I know of at least three local builders who are in Austin this weekend at the North American Handmade Bike Show (NAHBS) showing off their wares: Winter Bicycles, Bronto Bikes, and Co-Motion Cycles. We have plans to do a series on local builders here on WeBikeEugene and have been talking to Eric with Winter about kicking us off with some discussion of the various trade shows he’s headed to this Spring and Summer, as well as talking to us about the business of building bikes.
To kick things off, I thought I’d highlight some of the coverage that Winter Bicycles is getting at the 2011 NAHBS. One of the best places to get the overall picture of the show (which is wrapping up today) and to virtually be there is to follow Jonathan Maus’ coverage on BikePortland or via Twitter. For now here’s a bit about Winter Bicycles at the show:
**Update: Path is open. EWEB apologized for the inconvenience and is working to improve outreach**
EWEB has had a change in their construction crew scheduling and has bumped up the timing for a project impacting the riverfront bike path. The path will be closed TODAY from EWEB Plaza to the access at Hilyard (the whole EWEB property). There is signage posted at both ends of the detours to alert people. They say they expect the path to be open by 4:30 p.m.
It’s too bad better notice wasn’t give about a major path closure. Apparently this was sent to one city staff person on Friday but they were out until today. It doesn’t seem that hard to reach out to the bike community between the GEARs list, the various bike blogs, and BPAC. I doubt they would close a major road down without a bit of advance notice so why a multi-use path that sees hundreds of users a day? Also, on their detour they are directing people to ride the wrong way on the sidewalk from 5th to 6th. Communication between utilities, the city, and the community obviously needs to continue to improve.
This information was shared on the Disciples of Dirt Yahoo Group last week by the DOD Executive Board and I thought it was important to share with the general bike community as well. One of the missing pieces to Eugene’s Platinum Bike Friendly Community status is good local mountain bike possibilities. Making trails accessible for people without the need to drive to them, especially for getting kids and families out there, is an important goal for us to be working towards. So far there has been a lot of talk and some dashed hopes from the Parks department when it comes to getting more trails in town. What we need is action. Thanks to DOD members putting time and effort towards this goal! Please consider contacting City leaders and Parks & Open Space staff to tell them if you think this is important as well (information at the end of the post).
Last week, members of the Disciples of Dirt (DOD) Executive Board met with City of Eugene Parks and Open Space (POS) staff in hopes of beginning the formal process of adopting Arlie Park, which would have involved the Disciples of Dirt agreeing to construct approximately 5 miles of trails that would be open to bikes as well as hikers. These discussions have been going on for several months, and everything we were hearing suggested that we may be able to begin building trails before the end of 2011.
In this meeting, the DOD Board were told some very disappointing news. The City of Eugene’s funding problems will prevent them from doing the required preliminary work that would be needed prior to beginning trail construction. City of Eugene Parks and Open Space Division has a significant Parks maintenance budget shortfall, and they are taking drastic measures to try and reduce their operating expenses. While DOD was prepared to provide volunteer labor for all the construction work and future maintenance needs, and even to hire consultants to work through the land use permitting process, there were some planning and design tasks that could only be done by City of Eugene POS staff. We were told that there is not likely to be funding or staff available to do this required work for at least the next 18-24 months. It is unlikely that funds will be available that soon unless Oregon’s economic improves. There were no guarantees that funding will ever be available.
With this news in hand, the board asked about the possibility of other opportunities to expand the amount of trails open to bikes in the area. Last year (around the Ribbon Trail closure), parks staff agreed to do an assessment of the entire Ridgeline trail system to re-consider whether mountain bikes could safely share the existing trails with other trail users, and to look at possibilities of approving new trails for bikes in the Ridgeline trail system. As you can guess, the same budget issues have prevented Parks staff from being able to find the resources to consider this issue. They are not able to begin this process for at least the next 18-24 months. Again, there was no guarantee that funding would ever be made available for this study. Continue reading “City Parks & Open Space Gives Little Hope For Local Mountain Bike Trails”
The following is a guest article by Hugh Prichard, who first introduced to me to the concept of the “Green Wave” at the Transportation Remix last November. I especially like the stats at the end of the article! —- Seager
The Green Wave in Copenhagen is a creative piece of bicycle infrastructure which costs very little but changes the game dramatically. During both morning and evening rush hour, traffic lights are set so that maintaining a speed of 12 miles per hour means all you will see is green lights for over two and a half kilometers. A commuting cyclist will never have to put a foot down from the close-in suburbs right into central Copenhagen.
