launch a 30 station, 300 bike system last July, beating larger cities like New York and Chicago in the process, writes Angie Schmitt. Chattanooga Bike Coordinator Philip Pugliese discussed the city’s experiences last week at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Kansas City.
“Our purpose with bike-sharing was to put a large amount of cyclists on the street in a short time, to change the dynamic, to improve our air quality, our health and active transportation overall,” he said.
“It can be difficult to launch bike-share in a small city with a transportation system that is heavily reliant on car travel, Pugliese said. But Chattanooga’s experience can offer inspiration to other small cities.”
“In its first six months of operation, the system has provided 12,600 rides. Together, riders burned more than one million calories. All those bike trips have resulted in up to a 8,100-pound reduction in emissions. The system will add three more stations in residential neighborhoods in the spring,” adds Schmitt.
“Securing enough capital to keep the system going through the lean start-up years is important, especially in smaller markets, where programs may find themselves on weaker financial footing than in larger cities, Pugliese said. He said the city considers the system an experimental pilot project.”
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“How We Roll” originated at The Ohio State University. Based on its success, ODOT is adapting and implementing the campaign at UA to promote bicycling as a fun activity, with an emphasis on safety. The grant will help to teach UA students to ride bicycles confidently in traffic, foster a positive bike culture on campus and reduce the incidence of bike/car crashes in the University area.
Victor Pinheiro chair of the Department of Sport Science and Wellness Education and primary investigator on the grant, says Akron’s Department of Public Service has been an integral part of the grant and is donating the project management portion of it. Andy Davis, a traffic engineer with the city, has served as co-primary investigator on the grant.
“It is very exciting to be a part of this initiative. We are anticipating bike tours in the fall of 2013,” says Davis.
During the two-year grant, Shivakumar Sastry, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering, will assist in the research component of the grant.
“I am excited about this initiative for our University community, as it will add another dimension to our New Landscape for Learning as it relates to safety, health and wellness,” says Pinheiro.
Click here for the press release.]]>
Longer life, improved health, more energy, lower costs and extra fun… It’s official – cycling makes you a better person in many ways. Here are just a few reasons, along with some compelling stats, to cycle to work.
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A new online effort called the Code for America Summit County Trails Virtual Visitors Center Project would provide information to residents and visitors about the trails and park resources. A phone application is also being considered so maps could be downloaded.
Patrick Bravo, deputy director of community and economic development for the county, said there is a need to improve the online resources for the parks.
“People go to the parks and take pictures of the maps posted with their cellphones because they couldn’t get the information online,” he said. “If a tree falls and blocks off a trail the information could be placed online so people would know to avoid that area.”
Council member Sandra Kurt said it will be nice to be able to use the service in the future to check whether a particular park’s trail is paved or crushed limestone before heading out with the family’s dog.
The project would also let visitors know what amenities each park offers.
Council voted unanimously to approve $25,000 of county funds to put toward the project. Other local agencies, such as the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, the city of Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study, have contributed $85,000 to the effort.
The county would be one of 10 selected in the country to participate in the project.
For more on this story, click here.]]>
Two days later, with his arm in a cast, he told his staff, “Let’s use this as a teachable moment” — and for good reason. He and the city had a lot to learn about how to make bikes safer to ride and how to integrate them into the transportation system.
Before the crash, L.A. was known as as one of the least bike-friendly cities in the country. Advocates had struggled unsuccessfully for years to get bike lanes and paths. As other big cities raced ahead with cycling infrastructure and automated bike-sharing programs, using cycling to lessen transportation congestion and pollution, L.A. did nothing. The city was known more for anti-cyclist road rage, personified by a Brentwood doctor who was jailed for injuring two cyclists on Mandeville Canyon Road in 2008.
That same year, Alex Kenefick of the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition said, “The mayor has 20 things on his plate, and cycling isn’t one of them.”
Slate magazine called L.A. “a pathologically unfriendly bike city.”
But that was then. Villaraigosa became a cycling advocate after his accident. And L.A. has three high-profile bike projects on its agenda: a 1,680-mile bikeway plan to be installed over the next 30 years; CicLAvia, a Sunday party-on-wheels on car-free routes that draws 100,000 to 200,000 people; and an inexpensive bike rental program that starts this month and will eventually put 4,000 bikes on the roads — the second-biggest rental program in the country.
In 2012, the League of American Bicyclists for the first time put L.A. on its list of Bike Friendly Communities. Thousands of Angelenos who never cycle-commuted or even rode at all are now doing so. Based on the experience of cities like Paris, which saw traffic congestion drop by 7% after it installed an extensive bike-sharing and bike route program, L.A.’s new focus on cycling adds to a legacy of transit projects (such as the Expo Line) that Villaraigosa hopes to leave behind when his tenure ends in June.
What happened? Was it all due to the bike accident?
For more, click here.]]>