Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tour de Lights 2009

More than 450 people turned out for Knoxville's newest favorite holiday tradition!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tour de Lights reminder

*3rd Annual Tour de Lights Bike Ride*
Wednesday, December 16, 2009;
7 p.m.;
Krutch Park, next to Market Square;
Free bike safety checks start at 6 p.m.

This fun, easy bike ride starts on Market Street next to Krutch Park, and tours 4th & Gill and Old North Knoxville. There are prizes for the best decorated bicyclist, bicycle and helmet. And if that were not enough, Mast General greets our return with hot cocoa and cookies! It is free. Helmets are required, because we care about your brain. Sponsored by the City of Knoxville and the Knoxville Regional Bicycle Program.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cyclists have a lot riding on L.A. driver's trial

Like many avid cyclists, Rick Wurtz has his share of horror stories from the road.His closest call came as he pedaled along an open highway in Montana and a big rig rushed by within inches of his handlebars, passing so close that the truck's wake blew him off the road.There is little more terrifying to a cyclist than sitting astride 20 pounds of carbon fiber and aluminum when a motorist encased in 2 tons of steel makes a sudden right turn or bumps the riders.

Yet for Wurtz and other cyclists, few episodes have reinforced the dangers as powerfully as last year's crash in which a Brentwood doctor is accused of slamming on the brakes of his car in front of two bike riders, injuring both. One cyclist was propelled face-first into the rear window. The other was sent hurtling to the pavement.

For the last three weeks, the assault trial of Dr. Christopher Thompson has drawn the attention of cyclists nationwide but has especially galvanized the swelling ranks of Los Angeles' tight-knit cycling community, whose members have long felt like second-class citizens in a city in love with its cars.The case is being tried at a time when more people are turning to two wheels for commuting and recreation. Cyclists are asserting their rights as never before. In Los Angeles, advocates are pushing for more bike lanes and other road improvements, a cyclists' bill of rights and more protection from police.

As they demand more respect from motorists, many cyclists see Thompson's trial as a test of the justice system's commitment to protecting the rights of bike riders. They point to the case as an extreme example of what they see all the time: arrogant drivers who either unwittingly or deliberately push bike riders aside.

Full article,0,2835513,full.story

Monday, November 2, 2009

Two webinars on bicycle advocacy

Both of these will be in the MPC large conference room (4th floor of theCity-County Building.) Please let me know if you plan to attend because space is limited.

Nov 12th, 2 - 3 p.m."The Power of 25: Advocacy Strategies for Creating LivableCommunities"
Presented by Pete Lagerway, Senior Transportation Planner, Toole DesignGroup

This Webinar will articulate useful strategies for establishing and running an effective advocacy group in an effort to achieve safer streets and livable communities. Peter Lagerwey, the Seattle Regional Office Director for Toole Design Group and formerly the pedestrian and bicycle program coordinator for the city of Seattle for more than twenty years, will offer his formula for public involvement, demonstrating the effectiveness of 25 organized individuals. The presentation will address the challenges of developing a clear message, creating a work plan, and building and sustaining relationships among diverse communitystakeholders. Mr. Lagerwey has taught courses on pedestrian and bicycle safety inover 200 cities over the past eighteen years. Most recently, he led the effort to create the new Seattle Bicycle Master Plan, a planning document that will be used to guide future improvements to Seattle's bicycle network. He has co-authored articles in the ITE Journal, been interviewed by Tom Brokaw of NBC News and Juan Williams of "Talk of theNation," and is an author of How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety ActionPlan.

Nov 18, 3 - 4 p.m.
Building Political Will for Strong Bike/Walk Programs: Effective Use ofthe "Three-Legged Stool" model in Columbia, Mo.

This webinar will describe how elected officials, local government staff and independent advocates can work together to change the cultureof a community. Each partner in this powerful and stable "three-leggedstool" has its natural areas of strength, and these can be effectively leveraged by coordinating activities such as community outreach, mediaadvocacy, government services, public funding, political support, legislation and others. Columbia, Missouri, where this approach is led by five-term mayor Darwin Hindman, the Columbia/Boone County Departmentof Public Health and Human Services, and the PedNet Coalition, is presented as a case study. Recent successes, such as complete streets legislation, a national model Safe Routes to School program, a $22 million federal Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program grant, and a silver level Bicycle Friendly Communities award, can be attributed to the model.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tour de Lights is famous!

Tour de Lights is the Cool Ride of the month in December's issue of Bicycling magazine!

Tour de Lights
The only time Santa and the Grinch are friends.

Rolling up to the start, we're surrounded by a sea of Santa hats, helmets with reindeer antlers and bikes festooned with LED lights. A custom-built sleigh trailer holds Santa and a bag of gifts; one bike pulls a cart with sacks of coal for naughty cyclists. The Grinch and his wife ride a tandem. Bystanders cheer as we loop around downtown to the waterfront, our lights twinkling against the Tennessee River. After pedaling through the Island Home Community, we ride back into town with the bike boom box blaring a bluegrass version of "Joy to the World."
--Ryan Cooper and Monika Miller

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Biking up!

Some good news for a rainy month. Recent data shows that bike commuting is up nationally, as well as in Knoxville!

In 2000, the Census Bureau estimated that 198 workers commuted by bicycle in Knoxville, a 0.25 percent share of the total local workforce. By 2008, it is estimated that the number of bicycle commuters doubled to 416, or 0.5 percent of all work commuters.

Nationally, 0.55% of American workers use a bicycle as the primary means of getting to work. This is up 14 percent since 2007, 36 percent from the first ACS in 2005, and 43 percent since the 2000 Census.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


We did a survey of Neighborhood Bike Ride participants. The results were pretty interesting. Check them out here
A common thread was that people would like more of these rides. The Bicycle Program just isn't equipped to do that. We tried, you may recall, a monthly summer ride series for two years, but were only getting between 30 - 50 people each month. I don't think most people realize how much work it is to put this "simple" ride together. It's hard to find enough volunteers just for the NBR and the Tour de Lights each year, much less any other events. We decided to concentrate on what was working the best, which was these two rides. I would love it if a bike club or clubs would step forward and offer similar rides in the spring and summer.

The Bicycle Committee has been meeting about how to implement the new Bicycle Plan. Meeting notes will be posted on our website soon.
We're also about to schedule the next committee meeting, and I'll post the info once it is set.