Here’s a view of the Green Wave as it approaches the busiest bicycle intersection in Europe on Nørrebrogade.
In case you missed this on the GEARs blog, Price is looking to gather as many of these stories as possible. Read on: — Seager
Why do YOU care about bikes?
By Price Armstrong
If you are reading this article, bicycling is probably important to you – I know it is to me, which is why I am currently the Chair of the Advocacy Committee. What we are looking for are stories illustrating how bicycle programs and infrastructure have made a difference in your life. What we are going to do with those stories is use them as compelling examples to elected officials on why we need their support.
Via Eugene City Council Newsletter this bit of news (emphasis mine):
A series of recent projects, strengthened by community partnerships, have created new trails in southeast Eugene, resulting in improved commuting options and connections between neighborhoods.
The Northwest Youth Corps Outdoor School, supported by members of Friends of Hendricks Park and the Fairmont and Laurel Hill neighborhood associations, and volunteers from Oregon Woods Inc., received a City of Eugene neighborhood matching grant to realign a heavily eroded segment of the Floral Hill Trail in Hendricks Park. The improved trail joins Hendricks Park and the newly constructed .75-mile Ribbon Trail to Floral Hill Drive and creates a pedestrian connection between the Fairmount and Laurel Hill Valley neighborhoods.
In addition, Eugene Water & Electric Board’s (EWEB) need to place a water main line down a narrow City-owned parcel between 30th Avenue and Spring Boulevard resulted in an opportunity to improve a crucial commuter link. The City Parks and Open Space Division partnered with EWEB staff and members of the Disciples of Dirt and the Obsidians to build a trail over the location of the filled-in water main’s trench. EWEB staff built the bulk of the trail as a component of its project. The two volunteer groups worked with City Volunteer-In-Parks staff to build a connecting trail segment near 30th Avenue, while a second grant-funded youth crew worked to build a trail segment down a steep hillside near 29th Avenue. A trail segment connecting the dead ends of Central Boulevard near Laurelwood Golf Course and 29th Avenue completed the connection work.
The new trails allow pedestrian and bicycle access between 29th and 30th avenues and Central Boulevard. Bicycle commuters and pedestrians are able to get off busy 30th Avenue to travel between neighborhoods south of 30th, Lane Community College and other destinations. One regular hiker interviewed recently summed up the experience, “I’m becoming addicted to the trails; it’s so nice to be able to experience a little bit of nature a few minutes from home!” Continue reading “New Trails in SE Eugene Open”
People e-mail me a lot about upcoming events, so for this post I’m going to pretty much just re-post their e-mails because I have too much homework to do anything more than that. If you can’t tell by the title of this post, the two events I’m sharing today involve bike related videos. Of course this post will also include the City of Eugene’s wonderful InMotion newsletter, a great community resource that you can scroll through in embedded form after the jump.
Take the jump to learn about the two great events!
Another UPDATE: BikePortland has updated his post on the subject and it appears the BTA has found out that the bills text is just a placeholder that Sen. Burdick plans to swap out for different language. The future bill may have something more to do with intersections that don’t sense bikes and/or fail to turn green when a bicycle is present. We’ll see what actually pans out…
UPDATE: BTA Executive Director Rob Sadowsky has posted the following regarding the bill:
“As you may have heard by now, Sen. Burdick has introduced the Idaho Stop Bill as SB604. Before folks get too excited, we are trying to figure out with our lobbyist if this bill is being introduced as a serious bill or if there are other agendas behind the bill. Typically a bill like this gathers supporters before being introduced if it has an intent to pass. We are kindly asking folks to not take action at this point such as calling legislators until we find out more. We need to do a full reading of bill and analyze it. It has some steep fines in it for example. Our legislative committee will need to address this as well. We’ll do our best to keep all informed along the way. Thanks.”
Yesterday afternoon Eugene’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) received an email from Lee Shoemaker, the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, asking for feedback on a bill he had just received. SB 604 (posted below) permits a “person operating bicycle to enter intersection with specified traffic control device without stopping, provided that person operating bicycle slows to safe speed and yields right of way to traffic or pedestrians.” We know the bill has come from Senator Burdick but we have more research to do.
The surprise return of the “Idaho Stop Bill” comes on the heels of last years bill that died an ugly death after the City of Eugene originally voiced opposition to it but quickly turned around to a neutral position after a call to action and some great advocacy effort from GEARs.