Google Maps Bike There…for a safer, healthier, happier world. :-)

Subscribe

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’

Momentum - The Magazine For Self-Propelled People!

March 04, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

momentum_mag_janfeb_08.pngMomentum Magazine jumped in early to help give our petition a boost back in the good ‘ol days - a loooong time ago. Well, less than a week ago, but that actually was a lot of signatures ago. :)

Their main blog link is here, and their RSS feed is here.

A blurb from their home page (momentumplanet.com) reads:

Momentum Magazine reflects the lives of people who ride bikes. Momentum provides urban cyclists with the inspiration, information and resources to help them fully enjoy their riding experience and connect with their local and global cycling communities.

You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but I think just the opposite is true for magazines, and judging from their list of previous covers, Momentum Magazine is definitely something you’ll want to check out.

Thank you, Momentum!

…whoops - not sure how I forgot the cover picture. That cover is from the most recent edition - Jan/Feb 2008.

Torture

March 04, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

But this is a good kind of torture - it shows us what is possible. We have to set our sights high - very high.

Very cool stuff! :)

…not sure if this came out clearly or not - basically, I’m saying I’m jealous. It’s late.

Austin Miller

March 04, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

Austin Miller was a 15-year old boy who was killed while riding his bicycle in Beaverton, Oregon. He and a transit bus somehow managed to collide. The accident happened about three weeks ago.

About a year before his death, Austin wrote in his school newspaper a column titled, “Please Do Not Run Me Over“.  The article is just straight up and talks about why we need to do everything we can to address bicycle safety. One thing that Austin Miller seemed to understand very well is that our lives, as bicyclists, are constantly on the line. Some responses to this petition seem to suggest that we should just get over it - that this whole ‘safety thing’ is really nothing more than alarmist drivel - that maybe we just need an injection of bravery. There are several things that can cause this type of reaction, I think, but one of them seems to be the belief that things are fine the way they are. Well, for me, I don’t believe things are anywhere near fine the way they are. And I hope you feel the same.

The final two paragraphs of Austin Miller’s article, about a year before he died:

Bikers will always be here; as long as it costs less than driving, helps us stay fit and pumps those feel-good chemicals throughout our body, we will remain on the early morning pavement, and that will not change. There is no excuse for a driver who does not pay attention and mind not only other cars but bikes. You cannot control other people’s actions, but you can control your own. Why anyone would rather sit inside a massive metal death trap for their commute is beyond me, but there are those with family, disabilities and other impairing things keeping them from biking. There will never again be a society 100% dedicated to driving or biking. It is like all other integration that had to happen in history-it takes time, patience, and a great deal of compromise.

There will always be hard feelings about this subject-we can only hope that no one will get hurt or loose a loved one due to a lack of responsibility and respect for the road. These are dangerous times, and especially for bikers, our fate lies not only in our hands, but in the hands of the drivers of which we share the road. I am glad for every day I reach the X point unscathed, but besides doing everything I can for myself, I cannot control you, I can only mutter these few words in a hope that it might do good: please do not run me over.

I don’t think it’s fair that Austin, or any child or adult, should ever have had to wonder if they would reach ‘the X point’ uninjured. And it’s obviously not something we can let stand, now.

Whenever I think about tragedies like this, I get angry - very angry. And when I think of the suffering of the family - mom and dad, brother and sister, an entire community - I know I’m going to be part of the solution, and that I have to get busy right now.

National Center for Safe Routes to School

March 03, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

I’d never heard of them before, but the National Center for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is definitely an organization that would appear to have goals very similar to ours. Their ‘About Us’ page says this:

Established in May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School assists communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bike to school. The Center strives to equip Safe Routes to School programs with the knowledge and technical information to implement safe and successful strategies.

The National Center for Safe Routes to School is maintained by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.

