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Messages - GSullivan

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1
Hi -

Yes, we hear you. We've met several times with Yellowstone NP but haven't made much impact. Our local partner, Tim Young from WY Pathways is meeting with Supt and staff again in late Oct. and we'll be passing along our concerns about the road closure and some other issues that we've recently heard about from some touring cyclists from Tennessee.

Thanks for your post and letting us know about the closure and the growing issue concerning lack of bicycle accommodations in Yellowstone.

2
General Discussion / Re: no progress with Amtrak for GAP / C&O
« on: April 15, 2014, 11:40:03 am »
Hi All -

Thanks for engaging in this topic. I'm actually happy to report that we are making progress with Amtrak. This January, Adventure Cycling and Amtrak formed a Bicycle Task Force to work on several initiatives for helping make Amtrak more friendly to bicycles. Here is the vision statement: Amtrak officials, passenger rail association members, bicycle and trail advocates, and transportation officials are convening a Task Force to address both long-term and short-term goals for improving bicycle access and services. The Task Force will build the business case for bicycles/cyclists on Amtrak, and will oversee pilot project(s) within the Northeast region that will facilitate and document design solutions, potential policy changes and communication strategies for better bicycle service.

We are working on choosing two pilot projects in the next month. One will be on a long corridor and one will be on a short corridor in the North East region. The routes chosen will depend on a long laundry list of things - funding, local and/or state agency support, cars, platform accommodations, operational limitations, etc. But the Amtrak officials and the bicycle, passenger rails advocates are dedicated to make the pilots successful. 

Stay tuned for more information, we'll be announcing more progress publicly as we determine which lines we'll be piloting and figuring out the business case and how we can make the pilots work across numerous Amtrak lines. If you wish to be included in the "milestone updates" please contact the travel initiatives department and we'll put you on the email list.

Thanks!
Ginny Sullivan
Director of Travel Initiatives

3
Routes / Re: Suitability mapping?
« on: November 07, 2011, 11:56:39 am »
Hi All,
I thought I would chime in - for several reasons.
1) Suitability maps - I think through your discussion you've covered the fact that suitability maps are often not very complete and that they depend upon how "deep" the DOT will dig in on road conditions. Often the DOT will only work with itself - and won't coordinate on these types of things with counties and municipalities. Thus, you get a suitability map that only has conditions on state owned roads. Not very helpful.
2)ODOT - well, hello John Nettles. It's interesting to see you posting about OK on the forum. I was just at the Oklahoma Bike Summit wherein many state and city planners and engineers joined in a full-day session on bike facility design. the OK Bike Coalition did a fabulous job attracting ODOT and city agencies to the training and I believe some eyes were really opened. On Saturday, I did a session on bicycle tourism but only a few agency people were there - an ODOT planner and the tourism bureau (who is taking over Scenic Byway program!). OK has some great potential but it will take a coordinated effort between tourism, cities and the organized bicycling community pushing ODOT to step up and do something for cyclists. It just isn't their bag - yet.
3) the BAD news is that while today the DOTs are federally mandated to have a bicycle and pedestrian coordinator AND spend money on things for bicyclists, under the new bill being proposed by the Senate - and Oklahoma's Senator Coburn, there will no longer be a pot of money dedicated. Things will be eligible...but we will be in competition with HOV lanes, environmental mitigation and worst of all, there is an opt out. While we have some time (the current bill has an extension until end of March) the EPW committee has said they won't accept any amendments and will vote as a block.

We have the fight of our lives ahead, especially for states, like OK, who are just getting ready to start implementing more bicycle and pedestrian practices. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to support the OK Bike Coalition. They are going to need a lot of voices in order to be heard.

As for suitability maps, I feel, personally, these aren't very helpful. States are so inconsistent. That's why the U.S. Bicycle Route System is such a great option. Local cyclists identify great through routes between destinations and these are most likely NOT on state owned roads. It is mapped and promoted and someday - signed for cyclists. In OK i think the best opportunity at the moment to get a good bicycle map is by working with the Tourism bureau. They get it, but it means the cyclists will have to do ALL of the grunt work.

