STATE GROUP FOCUSES ON SAFETY FOR WALKERS, CYCLISTS AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Story and Picture By: Naomi King Englar, Communications and Dissemination Coordinator, at the Tulane Prevention Research Center.

Under a shared goal to see safer streets for all types of transportation in Louisiana – not just cars and trucks – a new coalition of partners from across the state is forming this year.

“The dedication of this collaboration of people from diverse communities and backgrounds across the state guarantees a positive impact on the culture of Louisiana. We agree that being physically active is beneficial to all people,” said Monique Koll, a veterinarian who is leading the statewide group’s formation and is also executive director of BikeLafayette, Acadiana’s bicycle advocacy organization. “We want to ensure that Louisiana continues to grow in such a way that all forms of transportation are safe and enjoyable. This organization gives us a unified voice in statewide policy making, as well as a way to support our individual communities in safety, education, and awareness.”

Members of the newly formed statewide group represent diverse geographic backgrounds from New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Monroe and Shreveport.

The group came together following the first Louisiana Walk and Bike Summit this past fall. Individuals and organizations in public health (including the Tulane Prevention Research Center), transportation planning, biking and walking advocacy, including people with disabilities, attended the one-day summit in November in Baton Rouge. As more local groups and governments have begun work to create communities that accommodate safe, healthy transportation for all people, individuals in Louisiana recognized the need to come together to share their experiences, resources, challenges and successes.

“It was a chance to get everyone who is involved in biking and walking in Louisiana in a room together,” said Peter Bennett, board member of Bike Easy, the New Orleans-based advocacy organization that helped host the Walk and Bike Summit. “We discovered that we’ve all had similar experiences, or maybe are at different stages of development, but could be very helpful to each other. In the end, we left with a shared vision for how we can coordinate our voices statewide, working together to achieve some big policy goals.”

The summit also delved into topics such as how to use data or get better data on walking, biking and transportation trends in Louisiana. Attendees also discussed the desire to incorporate biking, walking and safe streets into Louisiana’s cultural identity.

Additionally, the summit covered the growing trend of complete streets policies across the U.S. and how local and state governments can work together to implement these transportation planning and construction policies. Louisiana’s Department of Transportation and Development has an internal complete streets policy, which aids in the department’s efforts to build roads that accommodate all modes of transportation. New Orleans and Baton Rouge have also adopted complete streets policies.

“This statewide entity is about making choice a reality for all of us. Choosing to drive or not to drive, to ride a bike, push a stroller, catch a bus or streetcar, roll in a wheelchair or just stroll are not safe or fun choices in much of Louisiana yet,” said Juan Cruz, a public health professional and transportation advocate in Baton Rouge. “Let’s get on our own two feet – or wheels. It will save us from traffic jams and help save our health, time and money.”

PLANLAFAYETTE CITY COUNCIL KICK-OFF!

Tuesday February 3rd starts PlanLafayette Week! Show your support for bicycles by attending the city council meeting on Tuesday at 5:25 pm, we are first on the agenda!

The next event is my participation as the Executive Director of BikeLafayette on a panel hosted by the UL Department of Sustainability called, “Reinvent the Hub City: Improve Your Community Through Transit.” This panel will include the head of Public Works, the Principal at Architects Southwest, and guest from New Orleans Jim Amdal who will be talking about streetcars! Wednesday 11:30-1:00 at the LITE Center.

Wednesday 5pm is guest speaker nationally-renowned Peter Swift at the ACA. (I am personally very excited about this event!)

Thursday a 2-part session about small urban development will be held at Iberia Bank downtown, starting at 11am.

Also Thursday at 5:30pm at the Rosa Parks Transportation Center, Recover Acadiana, the neighborhood coteries, and the 705 are presenting a workshop for those that care about their neighborhoods. (Highly recommended, I have seen the work done on this!)

Al

Friday Feb 6th, 11:30am Feed N Seed, the American Advertising Federation – Acadiana and the Public Relations Association Acadiana will be hosting “Public Art and Place Marketing.”

