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E-news from ProWalk/ProBike 2012
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E-postcard from Pro Walk/Pro Bike® 2012: Pro Place
Long Beach • September 13, 2012
Bulletin #4

This is the last update from ProWalk/ProBike® 2012, covering Wednesday's and Thursday's events in Long Beach.

Long Beach, Calif.-- 9/13/12: Wednesday at PWPB was a mighty big day for APBP. Visitors enjoyed playing with the pets at our parklet booth, which continued to be a major draw and homey spot for good conversation. A standing room only turnout for the Annual Meeting at George's Greek Café confirmed what we all know and love about APBP: it is an assembly of remarkable people doing really hard, important and amazing work. And they like to talk and connect with each other.

At the Annual Meeting, Board President Jennifer Hefferan announced the 2012 Annual Award winners (read the full citations for each person here):

  • Charlie Zegeer, Lifetime Achievement Award (award presented at Tuesday plenary)
  • Kristin Bennett, Professional of the Year – Public Sector
  • Jean-Francois Rheault, Professional of the Year – Private Sector
  • Tessa Greegor, Young Professional of the Year
  • Stefanie Seskin, Young Professional of the Year

Photos from left to right: Annual Award winners Jean-Francois Rheault and Stefanie Seskin, with Board member Norma Moores (behind Stefanie); Kristin Bennett; Tessa Greegor (at left) with Jennifer Hefferan. The Awards Jury was challenged by this year's large group of exceptionally qualified nominees. Jurors were Board President Jennifer Hefferan (DC DOT SRTS Coordinator), Board VP Brett Hondorp (Alta Planning & Design), and member Tom Huber (Toole Design Group).

The Annual Meeting also kicked off elections for the 2013 Board of Directors. President Jennifer Hefferan thanked outgoing Board members Jon Kaplan (VT DOT), Mary Anne Koos (FL DOT), and Seleta Reynolds (SFMTA). On the slate for the 2013 Board are Douglas Adams, Cara Fisher, Brett Hondorp (incumbent), Malisa McCreedy, Kathryn Moore, Jessica Mortell, Brian Patterson, and Juliellen Sarver. These fine APBP members come from local government, consulting firms and bikeshare systems. Visit this page on the website to read the candidates' statements and view video of their campaign speeches. Online ballots will be available September 17; voting will continue through November 2. Standing for office among your peers takes guts and we thank them all!

APBP members at the Annual Meeting on Wednesday listen to Board candidates' speeches; Juliellen  Sarver addresses the crowd (right).

Among the most engaging events on Wednesday was an afternoon "Vision Session: Doubling the Number of Women and Girls Who Ride Bikes." 80-plus people listened to Elly Blu's perspective on gender and cycling and dove into lively roundtables on issues ranging from women and bike shops, women and advocacy groups, women and professional advancement, women and the reality of family duties, chained trips, and more. Watch for the report out.

Exciting announcements on Wednesday: Rails to Trails Conservancy is launching the Partnership for Active Transportation and FHWA's new Bicycle Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists (similar to the ped safety audits).

Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place 2012 ended Thursday with the stirring news that PWPB 2014 will be in Pittsburgh. At the closing session, Mark Gorton, Founder of Streetfilms and Streetsblog, gave an inspiring call to action, demonstrating the dramatic reduction in walkable access to destinations over generations. Watch for walking and bicycling to further emerge as a social justice issue.

APBP's parklet booth was handily dismantled by volunteers, including scholarship recipients, Board members and staff. Outgoing APBP Board member Mary Anne Koos drew the name of the winner of the genius package of all 12 webinars in the 2013 APBP monthly webinars series, which went to Wendy Alfsen of California Walks. Congratulations Wendy!

Post conference events included a 2-day Project for Public Spaces workshop "How to Turn a Place Around;” America Walks' Walking Action Workshop; and the National Women's Bicycling Summit hosted by the League of American Bicyclists and APBP with generous support from Leadership Sponsor Primal, Partnership Sponsors Jamis, SRAM and Team Estrogen, and Core Sponsors Liv/Giant, Trek Women, Momentum Magazine, Gail Spann and Jim Spann, World Bicycle Relief, Cali Bike Tours, Velojoy, Alliance for Biking & Walking, Women on Bikes SoCal and Girl-Bike-Love.

