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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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Congressional Bike Caucus letter on Transportation Bill

As reported by Bike Portland, Congressman Earl Blumenauer on behalf of the Congressional Bike Caucus recently wrote to Congressman Oberstar and Congressman Mica, Chair and Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to "express our support for establishing a truly multi-modal national transportation policy that better integrates bicycling and walking into our nation's transportation system."

He went on to write that "Bicycling and walking currently accounts for 10% of all trips made by Americans yet our current Federal investment is closer to 2% of transportation funds. Investing in these modes of transportation creates jobs, saves taxpayers money and helps raise our overall quality of life."

He then asks for committee support to:
  1. Reauthorize the Safe Routes to School Program at a substantially higher level
  2. Include a Complete Streets policy requirement to ensure that roads built using federal transportation dollars are available to all users, including bicyclists and pedestrians
  3. Create a new Active Transportation Investment Fund
  4. Require data collection of comparable frequency and scope for all modes of transportation
See a copy of the Congressional Bike Caucus letter.

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