Feb 7th Join us at the morning Market at the Horse Farm! AND march with Project Front Yard at the end of the parade route in the first annual clean-up after the parade event!

Monday Feb 9th, 11:30-1 is a Q&A about the Lafayette Comprehensive Plan and the Unified Development Code at 520 E Kaliste Saloom Rd. Sponsored by AHBA, Lender’s Association of Acadiana, and Realtor Association of Acadiana. (Sadly I think I have to miss this; I have another presentation I have to give. Somebody please go take notes!)

Tuesday Feb 10th wraps up the week At Vermilionville at 7:30am with a Project Front Yard Beautification Summit held by the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission.

WHEW, that’s a lot! Please go to this website and sign up; most events are free (some have to be paid to accommodate partnership organizations.) BIG thanks to the Lafayette Consolidated Government, hope to see most of you out  there!

PlanLafayette Week

-Monique Koll, DVM

#planLFTweek #BikeLafayette

PL logo The Lafayette Consolidated Government is holding another "PlanLafayette" week to showcase the accomplishments over the past year, as well as present their goals for 2015! They place a high value on the input and involvement of the community and want to show what the public's participation has implemented so far. BikeLafayette, along with UL, is sponsoring a luncheon panel at the LITE Center on February 4th. Our Executive Director, Dr. Monique Koll, will be a member of the panel, along with Steve Oubre, Principal at Architects Southwest; Kevin Blanchard, Director of Public Works; and Jim Amdal, Senior Fellow of the UNO Transportation Institute.

Seating is limited at this panel, so reserve your spot today! Registration is free, with an optional $15 lunch provided. We will be posting more on the exciting things happening during PlanLafayette, with suggestions on what to see. You can use the hashtag #planLFTweek on social media to stay abreast with everything happening that week, and #BikeLafayette to keep up-to-date with BikeLafayette's involvement.

To register: Reinvent the Hub City: Improving Your Community Through Transit

New UNO Master’s Degree in Transportation Approved

From uno.edu:

The Louisiana Board of Regents has approved a new Master of Science in Transportation degree at the University of New Orleans, making it the first degree of its kind in the state. The program, which will launch in the fall semester of 2015, will also be one of the first in the United States that will train students in multimodal freight and passenger transportation systems.

“This program will fill a vital need in training Louisiana residents to advance in a well-paid industry with an abundance of job opportunities,” said John Renne, associate provost of urban initiatives and director of the Merritt C. Becker Jr. UNO Transportation Institute. “The transportation industry is one of the fastest growing in the state, and it has an average salary of nearly $70,000 in the metro New Orleans area. We are excited that UNO will further solidify its role as a university that trains the nation’s future transportation leaders.”

The Master of Science in Transportation will be designed for working professionals seeking career advancement. It will be offered in a hybrid online and on-campus format, similar to many other executive master’s degree programs. It will provide students with the flexibility of an online program and the benefits of concentrated on-campus meetings that will allow students to build a professional network with classmates, instructors and industry-affiliated partners.

The program will be 33 credits, including an 18 hour credit core. Students will choose among one of three specializations: transportation planning, transportation administration or a self-directed concentration. Students will also complete a six-credit capstone or thesis option.

nola.com article

uno

Vacation in Nantes and Attend the Global Bike Summit!

june 2-5 is Velo-City's annual global bicycle summit on cycling, this year held in Nantes, France. This ECF conference series serves as a platform for the exchange of visions and ideas on cycling as transportation and recreation,  with the goal to integrate urban cycle planning into all relevant public policy sectors. So if you need an excuse to go to France this summer, this is it! You can check out the website here: Velo-city 2015

METROPOLEAVELO

Cycle Zydeco

BikeLafayette is proud to be part of Cycle Zydeco this year! We are volunteering, organizing a few rides to help out, and in general collaborating more with TRAIL. There's a multitude of cycling events coming up - check out TRAIL's event calendar here: Events by TRAIL From TRAIL's website:

