Participate! Make your voice heard: We want safer roads!!

6th Annual

Register NOW for

“Can You See Us NOW?”

Bicycle Parade for Traffic Safety!

Who:  YOU!  This four-mile bicycle parade is something any cyclist can do.

What: This bicycle ride travels down Route 66 with full police escort at a speed slow enough for cyclists of all ages and abilities!!!

When: September 28, 2014. Bicycle Parade begins at 1:00 pm.

Rally at Tiguex Park, 2:00-3:00 pm, will include

Light refreshments

Music

Fun giveaways!

 Where: Start is from University and Coal SE, CNM campus parking by Smith Brasher Hall.

 Why:  The purpose of this bicycle parade is to bring greater awareness of cyclists on the road and increased traffic safety for all road users.

How:  Sign-up online or in person.  Preregistration at http://www.newmexicosportsonline.com/Cycling/6th-Annual-Can-You-See-Us-NOW-2014/789

The event is free, but donations are welcome to help us cover expenses.  With a donation of $5.00 or more you can complete your registration online and have no day-of paperwork.  (Electronic signatures, as per our insurance company’s requirements, are only accepted when accompanied by a financial transaction.)

If you are unable to donate at this time, it is still helpful to complete the online registration.  You will then need to stop by and complete your release before the event at the start area, University and Coal SE, from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm..

Day-of registration can also be done at the start area, University and Coal SE, from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.

Riders will need to wear a helmet.

Costumes and bicycle “floats” welcome.


Another great event THIS weekend, September 20: www.SandiaScoot.org

 

 


Why “Can You See Us NOW?”:

  • This call for improved Traffic Safety will be heard by City and State government officials in proportion to its impact.
  • The impact of this event depends on the turnout.
  • The turnout depends on you.

Examples abound from cities and states across the U.S. on efforts aimed at improving Traffic Safety in general, with special focus on bicycle and pedestrian safety (see links below).

Here in Albuquerque though, not so much.

That is why the 6th Annual “Can You See Us NOW?”  Bicycle Parade down Route 66 is focused on Traffic Safety.

Duke City Wheelmen invites you to join us September 28, 2014 at 1:00pm to show your support for increased Traffic Safety.

Register NOW!

Safety Efforts elsewhere in the U.S.

 Los Angeles, California

Jacksonville, Florida

Boise, Idaho

Tyler, Texas

Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

 Salt Lake City, Utah

Arizona

 Colorado

Again and again in these efforts the idea that “we all just want to get where we are going safely” crops up.  And with good reason.  Who doesn’t want to be safe?

Despite the fact that NM or ABQ Government isn’t taking a lead in promoting Traffic Safety, we can take measures ourselves.  Here are four simple ways each one of us can contribute:

1)    Focus On Driving.  Put away distractions before you start the engine or pedal off.

2)    Practice Active Visual Scanning.  To see all road users in plenty of time, avoid a fixed focus only on what is directly ahead.

3)    Communicate with other road users.  Signal, wave and say thank you.  Help them understand what you will do next.

4)    Be a Predictable Driver.  You will create fewer surprises and increase your safety and the safety of others. Knowing and following traffic laws is the place to start for this one.


In the world of promoting Traffic Safety, there are the 3 E’s.

  1. Engineering
  2. Education
  3. Enforcement

The “Three E’s” are based on a simple idea that many are already familiar with; different people learn by different means.  Want to reach enough drivers to improve the overall Traffic Safety?  Use as many means as possible.

NMDOT Department of Traffic Safety has unveiled an anti-texting and driving campaign aimed to educate drivers on the new Statewide ban on texting and driving.  They have also been responsible for some motorcycle safety awareness building, but no efforts that I know of to build public consciousness about bicycle or pedestrian safety.

Bike lanes, multi-use paths and bike routes are all engineering efforts.  Some in the City are good, but as any street cyclists knows all too well, many bike lanes end at the place you need them most, at intersections!  NMDOT gives us edge-to-edge shoulder pavement in some places like Tramway Blvd and parts of NM333/Route 66 in the Tijeras Canyon region.   Sadly though, edge-to-edge paving and other infrastructure improvements are NOT the rule in New Mexico.

Except for the laudable education efforts of Chuck Malagodie and others with City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department and the Esperanza Community Bicycle Shop, we have seen very little from the City of Albuquerque to promote Traffic Safety.

