Profile: Pedestrian and Bicycle Video Library Launched

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has launched a Web-based library collection of pedestrian and bicycle-related safety videos on its Web site at
http://www.walkinginfo.org/videos.

Submitted from pedestrian and bicycle organizations from across the country, the videos can either be viewed in the Library or downloaded from the site. Visitors to the PBIC Video Library can use the videos for any noncommercial projects including Web pages, presentations and events. Users of the site can either browse available videos or search by topic area.

PBIC will continually seek and compile videos to be included in this library. If you have publicly available videos that you have developed and would like to be included in the Video Library, please contact Katy Jones at jones@hsrc.unc.edu or 919-843-7007. All videos must be either in digital or DVD format, be educational and non-commercial and be relevant to pedestrian and bicycle safety issues.


PBIC featured in Bicycling Magazine

"Don't creep into the intersection at red lights to get a head start," says Laura Sandt, associate director for PBIC in Bicycling Magazine's feature on tips for avoiding common bike-car collisions.

In the slideshow Ride Smart: How to Avoid the Five Most Common Bike-Car Collisions, Bicycling Magazine lists ways bicyclists can remain safe on the roads. Sandt offers her insight, along with information from PBIC, on how to steer clear of these five collisions.

To access the article, please visit www.bicycling.com/bke/slide/home/1,8155,s1-1-561-0,00.html.


May Bike Month / Bike to Work Week

National Bike Month was celebrated in May with many opportunities to promote bicycle use and safety. Coordinated by the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month was kicked off with various activities around the nation. These activities throughout the month included Bike-to-Work Week from May 17 to 21 and Bike-to-Work Day on Friday, May 21. Read an exciting roundup of bike events and media coverage from across the country on the League's blog at www.bikeleague.org/blog/2010/05/
bike-to-work-day-web-roundup/
.

Riding a bicycle provides a fun way to get around while increasing physical activity, reducing traffic congestion, helping the environment and even saving money! While the yearly cost of owning and operating a vehicle is over $9,000 , or 18 percent of the average household's income , owning and maintaining a bicycle can cost as little as $120 per year.

PBIC offers the following tips for bicyclists and drivers:

General tips for bicyclists

  1. Be Ready. That bicycle you bought three summers ago to ride on the bike path has gathered enough dust. Put it to work — by riding it to work or for errands!
  2. Chart Your Route. Find a good route to get where you want to go. The Pedestrian Bicycle Information Center has a maps directory to help. It helps to talk with friends, family, or coworkers who ride their bikes to get good route information, too.
  3. Be Comfortable. Painful bike seats. Achy knees. Stiff back. All of these problems can be helped by correctly adjusting your bicycle to fit you. Stop by your local bike shop to ensure your bike is adjusted properly.
  4. Consider Linking with Transit. Many communities have buses with racks to accommodate bikes. You could use transit for part of your trip instead of biking the whole distance.

Safety tips for bicyclists

  1. Always ride with traffic and follow the rules of the road. Forget what you might have heard in the past, you are better off riding with the flow of traffic, not against it. You are much more predictable and visible to motorists, especially at intersections and driveways. Ride in a straight line, not in and out of cars, and use hand signals when turning and stopping. Obey traffic signs, signals, and lane markings and yield to traffic when appropriate, including pedestrians.
  2. Don't ride on the sidewalk. Although you might think it's a safer option, motorists are simply not looking for bicyclists on the sidewalk, especially those riding against traffic. So at every driveway and intersection, you are at much greater risk of being hit by a motorist than if you were riding on the road with traffic. Pedestrians will thank you for riding on the road as well.
  3. Ride on the trail, paved shoulder, bike lane, or bike route. But, you still need to follow the rules of the road and watch out for your fellow travelers. Ride to the right, signal your turns, obey traffic signs and signals.
  4. Be predictable and visible. Try not to be hesitant or do things that motorists and other travelers may not be expecting. Make sure everyone can see you and knows where you are and where you are going. If riding in the dark, use headlights, taillights and reflectors, and wear reflective materials and brightly colored clothing. Do not wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while bicycling.
  5. Watch for stuff on the road or trail that might make you fall or swerve. Rocks, trash, storm grates, wet leaves, potholes, gravel, railroad tracks, and even wet pavement markings can all send you flying. Also watch for parked cars, doors opening, and cars pulling in and out of driveways.
  6. Watch for turning traffic. Perhaps rather surprisingly, the crash data tells us that getting hit from behind is extremely unlikely. Most car/bike collisions happen at intersections and driveways when motorists or bicyclists are turning. So, at every intersection and driveway, keep a careful eye out for:
    • Motorists turning right in front of you-you may be going faster than they think.
    • Motorists turning left across your path-drivers are looking for gaps in traffic and may not be paying attention to anything other than other motor vehicles.

