State Representative Michael Stinziano – 2015 Ride of Silence

RepresentativeStinzianoSpeakingI appreciate the invitation from Yay Bikes! to talk about the Ride of Silence and Safety in our community. I am Representative Michael Stinziano and I am working within the Ohio House to improve safety for all road users.

In Ohio, an average of 1 person died or was seriously injured each day in bicycle-related crashes last year.

In just the Columbus region, there were 24 bicyclists involved in crashes, resulting in 21 serious injuries and three fatalities.

It is vital that drivers and bicyclists share the road. One death or injury is too many.

Research shows that one issue contributing to these crashes is speed. I recently introduced legislation to help combat the issue. If HB 107 is enacted into law, it will allow residents to petition a speed limit change for their own community. We feel that people lining in our diverse neighborhoods understand the traffic patterns they live with on a daily basis.

I am also co-sponsor of HB 154 which would require motorists to give bicyclists at least 3 feet when passing.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Many of you know the faces representing these tragic deaths. This event honors our loved ones who have been harmed on Ohio roads and improves awareness for all road users.

Everyone has the right to be on and use Ohio’s roads.

Year of Yay! Up and Coming CBus Neighborhoods ride: a grand success

Our author greeting the throngs
Our leader/author greeting the throngs

It’s 10:00am on April 11, 2015. There are 80+ bicyclists outside of Whole Foods ready for 3 stops and 1 mission: to tour the up and coming neighborhoods of Columbus.

April’s Year of Yay Ride was a collaboration between Yay Bikes! and CRPSA, the City and 15Regional Planning Association at Ohio State University. Devin and Will, both board members of CRPSA, created, tested, and coordinated the stops and 18 mile route. After a brief safety message and notes about upcoming Yay Bikes! events from executive director Catherine Girves we were off!

17The route to stop number one took the group through Upper Arlington and Grandview. On the way, the group spotted signs of construction at the new Grandview Yard development and took a test ride on the Goodale Street Olentangy Multi-use Trail Access Ramp. The route progressed as planned until the group exited the Olentangy Trail and headed into Franklinton. A road closure near the intersection of Souder Avenue and McKinley Avenue forced the 80+ Year of Yay-ers to a detour on a nearby trail.

At the eastern side of COSI, the group took a quick stop for a group weigh-in on the outdoor giant scale. Our 14,000+ lb total weight confirmed what we18 already knew – it’s time for everyone to invest in a lighter weight bicycle…or maybe time to ride! We 19headed west to the Columbus Idea Foundry, the ride’s first stop. Alex Bandar, Founder & CEO, greeted us and provided a brief tour that included a stop in theFoundry’s new upstairs presentation space. Members of the Idea21 Foundry have 24/7 access to the facilities, which include metal working equipment, 3D printers, and other tools to create almost anything.

On the way to Stop #2, the group pedaled through East Franklinton, one of the major up-and-coming 22neighborhoods in Columbus. In 2012, the Columbus City Council adopted a new plan for the area that forecasts and plans for 4,000 new residential units and over 500,000 square feet of arts, retail, office, and incubator space over the next 20 years. After crossing the Main Street Bridge, the group continued east through downtown into Olde Town East, the second up and23 coming neighborhood in Columbus.

Central Community House was our second stop. The organization’s mission8 is to provide a source of support and a community center for families in the Olde Town East neighborhood. The group was able to tour the facilities with Jackie Calderone, a member of the Central Community House leadership team and director of the Transit Arts program. Chloe Green, the president of CRPSA, 7spoke about her personal work with the Transit Arts program and its impact on teenage students in the area. Area students can also join other after-school programs and take classes about topics that range from public speaking to spoken26 word performance.

The route took the group west down Bryden Road and past the new Columbus Museum of Art 24expansion, which will nearly double the museum’s exhibit space. Passing under the Columbus College of Art and Design’s ART sculpture, the group 9continued down Gay and Front Street, passing by numerous construction sites on the way.

The third stop of Year of Yay! April 2015 was10 Ohio State University’s north campus residential project. In conjunction with the OSU Second-year Transformational Experience Program (STEP), the OSU north campus will see the net addition of 3,200 bed spaces, 11 new 14buildings, and 2 new dining facilities. Jennifer Evans-Cowley, OSU professor and Vice Provost for Capital Planning and Regional Campuses, provided a presentation on the details of the project – scheduled for completion in Autumn 2016.

27Back at Whole Foods, the group rejoiced in a great 28ride full of optimistic thoughts for the summer season of bicycling. Will Yay Bikes! collectively reach our end-of-year weight loss goals? Surely a beautiful summer of Year of Yay! rides will begin to have an impact on our upcoming end of the season weigh in! See you in May for another great ride. Yay Bikes! (article written by Will Hughen)29

Yay Bikes! augments annual “Put a Lid on It” program with safety training

In this video featuring ODOT Director Jerry Wray’s helmet program endorsement, Catherine Girves and Yay Bikes! member Talon Hendricks model how to fit a helmet. Regarding helmets, Talon says: “It’s safe. It helps you because if you’re not wearing a helmet, this part of your head is not covered with a shell so you hit your head”.

