We Are Traffic and TMACOG joined forces at Court Street Connects in Bowling Green this past Saturday to educate and solicit input for the TMACOG Bicycle User Map under development. The event was held in conjunction with Earth Day activities and included an experimental "Cycle-Track" that was temporarily painted on Court Street. The counter-flow bike lane will remain in place for two weeks while students at BGSU gathers usage data. If you have a chance, visit Bowling Green and ride the two-way bike lane on Court Street. You can find more information about the project by clicking here.
TMACOG is developing a bicycle user map for Lucas and Wood Counties and the southern three townships of Monroe County, Michigan. Our goal is to develop a map that will help people plan routes for travel by bicycle. The resulting map will help riders - from novices to very experienced cyclists - choose routes that are aligned with their level of skill. A version of the map will be printed in a travel-friendly size and it will be available online too.
Whether you ride every day, or just occasionally, whether your ride to work or school, or for exercise, or fun, we want to hear from you! Help us understand your experiences riding on roadways in the TMACOG region. To provide your comments click this LINK. Begin by selecting “Proceed as Guest” and then follow the prompts to map as many routes as you like!
If you’d prefer to provide your routes and comments on a paper map instead, just drop into any area bicycle shop to get a paper copy. Or call 419.241.9155, ext 119, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy. Comment period ends May 31.
UPDATE: June 19, 2018 -- Construction to start in 2018 with completion early 2019! Source: The Blade
UPDATE: October 23, 2017 -- Lucas County was conditionally awarded funding for the construction of Phase 1 of the U/P Trail Extension. The project is expected to be completed within 2018.
This is the current view from western end of the University Parks Trails at King Road. Metroparks of Toledo is wasting no time to prepare for the new extension of the U/P Trail that will take you ~1/2 mile further west to Silica Road. This is part of a larger initiative to continue the trail westward and ultimately connect to a system of on/off road facilities between parks.
Check out this MAP
Read more about the project on The Blade
For an overview of connectivity, check out this MAP
We'll post an update when we learn more about the status of the grant that will pay for paving and the target completion date.
Another important law that was updated via HB 154 relates to malfunctioning traffic signals. Cyclists...how many time have you not been detected as traffic at a traffic light intersection? This part of the new law is for you! You may have seen news reports like "Drivers in Ohio may soon be able to legally run red lights" and others that mislabeled it as the "Red Light Law" verses the "Malfunctioning Signal Law". We already had a law in ORC 4511.132 that provide guidance on what to do if the traffic light was malfunctioning. Here is the existing ORC with the new portion added in green:
(A) The driver of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley who approaches an intersection where traffic is controlled by traffic control signals shall do all of the following, if the signal facing the driver exhibits no colored lights or colored lighted arrows , exhibits a combination of such lights or arrows that fails to clearly indicate the assignment of right-of-way, or the signals are otherwise malfunctioning, including the failure of a vehicle detector to detect the vehicle:
Note the term "vehicle" was used so as to include bicycles, horse-drawn carriage and...cars. All the other conditions in ORC 4511.132 existed before the new law, including the due care for safely passing through the malfunctioning signal. The publicity of the dreaded "Red Light Law" caused lawmakers to include a provision to change to say "bicycles" verses "vehicles". Wow! The good news is that the original intent remains, to support bicyclists who are not detected at traffic signals.
When you encounter a signal that is not recognizing you as traffic, use the following guidelines:
Look for grooves or marks in the roadway that form a circle, this may be the inductive loop that is meant to sense the metal in your "vehicle". Place you bike directly on top of one of the lines that run in your direction of travel. This may help the signal detect you.
Look for camera at the intersection that may be used for detection, it will be directly across the street, usually connected to the light that you are waiting to change. If may need to motion with you arm but generally, these systems are better than the inductive loop.
According to ODOT, traffic signals usually cycle within 2-3 minutes depending on time-of-day. If you've waited ~4 minutes, you can feel fairly certain that it will never pick you up to change the signal.
Now you should treat the intersection just like you have a stop sign with cross traffic that does not stop. Look for a break in traffic, both to the left and right and when clear, proceed through the intersection with caution.
In reality, we encounter this same intersection on a regular basis, on a side street with stop sign, waiting for cross traffic to clear in order to proceed. This change in the law only recognizes that traffic signals may not register bicycles due to their low metal composition, allow us to proceed through a malfunctioning signal legally.
After many years of hard work by the Ohio Bicycle Federation, and the support of the bicycle community across the state, the 3-foot law will go into effect on March 21, 2017. Here is the important part of ORC 4511.27:
The operator of a vehicle or trackless trolley overtaking another vehicle or trackless trolley proceeding in the same direction shall, except as provided in division (A)(3) of this section, signal to the vehicle or trackless trolley to be overtaken, shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance, and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle or trackless trolley. When a motor vehicle or trackless trolley overtakes and passes a bicycle, three feet or greater is considered a safe passing distance.
Special thanks to joint-sponsors Representative Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) and Representative Michael Henne (R-Clayton) for their tremendous efforts to move HB 154 through the House and Senate for passage and ultimate approval by Governor John Kasich, who signed the bill into law on December 19, 2016. We would be remiss without mentioning the hard work by OBF Chair Chuck Smith, who worked in front and behind the scenes at the statehouse in Columbus for many years to make this a reality! Lastly, thanks to the Ohio cycling community that worked together in support of this bill!
Help spread the word about the new law! Let us know if you would like one of the oval 3-foot stickers for the back of your other vehicle (car). Coming Soon!
It was very exciting to see "Bicycles May Use Full Lane...It's State Law" on the electronic sign in front of the Bowling Green Public Works building. Educating the public about the cyclists rights and responsibilities is a team effort in Bowling Green. The City's engineer, Jason Sisco, has been instrumental in aiding the staff in learning about bicycle related issues, including Complete Streets. Please help us in thanking Brian Craft (Public Works Director), Bowling Green Police Department, Fire Chief Tom Sanderson, and especially Jason Sisco for getting the word out!
The City of Sylvania continues to add bicycle parking downtown, recently adding six racks bringing a total of eight bike racks downtown. Last year we had "zero"...that's pretty good! Please contact Mayor Stough at email@example.com and say thank you for making Sylvania more bicyclist friendly, keep up the great work!
In conjunction with the new Sylvania King Road Branch Library, the City of Sylvania is finishing up on the new right turn lane (King Road onto Sylvania Avenue). We are pleased that the City improved the existing bike lane and also included a new "right turn bike lane". Cyclists traveling north on King would stay in the straight-through bike lane, cyclists traveling east on Sylvania would use the new right-turn bike lane. While this design looks like an improvement for cyclist safety, due care should still be taken to avoid a possible right-hook from motor vehicles that could turn into the bike lane. This is especially true with big trucks (semi, dump truck, etc.) that need large turning spaces. It is never a good idea to find yourself on the right side of a large truck, take control of the regular turn lane to prevent the possible right hook crash.
Help us in thanking the City of Sylvania for these improvements, and future improvements to make Sylvania friendly for bicyclists! Emails can be sent to Mayor Stough at firstname.lastname@example.org