In fact, the City of Albuquerque has taken traffic law enforcement off the table for the Albuquerque Police Department.

“The number one goal for the Albuquerque Police Department is crime prevention and we really want them working on that, traffic issues, we’d rather work with,” said Michael Riordan, acting director of the city’s Municipal Development Department. “There’s 3 E’s: engineering, education and enforcement, and we’re trying to do as much engineering as we can to limit what they have to do. APD has 19 officers devoted to traffic.”

That was as of a year ago, August 2013.  I’m told that now, August 2014, the Traffic Division of APD has 12 officers.

Although Traffic Safety does receive some attention from City and State officials, it isn’t enough.  Right NOW, traffic safety needs YOU!

Register NOW!!


Imagine if everyone concerned about traffic safety and the safety of cyclists rode together on September 28…

You, your friends and family, multiplied by the thousands….

Think about the statement that would make…

Do you want our City policy makers to take traffic and cyclist safety more seriously?  Come SHOW your concern.

Without YOU, this success of this event won’t be what it should be.

You can sign-up today, right NOW in fact.

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Separate and UNEQUAL

In April and again in June people using multi-use paths in Santa Fe that cross Rail Runner tracks rode out into the path of an oncoming train.  These two individuals died.  These multi-use paths have no safety arms or warning lights of their own.

On the other hand, people using city streets in Santa Fe while (typically) driving motor vehicles, encounter warning lights and arms specifically designed to stop them from driving into the path of the very same trains.

No one questions the presence of these safety devices on streets or highways.  Departments of Transportation across the country realize that people need help in avoiding these collisions.  Rail Runner/street crossings that don’t have arms or warning lights have been sites of motor vehicle/train crashes elsewhere in the State (between Los Lunas and Belen).  Pedestrians have been killed at other unmarked crossings in Bernalillo County.

When considering multi-use paths, it isn’t accurate to think only cyclists use them.  Path users routinely include children, elderly, disabled people, or those without the means or inclination to drive a motor vehicle.  They also include those crazy enough to exercise outdoors – cyclists, runners, walkers, roller bladers, etc.

Are any of us really comfortable saying that this diversity of path users should be held to a higher personal standard for their safety at a track crossing compared to motor vehicle drivers?  Said another way;

Why not protect all road and path users equally?

A website devoted to train track crossing safety posted A motorist is almost 20 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train than in a collision involving another motor vehicle.   Comfortably, I’ll say that the likelihood of a path user dying from being hit by a train is even higher.

These crashes are always difficult to understand.  What are people thinking?  How can they not see or hear the train?  Both the recent victims of bicycle/train collisions lived in Santa Fe.  How could they not know about the trains!?

You might think that the closer we are to home the more familiar we are with potential hazards, like on-coming trains, and the better we would be at avoiding those hazards.  If you do think that, think again.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at U.S. DOT:

Three out of four crashes occur within 25 miles of a motorist’s home.  Fifty percent of all crashes occur within five miles of home.

What this says to me is that people are, well, people.  We make mistakes.  We get comfortable with what is the most familiar and sometimes that lets us drop our guard.  While this can be a good thing in an interpersonal relationship, it isn’t so good with respect to traffic safety.

As people, we are all quite susceptible to falling into that zoned out, less observant state of mind.  I feel that equal protection from our own potential foibles is in order, no matter how we choose to be mobile on a given day.

I just can’t advocate for separate but unequal.

Ghost Bike for Michael Wolff

On Friday evening Duke City Wheelmen will place a ghost bike for Michael Wolff. He was hit while cycling on June 6, 2014 and passed away due to the injuries he sustained on June 14, 2014.

The ghost bike will be dedicated at 6:30 pm. This is the same time, and day of the week, that Michael was hit.

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The family extends an open invitation to cyclists, and people concerned about traffic safety in general, to come to this ghost bike installation.

The driver of the car who hit Wolff fled the scene after the crash. Due to the diligence of Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Officers, 21 year-old Shilo Sap has been identified as the driver of the vehicle that hit Wolff. Sap has been arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in great bodily harm/fatality and careless driving.

Michael Wolff’s ghost bike will be the 30th that Duke City Wheelmen have placed in New Mexico for cyclists who have died while riding, from as long ago as 1984.

