Saturday, March 13, 2010

More Bike Summit coverage

BikePortland posted two good articles about the final day of the National Bike Summit spent on Capitol Hill, A big day (and night) for Oregon on Capitol Hill and Ray LaHood rocks Summit crowd with tabletop speech. That's Zack Fields, Legislative Aide to Congressman Connolly (VA-11th District) on the right talking to Roger Geller, Portland Bicycle Coordinator. Congressman Connolly, when he was Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, who initiated the Fairfax Comprehensive Bicycle Initiative which included funding for the Bicycle Program and the Bicycle Coordinator position:
After the inspiring speech by Oberstar - who in many ways is the architect of the modern bike movement - the Oregon contingent made their way to a Congressional panel presentation.

Organized by Scott Bricker and Earl Blumenauer’s legislative aide Tyler Frisbee, the purpose of the panel was for Congressional staffers to learn how Portland got on the road to being a world-class biking city.

Zack Fields, a legislative assistant for Virgina House Rep. Gerald Connolly, said the presentation by Roger Geller could help him inspire and motivate traffic engineers in Northern Virginia to be more bike-oriented.
And from Transportation Secretary LaHood:
I've been all over America, and where I've been in America I've been very proud to talk about the fact that people do want alternatives. They want out of their cars; they want out of congestion; they want to live in livable neighhoods. And we would not be where we're at today without you…. I'm very, very grateful!"

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bike Summit wrap-up

It was inspiring to attend the National Bike Summit this week to hear about all the great efforts underway to improve bicycling in the U.S. Jonathan Maus of was there and his coverage of the event is probably the most complete. Here are some highlights:

Opening Reception: Bikes Belong announced People for Bikes:
"Millions of Americans ride bicycles and recognize the economic, social and physical benefits. But, only a fraction of those who ride have stood up to help advance the cause of bicycling in America.

The goal of is to gather a million names of support, to speak with one powerful voice - to let policy makers, the media and the public know that bicycling is important and should be promoted.

Whether you're a commuter, a roadie, a mountain biker or just a casual rider, by uniting your voice with a million others, you can help build a national movement to improve bicycling in our country."
Opening Session: Congressman Blumenauer announced that bike lanes will be stripped on Pennsylvania Avenue by Bike to Work Day this year, Friday, May 21. From Bike Portland:
Blumenauer outlined several of his bike-related legislative efforts including, his Active Communities for Transportation bill (a.k.a. "the ACT act"), a Safe Routes for High Schools bill, and a bill he calls "Green Routes to Work" that would give all modes equal commuting reimbursements from employers."

On Safe Routes to High Schools: "We know childhood obesity strikes between 12 and 19… We shouldn’t abandon high schools… We want to make sure there’s a bike culture to complete with car culture."

On Green Routes to Work: "This is a blueprint for how we’re going to end socialism for the car… We’re not anit-car but we want to stop titling the playing field dramatically in favor of them."
Peter Rogoff, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, described the "new reality" in which people are demanding more transportation choices, and that bicycling and transit, working together, are an ideal solution to allow people to "jettison" their cars (the "cycling/transit nexus".)

Google announces bicycle directions in Google Maps. As we mentioned earlier, it needs a little work in Fairfax.

Congratulations to The Bike Lane and Revolution Cycles who received Silver Bike Friendly Business awards.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams' chief of staff Tom Miller quoted Mayor Adams as saying that "you can't get a better return on investment than by promoting bicycling." Portland has spent approximately $60 million to build our entire bicycle network to date . This is roughly the cost of one mile of modem freeway. Portland has a goal of 25% bicycle mode share by 2030 (San Francisco wants to have a 17-18% mode share by then.)

New York City is transforming it's streets and documenting the effort in the NYCDOT Street Design Manual: "The Manual builds on the experience of innovation in street design, materials and lighting that has developed around the world, emphasizing a balanced approach that gives equal weight to transportation, community and environmental goals."

A major theme of the summit was livable and sustainable communities, and through the HUD-DOT-EPA Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities the there will be $100 million available to encourage development of these communities.

