Thursday, January 22, 2015

HB1030 = 3 Feet Please:Committee Consideration


Today the House Transportation Committee considered HB1030 South Dakota's second attempt at passing a 3' Passing Bill for bicyclists. These are three of the very handsome folks who testified in favor of the bill. They are: Fred Deutsch freshman representative from District 04, Jessica Andrews from Chamberlain, & Chris Parsley from Sioux Falls.

If you want to know the gritty details of what went down in room 413 you simply must listen to this audio recording. Start at minute 24 and listen until they stop talking about bicycles. You'll catch Fred's Freshman Fashion Faux Pas - no helmets allowed in committee and Chris, when asked about shoulder rumbles bothered to mention the seeming inability of South Dakota drivers to stay on the road - to widespread chuckles I might add.

Speaking of inability to stay on the road...


...no pedestrians were killed during the destruction of this sign...


...perhaps we should rumble Kiwanis Ave. That's glass, but I digress.

Seriously South Dakota riders owe these three a very big debt of gratitude. They did very nice work for all of us. Seriously. I mean it. Chris and Jessica did this on their own time.

There are some other folks heavily involved in the effort. DOT legal counsel Bill Nevin has been assigned the job by the DOT to present the bill. The American Heart Association of South Dakota has active transportation/healthly lifestyles on their advocacy agenda therefore they've done great work in support of this bill.

The broad strokes...District 09 Rep Steve Hickey moved an amendment to include the important word "minimum" to modify the required 3 feet. The amendment passed. Then the questions of obfuscation rolled in. The main concerns seemed to be about the possibility that existing laws already meet the goal of a 3' passing law and the question of whether riders already pay enough to be allowed on the roads in the first place.

Rounds moved to pass the bill with a second from Hickey. A substitute motion from Stalzer/Kaiser to defer the bill to Tuesday 1/27 prevailed.

In our estimation there are 2 strong opponents and 3 strong proponents of this bill. That leaves 8 on the fence. These folks will be talking about this bill between now and Tuesday. Quick notes to all the committee members, yes again, are important. The page to do that from is here.

...and come back here Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

HB1030 Has Its Day

HB 1030 - the 3' Passing Bill - is up for discussion in the Transportation Committee during it's Thursday 10am meeting. I wonder which South Dakota riders will go to Pierre and stand for all South Dakota cyclists and say, "Please pass this bill. There are people injured and killed and the awareness through this laws will save lives."

Readers should understand the message that is sent by the absence of a cyclist.

Hey Black Hills. Raise your hand if you contacted your friend from Hill City, the chair of the committee. I understand he's a tough one.

Also, HB1032 - the one that protects pedestrians is also on the agenda.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride:January 31

The next Saturday Coffee Shop Ride will be January 31. It will depart from Starbucks on 14th and Minnesota Ave. We'll explore the happy little industrial complex hidden away north of Russell Ave and south of the airport.

Remember the ride leaves at 9am. The loop is always just about 10 miles. We'll enjoy coffee after.

The untested version of the route looks a exactly like this:



Create Maps or Search for a route from millions at MapMyRide

Here's the general postcard we have:

 

Friday, January 09, 2015

Legislative Alert: HB 1030

It’s officially official. HB 1030 is a bicycle related bill that will work its way through the South Dakota Legislature this winter. Riders will want to pay attention to this bill. When laws are scrutinized anything can happen to them. Additions, deletions, omissions. The last time a bicycle bill was in the legislature South Dakota was close to becoming the first state in the union to legislate cyclist wardrobe – and that was on a 3 foot passing bill.

This year HB 1030 is mostly a 3 foot passing bill. Notably this bill seems to have originated with the Department of Transportation. My sense is a change to law recommended by state staff is more likely to be successful.

Part I

The bill will introduce a new section into the books that reads:

“The driver of any motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction shall allow a three foot separation between the right side of the driver's vehicle, including any mirror or other projection, and the left side of the bicycle. The driver of the motor vehicle shall maintain that separation until safely past the overtaken bicycle. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.”

I’m pretty ok with adding this into law. I do recommend adding the word MINIMUM in the sentence “shall allow a three foot separation.” Many riders say 3 feet isn’t enough and adding this word implies more is better.

