Welcome to Bike to Work Week
Millions of Americans are going to get on their bikes and ride to work this week in events across the country designed to encourage folks to “think outside the glove box” (thank you, Flint, Mich.) and “Drive Less, Live More” (take a bow, Dayton, Ohio.)
All week long, Trek dealers are celebrating “Go By Bike”, as part of their One World, Two Wheels campaign.
Mayor Michael Coleman of Columbus, Ohio is one of the first Mayor’s to take to the streets this week – he’s riding to work this morning (Monday) and bringing with him an ambitious new bike plan for the city. We already have photos back from the Twin Cities kick-off event earlier today. Several cities have week-long celebrations planned, for example Cleveland Bike Week features everything from bike polo to bike to work with a professional conference for planners and engineers in the middle.
On Thursday, hundreds of thousands of Californians will don their helmets and head out the door to save the planet AND get to work as part of California Bike Commute Week.
Friday is officially “bike to work day” and hundreds of communities will be celebrating with rides, breakfasts, races between different commuter modes, and other fun events. Some of the largest events will be in Washington, DC (7,000 plus expected to register), Seattle, Wash., where the event is sponsored by Starbucks; and Boston, where Mayor Menino is challenging folks to ride 50,000 miles during Bay State Bike Week culminating with a rally Friday morning.
Blessing of the Bikes
One of the more unusual kick-off events for Bike to Work Week had to be in Sitka, Alaska yesterday. An newly designated Bicycle Friendly Community, Sitka unveiled new bike racks downtown on Sunday, followed immediately by the “Blessing of the Bikes” performed by Father Dave Elsensohn of St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church. The BFC award will be presented to the community by Dan Burden at the Sitka Health Summit next week – exactly one year after the Summit kicked-off the campaign to be so designated.
It Ain’t Over on Friday
Don’t forget that National Bike Month continues next week even after Bike to Work festivities are done and dusted. Two events that highlight the incredible diversity and impact of bicycling are the National Ride of Silence, a poignant organized memorial ride for fallen cyclists that will take place simultaneously in hundreds of communities across the country, and Road 2 Recovery, a brand new initiative to highlight the role bicycling can play in the recovery and rehabilitation of military personnel. Tuesday May 20th sees the start of a promotional ride from Walter Reed Medical Center to the Charlotte Motor Speedway; the following day is the Ride of Silence.
Vermont Legislative Season Concludes – Enhancements Saved!
Nancy Schulz at the Vermont Pedestrian and Bicycle Coalition reports on a busy and challenging close to the state legislative season in the Green Mountain State. The coalition’s proposed Safe Passing legislation didn’t quite make it through the process, and right at the death the coalition had to pull out all the stops to save Federal transportation enhancement funding from being cut by the legislature.
Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) took an important step last Thursday, May 1, for safer, better designed streets by introducing the Safe and Complete Streets Act of 2008 into the U.S. House (HR 5951). The bill would make sure that roads built and improved with federal funds safely serve everyone using the roadway, including pedestrians, bicyclists, bus riders, as well as people with disabilities.
On the Senate side, Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) signed on this week as first Republican co-sponsor of the Senate version of the bill, S2686, the Complete Streets Act of 2008, introduced a few weeks ago by Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Thomas Carper (D-DE). This is the first time that comprehensive complete streets bills have been introduced in the House and Senate.
Visit the League’s on-line advocacy center and ask your Members of Congress to support this legislation.
This is also the perfect week to contact your Congressional Representatives to thank those that have signed onto the Congressional Bicycling Resolution and urge those that have not to do so. http://capwiz.com/lab/issues/alert/?alertid=11318736
If you’ve ever stood up and made a plea for better bike parking in your community – which we encourage you to do, by the way – you might have been asked “what kind of rack should we provide” or “where should we put them”? The City of Cambridge, Mass has just updated their guidance on this critical topic, and their 12-page guide is a great resource to share with your community leaders. If nothing else, it should help prevent the shiny new racks being put too close to the wall to be used!
Local Host Sought for 2nd Safe Routes to School National Conference.
The National Center for Safe Routes to School and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership are now seeking proposals from potential host agencies to organize the 2nd Safe Routes to School National Conference which would take place during the summer or autumn of 2009. The deadline for proposal submissions is July 1, 2008. To download the complete request, please visit www.saferoutesinfo.org/conference/RFP.cfm. A conference call will be offered to further discuss and field questions surrounding this request on Wednesday, June 4, 2008 from 1:00 - 2:30 EDT. To register for the call, please visit www.saferoutesinfo.org/conference/rfp_call.cfm.
Turn the Tables in Flint, Mich.
If you want to help turn the Vehicle City of Flint, Mich., into the Bicycle City, we’ve got the challenge for you! Our project partners at the Crinm Fitness Foundation are looking for someone to coordinate local efforts to increase active transportation in Flint and Genesee County. Provide technical assistance for the grant-funded Safe and Active Flint (SAF) project and the Safe and Active Genesee for Everyone (SAGE) initiative. Please send resume and cover letter to: Polly Sheppard firstname.lastname@example.org