== Bike-Walk Alliance of NH ==
June 2012: Schools are out, but bike and drive safely!
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 June 2012 news follow:
may be out, but bike-ed classes continue
Public schools start their summer vacations this month, so what better time to become a better bicyclist? BWA-NH is hosting a two-day "Traffic Skills 101" class at our Concord office on June 23-24 for a total of about 12 hours. 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. Registration may be done on-line via this web site. Please see the TS-101 page for details and to register. Cost is $75.00 with a $10.00 discount for BWA-NH, SABR, BCM, CNHBC, or LAB members.
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.
Bicycle Friendly States ranking released
The 2012 Bicycle Friendly States Ranking marks the launch of an updated and improved evaluation process. Throughout 2011, the League held Bicycle Friendly America listening sessions across the country to understand the successes and shortcomings of the program. Based on public input, the Bicycle Friendly State survey was revised to give a clearer picture of a state's accomplishments and next steps towards becoming more bike-friendly.
New Hampshire's #22 ranking for 2012 was based on a number of key indicators, including infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; education and encourage programs that promote cycling; and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride. A "report card" stating the areas considered weak by LAB may be viewed here while a one-page summary of all state rankings maybe be viewed here. The detailed ranking of all states and their respective "report cards" is available on the LAB web site.
LAB BFS ranking system started in 2008 at which time NH was ranked #10, then
we went to 8, 6, 14, and now 22. Of note is that New Hampshire did not suddenly
become much worse for bicycling but the scoring criteria changed. For example,
the state not having "dedicated funding" for bike-ped projects is
true but millions of dollars have been allocated for these projects via TE,
RTP, CMAQ, and SRTS grants - but grants are not "dedicated funding."
Also, from 2008 to 2011 the state did not have a bike-ped advisory committee
(BPAC) but the group is being revitalized in 2012 - and BWA-NH is behind the
effort. Two projects under consideration for the "new" BPAC to act
upon are the statewide bicycle plan (last updated in 2000) and a statewide
Complete Streets policy. The BPAC, statewide bike plan update, and a statewide
Complete Streets policy are all listed as points for improvement on the "report
card." So while NH is #22 this year, we are pleased to be living
and cycling in this state and to see many efforts underway to make our cycling
environment even better in future years.
Bridge Project update
Note: See the latest Memorial Bridge project updates on this web site and on the official NH-DOT / Maine DOT project web site.
With tourist season now underway, the hourly shuttle service between Portsmouth and Kittery is being filled more frequently and some passengers are left behind, especially after the restaurants close at night and people need to go to Kittery for their overnight accommodations. To aid "touring-class" cyclists traveling long the seacoast route (part of US Bike Route 1 and the East Coast Greenway), signs have been posted directing them to the shuttle stops. Cyclists using tandems, recumbents, and trikes may encounter problems when attempting to use the shuttle service but there have been no such reports as yet. Bicyclists are banned from using the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge so they must either take the shuttle bus or pedal the 28-mile detour route through Dover NH. BWA-NH is monitoring the situation but can do nothing more than report the facts and try to deter bicycling groups from trying to make the Portsmouth-Kittery crossing until the new Memorial Bridge is functional, supposedly in July 2013. The Granite State Wheelmen is planning their 39th annual Seacoast Century to use the "Dover detour" for this one year and modify other sections of the route to keep the total distance close to 100 miles while still providing a good "seacoast experience" for nearly 1,600 cyclists.
The shuttle frequency has been doubled from noon to midnight on Thursdays,
Fridays and Saturdays from June 15 until at least Labor Day, September 3.
new schedule is posted on signs in Portsmouth and Kittery, on the Memorial
Bridge Project web site, and available here
on this web site.
Update on Distracted Driving Awareness Efforts
With school systems now in the summer vacation period, driver's education schools, police departments, NH-DMV, and major companies including UPS and PSNH are scheduling training and free loans of the four Injury Prevention Center distracted driving simulators or presentations by BWA-NH using our simulator and a projection system. This effort will continue throughout the year while the public school demand is low. For more information about the simulators and the free loan program, visit the Distracted Driving page on this web site.
On April 11, BWA-NH participated in the second full day of the statewide Safety and Health Conference as held at the Grappone Center in Concord. Another full day conference in Meredith on April 24 as sponsored by the NH Traffic Safety Agency also highlighted the dangers of distracted and impaired driving. At both conferences, the distracted driving simulators were demonstrated by the Injury Prevention Center staff of Dartmouth and BWA-NH with a very high-level of interest. School systems, driver's education schools, police departments, and major companies including UPS and PSNH are now scheduling training and free loans of the IPC simulators or presentations by BWA-NH using our simulator and a projection system. This effort will continue in June when the public school season is basically over and the simulators are available. 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.
Trails and Walking go together
With June 2 being National Rail Trails Day, here in NH we had a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new section of the Derry Rail Trail. A new "pocket park" right behind the former Derry Depot was completed last month by the Derry Rail Trail Alliance and community volunteers. Just across the border but on the same Manchester-Lawrence corridor, the Methuen Rail Trail Alliance had their ribbon cutting to denote their new trail extending through the city from Lawrence MA to Salem NH. The basic work on this rail trail was done by the Iron Horse Preservation Society at no cost while many volunteers have contributed hundreds of hours to make the trail a reality. Next, work in Salem is to get underway this season once all permits and agreements are in place. Within the next two years, cycling mostly off-road on the rail trail should be possible from downtown Derry to Lawrence for a distance of about 15 miles.
1-7 is "Walk NH" week with many walking events planned around the
state. For a complete
schedule and more information, please visit the Walk
NH web site.
on-line payment processing now available
BWA-NH is pleased to now offer (finally!) an on-line payment option for sponsorships and other offerings. Payments for the Traffic Skills classes and BWA-NH merchandise are possible via the same form on the "Join Now" page by using the "Other" option. For those wishing to "be green" and not have the printed bi-monthly newsletter "Pedal Talk" mailed to you, an on-line option tied to your membership is now available. Please contact the BWA-NH office at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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!