Part II

The bill will amend an existing law. The bold portion indicates the amendment:

A person operating a bicycle shall give a continuous signal of intention to turn right or left during the last one hundred feet traveled by the bicycle before turning. The signal shall also be given while the bicycle is stopped waiting to turn. A signal by hand and arm need only be given intermittently if the hand is needed in the control operation of the bicycle. No driver of a bicycle may overtake another vehicle on the right if the overtaken vehicle is signaling to make a right turn.

I am always happy to point out the most dangerous place to ride is to the right of a right turning vehicle. How do you know vehicle is turning right? You don’t. This amendment would make it illegal to ride to the right of a right turn signaling vehicle. I say don’t ride to the right of any vehicle.

I’m neutral on this amendment while pointing out my personal standards are more strict than this amendment would require.

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So write your state representatives. Get them early. They don’t start real work till Monday. Tell them this weekend what you think of HB 1030. Surprise them by showing them you care.

Find your reps now!!!

Friday, December 19, 2014

South Dakota Legislature Alert: Another Attempt at 3' Minimum to Pass & Natasha's Law

When politicians look hard at riding - surprise changes can come from left field.

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3' Minimum when Passing


It sounds like there's a strong possibility of a 2015 run at a 3' passing law in the South Dakota legislature. I've heard it from two independent sources. In November I responded to a Mitchell representative's request for the text of our Sioux Falls 3' Passing ordinances.

I think it's fine to have a state level 3' passing law. Many other states have one. If conditions are right I think such a bill deserves rider support.

But there's plenty of problems that come with such a push. During the previous attempt to pass such a law the primary sponsor Sandy Jerstad failed to get transportation committee support for the bill. She smoked it out to the floor for a vote. In a failed attempt to get votes, she was willing to make a state law that riders must wear reflective clothing while riding.

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Natasha's Law

This fall KDLT ran a story "A Mother's Fight For Justice" announcing a call for legislation named Natasha's Law. This legislation calls for stiffer penalties for drivers that cause bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities. This week people with signs were observed near the place of Natasha's death. Googling Natasha's Law reveals a MoveOn petition and description.

It seems ok to have stronger penalties for destroying innocent lives. Many states have passed "Vulnerable Road User" laws. As riders we know all too well that penalties seem pretty weak. I invite a listen to Freakomomic's "The Perfect Crime" to learn that the perfect crime is indeed running over a pedestrian with a car.

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Sounds like some rider diligence will be necessary this winter to be sure our legislators don't play loose with the means while they try to justify an ends.

When politicians look hard at riding - surprise changes can come from left field.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride: Kaladis 12/27 9am

Saturday 12/27 is the first Saturday Coffee Shop Ride. We'll meet at the 26th & Minnesota Ave Kaladis. The planned route is a 10 mile loop through town. At the completion of the loop we'll step inside the shop and enjoy a nice toasty warm beverage.

The planned route goes a little something like this:



The route can be shortened if the weather makes it necessary. We'll aim for a minimum distance of 2 miles. If 10 miles isn't long enough on a Saturday morning riding to the ride is highly encouraged.

Further details about the Saturday Coffee Shop Rides can be found in this post.

We checked the route this afternoon. Upon completion we reviewed the list of the 50 different types of road snow and found we could mark more than a dozen as ridden.

Happiness is a snow covered fatbike.


Hope we see you Saturday 12/31.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

It's Tuesday. People work on Tuesday.

I took a recovery day off work. After a four day weekend Monday seemed like plenty of effort.

So Tuesday I got on the bike and chased this guy around the city.


I made my way to Leaders Park.


I did a lap. I may have spent some time on my back.


I got stopped coming and going trying to get to the other side of the tracks.


Much of the trail looks like this.


I stopped at the falls.


On my way here I greeted my dad on his bike on Phillips Ave.


...for a Lumberjack.


I think I'm ready to face another day at work.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Announcing: Saturday Coffee Rides

Following the positive spirit that came with the Coffeeneuring Rides, we're going to keep the bikes rolling in the same manner. All year round.

Beginning Saturday December 27 we'll do one ride a month (except when we don't). The ride will be on the last Saturday of the month (except when it's not).

The first ride, December 27th, 9am, will depart from Kaladis at 26th & Minnesota Ave.
Here are the 6 things you can expect from the ride.

1. Meet the group at a coffee shop at 9am. Riding to the venue is preferred, perhaps even rewarded.

2. As a group, ride a 10-ish mile loop from the coffee shop.

3. If you can ride 12mph for an hour on the bike trail come ride with me - I won't leave you. If you can ride 20mph on the bike trial for an hour you might find this ride too mentally taxing.