Safety tips for motorists

  1. Watch for Bicyclists at all Times. Bicycles are vehicles and bicyclists are allowed to take the entire lane. Scan for bicyclists in traffic and give them the appropriate right-of-way. Children and novice riders can be unpredictable; expect the unexpected. Watch for bicyclists before opening car doors. Don't drive distracted or after consuming alcohol or other drugs.
  2. Drive the Speed Limit and Avoid Aggressive Maneuvers. Obey speed limits and come to a complete stop at stop signs. Allow extra time for bicyclists to traverse intersections. Recognize hazards that bicyclists may face and give them space to maneuver.
  3. Pass Bicyclists with Care. Treat bicyclists as you would a slow-moving car-don't tailgate, and do wait until traffic conditions allow you to safely pass the bicyclist. Reduce speed when passing bicyclists and allow at least 3 ft of passing space. Check over your shoulder after passing a bicyclist before moving back. Don't blast your horn in close proximity to bicyclists.

For more safety information on bicycling, please visit www.bicyclinginfo.org/bikemore/.


PBIC Co-hosts Online Conference on Pedestrian Access

On May 18-20, 2010 PBIC co-hosted an Online Conference on Pedestrian Access with the Easter Seals Project ACTION (ESPA) and the National Center on Senior Transportation. The conference, another in ESPA's series of Promising Practices and Solutions in Accessible Transportation, consisted of three free, 90-minutes sessions:

Title: Policy, Design and Importance of Accessible Pedestrian Environments for Livable Communities
Presenters: Jana Lynott, AARP's Public Policy Institute and Scott Windley, U.S. Access Board
Overview: Presenters Jana Lynott and Scott Windley provided a policy framework for creating accessible pedestrian environments to support livable communities, touching upon U.S. Department of Transportation policy that supports the full inclusion of pedestrians of all ages and abilities in transportation projects, and offered an overview of model Complete Streets policy at the state and local levels.
Title: Making Streets Accessible to All
Presenter: Michael Ronkin, Consultant
Overview: Sidewalks are the basic way to accommodate pedestrians along our streets, while street crossings and intersections are where the risks lie for all people. Michael Ronkin explored barriers to accessibility on sidewalks, at street crossings and at intersections, as well as simple solutions to overcome these barriers.
Title: The Power of 25
Presenter: Peter Lagerwey, Toole Design Group
Overview: This Webinar articulated useful strategies for establishing and running an effective advocacy group in an effort to achieve safer streets and livable communities. Peter Lagerwey offered his formula for public involvement, demonstrating the effectiveness of 25 organized individuals.

Archived audio from the presentations will be available on the PBIC Webinars Web page in late June at www.walkinginfo.org/webinars.


Featured Success Story:Iowa City Bike Library

Problem

In Iowa City, a university town with a largely transient student population, many bicycles were abandoned or brought to the landfills. Some students, especially international students who were in Iowa City for a short time, were reluctant to purchase a bicycle because they knew they wouldn't be able to take it with them when they left the city. Although the local economy supported several bicycle shops, there were few opportunities to purchase a lower-cost, used bicycle in good repair.

Background

A local citizen recognized that the surplus bicycles could provide people with affordable transportation, and looked for a way to get the bicycles he collected and repaired to the public who needed them. He used a table at the farmers' market to distribute the bicycles he mended. Initially called the Iowa City Community Bike Project, the program quickly became popular, attracting both eager patrons and volunteers. Several other community members, also interested in bicycle repair, stepped up to help.

Solution

The Iowa City Bike Library depends on the skill of its volunteer mechanics.
Photo: Jennifer Bedet

At first, the limiting factor was lack of space. Iowa City officials agreed to provide a location for repair work and a non-profit retail operation where the public could come and check out the bicycles. The city offered an abandoned building (a former sporting goods shop), charging $1 per year for rent. Another step in establishing the program on a more permanent level was having a full-time AmeriCorps volunteer to help organize and administer the project for one year. The program also gained support and stability by finding a sponsoring non-profit organization, Environmental Advocates.