Thanks for a great discussion. I hope you find I contributed to it. Ginny Sullivan

4
Canada / Re: ACA Maps for Canada
« on: May 20, 2010, 05:24:38 pm »
Hi folks, Ginny Sullivan entering the conversation here. ACA is developing some routes in Canada - mostly Ontario with the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route which enters Ontario at Buffalo, NY and terminates in Owen Sound. We're now working on a new Alternate to that route that will enter into Ontario in Detroit and link back to the main route in Owen Sound - creating a US-Canada loop!

As for the U.S. Bicycle Route System, the interest in connecting these routes into Canada is definitely there. It would be helpful if Canada's provincial governments had a designated person to help us coordinate an official system (I believe Quebec is the only Ministry of Transport that has a person designated to work on biking??). That being said, we'll be working with local organizations and that will help us connect with Canada's local groups on best routes. It might take awhile, we're focused on getting the U.S. system in place but I know the border states are very interested in working the routes into Canada. And yes, La Route Verte was included in our planning for the US Bike Route System.

Living in Montana, one of those border states, I very much see the value of making the system continental - like EuroVelo.

5
Sorry I am so tardy getting back to you on the state of the federal transportation bill. As of now, it's slated to stay as an extension until end of Dec 2010. Congress/Senate must come up with revenues to fund a transportation bill - sustainable funding. Right now, with the trust fund bankrupt, the general fund is financing SAFE TEA-LU extension.

There is good news however, Secretary of the US DOT, Ray Lahood is all in favor of livability and has developed a new bike/ped policy that emphasizes a change in the way DOTs do business.

Read Ray's blog: Fast Lane http://fastlane.dot.gov/
Read the policy: http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2010/bicycle-ped.html

6
Hi,
We do have people working on the USBRS in Oregon. Cycle Oregon's route researcher has picked up the ball and is drafting routes for the system. This is a great first step.

As for a TransAm mountain bike route, I haven't heard of anything like that but a likely place to look would be the www.rideoregonride.com website. this lists ALL the bike routes and trails for Oregon with interactive maps, feedback and services. It's done by Travel Oregon.

Enjoy! and Welcome to the Forums.

7
Corridor 20 Implementation / Re: Updates from all over
« on: March 29, 2010, 02:22:13 pm »
Nice Work!

8
Corridor 20 Implementation / An Update from Scott
« on: January 07, 2010, 10:24:09 am »
  :o
Hi all,

I have had some very productive conversations with Jay Reithel and Dave Geiger from the MDOT Bay Region office regarding the route through that region. The Bay Region probably accounts for half the overall length of the route.

As a result of that I am going to do a proposed modification, but there are a few details to work out, and since this involves Kerry's neck of the woods I have sent him some information first to look over.  The overall effect, just as a foretaste, is that the route is slightly less meandering (8.3 miles shorter overall), and incorporates a new segment of the Southern Links Trailway (a rail trail) which was not on the route before.  There are many more details, which you'll see later this week.  (I have also got in touch with the chairman of the Southern Links Trail Management organization, which is one of those Michigan joint-venture municipal thingies.)

Also: I have ordered a sample USBR 20 sign, so we will have that available when we meet with MDOT or county road people or trail management groups or whoever.  This was funded by a grant (can I call it that, Ginny?) from ACA, which we appreciate.  I should have that in a couple weeks, hopefully in time for my first meeting with the St. Clair County Road Commission.

Meanwhile, in Sanilac County, which the route barely brushes across, I was able to get the Road Commission Manager to approve the route in a single phone call.  If only it were always that easy :)

Cheers,
Scott

9
This email came to me after the article came out in Adventure Cyclist. I forwarded it on to Josh Lehman at Mass DOT for comment.

Ms. Sullivan:

I read with interest the article by Dan d’Ambrosio on “A Bicycle Route Network for America” in the current [September-November 2009] issue of Adventure Cyclist.  However, I was disappointed that I did not see any clear indication of an East-West route through Massachusetts.  I would like to make a suggestion for such a route based on my recent experience.

Having done much long distance bicycle touring (which I define as at least 50 miles from the departure, and one overnight) in Europe, I regret the lack of comparable opportunities in the United States.

