Treehugger and Wash Cycle used a couple of my Flickr bike photos last week to illustrate their articles.
Treehugger talked about “Five Benefits of Bike Commuting,, while Wash Cycle tackled the oft-repeated claim that we as cyclists don’t pay our way to use the public roads.
Battle Ground, WA Highway 502 widening project will add two lanes to State Highway 502 from I-5 to the town of Battle Ground, Washington. Planning and public comment for this project began in 2001, and the Federal Register published a notice of final agency action. I don’t know if bike people were involved in the planning, but the project will add bike facilities and sidewalks to a portion of the highway.
Look at the time frame of this project: state engineers proposed this project in 2001. Public involvement took place in 2007 through 2009. Right now, the state is completing environmental reviews and beginning the the process of acquiring the right of way required to build this project. Construction will begin in 2012!
This is maddeningly slow for a lot of us, but the fact remains that building infrastructure takes time.
The second important point: If you do advocacy, it’s much easier to pencil those bike facilities in during the early planning stages. As the FHWA Federal Register notice points out, the only way to change things now is to file a Federal judicial review.
Watch for public meeting notices on the city hall bulletin board before it’s too late! Otherwise, you’ll be fated to endlesslly moaning about the sad state of cycling when, five years from now, you see a brand new road appear in front of your home with little provision for cyclists.
Our local Bicycle Advocacy Group created a guide to help people get involved in the planning process. It's specific to Virginia but much of it applies to other states. http://www.fabb-bikes.org/guide/