On April 9, 2015, Yay Bikes! joined the Ohio Department of Transportation and the American Academy of Pediatrics, Ohio Chapter to train the ~40 youth program coordinators from across the state who had received grants of free helmets to distribute within their communities. The training covered basic parking lot drills the coordinators could use to help kids practice their bike handling skills, and a presentation identifying three primary causes of kids’ bicycle crashes.

We appreciate ODOT for funding our participation in this exciting project.

“The Risks of Riding Right”

ODOT funded and Yay Bikes! developed this original safety video for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Ohio Chapter’s annual “Put a Lid on It” campaign, in association with their Bicycle Helmet Safety Awareness Week (May 2–10, 2015). It  was used to train youth programming coordinators statewide who had received a grant of free helmets from the Ohio AAP Foundation about insidious cycling safety risks.

To our knowledge, this is the only bicycle safety video that captures near-crashes from both the motorist’s and the cyclist’s point of view. Pay particular attention to how limited the motorist’s field of vision is!

(Bonus points to anyone who can tell us where the video’s catch phrase comes from!)

Out & About with Yay Bikes! — April 2015

“Selfies with Catherine”: City of Columbus engineers and friends edition

Welcome to the monthly feature in which we round up all our events, earned media, program deliver, meetings and speaking engagements for the month. Behold, April:

Apr 1 = Open Houses for Connect Columbus

Apr 2 = Open House for Connect Columbus

Apr 2 = Infrastructure review ride of Long & Spring with 4 Yay Bikes! members

Apr 5 = Infrastructure review ride of Long & Spring with 15 Yay Bikes! members

Apr 8 = Annual Bike Expo @ Battelle 

Apr 8 = Sharing “How We Roll” @ Pelotonia’s Captains’ night

Apr 9 = “Put a Lid on It” program training practitioners statewide about youth bike safety with the Ohio Department of Transportation and the American Academy of Pediatricians, Ohio Chapter 

Apr 9 = ODOT News Release: “Ohio children to receive more than 9,000 helmets”

Apr 9 = ODOT video: “Put a Lid on It”

Apr 9 = Planning meeting for Central Ohio’s 2015 Ride of Silence 

Continue reading Out & About with Yay Bikes! — April 2015

Underground Railroad: “happiness snuck in through doors I didn’t know I’d left open”

From gardens, parks and riverbeds, to burial places, beer mills and shops, we’ve got hundreds of places yet to explore, treasures yet to unearth and fascinating facts yet to discover. And whatever the weather, Yay Bikes! will find fabulous ways to make a day UR 1with us one to remember. After weeks of preparation we’d begun laying odds on Facebook the night before the ride on how many members would brave the weather. Bright and early—well…10 A.M. on March 14, 2015 with the storm building and the rain beginning to pour down in earnest from the skies over Columbus, while most people leaned back on their pillows and headboards of their beds and watched the fury, we gathered. Forty strong—for us Yay Bikes! members there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing, so we grabbed our willies, waterproofs and bicycles headed out for some wet weather fun. We were going underground…The Underground Railroad that is. Continue reading Underground Railroad: “happiness snuck in through doors I didn’t know I’d left open”

Out & About with Yay Bikes! — March 2015

catherine tiberi
“Snapshots with Catherine”, Suzanne Birk (Bicycle Activity Chair, Columbus Outdoor Pursuits) and Chuck Smith (President, Ohio Bicycle Federation) edition. They’re about to chat with Representative Tiberi’s staff about bikin’!

Welcome to the monthly feature in which we round up all our events, earned media, meetings and speaking engagements for the month. Behold, March:

Mar 2 = Regular meeting of MORPC’s Community Advisory Council, on which Catherine serves

Mar 2 = Getting to know you meeting with Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, Westerville Bicycle Club, Columbus Rides Bikes and COMBO

Mar 3 = Planning meeting for Central Ohio’s 2015 Ride of Silence

Mar 4 = Meeting with Scott Ulrich, City of Columbus’s new Bicycle Coordinator, Scott Ulrich

Mar 4 = Public meeting for the City of Columbus‘s proposed Summit/3rd and 4th upgrades

Mar 5 = Regular meeting of the Transportation Committee of Mayor Coleman’s Green Team, on which Catherine serves

Mar 6 = Meeting with Alex Smith, Safe Routes to School Coordinator at Columbus Public Health

Mar 8 = Board retreat for Downtown Residents Association of Columbus, on which Catherine serves

Mar 10 = National Women’s Bicycling Forum in Washington D.C.

Mar 11 = League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit in Washington D.C.

