AoB’s Public Statement on RADTIP Re-Design

June 21, 2017

TO: Asheville City Council, Gary Jackson, Cathy Ball, Ken Putnam, Steph Monson, Jade Dundas, Dan Baechtold
FROM: Mike Sule on behalf of Asheville On Bikes
CC:

Council and Staff –
I learned yesterday that the RADTIP project must be modified because of budget concerns and that you are considering the postponement of plans to build several critical pieces of infrastructure, including the protected bike lane along Lyman Street and the modifications to the railroad crossing near Smoky Park Supper Club. While disappointed, we recognize that some multi-modal facilities have to be cut. We hope the city will reaffirm its commitment to active transportation infrastructure in the future. AoB affirms that public safety is paramount to any RADTIP adjustments.

As you adjust priorities, public safety must be your primary criterion. The two pieces of infrastructure I just mentioned are vital to the future of the city and to public safety. If the Lyman Street bike lane and western sidewalk are removed, Asheville On Bikes (AOB) urges you to replace them with a multi-use path at least 16 feet in width, and lane markings to separate users. This design complies with FHWA standards, increases safety, and will support a high volume of bike and pedestrian traffic. Lyman St needs the best possible bike and pedestrian infrastructure that we can afford because it lies at the very heart of our future grid of connected greenways and bike lanes. The city should build active transportation infrastructure to standards that anticipate future use. The Swamp Rabbit and American Tobacco trails see 500,000+ users annually. RADTIP can anticipate similarly heavy use. Make it safe for all users and do not neglect this part of the plan. Frankly, it should have been built first.

Similarly, the railroad crossing near Smoky Park Supper Club is unsafe, it is a known hazard, and the city is failing to act to make it safe. It injures people every year. When you think about re-arranging funds, it is unconscionable to our membership that you would spend money anywhere in RADTIP without addressing these railroad tracks which are responsible for so many broken bones, concussions, and other injuries to your citizens. Addressing the public safety issue of this unsafe rail crossing cannot be delayed. Please make sure that a public safety fix which allows for safe cycling over or around the railroad crossing is included in your re-prioritization. Asheville on Bikes is a willing partner and is eager to assist the city as you address these concerns.

Sincerely,
Mike Sule

Announcing Cycle Smart Ticket Diversion!

AoB is proud to work on this initiative with Buncombe County and move us one step closer to bicycles receiving the same considerations as motorized vehicles.

ASHEVILLE – Today the Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office, Asheville on Bikes, and Buncombe Bike Ed jointly announce a new Bicycle Ticket Diversion Program (or Cycle Smart) aimed at reducing and eliminating court costs, driver license points and fines for bike riders charged with minor traffic violations in Buncombe County.

This is the first Bicycle Diversion Program offered in the state of North Carolina.

Cycle Smart is a program offered by Asheville on Bikes, and Buncombe Bike Ed in partnership with the District Attorney’s Office, which allows people ticketed with a vehicle violation while bicycling to attend and complete a safe-riding class and have the fine associated with their ticket dismissed upon completion of Cycle Smart.

District Attorney Todd Williams and Mike Sule, Executive Director of Asheville Bikes chat outside the Buncombe County Courthouse.“Bicycle riding is a critical to our transportation and recreation options and contributes a lot to the affordability, and livability of our community. Cycling can also reduce congestion on city streets. As our community grows and more people ride bicycles in Buncombe County, the DA’s Office is committed to ensuring the safety of all on our roads. When riders are ticketed for a minor moving violations, I want them to have the option to enroll in Cycle Smart. Better, safer, law-abiding riders make for safer roads for both cyclists and motorists benefiting us all,” Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams said.

While a bicycle is perhaps the most efficient and economical form of transportation, many riders have trouble paying court costs and fines and are often surprised that driver’s license points accrue against their licenses when they are cited with a minor traffic violation on a bike.

“Bike education classes are a great way to encourage new riders and improve the skills of seasoned ones. It’s fair to say that the riders who need bike safety the most are the least likely to sign up on their own. Partnering with the DA’s office enables bicyclists who are ticketed to participate in Cycle Smart which educates riders on the habits of safe cycling. The long range goal are safe streets and cycling that is safe for both cyclists and motorists. We’re excited by this partnership,” states, Mike Sule, Asheville on Bikes’ executive director.

Cycle Smart classes are led by League of American Bicyclists certified instructors. The classes are three hours and incorporate classroom instructions, bicycle skill development, and on road instructions. Classes are open to the public and are held the second Saturday of every month from April – October except July at Senior Opportunity Center at 35 Grove Street at 10 am. Enrollment is $25. To enroll or find out more information, please send an email to buncombebikeed@gmail.com.

Bike of the Irish 2017

Bike of the Irish rides Beaucatcher greenway

 

On Saturday, March 18th the 11th annual Bike of the Irish rolls through Asheville and you’re invited to participate.  The year the ride begins at Wedge at Foundation, Wedge Brewing Co’s new space located at 5 Foundry Rd, rolls through the River Arts District, into the downtown, and explores the Beaucatcher greenway  (in the rough) before returning to the Wedge for an after ride celebration around 3pm.

