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Brick Streets as Traffic Calming: An Alternate Utopia

It’s no mistake that paving bricks are still in use today in cities around the world. Bricks are cheap to produce, incredibly resilient, and are a flexible paving medium. They conform to the geological shape of the road, and unlike concrete or asphalt, they don’t crack, they just settle. They’re bumpy and noisy to drive over, but this is nothing that a car can’t handle. Brick streets also tend to encourage slower speeds for this reason.

As a sidewalk surface, they’re terrible. Unless the bricks were laid or re-laid within the last decade, they tend to settle and bulge over holes and tree roots, and create a terribly inconsistent surface for walking. They’re even worse, sometimes impossible to traverse for anything with wheels – be it a bicycle, skateboard, wheelchair, or walker.

So what if we flipped the script? All sidewalks and sidepaths could be paved with concrete or asphalt and be perfectly contiguous, with curb cuts and lines of sight from one destination to another. And all streets could be paved with bricks. If we’re going to build the world for walking and cycling, we’ve got to start somewhere.

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Rent a Bike in Downtown Topeka

karlfun:

Coming soon – only about two and a half months away!

Originally posted on KSNT News:

[anvplayer video=”262023″ /]

Get ready to see more bicycles in downtown Topeka.

Kansas First News reporter Vanessa Martinas tells us more about a bike rental program that is coming to the capital city this summer.

“It’s really an exciting time to be a cyclist,” Karl Fundenberger said.

He rides his bike everyday.

He says a new rental bike program will make it easier to wheel around in the capital city.

“I’ve used the bike share systems in a few other places when I’ve been traveling and it’s such a convenience to have that available,” Fundenberger said.

The Topeka Metropolitan Transit is spending $162,000 on 50 bikes, 75 bike racks, 7 hub locations and 4 registration kiosks.

All Social Bikes or SO-BI’s will have an on-board transaction computer that will allow you to check out and pay for the bike.

Riders can charge the bikes on an hourly rate or an…

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Happy New Year! Bike Month is just a few months away!

Our second meeting for Bike Month (May) was last night. The next meeting will be 5:30 pm on Tuesday, February 3rd, at PT’s Coffee, 17th & Washburn.

The goal with Bike Month in Topeka is first, to get all the bike events that are already happening – on the Bike Month calendar. Are you part of a weekly ride that should be on the calendar? Let us know! If you need access to the calendar, get in touch with Karl!

Next, the goal is to make it fun! We’ll be working on a “Block Party” to take place in NOTO toward the end of the month, with food, music, all sorts of entertainment, and some bike stuff, too. It will likely feature the new bikeshare bikes, a Kids’ Bike Rodeo event, and some demonstrations in the street of either freakbikes or trick bikes! The goal is for this to be the one big event, sort of an expo. All will be welcome – just reach out if you or your group would like to set up something for this day.

There was also talk of a few new events, including a series of Dairy Queen rides, a women-only bike event, and a bike art show! If you’d like to get involved with the Block Party or one of these events, please get in touch via email (info at biketopeka) or via the comments below. ‘Til next time!

South Jersey’s pedestrian hostility on full display

Originally posted on South Jerseyist:

When you think about what’s been going on in the world for the past week, you might be thinking more about Christmas than pedestrian fatalities, but the latter took no holiday this year. Over the course of the past week, South Jersey has seen an astonishing number of serious pedestrian injuries and deaths on its roadways.

Here’s what’s been happening.

On Sunday, December 28th, at 7pm in Franklin Township, Gloucester County, a police cruiser struck and killed a 10-year old boy “as he walked to a friend’s house for a sleepover.”

Also on Sunday the 28th, in Mount Laurel, Burlington Township, a man walking along South Church Street was struck and killed by a car at 5:25pm.

On Saturday, December 27th, another incident occurred in Franklin Township, Gloucester County, when a man in a pickup truck severely injured a man on a bicycle on Little Mill Road. Witnesses…

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Forget the Damned Motor Car

There’s a great post on the Sustainable Cities Collective about how cities are designed for cars – and how that’s just about the worst way to design a city. We’ll leave you with this quote and graphic and encourage you to head over there to check out the original.

I see what a fraud the car is—how much it has cheated me out of. On foot and lighthearted, you are right down amid things. How familiar and congenial the ground is, the trees, the weeds, the road, the cattle look! The car puts me in false relations to all these things. I am puffed up. I am a traveler. I am in sympathy with nothing but me; but on foot I am part of the country, and I get it into my blood. If it were not for Mrs. Burroughs I should hang up the car.

-John Burroughs

How do you advocate for change?

"I feel the role advocates should play is as a catalyst for change, rather than as a driver of change. Because of the political battles you have to wage to make change, often advocates come at this from a somewhat aggressive stance, but that perspective or approach can alienate people instead of united them." -Karen Overton, Recycle-A-Bicycle

“I feel the role advocates should play is as a catalyst for change, rather than as a driver of change. Because of the political battles you have to wage to make change, often advocates come at this from a somewhat aggressive stance, but that perspective or approach can alienate people instead of united them.” -Karen Overton, Recycle-A-Bicycle

The League of American Bicyclists is celebrating Recycle-A-Bicycle’s 20th year in NYC.