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  1. #1
    wrecking crew
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    Wow! Really!

    I'm rather surprised...

    http://www.abc15.com/news/local/stor...3-0b6df3c2aeb6
    Arizona named a bicycle-friendly state; where do we rank?

    Reported by: Tricia Garcia-Captain
    Email: tcaptain@abc15.com
    Last Update: 9:19 am



    More Arizonans are ditching gas-guzzling cars for bicycles to commute to work and for recreation.

    The League of American Bicyclists named Arizona the third most bicycle-friendly state in the country for its encouragement of bicycling among riders of all ages.

    States were judged on six categories that support bike use, including legislation, education and encouragement, and infrastructure.

    Washington is ranked number one on the list of bicycle friendly states, followed by Wisconsin at number two.

    Oregon received a fourth-place ranking, and Minnesota rounds out the top five.

    The League of American Bicyclists encourages bicycle friendliness in both cities and states.

    The league promotes bicycling as an effective way to address the challenges of climate change, traffic congestion, rising obesity rates and soaring fuel prices.


    ~~~

  2. #2
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    My theory is that AZ being #3 just means that the bar for "bike friendliness" is really low nation-wide.

    I'll find out soon how true this is...gonna officially start commuting 2 days per week 25miles each way starting next week.
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  3. #3
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    Higher than Oregon and Minnesota?

    The only way I can see Arizona being that high on the list is if they included weather when the calculated the rankings and then also gave us lots of infrastructure points for having very wide surface streets.

  4. #4
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    Ive read from a few diff artlices that Tucson is ranked very high, if not number one. I wouldnt give too many props to the Valley area. . .

  5. #5
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    I'm sure Tucson is enough to skew the rankings. It's a really pro-cycling town. Flag, maybe, too, but nothing like Tucson.

    p.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    I'm sure Tucson is enough to skew the rankings. It's a really pro-cycling town. Flag, maybe, too, but nothing like Tucson.

    p.
    Are you guys talking about Tucson, AZ or some other Tucson. I live down here and think that it is not very bike friendly at all. I have had numerous run ins with cars not willing to share the road, had two friends hit buys cars and in both cases the cars was at fault but not ticketed, and there was even that incident at the "shootout" with the police none the less all this just this year.

  7. #7
    Don't believe the Hype...
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    I bet all the Mountain bike trails in the Metro area were just counted as "bike paths". Add all the trails from PMP, SoMo, Papago, Hawes, MMP, WhiteTanks, Estrella that's a whole lot a miles....Throw in the canal System plus all the bike lanes that are mandatory in all the new communities being built. Most people don't see or use these bike lanes in Buckeye, Surprise and Queen Creek but they are there...
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  8. #8
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    If my recollection is accurate, one of the reasons that Arizona scored so high was that there is a state law requiring cars to give bicyclists at least 3 feet of space while passing.

    I wonder how many tickets have been given out for violating that one?
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  9. #9
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    I would think they are talking about Flagstaff I think just about every one ride a bike there. They even have a contest during bike to work week. They give out prizes for the business that rides the most miles during the that week post the results in the paper. The Town of Flag, Absolute Bikes and http://flagstaffbiking.org/ put on all kinds of trail days and also help of the community with support. So I would say may be Flagstaff is Number one bike friendly town to me. Then may be Sedona. Prescott, and then Phoenix, Tempe and so on…

  10. #10
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    it seems that the rankings are based on government-supported efforts, not individual behavior. Just cause you have bike lanes and laws doesn't keep stupid suburban fatasses in their Escalades on their cell phone from almost hitting you, as happened to me yesterday at 6pm on McDowell and Greenfield -- a great big wide street at a light when I had right of way and traffic was moderate.
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  11. #11
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    I've lived all over the country and I don't think it gets much worse than Prescott. When my wife rides her bike across town, I cringe and pray she doesn't get run over by an old woman who can't see her... or a redneck who does but doesn't care.

    As with all towns though, the motorists aren't the reason for poor bicycling conditions-- the local government is. They make a very conscious choice of where to spend their local and federal transportation dollars and whether or not to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians.