One of the key outputs of the Center appears to be the Safe Routes to Schools Guide. The guide is:

a comprehensive online reference manual designed to support the development of Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs. It provides links to other SRTS publications and training resources. Readers of the online guide can pick and choose specific topics based on their interests and needs, such as guidelines for adult school crossing guards or tools to create school route maps.

There is an SRTS wiki page.

I sent an email to everyone on their contact page, which includes folks with email addresses from the organizations already mentioned, and bicyclinginfo.org and tooledesign.com.

I also sent an email to the listed Texas contact person. Anyone else care to email the 49 other states? :)

There is also this entity called the SRTS National Partnership - I have no idea how it is different, or if it is different in any meaningful way, from the National Center for SRTS.

Washington City Paper

March 03, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

Thanks to Washington City Paper for the shout-out.

Find out more about Washington City Paper in Wikipedia.

The District is a good town (<sniffle>). (music)

p.s. there’s a little meetup going on in DC starting tomorrow.

10,000

March 03, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

Good work, y’all - we hit 10,000 signatures today. (Get the latest count here.) Thank you, everyone, for signing the petition, for telling your friends, blogging, etc.

I think it’s pretty clear that there is a great hunger for this functionality.

As for next steps, I think we should definitely continue to let people know about our petition and our enthusiasm for bikes and bicycle routes mapping. If 10,000 signatures is a strong show of support, then something more than 10,000 can only be a good thing.

In the very near term, I’m looking for some ‘industry numbers’ reflecting the size of the bicycle industry in America, and worldwide. I’d be interested to know of trends, and possibly breakdowns of ‘commuting’ vs. ‘racing’ vs. ‘leisure’ cycling.

I’m not sure what all Google does with its search data, but I suspect they’ve steadily seen ‘bicycle’-related searches continue to grow - that’s a good thing, for us. :)

Bike Hugger

March 03, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

Bike Hugger has written us up - thanks y’all!

One of the best parts about starting this initiative is that we’re all getting to find out about all the people who are out there doing good work and who are interested in seeing more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly cities and towns and communities. Very exciting stuff.

Incidentally, I now keep up with I don’t know how many bicycle blogs on a daily basis - 25? 50? more? And it’s pretty easy, and not as time-consuming as you might think - if you know how to use an RSS feed reader, that is. :)

If anyone is not yet an rss feed reader, then I would highly recommend looking at becoming one - it can make you more productive, save you time, make you a better person, etc. ;) OK - but it can save you time, and make you better informed, etc. Really, I like to see what everyone is up to - they come up with the good ideas, and then I try to tweak it to suit my local area. Reading blogs using a feed reader can help you find out about things like the Bicycle Film Festival, or introduce you to a whole new way to think about bicycles.

And I say that not because I am a technology snob (which, I suppose, I’m capable of being sometimes), but because I think it’s a game-changing tool that we can use to help keep each other informed and inspired. The most common frustration I experience is when I find out about some new and awesome bicycle advocacy group, and then find out that they don’t have a blog or an RSS feed. That makes it very difficult for me to keep up with what they’re doing. Signing up for their email list is just not feasible when I want to keep track of what so many different groups are up to. And bookmarking a site and going back and checking every hour/day/week/etc. is not feasible, either. Enter blogs and RSS feeds.

I’ve posted a simple introduction video, below, from a company called Common Craft. [Update: Removed embedded video because it was messing up WordPress. You can still find it here.]

Blogs Talking

March 03, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

We added a ‘Blogs Talking’ section to the column on the right-hand side, where you’ll be able to see the latest that the blogosphere is saying about our efforts. Some of the articles showing up there will be non-English, of course.

Thanks to Frank Bueltge for creating this ‘WP - RSS Import‘ plugin for WordPress.

Google Maps Mania

March 03, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

Google Maps Mania has told their audience about us, and we are very grateful.

If you’re unfamiliar with their blog, please check them out.

A vélo

March 03, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

Awesome. :)

How cool is it to see what a ‘Bike There’ feature might look like in another language?

googlemapavelo.png

I love it!