Saturday, February 16, 2019

Roundhouse Rally is Upbeat as Safety Bills Move Through Committees

There was good news today as bicyclists and motorcyclists rallied at the Roundhouse. Both HB 109, the careless driving enhanced penalty bill and HB 192, the five foot passing bill, made it through the House Judiciary Committee with flying colors. We need to keep pushing those bills forward.

Thanks again to all who attended, and especially to the New Mexico Motorcycle Rights Organization for their annual sponsorship of this rally and their warm welcome to bicycling interests. Also, thanks to all the bicycling interests that pitched in, including Duke City Wheelmen, Bike Santa Fe, BikeABQ, LA Bikes Blog, Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico, New Mexico Touring Society. A special thanks to Tony Farrar and NM Bike-N-Sport for again hosting the pre-rally staging and lunch.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Get Ready For This Year's Roundhouse Rally

Hear ye, hear ye! I'll post any changes here as I hear of them.

New Mexico Motorcyclist
Rights Organization
16th Annual
Saturday February 16, 1pm – 2pm
Bicyclists will rally from NM Bike N Sport (Thanks, Tony!)

We will have lunch, then ride or walk to the NM Round House Rotunda, State Capitol Building, 490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501. This annual event draws attention to bicycle and motorcycle safety on NM streets and highways. The New Mexico Motorcyclist Right Organization is the main event sponsor.

Duke City Wheelmen, Bike Santa Fe, BikeABQ, LA Bikes Blog, Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico, New Mexico Touring Society & New Mexico Bike Summit are joining with NM Bike-N-Sport to provide transportation support, hosting, and LUNCH for cyclists.

Albuquerque Bicyclists: You can meet at 8:10 am at Downtown Railrunner Station: Ride Rail Runner to Santa Fe. Email: to have the fare paid!! If you will be getting on the Rail Runner at another station, please let us know ahead of time. Departs 8:30am

10:10 am - Bicyclists can do a 20 mile ride with Chris Marsh starting from the Santa Fe Depot Station and joining the lunch at Bike N Sport at Noon.

11:00 am - NM Bike N Sport (504 W Cordova Rd): Meet for LUNCH and then walk or bicycle to the New Mexico State Capitol Building (bring a bike lock - No bicycles in the Capitol)

1:00 pm - Rally starts. New Mexico State Capitol Building (490 Old Santa Fe Trail): The rally will pay tribute to 2018 victims of crashes who were motorcycling or bicycling in New Mexico. Ongoing advocacy efforts to improve road safety will be highlighted, including current legislation under consideration.

Albuquerque cyclists. Return to Albuquerque: Rail Runner will depart from Santa Fe Depot Station at 3:15, 8:10 & 10:14pm & South Capitol Station at 3:20, 8:15, & 10:19pm.


House Memorial 10 is a recognition of the importance of bikepacking to cultural resources, physical activities, conservation, and tourism. It points out the importance of road and trail connectivity to bikepacking and forwards the memorial, should it pass, to the secretaries of economic development and tourism. It has no other action item involved in it.

House Bill 109 is a bill that increases the penalties for careless drivers who injure or kill. It moves the sentencing of careless driving that kills or injures from the traffic code (66-8-7) to what looks like the criminal code (31-19-1).

House Bill 192 is the safe passing bill. It requires a bicyclist to be given five feet of clearance when passing and also allows a motorist to cross the double line to pass a bicyclist when it is safe to do so. I think the combination of those two points is important.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Martin Luther King Day

Its a lunar eclipse and Martin Luther King Day Weekend. Sometimes these things come together. My doctoral program was in serious part funded by NASA's lunar program. But in the sixties and seventies, cities were burning and a lot of Americans had it worse than I did and never had the chance to head off to a great graduate program. So here goes.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Happy Eve of Christmas Eve

I'm not sure Santa is going to find very many places to land a sleigh in these parts, but the sunny and mild weather made for a nice day on the bike. Get your biking in while you can, as its supposed to return to winter later this week.

East end of the Spur Trail where it meets the Rail Trail

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Proper Urban Planning Prevents Piss Poor Transportation Performance

Sources and credits as above in the figure.
   A bit of good news out of the City Different yesterday. The city Planning Commission approved plans for a rental complex near the Railyard for folks who don't own cars, i.e., the plans don't include parking. The advantages to this sort of infill planning are many.  We can get more property tax dollars per developed acre. We get more people into less space since we aren't building out and housing more cars and garages. We cut down on the need for crosstown car traffic and therefore we don't need more vehicle lanes. (Of course, this presumes stores will locate where the people are rather than building malls at the outskirts of town--separate planning issue.) We grow more efficient, transportation-wise, by building more housing that allows people to take short walkable and bikeable trips for their needs rather than long ones. Strong Town's Chuck Marohn would be proud. I suppose Uber, Lyft, the e-bike companies, et al are happy too.

