that...the 'ride-through' window?
(3/10/06) What happens when you try to ride
a bike to a drive-through window? Bicycles are vehicles in
all fifty states, right? It seems there's a lot more to this
than you (or we) might think.
Bob, a recent Brattleboro immigrant, came to us for bike commuting
gear in December. It seems he came to town, as many now do,
with the intent to get around without need of a car as much
as possible. One day near Christmas he rode up to the teller
window at BankNorth on Main Street and was told to get off
his bike and use the inside teller. Now, we all know that
there is some hassle involved with locking up your bike and
grabbing your stuff off the bike when you go inside. The teller
at the drive-through did not know this. She did know is "company
policy" not to serve pedestrians at the drive-through,
so she insisted Bob become an unambiguous pedestrian and come
inside. He complied, but not happily.
several hours of research and calls to people like us and
our friends at Vermont Bike/Pedestrian Coalition, Bob decided
he was not crazy and decided to stand up. After hearing his
arguments BankNorth decided they hadn't a leg to stand on
(esp. considering the ADA and motorized chairs), with the
result that he received the following letter:
"Dear Mr. D:
Please be informed that you are allowed
to use our drive-up facilities at 215 Main Street and 942
Putney Road on your bicycle.
Please be aware that pedestrians are still
not allowed to use these facilities and must use the bank
Using the drive-up teller is done at the
customer's own risk."
We feel this is a positive sign that bikes
are now taken at least a little more seriously than they were,
say, ten years ago. Stand up like Bob and be counted!
Annual BMH metric century ride this Saturday.
(8/27/05) We have registration forms at the
front counter for this Saturday's fun ride. Whether you ride
25K, 50K, or 100K, be at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital at
7 a.m. to register.
info at http://www.bmhvt.org/events/0505-2.shtml
Administration Decides Against Pathway In South Hero
The Vermont Dept. of Natural Resources, in a clear
reversal of the Dean administration's pro-pathway orientation,
has decided to reopen a section of rail trail to cars and
trucks. The decision concerns a three-quarter-mile trail
section historically used as a boat launch and proposed to
be reopened to anglers. The problem is that opening this gateway
(literally) leads to people driving out onto the causeway
path where they don't belong. The general drift is to weaken
the tenuous foothold of bike/ped facilities in favor of motors.
more about this issue from today's article
in the Burlington Free Press
or email the Governor and the Dept. of Natural Resources
to let them know there is a constituency for safe pathways.
Mountain National Forest Plan Public Input Meetings
(7/1/03) This is your chance to have a say in the GMNF planning
process! The Forest Service gets public input by holding local
planning group meetings in several different locations. The
July meetings for the Green Mtn. National Forest plan revision
will focus on trails in the Forest. You can check this out
at the Forest
Service website, and look at the .pdf for the various
meeting locations and times.
the Saturday Farmers' Market by bike
If you haven't experienced the fun and good food at the Brattleboro
Saturday Farmers' Market, well, what are you waiting for?
Music, crafts, flowers, and a big sandbox for kids to play
in. The Windham Regional BikePed Committee is sponsoring a
free bike parking area
volunteers will watch your bike for you while you relax and
enjoy yourself. While you're there you can learn about the
benefits of getting around by bike instead of using your car
every time. We never take Western Avenue traffic lightly,
but Saturday mornings are one of the few times when traffic
is forced to slow to safe speeds and there is a County Sherriff
right there to wave you right on in. Consider taking Williams
Street along the Whetstone or Maple Street to Guilford Street.
on your favorite restaurants and food markets!
the parking hassle
Talk about a vibrant townBrattleboro has three bridge
projects, a parking garage, a Thai restaurant, and a park
being built simultaneously. This will continue from now through
to September. There are only two sane ways to get to work
downtown: walk or pedal. The good news, aside from the excitement
of rebuilding our town, is that riding makes more sense now
than ever. Traffic is slower and simpler since Elliott and
Flat are one-way, and you'll chuckle to yourself as you watch
all those cars looking for parking spaces. And remember, your
good bike commuting habit will be rewarded when the Transportation
Center is done, because it will have parking for bikes, too!
(5/24/03) We'd like to bring your attention to
two Bike and Pedestrian fun causes that need volunteer help.
parking attendants are urgently needed to do two-hour
shifts at the Farmers' Market. This is really easy duty,
especially as it requires you to be at a really fun place
on a Saturday morning. Call Tim at the shop, 254-8644.
Walking Tour Guidesthis is more of a developing
thing. The BikePed Committee, the Brattleboro Historical
Society, and Building a Better Brattleboro have all tossed
around this idea and nobody sees a down side. The Historical
Society would be glad to train volunteers to lead these
walks, all you need are the interest, the personality, and
the moment, the very best thing we can do to acquaint visitors
with a lot of good riding in our area is to point you to this
excellent book of 25 paved and 25 dirt road loops.