Bike BloNo’s mission is promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation in Bloomington-Normal. That’s why, when we were starting to have conversations with Ride Illinois and the Town of Normal about this year’s Illinois Bike Summit, we decided to produce a video showing people who ride bikes for transportation.
We know there are people who think of bikes as a purely recreational activity – and that’s fine! But the reason we’re working on getting more safe bike infrastructure around town is that we see them as more than just a fun thing to do on a Saturday. To us, they’re a means of economic empowerment for people who can’t drive (or afford) a car; they’re one option people can choose to reduce their carbon footprint and reliance on foreign oil; they’re a choice for people who don’t have time to go to the gym every day but still want to stay in shape, even if the only way they can exercise is on their commute to work. And we’re lucky to have an awesome backbone to get around town with the Constitution Trail, but the Trail can’t go everywhere. So we need safe, comfortable options for people to get from the trailhead to their destinations, or bikes just won’t be a viable option for a lot of people.
So when we partnered with Ride Illinois and the Town of Normal to produce this video, we wanted to ask people from all walks of life (a) why they ride a bike, and (b) what would make their rides better?
Hi Bike Workers and Friends,
A guest post from Rick Heiser, West Side Revitalization Project.
Events, people, and action in 2015
As prescribed by the Bike BloNo bylaws, its president is to “prepare and deliver an annual report of past organization activities at the annual membership meeting.” What follows is the organization’s annual report for 2015 as prepared by Bike BloNo President Mike McCurdy.
BLOOMINGTON, IL – November 10, 2015 – Bike crash data can teach people a lot about how to stay safe.
After this summer’s incident in which an aggressive driver intimidated a group of people on their bikes on a rural road outside of Hudson – ultimately sending one to the hospital – Bike BloNo partnered with Data Scientist Mike Bernico and built a coalition of stakeholders to answer important questions, like “where are the most dangerous places for people on bikes in our community?” and “what are the best ways to stay safe?”
The first step in answering these questions was gathering police reports. The City of Bloomington, the Town of Normal, and the McLean County Sheriff each provided 18 months’ worth of reports on crashes involving a bike and a car. Bernico distilled the data from those reports and published the results at http://bikeblono.org/crashdata/
“An important finding for our community is that riding a bike on the sidewalk is one of the most dangerous things people do,” says Bike BloNo board member Michael Gorman. “It turns out that, while it is probably safer for children to stay off the road, as an adult, the safest thing you can do is to ride with traffic – behaving like a car and following all the same rules of the road that you would if you were behind the wheel.”
“Open and available access to public data is key to understanding and improving this and other civic challenges,” says Bernico. “Open Data, Math, and Statistics are tools we can use to understand the world around us and hopefully make it better. That’s what a Data Scientist does, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to bring that idea to the public domain.”
Bike BloNo has partnered with other local groups to compile and publicize this data on an ongoing basis. Partners include the Friends of the Constitution Trail, the McLean County Wheelers, and the Bloomington Cycle-Coffee Hound Race Team.
Bike BloNo is an advocacy group promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation in Bloomington-Normal. The Friends of the Constitution Trail works for expansion and beautification of the trail. The McLean County Wheelers is a club of cycling enthusiasts in Central Illinois. The Bloomington Cycle-Coffee Hound Racing Team is a team of riders who live, love, and want to grow cycling in the Bloomington-Normal area.
As prescribed by the Bike BloNo bylaws, its president is to “prepare and deliver an annual report of past organization activities at the annual membership meeting.” What follows is the organization’s annual report for 2014 as prepared by Bike BloNo President Mike McCurdy.
2014 may turn out to be the one of the most important years for bicycling in Bloomington-Normal history. It’s easy to mark this past year as one of the most significant based on the substantial accomplishments of Bike BloNo for the community and action taken by its board solidifying itself as a well-respected community organization. However, the successes of 2014 mean 2015 will be challenging year to meet or exceed the level of accomplishment of last year. Continue reading