Cycle Zydeco is a fully supported, 4-day bicycle ride celebrating Zydeco, Cajun, and Creole music and food.  The ride draws people from all over the United States and abroad to Acadiana to enjoy our world-renowned food, music and natural beauty in addition to our Louisiana hospitality.  Cycle Zydeco participants will experience the area’s “joie de vivre” as they meander through Acadiana.  Departing from Lafayette on Thursday, April 8, 2015, the route goes through the friendly communities of St. Martinville, Breaux Bridge, Henderson, Arnaudville, Opelousas, Mamou, Eunice and Scott before returning to Lafayette on Sunday, April 12, 2015.

In 2015 Chubby Carrier will get things rolling with a Chubby Party on Wednesday night and we will finish with some activity to be announced but we expect to include The Boudin Festival in Scott, LA into the Sunday route and festivities.  There will be lots of things along the way to see and do, so take your time, have fun, and enjoy all of the attractions in this beautiful area.  Before dancing the night away, you will be able to sample some of the best local food in the country, listen to live music under the Evangeline Oak, watch for alligators in the Atchafalaya Basin, visit a crawfish processing plant, sample local beer, enjoy a drink with Tante Sue at Fred’s, and listen to some toe-tapping music at The Liberty Theatre.  Festival International coincides with Cycle Zydeco this year and our opening dinner/party will allow you to experience one of the best music festivals in the world. Cycle Zydeco is produced by TRAIL (Transportation Recreation Alternatives in Louisiana) in conjunction with Lafayette Convention & Visitors Center, St. Martin Parish Tourist Commission and St Landry Parish Tourist Commission. TRAIL is a non-profit organization dedicated to building and maintaining parks, paths and trails for hiking, walking, running, kayaking, biking and canoeing.

visit www.CycleZydeco.com for more information

Cycle Zydeco Facebook Page

CZ-logo-green-acordion-cyclist2

RIDE FOR ROX 2015, May 2nd

Our Spring ride has been scheduled! Register now by going to the Active website: Ride For Rox 2015

ride for rox painting

BikeLafayette's Annual Spring Ride in memory of Roxanne Richard who was killed riding her bicycle October 2011. Registration fee includes t-shirt, SAG, maps, road markings, and lunch. Featuring five routes, from 12 to 100 miles, including Half Century, Metric Century and Century, that traverse the cultural and historical cities Church Point, Rayne, Crowley, Scott, Breaux Bridge, Carencro, Sunset and Arnaudville. Explore Cajun Country on a bicycle while helping raise money for cycling safety and awareness!

Bike BetteR! -The new Bike Baton Rouge Online Magazine

Our neighbors in BR have been working hard, and yesterday put out their first edition of an online magazine to support cycling in Baton Rouge. Because we're starting to work closely and forming a statewide advocacy and policy entity, we've been doing more communicating and data sharing. As a result, BikeLafayette's Executive Director Dr. Monique Koll was asked to be featured in this inaugural publication. Check it out! Great job Baton Rouge!

Bike BetteR!

br!

Meet April Courville!

Please help us welcome our newest member to the BikeLafayette board of directors. April has shown a large interest in bicycling, and advocates for safer roads as a whole. She has recently moved back to Lafayette after living seven years in Minneapolis, the nation's top cycling city, and approached the board with thoughts on using the coulees as bicycle trails (we haven't forgotten!) April has been an active member of Acadiana's community and is the new Marketing Director for Festival International. With a strong marketing and design background, we think she is going to be a tremendous asset for BikeLafayette as we further expand and professionalize our board. Thank you April, and welcome! ac

 

If you have time to help Acadiana be a better place for bicyclists of any type, we may be able to use you and your skills on the board too! Please contact us for more information.