Remember, the Tour de Lights is coming up!
Wed, Dec 16, 2009
7 p.m.
Krutch Park/Market Street
This fun, easy bike ride is mostly an excuse to get creative and bring some light to a winter evening. We start at Krutch Park and bike around downtown a bit, just to make sure all the people strolling see us, then head north to look at holiday yard displays. There are prizes for the best decorated bicyclist, bicycle and helmet. And if that weren't enough, Mast General greets our return with hot cocoa and cookies! It's free. Helmets are required, because we care about your brain. Sponsored by the City of Knoxville, the Knoxville Regional Bicycle Program and Mast General Store.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Good sign

As I was biking over to UT for a meeting this morning, there was a bicyclist behind me. Then suddenly along Clinch, there were 5 of us biking in a row! A bike train, here in Knoxville. I was so proud. Plus, four of us were wearing helmets! Unfortunately, I seemed to be the only one that obeyed all the stop signs and traffic signals.

How can we get the word out to bicyclists that the traffic laws do apply to us and that it's for our own safety? When motorists see us breaking the law, the message is "look at that crazy person--running red lights, jumping up on the sidewalk for one block then back on the street--they don't belong on the road." We have to show respect to get respect.

Online reporting tool

(Kelley's note: please also report things to the appropriate authority so they will be fixed--don't just write about it on a blog or in this database! We have a list of phone numbers to call about dogs, potholes and aggressive motorists)

One way to make cycling safer is to know where the danger points and trouble spots are located.
Where have cyclists experienced "close calls"? Where have they been hit and injured?
Where have dogs chased them?
Where are pot holes located?
Where have cyclists been harassed by motorists?

The FIRST global tool for reporting, marking and sharing the geo-locations for cycling incidents and trouble spots. The goal of Road Guardian is simple: to save lives. And our success in meeting this goal depends upon all cyclists reporting, marking and sharing information on the danger points and trouble spots we encounter. Please tell all your cycling friends and buddies about Road Guardian… this can become a powerful tool for all of us to use in making cycling safer for everyone.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Neighborhood Bike Ride

More photos from the fabulous NBR at We were so glad the rain held off and we had nearly 200 people!

And remember to mark Wed, Dec 16, 7 p.m. on your calendar for the 3rd annual Tour de Lights. More info to come, but as always we will be awarding prizes for the most decorated person, bicycle, and helmet!

Thanks to Kat Campbell for the photos!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Downtown North Streetscape Public Meeting

The City of Knoxville will host a public meeting to review preliminary plans for a Downtown North Streetscape Plan. The meeting will be held at St John's Lutheran Church- corner of Broadway and 5th Ave. on Thursday evening September 24th starting at 6pm.

Hedstrom Design group has been working with the city and a 20 person steering committee to kick off this design process that will provide at completion a more detailed master plan for future development of the public right of way on the major corridors in Downtown North. Specifically N.Central St, Broadway, Gay St and 5th Ave. have been studied for potential improvements based on earlier recommendations from MPC and a more detailed analysis of current conditions in the area.

There will be a group presentation, question & answer time and the opportunity to study maps and make comments individually on what you like or don't like about the direction of the planning. Using information gathered from this meeting the design team in consultation with the steering committee will prepare a schematic design of the area to be presented at another public meeting later this year. We hope you will come and share your thoughts. Earlier plan documents and information on the subject area can be found at

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Sorry for the lack of blogging. Facebook is getting more and more attention so I hope you're checking us out there too.

The Bicycle Advisory Committee task forces on safety/classes, and on performance measures met recently. I'll be writing up some minutes from those meetings soon.

I attended a conference last week on behalf of Smart Trips and got some great ideas for marketing/outreach, for the bike program as well as Smart Trips. We're getting ready to interview candidates for the Smart Trips coordinator position this week. Since I have had to fill in, I'm looking forward to getting the new person hired and on board soon!

The valet bike parking was Sunday (aka Boomsday). I hear it was a good turnout for the first time, but since Lily's bedtime is waaaayyy before the fireworks, I didn't get to see it for myself. Lily and I helped with set up though. A huge thanks to all the volunteers, especially Jesse for bringing all the gear and taking the first AND last shifts.

Next up is the Neighborhood Bike Ride, on Sept 19th at 10 a.m. Please spread the word. This will be our 9th year and it would be great to have our biggest turn-out ever. It helps show the community how important bicycling is, and how many people enjoy getting around neighborhoods by bike. for route map and more info.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Alley Cat

Aug 30
4 p.m.
James Agee Park
Presented by Tennessee Valley Bicycles and Knox Revolution

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Share the Road license plates

Pre-order your Share the Road specialty license plate! We need about 800 more people to sign up to make this a reality. The revenue from the license plates will help support statewide bicycle advocacy. There's an advocacy group called Bike Walk Tennessee ( that is getting started. I'll post more info as things progress. But meanwhile, show your support for bicycling by reserving your plate today.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Weekly Update

The marketing/programs committee met yesterday. We're looking for your ideas on how to get the word out to bicyclists AND motorists about the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists on the roads. Share your suggestions here, or come to the next meeting (I'll post the meeting on here.)

Contest alert!!!! The Bicycle Program needs a logo, don't you think? Wouldn't you like to be the lucky one to say, "yeah, that's mine" when someone says "Hey, what a cool logo!" Send entries to by August 31, and we will select 10 for a public vote.

Smart Trips is looking for a new program coordinator. The job notice is at

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Valet Bike Parking

We have the opportunity to host Knoxville's first-ever valet bike parking station at Boomsday (Sunday, Sept 6) this year. But we need help! Festivities start at 1 p.m. so we need at least 15 people to cover all the shifts from noon til 11 p.m. If you can help, please email me at


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Maybe We're Better Than Spain?

NPR story this morning:
"While cycling as a sport is extremely popular in Spain, hardly anyone there uses a bicycle to commute, run errands or just to have fun."

Is it wrong for me to be excited that we are better than at least one country in Europe?

By the way, I am reading Pedaling Revolution and highly recommend it!

"Jeff Mapes explores the growing urban bike culture that is changing the look and feel of cities across the U.S. He rides with bike advocates who are taming the streets of New York City, joins the street circus that is Critical Mass in San Francisco, and gets inspired by the everyday folk pedaling in Amsterdam, the nirvana of American bike activists. Mapes explores the growth of bicycle advocacy while covering such issues as the environmental, safety, and health aspects of bicycling for short urban trips. His rich cast of characters includes Noah Budnick, a young bicycle advocate in New York who almost died in a crash near the Brooklyn Bridge, and Congressman James Oberstar (D-MN), who took to bicycling in his fifties and helped unleash a new flood of federal money for bikeways. Chapters set in Chicago and Portland show how bicycling has became a political act, with seemingly dozens of subcultures, and how cyclists, with the encouragement of local officials, are seizing streets back from motorists. Pedaling Revolution is essential reading for the approximately one million people who regularly ride their bike to work or on errands, for anyone engaged in transportation, urban planning, sustainability, and public health—and for drivers trying to understand why they’re seeing so many cyclists. All will be interested in how urban bike activists are creating the future of how we travel and live in twenty-first-century cities."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekly Update

The Bicycle Plan implementation is moving forward. The performance measures committee met and developed a lot of options for how we can measure success (or lack of), and we will meet again to decide which are things we can track on a regular basis, and what our goal/targets should be. One example is bike counts. What kind of increase should we expect in those numbers over the next few years? I'll put the performance measures on the TPO Bike Program website for comment as soon as we've got a draft ready.

