Transit Thursday: Improving Bike Saftey

Girl riding her bike in a bike lane

On Tuesday we talked about multimodal transportation and the importance of recognizing it as a an alternative to driving your car. It’s not a battle between public transit and personal vehicles. There are so many other pieces at play.

Cycling is one of those major pieces. In terms of multimodal transportation, cycling is one that often moves people over distances too far to walk or connects people to types of transit that can take them over longer distances. Another major benefit of biking is that it adds an element of health and exercise to travel that many other modes don’t.

All that being said, recognizing the importance of cycling as a piece of multimodal travel calls into attention the fact that we need to develop systems or improve the infrastructure supporting it.

Well, the DOT is finally starting to do just that. On a small scale, the DOT in places like Pittsburgh is pushing to develop more bike lanes and make cycling safer in an effort to decrease fatalities. Thankfully, this is being backed on a federal level. The DOT just released new bicycle safety information called “BIKESAFE“.

Read through BIKESAFE and see what additional things you can be doing to stay safe on the road.

Be sure to share with us any extra tips you might have as well!

Two Link Tuesday: Bike Month Edition

“Some people saw the video in Bristol, England, and the Bristol police department decided to fly me out there so I could personally show them how to properly lock up a bicycle.” 

Sounds easy, right? Knowing how to properly lock your bike up? Or, as Hal Ruzal puts it, “how not to lock a bike like an idiot?” Think again. A video of Ruzal, bike mechanic and New York City’s resident bike lock connoisseur, went viral after he walked the New York City streets and graded bikes on their level of lockup. Over 60,000 bikes are stolen in New York City per year through various means – including power tools – but with Ruzal on the streets, that’s all about to change. Watch the video, then click here to learn how to make your ride to work a “grade A locking experience.”

“We’re the densest community between New York and Chicago…so when you talk about doing daily chores, or recreation, most of the time, walking or biking is the most convenient form to get around.” 

Since tomorrow is National Bike to School day, children all over the US will be hopping on their bikes instead of the school bus. However, for one community, Bike to School Day is actually every day. The Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, Ohio, has never had one school bus system in the city. The 5,800 students all walk or bike to school, turning morning and afternoon carpools into a thing of the past. Check out the video above to see how Lakewood makes it happen, then follow this link to find out which Bike to School events are happening tomorrow in your area.


Got to Ride NC has 100 Riders on Hillsborough Street

We’ve ‘talked’ about all of the Bike to Work events throughout the month (with more yet to come), but this morning’s  Got to Ride NC event in Raleigh was a great success. With 100 riders rolling down Hillsborough Street at rush hour, from the State Fairgrounds to the State Capitol Lawn, this event was meant to improve safety and awareness between cyclists and motorists and encourage cycling as a transportation option in Raleigh – even if you do need to combine with bike on bus or use a Park and Ride.

Check out these photos of some of the riders, volunteers and sponsors that truly led this to be an awareness ride. Thanks to all!

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Check out more photos and info from the NC DOT.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Planning Committee Members from NC DOT, GoTriangle, and City of Raleigh.

NC State Fairground for parking and departure point.

REI for donations and free bike checks at State Fairgrounds and Capitol.

Triangle Bike Commuter Initiative for coffee and Cliff Bar donations.

East Coast Greenway Alliance for volunteers.

Inside Out Sports of Cary for bike rack donations.

Walk (or bike or roller skate) to School Month Starts TODAY!

Students from Mary Scroggs Elementray use the cross walk to start their day.

Time to lace up – or velcro depending on age – for Triangle area students: today marks the beginning of International Walk to School Month. October is not just the time when the State Fair comes to town, it’s also a time for parents, educators, students, police and PTAs to partner up to encourage students to safely walk or bike to school.

Walking or biking to school isn’t something that just happens in most cases – it’s a combination of safety education and community partners. Luckily, there are resources to help debunk myths and provide the materials needed to support the programming as well as support from Triangle area schools.

You can find materials to review, pass along, or start an active commute with your school here:

–          Raleigh, Cary and Apex Walk to School month plans

–          Carrboro will be celebrating Walk/Bike to School Day on Wed. Oct. 6th.

–          Look for updated info from Durham and Chapel Hill coming soon

–         See all registered Walk to School events in North Carolina

Students at Ephesus Elementary in Chapel for International Walk to School Day.

