Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pop Quiz

You're sitting at a very large round table with the White House appointed Federal Highway Administrator. Also at the table are the highest level of state and local transportation officials. You are a transportation hobbyist, a dude who rides his bike around, and maybe you're the only one there that isn't in a suit.

You get one question.

What do you do?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

South DaCola's "Riverdale Park Chain of Death"

Plopped in my inbox was a request for comment regarding a post, "Riverdale Park chain of death" by the very famous South DaCola blogger. The post identifies the very legitimate concern of a chain being placed across a road in Riverdale Park. A road very popular to riders accessing the bike trail loop.

Telling is Detroit Lewis' response when informed via an anonymous comment that the chain had been removed. "That’s because the [Argus Leader] was going to do a story about it." No, it's because you posted about it on your blog. Dude, learn to declare victory. You deserve it.

Here's the Argus Leader blogger reportage about the situation: "Chain across trail alarms cyclists"

A side note: the reporter also did a nice write up of our coming Falls Area Singletrack trail building effort: And in other bike trail news

Here is my full original response to the full content of South DaCola post:

Thanks for the link to that post. I read it with interest. I have not heard anything about that chain at Riverdale Park or anyone running into the chain.  Surely an invisible chain across a path of desire is a hazard and ought to be remedied. It's only a concern to me if parks refuses to remedy it. It is my experience that they are responsive to issues like this.

Hopefully the person who ran into the chain did the responsible thing and reported it to The City. Also hopefully the person who ran into the chain did it within the hours of operation of the park - hours that tend to be during daylight. Hopefully the person who ran into the chain, if it was night, was riding with proper lights, fore and aft.

As far as the bike friendliness of the city goes: I ride a few thousand miles each year within the city limits and I rarely have bad experiences. Most bad experiences come from sidewalk riding or riding on the road unpredictably or too far to the right.

As far as The City receiving awards: the League of American Bicyclists awarded Sioux Falls the Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community award a few years ago. The City applied for this award. The League reviewed the application. The League invited the local cycling community to weigh in on the application. The League selected Sioux Falls as a winner. This award is up for renewal right now and the same process is being followed.

The best way to make the city more bike friendly for local riders is for local riders to become involved in making the city more bike friendly. The City planning department meets regularly with riders to get input and feedback about city government bicycle plans and efforts. Most of the riders willing to put time and effort into a bike friendly Sioux Falls go to these meetings.

The local bike club Falls Area Bicyclists (FAB) is in need of board members and regular members who are willing to put effort in to making Sioux Falls more bicycle friendly. The FAB board is poised for radical change this fall and can use the help of a few energetic people.

The worst way to make the city more bike friendly for local riders is for local riders to go out riding thinking someone else is doing the work...

If you'd like more commentary please call me.

Michael Christensen
League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor #2540
SECOG Metropolitan Planning Organization Citizens Advisory Committee Vice-Chair
Falls Area Singletrack, treasurer
South Dakota Bicycle Coalition, treasurer