Directions:

The bike will be placed near a small memorial already at the crash site, in a location visible from the road. Sandia Trailer Sales & Service, 1435 HWY 333/Route 66, is a landmark close to where the crash occurred. The owners of East Mountain Dance, 1427 HWY 333/Route 66, have opened their parking lot to those driving to the dedication. To get to the site, take I-40 east bound from Albuquerque. Exit I-40 for NM-333 toward Sedillo, exit number 181. The ghost bike installation site is about 2.5 miles east of the I-40 exit #181.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 3.05.02 PM

Albuquerque Police Department

At least three cyclists were pulled over while riding on the Tramway shoulder on March 25 and were warned (no citation) by the APD Officer that what they were doing was illegal.  He told them to “look it up” when he was asked what ordinance he was enforcing.

“He said they were just giving out warnings now, and about to start handing out tickets.”  This seems very reminiscent of what the cycling community went through a few years back….

City Council office (768-3100) provided the following info:

Ord. # O-11-46 was passed (8 in favor, 1 opposed) by City Council on 3/21/2011: Amending Sections 8-2-1-44(A) And 8-3-3-6 ROA 1994 To Remove The Prohibition On Bicycles Using Limited Access Roadways That Have Not Been Posted To Prohibit Bicycles

The ordinance was signed into law on April 5, 2011 by Mayor Berry.

If you care to find the ordinance, go to www.cabq.gov/council

(On left hand side choose “legislation”, then click on the link for “pending & adopted legislation” enter the ord #, the year (2011) and then click on “search”)

The Foothills APD station it turns out is the “home” station for Officer Riley (car L61) who pulled the cyclists over

This is minor to being shot by APD, but it is all part of the same problem.  There is new information in the news that reveals problems with the training candidates receive.  In addition to issues with the training, APD has lost so many senior officers, there is almost no one there for the long period of on-the-job training it takes for rookies to become good officers. With the Justice Department investigation ongoing & moral at rock bottom, recruiting quality candidates to the job is also a huge problem.   Also, you can be sure that no officers are receiving the specialized training it takes to investigate a crash involving a motor vehicle and a bicycle or pedestrian.

All this in turn leads to a breakdown of police effectiveness across the board, from traffic safety to burglaries or other policing issues. These police shootings are the most outrageous, but everywhere you look APD is compromised.  All of us are affected; this is not an issue just for the “homeless.”

For cyclists and pedestrians, the way that the Traffic Division is compromised leads to a lack of due diligence when investigating motor vehicle/bicycle or pedestrian crashes.  This in turn will make it virtually impossible for anyone to be charged when there are severe crashes that result in great bodily harm or death.   In addition, unlike a 1997/98 APD effort to actually enforce traffic laws today we have an “engineering” approach to bringing traffic under control.

This is a big issue.  Most people are not aware of the extent of the problem within the Albuquerque Police Department.  One way this all impacts cyclists and pedestrians is that the Traffic Division comprises the only people who have any chance at all to tell the stories of victims of severe crashes.  Without training and being able to accurately document crash scene evidence, no accurate picture can be painted of what happened and victims have no voice.

I’m not anti-cop.  What I want from APD is for the officers to be able to do (so much) more than pull the trigger.

Jennifer Buntz

Hey Albuquerque! What about multi-modal traffic??

Report from the GARTC meeting:

The members of the Greater Albuquerque Recreational Trails Committee are not any happier about the I-25/Paseo project’s bike/ped facilities.  Or the “50 Mile Activity Loop” a.k.a. “50 Mile Bike Loop” (I have my own name for this particular plan, but it doesn’t belong here.)

Neither of these projects will improve the safety of cyclists or pedestrians.  They don’t support the goals or objectives of the City of Albuquerque On-Street Bicycle Plan.  They won’t make it any easier for people to choose to ride a bicycle instead of drive their vehicle.  There will be no impact on the livability of Albuquerque.  Both projects had/have potential, but with the current mentality of the decision makers in Albuquerque City Government, the potential is going to be lost.

Check back for more details.

*********************************

There are 3 important topics for discussion at the GARTC meeting Tuesday.
All these issues will have long term impact on the
SAFETY and QUALITY
of cycling in ALBUQUERQUE.