The Iowa City Bike Library (ICBL) has served the community from a convenient downtown location since 2004. Numerous used bicycles — in widely varying conditions — are donated each week. Skilled volunteer mechanics attend Repair Nights twice weekly to refurbish donated bicycles. Other volunteers attend a weekly Salvage Night to reclaim usable parts from bicycles that cannot be repaired. With about a dozen regularly active (and another dozen occasional) volunteers, the ICBL is able to provide four to eight repaired bicycles each week. This number includes bicycles that have been loaned out and returned. Upon return, bicycles are given a full safety and maintenance inspection before being loaned out again. The Bike Library is open to the public once a week for three hours on Saturday. During this time, bicycles can be checked out, returned or donated.

Patrons checking out bicycles must leave a deposit which ranges from $20 to $80, depending upon the quality of the bicycle. If the bicycle is returned within six months, the full deposit amount is refunded less any damage beyond normal wear and tear. Patrons may choose to keep their bicycles (and many do); deposits are automatically forfeited after six months. During the six-month check-out period, the Bike Library will provide repair service for bicycles with no charge for labor. The Bike Library purchases helmets, which are provided with bicycle check-out for no additional charge.

Result

A patron checks out a bicycle on a busy Saturday at ICBL.
Photo: Jennifer Bedet

More than 650 bicycles have been donated and repaired during the Bike Library's four years of operation. The number of bicycles repaired and checked out has increased dramatically each year. As of May 2008, the Bike Library provides an average of six repaired bicycles each week. During the busy season (April through October), the demand for bicycles is steady; regularly all of the Bike Library's prepared bicycles are checked out within half an hour. In addition to recycling bicycles, the Bike Library has diverted 7,000 pounds of scrap metal from the landfill. The majority of that metal was transported to the scrap yard by bicycle and trailer.

Contact

Jennifer Bedet, Volunteer Coordinator
Iowa City Bike Library
408 E. College Street
Iowa City, IA 52240
iowacitybikelibrary@gmail.com


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.

Cycling in New York: Policy Innovations at the Urban Frontier
Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety and Mobility in Europe
Lane Configuration Guide to Support Safe Bicycling and Vehicular Travel
Guide for Review and Assessment of Local Mobility Plans
Liability Aspects of Bikeways
Why Communities Need Bicycle & Pedestrian Staff
Leveraging the Partnership: DOT, HUD, and EPA Programs for Sustainable Communities
Bike-sharing: History, Impacts, Models of Provision, and Future
Planning for Bicyclists, Pedestrians, and Transit Riders

Announcements

US DOT releases policy statement on bicycle and pedestrian accommodation regulations and recommendations

On March 15, 2010 the US DOT announced its new policy statement concerning bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. The policy is as outlined below:

The DOT policy is to incorporate safe and convenient walking and bicycling facilities into transportation projects. Every transportation agency, including DOT, has the responsibility to improve conditions and opportunities for walking and bicycling and to integrate walking and bicycling into their transportation systems. Because of the numerous individual and community benefits that walking and bicycling provide — including health, safety, environmental, transportation, and quality of life — transportation agencies are encouraged to go beyond minimum standards to provide safe and convenient facilities for these modes.

Along with announcing the new policy, the US DOT also included several recommended actions in support of the strategy. The US DOT continues to increase its commitment to and support of bicycle facilities and walking networks that can help meet goals for cleaner, healthier air; less congested roadways; and more livable, safe, cost-efficient communities.

On May 28th, bicycling and walking advocates came to US DOT to publicly thank Secretary LaHood for the policy. Members of Congress also sent a thank you letter to the Secretary. You can read more about this event here: http://fastlane.dot.gov/2010/06/dot-bicyclepedestrian-policy-gets-thumbs-up.html.

To access the complete statement, please visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/policy_accom.htm.


US Green Building Council launches the LEED for Neighborhood Development program

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) announced the launch of the LEED for Neighborhood Development green neighborhoods rating program. LEED for Neighborhood Development combines the ideas of smart growth, new urbanism and green building and benefits communities by decreasing the spread of urban construction, increasing transportation options and creating neighborhoods that are physically connected. The program helps to support transportation efficiency and walkability in neighborhoods. For more information, please visit www.walkinginfo.org/develop/policies-leed.cfm.


