APBP 2017 Memphis: Something Old and Something New

A recap of this year’s Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals Walk & Roll Conference.

For over twenty years, The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals has served as a hub of endless resources for city planners, transportation professionals and the cycling community at large. Several educational opportunities stem from the organization, including The Women Cycling Project, along with various webinars and workshops.

We were fortunate enough to attend the semi-annual conference held in Memphis, TN, this June, alongside other professionals and vendors to experience educational sessions, promote our products, our company mission, and help launch The Great Streets Pilot Project on the historic Peabody Lane.

Bicycle parking spotted at a mixed-use public plaza near The Great Streets Pilot Project.

ABPB Walk & Roll Conference

Memphis was a relevant city for the conference this year, and aptly named. There was a lively, active tune in the air even when the rock and roll wasn't playing. This year's conference kicked off on Monday, June 26th in the Historic Peabody Memphis Hotel with evening open exhibits and member happy hour. This was a great opportunity to meet the other vendors there to promote protected bikeways, bike parking and pedestrian solutions.

Over the next three days we worked with civil engineers, city planners and advocacy professionals to discuss our innovative new bikeway design and bellwether cycle repair stations, and listen to their feedback and needs.

Unanimously we heard that self-serve repair stations and safety are both sought-after, and we believe they absolutely go hand-in-hand. Our cycle repair stations can be located outside of businesses and on well-lit paths to serve post-business hours emergencies. With bike infrastructure expanding into regions beyond bustling downtown streets, these provisions are necessary to ensure safety is accessible to all.

Public seating and visual artwork, dock parking (at street end), and adjacent traffic separated with concrete planters.

Quick-Build Infrastructure

The Great Streets Pilot Project is a mile-long corridor through the historic Peabody Lane, a demonstration of how cutting-edge bike lane infrastructure and pedestrian plazas connect to active transportation.

Our innovative Wave Delineator was interspersed with concrete planters to guide riders through the lane. An adjacent seating area and restaurant provided a relaxing vibe for resting or dining. Bike parking was a non-issue with several dock racks to choose from within the mile stretch.

Tuesday evening, we celebrated the project alongside the Downtown Memphis Commission, UrbanArt Commission, and the City of Memphis with music, games, and quick rides through the street. Earlier that morning, Nick Oyler, of the City of Memphis, presented on quick-build bikeways and quick implementation pedestrian projects that are reactive to a fast-growing/changing public space.

Something old and something new at 2017 APBP. Our innovative bike lane Wave Delineator had a pilot in the historic Peabody Memphis Hotel.

Utility aside, our quick-build bikeway design is inviting and sleek. We heard the Wave Delineator as, “sexy” from other professionals. While its appeal might lure in the professionals looking to propose it for their solutions, one note to mind is that drivers and community members will appreciate the design, subconsciously, and ever-slightly potentially altering the perception of bikers “invading” driving spaces.

Regarding functionality, the delineator is straightforward to install and dismantle (really, pop-up and collapse) and can be done in under two minutes without tools. There are no pieces and each lane weighs a light 15 lbs. and stores flatly against one another making it easy to both store and transport. When ready to setup, the delineator simply pops-up, clasps in place, and then links together to create the desired lane length. The racy white enamel has reflective tape for additional safety.

Walk & Roll Memphis Takeaway

Infrastructure, safety, sustainability, and health have been ongoing platforms for discussion at the APBP conference. Through these themes, our main takeaway was the concern for bike equity and availability to all community members. Along with other bicycle professionals, manufacturers, and advocates, we'll continue to work to keep the conversation going, and most importantly – keep cycling inviting.

We'll be back again in 2019, this time in Portland.