GARTC – Greater Albuquerque Recreational Trails Committee – March 18, 201
4:00-6:00 p.m.  1801 4th St. NW, Building A, Parks & Recreation Department

Meeting Agenda

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Approval of March 18, 2014 Agenda
  • Approval of February 18, 2014 Minutes
  • General Announcements
  • New Business/Presentations
  1. Bert Thomas P.E. and Mike Smelker, P.E.(Bohannan Huston and NMDOT) – NMDOT I-25/Paseo del Norte Interchange Project
  2. Savina Garcia, P.E. (Wilson and Company, Inc.) and Linda Rumpf (COA/Planning Department) – 50 Mile Activity Loop Update.
  3. Carrie Barkhurst (COA/Planning Department) – Bikeways and Trails Facility Plan.

Public Comment
To make a public comment at this meeting you must request at least 24 hours prior to scheduled meeting, please email James at jlewis@cabq.gov or call at 768-5325
(Public input is limited to 2 Minutes)

**********************************************************************************************************

Multi-modal traffic:  Some cities get it.  ABQ doesn’t.Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission Gets it!

TORONTO gets it:  “… we calculated that in 2006 alone the economic burden of congestion amounted to $3.3 billion and $2.7 billion in lost opportunities for economic expansion. These economic, social and environmental costs will more than double over the next quarter-century if not addressed.”

People in NORTH CARLIONA get it:  “We need to start focusing on fostering a sustainable compact community with multi-modal transportation systems instead of focusing and catering to an environment built soley around using an automobile to go everywhere.”

Why: Because ABQ residents want our city streets that facilitate all forms of transportation.Albuquerque Journal.  Monday, March 10, 2014.  Page A4.

ATALE OF TWO WAYS TO TRAVEL: One got a ringing endorsement from officials last week, the other is fighting to get their attention tonight.

CITY GETS BRT GREEN LIGHT: First, the Federal Transit Administration has approved Albuquerque’s plans for Bus Rapid Transit along Central Avenue — and that can mean big federal matching dollars.

Unlike ABQ Ride, the bus system that is already a success on Central (that corridor accounts for 42 percent of all city riders), BRT would allow riders to buy tickets before they get on the bus, board quickly because the platforms are level with the floor of the vehicle, and travel in dedicated lanes with a driver who can communicate with traffic signals to reduce delays.

It’s like an e-ticket to your destination, whether that’s Old Town, Downtown, the University of New Mexico or Nob Hill.

According to the BRT Policy Center, BRT “service is frequent enough that passengers do not need a schedule” and “can operate at speeds nearly twice as fast as conventional buses and roughly equivalent to light rail, getting people quickly to their destination.”

Cleveland has BRT on its Euclid Avenue, a system Mayor Richard Berry has referred to often as a model. That city says its system runs passengers 24-7 down a 6.8-mile corridor to 58 stops including “the city’s cultural and educational institutions, medical and business centers, and all the mom and pop shops in between.”

The policy center says “BRT systems have capital and operating costs substantially lower than rail” and “can be developed incrementally, allowing systems to be installed over time as community needs and demands change.” And considering federal matching dollars could pick up a big chunk of the tab, a next-generation bus system seems to make more fiscal, transportation and economic development sense for Albuquerque taxpayers than the failed streetcar attempt of a prior administration.

A 2011 feasibility assessment would have Albuquerque’s BRT run on the Central median from 98th Street to Tramway Boulevard. The city says in a news release it plans to host public meetings over the next year “about BRT and the important part it can play in the vitality of our city’s future.”

CYCLISTS FLASH A YELLOW WARNING ON PASEO PLANS: Yet at the same time the city is working on alternatives to single-occupant motor vehicle traffic on Central, there’s a controversy coming to a head about ensuring cyclists and pedestrians have safe routes in the final Paseo del Norte/Interstate 25 rebuild.

Today, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Room 7096 of City Hall, it’s time to talk about what the state Department of Transportation has deemed “last design aspects.” Attendees are expected to include folks from the Greater Albuquerque Bicycle Advisory Committee, Duke City Wheelmen, Albuquerque’s Department of Municipal Development, as well as home office staff from Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall and Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

It is important this missing segment of bike lanes be done in a smart manner — cyclists can already travel quickly and safely along Paseo from Coors to just west of Jefferson. There it gets challenging at best, with heavy truck traffic on El Pueblo, a busy Jefferson and — gulp — the interstate.

