From the NY Times: Sprawling Memphis Aims to Be a Friendlier Place for Cyclists
"Bike-friendly behavior has never come naturally to Memphis, which has
long been among the country's most perilous places for cyclists. In recent
years, though, riders have taken to the streets like never before, spurred by
a mayor who has worked to change the way residents think about commuting.
"Mayor A. C. Wharton Jr., elected in 2009, assumed office a year after Bicycling
magazine named Memphis one of the worst cities in America for cyclists, not
the first time the city had received such a biking dishonor. But Mr. Wharton spied
"In 2008, Memphis had a mile and a half of bike lanes. There are now about
50 miles of dedicated lanes, and about 160 miles when trails and shared
roads are included."
Read the entire article here.
On Sunday February 10, the very last day of the Environmental Film Festival,
The contributions of Oswald Veblen, "to Princeton University and to the IAS, like
those to the academic scene in general, were enormous." A brief obit is here. He
Getting back to nature, the upcoming PEFF talk about Veblen's farmstead and
its future is bound to be informative. This map shows the location of his house.
In its vicinity is seen, as a diagonal line in the bottom left corner, the right-of-way of
a future trail which will allow pedestrian/bike travel between VanDyke and Bunn Drive
(in that satellite image, the yellow circle is the water tower; the yellow arrow points
in the direction of the nearby Veblen house).
Some background is in this news article. The trail runs along a sewer right-of-way
for roughly half a mile, with a start/end elevation difference of around 80 feet. At
the moment it isn't really that passable, due to downed trees, patches of mud, etc.
While the entrance from the upper (Bunn Drive) end has yellow pylons and is
obvious, the connection to VanDyke at the lower end either isn't built yet, or else
might be a connection to the pavement next to Trinity All Saints cemetery.
Finally, having mentioned in a previous post the connection between Oswald Veblen
and bike safety, now may be a good time to bring his uncle Thorstein (1857-1929),
the noted economist/sociologist, into the discussion. It seems highly probable that
I'll be encountering champagne in the near future, and champagne is often cited
as the perfect example of a Veblen good - "a high-status, exclusive item ... which
remains appealing to certain consumers as long as prices remain high or increase"
Another good example of a Veblen good could be a limited-edition racing bicycle.
But in this era of general belt-tightening ? A cheap & cheerful bike, green belt included.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Princeton Freewheelers to Tour Former Perimeter of Borough
Read the full article (from Town Topics) here.
PS - having never heard of the "Perimeter Bicycling Association of America",
I paid a quick visit to their website. It seems to be a Tuscon-based
interesting (to me, at least) event featuring vintage bikes, unpaved
roads etc. Always the first Sunday in October, in Tuscany (not Tucson).
If there isn't an Eroica-style event around here, hey why not launch one ?
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Dec 3, 2012:
"The South Brunswick Township Council approved an ordinance
last week to establish two crosswalks on Ridge Road and New Road in
connection with the Freedom Trail bikeway.
"The crosswalks will be placed on New Road between Ridge Road
and Route 522, and on Ridge Road near the firehouse. Once completed,
the 10-mile bikeway will run from Ridge Road in Kingston to Route 1,
and on the western side of Route 1 the path will run by Stouts Lane,
across New Road and then back to Ridge Road.
Read the entire article here. Description of Freedom Trail on this blog.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
I was riding in the Sourlands (East Amwell township) yesterday, enjoying the sun,
when I happened to recognize the science writer/journalist Gina Kolata, who was
running in the opposite direction. Her recent NY Times piece "Updating the Message
to Get Americans Moving", can be viewed by clicking here. Here's a snippet:
"… more recent studies using accelerometers that measure actual movement
rather than relying on self-reports […] the data are even more dismal. Only 3.5%
of Americans between the ages of 18 and 59 do the minimum amount of physical
activity recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services. Among
those over age 60, the percentage is even lower: 2.5%. "It is stunning," said
[…] an exercise researcher at Iowa State University."
Kolata's article from (more than) a few years ago, "Too Cold to Exercise? Try Another
Excuse" is here. My personal best on this dimension was a few years ago, early on
New Years Day. The temperature was 17F, it wasn't that enjoyable, my buddies had
postponed the ride until mid-day except I hadn't gotten that memo, but memorably, I
got a close-up eye-level view of a handsome (cold) woodpecker, along Stony Brook.
The appeal of the Sourlands for cyclists is that [a] it's scenic [b] it has the hilliest roads
around, so you can get a great workout [c] there is little motorized traffic, weekend AM.
However the roads are narrow and quite twisty, so the cyclist needs to be extra-vigilant.
The subject of this post is "social fitness", referring to the phenomenon of Strava, a
GPS-enabled app/website which allows you to compare your speed to others in
the local Strava community. For example, you can see how you rate on the well-known
Mine Road, north of Pennington. With respect to "being extra vigilant in the
Sourlands", it should be obvious that Strava users also track their descent times,
Call me anti-social but for now, I think I'd prefer to remain uninformed, without a
handlebar or smartphone GPS gadget, than miss having seen that woodpecker!
But I'm glad to have learned that the word "sträva" means "strive" in Swedish,
and I must confess their 30-second TV commercial is quite inspiring.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
You can click here to see an initial draft of the Ad-Hoc Bike Plan document, currently
48 pages, organized according to the map being arbitrarily carved into four sectors. The
index is below. Any suggestions/feedback/recommendations are much appreciated.
Sectors A and B are slight compared to the others, and unfortunately we don't have
any traffic counts (usage data) yet, nor do we have a "Bike Routes" map updated.
Friday, December 7, 2012
GMTMA is the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association; its
December newsletter can be viewed by clicking here.
