Thursday, January 9

Better Kentucky Transportation

First off, if you're a Kentucky cyclist of any persuasion you should have an interest in the meeting tomorrow concerning the formation of a statewide advocacy organization in Lexington.  Every state needs such a body to lobby on a state and federal level and across regional divides that directly represents citizen cyclists.

Large bike clubs can rarely do this.  Government commissions such as the KBBC can't really do this.  You alone can't do this.  For Kentucky cycling to move forward we need this level of representation.

Mandy and I are planning on attending and I'll do my best to get out a detailed blog post early next week.  I'm working mainly from my cell phone due to technical difficulties with my laptop (if you can consider its destruction by pygmy grizzly bears "technical") so I've struggled to compose anything coherent around these beautiful, but fat, thumbs.  And the dry weather makes them swell up like crispy sausages.

Anyhoo!  Yesterday and today I attended the Kentuckians for Better Transportation (KBT) Conference in the sprawling micropolis of Lexington.  I'll have to say, it seems by "better" the organization means "a lot more of the same."  

I'll have to say though, I do keep up with their legislative policy recommendations and they support some good policies in the realm of general roadway safety.

Quickly scanning through the agenda I saw sessions titled "An Update on Kentucky's Bridge Projects," "Best Practices in an Ever Changing Aviation Marketplace," "Kentucky's Local Roads and Municipal Aid," and "TAP & CMAQ & How to Use Them in Your Community."  Some sounded interesting and useful to me and some didn't.

Toyota in the US produces 205 vehicles an hour every hour.  Every.  Hour.  Did you know that?  Before a session on logistics I did not.  

As I was waiting for the overlong first session in the big auditorium to end I pondered exactly who the attendees might be.  There was muffled applause and then the large room began hemorrhaging middle-aged white men.  There were a few individuals mixed in who's dark skin was probably not spray-on tan, and I doubt the few female-looking humans that walked out were cross-dressers, but I guess in the current universe in which I abide it is possible that every single observer in the "Bridging the Gap" session was swinging a white willy.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a (nearly) middle-aged white male myself--long live the empire!--but considering that most transportation issues directly impact the non-Lexus-owning majority it seems the meeting of minds leaves something to be desired.

I started to fog out after 10:30 as my blood sugar dropped to critical levels.  No amount of emergency caffeine consumption could offset the rebellion of my liver.  I needed lunch.

So regardless of how much I was interested in "The Infrastructure and the Impact on KY Tourism" I had to rely on my recording of the session for information.  

One speaker intoned that KBT advocates for ALL modes of transportation.  Then he (ironically was a middle-aged white male) listed ALL of those five modes: air, highway, public transit, rail, and waterways.  I truly hope "highways" prominently encompasses bicycle and pedestrian interests.  If you're interested in bike-ped advocacy please see my first few paragraphs.

Governor Steve Beshear spoke.  Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock spoke.  Bud Wright of AASHTO spoke.  Casey Dinges of ASCE spoke.  And the rest of us listened.

Another testing of the resiliency...our town's water supply has been disrupted.  A few days ago a water main broke and ever since our pressure has been weak.  The story is the the storage tanks haven't been able to refill.  We've been on a boil water advisory and encouraged to conserve water since yesterday.

I've been wondering if I could build a gravity fed water filter utilizing the Chainring family pond.  Getting off the grid seems a little more attainable and quite a bit more necessary at times like these.

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