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Old 11-29-2010, 07:13 PM  
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General thoughts about Chattanooga

Hello, in an attempt to get some productive things happening in our city I thought it would be easiest to get some specific examples of the positive and negative aspects of the culture of our city, and some of the positive and negative things the management of our city is doing.

I'll go first.

I like that we have people who commute by bicycle and would like to see more people do so. What it would take to get more people to ride a bike to work or school or out to get a bite to eat? What would it take for you to ride a bike to work 2 days a week?
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:36 PM  
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Chattanooga, TN
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biking

My best friend lives in Portland, OR. They have a great number of people who bike.
Portland does more than just make a law about giving 3 feet to bikers, and paint a couple of bike symbols on the roadway.

Try riding a bike or walk around Gunbarrell. There are no bike lanes, and barely any sidewalks.
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:32 PM  
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I have visited Portland and agree that they do a better job of accommodating for bikes than Chattanooga. Where do you think we need bike lanes the most? How else do you think we could make it easier to get around by transportation that isn't a car?
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:07 PM  
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Chattanooga, TN
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I would start in the East Brainerd/Gunbarrel area. It is so heavily congested.
I think it would benefit the businesses in the area.

A positive thing I have noticed, is at the downtown area around the riverpark, the "crosswalk" buttons actually work very well. You press the crosswalk button and the lights change.
The city has done a great job with that area.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:31 AM  
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The security of the bike is my issue...businesses have no place to chain them and the local police get a little irritable when you chain them to a sign....too many bikes stolen.
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:39 AM  
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Chattanooga, TN
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I agree with you Brando. My job takes me all over Hamilton county, and there is definitely a shortage of bike accomodations.
I live too far to bike to work (35 miles), but would do plan to do some recreational biking this summer in town along the river park and such.
Would be nice to be able to park your bike safely and visit some of the local shops/restaurants.

I work East Brainerd mostly. During the recent snow, I saw a lot of people walking on Lee Hwy/Gunbarrel/Shallowford/East Brnd roads. I am sure a lot of them were trying to avoid driving and go to the store for food.
It was like watching a live game of "Frogger".
We need better sidewalks, and crosswalks to accomodate and entice people to walk. I am not a picture of health by any means myself. I could stand to get out and walk a bit myself!
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:33 PM  
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I truly hope more and more little skinny inter-city types gety on their little bikes and ride around in the heavy traffic buzzing between cars and big trucks. That will really ease the traffic problems. You people live in your own little world...never had a childhood where you grew up playing outside. As it is you are just now discovering bicycles. Bicycles do not belong mixed in with 4,000 pound automobiles. Oh, I forget you have rights too! You put others at risk of killing someone by your own risky behavior. I do not want to be the guy who ran over and killed a cyclist darting in and around cars like some sort of spoiled child. Keep it offroad.
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:37 AM  
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Chattanooga, TN
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Victor: Sadly, I am not skinny (anymore), and I did grow up playing outside, and have had bikes my whole life. I am 43. I live in the country and visit and work in the city.
My point is.
I think people would save themselves some money and the environment, IF they had the means to ride/walk safely. There is NO place for a person to safely cross Gunbarrell around the Hamilton Place area. That is just one example.
I lived in San Diego for a while, road my bike to the Naval base and back. I walked to the mall and to eat at restaurants down town. It was convenient for me. i didn't have to find a parking spot.
My buddy lives in Portland. Now that city has really made biking safe. Nice clearly marked bike lanes that autos are not allowed in.

And to add validity to my point: Have you priced fuel lately? It is expected to reach $4/gallon this summer.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:35 PM  
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OK Jamnw, I concur that bicycles don't use gasoline. In reality only a few people can make effective use of them for their daily commutes. Let's be realistic they are a recreational device these days...unless you live in China, or some of the world's lesser advanced nations.

Let's imagine picking up that grocery list at the end of the week, or going shopping for school clothes for the kids and bringing home all those bundles on your bike with the kiddies in tow behind you on their bikes! Bring that precious new Ipad home from the office when it's cold and pouring the rain.

You know it makes for wonderfully green conversation to yip about more facilties for bicycles. We look so concerned, but in reality life in America is about convenience and putting people back on bicycles is pretty inconvenient.

Since were talking about energy consumption let's take a look at the fossile fuels that were spent to make your environment more convenient. Right now wherever you are take a look around you at all the items made from plastic. Maybe we should work on that. I hate plastic, but without it we would be back to the 18th century when everything was made from leather, bone, metal, wood, or cloth. All natural, organic, good ol fashioned labor intensive, whale killin, forest cutting wholesome products.

While were at it we'll run the labor rates back a hundred years or so and, and eliminate about 60% of the jobs that this convenient society we have now requires.

So....it's nice talk, but that's really all it is.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:05 AM  
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Chattanooga, TN
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Victor: I could not agree with you more. We are dependent on fossil fuels period. There is no debating it. Our lifestyles and industry ensure we will always be dependent.
I think that plastics have enriched our lives in some areas.
I would say the medical field and automotive industry benefits from plastics. Light-weight and stronger materials all around.

I am probably one of the biggest examples of someone who consumes. I have an F250 Diesel, and go camping a lot, drive 70 miles/day rountrip to work. Drive a Honda for that to save some fuel/money.
On a positive note, my wife started recycling a few years ago. It has significantly reduced what we put in the local landfill. We take our recycling to the center on Hwy58 in Harrison. Where it goes from there I don't know. But I did my part and tried.

My original reason for posting this, was more for safety than anything. I surely would not want Chattanooga to be overrun with bikes on the roads like some foreign countries.

Specifically the Hamilton Place area. There are several apartments/concos/townhomes/neighborhoods within walking/biking distance of the mall area. If I lived in that area, I would walk/bike when feasable, if it was safe. But it is not. Just last week, I witnessed a lady trying to walk across the road at Gunbarrell and Landress. It was scary to say the least.

If there were adequate crosswalks and sidewalks in that area, I wonder how many people would use them.

Would the end result would be reduced traffic and reduced emissions in the area? Would it be significant? Who knows, but every little bit helps.

I know this went on and off topic, but the banter is good. Thanks Victor, I enjoy it.
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