10 petitions

Update posted 4 weeks ago

Petition to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Keith Weaver, Scott E. Bennett

Save the historic Big White River Bridge!

What We're Trying To Do and Why: The Friends of the Historic White River Bridge at Clarendon is a 501(c)3 non-profit that came together in 2014 around the cause of saving the historic Big White River Bridge for two reasons: It is a national treasure (listed on the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the U.S. Department of Interior), a gorgeous landmark worthy of preservation (see video) It will play a vital role as part of a larger effort to develop outdoor and eco-tourism in the Arkansas Delta, a region that is simultaneously one of the most beautiful and the most poor in the United States. Specifically, our mission is to adapt the historic bridge for use by cyclists, hikers, pedestrians, and wildlife / bird watchers, so that it can serve as a vehicle for tourism-based economic development in the Arkansas Delta. If successful, the converted bridge will be one of the longest and most scenic pedestrian and cycling bridges in the United States, as well as one of the longest elevated bird viewing platforms in the world, complete with spectacular viewing afforded by the Mississippi Flyway of migratory birds which hourglasses to its narrowest point in this area.   What We've Done So Far: With the Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department on the verge of letting bids to demolish the bridge (in fulfillment of an agreement made with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that enabled them to build the vehicle bridge that replaced the historic bridge), the Friends of the White River Bridge filed suit.  What We're Asking: All we are asking is that these agencies conduct the proper studies and analyses to ascertain whether the destruction of this magnificent landmark serves a greater good or would be a tragic mistake based on outdated and/or incomplete information. [See "The Details" section at the very bottom if you want the full scoop] Specifically, we are petitioning the following agencies to take the following actions to ensure this vital decision is made with the best possible information in hand:   ITEM 1: Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department (AHTD): Commit to the preservation of the entirety of the historic White River Bridge (per the provisions of USC Title 23, Chapter 1, Section 144(g) and the Arkansas Historic Bridge program) – including the still extant western and eastern approaches – should either of the following occur: AHTD is relieved of its obligation to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to demolish the bridge, OR... AHTD learns after conducting the proper study on the impact of the demolition of the bridge on bicycling that a sufficiently negative impact will result ITEM 2: Cache River National Wildlife Refuge / U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Commit to release AHTD of its obligation to the demolish the historic White River Bridge should either of the following occur: An updated hydrological study reveals that the demolition of the historic Bridge is not ecologically necessary, OR... It is determined by a proper study and analysis that the demolition and removal of the historic Bridge may negatively affect the threatened Rabbitsfoot mussel or its designated critical habitat Bottom Line: Given the tremendous enthusiasm for saving the historic bridge, the irreparable harm that would come from its destruction, the enormous potential upside to the region if the bridge is adapted as planned, and the lack of any urgent need to demolish the bridge, we ask that the relevant agencies simply take their time, conduct the proper studies with an open mind, and make every reasonable effort to accommodate those who wish to preserve this magnificent structure and enable it to enrich the lives of all who encounter it.    ===========================================OPTIONAL READING: The Details: The basis of our case is built on three arguments, all of which have merit:  Change of Circumstances: Hydrology – The argument for removing the bridge is primarily based on an outdated and obsolete hydrology study conducted in 2003. As part of construction on the new bridge, a lengthy berm (which was highlighted in the original study as the primary cause of water flow concerns) was removed. Our position is that the removal of the berm has created such a substantial change in water flows that a new hydrology study is required. If the problems that demolishing the bridge were intended to solve have already been solved, there's no reason to move forward. The U.S. Geological Survey, who did the original hydrology study, has indicated that a new study would make sense. Change of Circumstances: Endangered Species – The Rabbitsfoot mussel, which occupies the White River, was listed as a threatened species in 2013. In 2015, the area in the vicinity of the historic bridge was designated as critical habitat for the Rabbitsfoot mussel. When the plans were originally made to demolish the historic bridge after constructing the new one, these environmental issues were not considered. A quick subsequent study was done, but it is our contention that this study was inadequate. Violation of State Law: Impact on Bicycling Was Not Considered – Ten years ago when the Highway Department considered alternatives to tearing the bridge down, it never considered the impact on bicycles even though Arkansas law required it to do so. So not only should this obligation be fulfilled, but given the growth in bicycling regionally and nationally, revisiting this crucial obligation is simply the right thing to do. 

