Natasha’s Ride: Saturday, February 26

Natasha Pettigrew was a friend, a Miami Law School student, a candidate for U.S. Senate from the State of Maryland, a leader in OUTLAW and other campus groups, a role model, a daughter and a bicycle commuter.

Her fellow students and friends have chosen to honor Natasha with a ride and a signature memorial fund that will support pro-bicycling programs of the South Florida Bike Coalition. “Natasha’s Ride” will keep Natasha’s dream alive for a better, safer Miami for traveling by bicycle.

Learn more about this extraordinary woman and join us a group ride around the University of Miami campus and the Cities of Coral Gables and South Miami. Donations will be requested but not required. RSVP on facebook here. Meet up, Ride out and Ceremony at 1311 Miller Road, Coral Gables, Florida.

9-10am: Registration & Breakfast
10am: Ride
11:30am: Ceremony on the Bricks

Read more about Natasha Pettigrew:

The South Florida Bike Coalition is honored to partner with Natasha’s friends and fellow students to ensure that her dream of a truly bicycle-friendly Miami and University community can continue to inspire positive change here. If you would like to get involved with Natasha’s Ride, please contact us at SFBikeCoalition@yahoo.com. Monetary contributions in her honor can be made here; please be sure to note that it is for Natasha’s Ride.

Thank you – and Ride On, South Florida.

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Florida Could Do More for Active Transportation

The South Florida Bike Coalition partners with groups like the Sierra Club and Smart Growth Partnership to promote bicycling across our region and with particular focus on those new to our favorite form of transportation, recreation and fitness. Our partnership with the Sierra Club is tied to their own state-wide campaign to increase ‘green transportation’ by making bicycling and walking safer. The Smart Growth Partnership is among our lead partners in bringing Meet Your Streets, a ciclovia-style event, to Broward County on April 10th.
More on both to follow but just to share, here is their recent joint press release on Florida’s (hey, she’s got potential!) transportation policy.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 14, 2010
Florida’s Transportation Policies Obstruct Reaching Climate Goals
New study reveals more could be done at the state level to reduce carbon emissions and boost the economy 

 

 

CONTACT: Alex Goldschmidt, Smart Growth America, 202-207-3355 x112,
Gloria Katz, Smart Growth Partnership, 954-614-5666
Marti Daltry, Sierra Club- Ft. Myers Office, 239-313-7202
Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers, FL – Significant conflicts exist between Florida’s transportation policies and broader efforts to reduce carbon emissions according to a new study out today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Smart Growth America (SGA). “Getting Back on Track: Climate Change and State Transportation Policy” examined transportation spending decisions and policies in all 50 states to determine what impact state decisions have on carbon emission rates.
According to this extensive, first-of-its-kind analysis, Florida’s transportation policies and spending decisions are not doing enough to reduce statewide emissions rates. This means not only that Florida is missing opportunities to protect clean air; it means we are wasting a huge economic opportunity as well. 

Smart transportation spending could save money, create jobs and help rebuild the economy while curbing emissions at the same time. Adopting smart transportation strategies would help Florida attract more businesses and create more jobs out of each dollar we spend. Rebuilding the economy and creating new jobs are the most important issues of this generation and each of the transportation policies highlighted in this report can help us get there.

 


“Florida’s Department of Transportation needs to recognize that every decision about how we get around has huge implications for the environment and our economy,” said Marti Daltry from Sierra Club. “We need to reduce oil use, and provide transportation choices for all Floridians, especially our growing elderly population.”
“Policymakers have the power to save money, protect the environment, create more jobs for each dollar we spend, and effectively lower transportation costs at the same time, but policies need to change in order for that to happen. FDOT has been making certain policy changes, but needs to do a better job in others,” said Gloria Katz from Smart Growth Partnership. 

Florida is not alone in needing to improve, and the new report calls for changes at the federal level as well. Without action at both levels of government, the United States will almost certainly fail to meet current carbon reduction goals.

