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Biking Shorts - August 3, 2012

 

By Barbara Schmid

Grand Rapids' First On-street Bicycle Corral

While munching on bean tacos at a front window table at Bartertown Diner this week, I had a clear view of Grand Rapids' first on-street bicycle corral, on Jefferson at Fulton. Bike parking had replaced what was formerly a metered parking space, and it was already being actively used. Five bikes were parked in a space that previously would have held one car. And most people had yet to hear about the new on-street racks.

As one cyclist riding on Jefferson slowed up to the stop light, you could almost see his jaw drop once he saw the new bicycle parking. Mine did too, when I heard about it.

Great move by the City of Grand Rapids Parking Commission, Friendly Corps and Bartertown Diner.

Party Time on Thursday, August 9!

GGRBC is this month's beneficiary of the Social Charity Club of Grand Rapids' "Eat, Drink and be Charitable" event on Thursday, August 9, from 5:30-9:00pm.

We welcome our members and friends to join us for a rolicking good time at Bobarino's and the Sky Deck at The B.O.B. in downtown Grand Rapids. 

All proceeds from the event will go directly to GGRBC. The $10 donation includes one complimentary drink and appetizers between 5:30-6:30pm, the same it would cost you if you went out to any happy hour. And it’s tax deductible (receipts will be available upon request).

Music will be by Nate Holley and event bike parking racks will be set up outside The B.O.B. so you can avoid the hassle of looking for a car parking spot.

Come enjoy a fun social event with your cycling pals and our Guest Hosts Rosalynn Bliss, Josh Duggan, Jay Fowler, Kate Hunt, Bill Kirk, and Dale Phelps.

Visit the Facebook Event for more details.

Upcoming Events

Be sure and put Wednesday, October 24 on your calendar now. That’s the date of GGRBC’s second annual meeting where you can hear a review of what we’ve accomplished this year and what lies ahead.

Last year, we brought in Jason McDowell from B-Cycle to talk about bike share programs. This year guest speaker? We’ll keep you posted....

Also, we will also be conducting our Fall Bicycle Traffic Count & Survey sometime next month. Our locations and dates will not be announced to keep the count honest. But we certainly welcome your input when a volunteer asks you to stop to take a survey. Not surprisingly, our spring count saw an increase in ridership over the fall count.

Once the GVSU statistics class that’s evaluating the information releases their report, we will share all the details with you.

We appreciate the Kent County Health Department’s financial support of this data collection venture. It helps us, the KCHD and local cities make important decisions regarding how bicycling impacts our community’s health, air quality and transportation options.

 

STC Adopts Complete Streets Policy

The State Transportation Commission adopted its Complete Streets Policy, July 28. The STC used the recommendations from the Complete Streets Advisory Council, which had been meeting for nearly two years to research, discuss and advise the STC about Compete Streets policy language. 

During the pubic comment period for the draft policy, the League of Michigan Bicyclists asked for stronger policy language. That effort drew nearly 2,500 signatures of support and influenced the final policy's language. The petition asked for specific implementation language, strengthened exception language, the inclusion of performance measures, and more. Most of the 55 additional public comments favored including in the policy clearer timelines, commitment to training, use of best practices and performance measures.

This policy will guide local communities as they begin adopting their own Complete Streets policies. The question remains whether the CSAC will continue to meet and design programs to help educate communities about complete streets.

Pedestrians Count, Too

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is promoting a series of “walkability” audits in seven communities around the state, designed to provide a hands-on evaluation of the walking conditions in a portion of the community, and a discussion of design improvement ideas.

The walkability audits are designed to help city engineers, planners, officials, residents and others realize the benefits of providing a safe and attractive environment for walking. The free audits will be conducted by Dan Burden of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, who has 40 years of experience in developing, promoting and evaluating active transportation facilities, traffic calming practices and sustainable community design.

An audit in the City of Wyoming will be take place Aug. 13.

(From information at Michigan Complete Streets Coalition)

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