The bike map committee met today. One thing that came out was wanting to hear from the public on any backways/shortcuts that you take in different areas, either to save time or avoid bad roads. And if you think that the conditions of a certain road have changed since we last printed the map and the rating should be changed, please let me know that too. Sometimes it was hard to decide if a road should be yellow or red--traffic may be light, but speeds are high, for example. We do plan on zooming in a bit more on the city side of the map to provide more detail. The trade-off is losing some of the bike routes. We'll explore whether we have room for insets for those.

The marketing/programs committee will meet on Monday, August 10th at 3:30 p.m. in the MPC large conference room, 4th floor of the City-County Building. This group will be working on these two action steps:

• Spread the word about the bike program and bicycling, encouragement and safety (bring it into the 21st century--updated strategies like facebook and video).
• Special events and programs that encourage bicycling, including bicycle rides, Bike to Work and Smart Trips Month events.

Please attend if you would like!

I am updating the list of where bike racks purchased through our grant program have been installed and preparing a way for us to assess how much they are used (doing random counts throughout the year). If you would like to help us by checking bike racks at various times to see how many bikes are parked there, let me know We have installed 411 racks around the region, so we could definitely use some help.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Volunteer Opportunity

We conduct bicycle/pedestrian counts twice a year (spring and fall) on weekdays, but I would like to do some Saturday counts in August (before UT football starts!). They would be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the corner of Gay/Summit Hill and Clinch/Henley. I'm looking for volunteers. If I get enough people, it could be one-hour shifts, and it would be great to have two people at each location so you can talk. (But if you're happy listening to your iPod, that's cool too.) I'm looking forward to seeing how many people are getting to Farmers' Market by bike!

If you want to help, email me and let me know which Saturdays in August you'd be available.

Friday, July 17, 2009

More Updates

More intersection testing today. Discovered that the loops at World's Fair Park/Jackson/Broadway were cut during resurfacing and haven't been fixed yet. And at 5th and Broadway, there is video detection, which is normally great news for bicyclists, but in this case, the video wasn't set up to detect the rightmost lane westbound (or the center lane eastbound, but that shouldn't affect bicyclists). The City will work on getting both of those issues fixed.

Yesterday I attended a meeting of the Downtown North Streetscapes Committee. If you have any comments on how Broadway and Central corridors should look and function (sidewalks, street trees, bike lanes, building form, where parking is located, etc), you can email More info will be posted on soon, I expect. The committee basically looked at large-scale, detailed maps of the area and added notes about areas of concern and areas that we like. I made some comments about crossings that are hard for bicyclists and pedestrians, and the most common ways bicyclists travel through and across the area. The area under discussion is between Broadway/Central intersection up toward Woodland.

Those of you in Farragut may have noticed work is underway for a widening of Campbell Station Rd between Kingston Pike and the section that is already wide. Good news in that this project will include bike lanes!

I met with UT Cartography about creating some route maps that show UT campus to Bearden, and UT Campus to downtown and Old City. This is in preparation for "UT Bikes" Day on Wed, Sept 2nd. UT Outdoors Program and Make Orange Green are going to have various events that day, as well as group rides to Bearden and downtown, to show students how to get there by bike.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Weekly Update

This is my first day in the office after a long weekend, so here's the update for last week. I spent about 3 hours with a City of Knoxville Traffic Signal Engineer on Wed testing just 3 1/2 intersections to make sure bicycles would trigger a green light. Clinch/Henley had to be adjusted a little since some recent resurfacing and construction work (you have to be in the center of the lane). Clinch/11th, I discovered, is a bit strange. Instead of positioning your bike over the center pavement cut (center of the lane), you should be just a few inches to the right of it. We had one non-success story. If you are on Hill Ave turning left onto Hall of Fame, a bicyclist won't get a green light. That loop detector is very old and can't be adjusted to make it work. There is a push button there, which is awkward to use when you are on a bicyclist. I'll let you decide if if would be better to just go straight on Hill, or use Church Ave to get to Hall of Fame instead, or...
We also tested the left turn from Summit Hill onto MLK, and the straight thru from MLK (which turns into Hill at that point). There will be more testing this week and next. If there is an intersection which hasn't worked for you, let me know

Just a refresher, it's based on metal not weight. If you see two pavement cuts, you should be on the right one (right 1/3 of the lane). If you don't see a pavement cut at all, try that side also. But many signals are simply on a timed cycle. The cycles may be fairly long for side streets, esp at night or on weekends.

More later!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Weekly Update

Sorry I didn't get an update done last week--I had to take Lily to the doctor. Hope everyone had a good holiday weekend. Lily and I watched the start of the Freedom Thighs bike ride. We can't wait to participate next year! Great job, Monika.

So, last week, I met with the UT Outdoors Program and Sustainability Coordinator about a bike event for Tues, Sept 1st. There will be rides, bike repair, and classes. Fun! Anyone have experience with guerilla marketing?

We met with City Parks and Rec and City Engineering about Phase II of the greenway signage project. We got wayfinding signs installed on Third Creek Greenway and are now working on Neyland, James White and Second Creek greenways. Hope to have them in by the end of the summer.

This week I am working on grant applications so we can continue the Smart Trips program. It's a good time to reassess what has worked and think about new ideas to try out. Especially now that the long Commuter Challenge is over.

A subcommittee of the Bicycle Advisory Committee is meeting tomorrow to talk about performance measures--how do we tell if our actions are accomplishing anything? We do bike counts twice a year at several locations. What else can we measure, and how do we know if we caused the change or something else (like high gas prices) did it? Tough topic.

Happy biking,

Friday, June 26, 2009

Weekly Update

June 26, 2009
This week I have been hearing from people wanting to help with bike plan implementation—which is terrific. I’m also trying to set up meetings for just that. The challenge is coordinating so many schedules. I’ll post the meeting dates once they are set so anyone can attend. The topics for this round of meetings will be marketing/promotion of bicycling; bike safety classes; programs/events; and monitoring/evaluation/bike counts.

Bike racks will be going in Halls Crossroads Centre at Wal-Mart, Biketopia and Ingles. The property management company purchased them through our grant program and will be installing them soon. Yea! I’ll also be checking on a location today in the Old City (on Jackson) for another rack. Here’s a link to the bike rack grant website, complete with cards you can print for when you find a business that needs racks Be sure to let me know when you’ve contacted a business, and especially if you get the name of the manager, so I can follow up with them.