 

“Better gas mileage and alternative fuels aren’t enough to stop carbon emissions at the rate they’re rising,” said Neha Bhatt, deputy policy director at Smart Growth America. “It’s going to take policy changes at both the state andfederal levels to achieve the emissions reductions we need. American households need the option to spend less money to get around, and these low-carbon policies help get us there too.”
Changes to federal policy could encourage states to use their transportation money more effectively. The overdue authorization of a federal transportation bill will be a key moment for leadership from the Obama Administration to reduce carbon emissions and continue to rebuild our economy.
# # #
Sierra Club is the oldest environmental organization in the United States. Since 1892, the Sierra Club has been working to protect communities, wild places and the planet itself.  Sierra Club has been engaged in numerous campaigns that deal with phosphate mining, red tide, coal mining, the Florida panther, clean energy and green transportation.
Smart Growth Partnership is a nonprofit based in South Florida whose mission is to lead, support, advocate and educate the public by promoting livable, sustainable and green communities in South Florida
Smart Growth America advocates for people who want to live and work in great neighborhoods. Smart growth solutions support thriving businesses and jobs, provide more options for how people get around and make it more affordable to live near work and the grocery store. Our coalition gives communities a fighting chance against sprawl. Together, we are making America’s neighborhoods great. Visit SmartGrowthAmerica.org to learn more.

#MiamiBikeReport is Live!

MiamiBikeReport.com is a new, fully-interactive website for the Greater Miami community that makes bicycling that much funner, easier, better. Started by Eddy, an active member of our local bicycling community and a Bike Coalition member, the website makes it easy to report any challenges to your bike ride: crap or cars in the Bike Lane, collisions, police targeting cyclists, harassment and much more. MiamiBikeReport has the potential to be a huge resource for you, us, city planners, law enforcement, social equity groups and policymakers.

The #MiamiBikeReport is like a bicycle – it only works if you keep it moving.

We need to make sure people who ride – all over Miami, speaking both English and Spanish – are using the site for it to really work for us. The South Florida Bike Coalition will be working with Eddy to promote this website through flyers, neighborhood groups and even law enforcement. If you can help, let us know! (SFBikeCoalition@yahoo.com ; hello@miamibikereport.com)

So, how easy is it to report?

We ask those of you who are internet savvy to go here: http://corker.miamibikereport.com/reports/submit, but unlike other projects that have tried to do this before (shout out to our colleagues at TransitMiami.com) this program is not only more comprehensive, it allows anyone to report anything related to a bike ride in several easy ways:

  1. Text the type of incident, location, time to 786-250-2453(BIKE)
  2. Drop an email with the same to send@miamibikereport.com
  3. Tweet with the hashtags #bikereport or #miamibikereport
  4. Submit this easy online form.

It’s all very exciting and we could go on and on about this but the fun is in exploring the site yourself. Visit MiamiBikeReport.com and then tell Eddy how great he is at hello@miamibikereport.com.

Yes – we need this in Broward, in Palm Beach, Martin & St. Lucie. We need this everywhere! This is Eddy’s masterwork but if you would like to make this happen outside of Miami, he will share with you what he has learned and the Bike Coalition will help you, too, to make this possible in your own ‘hood. It requires an exceptional dedication to your community and passion for bicycling, some computer savvy and lots and lots of time (at least to start). If you’ve got a little less of any of these, you can still help grow MiamiBikeReport to the north by helping us make it a success in Miami, first. (Let the GrantWriting begin!)

Feeling inspired to bring this to your city now? Consider reaching out to your mayor and getting him or her to apply for the Smarter Cities Challenge by December 31! Details at Miami Bike Scene [http://miamibikescene.blogspot.com/2010/12/smarter-cities-challenge.html] (but any Mayor/City can apply.)

Dutch ThinkBike Tour of Miami

The Consulate General of the Netherlands actively supports bicycling in South Florida and we are grateful to them for bringing three experts on traffic engineering and planning (which in their country includes bicycles) to meet with their counterparts here in the States. I had the privilege to ride around the City of Miami with them today, pointing out difficult intersections, corridors and related challenges to bicycling here. The idea is to bring them back in the Spring and host a symposium and workshop with our local Department of Transportation, municipal planning and capital improvements offices and advocates to get everyone to ThinkBike.

Taking the Lane in the Health District

Above, left to right: David Henderson (MPO Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator), Eric Tullberg (ViceChair of BPAC and Board Member of Green Mobility Network), Cor van der Klaauw (Dutch Center of Expertise on Bicycle Policy), Jamie Caulkins (BikeSafe, UMiami), Jeff Cohen (Miami-Dade Public Works Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator), James Mark Palacios (FDOT, District 4), Willem Bosch (Zwolle) and Peter Schuetz (local advocate).