Friends of the Historic White River Bridge at Clarendon
1,599 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Raja Sethuraman, Jennifer Rosales, Michael Sampson

Support biking and walking infrastructure in Costa Mesa

We, the undersigned, would like to express our support for the proposed new and improved active transportation infrastructure contained in the City of Costa Mesa’s draft Bikeway and Walkability Active Transportation Plan. Bicycling and walking are great ways for people to get exercise, to commute to work, to run errands, to visit friends, or just to spend time together.  But people won’t bike and walk unless they feel safe, and a lot of streets in Costa Mesa aren’t currently safe for people who use active transportation.  Cyclists are frequently forced to ride on roads where cars zip by at 50 miles per hour while a thin strip of paint (if they’re lucky) protects them from cars.  And walkers don’t fare much better: multiple major streets in the city lack sidewalks on one side, curb cuts are lacking at many intersections, impatient drivers turn without looking, and sidewalks are cluttered with obstructions that make navigating strollers or wheelchairs difficult. We can do better as a city! And we have done better: the new multiuse paths along Harbor Boulevard (the Joann Street Trail and Harbor Cornerstone Trail) are excellent examples of what active transportation infrastructure can be.  They’re beautiful, functional spaces that make Harbor Boulevard better for drivers and safer for cyclists and walkers.   Given the success of the Harbor Boulevard trails, we ask that the city create as many new protected bicycle and walking paths as possible, as these facilities promote walking, bicycling, and other forms of active transportation better than any other type of facility.  Protected off-street paths allow people of all ages and skill levels to walk and bike safely, free from traffic. We are specifically in favor of extending the Class I Tanager Bike Path from Golf Course Drive to Fairview Park, to allow cyclists and walkers to circumnavigate the golf course and developmental center completely off streets; the Paularino Channel Trail, which will allow people to travel along the existing flood control channel between Pinecreek Drive and Bristol (parallel to Baker); and the 19th Street connection to the Santa Ana River Trail, which will give residents of Westside Costa Mesa safer access to the river trail and its many destinations.   A common concern of homeowners near proposed new cycling paths is that the paths will decrease property values and attract crime.  In fact, well-designed multiuse pathways have been shown to raise property values and decrease crime.  For instance: A 2006 study by the University of Delaware concludes “The majority of studies examined indicate that the presence of a bike path/trail either increases property values and ease of sale slightly or has no effect.”   A 2006 report for the Rail Trail Conversion Advisory Committee in Massachusetts analyzed home sales in seven towns with multiuse trails, and found that “homes near these rail trails sold at 99.3% of the list price as compared to 98.1% of the list price for other homes sold in these towns … these homes sold in an average of 29.3 days as compared to 50.4 days for other homes.”   A 2002 study of recent home buyers showed that walking/jogging/bike trails were the second-most desireable community amenity (after “highway access”) for home buyers.   A 1998 report by the Rails to Trails Conservancy found that “Four separate studies conducted between 1979 and 1997 concluded that rail-trails do not increase crime,” including a report from a trail in Seattle that “the rate of vandalism and break-ins to adjacent property was well below the neighborhood average.”   Well-designed trails attract a positive element to neighborhoods by encouraging families and neighbors to enjoy open spaces.  To address concerns about crime, we are in favor of creating and enforcing no loitering and no camping laws with regular police and/or citizen patrols.  We could also explore innovative solutions, such as the North Augusta Public Safety Department's integration of their city’s trails into police officers’ physical fitness training, thus adding a regular police presence to the trails at no extra cost (discussed on pg. 12 of the Rails to Trails Conservancy Report). We ask that, where it’s not feasible to build protected multiuse paths, the city install bike lanes and traffic-calmed bicycle boulevards wherever possible, to make roads safer for people who use active transportation.   We ask that the city improve the walking infrastructure to add sidewalks, reduce sidewalk obstructions, increase the width of sidewalks, add curb cuts, and implement other safety measures wherever possible. Making these improvements to the city’s active transportation infrastructure will improve the quality of life for all of Costa Mesa’s residents.  These improvements will make Costa Mesa more attractive to families with children: it will be easier for children to get to school safely, and it will be easier for families to bike or walk together without worrying about their children being hit by a car.  It will be easier for OCC students to get to their classes.  It will be safer for bicycle commuters on their way to work.  It will be easier for people to bike and walk to neighborhood businesses.  It will increase the property value of homes near these beautiful new paths.  It will encourage residents to bike and walk, increasing the health of our community.  It will even make things better for drivers, as they won’t have to worry as much about bicyclists and walkers impeding their trips. We ask that the Costa Mesa Bikeway and Walkability Committee and the other city bodies involved in approving the draft Active Transportation Plan take advantage of this opportunity to improve Costa Mesa for years to come!

