CRBC Meeting Minutes | 3/15/2011 @ SC Municipal Building | Bike Summit Review | Rumble Strips Update | How Houghton Mich became a Bicycle Friendly Community.
Bike Summit Report from Jordyn Drayton and Eddie Magulick
Jordyn, Carrol, Eddie, and Frank all went to the 2011 Bike Summit held in Washington, DC, recently and reported their findings to the CRBC group present at the meeting. This included talking with representatives and their aids. On Thursday morning Senator Casey has a breakfast that anyone can attend. Don’t go for the food.. You get to shake hands with the senator, and say a few words. Bike folks were the majority in the room that day. Casey traditionally votes up on multi-modal bills and his aid, Ed Stodard? is on the ball when it comes to cycling issues. The group commented that Ed was well informed about what cyclists want.
The groups message, and the message of the Summit was focused on the economic impacts of cycling.
At congressman Thompson’s office the group spoke with a Mr. Crist? who was not as versed as Casey’s aid. The group commented that he didn’t make eye contact and seemed to be a little despondent. Jordyn commented that Thompson seemed to be a nice guy. The message that day was economic impacts and the group sited Huntingdon, PA. The Allegripis Trails have had a 4 million dollar impact on the local economy. And, they have only been around for a year. Thompson said during the brief discussion that rising gas prices equals more bike riding. Thompson votes in lockstep with Schuster who votes bike related issues up, which is good. “we are in a weird position with funding” Jordyn said, bikes are a cheap way to get around. Currently there are not any funding bills related to bikes moving through the house right now.
First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign was really awesome.
National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) is trying to bring the rules of European roads to North America. They have had a positive effect on the roads in NYC. Click Here for more. The group thought that looking into this for the Center Region would be awesome.
PennDOT and the Rumble Strips
There were a couple of CRBC folks, Paul and Chuck, who met with PennDOT officials about the rumble strip issue. A couple of years ago there was some money that was allocated federally for the states to put in rumble strips. There was some stipulations, like there had to be a 4’ median. This problem was not isolated to the Center Region, it is national.
CRBC would like to thank the Center Region COG for helping to keep this issue on the hot button.
PennDOT is now fixing the issue. Go to the web article somewhere on this website to find out more about this issue.
How Houghton Michigan Became Bike Friendly
Ann (didn’t get her last name, sorry ann) spoke to the attendees at the CRBC meeting about her recent involvement in getting Houghton Michigan honored as Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC). Ann, a recent transplant to SC, commented that Houghton is similar to SC in that it has a university, Michigan Tech (6,000) located in the downtown, and lots of students riding to work. There are also a lot of IMBA action close to town like here in SC. A task force formed with a lot of different people on it, these folks put together a survey (survey monkey) and some maps of bike routes (both of which we already have), and started to shop the idea of BFC around to elected officials. They developed a bike route map, that turned into a bike plan that incorporated students, faculty and staff of Mich Tech. The plan was assembled by the regional transportation planner and paid for through her salary.
Bike to work day tripled in numbers as awareness rose in the community, people began to own the idea of living in a bike friendly community.
2. Policy | Houghton was a little light on community involvement. At first, Ann commented that officials weren’t sure of the benefits of becoming a BFC. Eventually came around and felt moved to put some paint on the road, bike lanes and such. Events became a part of the process, and had a positive effect on the number of folks out riding.
The Health Department was all for the BFC initiative, knowing how this would positively affect the overall health of the community.
They used Madison’s bike parking stuff, which is excellent. Now every new building has to address bike parking (why can’t we do that here?). They got the Mayor to sign on to the idea of BFC.
There are 2 state highways that go through Houghton, and M-DOT was not pleasant to deal with.
Ann commented that Houghton is not as nice a place to ride as the Center Region…and why are we not a BFC?
The group then split into two groups, the special event group and the BFC group.