2010 Livable Communities Award applications due July 16

AARP and the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), co-sponsors of the 2010 Livable Communities Award, seek to recognize and honor forward-thinking builders, remodelers, developers, architects and architect planners who have built attractive homes and communities that enable residents to enjoy comfort and safety in attractive settings.

Apply for the awards online at www.nahb.org/livablecommunities by July 16th. Winning projects will be honored at the 2011 International Builders Show in Orlando, FL, in January 2011, but will also receive great media and consumer attention via AARP's Web site and media contacts. For more information about the Awards and to view videos featuring previous winning projects, go to www.aarp.org/homedesign.


CDC releases transportation policy recommendations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified transportation policies that can have profound positive impact on health. In the document, Recommendations for Improving Health through Transportation Policy, the CDC gives specific recommendations for including the consideration of public health within transportation issues. Key high-level areas include:

To access the complete report, please visit www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4524


2010 Pro Walk/Pro Bike®

Chattanooga, Tennessee, the site of Pro Walk/Pro Bike® Conference, September 13-16, 2010, has much to boast about, including a walkable downtown, electric transit opportunities, a heavily used river trail, mountain biking opportunities within 10 minutes of town, and much more.

Over the past 30 years, Pro Walk/Pro Bike® presented by the National Center for Bicycling & Walking (NCBW) has become the preeminent conference focusing on bicycling and walking programs in America. This year's theme bringing livable communities and regions to scale with presentations from large and small communities and regions across the across the U.S. and abroad; and mobile workshops to showcase a livable community in action is intended to accelerate trans-disciplinary practices in transportation, land use, housing, public health and the environment.

Pro Walk/Pro Bike® 2010 will provide a learning experience for advocates and professionals working on policy and programs in every kind of community, at every level of government and with non-government organizations. Registration is available at www.bikewalk.org.


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.

Advocates Concerned That Cyclists Are Included in Distracted Driving Bill
Streetsblog San Francisco
03/03/2010
Upper East Side Workshop Kicks Off New Street Safety Campaign
Streetsblog New York
03/17/2010
Somerville schools receive CYCLE Kids grant to fight obesity
The Somerville Journal
03/17/2010
DC Plans to Expand Bike Lanes
Fox DC
03/19/2010
W. Vernor improvements to target pedestrian safety, add bike lanes
Model D Media
03/23/2010
Charleston County expanding bike, pedestrian access
The Post and Courier
03/27/2010
What is Bike Culture?
New York Times
03/30/2010
Making Streets for Walking
Streetsblog
04/08/2010
PBOT: Bike boulevards now known as "neighborhood greenways"
Bike Portland
04/12/2010
Pittsburgh's bike-friendly rating improves Pittsburgh Tribune
Review
04/13/2010
Minneapolis is best in bike friendliness
Bike Radar
04/14/2010
New Bike Pathways Enhance Safety
Grunion Gazette
04/21/2010
Raleigh poised to become biker-friendly
News and Observer
04/24/2010
Library" for bicycles in the works
San Francisco Examiner
05/09/2010
McGinn touts push to get people out of cars
Seatte Post Intelligencer
05/11/2010
Bike share plan gets a green light
Toronto Star
05/11/2010
Panel discusses pedestrian, bike law enforcement
Independent Florida Alligator
05/18/2010
Program offers safety training to students
Mt. Vernon Register-News
05/19/2010
LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system launches
BuildingOnline
05/19/2010
Pedal pushers drive bike commuter surge
Fairfax Times
05/21/2010

Upcoming Pedestrian and Bicycle Events

Policy Promotion - Getting Policy Makers on Board with Bike/Ped Improvements Webinar
06/16/2010
Web-based
Velo-City Global 2010
06/22/2010
Copenhagen, Denmark
National Association of County & City Health Officials Annual 2010 Conference
07/14/2010
Memphis, TN USA
Bicycle Boulevards Planning and Design Webinar
07/21/2010
Web-based, USA
Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) 2010 Annual Meeting and Exhibit
08/08/2010
Vancouver, Canada
Road Diets Webinar
08/18/2010
Web-based, USA
3rd International Urban Design Conference
08/30/2010
Canberra, Australia

For a listing of pedestrian and bicycle conferences and events, please visit www.walkinginfo.org/training/events/ and www.bicyclinginfo.org/training/events/.



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