The Summit included a keynote address by Leah Missbach Day of World Bicycle Relief and a choice six breakout sessions on Beyond Spandex, Toward Social Justice: Women Redefining the Movement; Family Biking and Low Car Living; Women in Bicycle Sports; Making Our Communities Work for Us: Women and the Political Process; Young Women Who Ride; and Media and Marketing: Who's Selling Cycling to Women?

Women on Bikes SoCal presented a celebratory cycle chic runway fashion show generously supported by numerous sponsors. The evening ended with a Women's Summit Social. Big news of the afternoon/evening is the League's new program Women Bike! For more information, visit http://www.womenbike.org/.

Thanks to the National Center for Bicycling and Walking and the Project for Public Spaces for a great conference!

All the best,
Kit Keller
Executive Director

 
 
 
 
 

E-postcard from Pro Walk/Pro Bike® 2012: Pro Place
Long Beach • September 12, 2012
Bulletin #3

Enjoy regular updates from the ProWalk/ProBike® 2012 Conference this week, courtesy APBP staff who are on the spot in Long Beach.

Long Beach, Calif.-- 9/12/12: Tuesday's opening plenary at PWPB began by framing how and why Long Beach is becoming a more livable city as it focuses on walking and bicycling. Charlie Gandy, chair of the local host committee and President of Livable Communities, introduced City Council member Suja Lowenthal, a planner by training. She subscribes to the theory, proffered by Enrique Penalosa, that cities work best when planned around the young and the old. It is political will that set a new course for city transportation in Long Beach, she said, adding, "The next challenge for Long Beach is to double the number of women on bikes,” and noting the importance of groups like Women on Bikes SoCal.

The concept of "walking your car” was introduced by Fred Kent, President of Project for Public Spaces, at the opening plenary. Cool idea in keeping with slow zones. Other countries, like Cambodia, also struggle with speed. Thanks to Dianne McNinch, who shared this photo of a Cambodian poster urging restraint.

Tuesday's lunch plenary included a lively transportation roundtable featuring Dr. Richard Jackson of UCLA, John Norquist of the Congress for the New Urbanism, John Horsley of AASHTO, and Lynn Terry of the California Air Resources Board. Adventure Cycling Association staff Jim Sayer and Ginny Sullivan spoke of bicycle tourism as the triple bottom line – good for the local economy, health and more. APBP Board President Jennifer presented the APBP Lifetime Achievement Award to Charlie Zegeer, Director of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) at the University of North Carolina's Highway Safety Research Center. Other APBP awards will be presented on Wednesday at the APBP Annual Meeting.

A robust assortment of workshops and poster sessions transpired throughout the day, accompanied by new approaches to learning such as peer problem solving sessions on topics from complete streets to bicycle parking. A particularly attractive poster on cross-sector partnerships presented by Live Well Ferguson! (Missouri) featured a bicycle with multi-colored wheels demonstrating success on projects from Sunday Parkways to a form based code. Exhibitors at PWPB busily shared new products and ideas.

Charlie Zegeer accepts APBP's 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award. Zegeer is a highly respected author in the field of transportation research, a leader in pedestrian and bicycle safety, and a strong mentor to young professionals. Collectively his numerous reports and publications (150 and counting) are improving pedestrian and bicycle safety in the United States.  
Live Well Ferguson! presented a poster detailing the partnership between the City of Ferguson and Trailnet. Ferguson is a pilot community in Trailnet's Healthy, Active & Vibrant Communities initiative. Projects include a Complete Streets policy, form-based code, a bike/ped plan, a community garden, and more.

Among the exciting announcements on Tuesday: the 2013 SRTS National Conference will be held in Sacramento, August 13-15. America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering have just released "Steps to a Walkable Community: A Guide for Citizens, Planners, and Engineers”.