It was a great ride and Herbert Tiemens of Houten took many more photos and geotagged them. Here’s the fun one:

City of Miami Police: "What are you doing?"

We got a friendly welcome from a concerned City of Miami Police Officer. The exchange went something like this.

What are you doing?

We’re leading a bike tour.

uh… [pause, confused look] Well, you need to be careful. You’re riding in the street.

Yes, Officer. Where should we be riding?

Well, okay. Okay. Just be careful. There are cars behind you and they have to slow down.

Yes, Officer. Thank you.

The Dutch loved this. It seemed obvious to us that it was a slow day for this beat officer and I did not get worked up. After all, he didn’t give all the guys in business casual attire a hard time. I wonder how he would have treated me if I were alone or with a group of less formally dressed friends. I ride through Wynwood / Overtown / Park West with some frequency and I have been stopped about five times by police ‘concerned’ for my safety. Those are other stories. But today’s experience made clear to other organizers why I am so adamant that law enforcement be strongly urged to attend the ThinkBike Workshop next year.

Learning From the Dutch

In the Netherlands, traffic engineers don’t hire consultants to work bicyclists into plans – they themselves plan for bicycles. Every street, every development is planned with people in mind and pedestrians and bicyclists receive equal respect, if not priority. People bicycle all the time because it’s fun and healthy and green, of course, but also because it’s so easy.  In Houten, a city built up about 50 years ago (like so many of the developments in Florida), planners and engineers made sure that it was easy to get anywhere by bike. This is where Herbert is from and he has documented this bicycle city’s infrastructure and use here:

Our friendly experts listed some ‘Dutch Solutions’ for improving streets for bicycling. They include

  • Mixing traffic everywhere but highways and reducing speeds to reduce the speed differential.
  • Remembering bicyclists move like water – we wish to take the fastest, most direct route to where we are going and should be accommodated accordingly.
  • Two lane one-way streets can easily become: One Lane One Way for cars plus a contraflow lane (two lanes, both directions) for bicycles.

The Dutch support bicycling because it make economic sense. Government statistics in the country cite that following statistic:

  • Every mile by car costs $0.40
  • Every mile by bike gains $0.19

People who commute to work by bike tend to take 10-15% less sick days, they have reduced healthcare costs and have an increased life expectancy of 3 years. They experience less disease and as young people, significantly greater levels of confidence, independence and healthy weight.

For more obvious but positive information (in english), backed up with studies and statistics, visit the Dutch Center of Expertise on Bicycle Policy online.

Details

We hope that by bringing our new Dutch friends back in the Spring or Fall of 2011, we will be able to attract high-level transportation officials from across South Florida who might be inspired to ‘think bike’. Right now we are looking for a good location for a 2-day workshop somewhere in the Downtown Miami/Wynwood/Park West area. The first day’s morning meeting and the second/last day’s evening program will be open to the public so we need space to accommodate approximately 60-75 people. The small budget we have will go first to covering the expenses of our guests so if anyone has a suggestion for an affordable or donated space, please let us know.

If you would be interested in sponsoring the ThinkBike Workshop – or any other of the South Florida Bike Coalition’s campaigns and programs – please call us at 305.982.7343. Thank you.

And thanks to YouthBike for providing free loaner bicycles to our Dutch visitors for the duration of their stay.

Get Your New Used Ride at Youth Bike

 Our friends at Youth Bike have partnered up with Arco Iris, Bangarang Cycles, Prison Books and the Gypsy Chefs to their OPEN WAREHOUSE AND SALE this Sunday, October 24, 2-4pm in Miami. 

Youth Bike builds bicycles and self-esteem for kids throughout Miami’s Little Haiti, Liberty City and Wynwood neigborhoods. We are big fans and supporters of what they do and hope you’ll drop by their warehouse for their first ever Open House Party. Learn about their programs for kids and adults, have a great afternoon and then score yourself one of their very cool restored, refurbished or custom made bicycles! See some very cool Dutch-style cargo bikes, vintage road frames and other specialty bikes, too.

Click to enlarge & share this flyer

 Address: 378 NE 56th St. (roughly located between Soyka’s/Andiamo and Churchill’s/Sweat Records. Learn more at www.YouthBike.org

UPDATE: RSVP on Facebook here.