It’s the end of the fiscal year for our agency, so there is a lot of paperwork to be done to close things out and prepare for next year. It also means that purchases are on hold until July. For instance, we will be re-printing the Blount County Bicycle Map as soon as we can. Smoky Mountain Wheelmen, the Foothill Striders, Cycology and Mountain View Bicycles have all signed on again as sponsors.

We’re getting into planning mode for the annual Neighborhood Bike Ride. I can’t believe this will be the 9th one. When it started, I thought we would be lucky to have 20 or 30 people come out, and we had 150! Now we average about 250 participants. I hope that I can bring my daughter on the ride this year. (We were just spectators last year.) I’m still trying to decide between a seat or a trailer for her. I’ve only got 7 speeds on my commuter bike so not sure I can handle a trailer! Any thoughts from you parents out there?

Happy biking,

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Whoa, there.

Great way to slow down bicyclists who go too fast on the greenways!

>>>> from the London Telegraph, June 18, 2009
Cyclists were encouraged to slow down thanks to this crater-sized "hole" in the middle of a towpath. But the hole is an optical illusion, a three-dimensional drawing of a canyon, in an attempt to make careless cyclists hit the brakes rather than ride dangerously and ignore pedestrians.

The pavement art, the work of Joe Hill and Max Lowry, who specialise in three-dimensional images, was commissioned by British Waterways and was installed along the Regent's Canal towpath in Islington, North London.

Track crashes and hazards

Cascade Bicycle Club Launches Cycling Safety Web Site

A new cycling safety web site, Bikewise, was launched this June by Cascade Bicycle Club. Bikewise provides a venue for cyclists to track and report crashes, hazards and thefts in order to maintain and improve cyclists' safety on the road. Currently, the user-generated content on Bikewise is focused on the greater Puget Sound area, but cyclists around the world can access and update it with their own information. Track cycling safety in your area!

4th of July ride

it's that time of the year. it is time to dig out your most patriotic outfit, get some red white and blue tinsel for your bike, and come ride your bike through the streets of Knoxville in style. let's show people how real patriots get around town with none of that gasoline money going to those oil-rich yet democracy-deficient countries around the world. we've got people power up in here, because America is the Saudi Arabia of THIGHS! and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

WHEN: Saturday, the 4th of July. 2pm bike and rider decoration party begins. 4pm ride departs.
WHERE: The Birdhouse (800 N. 4th Ave)
DRESS: to impress. we will have decorative "freedom wings" available ($3 suggested donation). also, if you have a surplus of American-themed decorations please bring them to share with others.
ROUTE: we're open to suggestions, but we will definitely hit up the close-in neighborhoods, Downtown, and World's Fair Park

see you out there, patriots!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Blog Feature!

I’m trying something new—I’ll be letting you know what I’m working on each week. Today, for instance, I have been in communication with the Sustainability Coordinator at UT about where new bike racks are needed. UT purchased 150 racks a few years ago through our grant program (the business or agency only has to pay 20% of the actual cost of bike racks!), but bicycling numbers have increased since then and there seems to be demand for more racks. One issue, though, is that the racks around dorms are full of mostly un-used bikes.

We also talked about setting up bike tours for freshmen, just before classes start, showing them around campus, and how to get downtown and to Bearden. We may also offer bike safety classes (Confident City Cycling) at UT next year as well.

The Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) is about to start implementation of the recently adopted 2009 Bicycle Plan.
If you are interested in helping us improve bicycling, email me at

Ellen in my office and I are talking about how to get developers (and KUB) to think about pedestrians and bicyclists during construction work. We hope to work on some standards to be adopted by local governments. She and I have also been working on the next phase of greenway signage. If you have been on Third Creek Greenway and seen the directional signs and new maps at the trailheads, that’s what we’re doing on Neyland, James White and Second Creek greenways now. It’s much more complicated than anyone could imagine so it takes awhile.

Some bicyclists around the state are hoping to start a Tennessee bicycle advocacy organization. They are meeting August 8th at 9 a.m. in Nashville, and one of our BAC members is attending. He has room in his car, so let me know if you want to join in the fun.

Check back soon for updates! And let me know if this is too much info, not enough, or just right. I'm trying to just hit the highlights.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

KAT news conference

Change is coming to KAT

You are cordially invited to a
news conference
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
9:30 a.m.
Knoxville Convention Center Exhibit Hall B (First Floor)

Over the following 14 months, mass transit in Knoxville will be undergoing dramatic changes, including a new brand, a new transit center, a route restructure, advanced technologies, and a new way of thinking. We invite you to join us for coffee and a light breakfast as we unveil our new look, and tell you about our upcoming changes.

Stylish riding

Cool blog.

Monday, June 1, 2009

new bike book

The New York Times
David Byrne
May 31, 2009

book review
How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities
By Jeff Mapes
228 pp. Oregon State University Press. Paper, $19.95
Full disclosure: I've ridden a bike around New York as my principal means of transport for 30 years, so I'm inclined to sympathize with the idea that a cycling revolution is upon us, and that it's a good thing. Like Jeff Mapes, the author of "Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities," I've watched the streets fill over the years with more and varied bike riders. It's no longer just me, some food delivery guys and a posse of reckless messengers. Far from it.

That said, the revolution isn't here just yet. Hedge fund managers and General Motors executives aren't riding to work (though don't laugh, they will), and this book is not likely to reach beyond the already converted, which includes me, other cycling advocates, and people in the city-planning and transportation universe. But the book is useful - for those of us who occasionally find ourselves on the defensive, Mapes provides names, dates, facts and figures. He details how cities from Amsterdam to Paris to New York to Davis, Calif., have developed policies encouraging cycling in recent decades, and how other towns are just beginning to make way for bikes. He lays out in an easily digestible way a fair amount of material on trip patterns, traffic safety and air pollution. He quotes the relevant studies and shows how those studies have been either heeded or ignored. All this information is great ammunition for those of us who would like to see American cities become more bike-friendly but may be a tough sell for the people on the fence - the ones who've taken the occasional Sunday ride along a riverfront greenway or in a park, or have a vague feeling that they might possibly bike to work somehow someday.

"Pedaling Revolution" is not all facts and figures. Mapes, a journalist who covers politics for The Oregonian, describes how he gained weight and started feeling a bit down when he was forced to exchange his 10-mile daily bike commute in Portland for a "super-sized, 50-mile" drive to the Legislature in Salem. He argues that cycling promotion can raise society's level of general fitness, since people exercise more when it seems less like exercise and more like something mostly enjoyable that also performs a function, like getting to work. "Bike and walking advocates," he writes, "have been rebranding their cause as 'active transportation,' which manages to come off as nonthreatening to your average couch-bound American while carrying a nice touch of gravitas as well."