On May 13 of this year I set off on my bicycle from my home in Cleveland, Ohio, for Cambridge, Massachusetts and my 50th Reunion at MIT (800 miles).  I was joined by a contemporary who rode with me as far as Albany, New York, before heading south for his 50th reunion at Columbia in New York City.  A second contemporary, who is 50 years out of Harvard, joined us in Buffalo, and after Albany continued with me on to Cambridge.

Planning for the trip from Cleveland to Buffalo [Lackawana] and on to Albany and the Massachusetts border was straight forward since there are published routes.  There were no recommended trans state route for Massachusetts, and at this point, I almost gave up on the trip, but I eventually came up with a satisfactory route.

From Cleveland to Buffalo [Lackawana] we used the ACA Northern Tier route, and was thankful for the fact that I could download the GPS coordinates into my computer, and then into my Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx.

From Buffalo to Albany we basically followed the Trails & Parks New York Canalway Trail.   Where the trail was crushed limestone, we used low traffic parallel roads except for a few stretches where no suitable parallel road was available.  We found Canalway preferable to the designated and signed NY State Bike Route 5, which is on busier roads.

Between Albany and the Massachusetts border, we followed Bike Route 5 which joins US 20 at Schodack Center.  While the highways utilized by Bike Route 5 for the most part have wide paved shoulders in good condition, there were about 10 miles on this Section of US 20 where the shoulder was awful or non-existent making for a terrifying ride.

Planning the route through Massachusetts was an intimidating challenge because of the Berkshire Mountains, and almost caused me to give up on the trip.  The Rubel maps show bicycle friendly roads, but do not give any recommended long distance cross state through routes.  Besides, the map for Central Massachusetts is not available, but I was able to borrow a copy and scan the desired sections.  A friend who had ridden transcontinental a few years ago, finishing in Massachusetts, came to my rescue.  I followed his route to Worcester and from Worcester we followed the East Coast Greenways route to Cambridge.

The eventual route selected through Massachusetts proved to be quite satisfactory for experienced touring cyclists.  We continued on US 20 to Pittsfield.

Out of Pittsfield, we took SR 9 to Dalton, SR 8 to Hindsdale, and SR 143 to Williamsburg, and had planned to take SR 9 to Florence/Northampton.  However, out of Williamsburg, we actually took South Street, Audubon Road, Mulberry Street and Florence Street which route was undoubtedly more enjoyable than SR 9.  A rail-trail is in progress between Williamsburg and Florence and should be available in the not too distance future.  In Florence we stayed with trail activist Craig de la Penna who may be known to you.

Out of Florence, we took the rail-trail into Northampton and across the river.  Then, since some misguided soul decided to have the rail-trail from this point paved with glass chips, we walked our bikes to the point where we could connect with Bay Road (crossing SR 9 during the morning rush hour was a harrowing experience).  We followed Bay Road to the point where it connected with SR 9 above Belchertown, and then continued on SR 9 into Worcester.  Traffic in Worcester was less than desirable, but then that’s life in the city.

Out of Worcester, we followed the East Coast Greenways route to Cambridge.  This routing is undoubtedly known to you.

 
Oliver E. S.

10
In the current AARP bulletin, there's an interesting interview with US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.  He talks about delaying the federal transportation bill, saying that an 18-month extension will likely bring a better economy that is more likely to finance Jim Oberstar's pro-alternatives House bill.

"Look, we built the interstate system. That's done. Now we're trying other things so you don't have to get in a car every time you want to go somewhere."  The interview is at:

http://bulletin.aarp.org/yourworld/gettingaround/articles/living_in_a_post_car_world.1.html


11
Two up-coming meetings:
1) US Bicycle Route System Regional Meeting on October 28 in Kalamazoo, MI. This is a post-conference workshop in conjunction with the Mid America Trails and Greenways Conference (Oct25-27). You can find registration for the session on the conference brochure http://www.michigantrails.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/matag_web_brochure3.pdf

The morning session will be called "Connecting Mid America with Trails and Greenways" and will go from 9-12 noon. A highlight for this morning session will be a presentation by the Michigan Assistant Attorney General, Ron Emery and Bike/Ped Coordinator, Josh DeBruyn on debunking the myths associated with on-road bicycle route designations (addressing liability concerns that agencies and trail managers might have). This is going to be an incredibly informative!