Having coffee supplies at an easy biking distance 
is important. And fun. (and yes, this is a free and 
unsolicited plug for Iconik.)
Contrast that with the recent discussion to turn Richards Ave into a continuous arterial in order to service the outlying development to the south and southwest. That idea, i.e., to hook up the two ends of Richards, would turn a quiet set of neighborhoods into ones buzzing with car traffic, even if traffic is calmed via engineered slowing of the de facto speed limit.

"...expansion on the suburban fringe, is fiscally ruinous for our communities, largely because of the colossal mismatch between the new public infrastructure those homes on the suburban will need and the tax actually generated by new suburban construction..."--Daniel Herriges, in Strong Towns

There are a lot of problems with sprawling outward. It gets you less taxpayers per acre for  those utilities (roads, water, sewerage, electric and gas, etc) that someone has to maintain once the infrastructure gets old and the developer has left with cash in his pocket. It requires auto transportation for those long distance trips (see Albuquerque) and therefore more roads and parking. With less active transportation, you don't get the health benefits of biking or strolling to the coffee roaster's place. (With a compact city, we have quite a few of those coffee shops in the City Different including Betterday right here in Casa Solana.) And of course with more transportation requiring car travel, you get more CO2 emissions contributing to the dynamics of climate change. Surface transportation is already a major pipeline getting sequestered carbon deposits into the biosphere.

Seems the city might get this one right. I'd like to see the Bicycle and Trails Advisory Committee endorse this project.  I'm sure there will be the usual hue and cry of others claiming tenants will be finding places to dump cars in other people's neighborhoods. But given the distances involved between the Pen/Cordova location and everywhere else, I don't know if that will happen. Of course, someone could always buy some land and rent it out as car storage. That's a good thing. Rather than zoning parking minimums into the development code and forcing developers to waste space on car storage, let folks pay for it the old fashioned way: supply and demand. Maybe capitalism works.

Finally, if there is a worry, it is that since the Pen/Cordova site is hemmed in by Cerrillos Road and St. Francis Drive, getting from these apartments to the city center, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Just About Anywhere Else, etc. will be impeded by the lack of bicycle and pedestrian friendly connectivity. The Rail Trail will be a boon, but it is only one resource.  Fortunately, Cordova is manageable and with some improvements to encourage cycling across St. Francis, this could be a winner. Bottom line? A bicycle friendly city has to stop building stroads (to be fair, Santa Fe's stroads are provided courtesy of the New Mexico Dept. of Transportation) and recognize that when you build stroads like St. Michaels, Cerrillos, and St. Francis, you are working at cross purposes to a bicycle/pedestrian friendly community. My suggestion is that any time a state highway passes through a city, design authority should pass to the city.

Stay tuned.

Have the Drivers won?

Cartoon courtesy of 
Patrick O'Grady/
 I read Robert Mang's My View and had to keep my temper in check. If I gave up road riding every time some knucklehead endangered me, either deliberately or negligently, I would have bought a wind trainer in 1979. That was the year I started bicycle commuting and also the year a negligent driver tossed me over the hood of his VW, resulting in months of recovery from a traumatic brain injury and the end of my hopes for a thermodynamics-based Ph.D.

But drivers have not won and in fact, the Bicyclists Can Use Full Lane signage drive shows that if anything, the tide is turning against auto-centrism. It's not time to give up.

There will always be buttheads, whether armed with a Ford or a Fabrique Nationale. Its up to society to push back against misuse, whether we use a carrot or a stick. Keep riding, Mr. Mang. I'll be out there with you.

Related Reading: Charles Marohn, PE, "Why Do People Keep Being Killed On This Road"

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Santa Fe Open Space, Trails, and Parks Strategic Management Plan Public Review Draft

Rail Trail looking North
 Santa Fe County would like to invite you to review the Open Space, Trails and Parks Strategic Management Plan public review draft. This Plan is the culmination of input from community members, stakeholders, agencies, partners and user groups to develop a framework to move the Open Space, Trails, and Parks Program forward for the next 20 years.  This Strategic Management Plan is intended to be a guidance document from the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) to management, staff and the public for implementation of Open Space, Trails and Parks (OSTP) programs and projects. This plan also provides clear and transparent information for the public regarding the vision and goals of the County’s OSTP program. Once adopted by the BCC, this plan will serve as a policy framework and an adaptable guide for future OSTP programming.

Lovely tree/bike stand!

Public comment closes on December 1, 2018. Please send comments to Maria Lohmann, or call 505-995-2774.

Ecological diversity bank/recreational resource
  There will be a public review meeting on November 28, 2018 to give an overview of the Plan as well as answer any questions and record comments. More details will be sent out closer to the meeting date.

Touring rig on the Rail Trail just for grins

Oh, and in consideration of tomorrow being Thanksgiving...