    A few make the right choices, but most get away again and again with making the wrong ones.

  12. #12
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    I saw a related article a week or so ago, and it had Georgia ranking a stellar 49 outta 50.

    Bubba don't ride.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowrider
    So I would say may be Flagstaff is Number one bike friendly town to me. Then may be Sedona. Prescott, and then Phoenix, Tempe and so onů
    Nothing bike friendly about Sedona streets. No bike lanes, lots of traffic. Getting better now with the new road from VOC to uptown. More roundy-rounds than you can count too

  14. #14
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    Not sure how accurate their ranking are?

    I used to live in Oregon. I find their ranking hard to believe!

    Maybe Portland is bike friendly, but most towns are not. Roseburg had almost no bike lanes, and the backroads have no shoulders. If there are shoulders they are full of broken glass, some of it from the rednecks when they hit you with the beer bottle and it falls to the road. Pickup trucks go by, and they don't want to move even 1 foot over to make room for some "Garsh dern bicycle that don't belong on the road nohow!!" They usually have the side mirror that is about the size of a sub-compact car door, and it goes past your shoulder so close you feel it touch the sleeve of your jersey.

    Arizona.
    Better in some ways. Not quite as many intolerant rednecks, just many, many old blind people. And drunks, don't forget them. Tucson does have bike lanes, but some good that does when some gal is text messaging and not looking. Or like the one guy who got hit by the drunk gal and ended up in the back of her pickup. Dead.

    Gee, there's a surprise when you get home and unload a few half-racks you picked up at the store. Shoot him!! Shoot him!! There's a guy in the back of my truck trying to steal my beer!!

  15. #15
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    The League of American Bicyclists has announced our first annual ranking of Bicycle Friendly States, scoring all 50 states on more than 70 factors. The states were scored on responses to a questionnaire evaluating their commitment to bicycling and covering 6 key areas: legislation; policies and programs; infrastructure; education and encouragement; evaluation and planning; and enforcement.
    http://www.bikeleague.org/news/090508bfs.php
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  16. #16
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    I read this earlier and laughed, but now that I've thought about it, it's not too far from the truth. Assuming AZ = Phoenix, here's what we have. Completely from a bike commuters point of view...

    1) Weather. No snow, perfect winter, not much rain. The summer sucks but there's ways around it.

    2) Maps. Maricopa Co bike map is great. Scottsdale, Mesa, and Tempe have their own maps as well. This is a good start.

    3) Promise. Tempe and Mesa have committed to providing safer bike lanes with future construction. While the current infrastructure isn't horrible, it's not great. An extra street sweeper shift along the bike routes (mapped) would be fantastic.

    4) Bike Shops. We've got a lot. Roadie shops, MTB shops, Beach Cruiser shops, you name it. If you follow the maps, you're bound to ride passed at least one.

    5) Bus/Lightrail. Busses are changing to a 3 bike rack, and the Lightrail will have room for 6.

    So that covers the streets, and we all know about the dirt!

    I'm starting to see more bike commuters on my route, and it's exciting to me. The more cyclists on the road could mean more attention to our cause (see #3), not to mention the obvious health/environmental benefits. The downside is that we'll see more accidents since drivers aren't prepared for bike traffic, and many bikers don't follow the rules of the road (bikers and cyclists are slightly different in my eyes). No lights when it's dark, wrong side of the street, etc. These people are going to be the sad statistics that we'll see on the news soon enough.

  17. #17
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    compared to some states yes...

    was back at my folks place in KS a few weeks prior.. the roads there suck for road riding.. no shoulder at all.. just a white line, then ditch.. forget road riding unless you go in a large group.. and best not be the poor s.o.b that is off the back!

    mtn bikers fare better, but I could totally see how 'spoiled' we are here in say the east valley, and newer parts of town where there are wide shoulders and bike lanes aplenty.


    if ks was 25th and az was 3rd I'd hate to see the bottom half of the list....

  18. #18
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    College towns always seem to be more bike friendly than other communities... Flagstaff, Tucson, Tempe, etc. Mostly due to government and university sponsored programs and infrastructure to encourage cycling. Also a factor of poor college kids and consciousness about the environment.

