Walk Friendly Communities Program Update

WFC logo

Communities across the U.S. submitted applications to be considered for the first round of Walk Friendly Communities designations in December 2010. Walk Friendly Communities is a new nationwide recognition program, maintained by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) with funding from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and FedEx, to encourage towns and cities to establish or recommit to a high priority for supporting safer walking environments. Applications are currently being reviewed, and the program plans to announce the communities who received a Walk Friendly Communities designation in April 2011. Communities who did not submit their information in December can continue to work toward the next round of applications, which will open on May 1 and close on June 15. To access a printable version of the application, or to learn more about the program, visit www.walkfriendly.org.


PBIC Unveils New Bike to Work Website

screenshot of bike to work website

PBIC has launched a new Website, www.biketoworkinfo.org, focused on providing resources for planning Bike to Work events. The site also includes an interactive forum, profiles of successful events and a convenient event planning timeline. Ask questions about bike commuting and network with other bike commuters, find helpful tips about bike safety and maintenance, get help starting an event in your community or access resources about bike commuting on the site. Feel free to provide us with any feedback at info@biketoworkinfo.org. We hope this resource can help you discover your inner bike commuter! Join the growing community of bike commuters and discover the fun and freedom of bicycling to work.


What's New with PBIC Webinars?

webinar screenshots

PBIC wrapped up the "Designing for Pedestrian Safety" Webinar series in December 2010. In February, PBIC featured 'FHWA Resources for Ped/Bike Professions' from its "Livable Communities" Webinar series. This Webinar discussed the various resources available to those interested in pedestrian and bicycle issues and how they can efficiently implement them into their communities. Hosted by Dan Nabors of VHB, PBIC Director Charlie Zegeer, Libby Thomas with the UNC Highway Safety Research Center and Tamara Redmon, Pedestrian and Bike Safety Team Leader at FHWA, the Webinar covered tools and resources such as BIKESAFE, How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan and the Resident's Guide, among others. This Webinar is available for download at www.walkinginfo.org/webinars in the "Livable Communities" series.

This spring, PBIC will launch the new "Pedestrian Safety Action Plan" (PSAP) Webinar series. Similar to the eight-part "Designing for Pedestrian Safety" series, the PSAP series is an in-person training workshop that has been modified and developed into a Webinar series and provided free of charge. More information about the "PSAP" Webinar series will be available in April. Visit http://www.walkinginfo.org/training/pbic/index.cfm to learn more about training courses offered through PBIC.


Featured Case Study: Strength in Numbers: The Central Florida Bike Bus

casestudy2

Image Source: Jason Buckner

Orlando, Florida

Strength in Numbers: The Central Florida Bike Bus

Problem

Commuting to work by bike as a single rider is often a less attractive alternative than commuting in groups, due to a lack of understanding regarding the legitimacy of cycling on major high traffic roads, the mindset of motorists that only cars belong on roads and cyclists should stay out of the way, and the lack of civility among modes on major roads in the United States.

Background

Many major roads in municipalities across the United States do not have dedicated bicycle infrastructure, making cycling intimidating for novice riders. This lack of infrastructure can dissuade cyclists from commuting to work, if such an option exists. It also hinders individual riders who don't feel comfortable using major roads.

One way to surmount the problem of riding on major roads is to ride in groups. Riding in a group increases the visibility of bicyclists, which increases safety; it increases the comfort level of all riders in the group and in particular for novice riders; and it legitimizes the presence of cyclists on roads. Group rides, however, are often difficult to organize and, while helpful for novice riders, are often not feasible on a daily basis.

Solution

casestudy1

Image Source: Jason Buckner

Following their car breaking down, a couple in Orlando, Florida decided to start the Central Florida Bike Bus. A Bike Bus is comprised of a group of riders all heading in the same direction and, like a public transit bus, runs on a fixed schedule and along a certain route. This type of system allows riders to "get on" or join the bus at their discretion along the way and also to "get off" whenever convenient.

The Bike Bus was based on an idea from local high school students, who had started a similar project in 2009 (4 on a Quarter 2009). It began as a way to build community around the university, educate motorists on cycling equality, and increase the visibility of cyclists on the roads while still maintaining a positive relationship with motorists, according to program contacts. Florida Bicycle Laws indicate that the bicycle is classified as a vehicle in the same sense as a motor vehicle, must follow all rules of the road, and must ride close to the right side of the road, unless the bicyclist is passing another vehicle, passing a fixed object, preparing for a left turn, or when a lane is too narrow to accommodate both the bicyclist and motor vehicle safely (Florida Department of Transportation 2010). By stipulating that all Bike Bus members follow these laws on major roads, the Bike Bus serves as an example of how bicycles and motor vehicles can use the same facility without conflict.

