Thursday, July 24, 2014

Best of Craigslist 2014-07-24

I did not write this post, I promise.

To The Cyclists on University - 27 (University)
Keep calm. Fellow cyclist here; not here to run you off the road.

So, we got bike symbols painted on University. Sweet! Maybe less people will harass us now that it's clear we actually belong in the street and not on the sidewalk.

Yeah, let me repeat that: now that we have bicycle arrows painted on the street, fellow cyclists, we need to be utilizing that resource. Not riding on the sidewalk anymore like a bunch of kids. I saw a mother out with her 5-year old daughter sharing the lane with cars today. If little girls can do it, you can do it.

We also need to be following the rules. Like adults. No one is going to support putting in more bicycle lanes if we keep blowing through intersections and acting like a bunch of arrogant, above-the-law, holier-than-thou assholes. And I'm as guilty as anyone of doing it, especially while riding in a pack.

Just because we finally got a little more space on the road doesn't mean we have to hog the whole lane. Sure, it's fun when we're in a pack of 4 or 5 and can own it so we feel safe. But the guy stuck behind us is gonna take it out on me when I'm alone. This is how most of our road rage horror stories probably start. Ride single file when there's a car back and just hold whatever it is you have to say until we get to where we're going.

North Dakotans are known for being nice; let's keep it that way.




Monday, July 14, 2014

Grand Forks 311

You can now submit problems and requests directly to the city of Grand Forks with a 311 mobile app(lication) and online.  It looks like they are using the PublicStuff platform, which looks a great deal like SeeClickFix but the city apparently pays for.

Glancing through the Android app, it looks like they are keeping up with some of the requests and there has been a fair amount of activity since the app launched three days ago (but the list also includes requests from the testing phase before launch).

You do not need to log in or create an account to create an issue, but you do need to have an account to "support" (thumbs up) a concern.

I plan to keep the SeeClickFix sidebar up, at least for East Grand Forks.

Submit issues or get the app here: http://www.grandforksgov.com/online-services/gf-311/report-a-concern


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Harbor Bay apartments activity

Drove over Columbia Road overpass yesterday and it looked like some excavating was going on for the Harbor Bay apartments.  I'm trying to find out whether they are still planning a pedestrian access to the overpass--it would make getting to campus a lot easier!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Herald for "bike lanes and developing mass transit"?

Tom Dennis' editorial in the Grand Forks Herald today is about electric cars, but he slipped in a little something else:
Money spent on one thing can’t be spent on something else; and in the case of electric-car subsidies, all kinds of other choices could have been made with that money, including spending it on environmentally friendly projects such as building bike lanes and developing mass transit.
I'm not out to paint Dennis and the Herald as having been against cycling infrastructure and mass transit, but I was surprised to see these statements in a town like Grand Forks, where people have had to fight hard to get concessions for alternative transportation.  Thankfully, the Herald goes against the popular notion sometimes.

(Although I'm generally in favor of electric vehicles (where they make sense), I can see the point.  The biggest name in electrics isn't Chevrolet and the Volt, it's Tesla Motors and whatever Elon Musk wants to do with it.)

Encouraging cycling for transportation and improving transit in Grand Forks/East Grand Forks would take a load (literally and figuratively) off our existing infrastructure by lowering the number of vehicles that pass over a given stretch of road per day.  It would reduce congestion as well--fewer drivers means fewer cars to be stuck behind.  Cycling can be part of a healthy lifestyle, at the very least would help people get 30 minutes a day of exercise.  Transit improvements help those of us with the lowest income--to get to school, to get to work, and maybe even to sell one of the two (or more) cars your family already owns.

It's unclear whether the powers that be would take back electric car subsidies and roll that money into more traditional alternative transportation, but you can't start if you don't have the idea.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bonus: Grand Forks City Council on "Bicycle Craze"

Council Member Sande stated not aware when biking became rage in Grand Forks, that he keeps hearing about bicycling from a variety of people with variety of points of view, none seem cohesive and wondering what it would take to get us on the same page about the bicycle craze. The MPO, the engineering department and Trail Users all seem to have their own agendas and process, because heard tonight that we connected the loop, that we created the dead-end ourselves by approving the 42nd Street bikepath and then the 24th bikepath that went no-where in the first place, so if going to connect the loops, why did we make a non-loop in the first place,; great if could review our current ordinances, apparently there are some regulations where not supposed to ride bikes on sidewalks, an unenforceable ordinance – should look at that and should have a sub-committee, a task force, with regard to bicyclists and come together and get a good plan to see if could get on the same page.
From the April 7th minutes.

MPO Commuter Profile: Comparing 2000 and 2012

MPO Commuter Profile by Kyle Economy.

Some good visualizations here, including this one that shows population changes in the different census tracts:
Is our urban core decaying?