Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Where the Kidical Mass Riders Are

A small but fun Kidical Mass this month. The rain only sprinkled once at the very end but we enjoyed a bit of sunshine too. Just that little bit inspired us to head to Prince PĆ¼cklers and the nice playground behind it for a bit of freeze tag.
The warm months are coming soon, looking forward to bigger groups and getting more Kidical.

Family Van Xtracycles on Sale

Xtracycle has a sweet deal going right now- the "Family Van" version is on sale for $499. That's the FreeRadical conversion kit, the magic carpet, footsies, and a stoker bar- all you need to carry passengers in comfort, plus the groceries, trumpet, books, and the gym bag. Ride on!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Campy 80's Bike Safety Video

Hopefully the YSRTS Facebook competition can come up with something better than this:

We're not going public with it yet but for the two or three folks following this blog you can find that YSRTS FB page at http://www.tinyurl.com/youthsrts

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bike Ed in Eugene

Active Transportation Education in Eugene

Current Program & Details:

Currently a Bicycle Safety Education program is run by the Bicycle

Transportation Alliance, based in Portland, Oregon. The BTA has run
the program since 2000 and has reached thousands of students in the
Eugene/Springfield area. 

There are approximately 50 Bikes and several hundred helmets in the program
(purchased over a series of years starting in 2000). Bikes are in
various stages of repair ranging from semi-new to non-functioning.
Repairs are carried out approximately once a year and coordinated by
the local Bicycle Education Director.

The bike educators teach mostly at middle schools, focusing on the 6th
grade but have also taught 7
th and 8th graders
as well as 5
th graders in an Elementary school. The BTA
has a BikeEd curriculum based on the League of American Bicyclists
program and is approximately 9 hours of instruction that goes from
the classroom setting to the final day of a “community ride”
where the students apply the material learned in the classroom and in
‘parking lot drills’ into on-street riding in their
school neighborhood.

The BTA also has pedestrian safety education curriculum that has not been
brought into the current program.

The Bicycle Education Director works in the Fall and Spring in schools
that they contact and build relationships with. All but one Director
have come from the City of Eugene River House program and have
received support from the City with the use of office space, a
computer and the Recreation Department trailer to move the bikes from
school to school. 

Storage was at a City building until it was torn down. Locations have since
ranged from school district buildings to their current location at a
private storage area that is donating the space to the program.

Partial funding for bike storage and travel trailer has been received from
the ODOT SRTS Program. 

Ten League Cycling Instructors were trained last year in Eugene including
one PE Teacher from Roosevelt Middle School. That school now has a
sustainable bike education program with their own fleet of bikes and
th graders going to Roosevelt will be trained in a 9
session course.

The Issues:

Shuffling bikes from the schools to storage and back again requires
more time and effort than if a dedicated storage trailer were used.
Space still needs to be acquired to park the trailer and a vehicle
used to tow the trailer.

The position is a full time position only in the Fall and Spring. No
work is being done in the Summer and Winter and therefore employees
must find their own work during that time and this has lead to a high
turn-over rate.

The high turn-over rate mentioned before has contributed to a loss of
‘institutional knowledge’ and in the ability to grow the
program to meet the needs of the community.

The Positive Outlook/The Future:

The BTA understands the issues presented above and is supportive of the
growth of the program but because of their distance from the program
and their attempt to grow in areas not currently served (in more
rural areas) they are not able to allocate the time needed to grow
this program. 

TheBTA has been supportive of and encourages the idea of a local agency
“taking over” the current education program. Both Lynn
Mutrie, the SRTS Coordinator for the BTA and Scott Bricker, their
Executive Director, have encouraged ‘local control’ of
the program and are willing to work on a smooth transition. They
would like to see the continuation of the BTA Curriculum and
attendance by the local educator in the BTA’s yearly training
for educators.

With a full-time Safe Routes to School Program manager at the 4j School District and an active SRTS Team made up of City, School District, LTD, LCHAY, and other community members an infrastructure of support for a complete Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Education program is growing.

One of the four goals of the SRTS Team is to “implement
developmentally appropriate bicycle and pedestrian safety education
curriculum into the 4J/Bethel School Districts” and they have
formed an Education Subcommittee to work on this.

One model would be to create a full time “Active Transportation
Educator” that would expand the current program to include
basic pedestrian and bicycle education during the winter to
elementary schools (focusing on 2
nd & 3rd grades) and the potential
inclusion of adult bike education in the summer months
 (with the LAB’s “Smart Cycling" material). BikeEd classes for 
the middle schools would continue in the Fall and Spring. 

Besides the BTA, City of Eugene, and school district assistance the Jane
Higdon foundation has already expressed an interest in funding a
traffic safety education program and private, federal, state, and
local support for a traffic education program is
very strong. 

Items for Consideration:

Could this new “Active Transportation Director” be a GEARs position?

What would be required for GEARs to make their first full-time hire?

What would the job description be and what would the hiring process look like?

What would the short term and long term funding options be?

What will the city involvement continue to be?

What kind of MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) needs to be reached with
the BTA to take over this program?

What kind of insurance would be needed? Would the League of American
Bicyclist “LCI” insurance work for this kind of project? 
If so, how can we make sure to get only certified LCI instructors? 
If not, what insurance is the BTA using and what is the cost?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Roosevelt Green Wheels Project

The Roosevelt Green Wheels project is rolling right along!

We are currently in the Fundraising phase. If you would like to help support this great local sustainable transportation and education project please contact:

Shane Rhodes w/4J School District rhodes_sh@4j.lane.edu

Andrew Cusack or Sylvan Cambier w/designBridge: acusack@uoregon.edu or scambier@uoregon.edu

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bike Parking is Essential, Fun, and Awesome

Edison Bike Parking Ribbon Cutting

Just got back from the Edison Bike Parking Ribbon Cutting. This was the project that DesignBridge worked on last year and it turned out really well- it's such an amazing transformation of a space. This area was the bike parking area before but designBridge worked with the school, students, and parents to design and then build this new area. There is a wonderful mural, new racks, fun lighting integrated into the mural, and a stylish bench that has become a central point for parents and students to congregate.

Today's event was a nice gathering of folks who played a big part in getting it done over the last two years including DesignBridge, Principal Tom Maloney, OTREC, parents, and of course the kids. The Eugene SRTS program didn't work on this project but it set the model for what we are now working with designBridge on- bringing this type of project to as many 4j Schools as we can. Right now we are in the middle of the Roosevelt Green Wheel project (the design ideas will be posted at the school on Monday) and next year the project might work with Harris/Eastside. We're also looking into more stable funding for the materials portion of the design/build projects. If anyone knows of an organization interested in funding a great sustainable transport, community build, youth and adult collaboration project send them our way!

More photos can be found on my Flickr site:

Monday, February 2, 2009