The Bike Bus is organized with one experienced rider leading the group and the other bringing up the rear, the leader serving as an example of riding etiquette, while the other ensures that no one gets left behind. As stated before, all members of the Bike Bus are expected to obey the rules of the road and are strongly encouraged to wear helmets and safety vests. As the Bike Bus is an inclusive program and essentially a community ride, the bus only travels as fast as the slowest rider. The organizers ask that new people wanting to join the Bike Bus leave a message on the ride board section of the Website so they know where to expect the new rider on the road.

The Bike Bus began with just two riders and has since expanded to five regular riders with other occasional riders as well. In terms of the route, the Bike Bus currently runs from near downtown Orlando to the University of Central Florida at 7:00 AM and returns at 5:00 PM. With the program only in its beginning stages, it is certain to grow - not only to more routes in Orlando, but most likely to other cities as well. The Bike Bus, as a fun, safe, and visible way to travel to work, also raises the profile of bicyclists as legitimate road users along major roads.

Results

As the Central Florida Bike Bus has only been in existence since August of 2010, only a few riders have become regulars, while many more have been occasional riders. With the growing emphasis on lowering a person's carbon footprint and a shift toward considering pedestrians and bicyclists in infrastructure planning to a greater degree, the Bike Bus is likely to become more popular in the future.

Contact

Jason Buckner/Kitzzy Aviles
ucfbikebus@jasonbuckner.com
ucfbikebus@kitzzy.com
Central Florida Bike Bus
Orlando, Fl 32816

References

Central Florida Bike Bus. (2010). Central Florida Bike Bus. Retrieved from http://commuteorlando.com/bikebus/home/.

Florida Department of Transportation. (2010). Bicycle Laws. Retrieved from http://www.dot.state.fl.us/safety/ped_bike/laws/ped_bike_bikeLaws1.shtm.

4 on a Quarter. (2009). Peace, Love, Hope, and High School Students. Retrieved from http://fouronaquarter.com/2009/12/peace-love-hope-and-high-school-students/.


New Resources

The following resources have been recently added to the PBIC Online Library, a centralized, Web-based collection of pedestrian and bicycling-related materials. To search the library, please visit www.walkinginfo.org/library or www.bicyclinginfo.org/library.

Houston METRO – Making Room for Bikes (PBIC Case Study)
Greensboro's Downtown Greenway (PBIC Case Study): Successful Revitalization through Active Transportation
Advocacy and Public Health: Partners for Walkable, Bikeable Communities (PBIC Case Study)
Cycle Track Design and Implementation in Washington D.C. (PBIC Case Study)
Strength in Numbers: The Central Florida Bike Bus (PBIC Case Study)
Safety Benefits of Walkways, Sidewalks, and Paved Shoulders
Safety Benefits of Raised Medians and Pedestrian Refuge Areas
Measuring Walking and Cycling Using the PABS (Pedestrian and Bicycling Survey) Approach
Evaluating the Impact of Neighborhood Trail Development on Active Travel Behavior and Overall Physical Activity of Suburban Residents
Benefits of Complete Streets: Complete Streets Fact Sheets
Public Lighting for Safe and Attractive Pedestrian Areas
Sight Line - Designing Streets for People with Low Vision
The role of traffic violations in police-reported bicycle crashes in Queensland
Recommended Procedures for Testing and Evaluating Detectable Warning Systems – NCHRP Report 670
Association of Workplace Supports With Active Commuting
The Australian National Cycling Strategy 2011-2016
Synthesis of Active Traffic Management Experiences in Europe and the United States
Sustainable Highways Self-Evaluation Tool
Crosswalk Marking Field Visibility Study
Evaluation of Shared Lane Markings
Effects of Yellow Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons on Yielding at Multilane Uncontrolled Crosswalks
Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan: Recommendations for Research and Product Development
Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan: Background Report
Evaluation of HAWK Signal at Georgia Avenue and Hemlock Street, NW in the District of Columbia
Methods of Increasing Pedestrian Safety at Right-Turn-on-Red Intersections (Final Report, 1985)
Getting Back on Track: Aligning State Transportation Policy with Climate Change Goal
Crossing Solutions at Roundabouts and Channelized Turn Lanes for Pedestrians with Vision Disabilities
Pedestrian Crash Trends and Potential Countermeasures from Around the World
Across the Arterial: Mid-block Shared-Use Path Crossings of Multilane Roadways in California

Announcements

FHWA Launches new Webpage for Bicycle Facility Compliance

In response to inquiries surrounding bicycle facility compliance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), the Federal Highway Administration's Bicycle and Pedestrian Program and MUTCD team have developed a table that lists the status for different types of facilities. The new Webpage, Bicycle Facilities and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, provides a listing of numerous facilities in categories such as bike lanes, cycle tracks, signals, and other signs and markings. For each treatment, information is included about its status in the current MUTCD, as well as information regarding any ongoing experimentation. The tool is intended for use by planners, engineers, and other transportation professionals who would like to learn more about the status of different types of bicycle facilities in the MUTCD. Visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/mutcd_bike.htm to learn more.