    I'm really surprised California isn't in the top 5. There has to be more college towns there than any state in the country... and more environmentalists. The towns I lived in out there were far more bike friendly and accesible than anything I've seen in Arizona.

  19. #19
    wretch
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    Im with you Flow. . .I know your from SLO area. . . so youve got that all covered, I grew up in the east bay and then Tahoe. . . bikes everywhere, lanes, trails, support, respect, stweardship, and you usually feel safe. That is of course laying exepmtion to all the s h i t that goes in in Marin. Id love to pick up road riding to get me in better shape for mtb but theres no way Id ride on the roads near where I live here. Im worried enough in my truck let alone on a bike.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sikwoodbiker
    Are you guys talking about Tucson, AZ or some other Tucson. I live down here and think that it is not very bike friendly at all. I have had numerous run ins with cars not willing to share the road, had two friends hit buys cars and in both cases the cars was at fault but not ticketed, and there was even that incident at the "shootout" with the police none the less all this just this year.

    Tucson has done a nice job of appearing to be a bike friendly town, without being actually bike friendly. The incidents sikwood sites are only the tip of the iceberg. There are far too many bike-car incidents and far too little enforcement of bicycle safety rules against both sets of users.

    I'm not sure how a city where the local constabulary is openly hostile against the cycling community can ever acheive League of American Bicyclists "Platinum" status, but the local chapter is gunning for it, reality be damned.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sikwoodbiker
    Are you guys talking about Tucson, AZ or some other Tucson. I live down here and think that it is not very bike friendly at all. I have had numerous run ins with cars not willing to share the road, had two friends hit buys cars and in both cases the cars was at fault but not ticketed, and there was even that incident at the "shootout" with the police none the less all this just this year.

    The jacked-up pickup driving rednecks here would make it seem otherwise, but Tucson really is bike friendly compared to some. I've been commuting a couple times a week for a few years and have had a close call or two by an unaware driver, but nothing I'd say was deliberate.

    http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/communities/

    Click on Arizona, and you can see how the state fares. Tucson is Gold in Engineering, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation. Again, doesn't include the ignorant "cagers" that surround us...
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truckee Trash
    Id love to pick up road riding to get me in better shape for mtb but theres no way Id ride on the roads near where I live here. Im worried enough in my truck let alone on a bike.
    Yeah, I'm hesitant to pedal the 4 miles to work on the road with all the a$$hat drivers I see out there everyday in central Phoenix, especially during rush hour. Doesn't seem very bike friendly to me.

    Central and Northern California cities definitely have the advantage over Arizona for bike infrastructure and public transit. I can't remember, does BART allow bikes? You could cover a lot of area around the Bay if so.

  23. #23
    wretch
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    When I lived in SF I commuted on Bart with my bike to Oakland to work, when I lived in the East Bay I commuted on Bart with my bike to SF. There are small, smart rules, such as no bikes in something like the first car of the train, and certain times they are not allowed, unspoken rules of not bringing your bike into a crowded car, etc.Also certain get off's are allowed and not, but thats due to the infrastructure of the train system and how it goes through the city (commute hours you can only get off at the Embarcadero station if city bound.) They also offer free secure bike parking.

  24. #24
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    I can certainly attest to Washington being very biker friendly. If this was ranked by city, then Portland, OR would be my guess for #1 with Seattle a close second.

    Someday I'll be back up there to enjoy it too!
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    Most Arizona police don't even pursue assallts against bikers and even if there are witnesses usually side with the motorist - even when the biker was struck by a car coffin. This very thing happenend to my friend Danielle up here in Prescott a few years ago. I guess we need to be killed for them to pursue offenses. Bike friendly?? College towns do seem to be better. I agree with Velokid1, he hit the nail squarly on the head. Here in Prescott you are taking your chances on any paved surface as we have the all time worst drivers on the Planet. Most of whom are elderly and can't even turn their necks more than 15 to 30 degrees. Do not walk behind any vehicle backing out up here they NEVER look, most are physically unable. Almost flattened last week in the Costco parking lot, a crip( think "tales from the crypt" - crypt keeper) floored the car backing out, why I will never know and missed me by not more than a foot. AND they have driving licenses! It gets better this lady then tried to lecture me on how I should not have been behind her car, two bystanders who saw it were ready to call Five-O. Good thing I was a pedestrian, if they came hopefully the cops would listen.