4. Rule #2's distance is adjustable depending upon weather conditions. We'll aim for a 2 mile minimum loop.

5. The route will be primarily on-street miles. Street selection will lean toward low volume (except when it doesn't).

6. Enjoy coffee together at venue.

7. Disband.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sioux Falls Coffeeneuring #2: Black Sheep

For the original Coffeeneuring idea visit the Chasing Mailboxes blog.

For my original Sioux Falls Coffeeneuring invite visit this post.

The next Sioux Falls Coffeeneuring ride is tomorrow (10/13) at 9am from Coffea Downtown.

The second next Sioux Falls Coffeeneuring ride is November 1 at 9am from Josiah's. I wonder if it will be winter by then.


--

This morning I pushed myself out of bed at 8am knowing that in 10 minutes rider Chris Parsley would be in my driveway for our 8:24 meet-up. Yes, that's right, Chris is as prompt a fellow as I am not. Sure enough at 8:26 I raised the garage door to find Chris on his 16th minute of waiting for me. I'm lucky he'll still ride with me.

He and I do a lot of teaching that lane control is an important part of safe urban riding. In the spirit of practicing what we preach we'd already agreed that our Sunday morning route to the Black Sheep meet-spot would be on 12th Street from Sertoma to Grange. Good times.

While enroute we did receive a honk, and the driver raised his coffee cup to us. A follow-up text revealed Pastor Dave, on his way to preaching in Emery, stopped off at Black Sheep in the spirit of Coffeeneuring.


By the time our 9:01 departure arrived we'd gathered a Michael, Chris, Chad, Brian, Tim, Jake, Troy, David, Darren, a Big Dummy, and an Oxford Comma. While waiting we observed a riding dude play chicken with a driver on 12th Street, and a young woman riding side saddle over the rear wheel of a young man's bike. I wish I had a photo of the latter. They were on the sidewalk, facing traffic, oblivious to the danger and she was having lots of fun.

The two highest lights of our loop included the on-street bicycling facilities around the shiny new events center and the length of the Main Avenue Road Diet.


Upon returning to Black Sheep we gathered our brewed hot beverages, our muffins and bagels and sat and chatted for a while. Somewhere in there riders Jake (two Jakes!) and Steve arrived on their own Coffeeneuring Adventure to join us.


Then we all departed Black Sheep. My departure group was four, then three, then two, then three, then two, then me.

See you tomorrow at Coffea - Downtown.

Here's my route today:

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Coffeeneuring Challenge #3 | Coffea Downtown | October 13

First off - I needed to alter the schedule for the coming weekend.

Sunday October 12 at 9am we're riding from Black Sheep Coffee. (clicky details)

Monday October 13 at 9am we're riding from Coffea Downtown.

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Coffea Downtown is at the intersection of Phillips and 10th Street.

From Coffea Downtown we'll head east to tour what I think of the two neighborhood bridges in Sioux Falls. The 12th & 18th Street bridges span I-229 and connect east Sioux Falls with the city core WITHOUT the need to access a brigde that handles 30,000 vehicles a day.

These two bridges demonstrate how a city can remain connected to itself while still having the high speed interstate through it's center. Experience them and realize they are two of a kind built in an era with different values.

We'll also leave downtown via my favorite way in and out of downtown, the Beadle Greenway. Throw in a visit to McKennan Park as well.

The idea of the Coffeeneuring Challenge comes from the Chasing Mailboxes blog. See: The Fourth Annual Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge.

My invitation to participate in the challenge with me is here: The Coffeeneuring Challenge

The ride from Coffea Downtown is 9.8 miles. To make your Challenge more challenging I encourage riding to the ride.

Here's is a link to a draft version of the route: Coffeeneuring #3 | Coffea Downtown:
Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRide

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Sioux Falls Coffeeneuring #1: Dunn Bros

For the original Coffeeneuring idea visit the Chasing Mailboxes blog.

For my original Sioux Falls Coffeeneuring invite visit this post.

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This morning I awoke motivated by the possibility of leading Sioux Falls' first Coffeeneuring ride.

The Boy 16 accompanied me as we departed at 8am ready for the hour long ride-to-the-ride. We shaved minutes by enjoying the lightish Sunday morning traffic for a bit on west 12th Street and later the moderate Sunday traffic for a stretch on east 6th Street.