TCCA Annual Ride a Great Success

The Treasure Coast Cycling Association hosted their annual Labor Day Holiday Group Ride in Stuart yesterday with great success and VIP appearances from Laura Hallam (Florida Bicycle Association) and Rep. Adam Fetterman(District 81, Port St. Lucie).

We’d like to thank Laura for her shout out to SFBC and for her eloquent words on the importance of collaboration in effective advocacy. The SFBC works closely with the Florida Bicycle Association at the state level and we appreciate their support of local advocacy groups, bike clubs and bicyclists. Laura was in town to present Rep. Fetterman with the Florida Bicycle Association Elected Official Champion of the Year Award. Rep. Fetterman (Adam) called to the crowd to keep the pressure on Tallahassee; your state senators and representative need to hear from you that safe bicycling is important. Anti-bicycling groups have lobbyists promoting bills like HB 971 and others that take money away from active transportation infrastructure, fight legislation outlawing dangerous driving and undermine progressive driver education programs. Your state representatives have an incredible amount of power and opportunity to improve safety conditions, on and off-road trails and law enforcement as it relates to bicycling. They need to know that matters to their constituents.

What is your local representative in Tallahassee doing for you as a person who bicycles? Rep. Adam Fetterman, the FBA’s Elected Official Champion of the Year, wants you to find out!

All of this happened at the kickoff of the TCCA Annual Ride, which brought out 125 people to ride together through Stuart on Labor Day. The Treasure Coast Cycling Association is our non-profit partner to the north and has been promoting bicycling in  Martin, St. Lucie, and Northern Palm Beach counties since 1986. Member/Leaders Kirk Wilstermann and John Goings both serve on our Board and are just all-around nice guys. You can sign up for their famously packed e-newsletter (‘TCCA News, Group Rides and other Upcoming Cycling Events’) here.

Peter from the South Florida Bike Club Says Hello!

The South Florida Bike Coalition promotes all bicycle rides in South Florida and we are happy to highlight the dedicated volunteers who organize, plan and reliably show up week after week to provide newbies and veterans alike with a great group ride.

I’ve talked about Peter and his Boca Urban Ride before and wanted to give him a chance to introduce himself directly. Here is his personal invitation to you to join the South Florida Bike Club Meetup Group.

If you would like to post anything to our blog, please let us know. Thanks!

Peter Detore

Hi Fellow So Flo Bikers
My name is Peter…. altogether…. HI PETER!

I am a man of many hats and bicycling is one of my favorite hats or should I say helmets. The sport has been instrumental in my making great gains in rehabilitating a post chemo heart condition. Two years ago I found out about an urban ride in Boca Raton with a bunch of really great folks, much like yourselves. They gave me the workouts and moral support I needed to build strength and endurance, and get my athleticism back.

At the beginning of last winter, a friend from way up north offered the loan of his racing roadie rather than let it “hang in the barn”. That got me into pace line riding (note: not pace line racing) and I found yet another super supportive group of riders that rode the A1A on somewhat challenging and fun rides. EG breakfast rides to various places. All this riding eventually led to my participation in the MS 150 this year.

So my story is, in two years I went from putzing around the neighborhood for half an hour, to riding in a pack of 2000 plus down to Key Largo. I feel a debt of gratitude to the sport of bicycling, and now have the resources and capability to help the sport and my fellow man by bringing new riders into the sport. To that end I have organized two new rides geared to the beginning rider. One in Boca Raton on Wednesday evening and one in Lake Worth on Thursday evening. Both rides offer little challenges and should be considered entry level rides. To date dozens of new riders have enjoyed the flat courses I have laid out. Most people are surprised at how easily they accomplish a pleasant 15 to 20 mile ride with a bunch of friends. The time passes quickly and we stop to take five minute breaks frequent along the way.

I realize that, for many of you, I am preaching to the choir. But I’ll bet you know someone who would benefit greatly from adding something new to their lifestyle that will enhance their health and general well being. I urge you to share this message with anyone who fits that description.