Marc Perkins
112 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to David Gantt, Phil Steck, Thomas O'Mara

Enact a 3' Safe Passing Law to Protect New York State Bicyclists Now

New York State leads the nation for bicycle and pedestrian crashes. While NYBC has expanded Safe Cycling education and other efforts with partners around the state, there is one thing our state can do to make bicycling safer - enacting a 3' Safe Passing Distance law.  The current Vehicle & Traffic statutes DO NOT explicitly state a motorist must provide at least 3' of space between the vehicle and the bicyclist being overtaken - only that they must pass "carefully" (VTL 1122). As a bicyclist, what is safe for you is often not what feels safe to someone inside a motor vehicle!  3' Safe Passing Distance means ... Clear messaging about how to pass a bicyclist on the road ... A basis for high-visibility education to drivers about sharing the road with bicyclists ... A means for enforcement of unsafe passing by drivers of motor vehicles ... A public policy response to the most common reason for the death of a person on a bicycle that can become effective statewide in a short period of time Earlier this year, NYBC conducted a survey of the New York State bicycling community. The majority of respondents indicated that 3’ Safe Passing is their top legislative priority. 3’ Safe Passing is now the standard in 27 states. This law establishes that motorists must give bicyclists three feet of space between the bicycle and a vehicle on the road. Sign our petition today to ask Assemblyman David Gantt, Chairman of the Assembly Standing Committee on Transportation, and Senators Phil Steck and Thomas O'Mara to allow a vote on the bill during the upcoming 2018 legislative session. 

New York Bicycling Coalition
1,044 supporters
Started 6 months ago

Petition to James V. Hunt, Sr., Cathy Altenbern, Gary O. Thordburg, Boyd Bogle, Bob Weigel

Stop Ticketing people for Walking Hand in Hand in Belle Meade, TN

The officials in Belle Meade have effectively made it illegal for a couples to walk hand-in-hand, side-by-side down the road. Yes, you read that right. Current city law only allows people to walk, jog, or bike in single file - alone.  Officers are being forced to ticket people for walking and biking side-by-side with their loved ones. Mayor James V. Hunt Sr. has told his officers to provide "no mercy" for violators.  The current law hurts the community and criminalizes people who want to walk side-by-side with their family members, friends, and neighbors.   WHY DO THEY DO THIS?  We're told that this law exists for the safety of walkers, joggers, and bicyclists. In fact, the law was designed to be more restrictive than state law and attempts to keep people out of the community. Pedestrian and bicycle advocates agree that this law discourages people from walking, jogging, and riding bikes.   The current law has been in place since advocates tried to make space for walkers and bikers in 2000.  In response, the council even went so far as to ban baby strollers from the street! A petition at the time also made the claim that pedestrian infrastructure would "ruin the character of Belle Meade."    In 2011, the law was amended to finally allow people to use strollers again, but the law has not been amended to allow people to walk and bike side-by-side.   Curious about the current city code? Read it here.  Here's a brief recap of current rules:  "Every person running, walking, jogging, or otherwise traveling by foot upon a street or roadway other than Belle Meade Boulevard shall travel single file facing approaching vehicular traffic no more than eighteen (18) inches from the left edge of the pavement." "Every person operating a bicycle upon a street or roadway, within the City of Belle Meade, shall ride single file... "   HERE'S WHAT WE WANT The Mayor and City Council of Belle Meade should change the code and stop ticketing people for walking and biking side-by-side down Belle Meade Blvd.    Furthermore, they should follow the guidance of traffic engineers and redesign the road to support people who want to walk and ride bikes with their neighbors. Let's re-stripe the road to provide a separate place for walkers, bikers, and joggers, giving vehicles their own dedicated lane.  Want to join our fight? Sign this petition!  

Austin Bauman
29 supporters