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