Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bikes on light rail

... light-rail trains contain hooks on the ceiling inside the cars. Bikers must hang their bikes vertically inside a car rather than load their bikes on the front exterior the way they do on a bus.

Rich Rumer, chairman of the Arizona Coalition of Bicyclists, said most cyclists he has talked to like the idea of bringing their bikes on the train. "The bike community as a whole is excited about it because it's an intermodal thing, and that should be the goal," he said.

-- Loading bike on train requires feat of strengh, The Arizona Republic, Dec 27, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

Light Rail Grand Opening Celebration

The Coalition exhibited at Metro Light Rail's Grand Opening Celebration.

The booth was in Tempe on Opening Day, December 27, at Veteran's Way & College Ave.) from 10AM to 5PM.

More photos from grand opening here.

Cycling and Light-Rail go hand-in-hand since each extends the destination horizons of the other. So whether you are primarily a Light-Rail / Bus rider or primarily a cyclist, you can benefit from using both. We are asking for volunteers to staff the booth. You will be answering questions about bicycles on L-R vehicles and handing out safety fliers. If we have enough volunteers, we may have a second booth at the "Green Scene" in Tempe as well. Please contact cazbike@gmail.com if you can help.

L-R rides are free Saturday Dec 27 thru Wednesday, Dec 31 so you can help a couple hours and still have plenty of opportunity to "Ride the Rails" in smooth, quiet comfort with your (optional) bicycle on the rack (video demo).

And don't forget to review the safety considerations of operating around the Light rail.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CAzBike 2008 Year in Review

For nearly twenty years CAzBike has been YOUR advocacy and education resource in Arizona. Made up of hundreds of individual and family members, as well as many supporting businesses and clubs, we have represented you across the state and nation.
Our advocates have represented Arizona Arizona at the Bike Education Conference in Austin Texas, The National Bike Summit in Washington DC, and The Pro Bike/Pro Walk symposium in Seattle Washington. Within Arizona our advocates have served....read the rest in .pdf

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pedaler should ride light rail: Bicycling on it is a danergous choice

The following guest editorial published Dec 10, 2008 Arizona (Phoenix) Republic was in reply to a "Letter to the Editor" (see comments for original letter).

Mr. Wilson advocates the use of Light-Rail Right-of-Way for cycling. I am very glad he touts the clean and healthy effects of our great sport and mode of transportation. As a League Cycling Instructor and a specialist in rail-bicycle issues, I am aghast at his disregard of his own safety and the legitimate users of Light-Rail (L-R) and the streets. Let me detail the dangers he creates.
L-R trains have been running in our streets for over a year now and will soon be running almost around the clock. "Not-yet-in-use" is a fantasy that is clearly self-destructive to one's life.
"Pothole free" is one of his claims. In fact there are two holes in the road for every track. They are a bit more than an inch wide and miles long. They are the flange groves of the track itself that can grab a wheel in a split second. The next split second, the cyclist's body will collide with that smooth concrete, or whatever is nearby. I have such a picture in my safety materials.
L-R vehicles are fast and very quiet. Mr. Wilson may be temporarily away from automobiles, but he will encounter trains, whether he sees or hears them, or not. I say temporarily since there are intersections regularly. These intersections do have traffic lights to protect against close encounters of automobiles, pedestrians, L-R trains, and bicyclists following the rules of the road. For cyclists in the L-R Right-of-Way, there is no protection. Do we need to coin a new term here, namely Jay-rider?
Mr. Wilson claims, albeit tongue-in-cheek, that he is not "driving" on the tracks, and therefore not breaking the law. Aside from the few seconds that that argument might last before a judge says otherwise, driving a bicycle is exactly what we teach in our effective cycling classes. Riding is a passive approach that lets things happen to you. Driving is actively taking the responsibility of one's own actions while keeping in mind the rules of the road and how to anticipate and avoid mistakes of others, 100% of the time!
The irony of this argument is that our L-R system is "Bicycle Friendly". There are twice the Federally required number of bike racks on each vehicle. Additional space in the entryways may be used during non-peak hours. Lockers are provided at the park-and-ride stations. Metro Light-Rail has reached out to the cycling community recognizing that these modes of transportation go hand-in-hand. Each extends the destination horizons of the other.
My suggestion to Mr. Wilson: Drive your bicycle to the L-R station, then ride the train. Above all, "Watch Your Back, Keep Off the Track".

