Friday, July 16, 2010

From around the Globe...

From our friends up north...

Bixie not Fixie.

From Grand Rapids, in the Grand Rapids Press...

Editorial: Michigan lawmakers should approve Complete Streets bill to focus on more than motorists

We’ve all seen it when we’re driving along in our automobiles. The cars are clipping along just fine. But there on the side, you spot a fellow traveler on foot, pushing a stroller, riding a bike or using a wheelchair. And that person is in peril. The road was built with zero thought for him or her. No bike lane, no sidewalk, nothing for safe transit for those outside a car. All a passing motorist can do in that instant is slow down, pay extra attention and pray for safe travels.

But Michigan can and should do better. It’s time for the state to motor toward smarter transportation planning. “Complete Streets” legislation pending in Lansing would help get us to that destination. The Senate should pass it promptly, following the measure’s recent wide-margin approval in the House. Complete Streets is a movement gaining ground nationally. More than a dozen states, plus Grand Rapids and a growing number of cities nationwide, already have passed bills that encourage planning for safer, more livable and welcoming roads. Upgrading or building a street? Good, but how about planning for a sidewalk, bike lane, good crossing spots and pedestrian signs? How about a bus lane and pleasant bus stops?

The goal is to modernize transportation policies that for decades focused solely on accommodating motorists, and often were blind to needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, older citizens and those with disabilities. Too often, transportation planners had a default setting that forced people into cars for safe travel. The result is people have been robbed of options for getting around.

The legislation in Lansing is largely a planning tool for state and local government. It begins with establishing the premise that Complete Streets are important to the livability of communities.

Local road agencies already are required to develop long-range plans, and the legislation requires that smart streets are part of that conversation.

The state transportation agency would be charged with making it easier for communities to accomplish that through goal-setting and planning expertise. A Complete Streets Advisory Council would be formed within the transportation department, with representatives from government (such as traffic engineers, road commissions and transit planners) and a variety of community groups (including AARP, bicyclists and disability advocates).

The legislation has broad support from community groups, including senior advocates, Safe Routes to Schools group, environmentalists, cyclists and others.

It’s also important to note that Michigan’s proposed Complete Streets law does not over-reach, or encourage senseless expenses or government intrusion. It acknowledges that road-planning needs vary according to urban, suburban and rural settings, and that local context and cost factors must be taken into consideration. One size does not fit all.

But it does accomplish making room for Michigan to show how it can be a leader in all forms of transportation. Complete Streets doesn’t knock the car from its perch as king of the road and as a central force in Michigan’s identity and economy. It simply establishes that two-footed or two-wheeled travelers also are good for our streets, our downtowns, businesses and neighborhoods.

Safe travels and Complete Streets: Both are good for Michigan.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A head scratcher.

Being the main contributor of the blog for my 9-5 job, I stumble on a few things from time to time that I can't post there but are definitely I feel a need for a repost. Here is one that I saw from the Phil Wood Twitter feed from the Core777 website.

Head scratcher? Yes.

Interesting? Definitely.

Will we see it make it to production? Probably not.


Posted by hipstomp | 8 Jul 2010 |

I'm not sure about UK slang, but in America if I tell you "I'm gonna wrap my bike around a pole" that means I'm gonna crash it. But Kevin Scott, an industrial design student at the UK's De Montfort University, means it in a different way.

[image credit: Tony Kyriacou/Rex Features]

Scott has designed a bicycle that the user wraps around a pole literally. A ratcheting mechanism transforms two parts of the bike's frame from stiff to bendable, and once wrapped, a single bike lock can be passed through both tires and the frame, which Scott hopes will decrease the bike theft rampant in London and so many other of the world's cities.

For his troubles, Scott won Runner-up in the UK's Business Design Centre New Designer of the Year Award. Which does not mean he's done with the bicycle design; he's dumping the award money back into the project for further development.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Alo Here.

Well, it's been far to long between posts with lots of talk of revived passion for the site. No Drive is not dead just in hibernation. My computer recently took it's official walk to the dark side and is a nice Apple logo-ed paper weight. Right before this occurred I had renewed the for another 2 years. I'll be getting my hands on a new computer in the coming weeks and hopefully in that time Alex and I will be able to put together a new look for the site and potentially move to another site to host it other than blogger. We shall see.

Keep riding.