Upon arrival, with 8 minutes to spare, I purchased a water and discovered a friend at the drive up window. I bought his beverage and decided this Coffeeneuring thing would be allright. (Hi Duane!)

Back in the parking lot two trusty urban riders had gathered - relieving me of the always nagging question, "what happens if you throw a party and nobody comes?"

We headed south around the Dawley Farms strip mall. Further south we went on the SD 100 sidepath. We're not thrilled about the sidepath experience but I think it's important to ride built facilities on occasion to remember why they don't always work.

Besides, you have to ride this path to experience the long pedestrian tunnel under SD100 into Harmodon Park. 

This spot is where I first heard the comment, I've never seen that before. My favorite thing about route selection. Taking people places in the city they've not been.



We played in the streets parallel to Sycamore for awhile and ultimately arrived at Rosa Parks Elementary. 

There is a nice asphalt path through a cornfield connecting the school to a neighborhood. The obvious question is, why didn't they do this for McGovern Middle School? I don't know the answer, but I do know this school has one.

From here we went mostly straight back to the meet spot with a short bit on Arrowhead Parkway.



At Dunn Brothers Coffee we sat around the fireplace and enjoyed warm beverages and roaming conversation. We also discovered our fifth participant. He'd arrived late and missed the loop portion of the day. We were happy he waited for us at the shop - and his long ride there qualified him as a Coffeeneur.



We departed as a group for the ride-from-the-ride and dudes peeled off along the way eventually leaving me and The Boy 16 on our own. The wind was picking up by the time we got home. As I type this I'm happy to be home not riding in it.

Next week: (note schedule switch)

Sunday Oct 12 Black Sheep
Monday Oct 13 Coffea - Downtown

To ride the loop meet at 9. Give a notification anytime before 9 and we'll wait for you.

Here's our route:


Thursday, October 02, 2014

Coffeeneuring Challenge #2 | Black Sheep | October 12

(note: I changed the date to October 12.) The third ride of the Coffeeneuring Challenge is coming up.

Ride #2 departs at 9am Sunday morning October 12 from Black Sheep Coffee.

Black Sheep Coffee is near the intersection of Grange Ave and 12th Street.

From Black Sheep Coffee we'll go south and west, then north and west, then north, then east, then south, then west and then, and finally, north. Got it? The sights we'll see will not be limted to: a neighborly way to the Premier Center, the painted bicycles on Russell and West Aves, and the full experience of The Main Avenue Road Diet.

The idea of the Coffeeneuring Challenge comes from the Chasing Mailboxes blog. See: The Fourth Annual Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge.

My invitation to participate in the challenge with me is here: The Coffeeneuring Challenge

The ride from Black Sheep is 9.8 miles. To make your Challenge more challenging I encourage riding to the ride.

Here's is a link to a tested version of the route: Coffeeneuring #2 | Black Sheep

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRide

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Coffeeneuring Challenge #1 | Dunn Brothers | October 5

The first ride of the Coffeeneuring Challenge will be upon us shortly.

Ride #1 departs at 9am Sunday morning October 5 from Dunn Brothers Coffee.

Dunn Brothers Coffee is near the intersection of Arrowhead Parkway and Powder House Road.

From Dunn Brothers Coffee we'll head south to tour the Sidepath that's been built on the east side of what is commonly known as SD 100. At Harmodon Park we'll tunnel under SD 100, point ourselves north and find our way to the Rosa Parks Elementary School Bike Path in a Cornfield via Bahnson Ave.

The idea of the Coffeeneuring Challenge comes from the Chasing Mailboxes blog. See: The Fourth Annual Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge.

My invitation to participate in the challenge with me is here: The Coffeeneuring Challenge

The ride from Dunn Brothers is 10.5 miles. To make your Challenge more challenging I encourage riding to the ride.

Here's is a link to a draft version of the route: Coffeeneuring #1 | Dunn Bros



Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRide

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Coffeeneuring Challenge

My friend Clint clued me in to The Fourth Annual Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge.

I like it. I want it. If there's a group of 4-ish that would like to join me for the challenge I welcome it.

The basic idea of the challenge is to ride to 7 coffee shops between October 4 and November 16. Read the rules if you're serious about the real challenge which, I am.