  26. #26
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    I wanna trade my car for a bike
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  27. #27
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    I want to trade my Phoenix in for a Denver.

    Bike friendly, beatiful city, real mountains, and I think safety supplies up to 1oz is now completely kosher with local authorities

  28. #28
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    How many 1oz caches can you get away with at once? Because there's a zillion little hidey-holes all over any given bike.

    p.
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  29. #29
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    I think multiple packages on one vehicle is still considered intent to distribute said safety supplies.

  30. #30
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    plusses

    Quote Originally Posted by sikwoodbiker
    Are you guys talking about Tucson, AZ or some other Tucson. I live down here and think that it is not very bike friendly at all. I have had numerous run ins with cars not willing to share the road, had two friends hit buys cars and in both cases the cars was at fault but not ticketed, and there was even that incident at the "shootout" with the police none the less all this just this year.
    The one thing that makes Tucson bike friendly is the side street bike routes. Riding on major streets with a bicycle is tempting fate. Riding down Speedway, 6th Street or Oracle is just not safe.
    Denver has bike lanes seperated by planted areas 10 meters away from the roads as well as bike lanes along every creek.
    Tucson has bike lanes along the Rillito and Santa Cruz washes.
    Also Arizona gets the added plus of 12 months of riding.
    agmtb

  31. #31
    wretch
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    Ahhhh safety. . .

  32. #32
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    Have you seen the new bikeway going in on 15th ave?
    They are taking a 4 lan road and making it a two lane with bike lanes and a ceter turn all the way from Washington eventually to Dunlap with a bridge over the canal.

  33. #33
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    They just did the samething in the north valley on Pinnacle Peak they redid a 2 mile stretch and instead of making it 4 lanes they made it 2 with a huge nice bike line on both sides through Thunderbird park and down into arrowhead.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by abegold
    The one thing that makes Tucson bike friendly is the side street bike routes. Riding on major streets with a bicycle is tempting fate. Riding down Speedway, 6th Street or Oracle is just not safe.
    Denver has bike lanes seperated by planted areas 10 meters away from the roads as well as bike lanes along every creek.
    Tucson has bike lanes along the Rillito and Santa Cruz washes.
    Also Arizona gets the added plus of 12 months of riding.

    This is true. Between the two river paths, aviation, 3rd st and the neighborhoods, there is a way to get pretty much everywhere you need/want to go by bike. My main issue is the way TPD and PCSD enforce traffic laws.

  35. #35
    Don't believe the Hype...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truckee Trash
    Ahhhh safety. . .
    I that what they were singing about? Now I get it!

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  36. #36
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    Hmm...#3. I can see it.

    I think it's more of a statement of how bad most other states and not how good Arizona is.

    I travel all over the USA for business...ride wherever I can...and most everywhere else is FAR inferior to Arizona (Phoenix and Tucson specifically) when it comes to "bike friendliness". This includes LA, San Diego, Denver, Salt Lake City, St Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami (worst by far), Dallas, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Wichita...you name it, I go there, and most cities are horrible for bikes.

    * Our roads are MUCH wider and straighter -- roads in most other states have no shoulder and are curvy, making that a double-whammy (cars can't see you in advance and you have nowhere to go to get out of their way)

    * Our roads generally go "through". Most other big cities have no easy way to get from "here" to "there" on a bike...especially those with river crossings (bridges typically have no place for bikes).

    * We have so many more miles of bike lanes it's not even funny (no comparison there)

    * Drivers in Phoenix and Tucson, believe it or not, are so much more aware of bikes than most anywhere else (you think it's bad here...go ride elsewhere).

    So for those of you who think AZ isn't great for bikes...try riding elsewhere. You never realize just how good you have it!

    Thx...Doug

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  38. #38
    Don't believe the Hype...
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowrider
    dope
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  39. #39
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    Dope

  40. #40
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    Some places the night is safer!!

