Monday, April 30, 2012

Coast Radio Local News

Proven Link between fitness and productivity

If you haven’t ridden your bicycle in a while, this month would be a good time to get it out, dust it off, and put a couple miles on it. If you ride your bike every once in a while for recreation, Chris Wherity says why not ride it to work this month.

Chris Wherity – “Since the 1950s, May has been designated as Bike to Work Month. And that’s through the American League of Wheelmen.”

Wherity, the Cardiac Care Manager for Peace Harbor Hospital and actual State Cycle Cross Champ says there’s a natural connection between riding a bicycle to work and productivity.

Chris Wherity – “A reduction in sick days, you know more activity at work, you know clarity of the mind, etc. There’s just a lot of less stress involved with you being able to let off some steam before or after work or just being able to get some fresh air.”

Several area businesses have already signed up for the ‘Bike to Work’ challenge and there’s even a website set up where you can register your workplace or team and track your mileage.

Chris Wherity – “Bicycle Transportation Alliance dot com, Bicycle Transportation Alliance dot com. And that’s where we’re actually going to be documenting your community mileage on and there’s lots of information on that site.”

Wherity says this is the fifth year of observing Bike to Work Month in Florence and it has grown each year.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Commute to Work Challenge Florence

1. Bicycling is for everyone
Bicycling is the second most popular outdoor activity in the United States. (Outdoor Foundation, 2010)
47% of Americans say they would like more bike facilities in their communities. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2008)
Most trips Americans make are short: 50% are less than 3 miles, 40% are less than 2 miles, and 28% are less than 1 mile. (US Department of Transportation, 2009)
2. Bicycling can help you live longer and better
Adults who bike to work have better weight, blood pressure, and insulin levels. (Gordon-Larsen, P., et al., 2009)
Women who bike 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer. (Luoto, R., et al., 2000)
Adolescents who bicycle are 48% less likely to be overweight as adults. (Menschik, D, et al., 2008)
3. Bicycling boosts the economy
The U.S. bicycle industry sold $5.6 billion in bicycles and equipment in 2009. (National Bicycle Dealers Association, 2010)
More than three times as many new bicycles (14.9 million) are sold in the U.S. each year than cars (4.6 million). (National Bicycle Dealers Association, 2010Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2010)
Studies have shown that homes closer to bike paths are more valuable. (Various sources)

4. Bicycling is less expensive than driving a car
The average American househould spends $7,179 per year on owning and driving their cars. (Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2010)
On a round-trip commute of 10 miles, bicyclists save around $10 daily. (Commute Solutions, 2011)
5. Bicycling reduces road congestion and air pollution
Traffic congestion wastes nearly 3.9 billion gallons of gas per year in the U.S. (Texas Transportation Institute, 2010)
For every 1 mile pedaled rather than driven, nearly 1 pound of CO² (0.88 lbs) is saved. (US Environmental Protection Agency, 2009)
6. Bicycling is safe, and together we can make it safer
The health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by a factor of 20 to one. (Hillman, M., 1992)
There is safety in numbers: the more cyclists there are, the safer bicycling is. (Jacobsen, P., 2003)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Community Challenge

Community challenge

Posted: Tuesday, Apr 17th, 2012

Chris Wherity would like to see everyone in the community, if they can, walk or bike instead of drive every day, at least during May, National Bike Month. Locally, he and hospital volunteer Paula Burnette are organizing activities for the fifth annual Florence Bike Commute Challenge.

Challenges during the month include Bike-to-Work and Bike-to-School days, scheduled for Friday, May 18. Bike-to-Work Week is May 14 through 18. Those more ambitious are encouraged to bike or walk to work the entire month.

As manager of cardiac rehabilitation at Peace Harbor Hospital, Wherity views National Bike Month as a means to highlight what he would like to see throughout the year: more people embracing exercise and healthy eating as a lifestyle, not a one-time thing.

“We want this to be a community-wide health movement,” he said. “This isn’t just about biking to work — it’s about finding ways for our community to get healthier. We have a crisis on our hands.”

Wherity cites sedentary behaviors and bad eating habits as the reason for obesity, uncontrolled diabetes and bad cholesterol levels. He also cites research to back his claims.

“Every decision has a consequence,” he added. “So the decision we make at a table or restaurant, or when we are out shopping, has an impact. The decision we make to sit on the couch instead of going on that 30-minute walk, for instance, has some long-term implications.”

Improving personal health, which decreases sick days and increases productivity, is only one reason to bicycle, said Wherity. Promoting bicycling in a city makes it more attractive to visitors and improves the quality of life for all its residents. Residents save money on fuel and vehicle upkeep. Road congestion and pollution is reduced.

Since 2008, when Wherity helped kickstart the hospital’s promotion of walking and bicycling as part of its employee wellness program, the number of participants at Peace Harbor has grown from 13 employees commuting roughly 300 miles, to 29 people commuting more than 1,400 miles per year. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Active Transportation: ODOT's Response to Community and User Needs

AT Photo
The phrase "active transportation" refers to sustainable, multimodal transportation solutions that connect people to where they need to go - such as work, school and to access essential services using "active" modes such as walking, bicycling, and taking public transit. At the Oregon Department of Transportation, it means that and more: active transportation includes strategically investing in infrastructure in response to community and user needs.

ODOT created the Active Transportation Section as a part of its continuing transformation to an agency that manages a multimodal, community-focused, statewide transportation system. The Active Transportation Section brings many related programs together in order to deliver more broad-based, solution-oriented projects.

On July 12, 2011, ODOT Director Matt Garrett had this to say:

"Our funding structure is overwhelmingly dedicated to highway programs, so we have to be imaginative in how we use discretionary funds and other funding that is directed to non-highway programs...

I think by bringing more discipline to the process and developing a new frame of reference through which we see proposals, we can be more strategic and we can leverage the funds to get a bigger system impact..."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rhody Drive improvement

Steve Greene with his Trike expressing his concerns in front of  the Planning Commission and city staff at Florence City Hall
Lots of community members showed up on yesterdays Planning Commission meeting. They all appreciated the considered improvements for pedestrians and cyclists but strongly expressed their concerns about safety on Rhododendron Drive.
The Planning Commission will be holding another meeting on March 24th about the Transportation System Plan update before the plan gets handed over to the City Council for the final approval.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bike Commute Challenge - How does it work?

Click graphic to get to the Bike Commute Challenge
How does it work?
How it works
Anyone interested in taking the Challenge looks to see if their workplace is already registered. If it isn't, they register themselves and their workplace team at the same time. They become the Team Captain, by default.
Their coworkers register and join that workplace team.

Everyone logs their bike trips during the month of September.
At the end of the month, the BTA tallies the bike trips and ranks all workplaces in size categories by the percentage of commutes achieved by bike.

On October 6th, the BTA announces the winning companies in each category at a big After Party. Join us!

How Bikes Make Cities Cool