Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's On

Put April 23rd on your calendar folks.  BikeAllentown's first Friday night ride of the year will be the day after Earth Day.  We are going to leave from in front of Hava Java on 19th Street and will take a novice level ride throughout Allentown.  We will start with with a small loop of the West End area and head Downtown and then loop back around to The Ritz where you can feel free to grab some ice cream - or whatever your hunger desires - or head on home to start enjoying the weekend.  We are actually going to follow roads that are part of the proposed Greenways Plan - with the entire loop being relatively flat.  We will be demonstrating the proper way to ride in traffic and following proper group riding etiquette.  Copies of the Pennsylvania Bicycle Driver's Manual will be available as our special bonus gift to you - that's right folks free!  Earth Day ride and free literature - where else are you going to get that kinda action on a Friday night.  We will post a map of the proposed route on soon.  We hope to see you there.

On a separate but related note - the Allentown City Council on adopting (hopefully) the proposed Greenways Plan has been scheduled for their April 7th meeting.  The meeting will be held in Council Chambers and starts at 7:30pm.  Come out and show your support.

Ride on! 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Another Delay on Greenways Vote

Just found out the Greenways vote will not show up on the City Council's agenda until their April 7th gathering.  Not sure why - but it was confirmed.

That being said - it is time to start thinking about restarting the monthly Friday night rides for 2010.  This past weekend brought us the blessing of more daylight and we should take full advantage of it.  It looks like the 2nd or 3rd Fridayin April will work out well.  Our monthly BikeAllentown meeting is March 23rd at 7pm - feel free to come join us -  we should have an April ride date figured out that night.  I will post it as soon as I know it.

All I wanna know is - who'll stop the rain?  Ride on.  

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Greenways Vote Rescheduled

Due to unforseen circumstances - namingly Greg Weitzel undergoing surgery - the Greenways vote had to be scratched from the agenda last evening.  They have pushed the vote back to the March 17th meeting - same time - 7:30pm - at City Hall.  Feel free to contact the Council members to share your thoughts on the plan.

On a separate note - Council did vote in favor of a cell phone ban last evening.  Using a cell phone while driving is now prohibited unless you are using a hands free device - this applies not only to motorists but also to cyclists, skateboarders and rollerbladers.  While I agree with this - I feel that using a cell phone is really just a microcosm of distracted driving in general.  It unfortunately does not address applying makeup, shaving, reaching for cigarettes or spilled coffee, turning around to yell at the kids, reading a book or newspaper, putting in contacts or driving with a dog on one's lap.  It might sound absurd - but I unfortunately see these things all too often in my travels.  The ordinance will actually read that even if using a hands free device - one cannot dial a phone while driving - which means one must pull over to the side of the raod - dial the phone - then pull back into traffic and proceed on your merry way.  Hazardous unto itself.  Again - I do not have a problem with this law - I just do not know how they are going to enforce it when there are so many other more egregious infractions going unpunished throughout the City.  I also have an issue with the fact that there will be no warning issued - it will be punishible by a fine on the first offense.  No offense to the Council - but not everyone will see news about this - some cannot afford or choose not to read the local paper - the same goes for television.  Unless there are going to be signs posted throughout the City - which I do not know who will pay for them as the City has no money - I do not know how they feel they can enforce this law.  Guess we shall see.

That's all for now.  Ride on.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

City Council Tonight

It has been a hectic few weeks for me since the last Greenways meeting and fortunately there has not been much to muse about in the bike world due to the continuing wrath of Mother Nature. Adopting the Greenways plan is is on this evening's City Council agenda.  There are rumblings that Fox News will be wandering about to try and paint the Greenways Plan as a waste of Stimulus Funding.  Not sure how that can be as this is only being adopted as a plan and not yet funded.  Online social networking and blog sites are buzzing with input from both those who support and those who are against the plan.  Maybe I am biased - but I think of this as a great way to link Allentown's existing beautiful parks.  I can only see benefit to making the streets that link our parks safer so that people do not feel as if they have to use an automobile to get to the parks as walking or riding a bike is just unsafe.  I think getting more people into our parks would justify designating additional funds for the maintenance issues that currently exist.  No one is saying this is going to be a miracle cure for Allentown - but it surely cannot hurt to adopt the plan so that we have the opportunity to apply for funds that other cities that have a Master Plan are already receiving.  I will try and provide an update of this evening's meeting tomorrow.  Ride on.