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Archive for January, 2009

bike-lane-example-w-treesThe League of American Bicyclists recently published a list of $2.18 billion worth of proposed projects for bicycle facilities to be potentially funded by the economic stimulus package. To my mind, these kind of projects fit perfectly because they are both a way to stimulate the economy and to address our long term need to become more energy independent. The heck with the plug in hybrid… bicycles take no fuel at all. No transportation is greener than a bicycle, except maybe Huck Finn’s wooden raft.

So how many of those projects were on the list from Nevada? Zero, nada, none. Is this caused by a lack of imagination or is this just another example of Nevada being on the bottom of all of the good lists and top of all of the bad?

In any case, the train is leaving and we’re going to left at the station.

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bicycle-touring3

A new interstate road map especially meant for bicyclists has been produced by a coalition of groups, including the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the Adventure Cycling Association, which chose routes and established a route numbering system deliberately reversed from that of interstate highways. The new road map, complete with its own route numbers, puts together more than 50,000 miles of paved roads suitable for cyclists, linking together cities, byways and off-road trails. The next step is for states to create routes and erect signs. Long-distance bicycling has become an area of focus for many parts of the world. Europe is working on the 38,000-mile EuroVelo network, which will connect a dozen long-distance routes, and Quebec, Canada, last year completed the 2,700 mile Greenway, or Route Verte. The United States does not have that much organization when it comes to a national bicycling scheme but there are a number of routes already mapped out by various organizations, such as the 38,000 miles mapped by Adventure Cycling that include the 4,262-mile TransAmerica Trail from Virginia to Oregon – Burlington (VT) Free Press, 12/8/08

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Nevada Bicycle Coalition

 

With so much emphasis on accountability these days, I thought I would give an accounting of the bicycle advocacy activities of the Nevada Bicycle Coalition, both for you and myself. The NBC was active in many projects and issues in 2008.

 

January – This Blog was born. See it at www.nevadabike.org. This was an effort to get some kind of Internet presence for NBC without spending a lot of cash or time, after getting so many requests for directions to our “website”.

 

February – Police versus Cyclist Bias meeting. What started as an Internet “rant” about the injustices upon bicyclists perpetrated by law enforcement ended with a meeting with about 50 cyclists and 20 Reno, Sparks, Washoe County senior police officials to discuss how to make roads safer for bicyclists and the challenges law enforcement faces. Everyone learned something and left with a better appreciation for the other’s point of view and a commitment to work together to improve bicycle safety. A more tangible result was a video produced by Washoe County Sheriff Haley’s Office discussing bicycle safety, traffic laws for bicyclists and the state of bicycling in northern Nevada. It aired on SNCAT, community access television for northern Nevada, in October.

You can view the video at http://washoe-nv.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=78&publish_id=&event_id.

 

March – Bikes and Big Trucks. NDOT and the NBC started work on a course for drivers of semi-trucks to educate them and bicyclists how to safely share the road. The design team included representatives from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, DMV, Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Associated General Contractors. The vision is that this course will be part of truck drivers OSHA training and distributed by the Nevada Motor Transport Association when completed.

 

April – we participated in the production of a DPS bicycle safety billboard designed and produced by IGT and Jeff Ross Photography, and paid for by the DPS. It was displayed during April on 32 signs in Las Vegas and 13 in Reno.

 

April – improved the language in the Washoe County 2040 Regional Transportation Plan, Bicycle and Pedestrian Element, with regard to bicycle facilities, safety and the promotion of motorist and bicyclist education.

 

April – the NBC was instrumental in the rebirth of the Washoe County Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC). The BPAC is charged in general with advising the Washoe County RTC on bike and pedestrian issues and, more specifically, with mapping the area’s bike lanes and routes and then recommending connections to turn the current hodge-podge into a bicycle transportation network. The mapping project can be accessed through www.nevadabike.org.

 

June – arranged to have the LAB DVD “Enjoy the Ride” shown in rotation on northern Nevada’s community access television station.

 

July – in a joint effort with the Reno Bike Project, the NBC ran a “bike valet” during 8 downtown “Rollin’ on the River” concerts, parking bicycles for free for concert goers. The bike racks were purchased with a grant for the City of Reno.

 

July – the NBC was granted 501(c)3 status by the IRS.

 

September – NBC had a table at the 2008 Reno Green Summit where we talked to people about bicycle commuting and safety and distributed a brochure modeled on the information at www.bicyclesafe.com.

 

September – the NBC and RBP ran a bike valet at the Balloon Races in Reno.

 

October – the NBC proposed and rallied support for a “road diet” for Mayberry Road, arguably the most popular bicycle route in Reno, which resulted in a dramatic improvement in safety for bicyclists despite opposition from some local residents.

 

December – the NBC submitted a proposal for legislation to update the Nevada Revised Statutes with regards to bicycle operation. At this time the status of this request is unknown.

 

So, we had a pretty productive year in pursuing our mission, “to promote safe bicycling in Nevada”.

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