Earlier this year, Durant Middle School students in Wake County faced an unfortunate tragedy. Their response and goal is to develop a long term Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program that incorporates the basic elements of SRTS. The key is improving the safety of students already walking to school. This will be supported by strategies and activities incorporating student leadership and creativity in the areas of – Awareness, Education and Data Collection.  Today, October 1, students will participate in a 2 hour WalkSmart BikeSmart Safety Fair that will be conducted in partnership with The City of Raleigh, Wake County Public Schools, Raleigh Police Department and SRTS Volunteers. The fair consists of 11 different stations that will teach students various bicycle and pedestrian skills.

Remember, our children are our future – and right now the trend that is predicted for this generation is obesity, type 2 diabetes and an early grave. Fortunately, they also look to parents, teachers and other community servants as role models, and they want to mimic what we do. So start forming healthy habits now. And if walking or biking to school just isn’t an option for your household, try changing other short trips – to the grocery store, library, community park or a friend’s house. In the long run, these little changes can make a difference in the quality of your child’s life.

Two recent studies have found that walking to school is associated with higher overall physical activity throughout the day. There are many potential benefits of physical activity for youth including:

Walking Wednesdays occur regularly in Chapel Hill.

  • Weight and blood pressure control
  • Bone, muscle, and joint health and maintenance
  • Reduction in the risk of diabetes
  • Improved psychological welfare
  • Better academic performance

So get up and get a move on! The weather has cooled down and it looks like the rain is giving us a break to get out doors and enjoy ourselves.

Bike to Work Week 2010 – Take 2 wheels, instead of 4!

Celebrate Bike to Work Week 2010, May 17- 21

Bike to Work Week opens with elected officials, closes with    people in the streets

The Triangle celebrates National Bike to Work Week with North Carolina’s first ‘open-streets’ event in Durham and regional events

Elected officials will help launch Bike to Work Week in the Triangle on May 14th at 3p.m with a Kick-Off Event in Marbles Kids Museum’s Courtyard in the 200 block of E. Hargett St in Downtown Raleigh. This is the second year the fun, family-friendly Kick-Off Event has started regional Bike to Work Week festivities with activities that provide information and safety gear to both commuter and recreational cyclists.  This year, National Bike to Work Week is from Monday, May 17 – Friday, May 21st.

During Bike to Work Week’s Kick-Off Event on May 14th, there will be the Bicycle Transportation Information Exchange at 4p.m. with Representative Pricey Harrison and Wake County Commissioner Joe Bryan providing opening remarks. There will be cycling information and free safety accessories for cyclists of all ages and experience levels, refreshments provided by Roly Poly of Downtown Raleigh and Coca-Cola Bottling Co, and a group ride and bicycle rodeo.

This year introduces the first event of its kind to the Triangle and North Carolina – Bull City Summer Streets.  A project of Clean Energy Durham, Triangle Transit, GoTriangle, Partnership for a Healthy Durham and Durham CAN, Bull City Summer Streets is an open street event in the Central Park District of Durham. On May 23rd from 2p.m. to 6p.m., a one mile loop of city streets will be closed to driving but open for walking, biking, dancing and enjoying what Downtown Durham has to offer.

Some of the events held throughout the Triangle region include:

  • “Ask the Expert” bike inspections provided by The Bicycle Chain at Apex’s Farmers Market (May 15th)
  • Sales and Free Inspections at local bike shops in Chapel Hill and Carrboro (running May 17th to May 21st)
  • A Park and Pedal for North Raleigh Commuters from North Hills to Downtown Raleigh (May 18th)
  • Cyclists’ Breakfast hosted at RTP Headquarters (May 21st)
  • Cyclists’ Socials at Alivia’s Durham Bistro on Main St. (May 19th) and Porter’s Tavern on Hillsborough St in Raleigh (May 21st)
  • Bike Chapel Hill – Carrboro Bicycle Tour, Riding with Elected Officials (May 21st)
  • Free  screening of Triplets of Belleville at NC State University’s Witherspoon Hall in Raleigh  (May 21st)
  • Bull City Summer Streets in Central Park Durham (May 23rd)

Locally, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization, and GoTriangle plan, fund, and promote cycling activities in conjunction with local municipalities, universities and sponsors. For a complete listing of events and details, please visit