== Bike-Walk Alliance of NH ==
August 2012: Federal funding for bike-ped cut -- what next?
you bike or walk in New Hampshire, there is something on this Bike-Walk Alliance
of NH web site that should be of interest to you! There is so much activity
here in the Granite State involving biking and walking it is difficult to
write about all of it. However, let's get started!
Highlights of August 2012 news follow:
No dedicated bike-ped funding in new Federal Transportation Bill
The following text was extracted from an email written by Jeff Miller, President and CEO of the Alliance for Biking and Walking in Washington DC.
are not going to let 20 years of progress in biking and walking come to a
Its true that the transportation bill, MAP-21, slashed guaranteed funding for biking and walking. But thanks to you and thousands of other advocates who called, wrote, and e-mailed Congress as the bill was being written, we are still very much in the game.
Our partners at the America Bikes coalition are committed to ensuring that states and local governments use every opportunity in the new law to increase the safety and convenience of biking and walking. Together, we can maximize biking and walking investments both under MAP-21s new Transportation Alternatives program and under the larger core transportation and safety funds.
We expect every state to fully fund, staff, and implement the new Transportation Alternatives program. Specifically, states should:
Fully fund: Do not transfer any funds away from Transportation Alternatives or opt-out of the Recreational Trails program.
Fully staff: Preserve or increase staff support for Transportation Alternatives by maintaining state Safe Routes to School coordinators and bike/ped coordinators.
Fully implement: Promptly award Transportation Alternatives grants with participation of relevant stakeholders.
Fully maximize the states investments in safe, accessible streets: utilize all MAP-21 funding programs including HSIP, CMAQ, and STP to include biking and walking in all transportation projects.
Fully spend remaining funds from the Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trails programs
are developing an action plan to coordinate our collective efforts for the
best results in every state. We are already working on a suite of tools and
resources to help you and your organization take full advantage of MAP-21.
We will alert you as those resources become available.
With your help and dedication over the coming weeks and months, the national renaissance in biking and walking will continue in communities all across the country.
Thank you for all that you do for biking and walking.
President / CEO
Alliance for Biking & Walking
PO Box 65150, Washington, DC 20035
@JeffreyBCMiller and @BikeWalk
NH Police conduct Bike Rodeo
Even while kids are on summer vacation from school, they were provided with some bike-ed training by the Bedford NH Police Department at their July 28 bike rodeo. BWA-NH was on-hand to distribute our "3 Feet Please" bumper stickers and various safety literature to adults. The more people who know and follow the rules of the road, the better and safer they are for everyone.
NH Bike Rodeo participants, July 28, 2012
Photo from "Madonna Lovett Repeta of Photography by Madonna,
"Photographer of the Year" Award from Professional Photographers of America
of the Road enforced
With many bicyclists being on the road in the middle of our summer season, we need to be aware that roadways are shared by all users and the rules of the road apply to everyone. Some recent conflicts between bicyclists and motorists required intervention by police, all because common-sense laws were not being followed - usually by the bicyclists. A good quick reference for the NH laws about bicyclist / motorists interactions is the "Don't be a Road Hog / Road Warrior" brochure produced by NH-DOT. (A downloadable version is available here.) More awareness and compliance with the rules of the road allow better, safer, and more enjoyable use of the roads whether on a bike or in a car.
Bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road into the flow of traffic continues to be the leading cause of bike-car crashes. The greatly reduced reaction time, higher closing rate of speed, and the cyclist approaching the motorist from an unpredictable location are the major factors. An on-going issue of cyclists "taking the lane" and riding two or three abreast for their pleasure, not safety when taking the lane is allowed by law, has prompted several NH communities to enact ordinances requiring bicyclists to ride single-file on all town roads. The state law allows riding two abreast in a single lane if not impeding traffic approaching from the rear, then to "single-up" when traffic approaches. Since that common-sense practice was not being commonly followed, certain towns now enforce single-file riding and will ticket cyclists who do not comply. Three NH seacoast-area towns are known to have this law and enforcement in place: New Castle, Rye, and Newington. The local laws apply to all cyclists including GSW Seacoast Century riders who will pass through Rye and Newington this year. Bottom line, a little common sense and courtesy can go a long way to make using our shared roadways safer and more enjoyable for everyone.
signs along a popular bike route in
Newington, NH -- and the ordinance is enforced!
GSW will post signs like the above along sections
of the Sept. 22-23 Seacoast Century route.
