League of American Bicyclists Newsletter - March 2009
Hi everyone. Sorry I haven't posted much (at all) recently. I'm getting some stuff together in my personal and professional life and trying to come up with some new plans for this very blog. That's not to say that things haven't been happening with the bike scene here in Columbus. That's certainly not the case at all. I'll be back later this month (hopefully early next week) with some updates and new content. In the meantime, please enjoy the latest from the League of American Bicyclists.
March 2, 2009
We are just a week away from the opening of the ninth National Bike Summit and we're looking forward to seeing those of you able to make the trip to Washington. It's still not too late to register, of course. Join in the excitement, as we're closing in on last year's
record attendance of 525! Additionally, the Summit has a record number of sponsors, including the latest additions of Montreal's bike sharing company, Bixie; FHWA, back after an absence of a few years; Interbike, a solid industry supporter; National Bicycle Dealers Association is an Aluminum sponsor for the second year; and AARP is back for a second year. If you can't make it to the Summit but are in the area, you can still hear our keynote speaker, Andreas Rohl from the City of Copenhagen, at the League's Annual Meeting on Wednesday evening, March 10. Let us know you are coming by emailing Elizabeth Kiker.
Andy Clarke, President
US Vehicle Miles Driven Continues to Plummet
The Federal Highway Administration's monthly tally of motor vehicle miles traveled shows that those miles driven continue to plummet. TheDecember 2008 figures (the latest available) show that motor vehicle miles traveled were down about 3.6% for 2008 as compared with 2007. Trends predict bicycling, walking and transit are on the rise. Source:www.streetsblog.net
State & Local News
Missouri Complete Streets Bill in House Tomorrow
The League strongly supports Missouri Complete Streets Bill HB 642. This will require MoDOT to give full consideration to bicycling, walking, transit users, the old, the young, and disabled users when they plan, design, and build their roads - a sound investment for the future. MoDOT roads create a big danger and largest impediment to safe bicycling and walking. The League strongly supports making our cities safer for walking and bicycling, and this bill is an important step in the right direction.
Maryland House Bill 1197 - Needs Support & Testimony
The League wishes to express our support for Maryland House Bill 1197. It is our opinion that the bill would help clarify Maryland law in addition to being a step forward to fully recognizing cyclists as authorized, legal road users. Maryland is only one of four states whose laws require cyclist to use a shoulder when one is present. This fact only serves to reinforce the second class status of cyclists on Maryland's roads. Such discriminatory laws are part of the reason theLeague ranked Maryland 35 out of 50 through our Bicycle Friendly State program. Passage of HB 1197 will help improve its standing, and help Maryland fulfill the promise of its Department of Transportation to "encourage walking and bicycling, and will provide a seamless, balanced and barrier-free network for all." HB 1197 would remove any ambiguity to the law, and make for more clear concise language that is easier for cyclists to follow, officers and judges to enforce, and for all to understand.
NYC Mayor Bloomberg Plans to Close Parts of Broadway to Traffic
Mayor Bloomberg and DOT Commissioner Sadik-Khan today announced a pilot program, Green Light for Midtown, to reduce traffic congestion throughout Midtown Manhattan via targeted improvements on Broadway, focused at Times and Herald Squares.
This includes closing several blocks of Broadway to vehicle traffic through Times Square and Herald Square. Read more here.
Colorado Bicycle Safety Bill Passes State Senate
The Colorado Bicycle Safety Bill (Senate Bill 148) passed State Senate on February 17, 2009 with a 26-7 vote. The large margin leaves us hope for a similar outcome when the House version of the same bill is tackled by the Colorado House. Even better than the vote total, the Senate version was not watered down by removing the 3 foot safety zone required of cars who are overtaking bicycles. As had been expected, the inimitable sheriff of Larimer County, Jim Alderden, opposed the bill, claiming it would be too hard to enforce. Click here to read Bill 148. Source: examiner.com
Smart Cycling Conference 2009
The bi-annual League Education conference is ramping up, and it is destined to be a great one. The League's education program is in the middle of a complete overhaul. Since 2008, we've launched Traffic Skills 101, Traffic Skills 201, Group Riding, and completely revised our Commuter Student curriculum. What's left? Everything! Our kids manuals need to be redone, and our entire League Cycling Instructor Curriculum has to be overhauled. And we need your help!
Come to San Jose this summer to talk about the best way to teach cyclists; to help the League continue to improve our curricula; and to hear news and updates from the foremost cycling educators in the world.
We've lowered our fees by more than 30 percent this year. All fees increase by $100 after the earlybird deadline of May 1. Register today!
Bicycle Friendly Community and State Deadline
A reminder to city staff or bicycle advisory committee members-Bicycle Friendly Community applications for Spring review are due March 13. Get your community involved- have your Mayor or city Council sign the BFC Action Plan and begin the application for the Fall deadline of August 7, 2009.
The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America's 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visitwww.bikeleague.org.