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August Special Meeting

Please join us for a very special program on Tuesday, August 24that 6PM for a preview of the new Greenway construction.  Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Director, Jeff Owens, will be leading us on a walking tour for a look at the progress that is being made on Phase 1 of the Greenway. 
We will meet in the Dillard's parking lot (the east side) at the Mall at Turtle Creek.
Note: This meeting will take the place of our regularly scheduled meeting.

July 2010 Update

For those of you who couldn't join us on Tuesday, here's what you missed:

*I have our new membership software all up and running on our new laptop.  GiftWorks will allow us to easily keep our member information current, send out reminders to renew memberships, send out "thank-you" and "welcome" messages, and track all kinds of other organizational information. 

*The mt. bike skills park and pump track still needs a good bit of work, but that work has been delayed thanks to the ridiculously hot weather.  As soon as we come up with a water source or get a break from mother nature, work will resume.  Signage for the track is being ordered and will be installed as soon as possible.

*We'll also be purchasing a few more Share the Road signs that will be installed in Jonesboro taking advantage of some empty sign posts that were left when JETS did some rerouting.

*Harvey Howington of the Sunken Lands Chamber of Commerce gave us a quick presentation about a really exciting project that he and our own Dr. Jeff Graham are working on in the Sunken Lands.  There is approximately 4 miles of old Hwy. 63 between Marked Tree and Tyronza that is very lightly traveled, has three historic bridges, and is in desperate need of restoration.  Harvey and the Chamber are looking to turn this section of road into a bike and pedestrian only area and have already done much of the legwork in getting the ball rolling.  The Clinton School of Public Service is currently considering taking on this project for the next school year.  Once completed, this stretch would tie into a larger bicycle route.  Stay tuned for further developments.

*The Alliance for Biking and Walking are currently working to address state rumble strip policies (those noisy strips cut into road shoulders), and have targeted Arkansas as a key state for improvement.  Last year, the state highway dept. received stimulus money to add rumble strips across the state.  Because there is no written standard for installation in Arkansas, rumble strips were installed in such a way that many cyclists lost their favorite routes.  They went in on narrow to non-existent shoulders and right down the middle of wide shoulders.  Fortunately, work has stalled due to broken equipment.  After a call from the Alliance, I am helping them to round up advocates around the state to address the issue and get some bicycle-friendly installation guidelines in place.  While the Alliance will be available for guidance, this will be a locally led campaign so if anyone is interested in helping, please let me know!  I'm meeting with the Alliance again this week to begin some strategic planning and will have more information then.

*Finally, there are two City of Jonesboro items.  First, the Transportation Management Board met for the first time this month.  The board has been given the task of prioritizing the city's transportation projects and will hear all new project proposals.  The next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 10th at 3PM in the Craighead County Library's round room, and the public is welcome to attend.  Second, please take a moment to fill out this bicycle and pedestrian survey.  The data collected will be used for future bike/pedestrian planning including a master bicycle plan.

Tailwinds till next time,
Sally Broadaway
NEABC president

Next meeting: Aug. 17th, 6PM, The Spot


Your Input Needed - Bike/Pedestrian Survey

The Jonesboro Metropolitan Planning Organization has created a bicyle and walking survey to gather data that will assist in planning for future bike and pedestrian facilities.  If you are in the Jonesboro metro area (Jonesboro, Brookland, Bono, Bay), please take just a minute to fill out this quick survey.  Your input is so ver appreciated
Click Here for the Survey

May 2010 Update

Mt. Bike Skills Park/Pump Track
We made great progress on the pump track.  Many, many thanks to everyone who came out and helped out May 15th and 16th and those who donated equipment and tools for the work.  A few in particular that need a big pat on the back are Nathan Stephens, Jeffery Graham, Jason Broadaway, Nate Rice, Kacey Carter, Rusty Guinn, and Josh Olsen.  Although it's rideable now, the track needs some fine tuning and we still need to install some of the technical skill building obstacles, so we'll be scheduling another major work day soon.  Keep an eye out for an email about that in the near future.

