As recently reported on Columbus Underground, OSU has released a draft of its Comprehensive Transportation and Parking Plan. Yay Bikes! will be meeting with OSU planners and staff during the week of December 8 to provide input on the plan, and we are excited to pass on the genius thoughts of our community members. Continue reading
1 law passed
5 transportation committees served
2 street plan evaluation rides
31 local advocates engaged
29 news stories
11 speaking engagements
Yay Bikes! has a long history of bicycle advocacy, but in 2014 we upped our game by shepherding a 3′ Passing Law in the City of Columbus and partnering with the Department of Public Service to help its engineers design better bicycle infrastructure. Our new street plan evaluation rides have transformed plans for 4th and 3rd/Summit Streets and provided a solid template for similar rides going forward. This month we’ll be providing commentary regarding OSU’s bicycle accommodations plan and we’re in conversations about training engineers in other municipalities statewide. Please consider an end-of-year gift to help Yay Bikes! expand our impact through advocacy initiatives and other programming next year.
With our inaugural infrastructure input project about to be wrapped, we’re confident that this formula fits well with our culture and, more importantly, that it works. Here’s the breakdown of how we’re going to handle each request we receive for cyclist feedback, and how you can get involved. Of course anyone may feel free to provide their own feedback directly to the city, whether in writing or at their public input meetings, but this is how Yay Bikes! will generate our official feedback on proposed infrastructure projects. Although our leadership is comprised of some damn impressive bicycle experts (ahem… if we do say so…!), we refuse to decide our advocacy positions from within a board room. We believe the process described below is a more robust and participatory process than you will find anywhere in the country, and we hope you will become a member so you can have your voice heard. Continue reading
“Cars may rule the roads, but bicycles are an increasingly common sight on the streets. Both clans seem to want the other to get out of their respective way, while Akron officials would like for everyone to just get along.” Read the full story at the Akron Beacon Journal.
What exactly does the Safe Streets Ordinance say?
clarifies that a bicycle IS A VEHICLE,
clarifies as the safe passing distance between a car and a bicycle as 3′, and most larger vehicles and a bicycle as 6′,
adds a specific ban for motor vehicles in bike lanes, with some exceptions,
clarifies the law to specifically prohibit motor vehicles from “right/left hooking” bicyclists,
requires bicyclists to not text, and to yield to emergency vehicles,
allows police officers, firefighters, parking enforcement officers, and special improvement district ambassadors to ride bicycles on sidewalks in the performance of official duties,
allows the Public Service Director to to add bikeways and bicycle parking on streets,
corrects conflicting language in the parking code,
brings traffic code into compliance with portions of state laws, and
adds gender inclusive language.
Big thanks to Council Member Michelle Mills for sponsoring this legislation and shepherding it through the process to law, Council Members Zach Klein and Troy Miller for co-sponsoring, and Council Member Eileen Paley for meeting with Yay Bikes! leadership about this legislation back in 2012. Additional thanks to Leslie Strader, Policy Advisor from the Mayor Coleman’s Office of Environmental Stewardship, and Randall Bowman, Assistant Director of Public Service for meeting regularly with bicycle advocates as this legislation was being crafted.
Thanks to the 31 Yay Bikes! members who attended the last two City Council Meetings and the Public Hearing in the last week to support passage of the Safe Streets Ordinance: Rahel Babb, John Bannon, Heather Bowden, Jane Boyer, Jay Cheplowitz, Ken Cohen, David Curran, Jack Decker, David Docktor, Bill Ferriot, Ray George, Catherine Girves, Jeff Gove, Gloria Hendricks, Rob Hendricks, Talon Hendricks, Trace Hendricks, David Hohmann, Cartik Kothari, Kai Landis, Keith Mayton, Duane McCoy, Nik Olah, Joe Powell, Steve Puhl, Jr., Oulanje Regan, Gary Schmidt, Barb Seckler, Scott Ulrich, Jim Williams, and Megan Zale.
Finally, our work on this would not have been possible without those of you who financially support Yay Bikes! You rock.
Yay Bikes! Yay Us! You YOU!!
Good evening President Ginther, Environment Chair Mills, Co-Sponsor Klein and Miller and to the remaining honorable members of Columbus City Council. Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you tonight. My name is Catherine Girves and I am the Executive Director of Yay Bikes! Tonight I am delighted and honored to be here representing the 517 members of Yay Bikes! Yes, Council Member Mills we have added 5 members since we were here last Tuesday.
Yay Bikes! is thankful to Columbus City Council for consideration of 1182-2014 the proposed “Safe Streets Ordinance”. This ordinance showcases our City’s commitment to peaceful streets for all users – transit riders and operators, motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
As a year round bicyclist, (yes I road here tonight in a skirt and heels), I can tell you from personal experience that bicycling is good for the physical and emotional health of individual riders. But what many don’t realize is, that when people choose bicycling as a mode of transportation everyone in the community benefits:
- Commuter bicyclists protect the public health of the entire community by reducing carbon and other green house gas emissions protecting air quality for all, particularly our most vulnerable members of the community.
- Commuter bicyclists reduce dependence on fossil fuels protecting the environment, economy, and national security of the entire community.
- Like pedestrians, commuter bicyclists increase the safety and community cohesiveness of the neighborhoods we ride in, often functioning as informal block watches.
- And when people Discover Columbus by bike we see an economic impact. Yay Bikes! leads “How We Roll” rides teaching bicyclists to ride streets legally, visibly, and predictably. Immediately following, participants take a short test. When asked how likely participants are to return to places they were introduced to on these rides, 75%-77% respond they are very likely and an additional 20% report they are somewhat likely to return to those locations. When we conduct a 6 week follow up survey we find that 53.3% have already returned to a place they were initially introduced to on a “How We Roll” ride. When asked about favorite moments on these rides, 29% name a specific business, 26% name downtown Columbus and its sites, and 23% respond Experiencing Columbus and learning more about the community.
This Council’s investment in the safety of bicyclists that travel our streets is an investment in the entire community.
Finally, investing in commuter bicyclists is an investment in social justice. Some of us who travel by bike, do it out of economic necessity. Protecting the safety of commuter bicyclists protects the safety of working class people traveling to work, school, shop, and back home to our families.
- Require a distance of three feet when motorists pass cyclists.
- Remove the requirements for overtaken vehicles to give way to the right in favor of the passing vehicle.
- Remove the requirement to audibly signal when passing another vehicle.
- Require the passing vehicle to change lanes if necessary when passing cyclists when an additional lane of traffic is available.
Read it here
Yay Bikes! Board Member, Rob Hendricks and Executive Director, Catherine Girves interviewed by NBC4 reporter, Rick Reitzel a few hours before the passage of Columbus’ Safe Streets Ordinance.
Big THANKS to Patricia Kovacs, Cole Miller, and Rob Hendircks the initial leaders in Yay Bikes! to push for a 3 Foot Passing law in the City of Columbus. Here is the letter following their initial meeting.