One Street News

January 2014

Vol. 7, Issue 1

  1. Bike Shift Lever Mold Design Underway
  2. Defying Poverty Blog Needs Outreach
  3. Resources – U.S. Traffic Projections vs. Actual
  4. Hot Topics – Requiring Pedestrians to Wear Reflectors

Bike Shift Lever Mold Design Underway

By: Sue Knaup, Executive Director

January has been a fun month for me as the mold design for our Bike Shift Lever comes to life. But even in December I was getting mighty frustrated. I believe I connected with every machine shop within 50 miles of Prescott, but not one was willing to take on the design of the mold. Several said they could machine it, but only if I provided exact CAD drawings.

That's when Michael Linke, managing director of Bicycling Empowerment Network in Namibia (BENN), and also a One Street Advisor, connected me with Aaron Wieler in San Francisco. Aaron is a designer at Whirlwind Wheelchair working on simple yet rugged wheelchairs and handcycle tricycles for resource-limited areas of the world. He even helped design BENN's bicycle ambulance trailer. You can check out some of his designs at

Aaron understood the principles behind our Bike Shift Lever immediately, from the simple function to the need for a high quality mold to ensure the shifters are easy to produce. In just a few weeks, with lots of input from me and our casting expert here in Prescott, Aaron is already fine tuning 3D drawings of both sides of the mold that will cast both parts at once.

One big surprise for me is how small the mold will be--just about 5"x4"x3", easy to fit into a 4" vise. Even more important, easy to ship!

In the next few weeks, Aaron will deliver a 3D print of the mold to me so I can show it to our casting expert here. With his input on the 3D model, Aaron will put the finishing touches on the mold drawings so I can return to my hunt for a local machinist.

In the meantime, I am capturing all the details of setting up a foundry in our Bike Shift Lever Production Manual. This includes details for building an outside charcoal furnace with a flower pot nestled into a sand-lined hole. At the moment I'm playing with various designs for a metal fitting for the hole at the bottom of the pot where an air pump hose can connect to stoke the fire. Keeping with our principle of easy-to-find parts, I'm eyeballing various pipe fittings that should be readily available all over the world. Lots of fun progress!

Defying Poverty Blog Needs Outreach

Our blog to inspire discussion around tackling poverty with bicycles is in motion. Topics range from model programs to the reasons why these programs are necessary.

The problem is, very few people are reading it. Can you help? Please post its link on your blog or website, forward it to your friends and give it a good plug through your social media devices. Here’s the link: 

Thanks so much! The more people who connect with this blog the more ideas will develop toward powerful programs that lift people out of poverty with bicycles.

Resources – U.S. Traffic Projections vs. Actual

Traffic projections play a major role in budgeting and planning for road projects. When those projections are scandalously higher than reality, tragic destruction of cities and neighborhoods can occur in a panicked effort to accommodate cars that will never materialize. That appears to be the case in the U.S. as this graph we recently posted to our home page shows.

This vicious cycle likely began because cities only receive transportation funding if they show a need. Officials whose jobs rely on an ever increasing need for new roads and road expansions are motivated to project ever-increasing traffic and to paint a picture of current roads clogged by these future trips. Use this graph to redirect such fictitious demands away from roadway expansions and toward the redesign of your current streets into places that welcome the most vulnerable travelers—bicyclists and pedestrians.

Hot Topics – Requiring Pedestrians to Wear Reflectors

How would you react if your city passed a law requiring all pedestrians to wear reflectors or reflective clothing at night? You would likely consider your low-income neighbors and wonder how they might obtain this sort of thing. You might also wonder how high the fine would be if you were stopped by the police. If you are a bicycle and pedestrian advocate you would likely be outraged by this added barrier to this healthy mode of travel in your city.

Now, change the setting to a city whose officials readily admit that their roadways are dangerous—no sidewalks, no street lighting. Does that change your reaction? It should, because laws that shift responsibility from city officials onto the potential victims of their negligence are abhorrent.

Read this article about Fox Point, Wisconsin for the full effect.