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Reflections on Chattanooga


September 20th, 2010 | Categories: Events, Programs | Post Comment

As much as I would have liked to have blogged from Chattanooga, it just wasn’t possible.  If ever you get a chance to attend ProWalk ProBike, you’ll find that it packed with good stuff!   I could go on about all the rich education I picked up in conferences, but I’ll stick to the city.  (Besides, who wants to see pix of lecturers etc.)

The Riverwalk along the Tennessee River

I took one mobile workshop in Chattanooga which gave a good overview of some of the things they’re doing to make biking easier.  I noticed several comparisons to B’more as they’re most notable path runs along the waterfront and a moderately industrial town with little to no population after working hours. (Jane Jacobs would not be proud.)  The Riverwalk is a gorgeous promenade along the Tennessee River some 13 miles from downtown to Bluff View and into upstream residential areas.  Well engineered switchbacks and glass bridges connected the Aquarium to the Art Museum and even a wastewater treatment facility.

Chattanooga capitalized on its PWPB status by having numerous vendors descend on the city and install their products to showcase in the field.   Automated counters, green bike lanes and textured bike lanes were shown off, but only in short segments and conveniently close to the convention center.  I was impressed with two features that would be useful in Baltimore.

Looking down the Walnut St. Bridge

The Walnut Street Bridge is a truss bridge originally used for vehicular traffic but converted to pedestrian use 10 years ago.  The bridge spans the Tennessee linking downtown to parks and commerce on the north shore.  I couldn’t help but think of the CSX Bridge over the Middle Branch (or any pedestrian bridge spanning the Jones Falls Valley)

The other cool feature was an activated alert to vehicular traffic that bikes were present in the Cherokee Blvd tunnel.  Cyclists rode by, hit the signal which was at the curb and continued pedalling thru the 100′ long tunnel.  This would be incredibly useful on the Hanover St bridge!

Then there was this other sign, not unique (quite standard in the MUTCD) but still useful


 

 


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