Cyclists will again present their concerns about the current proposal, which has changed from a bridge over the whole interchange to a route that Duke City Wheelmen President Jennifer Buntz describes as “a lot like running through a maze.”

And a dangerous one at that, with no barrier between the motorized vehicle frontage road and the bike path (should we order ghost bikes now and beat the rush?), cyclists expected to ride on sidewalks against traffic, with a guardrail on one side and a steep drop on the other (a pedestrian collision waiting to happen), an 8 percent grade on the bridge over the interstate (the steep pedestrian bridge over the river at Interstate 40 is just 5 percent), and no color or textural delineation of bike lanes from car lanes (just check out the vehicle tire marks in bike lanes around town to see why it’s needed).

Buntz’s point is not to bust the $93 million rebuild budget — she says the bike component “could be done much better within the financial constraints that are present” if the design-build team would allow a cycling perspective at the table.

“With the proximity of Railrunner/bus transit and the high number of employers in the I-25/Paseo area,” she explains, “there is a golden opportunity to support the last mile of a commuters journey with safe, direct and efficient bicycle and pedestrian facilities in this area.”

The city is busy gearing up the next generation of mass transit with an eye toward quite literally driving economic development. It would be great to see that kind of vision on Paseo as well.

Great SUCCESS! with Early Season Bike Swap

0201140954peepsWith several hundred people in attendance, many items were sold.  The day, aided by Mimmo Espresso coffee, was a great opportunity to talk with old friends and make new ones.  People were socializing, catching-up and making cycling plans for the spring.

0201140954b-peeps

But we shouldn’t forget that the first purpose of putting this event on for DCW was to raise money for the work we do at Noon Day Ministries, fixing bikes and making them safer, for homeless or near-homeless bicycle riders.

To that end, we raised $440.00 from bicycle sales fees and table space rentals.

Big “Thank you” to some special supporters of the ESBS scalo bikesmithScalo Veloce Cycling Team & Bike Smith

Thanks everyone who came out.

Mike Humphries, Trek Superstore Manager, was happy with the event too and we are already making plans for next year!

trek

Bike Swap February 1st

Early Season Bike Swap

9:30 am Saturday, February 1, 2014

 

All cyclists welcome!

Proceeds will benefit bicycle riders from

Noon Day Ministries

Sign-up for a table – bikefunsafe at gmail dot com

from NDM website

There will be a bike swap at Trek Superstore on Saturday February 1st.  Tables will be available for $20.00 and you can sign-up by emailing me.  There aren’t any other fees or service charges to sellers or buyers.  Sign-up is only necessary so that we have enough tables for everyone.  Doors open for sellers at 9 am and for buyers at 9:30, continuing till 1:00 pm.

trek

Proceeds will benefit the outreach of Duke City Wheelmen, together with the folks from Trek, to bicycle riders who receive services at Noon Day Ministries.
You will need to be ready with your own cash box and all the unwanted bike parts you can find in your garage.  Trek is helping me publicizing this Bike Swap but we can always use your help getting the word out to as many cyclists as possible.
If you end up with items that don’t sell, you can consider donating them to DCW.  Previous donations like this have been used in two main ways.  We use what we can to fix and improve bikes the come to us at Noon Day and items that don’t work for that use are sold.  Funds from these sales help to purchase the lights, reflective stickers, tires, tire liners and other items we use at Noon Day.  We have been working once a month at Noon Day since July 2012.
Our next day there will be January 20, 2014, from 9:00 am to about 12:00 pm.  Stop by to check it out if you are in the neighborhood!
Thanks everyone for all your support of this and other DCW efforts.
Ride On!
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abqjournal.com-Bike_Safety_for_the_Needy

Extra attentiveness can help keep you holidays happy

This time of the year traffic always seems to get a little crazy.  As I worked on freshing up the flowers on Michael Ryan’s ghost bike today, I noticed the traffic.  Mike was riding in a bad place, but as we know, that doesn’t always matter.

Just stay alert out there, car, bike, truck, two feet, etc.

locationJust think if Albuquerque had spent 1% of its traffic infrastructure investments on alternative means of transportation….IMG_20131204_153408_733Michale Ryan

 

IMG_20131204_161714_581Matt Trujillo

IMG_0559Paula HigginsIMG_20131204_141048_710Chris Ore

 

IMG_20131204_110901_826Adam Hollander