UL Lafayette Cycling Club

BikeLafayette is proud to be a sponsor of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Cycling Club! Look for our logo on their racing jerseys. Established this year, the club's mission is to "promote cycling in a competitive collegiate environment as well as promoting bicycling safety and awareness." They are a USA Cycling affiliated club, and participate in the South Central Collegiate Cycling Conference. For more information on who can join (any UL student!), their race schedule, spin  workouts etc, visit their brand new website and blog at ULL Cycling Club. You can also purchase the inaugural racing kits at the online store, but hurry, they are only available for he next two weeks!

ulcc

Bicycle Safety Study Request for a Student's Doctoral Dissertation

Hi, I am a doctoral student in the SUNY Downstate School of Public Health in Brooklyn, New York.  I am conducting a dissertation research project which utilizes an anonymous on-line survey of bicyclists to investigate whether there is an association between specific bicycling practices and traffic accident risk.  Bicycling practices of interest include: bicyclist speed, alertness to potential hazards, response to traffic signals, direction of travel in relation to traffic, and other practices.  Accident risk includes actual traffic accidents or "close calls".  It would be most helpful to be able to reach out to groups of people who ride bicycles. Therefore, I am requesting your assistance in communicating to your subscribers to invite them to participate in my study.

My Bicycling Safety Survey is available on-line.  To enable you to share this information with your readers and subscribers, I have attached an "official" invitation in PDF format, which you can copy and place within your own newsletter, email message, or other communication.  The text of the invitation contains a link which will take the reader directly to the survey.  If another format would be more useful, please let me know.

I also attach a WORD document showing the survey items (exported from the on-line survey), so that you can see exactly what the survey contains.

If you have any concern about potential abuses, please know that my study has been approved by Downstate's Institutional Review Board (IRB), which requires adherence to strict standards designed to protect human subjects.  To reiterate.....  the survey is completely anonymous.

I would be very grateful if you will send my invitation to your subscribers, along with any words of encouragement you would like to add.  If possible, please also let me know when you have passed the information along.

Thank you very much for your consideration of my request!

Best wishes,

Mark Hoglund

Click on this link: mh survey announcement with link

logo-183-square-2

Staying Busy!

Hi everyone, sorry for the delay in posting! I'm extremely excited to be the first Executive Director of BikeLafayette, and I have hit the ground running. This is such a fertile time for bicycles in our area, and I am attending every DOTD and planning meeting to mention bicycling, have had several meetings with developers, coteries, and city planners about bicycle and pedestrian projects we can accomplish Right Now, and am working with a statewide bicycling coalition. I will keep you informed as these things come up! I am putting together a presentation to further our fundraising and community outreach. Here's an overview of the progress made. Within the first week of my new position I attended a "Walkablility Workshop", sponsored by our local government, from Dan Burden of The Walkable and Livable Communities Institute. This is part of a big push by the Lafayette Consolidated Government to make Acadiana a friendlier, safer, and easily traveled community. What a great sign that our government is actively seeking a cycling and pedestrian friendly environment! Lafayette has been moving in leaps and bounds in bicycle accessibility. St. Landry has added bicycle lanes, Bertrand will be re-striped to add pedestrian and bicycle ways any day now, and there is a "UL Bike Way" that is funded and has been started. To help move these and other projects along I have been asked to form a group of volunteers to audit specific places. This will be for all "vulnerable road users", including bicycles, pedestrians, and the disabled, and will also take transit into consideration. We are starting with parks and downtown. Volunteers will be provided with training, checklists, and maps, and my goal is small bi-monthly groups to tackle these different places. I have started a Facebook group as this was the quickest and easiest thing to get off the ground, but if you do not use Facebook and want to help. please contact me (monique@bikelafayette.org) and I will keep you updated. The Facebook group to join is here: Acadiana Vulnerable Road User Volunteers. I will also use this group to advertise government and planning meetings to show up to.

