Monday, December 10, 2012

Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community Feedback in 2008 and 2012

You may recall that in September of 2008, Salem was named a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

Renewal is every four years, and a couple months ago Salem maintained its bronze level citation.

I thought a comparison of the two sets of feedback might be interesting, but where I hoped for incisive commentary, there is instead cheerfully bland encouragement.

Comments are organized around the "five Es": Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation & Planning. In Salem's bronze citation of 2008 we were awarded marks for Engineering and Encouragement.

Plainly the city (both City of Salem proper and the community collectively) has made progress on some of them, has perhaps retreated on a couple (most notably in the dwindling Bike Safety Education program for kids), and probably just maintained the status quo on the bulk of them.

Here's the feedback from 2008:

LAB Bicycle Friendly Community Feedback 2008
Here's a short version of the comments:

  • Hire full-time Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator
  • Expand network connectivity through bike lanes, sharrows, signing, and low-traffic routes. Set targeted implementation rates.
  • Conform to current best practices
  • Adopt a complete streets policy
  • Offer more training for city staff on bike facility design and planning.
  • Increase amount of secure bike parking.
  • Create Community Bicycle Safety Campaign
  • Insert bike and motorist education into local government and utility mailings
  • Expand Bike Safety Ed for kids.
  • Offer adult bicycle education.
  • Create Safe Routes to Schools program.
  • City sponsorship, events, and programming in bike month
  • Create a Bike Ambassador program.
  • Organize and promote city loop rides.
  • Increase Mountain biking opportunities.
  • Create stronger connections between people who bike and police officers.
  • Schedule targeted "share the road" enforcement actions.
  • Increase Bike Counts and establish Social Marketing for bike use.
  • Deepen evaluation of Crash data and develop plan to decrease crashes.
And here's the feedback from 2012, just sent out by the LAB. (It's awkwardly in two-column landscape, so you'll want to go to "full page" display or to download the pdf.)  Many of the same bullets are repeated.

And even though the feedback is longer and prettier, to me too often it reads generically as boilerplate, and I'm not always sure it describes the Salem I know.

For example, please tell me in what Salem "Salem uses road diets to make roads safer for all road users"!

And this, "Bike infrastructure includes innovative facilities such as protected bike lanes, bike cut-thrus and bike boulevards, but lacks separated facilities such as protected bike lanes or cycle tracks" strikes me as incoherent with the repetition of "protected bike lanes" - either we have em or we don't!

And the fact is, we don't.

Anyhoo, I don't see anything strikingly new, do you?   But most important seems that indeed there's no great change from 2008.  Things are pretty much the same.Bfc Feedback 2012

1 comment:

Curt said...

That doesn't sound like the Salem I know either. Sounds nice though. Why didn't I take the blue pill?