CycleFest 2010
I can't say enough how amazing this event was!  On Bike to Work Day, we had roughly 40 folks riding through Jonesboro to downtown where we had one heck of a breakfast at Piero's.  The mayor announced that we will be represented on the newly formed Transportation Management Board (by yours truly).  We also trained 5 youth cycling instructors who are now certified by the League of American Bicyclists to teach bike safety and hold bike rodeos.  On Saturday, we taught kids and adults bike handling and safety skills for the road and trail, heard great tips for preventing injuries, taught lots of folks how to keep their bikes maintained and make minor repairs, and took lots of folks on their first group ride.  If you haven't seen the pictures, check them out on our website.  Big THANK YOUs are in order for our sponsors: Gearhead Outfitters, Jonesboro Orthopaedics Sports Medicine, St. Bernard's Sports Medicine, Arnold Real Estate, Piero's, Jonesboro Parks and Recreation, KUAT Racks, and Tifosi Optics. THANK YOU!!  I also want to thank the JPD for being amazing escorts on Friday, Brad Piercy for delivering Subway sandwiches to us on Saturday, and Tom Ezell for driving up from Little Rock to train our youth cycling instructors and teach on Saturday.  You guys rock!  I sincerely hope that everyone had as great a time as I did and that we continue this as an annual event!

Rack-n-Ride JTown
NEABC teamed up with JETS to create a "how-to" for using the bike racks that are on the front of all the JETS busses.  You can check that out on our website or on the JETS site.  These are great if you want to incorporate cycling into your commute, but maybe want to only bike part of it or if you find that the weather has taken a turn for the worse.  There are cities that have fought long battles for racks on busses, and we have them (thanks Gearhead!), so please go out and use them!

A Word from Your President:
One of my goals for this year is to become a little more organizationally sound.  One way to do that is to well, get more organized and to develop our membership program.  Last meeting, we discussed the purchase of a laptop to serve as a central location for our day to day business so that it can be passed along and shared as needed.  Scott Beasley was kind enough to help this Mac user shop for a PC :).   We also discussed looking into purchasing software for non-profits to help with membership development/management and accounting.  We just need to make sure our ducks are in a row so that we can be as efficient and sustainable as possible.

What we need from you all is to officially join us if you haven't.  Simple as that.  Having a strong paying membership base will help insure that we are sustainable as an organization and can continue our existing programs and expand our efforts to areas like offering more bicycle education, pursuing Bike Friendly City status in Jonesboro (or other NEA cities), providing more bicycle parking, and marketing and reaching out to other communities.  We also need something that comes so naturally to you all: your talents.  As we grow, the need for more volunteers also grows.  We have some amazing folks who have volunteered for various projects and your help is so greatly appreciated.  Some immediate needs that come to mind are folks who can help with marketing type projects or folks from other counties who would be willing to form a county specific task force or be liaisons with your county/city govt. (just as an example, Greene County) to help us expand our programs.  NEABC is gaining a lot of respect among the bike advocacy community for what we've accomplished in such a short amount of time, but there is so much more to do.  We need your support to make it happen!!  A family membership to NEABC is $20/yr., and to make joining easy we have a PayPal link on our website so you can even pay with a card (no need to have a PayPal acct.).  We also have membership forms at the bike shop in Gearhead.
Let me just say again how much I truly appreciate those of you who already volunteer and are members!

Next meeting: Tuesday June 15th, 6:00 PM at The Spot (above Piero's)


Coming soon... Mt. Bike Skills Park and Pump Track

Thanks to a grant from New Belgium Brewers, NEABC will be building a pump track/mountain bike skills park at Craighead Forest on May 15,16!  What's a pump track?  Basically, you use momentum to get through the course. Check out that link... ours won't be quite that big, but it will have a skills area that will mirror  obstacles you find out on the trail.  Pump tracks are accessible to riders of all ages and abilities.  It'll be a great place for kids to come out and learn the joys of riding the trails in a safe, controlled environment, and a fun place for experienced riders to hone their skills and try something new.  

We can use all the help with the labor we can get, so bring your shovels and rakes or whatever else ya got that moves dirt on the 15th and/or 16th!  The track will be located in the clearing up from Fort Rotary (by the bandshell).