Friday, November 02, 2007

Tulsa Bicycle Club Meeting 1NOV2007

"We're gettin' the band back together, man!"

(Image from Century Novelty)

Tulsa Bicycle Club Meeting
Martin Regional Library

(Note: This is a preliminary post and may be subject to further editing.)

The first presentation was from Matt Meyer, Executive Director of Tulsa River Parks. He noted that River Parks maintains 23 miles of trails on both sides of the river, as well as the festival park. Since it's inception iun 1974, Tulsa River Parks has had 57/47 split between public and private funding. They rely heavily on donations and grants. The Kaiser Foundation is giving $12.4 million for trail construction and the design is being done by Land Plan Consultants. He covered much of the financials for Vision 2025, the 4 to Fix, and the third penny sales tax since they fund the low water dams, shoreline beautification, and more.

Vision 2025

$5.6m low water dams

$1.8 m shoreline beautification

$2.1 m upstream catch basin

4 to fix

Zink dam 650K

Katy trail 200k

3rd penney sales tax

$7.6 million Festival park

$2.9 m widen trails

$500 K park facilities rehab

Patrick Fox gave the other presentation. He's the bicycling and pedestrian planner for INCOG and describes his job as multimodal transportation planning. He had a 1999 copy of the Tulsa Trails Master Plan as well as a copy of the Thunderhead Alliance benchmarking report. (I would have liked to read both and discuss them with Patrick, but time didn't permit.) Tulsa currently has 150 miles of trails and bikeways, with another 283 miles planned for the off-street system and 207 miles planned for the on-street system. That will give the area a total of 490 miles.

He talked about the 5 E's of bicycling: engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation. Each of these were discussed in greater detail. Much of his talk centered on trails, bicycle enhancements like visual detection, surveys, statistics, and maintenance issues. Patrick asked that if anyone has a question or concern regarding maintenance, they should call him because many of the trails are maintained by different agencies.

Patrick described 4 categories of cyclists, mainly as a way of highlighting the different requirements they have. They are:

The strong and fearless. These folks will ride anywhere.

The enthused and confident. Mainly club cyclists who are comfortable on the road and in group rides.

The interested but concerned. They're fearful in traffic, but the group offers the greatest potential for growth

No way, no how! This is pretty much self-explanatory.

He gave a brief trails update. I didn't manage to write it all down. But the one project I asked about was the Haikey Creek bridge, also known as the infamous FEMA bridge. The feds approved the project and it's been languishing on a city desk for some time. But the good news is that the prefabricated bridge is supposed to begin construction in January. “Which January?” was the immediate question from someone in the crowd.

Political support for bicycling projects is at an all-time high right now, with a 'perfect storm' of political, private and grass-root efforts. This is unprecedented, according to Patrick. The Tulsa area enjoys the support of the Kaiser Foundation for trails, the Warren Foundation for T-townie bikes and police bikes, the TU yellow bike program, the Tulsa Tough, Little 100, Tour de Tulsa, and the MS150. Mayor Taylor was directly involved in the Bicycle Friendly City application to the League of American, an unusual level of support.

LAB did not approve the Tulsa BFC application. In doing so,they pointed out 2 areas for improvement: a comprehensive bicycle plan and a complete streets policy. Tulsa needs these to increase usage and provide benchmarks for safety and ridership. A complete streets policy is meant to accommodate all users of all ages and abilities on our roads.

Patrick wants to reconvene the INCOG bicycling subcommittee soon. One caveat – he knows that LAB thinks bike lanes are a good idea, but the local LCIs do not. He's wondering how to get around this.

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Blogger Paul Tay said...

ATTN: LAB---Portland, the recipient of the LAB Most Bike-Friendly Community Award, suffered TWO adult bicyclist deaths, in ONE month, on two separate bike lanes.

Meanwhile, NO adult bicyclists died ANYWHERE, in ALL of 2006 or 2007, in Tulsa Metro, Oklahoma, the non-winner of LAB's prestigious award, with nowhere near the bike lane miles as Portland.