Here's my plan:

1. Meet the group at a coffee shop at 9am - riding to the venue is preferred - perhaps even rewarded.
2. As a group, ride from the coffee shop a 10-ish mile loop that includes an interesting destination.
3. Rule #2 is adjustable based on weather considerations. The official challenge rule requires a 2 mile ride.
4. Rule #2 is primarily on-road miles. Road selection will lean toward low volume roads. But...Scooters.
5. Enjoy coffee at venue.
6. Disband.

Here's my schedule:

October 5 - Dunn Bros - east
October 12 - Black Sheep - mid-town
October 13 - Coffea - downtown
November 1 - Josiah's - downtown
November 2 - Shalom Ethiopian Coffee House - mid-town
November 8 - Coffea - west
November 11 - make up day
November 15 - Scooters - south
November 16 - make up day

"Why are you setting the schedule?" - because it's my party.
"What if I can't make all the rides?" - if you can make most of them, I welcome you.
"What if I think I ride slow?" - if you can go 12 miles in 60 minutes on the bike trail. Come, ride with me. I won't leave you.
"How can I join the fun?" - Say so.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Big Guys in Big Trucks

I had a most excellent exchange with a big guy in a big truck during tonight’s ride. I was stopped at a red light in the left portion of the straight lane. I do this to allow drivers the right on red.

Big Guy in Big Truck pulls up and stops on my right. In situations like this I generally look left to avoid open window commentary.

"Nice night for a ride," said the amicable fellow. I readily agreed because it indeed was.

"Man these lights are long." I thanked him by noting that I was glad that he was there to activate the light. They don’t usually change for my bike.

"That’s bullshit," said the empathetic fellow. I readily agreed because it indeed is.

My spidey sense began to tingle so I asked him, “you turning or going straight?” I enjoyed a moment of terror as I realized the implications of asking a big guy in a big truck such a loaded question.

"Straight. I know you are too. But I’m pretty sure I’ll beat you off the line." I suggested he might be surprised, which ensured he WOULD beat me. Which is good because we avoided the conflict that inevitably would occur if he hadn’t.

I failed to give him the hour lecture about laws and predictably and safety. But we both left happy. I like being happy.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sioux Falls Bicycling - Growth, But Who's Paying Attention?


Gentlemen:

When we met I made a claim that more people ride bicycles for transportation than ride public transportation. Knowing how much effort you have put into public transportation of late, I asked for a little more consideration for bicycling.

Councilor, as an MPO Urbanized Development Commission member you're familiar with the 2014 Sioux Falls Metropolitan Area LRTP Market Research Study.

Attached are two graphs from that study. Graph_1 shows 12% (compared to 2% for public transportation) of the surveyed "normally use [a bicycle] to get to/from work, school or other frequently traveled destinations." Graph_2 shows transportation modes to destinations from 1999 to 2014. Bicycling has increased from 3% to 12%. Public transportation has decreased from 4% to 2%.

I have supported my claim and suggest again that more dollars and time be provided to improve bicycling transportation.

Thank you.





Wednesday, August 20, 2014

McGovern Middle School - No Sidewalks

Sioux Falls' freshly minted middle school opened this week. With no sidewalks.

Let me say that again. No sidewalks.

And the comments from the principal are priceless.

"...in the meantime we're trying to problem solve and trying to figure out how to best bus 100% of our student population."

"Principal Emanuel wants all students to be safe and if anyone is walking to school, wants to find out why. We would definitely want to work with the family find out what's going on, did the child miss the bus? Just what's going on," she said"

I have a few thoughts about what's going on.

Here's a link to KDLT's article on the matter.

City Council 140805: Scott says...

After a fatal car/bike crash and some other car/bike & car/pedestrian crashes some in the bicycle riding community approached the city council about creating safer conditions on the roadway for everyone. Scott stepped up to the podium and said he's a traffic engineer & a rider and likes the things we're all saying...


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Play In the Street With Me!

Come out and play in the street with me this weekend! Thursday 6p to 9p, Friday 6p to 9p and Saturday 5p to 9p we're running through the entire League of American Bicyclists Traffic Skills 101 course.


Best of all, it's FREE thanks to our host Spoke-n-Sport.


Classroom sessions, two sets of parking lot practice, an evaluated in the city ride to put it all into practice and a test.


Come join us. Make a move toward being a confident rider of bicycles. Ride visibly, predictable, courteously and safely.


Contact Chris ((605) 275-2453 |chris@spoke-n-sport.com) to get on the the list of attendees. Tell him The MinusCar Project sent you.