Not long after, Vice President Jon Langlinais and I attended a State Bicycle Summit in Baton Rouge along with representatives from four other cities in Louisiana advocacy organizations. Under the guidance of a professional Strategic Planning consultant from Virginia, we had great success in identifying goals for a statewide entity to gain a cohesive voice to represent bicycling in our state. We are still in  the early stages, but Baton Rouge lawyer Beaux Jones is heading the legislative subcommittee side while I am heading the entity side. We are now a Louisiana Coalition with a deadline to become a non-profit organization next year. Our goals are: 1) statewide sharing of resources 2) statewide advocacy 3) form a non-profit organization in 2015, and 4) cohesive messaging statewide. We have unanimously decided that even though bicycle advocacy has the biggest voice, we need to represent all "vulnerable road users" which includes pedestrians and disabled. We are still BikeLafayette! My main focus will be bicycles, but what's good for one of these groups is good for all, and I am happy to represent our community as a whole.

Whew, long post! I'll do better but wanted to keep you updated. I need to end with this; with so much activity WE NEED FUNDING to continue making Acadiana a bicycle-friendly community. It is statistically proven that bicycle advocacy organizations have historically had the biggest impact on changing communities infrastructure on becoming more pedestrian and bicycle friendly. I'm so proud and honored to be a part of that, and we can continue to do so with your help. Please check out our revamped "About" page on the website, and go to "Member Benefits" to see how you and your business can benefit from promoting cycling in our area.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monique Koll, DVM

Photo Credit: Brad Bowie of the Advocacte

dt.common.streams.StreamServer

Gravel Grinder Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony This Saturday, 9AM!

PLACE TO MEET UP is the Bayou Amy Henderson Boat Landing. The mayor and other supporters will be there to welcome all. This is a FREE ride for the trail blazing type of rider with a tough bike. Bring your own water and supplies. Maps with milepost guide will be available but otherwise this is an UNSUPPORTED ride atop the levee along the Atchafalaya Basin.

After your ride, join the town of Henderson in the Atchafalaya Basin Festival with music from 11am-7pm at Henry Guidry Memorial Park 103 Park Drive Henderson, La 70517. For more info, visit http://www.AtchafalayaBasinFestival.org

-Catherine Comeaux

 

Facebook event: Atchafalaya Wilderness Bike Trail Opening

From the VIce President: Announcing BikeLafayette's First Executive Director

It is with great honor that I announce Monique Koll as BikeLafayette’s first Executive Director. We had an excellent applicant pool with outstanding candidates, and we appreciate everyone that took the time to apply. This is new ground for BikeLafayette, and the fact that we had such qualified people that want to work in the area of bicycle advocacy speaks volumes for our community as a whole.  

President Jerrod Olivier and I reviewed all the applications in detail as we wanted to ensure we decided on the absolute best representative for our community. This is a decision that we did not take lightly, and we knew the person we decided on would have major impact on the direction the organization will take for years to come. We finally decided on Monique Koll for several reasons. She has already shown great leadership and representation for bicycling both with the government and with the public in the Acadiana area, has been donating her free time during her recovery to further our mission in education & awareness, and her enthusiasm and dedication to the cause is unmatched. She is accustomed to working in a highly professional setting, has experience in grant writing, educating, and fundraising, and has extensive experience with several non-profits. Her work with the League of American Bicyclists for our area to become a Bicycle Friendly Community is a clear demonstration of her writing skills and dedication to the cause. We are confident that we have chosen the best candidate possible to represent bicycling in Acadiana.

 

Please join us in welcoming Monique Koll as our first Executive Director. Great things are on the horizon for our organization.

 

Jon Langlinais

Vice President, BikeLafayette

 

Big news for St. Landry Street

Some of you may have noticed some re-striping work on St. Landry. We are happy to announce that St. Landry St. is being re-striped and will have bike lanes from St. Julien to University Ave. There will be two main sections:

Section 1 - St. Julien to St. Mary - This section will have a bike lane on the hospital side of the street, solid white line, two car travel lanes, solid white line, bike lane, buffered area then parallel vehicle parking. Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 11.27.16

 

 

 

 

 

Section 2 - St. Mary to University - This section will look more like what we see on St Mary on campus where the bike lanes have a buffered area between the cyclist and the vehicle travel lanes.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 11.30.43

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 8th - Gravel Grinder Ride on the New Henderson Levee Bicycle Trail!

