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    PP - Paceline Prudence

  • What is "All Ages and Abilities"

    What is meant by “all ages and abilities?” That question is concisely answered in the Federal Highway Administration’s document entitled Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks. “All ages means that children as young as eight can walk and bike independently from their parents. It means that older adults can get around comfortably without a car. Facility needs vary by age, and there is no “one size fits all” solution. All abilities means that people using mobility devices or people with limited vision are not faced with barriers.” (page 1-8)

    The document also defines “networks” as “interconnected pedestrian and/or bicycle transportation facilities that allow people of all ages and abilities to safely and conveniently get where they want to go. They provide equitable access for all people.” (ibid, page 1-11) The document provides a basis for evaluating the effectiveness of networks using the following:

    COHESION – How connected is the network in terms of its concentration of destinations and routes?

    DIRECTNESS – Does the network provide direct and convenient access to destinations?

    ACCESSIBILITY – How well does the network accommodate travel for all users, regardless of age , income level, or ability?

    ALTERNATIVES – Are there a number of different route choices available within the network?

    SAFETY AND SECURITY – Does the network provide routes that minimize risk of injury, danger, and crime?

    COMFORT – Does the network appeal to a broad range of age and ability levels and is consideration given to user amenities?

    There aren’t any bicycle networks in Southern Oregon (including Ashland) that reasonably satisfy all of these measures. All fail to provide “accessibility,” “safety and security,” and “comfort” for all ages and abilities. That is because local bicycle networks rely largely, if not exclusively, on bike lanes on major roads and highways. Local, regional and State transportation agencies need to do more to ensure that the bicycle network is useful by more than the 1 percent of people who are “strong and fearless.”

    The bicycle mode, where it is designed to meet the needs of “all ages and abilities,” can account for between 10 and 30 percent of all travel. That means less congestion, pollution, and expense for the purchase of gasoline. It would also contribute to a more active and healthy community. Importantly and I’m guessing, fewer roads would need capacity upgrades saving 100’s of millions of dollars over a 20 year period.

     

  • Narrow "Bike Lanes" in Medford

    The image below was taken on West Main Street, west of Columbus in Medford. The bike lane is roughly two and one-half feet wide  (measured from the outside edge of the gutter to the center of the lane stripe). Each mark on the measuring stick is equal to one foot. 

    With bike lanes like these, it is no wonder that only  six percent of the roughly 1,000 Medford residents who were surveyed, as a part of the City’s Transportation Plan Update, said “I am confident and secure with riding my bicycle on the streets and have few concerns about safety.” I’ll bet that those City residents don’t ride on West Main. The entirety of the Transportation System Plan Update, Community Survey is available HERE.

     

  • Kids and What's Safe

    The Sunday Medford Mail Tribune included an article entitled “Kids and the Wilderness, The Outdoors is Saving Their Lives” which drew heavily on a post by Michael Lanza with the catchy title “Why I endanger my kids in the wilderness (even though it scares the shit out of me).” In response to a question “How do you deal with the competing ideas of trying to introduce your kids to your lifestyle and knowing that they could be hurt?” Lanza responded “when my kids were little, I honestly felt more anxious biking around town with them – where inattentive or inconsiderate motorists posed a treat I couldn’t control – than I did tying them into a top-rope” while rock climbing.”

    Lanza’s insights help to explain  why bike facilities should be designed and constructed “for all ages and abilities.” The National Association of City Transportation Officials are on to something.

     

  • Bicycling Pays its Way!

    “A common political argument is that bike and transit riders should “pay their own way.” A study in Vancouver however suggested that for every dollar we individually spend on walking, society pays just 1 cent. For biking, it’s eight cents, and for bus-riding, $1.50. But for every personal dollar spent driving, society pays a whopping $9.20! Such math makes clear where the big subsidies are, without even starting to count the broader environmental, economic, spatial and quality-of-life consequences of our movement choices. The less people need to drive in our cities, the less we all pay, in more ways than one.”

    Read more at: http://www.metronews.ca/views/opinion/2017/01/03/math-myth-busting-our-worst-urban-planning-misconceptions.html

     

    Thanks to Rees Jones who receives the “alert reader” award.

  • Bill Doris 70th Ride

    Trying to regain feeling in fingers and toes in Rogue River.