The afternoon session, 1pm - 3pm, will focus on USBRS route/trail development in the mid American states. Mid America trail administrators are invited to this session and we are trying to get the word out to other agencies and organizations.

2) In addition, I will be in Salem, Oregon on Oct 20. I will be holding a public meeting at the First United Methodist Church from 7:00pm-9:00. For more information and driving directions go to our meetings and gatherings page www.adventurecycling.org/partiesandgatherings/ During my week in Oregon, I will be meeting with Ohio Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Ohio Scenic Bikeways Committee.

Please pass these invitations along to anyone you think should be there. Information will be posted at www.adventurecycling.org/usbrs or contact me for a pdf flyer or postcard invitation to pass along. You can reach me at gsullivan - at - adventurecycling.org

Thanks!

12
Corridor Plan Updates & Routing Within Corridors / Re: Southern IL Route
« on: September 30, 2009, 01:49:01 pm »
Please join us for a US Bicycle Route System Regional Meeting on October 28 in Kalamazoo, MI. If you can't attend, we can send you conference call information.

This is a post-conference workshop in conjunction with the Mid America Trails and Greenways Conference (Oct25-27). You can find registration for the session on the conference brochure http://www.michigantrails.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/matag_web_brochure3.pdf

The morning session will be called "Connecting Mid America with Trails and Greenways" and will go from 9-12 noon. A highlight for this morning session will be a presentation by the Michigan Assistant Attorney General, Ron Emery and Bike/Ped Coordinator, Josh DeBruyn on debunking the myths associated with on-road bicycle route designations (addressing liability concerns that agencies and trail managers might have). This is going to be an incredibly informative!

The afternoon session, 1pm - 3pm, will focus on USBRS route/trail development in the mid American states. Illinois trail administrators are invited to this session and we are trying to get the word out to other agencies and organizations.

Please pass this invitation along to anyone you think should be there. Information will be posted at www.adventurecycling.org/usbrs or contact me for a pdf flyer or postcard invitation to pass along. You can reach me at gsullivan - at - adventurecycling.org

Thanks!

13
Corridor 66 Implementation / Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
« on: September 30, 2009, 01:47:32 pm »
For all interested in this discussion, please join us for a US Bicycle Route System Regional Meeting on October 28 in Kalamazoo, MI. If you can't attend, we can send you conference call information.

This is a post-conference workshop in conjunction with the Mid America Trails and Greenways Conference (Oct25-27). You can find registration for the session on the conference brochure http://www.michigantrails.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/matag_web_brochure3.pdf

The morning session will be called "Connecting Mid America with Trails and Greenways" and will go from 9-12 noon. A highlight for this morning session will be a presentation by the Michigan Assistant Attorney General, Ron Emery and Bike/Ped Coordinator, Josh DeBruyn on debunking the myths associated with on-road bicycle route designations (addressing liability concerns that agencies and trail managers might have). This is going to be an incredibly informative!

The afternoon session, 1pm - 3pm, will focus on USBRS route/trail development in the mid American states. Illinois trail administrators are invited to this session and we are trying to get the word out to other agencies and organizations.

Please pass this invitation along to anyone you think should be there. Information will be posted at www.adventurecycling.org/usbrs or contact me for a pdf flyer or postcard invitation to pass along. You can reach me at gsullivan - at - adventurecycling.org

Thanks!

14
My understanding from the perspective of people in "bike friendly" countries (ie. Netherlands) and cities (ie. Amsterdam) is that you are always on the watch for cyclists - it becomes second nature just as we cyclists are always on the watch for cars and trucks (or donkeys  ;) as the case may be!). When you build large populations of users, the incidents go down because humans adjust to the existing environmental factors. Makes sense. Now to convince our policy makers and the  general population. 

15
Research and Resources / St. Louis Environmental Sustainability Roadmap
« on: September 30, 2009, 01:16:57 pm »
St Louis is moving toward a sustainable future. Read the report,
"Environmental Sustainability Roadmap" available at this link:
http://tinyurl.com/sustainabilityroadmap





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