The NH "3-Foot Rule" requiring motorists to pass a bicyclist with at least three feet clearance at speeds up to 30 MPH plus another foot for every 10 MPH over 30 received a little more awareness via new signage erected in the Newport area. The Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission worked on this 4 x 8 foot signage program after five very serious crashes including three fatalities in the past 18 months. Additional efforts are underway concerning a vulnerable user law, something BWA-NH highly supports and will be pushing via legislation in the 2012-13 session.
"3-Foot Rule" shown graphically on a large
10 x 20 foot sign in Newport NH. (Photo by Andy Gould.)
Changes within NH-DOT
Christopher "Kit" Morgan, Administrator of Bureau of Rail and Transit which includes all bike-ped and rail trail projects, has retired after 24 years of service. BWA-NH, GSW, and NH-RTC have worked closely with Kit for many years. His retirement party on July 25 was held outdoors at the NH-DOT Hazen Drive facility with many bike-ped, rail trail, and other associates attending on a beautiful summer day. Note that Kit is a BWA-NH member who routinely commuted to work by bike. We wish Kit all the best and hope to ride with him on our roads and rail trails now that he will have more free time.
Morgan (left) at his retirement celebration on July 25, 2012 while
Director Patrick Herlihy looks over photos of Kit's 24 years with NH-DOT.
Patrick Herlihy is now Director of Aeronautics, Rail, and Transit, filling a position vacated by Jack Ferns last year with Mark Sanborn having been the Interim Director. An initial meeting with Director Herlihy was arranged by Charles Martin, author of the NH Rail Trails book and founder of the NH Rail Trails Coalition. After Kit's retirement party, NH-RTC President Diane Hanley and BWA-NH Director Dave Topham met with Director Herlihy to present an overview of NH rail trail efforts and general bike-ped projects involving NH-DOT. The meeting lasted over an hour. We look forward to working with Director Herlihy and his Bureau of Rail and Transit staff with Bike-Ped Coordinator Larry Keniston continuing to be our primary contact.
Director of Aeronautics, Rail, and Transit Patrick Herlihy
listened intently to NH Rail Trails Coalition President Diane Hanley
during the initial meeting on July 25, 2012. BWA-NH Director Dave Topham
also attended. (Note BWA-NH handouts on table.)
Director Patrick Herlihy and NH-RTC President
Diane Hanley "all smiles" at the conclusion of the
July 25, 2012 initial meeting.
Rail Trail Updates
August 8 update: NH Governor & Council approve Iron Horse Preservation Society (IHPS) to work in Salem.
This precedent-setting vote of approval was initiated on April 27, 2010 when BWA-NH arranged the first meeting between IHPS and NH-DOT. Many meetings, memos, emails, agreement drafts, insurance considerations, on-site inspections, property value, labor and material estimates, and legal aspects over the past two-plus years have now resulted in the Salem Bike-Ped Corridor construction work approved to start this year. The value of the old rail and other track material to be removed by IHPS is less than 50% the value of labor and material to be supplied by them to build the basic rail trail along 2.6 miles of the Salem 5.1 mile corridor. Many details have yet to be resolved at the local level, but the approval by the State of NH was the key step before work could start. Many people at the local, state, and advocacy levels should be thanked and feel proud that this milestone has been reached. The Town of Salem and the Friends of the Salem Bike-Ped Corridor (a 501c3 under BWA-NH) will be working with IHPS to make the project a reality. The actual resolution approved today follows:
- #148 Authorize the Bureau of Rail & Transit to enter into a Special
Agreement with the Town of Salem, to salvage surplus State-owned rail materials
with an estimated value of $198,750 in exchange for trail improvements along
2.6 miles of the States Manchester and Lawrence Railroad corridor with
an estimated project value of $405,416 for use by non-motorized transportation,
which will result in no cost to the State of NH. Effective upon G&C approval.
August 5 update: The Salem Bike-Ped Corridor project is one step closer to seeing actual construction now that NH-DOT has approved the Use and Occupancy Agreement. A second agreement to allow Iron Horse Preservation Society to remove existing old rail in exchange for building sections of the basic rail trail has been approved by NH-DOT and the AG's Office with a final approval required by the Governor's Council on August 8. Once fully executed, Salem must fund a $30K "silt barrier" along sections adjacent to wetlands before Iron Horse can start work, maybe in September or October.
The Londonderry Trailways group working to develop their section of the Manchester-Lawrence corridor into a useable rail trail received their Use and Occupancy Agreement from NH-DOT so they are now clear to proceed. Approval from the Dept. of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) had been received some time ago. Now all it takes is money, time, community support, and a lot of volunteer efforts to continue the dream of constructing the Granite State Rail Trail from Salem to Lebanon.
