Only a handful of diehard cyclists braved the rain and cold weather this past Saturday for the Madison Avenue Bike Lane Buy-In ride. So organizers have rescheduled the event for Saturday, March 12th at noon. As of Monday, the forecast for Saturday is sunny with a high of 66 degrees.
For more on the event, check out our last post below or the event's Facebook page.
Madison Avenue is scheduled for re-paving this spring, and the city of Memphis is considering adding bike lanes in both directions at that time. Adding bike lanes would mean taking away two lanes of car traffic, and some Madison business owners are worried that such a move would result in a loss of business.
However, plenty of bike-friendly businesses fully support the addition of bike lanes along Madison. On Saturday, cycling advocates will take to the streets to show their support for bike lanes and pass out "bike-friendly business" window stickers to supportive companies.
The ride begins at noon, leaving from Revolutions Community Bicycle Shop at First Congo Church (1000 S. Cooper) with a plan to arrive at bike-friendly Boscos Squared by 12:45 p.m. Next, the group will ride down Madison to Fino's on the Hill, another supportive business, by 1:30 p.m. From there, riders will make stops at bike-friendly businesses along Madison to pass out window stickers.
So far, over 200 people have signed up to ride on Facebook.
Here's a list of bike-friendly business along Madison scheduled to receive stickers:
Bosco's (2120 Madison)
Fino's from the Hill (1853 Madison)
Fuel Cafe (1761 Madison)
Garden Path Studios (587 Madison)
Hi Gorgeous! Salon (1475 Madison)
Madison Pharmacy (1750 Madison)
Maggie's Pharm (13 Florence)
Memphis Center for Independent Living (1633 Madison)
Memphis Pizza Cafe (2087 Madison)
No Regrets (1928 Madison)
P&H Cafe (1532 Madison)
Pho Hoa Binh (1615 Madison)
The Salon (1867 Madison Ave)
Sekisui Midtown (Belvedere at Madison)
Shangri-La Records (1916 Madison)
Trolley Stop Market (704 Madison)
Tucker's Pizza Wings & Subs (1607 Madison)
It’s official: Memphis is on the grid.
On Tuesday morning, representatives from San Francisco-based ECOtality North America hosted a partner forum at The Peabody to welcome the Bluff City into a five-state embrace of electric vehicles and charging stations called “The EV Project.”
“Electric vehicles are coming, and we want to make sure businesses in Tennessee are as EV-friendly as possible,” said ECOtality’s Stephanie Cox.
Previously, only Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and about 20 smaller towns in East and Middle Tennessee were included in the state’s piece of the federally funded effort to help Americans depend less on fossil fuels and clean up the environment.
The EV project’s purpose is to develop a $230 million commercial and residential charging network to coincide with the continuing release of electric or hybrid vehicles, particularly the all-electric Nissan LEAF. That car is expected to help consumers save about $1,800 a year on fuel costs.
Production for the LEAF, which has a lithium ion battery and can go 100 miles between charges, will be moved in 2012 to the Nissan plant in Smyrna just outside of Nashville. The plant is expected to manufacture 150,000 electric cars a year, along with 200,000 battery packs. Many of the car’s components are made from recycled materials such as plastic water bottles.
“It’s not a question of if; it’s how fast we’re going to see reliance on electric vehicles,” said Mayor A C Wharton.
To supplement the LEAF and other vehicles’ relatively short charging range, high-voltage charging stations are going to be installed around the state to help drivers with longer trips.
Since quick charges take about 30 minutes, the charging stations are going to be put where people tend to stop and spend an hour or more — shopping centers, libraries, hotels, hospitals and other attractions. That way, the inconvenience of having to stop and juice up is more “bearable,” as Cox put it.
Anyone who orders one of the five-passenger sedans is eligible for a $2,500 tax incentive from the state. The zero-emission cars will be priced at about $22,500. About 100 of them are already on the road since their December release, and more will be rolling out during the spring and summer.
“The message is, let’s become less dependent on foreign oil,” said Jerry Collins, president and CEO of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division.
As the Tennessee Valley Authority’s largest power distributor, MLGW has a vested interest in ensuring the infrastructure necessary to support electric cars comes to the Memphis area.
ECOtality will be hosting two more informational forums in Knoxville on Thursday and Chattanooga on March 22nd.