APBP's parklet continued to attract visitors on Tuesday who sat happily engaged in conversation with each other. The parklet is being readied for the arrival of pets in the parklet on Wednesday and a rotating photo frame showing an array of parklets from a variety of perspectives.

Coming up Wednesday: a breakfast plenary on building biking by building bike culture, brown bag lunches (another new feature), as well as APBP's Annual Meeting (including more awards, meet and greet the APBP Gihon Jordan Scholarship recipients, and APBP Board candidate statements) and of course, the ever-popular PWPB Networking Party.

All the best,
Kit Keller
Executive Director

 
 

 

E-postcard from Pro Walk/Pro Bike® 2012: Pro Place
Long Beach • September 11, 2012
Bulletin #2

Enjoy regular updates from the ProWalk/ProBike® 2012 Conference this week, courtesy APBP staff who are on the spot in Long Beach.

Long Beach, California--9/11/12: Placemaking: controversial, glacial, budget-busting or Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper?

We'll go with lighter, quicker, cheaper. (These words are actual guidance from the Project for Public Spaces, the official host of the ProWalk/Pro Bike Pro Place conference.) The elements of APBP's demo parklet at PWPB2012 came together in about 24 hours for less than $500 (the "permit”/booth fee not included) based on a sketch on a napkin. It's been a magnet for APBP members and a curiosity for others who want to know how to define a parklet, who's doing it and what it costs.

APBP members and friends gather in our demo parklet booth in Long Beach.

Here's how Governing answers these questions: "In most cases, business owners pay for the construction and maintenance of the parklets, which vary in cost but average $15,000 to $20,000. Cities may offer design help or a little extra cash -- and of course, they give up metered parking revenues -- but most of the investment is private. For businesses, it's a way to beautify their block and help attract more foot traffic. Cities see it as a next-to-nothing investment in innovative new public spaces. 'For very little or no dollars, we can change the shape of our city,' says Andrew Stober, chief of staff in the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities in Philadelphia, which opened its first parklet last summer and is hoping to add several more this year. 'It's part of a larger movement in the city as we think about how to make it a more livable place.'" (Read full article at http://tinyurl.com/cpr2cbw)

The staff at Berlin (a coffee house and bistro on Fourth Street in Long Beach) said their parklet was designed by the architecture firm across the street (clearly lovers of good coffee) to create a sense of place on the street. The City of Long Beach was involved in the permit process and during inspection. The parklet, in place for about 5 months, is moveable in a sense – it is constructed on disks rather than permanently embedding into the street – but it is intended to be permanent. "It has increased our business tremendously and transformed Berlin from a coffee house into a restaurant,” said Barista Morgan Reidy who added, "It doesn't feel like sitting in the street.” To test his hypothesis, we sat in the parklet talking with other customers who all seemed quite at home. (Read more here.)

APBP's fairy godmother who made our parklet possible (Dianne McNinch, a Long Beach local since 1976) pointed out how Berlin is eager to create community. "Look at how they encourage community with one long table” inside the restaurant, "the owner is all about that.” Hm… a theme is developing. At today's opening session, Fred Kent showed a photo of one long bench filled with friends and strangers and three short benches each occupied by people indifferent toward each other.

Examples of parklets in Oakland and San Francisco, on Park(ing) Day. Thanks to Ruth Miller for sharing these images; view her complete photo essay here.

Monday was chock-a-block with pre-conference meetings, including the CNU Transportation Summit and the SRTS National Partnership Annual Meeting. The State Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinator and Local Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator meetings were fruitful for all who attended. The State SRTS Coordinators attended the state coordinators meeting. Some attendees, like Kim Sanders from the Arkansas Department of Transportation, are currently doing both jobs. APBP advocates that distinct people do each job; in fact, there's plenty of work for full-time state pedestrian, bicycle, and SRTS coordinators. PWPB 2012 will teach us how to educate Congress that walkable and bicycle-friendly place-making is at the heart of good transportation planning.

Many of the 900 conference attendees were registered swiftly by a brilliant group assembled by PPS and enjoyed a sneak peek at the booths along with a chance to see poster sessions and pecha kucha presentations before the evening's festivities began.