Mapes finds the experience of riding around Portland - North America's most bike-friendly city (though I think Vancouver is close) - so enjoyable that he takes as a given that it's a positive thing, something that more communities should accommodate without question. But as he and I know, there's a lot of opposition. The United States is as much a car culture as ever, even if the companies that helped make us that way are now in ruins. And governments and urban planners have all been in on the game, helping make the idea of cheap, effortless transportation and a car of one's own a dream every American might aspire to.

"Pedaling Revolution" is not about mountain biking the Moab sandstone formations in Utah or the network of bucolic paths that link some of the rural Massachusetts colleges; it's not about racing, Lance Armstrong or what kind of spandex to buy. Nor is it about the various forms of extreme biking that have arisen lately: bike jousting on specially made high-horse bikes, BMX tricks or the arcane world of fixed-gear bikes, or fixies. For decades, Americans have too often seen cycling as a kind of macho extreme sport, which has actually done a lot to damage the cause of winning acceptance for biking as a legitimate form of transportation. If your association with bikes is guys in spandex narrowly missing you on the weekends or YouTube videos of kids flying over ramps on their clown-size bikes, you're likely to think that bikes are for only the athletic and the risk-prone. Manufacturers in the United States have tended to make bikes that look like the two-wheeled equivalent of Hummers, with fat tires and stocky frames necessitating a hunched-over riding position that is downright unsafe for urban biking and commuting. But that's been changing for at least a few years now. Whew.

As Mapes points out, when more women begin riding, that will signal a big change in attitude, which will prompt further changes in the direction of safety and elegance. I can ride till my legs are sore and it won't make riding any cooler, but when attractive women are seen sitting upright going about their city business on bikes day and night, the crowds will surely follow. A recent article in a British newspaper showed the pop singer Duffy on a pink bike. The model Agyness Deyn claims never to be without hers, and Courteney Cox reportedly presented Jennifer Aniston with a Chanel bike last year. Tabloid fodder does not a revolution make, but it's a start.

Toward the end of the book, Mapes gets into debates over bike lanes (are they really safer?), safety rules (should cyclists have to obey stop signs?) and traffic ideologies (should cyclists claim a full space in a lane, or stick to the edge of the road?) that only an obsessive or an advocate (hello!) is likely to be interested in. But the debates he presents may end up helping us all. Greenways, safer bike lanes, pedestrian zones and bike parking places will make our cities not only more comfortable and enjoyable, but also, as Janette Sadik-Khan, the New York City transportation commissioner, said recently, more economically competitive as well, as more of them become places where people with ideas and creative ambitions want to both live and work.

David Byrne's most recent album is "Everything That Happens Will Happen Today." His book "Bicycle Diaries" will be published in the fall.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bike Lanes As Training Wheels

full blog entry at
by Ian Sacs

"Finally, with the installation of bike lanes, it is true as Mr. Oswald says, that “Fools rush in!”. But I contend that fools are exactly what we want: people new to biking, choosing that mode over a car, and learning how to share the road as bicyclists rather than drivers. Yes, a strong education and safety program is equally important, but welcoming new bicyclists to the street is most desirable because, as concluded in study after study, the most powerful way to reduce bicycle/vehicle fatalities and increase driver awareness of bicycles is by getting more bikes on the road, commonly referred to as the "Safety in Numbers" effect.

Bike lanes are not a safety device, they are a bullhorn. In a future where the message is implicit, bike lanes may be unnecessary. But for now, despite not being a perfect solution, they are an effective and important tool in the engineer’s toolbox, and should be used as such."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

MetroPulse bicycle issue

Bike Power: A quick ride through Knoxville's bicycle universe
May is National Bike Month, and Metro Pulse is celebrating by giving over most of this issue to bikes and bicyclists. Meet Kelley Segars, your regional transportation planner and bicycling advocate. Meet Elle Colquitt and Jon Livengood, who have sniffed out the best bike routes around Knoxville ... and share their favorites here. Get some air with Corey McPherson, closet BMX-er and ace photographer (and Metro Pulse designer). And meet your many fellow bicyclists and local bike-sellers through our handy list of bicyclists’ resources—everything from off-road routes to clubs to shops to upcoming events to rules of the road.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Take Action

Federal Transportation Authorization

Take Action!

Prioritizing biking and walking in our transportation system

Congress is preparing to draft legislation that will define our national transportation system for the next 6 years. We need your help to ensure that bicycling is a part of that system, a transportation system for the 21st century.

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), co-chair of the Congressional Bike Caucus is circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter to his fellow Bike Caucus Members respectfully asking them to support increased federal support for establishing a truly multi-modal national transportation policy that better integrates bicycling and walking into our nation's transportation system.

We are thankful for Congressman Blumenauer's efforts on behalf of cyclists nationwide and urge you to contact your Representative, who is on the Congressional Bike Caucus, to ask them to join Mr. Blumenauer and lend their voice to this important bike-partisan debate.

Please contact your Congressional Representative today to urge them to sign on to Representative Blumenauer's "Dear Colleague" Letter.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Action needed

Federal Transportation Authorization
Take Action!
Prioritizing biking and walking in our transportation system

Congress is preparing to draft legislation that will define our national transportation system for the next 6 years. We need your help to ensure that bicycling is a part of that system, a transportation system for the 21st century.

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), co-chair of the Congressional Bike Caucus is circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter to his fellow Bike Caucus Members respectfully asking them to support increased federal support for establishing a truly multi-modal national transportation policy that better integrates bicycling and walking into our nation's transportation system.

We are thankful for Congressman Blumenauer's efforts on behalf of cyclists nationwide and urge you to contact your Representative, who is on the Congressional Bike Caucus, to ask them to join Mr. Blumenauer and lend their voice to this important bike-partisan debate.

Please contact your Congressional Representative today to urge them to sign on to Representative Blumenauer's "Dear Colleague" Letter.

Bike to Work Day!

Sorry, I posted these on facebook Friday and neglected the blog! (If you're on facebook, join the Knoxville Bicycle Program group!) These are from the celebration on Market Square. Jim Hagerman appears to be the master of ceremonies, but he actually was vying for an award in our Best Dressed Commuters contest! More than 50 people stopped by on their way to work to enjoy a free coffee and muffin.

Mayor Haslam arrives from Bearden.

Tracy Jackson takes home "Most Dapper."

Kaitlyn Millen is awarded "Most Original" in her superhero costume (she is about to bike across the country, so biking to work was nothing!)

Monika Miller is pleased to be named "Most Professional (Female)"

Adam Dattilo gets "Most Professional (Male)"

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ride of Silence

What: Ride of Silence
When: May 20, 2009 at 7:00PM (Please arrive by 6:45PM)
Where: Blount County Courthouse Parking Lot

The National Ride of Silence will be held on May 20th and we are organizing a local ride starting and ending at the Blount County Courthouse parking area. The ride will be ~8 miles covering most of the downtown area. You can find a map and more details at

You will also find posters that can be printed to help spread the word about the ride. Join cyclists worldwide in a silent slow-paced ride (max. 12 mph) in honor of those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways. There is no brochure, no sponsors and no registration fees. The ride, which is held during Bike Month, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways.

