Thursday, September 24, 2009

Scientific American Articles

I have received an email about an article in Octobers' Scientific American about"how cycle paths have to be safe enough for the risk averse female of the species and organized around her usual destinations: "to the supermarket, the school, the day care center". The piece says the female cyclist is the "indicator species" for bike-friendly cities." Well ladies, I bet you never thought of yourself as an "indicator species" !
Here is that article online. Also I came across this short clip worth reading or listening to.
The bottom line is get out there on your bikes and start making yourself seen! Way to go Cyclopaths and all you other folks getting out there!
Thanks for that Heather and Brian!

Meeting with MOT on Highway 14

On Monday the 21st of Sept, I met with Wayne Jentsch, the project manager for the paving project on Hwy 14, Dave Edgar, a Transportation Planning Engineer with MOT, and Al Fontes, Director of Engineering for Sooke. We looked at various parts of the highway and discussed different possibilities. It looks very good for getting good shoulders frome Charters Road to around Woodlands drive, just past Sassenos. Also the dangerous little asphalt berms on the side of the road will be removed! The budget is limited of course but Wayne intends to help make it stretch out as far as possible to help make the highway safer. We discussed ways of making the crossing by Coopers Coves/The Fuse, safer and easier to cross. I also discussed the possibility of putting up guard rails on the Sooke River bridge, which along with the re-paving and widening of shoulders would essentially give us a connection from the Galloping Goose Trail to Sooke in a relatively short time. Sooke has, from my understanding set aside funding, along with the CRD to assess the options for a second river crossing as a pedestrian, cyclist and emergency route. This in my mind is still the best way to go in the long term and crucial for many reasons. The route using the existing bridge can give us a safer crossing for pedestrians and cyclists very soon (hopefully within a year) for very little cost, and allows tourists easier access to the town from the Goose! I have not discussed this yet with the Mayor and council, but I trust they will be receptive to the idea.

Walk and Bike for Life; Gil Penalosa Talk

Lee and I attended the talk by Gil Penalosa that was put on by BC Transit. A very inspiring and informative presentation. Check out the website for some really good resources. I had hoped some of our council members would have made it there, but unfortunately none were able to make it. If we are serious about making this town pedestrian, cyclist and tourist friendly, we need to pay more attention to this sort of information. We have an excellent team of planners and some really good plans in the OCP, but we need to make sure the commitment and desire is there to follow through. I know that some of our councillors are fully behind this goal, and I believe our Mayor is as well from what I have heard her saying recently. It is very easy to get caught up in the day to day operation and politics of running a town, but we all need to remember to take time to step back and look at building our vision of a community that we want to be part of. We need to take the time to find inspiration!
I hope to be able to speak to the council soon at one of the meetings to share some of what I have learned and some ideas to keep us on track.

CRD Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan

I attended 2 days of workshops to kick off the CRD Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan. It was an information session with the consultants and a brainstorming session. It is very similar to the process Sooke used for the OCP. One of the big questions is what role the CRD should play in dealing with the different municipalities in the district. It was also determined that regionally significant cycling and walking routes need to be identified. There will have to be further discussions to determine the scope of their role, but in my opinion, (and several other peoples) a good role would be for CRD to act as a central coordinationg agency for information and contacts. They can also help out with funding for different projects and to set some basic standards to create some consistency and continuity between areas.
There is a feedback form that I would encourage everyone to fill out. It is another chance for your voice to be heard. Here it is; CRD Walking and Cycling Feedback Form
There will be more info up on their website soon

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

CRD Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan

The CRD has a Citizens Advisory Council for the Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan, of which I will be a participant. The first session starts next week. I will keep you posted on what is happening. In the meantime you can check it our here.

Symposium plans for next spring

Last week we had our first meeting for planning a bicycling symposium in Sooke for next year. It was well attended and we are working on ideas.
The plan right now is for it to be a Cycling and Sustainable Transportation Symposium/Fair
We hope to have various speakers on cycling issues, possibilities and attractions. As well there will be vendors showcasing electric bicycles, hybrids, comfort bikes, recumbent and semi-recumbent, trikes, and folding bikes. This is to help people to see the possibilities that are out there for using cycles as recreation and transportation alternatives. We might also have some electric scooters, Low Speed Electric Vehicles and electric cars.
We also hope to have participation from local governments, BC Transit, RCMP and other interested and related organizations.
We are looking for feedback and ideas as well as people willing to help out with the planning and implementation.
I think this is very exciting. We have a great opportunity here to help bring more members of the public into a different mindset on transportation. I hope that we will draw people from the local area as well as from Victoria, Southern Vancouver Island and possibly from farther afield.
Contact us with your ideas and if you would like to help.

Rhodonite Bike Lanes

We have suffered a small set back in that there was a large number of residents from Rhodonite that spoke at the council meeting in opposition of the bike lanes. (See my comments on original post) The residents did not want to lose their ability to park on the road and felt that the road was not used much by cyclists. (Mmm..I wonder why?)
It is disappointing since the lanes would have been in by now, however, in the long run we might be better off with a multi-use path. It looks like this might be the next stage. It is more expensive and residents will lose some of their driveways and lawns, but it will allow for some on street parking.
We will be keeping on top of this issue.
See the letter to the editor in the Sooke News Mirror, from one of our members, Mark Ziegler.