    It may sound strange, but when I did road training back in Oregon on little country roads, I found I had less close calls at night.

    In the daytime, you blend into the scenery, and people are too busy gawking at the deer/sheep/cows etc, and not looking at the road.

    In the dark with 2 flashers, and an HID light on, you stand out like a sore thumb in the dark, and I found cars gave me a much wider berth at night, and were more likely to go in the other lane since they could more easily tell that another car was not coming. And there were a lot less cars on the roads at 10pm as well, and they could not look around much so were more likely to be looking at the road.

  41. #41
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    I have lived in Phoenix, Prescott, Flagstaff and the south Island of New Zealand and I now live in Fairfax, VA. I have to say from what I saw the last time I was in Prescott its getting better fast. Commuted in each location. New Zealand wow, once I got used to riding on the left and looking the other way for oncoming traffic is was nothing short of amazing. But compared to Fairfax every where is nice.

    I would rate Fairfax, VA as one of the all time absolute worst and most dangerous places to ride a bike on asphalt. Surface streets are laid out poorly, and do not connect. Red light running by cars is about as common as oh I don't know........ Actually stopping! Many non surface streets are one lane in each direction with no divider and no shoulder and cars do like 55+. So many destinations have no safe route at all. When there are bike paths or side walks they are not even consistent, one 1/4mile the path is one one side of the road and then it switches and then it switches back again. On the rare occasion you see some one riding or even walking you often see them walking against traffic where there is no shoulder or side walk because it just ends with out any warning. Its so bad the road riders in the area will drive to the start of rides. The local police are totally useless, all they do is respond to accidents. Its generally understood by the public and the police that its too dangerous for both parties to even pull people over during rush hour, so recklessness is wide spread. The mind set around here that applies to bike, pedestrians and, cars is yield, if and only if the other vehicle is larger and moving faster. Its baffling that no money at all seems to go toward city planning or traffic engineering. A friend of mine lives in New York and says he feels safer on the streets on his bike there cause traffic is slower. I guess part of my disdain toward Fairfax is that they are a very wealthy county and even the District of Columbia seems to spend more money on bikes.

  42. #42
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    About 8 weeks ago I started to commute 4 days a week. It's an 11 mile one way trip. I have been quite pleasantly surprised at how nice it's been. Granted I use bike lanes for 95% of the ride, but all the drivers have been pretty cool about seeing and yielding to me. I don't have any complaints at this point.
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  43. #43
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    Every time I get on the road in AZ somebody in a 50 ton pickup truck tries to whiz 2 inches past my leg. Must be that kind of friendly in survey.

  44. #44
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    Take the new transportation survey and checkout the results from the first survey at www.flagstaffpathways.org ( http://www.flagstaffpathways.org/ ). Our first Flagstaff Pathways transportation survey invited the community to tell us what they think about major transportation issues and priorities. The new second survey will gather more specific information and build on the results of the first survey and other community input so far. Take a few moments to complete the new survey, and to encourage your colleagues, friends, and neighbors to do the same. We value your interest and input! The Flagstaff Pathways project, which is produced by the Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization (FMPO) and its member agencies: The City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, and the Arizona Department of Transportation, is a major update to the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) for the greater Flagstaff area through the Spring of 2009. The RTP will prioritize how tax dollars should be spent on highway, street, bicycle, pedestrian and bus projects as well as help shape those projects to best fit the neighborhoods they serve. Learn more at the Sustainable Living Fair on September on 13th and 14th in Thorpe Park. Thanks for participating in shaping Flagstaff's future. For more information contact David Wessel at (928) 226-4841. The Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization is responsible for comprehensive transportation planning in the region extending from Bellemont to Winona and Sunset Crater to Kachina Village. Federal law requires that an MPO prepare a Regional Transportation Plan in order to receive federal transportation funding. For more information on the Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization visit www.flagstaffmpo.org ( http://www.flagstaffmpo.org/ ).

    Link to the post: http://flagstaffbiking.org/2008/09/1...tation-survey/
    Link to Flagstaff Biking Organization: http://flagstaffbiking.org

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