This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

It's like the bureaucratic seas parting!

      One of the dubious benefits of being a legendary eccentric bicycling around a Midwestern town, is the opportunity to shape the future, or at least attend and witness other people do real things of substance.   Sometimes I wonder why anybody even shares these events with me, but they do.  One of the privileges for which I was volunteered is the Citizen's Advisory Committee to the Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study (KATS).  (The longer the title the less meaningful the position)  The committee doesn't do a whole lot except comment on the work and proposals of KATS.
      This time around they have hit a home run or scored a bike polo goal or something.  They have finished several years of study and developed a non-motorized solution to our problems.  Found on their website,is an extensive document which outlines a detailed revision of the city streets including their best choices for non-motorized accommodations.  There are pages and pages of details but the most impressive part is the executive summary which explains the methodology and process by which they reached their conclusions.
The city map they produced demonstrates the pervasive extent of their research and designs.   Notable is the network of cycling facilities they propose.   What I find encouraging is the number of "bike boulevards"  compared to the limited number of "protected bike lanes" proposed.  I feel that "protected bike lanes" produce more problems than protection, at least the ones I have seen and used.
    It would be very simple to dismiss this whole project as a bureaucratic pie-in-the-sky meant to patronize the cycling community.  I have developed a truly cynical attitude towards most proposals I have seen, but this dog has real financial teeth.  KATS, the producer of the plan, is the gatekeeper for all the Federal funds which are siphoned into the community.  The State has adopted a "Complete Streets" policy which requires any jurisdiction to consider non-motorized needs when developing and funding any roadway project. With this document, the cities, county or townships will have an easy reference to improve non-motorized facilities and the need to follow those recommendations before applying for Federal funding which makes up 1/3 of the financing for transportation projects.
    I haven't seen or heard of a project like this in any other area and it certainly deserves a serious review by anybody interested in developing transportation.


  1. Wow, that is terrific. I truly hope that they follow through. What a revolution in transportation we could have if only more municipalities would make provision for non-motorized transport!

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