Promoting the bicycling lifestyle in The Buckeye State
Tag Archives: ohio
Senator Teresa Fedor of Toledo will introduce a bill on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 to modify Ohio revised code 4511.27(A) to require that motorists maintain a three-foot minimum clearance when passing bicycles.
Senators Fedor and Mark Wagoner and Ohio Bicycle Federation Chair Chuck Smith will announce the bill’s introduction during an 11:30 AM Tuesday press conference on the West Lawn of the State House in Columbus.
The bill is one of eight Ohio Bicycle Federation proposals to improve Ohio cycling given to Senator Fedor by Smith during a May 15-17 bicycle tour from Toledo to Columbus.
An article by Dana Wilson in the Columbus Dispath talks about the popularity and success of bicycle sharing programs on Ohio college campuses, including Ohio University in Athens, Ohio State University in Columbus, Oberlin College, and a new program being planned at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware.
From Columbus Business First:
Ohio Department of Transportation Director James Beasley on Thursday announced plans to retire next week.
Beasley, who served as Brown County engineer for 27 years before joining Gov. Ted Strickland’s cabinet in 2007, will serve his last day at ODOT Jan. 30. His replacement will be Jolene Molitoris, the department’s assistant director and chairwoman of the Ohio Rail Development Commission.
Strickland in a statement Thursday said Beasley made “lasting impacts” in his short time in office.
“He has led ODOT in a way that ensured integrity and ethics in the agency, instilled fiscal accountability and restraint, and modernized ODOT to think beyond just the highway system,” Strickland said.
During Beasley’s tenure, he broadened the focus of the department to include several modes of transportation, including bicycle and pedestrian. Molitoris said in a statement that she plans to further that work.
“As director, I look forward to working closely with our public and private partners to truly transform transportation and move Ohio into a prosperous new world,” she said.
Note: The following message was e-mailed to many people by a group called Healthy Transportation OH. We don’t know who this group is, but we support their message, and so are passing it on.
Each year, the bicycle/pedestrian community gathers in Washington, DC to share ideas and to speak with our Federal elected officials. A number of citizens from Ohio have made this trek and have tried for years to get an appointment with someone from Congressman John Boehner’s office. Neither the Congressman nor his staff has agreed to meet with their fellow Ohioans and constituents. Because he is the House Minority Leader, Representative Boehner is the second highest-ranking member of the U.S. Congress, and every American who walks or rides a bicycle is affected by his opinions.
On Sunday’s Meet the Press program, the Congressman’s anti-bicycle and anti-pedestrian stance became more public when he said “I think there’s a place for infrastructure. But what kind of infrastructure? Infrastructure to widen highways to ease congestion for American families? But if we’re talking about beautification projects or we’re talking about bike paths, Americans are not going to look very kindly on this.”
Apparently, the congressman believes urban sprawl is the answer. In his mind smog, pollution and asthma must be good things. In addition, he apparently:
- Ignores the numerous studies documenting that the overwhelming majority of Americans favor more bike paths
- Is ignorant of the obesity epidemic that causes diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and dozens of other chronic illnesses which are killing us and crippling our healthcare system
- Does not understand that bicycling, walking, and other non-automobile methods are valid transportation for people
- Cares nothing about the 33% of Americans who do not drive due to age, personal circumstances, physical impairment, or poverty
- Is not aware of the significant economic benefit that walkable / bikeable neighborhoods create or that more people walking and biking foster safer, more vibrant communities
- Fails to appreciate that the Cincinnati/Dayton area benefits from over 200 miles of multi-use paths that are shared by cyclists, walkers, joggers, families, seniors, and others
- Is unaware that two of the country’s Top 100 bicycle retailers are located in Cincinnati/Dayton
- Does not know that the Cincinnati/Dayton area is home of Ohio’s two largest bicycle clubs and numerous walking groups
- Does not care that the Ohio Bicycle Federation is headquartered in Dayton
Whether you are a seasoned bicycle commuter who doesn’t use bike paths, or an occasional rider who is intimidated by riding on streets, anyone who rides a bicycle or walks should take issue with his comments, the insulting tone in his voice, and his anti-bicycle / anti-pedestrian stance. His stance endangers not just bike paths, but also other projects, such as crosswalk improvements, better signage, new striping and sharrows, education programs, bicycle parking improvements, and multi-use paths.
With massive transportation and roadway projects expected soon, we need to remind our elected officials that streets, transportation systems, and infrastructure should include ALL users, not only cars and trucks.
The most effective communication tool in this case is the fax machine (they are inundated by e-mails and sending regular mail can take weeks to clear security). You can send a detailed letter, or you can send a simple handwritten note, such as “I Bike and I Vote!”
Here are the congressman’s fax numbers:
- 202-225-0704 (Washington, DC office)
- 513-779-5315 (local office #1)
- 937-339-1878 (local office #2)
To send a message to any other elected official, their contact info can be found on www.votesmart.org. Please also consider forwarding this e-mail to people you care about who ride a bicycle or walk.
I raced in the Sport class of The Big Valley Race (mountain bike race) held on the property of Camp Manatoc in Peninsula, Ohio. Thanks to my friend Amanda for the photos.