You can find out more about this worldwide campaign at

Thank you and hope to see you in Maryville!

Keith Webb
Jeff Roth Cycling Foundation

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Car-free suburb -- New York Times article

In German Suburb, Life Goes On Without Cars
Published: May 11, 2009 =
Residents of this upscale community are suburban pioneers, going where few soccer moms or commuting executives have ever gone before: they have given up their cars.
Street parking, driveways and home garages are generally forbidden in this experimental new district on the outskirts of Freiburg, near the French and Swiss borders. Vauban’s streets are completely “car-free” — except the main thoroughfare, where the tram to downtown Freiburg runs, and a few streets on one edge of the community. Car ownership is allowed, but there are only two places to park — large garages at the edge of the development, where a car-owner buys a space, for $40,000, along with a home.
As a result, 70 percent of Vauban’s families do not own cars, and 57 percent sold a car to move here. “When I had a car I was always tense. I’m much happier this way,” said Heidrun Walter, a media trainer and mother of two, as she walked verdant streets where the swish of bicycles and the chatter of wandering children drown out the occasional distant motor.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bike to Work Day!

Bike to Work Day is this Friday, May 15th. It is time to mobilize the masses. Last year we had about 140 people participate and we want to double those numbers. Or even triple! Remember to log your commutes online with Smart Trips.

If your bike commute takes you near downtown Knoxville, stop by the Cafe 4 patio between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. for a free coffee and pastry. Mayor Haslam will be helping present awards for the best dressed bike commuters at 8 a.m.!

Need some help finding a route? E-mail me with your home and work locations and I will send you some suggestions. Commuter convoys are available from east, west, north and south that morning if you want to ride with a group.

And remember, all the Smart Trips Month events are online. Check out the details on the Go-Getter and Longest Bike Commute awards and the Business Challenge.

Friday, May 1, 2009

It's here, it's here--Smart Trips Month!

Come to Market Square tomorrow at 11 a.m. for Bike to the Beach and help us fetch items (by bicycle) to create a beach party on the stage. At 1 p.m., there's a Pack It Up contest to fit a bunch of random things in a pannier. Prizes for the fastest, neatest and most creative packers!

Check out for all the events of the month.

Danish law enforcement

OK, see--European ways of doing things just don't translate to the U.S.. Can you imagine this happening here?

In this video, police in Denmark stop cyclists without helmets, hug them, and give them new helmets.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Biking to Work

Excerpt from an interview with Steven Chu, the Dept of Energy Secretary. Not only is (was) he a bike commuter, he is also funny!

Is it true you don’t drive a car?
My wife does, but I no longer own a car. Let me just say that in most of my jobs, I mostly rode my bicycle.

And now?
My security detail didn’t want me to be riding my bicycle or even taking the Metro. I have a security detail that drives me.

How do you feel about adding carbon emissions to the air?
I don’t feel good about it.

I guess the president wants to keep you alive.
My wife is in favor of that as well.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Healthy Knox survey

I would like to invite you to take the Together! Healthy Knox online survey:

It will only take five minutes, and will provide essential feedback needed to improve health and quality of life in Knox County.

For more information about Together! Healthy Knox, including how to sign up for a focus group on health, visit:

Please feel free to forward this invitation to others. Thanks much and have a great day!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Smart Trips Month

May is National Bike Month, and locally it's also Smart Trips Month. Bike events includes Bike to Work Day on May 15, a tour of historic Knoxville by bike, roadside repair classes, and a new Bike to the Beach errand-running challenge (bringing all the makings for a beach party to Market Square by bike!).

There are tons of events promoting alternatives to driving alone, including the popular Undriver's License campaign, the hilarious Fit in a Fit contest, walking tours, and so much more. See all the events.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dogwood Bike Ride

Ride the Sequoyah Hills Dogwood Trail.
Saturday, April 11 at 9 am.
Meet at Laurel Church of Christ parking lot (3457 Kingston Pike).
Participation is free. Goody bags will be supplied and information from local bike clubs will be available. Free kids' helmets while supplies last. Approved helmets must be worn at all times. Ride will be supported with a ride leader. No one will be left behind.
Sponsored by Covenant Health.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Leave a trace

Another cool prototype. "Contrail" is a device that applies chalk to the rear tire of your bike, leaving a trail behind you. It leaves trails for motorists and other cyclists to see, enabling bikers to "reclaim this crucial shared space." Anyone want to build it?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cause for optimism

The Secretary of Transportation has a blog, where he reported on his appearance at the National Bike Summit. This shows a very, very, very different culture in D.C. than we have had since ....well, maybe ever.

Here are videos of the morning speakers at the National Bike Summit
on Wednesday, March 11.
US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood

US Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-3rd)

US Representative Daniel Lipinski (IL-3rd)

US Representative Doris Matsui (CA-5th)

How to use the bike rack on the front of buses

Hilarious and informative--what a great combo.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Wild Bunch

This means doing things that we, the bikers of New York, would have laughed at just a few years ago. It means getting a little personal, though not that personal. Acting like people means that we have to do things that we frankly don’t want to do and things that we want cars to do, like slow down.

As far as bikers go, I’ve become a kind of laughingstock because I wait at traffic lights. Recently, as I waited in a bike lane at Atlantic Avenue for a light to change, a woman in her 70s, walking hunched with a cane, approached the crosswalk smiling - until she spotted me. Then she began shouting as I waited behind the crosswalk, "Well, are you going to stop?" I assured her I was waiting. She grimaced. "How do I know you’re not going to go?" she asked.

A good point. But I stood my ground, smiled and tried to win the point by not doing anything. Just as she finished crossing, two Lance Armstrong types whipped through the crosswalk and pulled past the red light, waiting to slip through the crossing traffic. The woman who had crossed looked back at me and started shouting again. "See?" she said, proclaiming herself the winner. "You’re going to run me over!"

Which brings me to four sure-to-be-scoffed-at suggestions for better bike P.R.:

# 1: How about we stop at major intersections? Especially where there are school crossing guards, or disabled people crossing, or a lot of people during the morning or evening rush. (I have the law with me on this one.) At minor intersections, on far-from-traffic intersections, let’s at least stop and go.

# 2: How about we ride with traffic as opposed to the wrong way on a one-way street? I know the idea of being told which way to go drives many bikers bonkers. That stuff is for cars, they say. I consider one-way streets anathema - they make for faster car traffic and more difficult crossings. But whenever I see something bad happen to a biker, it’s when the biker is riding the wrong way on a one-way street.
There will be caveats. Perhaps your wife is about to go into labor and you take her to the hospital on your bike; then, yes, sure, go the wrong way in the one-way bike lane. We can handle caveats. We are bikers.