 

Bike of the Irish is Asheville on Bikes annual spring ride. Participants are encouraged to  decorate themselves and their bikes in green as they ride the city in celebration of spring and the expansion of Asheville’s greenway system.

The event is free and open to the public. Families are welcome to participate as well. Everyone is encouraged to review and / or pre-ride the route to make sure it’s appropriate for their skill level. The ride rolls through active city streets and an unimproved greenway so riders can expect a  stretch of natural rough service along the Beaucatcher greenway. Participants are welcome to walk their bikes along this portion of the ride. Beaucatcher is a greenway in the rough but it’s truly a delightful place to visit and well worth the effort.

 

Please consider volunteering for Bike of the Irish as several volunteers are needed to make the ride a success. Review the Bike of Irish volunteer opportunities and select the one that works best for you.   

 

Join AoB on Saturday, March 18th for the 11th annual Bike of the Irish.

 

Bike of the Irish Details:

1:30pm  – Gather at Wedge at Foundation

2:00pm – The ride begins

3:00pm – Culminate at Wedge at Foundation.  

 

Things to Consider:

Review the route before the ride.  

Know the weather before you ride.

Pack an extra layer, a warm afternoon cools quickly.

Spending money is a good idea.

A variety of beverages will be available, not just beer.

 

Bike Love ’17, Sat. Feb. 18th

Bike Love ‘17, presented by New Belgium Brewing, returns on Saturday, Feb. 18th to the Salvage Station. The event includes an early reception, a cycle-centric silent auction, a bicycle raffle, photo booth, and a wide variety of music. In other words, something for everyone.  

Stephanie Morgan, DJ Marley Carroll, and DJ Dr. Filth  provide the grooves to keep the passions pulsing throughout the night.

AoB currently seeks volunteers for several different position to support Bike Love. If you’re interested in investing a bit of time, talent, and elbow grease in exchange for a ticket, please review the volunteer options and pick the one that works best for you.

There are a few ways to enjoy Bike Love. Advance tickets can be purchased online:

  • Reception: This reception is  from 7pm – 8pm and includes a small bites, a New Belgium beer, and ‘17 AoB membership and general admission. Stephan Morgan will perform during the early reception.
  • General Admission & ‘17 AoB Membership: Renew or activate your annual membership for 50% off and secure your Bike Love ticket. Membership packets include AoB spoke card, helmet sticker, and membership welcome letter can be picked up at the event. Secure your ticket and activate your AoB membership. Robust membership help is a simple way to support AoB’s advocacy efforts.
  • General Admission: Keep it simple and secure your general admission ticket
  • Membership: Support AoB’s advocacy efforts and active your membership.   

The evening’s agenda is as follows:

Reception: 7pm – 8pm

General Admission Doors: 8pm

Silent Auction: 7pm – 11pm

Bike Raffle: 11pm

Music:

Stephanie Morgan: 7pm – 9pm

DJ Marley Carroll:   9:15pm – 12:30am

DJ Dr. Filth:  12:30am – 2am

AoB appreciates our annual sponsors: New Belgium Brewing, Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty & JAG & Associates Construction, Mountain Air Roasting, Wedge Brewing Co, Industry Nine Components, Mellow Mushroom, Beauty Parade, Shelia Christofalos, Edward Jones, Clasique Acupuncture and Pilates Studio

AoB is Hiring Youth Bicycle Instructor

Ride your city w/ the next generation

AoB seeks a youth bicycle instructor for our youth bicycle education program in conjunction with  Asheville Middle School and Asheville City Schools Foundation. Qualified candidates should have prior experience working with youth, strong cycling skills, and a commitment to safe habits of riding. The potential instructor will need to pass a background check.

The spring semester runs from February 20th – May 19th. Bike Club  meets once a week for roughly 12 sessions. Instructors are asked to attend two to three meetings as well. Compensation is $500 / semester.To apply, complete the AoB Afterschool Instructor Application. Prepare responses to the following questions:

  1. What interests you in working with Asheville on Bikes’s youth cycling program?
  1. Describe your experience working with students. What was the age group and what were your responsibilities?
  1. If you could lead a group of students on a five mile ride of Asheville, where would you go and why?

Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received. Thank you for your interest in Asheville on Bikes youth cycling education.

 

Button Up for Bikes – $5,000 Match Challenge

Please Donate To Help »

Help Asheville on Bikes meet the $5000.00 Match Challenge at Button Up for Bikes  on Thursday, Dec. 8th at Catawba Brewing on the South Slope (32 Banks Ave) from 6:30pm – 8:30pm.

Tickets for Button Up for Bikes are $40 and include hor d’oeuvres from Farm to Fender, a complimentary beer or glass of wine, a presentation from AoB’s director, Mike Sule, and a live auction designed to raise $5,000.

Purchase your ticket and help us move our city forward. When you show, we grow.

Button Up for Bikes