The PWPB 2012 Bikes Belong Opening Reception can't be described in words, especially after the consumption permitted by two free drink tickets per attendee. Off to a great start with myriad reconnections and new introductions, people drifted off to dinner (or to sleep; weary East Coasters touched by a 3-hour time difference) in groups to discuss how to change the world, or at least their part of it. APBP's growing contingent of Young Professionals enjoyed a rich conversation. They've got plans. Watch out.

Tuesday at PWPB starts with an opening plenary session, workshops, mobile sessions, poster sessions, pecha kucha, lunch plenary, more good info packed into the afternoon, and of course dinner and the APBP Board meeting.

Wednesday will feature the APBP Annual Meeting plus pets at the parklet, so be sure to read all your e-postcards for the latest news. If you're here, come by the parklet at booth #32-33. If you're not here, we miss you and wish you were here!

All the best,
Kit Keller
Executive Director

 
 

 

E-postcard from Pro Walk/Pro Bike® 2012: Pro Place
Long Beach • September 10, 2012
Bulletin #1

Enjoy regular updates from the ProWalk/ProBike® 2012 Conference this week, courtesy APBP staff who are on the spot in Long Beach.

Long Beach, California--9/10/12: Some of the expected 900 ProWalk/Pro Bike® Pro Place attendees began arriving in Long Beach last week. Affordable public transportation via light rail from LAX was a great introduction to Long Beach's port, neighborhoods, public art and whimsical yet practical bicycle parking.

A sampling of Long Beach bike racks. A rack in the shape of the word SHOP testifies that Long Beach merchants welcome customers who arrive by bike. There's no doubt that bicyclists contribute to the local economy.

On Saturday and Sunday, the advance team creating APBP's "parklet on a budget” booth studied Long Beach's parklets to gather ideas and identify potential local materials. With the help of Long Beach resident and community activist Dianne Theil McNinch, we rapidly acquired the elements for the 10-foot by 20-foot booth that will be installed later today with the help of Board members, staff and volunteers. If you're in Long Beach, visit us at booth #32 and #33 to learn more about parklets.

According to Governing Magazine (http://tinyurl.com/cpr2cbw), parklets are "The Next Big Tiny Idea in Urban Planning.” Petite parks that replace on-street car parking spaces with tables, chairs and planters positioned on a platform that is flush with the sidewalk, parklets originated in San Francisco in 2005 and quickly spread to New York City where they are called curbside seating platforms. Today, parklets are popping up or planned in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and Long Beach. Some are three-season while others are year-round.

Dianne Theil McNinch, and a Long Beach parklet

Long Beach appeals to tourists in a variety of ways. Drivers of the free Passport bus sport fanciful uniforms that delight locals and visitors alike. APBP Board member Mary Anne Koos and APBP Executive Director Kit Keller hopped on the Passport to pick up cruiser bikes purchased from the Hub, Long Beach's community bike shop. At the Hub, people donate used bikes and other people buy bikes or earn a bike by working on bikes. Mary Anne's rusty Schwinn ($50) and Kit's orange and yellow daisy-covered Electra ($75) made it easy to explore Long Beach's separated bicycle lanes and bicycle-pedestrian beachfront pathway.

Seen in the crowd amassing Sunday night in the lobby of the Renaissance Hotel Long Beach was Tedson Meyers, founder and long-time Board member of the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, which hosts the PWPB conference (NCBW is now a program of Project for Public Spaces). In 2010, APBP honored Mr. Meyers with a Meritorious Service Award for his commitment to making ProWalk/ProBike® conferences enriching and joyful experiences for many APBP members. Tedson praised the many young people entering the profession – the engineers, planners, landscape architects and others working to make communities more walkable and bicycle-friendly.

On the agenda for Monday at PWPB: various pre-conference meetings including the Local Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinators meeting hosted by APBP. The highlight of the day is the Opening Reception where smiles, hugs and handshakes will abound as colleagues meet and greet and begin to recharge their batteries for all that is to come with MAP21. Be sure to check back daily this week for APBP's reports from Long Beach.

All the best,
Kit Keller
Executive Director

 
 
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