# 3: How about we stay off the sidewalks? Why are bikers so incensed when the police hand out tickets for this? I’m only guessing, but each sidewalk biker must believe that he or she, out of all New York bikers, is the exception, the one careful biker, which is a very car way of thinking.

# 4: How about we signal? Again, I hear the laughter, but the bike gods gave us hands to ring bells and to signal turns. Think of the possible complications: Many of the bikers behind you are wearing headphones, and the family in the minivan has a Disney DVD playing so loudly that it’s rattling your 30-pound Kryptonite chain. Let them know what you are thinking so that you can go on breathing as well as thinking.

Those Nifty Europeans

18 ways to know you have bike culture
(read the comments too--very interesting)

Great ad campaign

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bike Swap

Smoky Mountain Wheelmen Swap Meet
What: Swap Meet for Bicycle Gear
When: Monday March 16th 7 p.m.
Where: Barley's in the Old City

Just in time for spring cleaning! Bring parts, frames, or even cycling clothing you no longer wear down to the meeting room at Barley's next Monday the 16th to sell or trade with other cycle-centric people. Basically anything bicycle related you do not want but feel another might -i.e.- it might be that one last item needed for a restoration project, a "vintage" wool jersey you outgrew in 1980, a roll of Benotto Tape etc. The club will not be charging a fee to sell or swap your gear so it is open to any and all. Please be considerate and make sure items are clean. Barley's has agreed to let folks use their elevator if you need to. Just ask at the front bar if you need to use their ramp access on the side of the building.

This swap meet will be in lieu of our regular business meeting. Remember that March is the time for Club membership renewal. If you are interested in joining we will have all the info needed for you to sign up as well.

Come on down, hang out, and enjoy some lively conversation, cold beverages, pick up some gear, or clean out the parts storage bin!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Draft TPO Mobility Plan

After two rounds of public workshops and much public input, the DRAFT 2009-2034 Regional Mobility Plan is now available for public comment and review. The plan is scheduled for adoption on May 27 by the TPO Executive Board and is available for public review until then. You can download and view the plan as a pdf or view it and comment online. Other comments can be sent via postal mail, email or submitted during our public meetings scheduled between March 23 and April 1.

Public meetings:
All meetings begin at 6 p.m. and should last an hour.
Cedar Bluff Public Library, March 23
Blount County Public Library, March 24
Lenoir City Visitor’s Center, March 25
Halls Public Library, March 26
Burlington Public Library, March 30
Sevierville Civic Center, March 31
City-County Building (Small Assembly Room), April 1
Oak Ridge Civic Center, April 2

Bike Your Drive website

Join the self-propelled revolution! Ease out of your car and onto your bike with ideas, inspiration and how-to advice from REI.

Biking Facts: Did You Know?
5 reasons to bike your drive

--The average person loses 13 pounds their first year of commuting by bike.
--40% of all car trips in the U.S. are made within 2 miles of home.
--60% of the pollution created by autos happens in the first few minutes of operation, before pollution control devices can work effectively.
--Just 3 hours of biking per week can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%.
--The U.S. could save 462 million gallons of gas a year by boosting bicycle trips just half a percentage point: from 1% to 1.5% of all trips.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sierra magazine article on bikes

"Everywhere you turn, cyclists are welding pedals, wheels, and frames into a world that's more efficient--and eccentric."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

3 feet please campaign

Very interesting news piece about a bicyclist who has been documenting how close motorists pass him

Monday, February 23, 2009

Appalachian Mountain Bike Club Poker Derby

AMBC Royal Flush Poker Derby
Saturday March 21st, 2009.
Starts at high noon.

5 check points.
5 hour time limt

Route can be ridden mostly on Knoxville greenways or side streets. Faster riders will have an opportunity to hit 2 additional checkpoints for bonus cards. Also, there will be a 1 card bonus to the first rider at each check-point.You can play what ever cards you have; i.e. if you hit two checkpoints and get two aces, you don't need to get any other checkpoints if you don't want to. The additonal checkpoints will force you to race the clock to make it back in 5 hours.

Begin and end at the old Bi-Lo in Bearden. Mexican Restaurant is there for tacos! Yazoo Brewery will be sponsoring the ride and donating prizes. After-party to be announced soon. All proceeds to benefit AMBC's tool fund.

5 check-points that you can hit in any order:
-Bike Zoo (no bonus card here, due to their proximity to start)
-Cedar Bluff Cycles
-Fountain City Pedaler
-Tennessee Valley Bikes

Also, there will be two bonus check points, which are only valid if you get all 5 check points. You can get these in any order, but you have to get all 5 checkpoints to count the bonus card. The rest of your hand would still count, but bonus cards will have a different back to them, so we will know to discard that one if you didn't make every checkpoint.
-West Bicycles
-(not announced yet)

updates on the ride will be announced at: and

Friday, February 20, 2009

Action Needed: TN Bicycle Ban Bill Gains Momentum

A bill to ban bicycles on River Road in Davidson County (House Bill 0342 and Senate Bill 0276) is proceeding through the Tennessee Legislature. River Road is a typical state rural highway with light to moderate traffic and no paved shoulder. There have been no bicycle-car crashes on this road in the last 5 years. If a ban is successful, many such roads across the state would be likely candidates for a ban as well. All bicyclists are urged to contact their representatives and members of the House Rural Roads Subcommittee. Bicyclists are also encouraged to attend the subcommittee meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 1:30 in Room 31 of Legislative Plaza.

It is critical that everyone makes an effort to reach these representatives, regardless of where you live.

Please contact Rep. Johnson, the subcommittee chair, at or call 741-7477.

The other subcommittee members are listed at

To find your own representative, visit

You may also contact the bill’s sponsors:

Rep. Moore at 741-4317

Senator Haynes at 741-6679

Walk/Bike Nashville statement is as follows:

Walk/Bike Nashville strongly opposes any legislation that would ban bicycling from state and local roadways. Our roadways have historically been public corridors open to a variety of transportation modes that have changed throughout the years. Bicycling is becoming increasingly popular as a mode of transportation and as a means of healthy recreation. Bicyclists are legal users of the roadway in all 50 states, and Tennessee should not head down the path to become a state that is unfriendly to bicyclists while many states and cities are improving accommodations for bicyclists.
While we advocate for better road design that makes it easier for motorists and bicyclists to share the road, current law, including the recently-adopted 3 foot passing law, adequately addresses the safe use of our roadways by all users. We strongly oppose any attempt to ban legal and responsible bicycling on our highways for the benefit of a very small minority of motorists who are unwilling to obey the law and drive in a safe manner.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

You Told the President!

