Florida A1A Lawsuit Goes to Appeals Court
The League is one of the plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit in Florida, which is attempting to ensure that Florida follows its own practices—state law requires five-foot bike lanes whenever practicable on new roads and roads that are being refurbished. The state is refurbishing parts of A1A without including bike lanes. The case is now at the appeals court stage, and arguments will take place tomorrow, Jan. 29, at 9 a.m. (this will be the third or fourth case heard). Listen live here. Each attorney will have 15 minutes to argue why the state was wrong or right in not building continuous lanes along State Road A1A from Palm Beach to Boca Raton. Then, it might be weeks before the outcome is announced. “It could go many different ways,” said Jeffrey Lynne, an attorney for the cyclists. “I don't think they'll rule against us flat out. You never know.”
Rep. Blumenauer Introduces Bicycle Bills;
Hosts Telephone Town Hall
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), who chairs the Congressional Bike Caucus, has introduced a series of ten bills to temporarily suspend the import duties on bicycle parts needed by American manufacturers that are not produced in the United States. Among the bike parts included in the ten bills introduced by Congressman Blumenauer are speedometers, child carriers, wheel rims and brakes. Seven of the ten parts were included in the last Miscellaneous Tariff Bill, which is set to expire in 2009. The next Miscellaneous Tariff Bill will expire in 2011. In other Blumenauer-related news, after President Bush’s final State of the Union address, he will be hosting a telephone town hall after the speech, on January 29, at 6:30 p.m. PST. It will be an opportunity to ask him questions, hear his thoughts and express your priorities. To participate, fill out this form (don’t forget your phone number: they’ll call you!).
Philadelphia to Study Bike Sharing
After a successful Bike Share Forum in Philadelphia, Pa., the city council passed a resolution last week to hold joint public hearings on what steps would be necessary to create a public bike sharing program for the city. This is just one of the topics we’ll be covering at this year’s National Bike Summit. Click here to see Philadelphia’s resolution and here to register for the Summit.
New U.S. Study Leaves Out Cyclists
Last week, the report of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission was released. This is a significant document that outlines how $225 billion should be spent each year for the next 50 years on transportation and infrastructure in this country. The Commission took 20 months to listen to input (the League submitted comments) and weigh options for creating a bold new transportation future – and in the 54-most-important pages, the words bicycle, bicyclist, bike, pedal cycle, and pedal cyclist combined are mentioned just one time, on page 24, in the same sentence as the only mention of pedestrians, walking and other foot-based derivatives. Furthermore, reactions to the report include two comments by legislators that single out bike paths as bad spending. See the comments from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) for yourself here. The National Association of City Transportation Officials noted the lack of bicyclist and pedestrian representation in their statement, saying, “Pedestrian and bicycle safety are also critical issues for cities, but the report addressed them only briefly. In 2006, 5,740 people were killed while walking or bicycling, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Pedestrian safety is a key quality of life issue for cities, and the new federal traffic safety program should help us address it.”
REI, Bikes Belong Award BFC Grants
New York City’s Transportation Alternatives and the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation have been selected as the first recipients of REI/Bicycle Friendly Communities Grants of $15,000 each. This new grant fund, administered by the Bikes Belong Foundation and made possible by generous support from Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), helps aspiring, committed Bicycle Friendly Communities become great places to ride. To learn more, click here. To learn more about the League’s Bicycle Friendly Community program, click here.
British Invest in Cycling to Reduce Obesity
The British have announced a record £140 million investment in cycling, announced last week by their Secretary of State for Transport. The money will go toward helping half a million children cycle safely and a generation of adults rediscover their bikes. This ambitious new drive to boost cycling will help to tackle road congestion and improve air quality as well as create more opportunities for exercise. It fulfills a commitment to increase investment in sustainable transport initiatives, outlined in the recent strategy document, ‘Towards a Sustainable Transport System.’ The money will be invested over the next three years and forms part of England’s forthcoming strategy to tackle obesity. To learn more, click here.
Bike Month Planning Has Started!
Bike to Work Day is May 16 this year, and Bike to Work Week is May 12-16. How is your community planning on celebrating? Email us your plans to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject: Bike Month Event) and we’ll post it on our site.
Driver Given Max Sentence in Cyclist Death
In a recorded jail phone conversation, an acquaintance said the driver should get a medal and a parade because she had “taken out” a “tree hugger, a bicyclist, a Frenchman and a gay guy all in one shot,” then the driver laughed. When the man said he knew it was a terrible thing to say, she responded, “No, it’s not.” The judge in the case said the call was “breathtaking in its inhumanity.” Click here to read more.
Adventure Cycling Announces Award Winners
Adventure Cycling Association has announced the winners of its 2007 Pacesetter, Bike Shop, Trail Angel and Volunteer awards. The 2007 June Curry Trail Angel Award goes to Toaster House hosts Nita Larronde and Don Kearney, and Pie-O-Neer Café owner Kathy Knapp from Pie Town, N.M. The 2007 Pacesetter Award has been presented to Neil Gunton from St. Louis, Mo. for providing a place where people can find and share information about bicycle travel. Neil is the mastermind behind crazyguyonabike.com, known throughout the bicycle travel industry as one of the best bicycle travel resources available, with content contributed from people around the globe. The 2007 Sam Braxton Bike Shop Award goes to Bicycle Outfitters from Seminole, Fla. for their support of the active bicycling lifestyle. Adventure Cycling's 2007 Volunteer of the Year Award goes to Chuck Harmon from Dublin, Ohio for his outstanding volunteer efforts leading to the success of the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route. If you would like to know more about past winners and how to nominate your hero, click here.
Vote! Your Voice Counts
Vote! Your voice counts—speak up for the League’s future and vote in our elections. Click here to vote. You’ll need your membership number and your last name. If you have any trouble at all, contact the League at 202-822-1333 or email@example.com and we’ll figure it out.