Please accept my invitation to come out and try these wonderful NEW! scenic bike rides.
Ride On!
Peter Detore

http://www.meetup.com/mixerssocialgroupofpalmbeach/calendar/14179507/

http://www.meetup.com/thebisonclub/calendar/14065936/

EMERGE is 4! Ride in Celebration on Saturday

This Saturday, as they do every Second Saturday of every month, EMERGE Miami hosts their own version of Critical Mass through Greater Miami. This ride will be particularly special, though, because EMERGE is turning 4*

EMERGE Miami is one of the most exciting, positive and impactful groups that I’ve ever volunteered with. They host fun rides, sure, but they also support all kinds of positive action in our community. If you have an idea to improve your community, whether its through a film screening, an organic potluck or something else, EMERGE welcomes you to drop by their weekly meetings, Tuesdays at 7pm at Sweat Records. EMERGE also runs a meetup group that posts social and civic-minded bicycling events across Miami-Dade County. Join the list here and learn more about what the group is up to EMERGEMiami.com.

Bike Valet! Get It, Use It

Bike Valet has got to be the best way to park your bicycle. The South Florida Bike Coalition supports and promotes bike valet services and the clubs, groups and events that make bike valet possible. So, what is bike valet?

Green Mobility Network Volunteers Host Bike Valet Throughout Miami

Bike Valet works just like any premium valet parking services. You drive up your vehicle to exactly where you want to go and a friendly attendant whisks it away and parks it in a safe spot, leaving you with a valet check ticket so that you can pick it up when you are ready to leave. In South Miami, the Green Mobility Network has been offering premium bike valet service and volunteer opportunities for years. They have trained volunteers, signs and specially designed racks that can accommodate bikes for almost any size event. At the Annual Mango Festival at Fairchild Tropical Gardens, Green Mobility and Fairchild are making it even sweeter to get there by bicycle. Ride up and valet your bike and you’ll receive $5 off admission for adults and $2 off for children, July 10-11 from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

MassBike Valet Sign

Naturally, we love bicycle valet but we’re not the only ones. Cities across the country provide free bike valet services at events to reduce pollution and encourage sustainable transportation. Bike Valet is particularly common on the west coast, where the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is celebrated for making the the Giants the first Major League Baseball Team to offer free, convenient, attended bicycle parking service at all 81 of their home games. (Learn more and watch at streetfilms video about it here.) The Washington Nationals is just one other team to follow suit and the new Miami Marlins Stadium promises to have bike valet and specially designated multi-use trails to give bicyclists priority entry into the park.

If you know an event that needs bicycle valet service, the South Florida Bike Coalition wants to help you make sure it happens! It can be a great opportunity to raise money for a good cause –we are honored when volunteers choose to donate tips to SFBCBike Valet not only makes bicycling more appealing for people who already bicycle, it provides a great opportunity to promote and celebrate bicycling to a wider audience.

SFBC has partnered with the South Florida Bike Expo to bring bicycle valet to the event. We need LOTS of volunteers, friends and collaborating groups to make this a success. Let us know if your club, your kids, your place of worship or just you can commit to provide better bicycling services at this July 17-18 event. Sign up here!

SFBC, BikeSafe and YouthBike Lead Bicycling Camps at Miami-Dade County Parks

Today was my first day teaching kids better bicycling in the Miami-Dade County Parks Summer Camp Program!

Team Awesome! Miami-Dade Parks Summer Camp

My co-teachers (Jamie from BikeSafe and Roger from YouthBike) and I each got a group of 6-8 kids, aged 7-9, who today learned parts of the bicycle, why and how to fit a helmet properly (Sebastian: I know! So your brains doesn’t break up and shoot out in lotsa pieces!). We also taught them about brakes and tires and how they work (whoa, there really is a tube inside!), stopping safely and quickly when necessary, how to ‘A-B-C Quick Check your bike, and 13 different dangers to look for when riding. Their favorite part was definitely the ‘on-bike’, when they took turns being the car, stop sign, “dangers” of different kinds and lane markings. Each boy learned about road position, how to signal and what makes riding on the street different than the sidewalk.

It was so much fun! The camps separate the boys and the girls and I’ll have several different groups of either boys or girls at three separate campsites over the next month. The SFBC office looks like an art room today; I’m creating new visual ‘road hazards’ from construction paper so that my next class can help set up our play intersections.

Thanks to the Miami-Dade County Parks & Recreation Department for seeking me out and understanding the importance of teaching our kids road and bicycle safety.