 The Sierra Club Delta Chapter has been hard at work with many new developments on the Henderson Levee, including a 55 mile bicycle trail! While it is not paved (yet) and there is still work to be done, this will be a trailblazing event to celebrate finally having an off-road long-distance bicycle path close to home. November, 8th coinciding with the Atchafalaya Basin Festival, we'd like to get a group of riders together to kick off and introduce this great progress for our community. More details to come! atch

Louisiana Shines in Bike Commuting Analysis!

The League of American Bicyclists is a nation-wide organisation that leads the movement in the United States to create and support bicycle-friendly communities. They just released their latest report analyzing commuters in the US in 2013, and Louisiana has grown by a whopping 115% percent! New Orleans was specifically congratulated along with Houston and Pittsburgh for having a significant increase in bike commuting. 3.5% of people in New Orleans commute by bicycle, which puts them in the top 20 cities that has the highest number of bicycle commuters in the States.You can read the full report here: LAB Where We Ride

eague

Sugar Cane Spin Success!

Century Riders getting ready to lead the way! photo (6)

Thank you to everyone who came out and made  this ride a huge success! We had a great group of riders out there, and your enthusiasm made everything worth it!

With over 100 participants things could have never gone smoothly without our volunteers. We will always be thankful to your dedication and hard work, and are honored to be associated with all of you. Also thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making the ride possible!

Feedback is always appreciated, and stay tuned for upcoming events! Have a great week!

Map Update for the Sugar Cane Spin!

The change is for the 62 mile route only, due to construction! All other routes are the same. It is already updated on our electronic and printed versions, but just for your info: Instead of continuing down Riceland to Landry, left on 90, right on Fieldspan, left on Landry.

Thanks for working with us, can't wait to see you out there! Sugar cane will be available!

One more big thanks to out sponsors:

Daniel M. Landry, APLC
United Tile
Comeaux Engineering and Consulting
Acadiana Hearing Center
Bernard F. Duhon
Champagne’s Paint & Body
Charles and Bridget Boustany
Lafleur’s Safe & Lock
Capitol Cyclery Lafayette

And Rouse's Supermarkets

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 10.37.12 PM

Message From the New President: Big and Exciting Changes for BikeLafayette!

  Dear Esteemed Colleagues,

BikeLafayette has recently undergone some exciting changes. Jen Steele has officially stepped down as BikeLafayette President to pursue more time with her family and personal life. While we will miss her, we are elated that she will act as Past-President to help us transition smoothly in our new growth.

I have been nominated and graciously accepted the role of President of BikeLafayette. After serving for an extensive time as Vice President this is a natural step for the organization and I am honored to be in the position to take the club forward. Jon Langlinais has accepted the position of Vice President, and the other leaders of the board will be announced shortly.

The quick expansion of bicycling in the Lafayette area has led to an even more overwhelming number of goals that we would like to accomplish. Our goal is to represent and be the voice of cycling in our community, and we would like to do that as effectively as possible. In order to keep up and to even further professionalize our organization, we are now pursuing our first hiring position! Today we announce the job opening for Executive Director, and are actively accepting applicants. Contact me for further details. The position will start out as part time, and grow into full time as we continue to meet goals. You can reach the application by accessing this link: Executive Director Announcement

Again I am very honored to represent bicycling in our community. Please consider helping us continue to serve you! Your generous donations is what keeps us being able to give Lafayette and the surrounding area the voice and structure needed to continue to make strides for cyclists. As always, please contact us with any questions.

Jerrod Oliver, President, BikeLafayette

jerrod@bikelafayette.org

jerrod1