Mar 12 = Meetings with staff for Representatives Pat Tiberi, Steve Stivers and Joyce Beatty in their D.C. offices to advocate for bicycling infrastructure funding and for Vision Zero

Mar 15 = Participation in the Westerville Bicycle Club’s Ohio Bike Swap Meet, courtesy members Jeff Gove and Steve Puhl, Jr

Mar 16 = Monthly board meeting for Yay Bikes!

Mar 16 = Presentation to the Westerville Bicycle Club, courtesy member Jeff Bannon

Mar 19 = Regular meeting of Community Shares of Mid Ohio‘s Program Services Committee meeting, which Catherine chairs

Mar 20 = Conference call with How We Roll OSU planning team

Mar 23 = Monthly gathering of the Yay Bikes! Member Champions

Mar 25 = Regular meeting of the CoGo Strategy Group

Mar 25 = Regular meeting of Columbus’ Bicycle Working Group (formerly the Bicycle Subcommittee of the Transportation & Pedestrian Commission), on which Catherine serves

Mar 25 = Inaugural planning meeting for Bike the Cbus 2015

Mar 26 = Planning meeting for City of Columbus’s 2015 Bike to Work Day

Mar 29 =  Planning meeting for Central Ohio’s 2015 Ride of Silence

Mar 30 = Regular meeting of MORPC’s Community Advisory Council, on which Catherine serves

Mar 31 = Public meeting for Connect Columbus

Provide input on the Connect Columbus Transportation Plan. Don’t Be shy!

ConnectColumbusThe City of Columbus is gathering input from residents, businesses and other stakeholders for the creation of Connect Columbus, a long-range multimodal transportation plan that will serve as a guide for future construction on City streets.

“Yay Bikes is delighted to be a member of the Community Advisory Group for this plan,” said Catherine Girves, Executive Director of Yay Bikes!. “We fully support the focus on enhancing equitable, healthy, and sustainable transportation between the places people live, work, and play in and around the City of Columbus”

The plan will emphasize improved safety and reduced congestion, and will promote economic development and a healthier, greener city that will continue to be competitive, attracting residents, employers and visitors.

 “We must invest in streets that are safer for pedestrians and bicycles and embrace other alternatives to individual cars,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman.  “Everyone has a role in this process to help keep Columbus growing and one of the most vibrant cities in the nation for generations to come.”

 A series of open houses, workshops and community events will be held, focusing on three themes:  Vision and Goals; Generating New Project Ideas; and Evaluation of Projects.  Residents will be asked to comment on projects, community goals and policies relating to public transit, driving, cycling and walking in Columbus.  The schedule for the first meetings on the plan’s Vision and Goals include:

·         March 31,  6–8 pm at Christ Memorial Baptist Church, 3330 East Livingston Ave

·         April 1,  10am–2pm and 6-8pm at Columbus Urban League, 788 Mount Vernon Ave

·         April 2, 2015:  6–8pm at Downtown High School, 364 South 4th Street

Additional public meetings will be scheduled in the future.  Public comment will be incorporated in the Connect Columbus final plan which will produce policies, guidelines and plans that will help define, prioritize, and guide Columbus to implementing realistic goals and projects.  The plan will influence how local transportation dollars are invested in transit, pedestrian, bicycle, and roadway infrastructure.  The Connect Columbus planning process will also complement COTA’s Next Generation plan and MORPC’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan.

 “Connect Columbus represents the next best step in planning for a city that will add 500,000 by the year 2050,” said Councilmember Shannon G. Hardin, chair of the Public Service and Transportation Committee. “By working together to assess our diverse transportation needs, we will ensure a plan that is both sustainable and attractive to all of our community’s stakeholders.”

 The Connect Columbus planning process will be a two-year effort.  Residents are encouraged to visit an online forum to comment and for current information about Connect Columbus.


*!@#%ing pot hole! But wait, Columbus to the rescue

Columbus will begin a three -week-long intensified pothole repair program on March 22. During this period, the city’s goal will be to patch every reported pothole within three dry-weather days. From March 22 through March 28, street maintenance crews will fill potholes 24 hours a day, seven days a week, weather permitting. From March 29 through April 19, crews will work from 7:30 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday, with an additional overnight shift Sundays through Wednesdays. There are typically six to 10 crews per shift and four to six equipment operators on each crew. Potholes cannot be repaired during snow, ice or rain events.

During the intensified pothole repair effort, residents may report potholes through Facebook at Columbus Public Service or Twitter @ColumbusDPS, in addition to the customary 311 Customer Service Center which can be reached at 614-645-3111, or online at or by using the MyColumbus Mobile App. Residents are asked to include the location of the pothole by referencing:

·         The name of the street where the pothole is located;

·         The address of a home or business closest to the pothole;

·         The direction of travel (northbound, southbound, eastbound, westbound) where                the pothole is located;

·         The lane in which the pothole is located if it is a multi-lane street.

 The city will continue to repair potholes beyond April 19. Residents are encouraged to report potholes throughout the year by contacting 311 at 645-3111, or online at or by using the MyColumbus Mobile App.