1. Bike Fatality on White Spar Road
2. PAT is Only AZ Recipient of National Safe Routes Grant Program
3. This Saturday: PAT at Outdoor Recreation Symposium
4. Progress toward Bike/Ped Advisory Committee
5. Identifying Bike Trouble Spots for Targeted Enforcement
6. End Notes

Bike Fatality on White Spar Road

We at Prescott Alternative Transportation (PAT) were horrified to learn about the tragic death of a cyclist this month in Prescott. Everything we do is intended to prevent harm to any cyclist or pedestrian traveling our streets. This incident shows how much more we need to do.

Late Friday afternoon, January 16, Amber "Cricket" Harrington was killed when a pickup truck struck her bicycle on White Spar Road near the intersection with Copper Basin Road. As of this writing, a police report is not yet available.

A recent graduate of Prescott College, Cricket was a vibrant, energetic, and engaged participant in her community. She was also a committed transportation bicyclist. Cricket will be sorely missed.

On Saturday afternoon, January 24, more than a hundred people participated in a group ride from the college campus to the crash site to install a "ghost bike" as a memorial to Cricket and also as a reminder to motorists and cyclists that care and attention are required to safely share the roads. The event was covered in this Daily Courier article.

In a press release issued shortly after the incident, PAT president Russ Willis noted, "there is no signage on that stretch of White Spar—and more to the point, no pavement markings—alerting motorists to the presence of bicyclists on the road. The posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour is routinely not observed, and the existing road design encourages speeding."

Russ again expressed his wish that bicycle and pedestrian advocates have "a seat at the table" when road projects are designed and when decisions are made to improve safety on existing roads. "We have been in conversation with various individuals in city government to make this happen," he said. "The time is now."

PAT is Only AZ Recipient of National Safe Routes Grant Program

By: Josette Kubin, Safe Routes to Schools Coordinator

BIG NEWS! Prescott Alternative Transportation (PAT) was the only entity in Arizona to receive a mini grant from Schwinn and the National Partnership for Safe Routes to School! We wrote this grant proposal to help fund our Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) program. With the $1,000 grant we will implement an Earn-A-Bike Project at Miller Valley Elementary School, where fourth and fifth graders have a chance to earn a free bike by attending helmet and bicycle safety classes.

We chose Miller Valley Elementary as the target school because 83% of their students are on the free- or reduced-lunch program, a strong indication these kiddos likely do not have financial resources to purchase a bicycle. PAT's Safe Routes to School was one of 25 organizations selected out of 170 applicants!

As we implement this grant this spring, all Miller Valley Elementary participants must make a bike safety presentation and poster and will get a free helmet and pizza party at the end of the three-month project. Names of students who complete the project will be placed in a drawing for two free Schwinn bike giveaways. But we are hoping the community can step in and outfit all participants with a new bike. So we are accepting donations of new bikes or funding for bikes!

If you would like to donate and help make this happen, please contact me at srts{at}prescottbikeped.org or 928-708-0911. Please read more about our SRTS program on PAT’s website: www.prescottbikeped.org . Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

This Saturday: PAT at Outdoor Recreation Symposium

By: Steve Monez, Board Member

Please join me Saturday January 31st at 2:30 pm at Prescott College, room 205 for my interactive workshop called “Urban Biking: Shaping Future Opportunities.” This workshop is part of the free all-day Outdoor Recreation Symposium and will take about an hour including a PowerPoint presentation and discussion with attendees.

I’ll be joined by a few others from Prescott Alternative Transportation (PAT), including Russ Willis, PAT’s president. My presentation will cover bicycling experiences on the roads and transportation trails of Prescott and will compare our bicycling infrastructure with other cities in the U.S. and around the world that encourage urban biking. We will also discuss urban biking in Prescott to determine what we can do to encourage more people to ride in our community. This will include PAT’s involvement with the city and the state to make streets safer for bicycling.

I will have plenty of handouts including PAT’s brochure, an Arizona bike law booklet, and Prescott’s bike map. We’ll go over popular and lesser-known routes on this map including the 69/89 interchange trail and some of the bike routes through town that avoid busy streets. We’ll also cover defensive riding skills to help attendees feel more confident riding the streets of Prescott.

Russ and I will be gathering ideas from attendees throughout the workshop and will bring these back to PAT to help us focus our efforts where they are needed most.

We hope to see you there!

Progress toward Bike/Ped Advisory Committee

A front-page story in the Daily Courier on January 26th, the Monday after Cricket’s tragic death, indicated potential progress toward the City of Prescott finally reestablishing a bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee. Such a committee was in place from the late 1990s until about ten years ago when the city council disbanded it.

Monday’s article quoted Councilwoman Jean Wilcox as saying she intends to bring a proposal to the city council sometime in February to create a standing bicycle/pedestrian advisory committee to advise the city on proposed road projects and on needed fixes to existing roadways.

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, January 27, the council endorsed Arizona Department of Transportation’s (ADOT) designation of a segment of an interstate "bicycle route" through Prescott, including Willow Creek Road from Highway 89A to Iron Springs as well as Montezuma and White Spar to Route 89 South, through the intersection where Cricket was killed.

Councilwoman Wilcox attempted to add language to the resolution requiring the public works department to study the designated route to determine what measures might be taken to improve bicyclist safety. Her effort was deflected, but several members of the council indicated they would pursue the discussion in coming weeks.

Several cyclists were present to offer comments, including PAT president Russ Willis, who pointed out that the bike lanes on Willow Creek do not meet even the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) specifications, which are the very basics. He urged the council to take this opportunity to begin a process of redesigning the roadways to make them safe for pedestrians and cyclists.

Identifying Bike Trouble Spots for Targeted Enforcement

On a separate track, Councilwoman Wilcox also put out a call to local cyclists to identify "trouble spots" at which the police might focus pre-announced targeted enforcement efforts against motorists endangering cyclists.

Police Chief Jerald Monahan is seeking data from city traffic engineer Ian Mattingly on where collisions involving bicycles have occurred over the past five years, but of course these do not necessarily correspond with where difficulties routinely arise—for example, routine violations of the three-foot passing law—that might not result in crashes.

Chief Monahan's e-mail address is jerald.monahan{at}prescott-az.gov. His telephone number is 928.777.1901.

End Notes

As you can see, there is a lot going on for bicycling and walking in Prescott! The tragic death of Cricket has shown all of us how much work is yet to be done before our community becomes a place where people no longer fear traveling without a car. You can help us focus this energy into lasting changes that will transform our city into a place where bicycling and walking become commonplace for people of all ages and abilities. Read more about PAT’s programs on our website: www.prescottbikeped.org 

Please let us know how you’d like to help by giving us a call at 928-708-0911, emailing us at pat{at}prescottbikeped.org, or dropping by our office any weekday morning at 309 E. Gurley St. in Prescott. We look forward to working with you!

Prescott Alternative Transportation
P.O. Box 2122, Prescott, Arizona 86302

Prescott Alternative Transportation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Donations are tax deductible.

Prescott Alternative Transportation
P.O. Box 2122, Prescott, Arizona 86302
 928-708-0911   pat(at)prescottbikeped.org
Prescott Alternative Transportation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Donations are tax deductible.

Prescott Alternative Transportation
P.O. Box 2122, Prescott, Arizona 86302

Prescott Alternative Transportation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Donations are tax deductible.

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