Gene Holmerud
PE (AZ, Electrical, retired)
Rails-to-Trails Member #6246510
League Cycling Instructor #1193
Vice-President for Rail Safety and Access, Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists
Operation Lifesaver Presenter

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Spring BikeEd Schedule

The Spring 2009 BikeEd Schedule has been posted. Vist the BikeEd page for dates and instant registration.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Membership Meeting: Nov 17

The next Coalition Membership Meeting will be at 7PM at the Veterans Hospital (7th ST & Indian School Rd.). We wil meet in the ACC (Ambulatory Conference Center) conference room in the basement. Location

Have you tried to ride your bicycle to a bus stop, then watch an arriving bus that already has the bicycle rack full? Are you anticipating using Light-Rail and fine that all 12 racks on a train are used, or are not confident on lifting your bicycle to the wheel hook near the cieling? If yes, LCI and Coalition board member Sharon Newman-Matt has a solution: A FOLDING bicycle. She will demonstrate and answer questions during the program.
Please join us. Munchies and drinks will be provided.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Folding bikes win new fans on region's packed buses

Arizona Republic article, Nov 9, 2008: Folding bikes win new fans on region's packed buses.
Something to watch out for -- too small wheel size can have undesirable legal repercussions.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bike Lane installed on 51st Street

The city of Phoenix has recently installed a bike lane on 51st Street in Phoenix (Ahwatukee), between Warner and Elliot roads [area map]. It is approximately one mile in length. The stretch has appeared (incorrectly) as a bike lane on the MAG Regional Bike Map for years and years.

Formerly, an annoying fog line demarcated an approximately two-foot shoulder, causing confusion about where cyclists should ride. The elimination of the fog line, the source of confusion, IS A DEFINITE PLUS. More details and photos here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yeti Cycles (MTB) Demo Days: Nov 8 & 9

South Mountain Park, Scorpion Gulch Parking lot. 9a - 2p More info.

South Phoenix: Highline Canal Bicycle Path gets makeover

HURRAY! Our pleas have been heard.
The bike path from 40th St to Central Ave. has had it's potholes patched and has been thoroughly swept of sand, gravel and debris. But most importantly, the approaches to 32nd St. have been fixed with asphalt paving. 32nd St and its bridge over the canal were widened a few months ago, and, basically, the path approaches were ignored by the contractor. Now they are very ridable.

I rode it both directions today (16th St to 40th St). Now there is pavement where there was so much sand washed in that previously I didn't know there was pavement below it! The many cracks are still there, but most are hardly felt and virtually all are at 90-deg to the direction of travel so they are not a problem to steering. The Artistic and Improvement Project will be repaving from 40th St to 12th St over the next six or so months.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Light Rail is Coming!

Actually, it's already here in heavy testing. Please take a moment to review the safety tips below.
There is a spiffy brochure that will be available soon.

Expect a train anytime from either direction around the light rail tracks. METRO light rail is vehicle testing on Valley roadways. Trains are out there everyday, with several trains out at one time. In the fall, trains will be testing such a regular rate, across all 20 miles that the system will appear in service. Specifically in the months of November and December, “simulated service” testing will occur and continue up until our grand opening on December 27, 2008.

So it is more critical than ever to practice safety around the METRO system. Please remember these key bicycle safety tips:
  • Never bike on light rail tracks and always walk your bike onto the station platform.
  • Obey traffic lights. A red arrow means "do not turn."
  • Look both ways before crossing the tracks.
  • Light rail trains are quiet. Look for flashing headlights and listen for warning bells and horns.
  • When crossing the tracks at intersections, cross at an angle of least 60-degrees, but as close to 90-deg as practicable to avoid falling or tire damage.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tour de Tempe community bike ride Oct 26

The 13th annual Tour de Tempe community bike ride will be Oct. 26. The ride starts and ends at Tempe’s Kiwanis Park (Parking lot off All-America Way just north of Guadalupe Road). Registration starts at 7am, and the ride begins at 8:30am.
Tour de Tempe, Tempe’s free leisurely community bike ride, is a fun, non-competitive ride that weaves through diverse neighborhoods, downtown Tempe, public art projects and other Tempe sites. MORE INFO.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Memorial Ride for Safety XI, Oct 25

The 2007 theme is Safety and Share the Road. Join The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists and Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club for this great ride. The routes are 100 K and 35 miles through Carefree and scenic vistas of Tonto National Forest and Pinnacle Peak.
The ride will be held October 25, 2008. MORE INFO HERE

Monday, October 20, 2008

Membership Meeting: Oct 20

Membership meetings are held the third Monday of Every month at 7 PM. Meetings are held at the VA Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ. We meet in the ACC Conference Center which is in the basement below the South West entrance of the building. Executives meet at 6 pm followed by a 30 to 60 minute Membership Meeting and social time.
Location-VA Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ: 7th Street and Indian School [map].

October Featured Topic: improving cycling in Arizona and a presentation of Operation Lifesaver oriented to cyclists. OL is the international rail industry safety program (or how not to get smushed by a train). Board Members Charles Sobczak and Gene Holmerud have been trained as presenters. Chuck has been certified.
With Light Rail already in testing in the streets of Tempe, Mesa & Phoenix, and service starting in just a little over two months, it is time to Stop, Look and Live. Please join us.