A few months ago, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) invited the public to tell the new President and Congress what they should do to improve the nation's transportation system. More than 1,000 people responded, posting comments and videos on Many of these comments supported expanding transit and providing safer routes for bicyclists. Perhaps the most compelling were from those who wanted to see a new vision for the country's transportation future and a recognition at all levels that transportation is a fundamental government responsibility.

AASHTO has developed a short summary of these comments and this week will present them to every Member of Congress and to the new U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood. You Told Us...What the New President and Congress Should Know about Transportation is available at, along with all the comments.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bike Ride Against MTR

Ride your bike to lobby for the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection Act from Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Memphis, converging in Nashville March 14-17:

14: Day 1 of ride
15: Day 2 of ride (to Franklin, where we'll be camping out?)
16: Lobbyist training session
17: Ride into Nashville to lobby the committee members for the bill

For more information, visit the site:
To join the ride visit the facebook group Ride Bikes; Stop MTR

For additional info, please contact the ride coordinator, Sam Evans:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Action Un-alert

In a blog about the US News and World Report I opened today, the blogger stated that, according to BikePortland, "the anti-bike amendment did not end up in the bill."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Action Alert--Stimulus Amendment To Prohibit Bike Funding

Senator DeMint (R-SC) has offered an amendment to SPECIFICALLY prohibit funding for bicycles, walking and offroad vehicles. The amendment ONLY goes after bicycle, walking, and offroad vehicle funding.
The Amendment has been offered but not introduced. We do not have a schedule for when this will be introduced and voted on, but we need to alert all Senators to urge them to vote against such amendments and ensure that funding for bicycle infrastructure remain eligible under the transportation funds provided in the stimulus package.
Go to for your senator's contact info.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bike committee opportunity

The TPO Bicycle Advisory Committee has an opening. The BAC’s duties include overseeing implementation of the Bicycle Plan, as well as updating the Plan, and promoting bicycling as a means of transportation. Several subcommittees work on issues such as special events, media and marketing, and enforcement.

At you can view the minutes from past meetings, and find the application. And remember, you're always invited to come to the meetings!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

We need your help!

OK, so it's not the best time of year, but I've heard higher temps are on their way. The Bicycle Advisory Committee would like bicyclists to review our five bike routes in Knoxville:

When you ride a route, think about these questions:
--is this the best route, or are there other roads that would be better?
--are there problems that could be easily fixed along the way (e.g., drain grate higher or lower than pavement, pothole)
--what sections do you feel uncomfortable on, but know that it's better than the alternatives?

We are hoping to get signage on these routes, but wanted to make sure they are the best they can be first! Once you've ridden a route and have input, send it to me at Please include the day of the week and time of day that you rode. We'd like to get this information by Feb 28th.

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tell the President

According to the Jan. 15th issue of AASHTO's Transportation Marketing E-News, "More than 1,000 people have already posted comments at [the IToldThePresident] website, part of the new AASHTO project, 'What the New President and Congress Should Know About Transportation.' Interestingly, many comments focus on improving bicycle and pedestrian access, with improved transit also garnering much support..."

To join the conversation, watch the videos and read the comments, go to:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cumberland Ave survey

A short survey has been developed in an effort gather information from the community regarding transportation circulation opportunities and challenges within the Cumberland Avenue District. A link to the survey, and more info, can be found on our website at:

Or, you can link directly to the survey here:

The survey will remain open until Monday, February 15th.
Contact: Amy Brooks, Transportation Planner, 215-4001

No Child Left Behind race

From Scott Smith at TN ValleyBicycles:

You know its cold out and that means its January. January also means that its time to race things called bicycles. Bicycle racing this time of year means extra measures to be taken by YOU to ensure your warmth and comfort during the best time of your life, the 3rd Annual No Child Left Behind super fun Alley Cat Race. The action starts @market square at 2pm on Sunday January 25th. Feel free to stop by TN Valley Bicycles for your race card.

204 W. Magnolia Ave

Monday, January 12, 2009

Your own private bike lane

A close brush with a distracted driver is enough to intimidate the most avid bikers from riding at night. The problem isn’t just about visibility, as safety lights are effective at capturing the attention of a driver. However, these lights are typically constrained to the bike frame, which highlights only a fraction of the bike’s envelope. Bike lanes have proven to be an effective method of protecting cyclists on congested roads. One key is that the lane establishes a well defined boundary beyond the envelope of the bicycle, providing a greater margin of safety between the car and the cyclist. Yet, only a small fraction of streets have dedicated bike lanes, and with an installation cost of $5,000 to $50,000 per mile, we shouldn’t expect to find them everywhere anytime soon. Instead of adapting cycling to established bike lanes, the bike lane should adapt to the cyclists. This is the idea behind the LightLane. Our system projects a crisply defined virtual bike lane onto pavement, using a laser, providing the driver with a familiar boundary to avoid. With a wider margin of safety, bikers will regain their confidence to ride at night, making the bike a more viable commuting alternative.

Video about riding in the rain

Fairly good video from San Fran. Seems like we are having more and more of this weather!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Draft Bike Plan for review

Who can believe that it's been 6 years since the last Bicycle Plan was adopted? We started working on an update in 2007, but...well...time flies when you're updating a bicycle plan (and when I'm out on maternity leave!). So, drumroll please, the draft 2009 Regional Bicycle Plan is out for review and comment on the TPO website:

This is a much different plan than the last one. It's much shorter (succinct) and we hope it's easier to digest. The idea is that once this is adopted by the TPO Executive Board, we will develop action plans for each city and county, and take those before the city councils and county commissions. We've done a LOT since 2002 (see the list in the appendix) but there is so much more to do.

If you want to help with any of the action steps, please let me know.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Local bicyclist riding to DC to highlight coal mining issues

Biker gives Appalachian towns a voice
By Brittney Moore
Friday, January 2, 2009

Sam Evans wants the voices of Appalachian families near coal mining sites to be heard, so he's cycling to Washington, D.C., to hand-deliver protest letters written by mining communities.

"The bike ride for me is just a way to take the voices of the people who aren't being heard right now and take them to Washington, D.C.," said Evans, a third-year law student at the University of Tennessee. He plans on leaving Tennessee Jan. 9 and arriving in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20.
Evans won't be alone for the 750-mile trip. Missy Petty of Conservation Fisheries Inc., a nonprofit organization that rescues endangered fish species, will join him for the first half of the trip.

Evans and Petty plan to stay in homes close to coal mining sites to see for themselves the impact mining has on nearby communities, then gather letters protesting mountaintop removal mining. Evans will hand-deliver the letters to the Natural Resources Defense Council, which will give the letters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"We just want people to be aware of what's going on in their own backyards and want them to care," Petty said.

Full story at

Lots of photos from old rides

This is a site where we have posted photos from past rides. Enjoy!