News release from Tennessee Department of Transportation:
NASHVILLE – In honor of National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists has released its latest Bicycle Friendly States (BFS) ranking. In the sixth annual assessment, Tennessee ranked 2nd in the southeast region, while placing 17th nationally. Tennessee has improved its national ranking from 26th in 2012.
“With all the competing transportation needs we have, Tennessee is proud to be making gains in the area of bicycle friendliness,” said Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer. “The network of bike lanes across the state is growing each and every year and we will continue to dedicate funding for important programs such as Safe Routes to School.”
Tennessee’s ranking was based on a number of key indicators, including infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; educational programs that promote cycling, and passage and enforcement of bicycle friendly laws that increase safety for riders of all ages. The League of American Bicyclists commended TDOT for developing a statewide bicycle plan, and for including a bicycle safety emphasis in its Strategic Highway Safety Plan.
News release from the governor’s office:
SEVIERVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer announced today a grant for the final link in a pedestrian and bicycle route between downtown Sevierville and Pigeon Forge.
The $423,833 transportation enhancement grant to the city of Sevierville is for Phase II of the Hospital to East Gate Greenway Project, which includes a 10 foot paved multi-use trail for pedestrians and bicyclists to be constructed parallel to Middle Creek.
The project also includes ornamental lighting, shade trees and other decorative features designed to enhance the scenic character of the city’s transportation system.
“Communities across the state are creating networks of greenways, trails and walkways that offer Tennesseans additional ways to commute or exercise as well as offering visitors a new way to see our state,” Haslam said. “This project will provide an essential link in Sevierville’s alternative transportation network while also promoting healthy living and pedestrian travel.”
A variety of activities such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects are eligible for grant funds made possible through a federally funded program administered by TDOT.
“Through Transportation Enhancement grants, TDOT has funded more than $270 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” Schroer said. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”
State Sen. Doug Overbey (R-Maryville), and state Reps. Richard Montgomery (R-Sevierville) and Art Swann (R-Maryville) represent Sevier County in the Tennessee General Assembly.
Note: Overbey and Montgomery both have contested primaries as they seek re-election this year and both have been endorsed by the governor.
The governor is taking time this summer to visit towns and cities for presentation of government checks. Here are a couple of examples.
From the Cookeville Herald-Citizen:
Surrounded by local leaders, bicycle enthusiasts — and one very loud locomotive — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam made a stop in Cookeville yesterday to dole out a $600,000 grant that will help in the construction of the long-awaited Tennessee Central Heritage Rail Trail.
Standing under shade at the Cookeville Depot downtown, Haslam presented the check amid smiles and applause. It’s the first time he’s awarded funds since he took office six months ago this Friday, he said. The moneys are part of a Tennessee Department of Transportation enhancement grant.
“We all agree Tennessee’s a wonderful place to live. But there’s certainly things we think can make it even better,” Haslam said, briefly interrupted at one point in his presentation by a passing train, horn blazing.
From the Tullahoma News:
Gifts, no matter what shape or size they come in are usually most welcome, and in Tullahoma’s case, a very nice present from the State of Tennessee was presented personally to the city Thursday from Gov. Bill Haslam.
Haslam made a special trip to Tullahoma to deliver a $256,360 symbolic check to go toward a revitalization effort in Tullahoma’s downtown area. About 125 were on hand to hear the governor’s presentation.
The money is part of a two-phase downtown rehabilitation project totaling $685,140 that includes a $364,690 phase one on West Lincoln Street — between North Jackson Street and Atlantic Street — and a $320,450 phase two — continuing the effort around the corner on Atlantic Street to Grundy Street.
The money related to Thursday’s symbolic $256,360 check will go toward phase two. The city’s phase two share will be about $92,000, including $64,090 as part of the 80-20 percent match with the state paying the greater share, and another $28,000 in engineering, design and right of way costs.
Sent to media by Sen. Roy Herron via email:
In response to media inquiries, Senator Roy Herron is releasing the following statement:
Senator Roy Herron says he has a lot to be thankful for, even and especially after a bike wreck last Sunday.
Herron was training with a fellow Ironman triathlete for another Ironman scheduled for August. They were in Obion County biking and with the help of a strong wind they were moving rapidly. They topped a rise and suddenly were in a 90° turn with loose gravel on the pavement.
“Geometry class should have taught me that there is a big difference between 90° and 80°, which is about all the turn I made before I went off the road,” Herron laughed.
By the time Herron regained consciousness, two Good Samaritan college students had stopped. Together with his fellow cyclist, they carried him to the Union City Hospital. A scan revealed a broken clavicle (collarbone), eight or nine broken ribs, and a slightly collapsed lung. Herron then was life-flighted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center Sunday night. Herron’s wife Nancy says he immediately began advocating in the emergency room for his release so that he could attend the legislative session the next afternoon, which he did. Since 1987, the only day of legislative session Herron has missed was for the birth of his youngest son.
Herron said he is mighty grateful for the excellent healthcare he received and also for his bike helmet. “Thanks to that helmet, there’s not anything wrong with my head after the wreck that was not already wrong with it before,” Herron laughed. Herron said he’s awfully grateful to be doing so well. He noted that many people feel more pain every day than he has any day since the wreck. And he recalls that his father suffered more pain every day since he was wounded during World War II until he died in 1977.
Herron said some of his friends have offered helpful suggestions like recommending that he take up miniature golf. But while he probably will miss the Ironman triathlon he hoped to do in August, he’ll be looking for another event as soon as he is able.
Herron is back in the district visiting with the physician who started him doing Ironman triathlons. “Since he got me started down this road, the least he can do is help heal me!”
Herron has completed over 30 marathons and three 140-mile Ironman triathlons.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Senator Roy Herron says the Ironman Triathlon will go on without him after he crashed his bicycle.
The Dresden Democrat told the Union City Daily Messenger his helmet saved his life when he crashed his bicycle in the West Tennessee town of Rives (REEVZ’) on Sunday. He said he hit a patch of gravel in a 90-degree turn while training for a triathlon in Louisville, Ky., in August.
Herron went to the hospital with a broken collar bone, broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung. He was transferred to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
After being released on Monday, Herron went back to work at the Legislature.