Registration and Call for Presentations Open for the Safe Routes to School National Conference

Registration is now open for the third annual Safe Routes to School (SRTS) National Conference, "Building Connections: Schools + Streets + Communities" on August 16 – 18, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minn. Whatever your experience level with SRTS, you're invited to attend this dynamic conference, advance your important work and build the connections — in your schools, streets and communities. For more information on registration or call for presentations, visit http://www.saferoutesconference.org/.

SRAM Partners with Alliance and League to Double Federal Funding for Bicycling Facilities

The League of American Bicyclists and the Alliance for Biking & Walking are pleased to announce a new, three-year campaign to double federal funding for bicycling and walking by 2013. The Advocacy Advance initiative is backed by renewed support from SRAM, an innovative maker of bicycle components.

The League and Alliance have been awarded up to $1.2 million from SRAM over the next three years to unite active transportation advocates across the nation and give them tools and resources to secure increased funding from existing federal transportation programs for critical bicycle and pedestrian projects.

Cities Release Bikeway Design Guide

New manual reflects spread of innovative street designs in U.S.

A coalition of transportation commissioners from major American cities has launched a new design manual for bicycle-friendly streets. The new "Urban Bikeway Design Guide" is a publication of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), an association that shares transportation practice and experience among its members and represents cities in national transportation issues.

The focus of the guide is street facilities, including cycle tracks or protected bike lanes, which provide more separation between cyclists and motor vehicle traffic. Guide users can view detailed plan drawings, three-dimension renderings of the designs, and pictures of actual projects from around the country. The NACTO Guide can be adopted by individual cities, counties, or states as either a stand-alone document or as a supplement to other roadway guidance documents.

The Urban Bikeway Design Guide is an interactive document that can be found online at www.c4cguide.org and www.citiesforcycling.org

Development of the Guide was supported by the SRAM Corporation and the Bikes Belong Foundation.


Pedestrian and Bicycle Issues in the News

The following is a brief compilation of pedestrian- and bicycle-related news stories from around the world. Web links to the following news stories are time sensitive, so some stories might not be accessible after the initial publication date without required registration.

Study: Walkable neighborhoods have happier people
USA Today
12/13/2010
New pedestrian lights aim to increase safety
Wisconsin State Journal
12/15/2010
City looks to promote cycling with downtown bike racks
TribLocal
12/17/2010
Poulsbo Lays Out Vision for a More Pedestrian-Friendly Future
Kitsap Sun
12/19/2010
President Signs Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act
PRNewswire
01/05/2011
New Glendale traffic safety warnings in English, Armenian, Spanish
LA Times
01/08/2011
RTA plans 100 bicycle stands across Dubai
Emirates 24/7
01/07/2011
States' Lawmakers Turn Attention to the Dangers of Distracted Pedestrians
New York Times
01/25/2011
Village of Lemont Receives $48K to Fight Obesity Epidemic
Lemont Patch
01/26/2011
Cyclists found a friendlier Boston in 2010
The Boston Globe
01/27/2011
Moderate exercise such as walking 'boosts memory power'
BBC News
01/31/2011
Rahm Emanuel details plans to expand city's bike network
Chicago Sun-Times
01/31/2011
Lees-McRae to Offer Minor in Cycling
Go Blue Ridge
02/03/2011
Arlington's plans make more room for bike lanes
Star-Telegram
02/03/2011
Online program teaches students traffic safety
Hawaii News Now
02/09/2011
Local elementary school building campus bike track
Tucson Velo
02/09/2011
Bike paths reduce injuries: study
The Montreal Gazette
02/10/2011
Making music while you ride: Portland proposes groovy 'Sonic Cycle Lane'
road.cc
02/17/2011
Cash boost to encourage cycling in London
BBC News
02/18/2011
Public Buses Warn Pedestrians to Watch Where They Step
Government Technology
03/02/2011

Upcoming Pedestrian and Bicycle Events

What Healthy Communities Need from their Transportation Networks: Preventing Roadway Fatalities and Injuries Webinar
04/05/2011
Web-based
2011 APA National Planning Conference
04/09/2011
Boston, MA
I-TED 2011: International Transportation Economic Development Conference
05/01/2011
Charleston, WV
13th Conference on National Scenic and Historic Trails
05/15/2011
Abingdon, VA
Performance Measurement for Transportation Systems: Fourth U.S. and International Conference
05/18/2011
Irvine, CA
3rd International Conference on Roundabouts
05/18/2011
Carmel, IN
2011 Main Streets Conference
05/22/2011
Des Moines, IA


Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

730 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Campus Box 3430
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3430
Phone: 1.888.823.3977
Fax: 919.962.8710
www.walkinginfo.org
www.bicyclinginfo.org