Meeting Minutes

Attending the Oct 20 Board Meeting were:
Gail H., Pres
Bob J., VP
Sharron N-M., Director Education
Chuck S., Board Member
Allison V-U., Membership Chair

Gail reported we received the $5k REI Grant that was matched by Eric Post, and another $5k from the daughter of Pete Bennett, the cyclist killed in Northern AZ last year in appreciation of all the help from Coalition members given the family. Treasury now has about $17.5k in it.

We're going to renew our "non-profit" postal permit, but prepare for Periodical rate over the next six months.

Radar M. & Gene H, were "promoted" to VP to add weight to their efforts.
So we now have 3 VPs.

In the regular meeting we discussed the bike lanes around Light Rail tracks along Washington & Jefferson between 7th St & 24th St in Phoenix. People from the City & the State attended a "field" meeting at 4PM. A number of them are bicyclists and understand the issues.

An Operation Lifesaver program followed. Chuck S. (already a certified OL presenter) evaluated Gene's presentation to meet his requirements for certification as well.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bicycle Commuter Tax Break Signed into Law

The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclist's Assistant Director of Education Radar Matt was quoted in Bicyclists will benefit from $700 billion bailout (The Arizona Republic Oct 10, 2008).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Noticed by Locals (Ahwatukee), Unfortunately

Phoenix Police Officer (and Bicycle-Pedestrian Coordinator) Toby Ehrler met with a group of Ahwatukee cyclists before dawn on Thursday, October 2. He had requested any interested cyclist to be present. Coalition Board members (and LCIs) Radar Matt and I attended.

The issue arose from complaints by neighbors that cyclists were monopolizing the street and not observing stop signs. Officer Toby Ehrler encouraged compliance with the rules of the road and came up with a good means for riders in a group to comply with stop signs. That is, groups of four (2 sets of 2-abreast) following each other make their brief stops as a group, then proceed (when path is clear). He pointed out that 4 cyclists have about the same footprint as a motor vehicle, hence the spirit of the rules are followed. Being a cyclist himself, he can speak from experience.
Afterward, Toby assured us that the enforcement he is talking about is the same for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists alike. On that we agree.

One of the group members, while appreciating the education and advocacy work of the Coalition, expressed reservations about the meeting in an email. I replied that our involvement is that when any cyclist breaks the rules of the road, there is a motorist that says “See, they don’t belong on the road” at best, or possibly, “The next one I see, they better look out” at worst.

That hurts every one of us

Gene Holmerud, This article originally appeared in Sprocketeer V02N04

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fifteenth Avenue "Lane Diet" completed

The City of Phoenix Street Transportation department just completed a landmark bicycle project. Fifteenth Avenue from McDowell Rd to the Arizona Canal received a “Lane Diet.” The former four lane arterial was reduced to one lane each direction with a center turn lane and bike lanes. Traffic engineer Kerry Wilcoxson credits City Councilman Tom Simplot for getting the project going. Funding for a bike/ped bridge across the canal has been requested. Way to go Phoenix!

This article originally appeared in Sprocketeer V02N04

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Radio Waves

by Gene Holmerud

Over the last 5 or 6 weeks, I have been interviewed three times on broadcast radio. It seems that the reality of $4 or more per gallon of gas has increased the number of bicyclists on the road, and this has resulted in more frequent conflicts with motor vehicles on the road. This was the topic on National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation” on August 26 (carried locally by KJZZ 91.5 FM).
I was one of the call-in speakers and encouraged education for helping motorists and cyclists to follow the law and share the roads. That segment of the program can be heard here.

The report also caught the attention of both KAZG (an East Valley station, 1440 AM) and KTAR (92.3 FM). I was interviewed on September 16 on KAZG for about 10 minutes and on September 20 on KTAR for about 6 minutes by Michael Dixon. Dixon recognized that one can actually forget how to ride a bicycle, then was quite surprised when told the way to make a quick right turn is to move your handlebars to the left.
Coalition members have commented positively on the information I presented.
Radar Matt receives the requests from these stations, which means real interest in our endeavor is raising.
This can only be good.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Arizona pedals to 3rd place in 'bike-friendly' safe routes

Cazbike's Director of Education Sharon Newman-Matt was featured in a Sept. 13, 2008 Arizona Republic article; Arizona pedals to 3rd place in 'bike-friendly' safe routes . She appeared in a photo of her participating in Valley Metro's Bike on Bus. Her husband, RS Matt, was quoted extensively as was Coalition Member, and state of Arizona Bike/Ped coordinator Mike Sanders. More on LAB's Bike Friendly America.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Welcome to the CAzBike Blog

The blog will contain news and current events. Here members and non-members can leave comments and get involved in the discussion.

To become a contributor, contact the CAzBike webmaster.

Visit the Coalition's home page at cazbike.org to join or renew your membership, sign up for Bicycle Safety Classes, or to contact us.

Monday, January 14, 2008