EVERY Wednesday night, there is a Critical Mass of more than 300 riders going west. Another 50+ roll on Riverside on Saturday mornings.

And, Santa still rolls the BA, Memorial, and 169, at will.

With ALL due RESPECT, explain to me why the City of Tulsa should actually ENCOURAGE its citizens to ride in that righthand portion of the roadway that is not only UNSAFE, but, also invitations to DISASTER.

Patrick, if you are concerned about getting around the LAB requirements, just tell 'em to STUFF it. Tulsa NEEDS no LAB award.

I advocate formally setting the citywide speed limit at 25mph, using traffic calming techniques to enforce the speed limit, and traffic circles to DOUBLE the traffic flow through intersections.

The truth of the matter is the City's traffic engineering group has gone WILD with signalized intersections. They are ALL timed to limit the OVERALL traffic speed at approximately 25mph.

Streets are now designed to ENCOURAGE impatient motorists to CRIMINALLY speed between intersections, just to catch the red.

It makes absolutely NO sense to allow motorists to speed at 40 mph, between one red light to the next red light on the Jenks 96th Street Bridge.

In short, forget about bike lanes, OUTLAW criminal speeding over 25mph, and STOP with the intersection corking.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Paul Tay said...

And, Mayor, your support is certainly APPRECIATED. Just make it more VISIBLE and OBVIOUS.

You won't find Santa biking on Avery Drive on Sunday morning at 7 a.m. The FAT dude is FRONT and CENTER on the BA and Memorial.

Forget about the LAB award. It is MISGUIDED and DANGEROUS. You need the advice of people who actually decide their own life and death while biking everyday, not some D.C. wise guy.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Paul Tay said...

Hey, R-Parks, didn't ANYBODY bother to tell Mr. Kaiser there's ALREADY a very nice, wide 36-foot bike lane on Riverside Drive?

Santa rolls on it just fine, even during rush. Another 50 UNIDENTIFIED spandex-clad objects roll on Saturday mornings.

Surely, TPS PD could probably use a nice handout of bikes to escort FAT kids to skool? Naaaaaaaaaaah.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Paul Tay said...

Thanks, C-Dog for the fine report. Although it was pretty much UN-surprising. I don't feel like I've actually MISSED anything.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Thanks for the input, Santa.

I am going to go ahead and take the leap and say that riding on the Broken Arrow Expressway puts you firmly in the Strong and the Fearless category...

12:21 AM  
Blogger Paul Tay said...

Fearless? I beg your pardon. It's more like risk MANAGEMENT.

I doubt Santa has any less fear or any more strength than any other UNIDENTIFIED spandex-clad objects rolling on Avery Drive, with tobacco-chewin', pick-up truck wielding rednecks cruising for the easy kill.

How to bike the BA, without really dying 101:

1) Use a rear-view mirror, preferably helmet-mounted. Bike mounts require taking eyes off the road, and shake too much with the bike.

2) Biking on the controlled-access roadways is really a matter of properly negotiating the on- and off-ramps. Most of the time, there's a very nice, wide 12-foot bike lane/shoulder.

Anticipate the off-ramps, at least a quarter mile prior.

3) Find a gap in traffic. Compensate for the effective distance of high-speed vehicles, deaccelerating.

4) Merge into the right outside travel lane and move to the middle, adjusting as necessary.

5) Stick one arm out, with the palm facing traffic, to slow it down.

6) The motor vehicle directly on your six plays interference. Other vehicle behind it will simply slow down, make a lane change, and pass. Oh sure, they might honk. So, wave back. ENJOY!

7) Negotiating on-ramps are much easier. Motorists are looking for trouble, before merging into traffic. Simply flick an eye backward. Yield. And, cross.

Give it a shot, Patrick. Santa can't be wrong. He's still rolling BA, at will.

10:59 AM  

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