Bridge Project Update
With tourist season now underway, the hourly shuttle service between Portsmouth and Kittery was being filled more frequently and some passengers left behind, especially after the restaurants closed at night and people needed to go to Kittery for their overnight accommodations. To help compensate, an extra shuttle bus was added to the schedule on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 4:00 pm to midnight so a shuttle would be available every 30 minutes. There is no change to the hourly shuttle service on all other days. A new schedule is posted on signs in Portsmouth and Kittery, on the Memorial Bridge Project web site, and available here on this web site.
touring-class cyclists and random local bike commuters reportedly could not
wait for the next shuttle so they violated the law and used the Sarah Long
Bridge. While no one has been ticketed as yet to our knowledge, bikes and
peds should not be using the Sarah Long Bridge. Use was never "legal"
but now with the reduced lane width since new guard rail barriers have been
installed, safety concerns are greater than ever. The 28-mile
detour route through Dover NH may interest some cyclists.
Organized bicycling events including the GSW Seacoast Century on September 22-23 are avoiding the Portsmouth-Kittery crossing completely. The GSW will be using a route through Dover NH while still providing many miles of seacoast and river scenery in three states.
Update on Distracted Driving Awareness Efforts
The computerized distracted driving simulator owned by BWA-NH will be part of the main program at the joint GSW / BWA-NH general meeting on August 13 at our 57 Regional Drive office, Concord. Guests will be able to "take the wheel" to convince themselves and others that cell phones, texting, and impairments like drugs and alcohol do not allow for safe driving - and to show the consequences.
A second presentation using the simulator is scheduled for August 20 at the main NH-DMV office on Hazen Drive, Concord. The audience will be driver education instructors from around the state plus various police officers. Training in the use of four simulators available for free loan from the Injury Prevention Center at Dartmouth is available at the Safety and Health Council of Northern New England. BWA-NH supports the program, training, and simulator hardware maintenance efforts as we work together to raise awareness of distracted and impaired driving, one of the highest risks to bicyclists on our shared roadways.
For info about scheduling a free loan of the simulators or to arrange a presentation, see the Distracted Driving page on this web site.
Driving Simulator presentation set-up and system boxed for transit
by Jim Esdon at the NH Highway Safety Conference, Meredith, April 24, 2012.
"Traffic Skills 101" class in Portsmouth, September 3
Charlie LaFlamme of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine is offering a full day of training at the Trek Portsmouth store on Labor Day, September 3. Classroom training, parking lot practice of critical bike-handling skills, then group cycling on public roads lead to a quiz and road test to obtain certification. Cost is $75.00 with a $20.00 discount for BWA-NH, SABR, BCM, CNHBC, or LAB members. To register, go to www.bikeleague.org download the application and send it filled out with a check and proof of membership to any local bike organization to Charley LaFlamme, LCI # 285, P.O. Box 575, Moody, ME 04054, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-646-0635, cell 978-994-3691.
The TS-101 class is a prerequisite for anyone wishing to become a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor (LCI), the highest certification you can get for on-road cycling in the US. LCI seminars run for 2.5 days with the next one in this area planned for September 7-9 in South Portland, ME. Cost is $300.00 - see the LAB web site bike-ed page for more details and to register.
encourage all interested parties, cyclists or not, to speak up in favor of
improved bike-ped policies, education, and facilities. GSW members can renew
their membership for just $20.00 more than the basic GSW rate of $15.00 if
they wish to help financially with a tax deductible donation as our organization
is 501(c)(3) certified. To upgrade from GSW to BWA-NH status, please make
checks payable to "BWA-NH" as this automatically includes your full
GSW membership. Check out the membership
page on this web site.
Did you miss reading about what the BWA-NH has been doing in the past months and years? If so, check out our Archived News page.
BWA-NH On-Line Calendar
out our on-line calendar to see what
is planned around the state affecting the bike-ped community. We hope this will
enable more NH residents to learn what is planned for their communities and
be able to participate in the decision-making process.
Want to help the Alliance?
Join the Alliance as an individual or a sponsor, help with the bike-ed programs, and get involved with local planning issues affecting bicycling in your area. Learning what is planned for your community is critical to ensure roadways are designed or rebuilt to properly accommodate bicyclists. Get involved and help spread the word! The Alliance can help via use of our email list-serve system. You do not need to be an Alliance member to use this free service. The more people who know what is going on in our NH bicycling community, the sooner the better, then everyone can have their say in a timely manner to help make a positive difference for all bicyclists.
Did you know that by joining the Alliance your payment includes a fully-funded GSW membership with all the benefits? Present GSW members are encouraged to join the Alliance when your current membership is due for renewal. For more details please check out the membership page on this web site.
we can make a positive difference!