The topics this month:
- Tackling Transportation Challenges
- The Ivy League Goes Green
- Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Commute Cost Calculator
- TMAs & Sustainable Jersey: Perfect Together
- Winter Driving Tips, Courtesy of Click and Clack
There are eight (count 'em) TMA's in New Jersey, and they have
a council which publishes its own newsletter. Click here to view it.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
"Together with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley Regional
Planning Commission, NJ Transit, and PATCO, SEPTA is now collecting information on how transit
stations can better accommodate bicyclists. The data will be collected through the OpenPlans
organization's "Shareabouts" platform, a crowdsourcing map that will allow users to click on a
specific stop or station and input information about its bike-related characteristics."
Here's the link: http://www.septa.org/sustain/blog/2011/09-28.html
Here are some of the responses:
Princeton ("Dinky") Station (1 response - they seem to have deleted mine from yesterday)
Princeton Junction Station (0 responses)
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
I've started seeing this new word "coffeeneuring" crop up. This is apparently
"the act act of combining two great loves" where one of the great loves is
"riding a bicycle to/from a coffee shop" and the second is either "drinking
coffee" or "just hanging out in a coffee shop". More details to be found here.
Or here's another example.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Event at the public library:
"Mountain Lakes" DATE/TIME: Thursday, Nov 15 - 7-9PM
"Created as an ice pond in 1884, Mountain Lake gradually filled in
with sediment and the severe deterioration of its dams threatened
to drain it altogether. Princeton Township engineering staff and
consultants review Mountain Lake's ice harvesting history,
archaeological discoveries, and the careful rehabilitation over the
last two years that has restored the beauty of this National Register
site and has preserved it for future generations."
- this blogger offers a nice color-coded version of the trail map.
- PU recently created a "Seven Parks" video which can be viewed here.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Public radio (3-minute audio clip, transcript):
Hurricane Sandy Gets New Yorkers on Their Bikes - Lisa Mullins interviews NYC bike advocate Caroline Samponaro
From Slate Magazine:
Pedal-powered electricity generators ?
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
October 20th, 8am-10am
The Littlebrook PTO and Novo Nordisk are proud to announce Littlebrook School's 1st Annual Sneakers & Cycles
fundraiser! Bring the entire family and come to the Littlebrook School for a (fun) walk, run or cycle through the
Littlebrook neighborhood (~1.7 miles), with proceeds to benefit the Assemblies and Residencies Program at Littlebrook.
Complete details & registration here: https://sites.google.com/site/littlebrookespto/fundraising/sneakerscycles
Monday, September 24, 2012
Sunday, September 23, 2012
According to Wikipedia,
"The Keystone Pipeline System is a pipeline system to transport synthetic
crude oil and diluted bitumen ('dilbit') from the Athabasca oil sands region
in northeastern Alberta, Canada to multiple destinations in the United States,
which include refineries in Illinois, the Cushing oil distribution hub in Oklahoma,
and proposed connections to refineries along the Gulf Coast of Texas."
Here's a map indicating the path of the pipeline between Alberta and Texas. The tar
sands are basically synonymous with the again-booming town of Fort McMurray, AB.
Interestingly (to me, at least), the well-known bike advocate Mikael-Colville Andersen
was born in Fort McMurray. Andersen originated words/concepts including cycle chic and
"copenhagenize" (verb; sample usage: "we'd like to copenhagenize the world"). He has
published and presented often on the topic of, in the words of this Austin-based blogger,
In conclusion, whenever you hear a story about Keystone XL in the news it should also
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Charles Carmalt is currently Philadelphia's Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator,
working in the Mayor's Office of Transportation & Utilities. Our Planning
Board hired him over a decade ago, and the resulting 83-page document,
Monday, August 6, 2012
They look swell, they add curb appeal, they are super-durable. What's
not to like about granite "Belgian block" curbing ? One does need to
be extra-careful with ones parallel parking, lest one join the ranks of
motorists who have ruined their tire !!
In the event of a bicyclist who loses control and crashes, they are a hazard.
Excerpt below is from a letter by Ithaca's town planner to a developer:
Sunday, August 5, 2012
From: Mike Suber
Subject: Re: NYTimes op-ed: the ethicist weighs in
Date: Saturday, August 4, 2012, 6:01 PM
Steve et al -
Yes, I read the opinion piece on the web site. Forget Kant.
Ethics has nothing to do with it. Consider the effect on other cyclists
and motorists who observe such irresponsibility: Flout the law, behave unlike
most responsible motorists, and bring derision and danger to all cyclists.
I can't believe that TA might consider this acceptable behavior.
On Sat, 4 Aug 2012 14:48:47 -0700 (PDT) Steve Kruse writes:
"If Kant Were a New York Cyclist" by Randy Cohen
THE rule-breaking cyclist that people decry: that's me. I routinely run red lights,
and so do you. I flout the law when I'm on my bike; you do it when you are on
foot, at least if you are like most New Yorkers. My behavior vexes pedestrians,
drivers and even some of my fellow cyclists. Similar conduct has stuck cyclists
with tickets and court-ordered biking education classes.
But although it is illegal, I believe it is ethical. I'm not so sure about
your blithely ambling into the intersection against the light while
texting and listening to your iPod and sipping a martini. More or less.
Read the entire article at http://nyti.ms/MkoU42
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The eight wrongdoers sat inside a windowless basement classroom, serving a
court-ordered penance for their transgressions. For the next 90 minutes, they
would learn about the proper rules of the road, how to use hand signals and
when to change lanes safely — even if most did not believe they had done
Read the entire article: http://nyti.ms/NNLxlI