Social marketing tools: Jonathan Maus of, Bryan Goebel, editor of editor for Streetsblog San Francisco and Sarah Stuart of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia discussed the importance of using social marketing tools to engage more bicyclists in advocacy efforts. The Coalition has two blogs, bikePHL, an educational blog, and their advocacy blog. These are all supported by paid staff and they are recognized by local government officials as a reflection of the community's voice. The Philadelphia Coalition uses SeeClickFix to allow cyclists to report road problems.

Congressional visits: FABB jointed other area cyclists to visit local Congressional offices including Congressmen Connolly, Moran, and Wolf. We asked them to support the ACT Act, Active Community Transportation Act of 2010, HR 4722; the Complete Streets Act of 2009, HR 1443; Safe Routes to High Schools, HR 4021; and the Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act, HR 3734. If they were not already members, they were asked to join the Congressional Bike Caucus.

Pictured outside Congressman Moran's office are Allen Muchnick, Virginia Bicycle Federation, Jim Harmon, EX2 Adventures, Anne Mader, The Bike Lane, Eric Gilliland, WABA, Fionnuala Quinn, FABB, Jakob Wolf-Barnett, Revolution Cycles.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

LAB Summit gets underway

The annual League of American Bicyclists (LAB) National Bike Summit got underway today in DC. At this afternoon's LAB annual meeting Andy Clarke noted that a record 700 people registered for this year's summit, compared to 600 last year. Lance Armstrong appeared in a video welcoming everyone to the conference at the opening reception. The main part of the conference is tomorrow, with concurrent sessions held throughout the day. On Thursday, bicyclists from around the country will descend upon the Capitol to meet with members of Congress. Allen Muchnick of Virginia Bicycling Federation is organizing meetings for the Virginia delegation.

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

National Bike Summit notes

Thanks to support from WABA, we were able to attend the National Bike Summit this year. Bicycle advocates from around the country heard about the latest advocacy efforts in the cycling world and lobbied Congress for better bicycle facilities. Some highlights from the conference:

Humana Inc., a large health care provide, recently established Freewheelin', a bike sharing program for their 8,500 employees in Louisville, Ky. 1,600 people signed up for the program in the first two days. Read more at the 1 World 2 Wheels blog and Paul DeMaio's Bike Sharing blog.

2 Mile Challenge is a program started by Clif Bar to encourage more people to get out of their cars and ride their bikes. Stressing the fact that 40% of all trips are 2 miles or less, they offer several challenges for cyclists to encourage them to take more of those trips by bike. They practice what they preach, offering employees a $500 subsidy for bike commuting. They developed a good, simple, short video that highlights many of the reasons to ride:

Portland: Several advocates from Portland, OR discussed steps they have taken to make Portland the most bike-friendly community in the U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, a former Portland city commissioner, welcomed cyclists and urged us to fight harder for our fair share of transportation funding. Scott Bricker of Bicycle Transportation Alliance discussed their efforts to get more people on bikes through development of a blueprint for better bicycling in Portland and a recent emphasis on developing bicycle boulevards. Dan Bower of the Office of Transportation discussed the Smart Trips program. Each year they focus on a section of the city. They try to reach each household at least 5 times, providing them with information on alternative transportation options.

Other highlights were the talk by DC Councilman Tommy Wells who introduced the bike parking bill and who is working with city developers to ensure they include bike access and parking in new developments. Tim Blumenthal of Bikes Belong said that he is working with Humana to try to provide 1,000 bikes for use at the two political conventions this summer.

Speaking of Portland, the Bike Portland blog contains a good summary of the summit,that ended with a bike tour this morning.


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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

National Bike Summit

Thanks to WABA, FABB was able to attend the National Bike Summit organized by the League of American Bicyclists, that started today in DC. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, a longtime friend of bicyclists in Congress, wearing a pants clip, evidence that he biked over from the House, gave an inspirational talk on the prospects for bicycle facilities in the new Congress. With Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar as chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the potential for Federal funding for bicycle facilities couldn't be better.

If you haven't done so already, contact your Congressional representative and ask them to support the Bike Commuter Act and the funding for the Conserve by Bicycling Program. Bike Summit attendees will be lobbying Congress tomorrow for these and other initiatives.


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