Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Earlier this year members of the Town Board approved a resolution directing me to propose a sidewalk policy by September. I complied with the request. The Town Board held a community discussion on the proposal but hasn't made any changes in the draft proposal and hasn't approved any sidewalk policy. It's a difficult issue - people want sidewalks placed on other people's property. The following information (posted in the comments section) might be of interest to those of you who are concerned about school/pedestrian safety. I'd like to credit the NY Bicycling Coalition for the info.
In the comments section:
TEXAS Study: Bike lanes reduce weaving on roads...
National Center for Safe Routes to Schools Web site....
Transportation Alternatives Study

-Paul Feiner


Marc Herman said...

Texas Study: Bike Lanes Reduce Weaving on Roads

According to a Sept. 18th Univ. of Texas news release, "By studying the interactions of drivers and bicyclists on Texas roads, transportation engineers at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered that having painted bike lanes on streets and roads helps both commuters stay in safer, more central positions in their respective lanes. 'Without a marked bike lane, there appears to be a lot of uncertainty about how much space each person needs -- even when adequate road space is provided,' said Randy Machemehl, the Nasser I. Al-Rashid Centennial Professor in Transportation Engineering and director of the university's Center for Transportation Research (CTR), where the study was conducted. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) provided $114,000 for the study conducted on two- and four-lane roadways where bike lanes had been added.

"Cities such as Austin, Houston and San Antonio where the study was conducted are considering how to increase bicycle lanes as part of meeting federal requirements of the Clean Air Act. Before the study, little was known about the best approach for adding bike lanes to existing roadways for commuter comfort. TxDOT follows recommendations from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to have five-foot-wide bike lanes. However, existing roadways can be too narrow to retrofit that way. By studying videos of thousands of passing events involving 31 paid, volunteer cyclists, and combining that with data from other studies, CTR researchers determined the best approach for narrower, retrofitted roadways..."

The study is available at

2. National Center for Safe Routes to School Launches New Website

According to a Sept. 15th news release, "The National Center for
Safe Routes to School has launched a new Web site (
to assist communities in enabling and encouraging children to walk and
bicycle to school."

The Web site includes a Safe Routes to School Guide, NCSRTS Resources,
an "Ask a Question" feature, an Online Library, and a News Room.

"Established in May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School
assists communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk
and bike to school. The Center strives to equip Safe Routes to School
programs with the knowledge and technical information to implement safe
and successful strategies. The National Center for Safe Routes to
School is maintained by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety
Research Center with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration."

4. Transportation Alternatives releases the new study "Traffic's Human Toll."

Just as Donald Appleyard demonstrated in the '70s in San Francisco,
"Traffic's Human Toll" shows that New Yorkers today are negatively
impacted by traffic's often unseen quality of life impacts. The fact
that people living on high-traffic volume streets significantly alter
their behavior in their homes is particularly disconcerting.

The study is available on Transportation Alternatives' website at:

5. ProWalk ProBike Conference Site Launched with Presentations

If you weren't able to attend the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference last
month in Madison, Wisconsin, now you can check out some of the
presentations that were made. While it's not the same as being
able to ask questions of the presenter or network with other bicycle/
pedestrian advocates, at least you can download and view a
number of the presentations that were submitted following the

At the post-conference site you can also download a copy of the
conference attendee list, a veritable "who's who" of those working
in the pedestrian/cycling field.

Visit the post-conference site at:

6. Record Number of Schools Participate in Walk to School Day

In the USA, a record number of communities from all 50 states
participated in Walk to School Day on October 4, 2006. Over 2,200 events
were registered on the USA Walk to School Web site
( Of these registered events, 48 percent reported
that their Walk to School event was a part of an ongoing walking and/or
biking program and 47 percent reported that their event was part of a
Safe Routes to School program. On a global scale, this year's event saw
a record 40 participating countries and also marks the establishment of
the first International Walk to School Month.

To find out who walked in your community, please visit