H. Con. Res. 305, dubbed the National Bike Bill by sponsor Rep.Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), passed the House of Representatives on May 21. The resolution documents the many ways in which bicycling benefits individuals, communities, and the nation, and was a key element of the National Bike Summit agenda in March. We are looking for Senate supporters for the initiative, and have also been working with several Mayors to introduce a similar resolution at the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors later this month.
Recognizing that most of us are affected by the high cost of gas and want to reduce fuel consumption, the League recently joined the Drive Smarter Challenge along with numerous national organizations representing a broad spectrum of the traveling public. The campaign has a host of great ideas for reducing fuel consumption – and we hope that we’ll be able to work with the campaign organizers to suggest alternatives to driving as part of the campaign as well!
Bicycle Friendly America
The League is excited to announce the first major expansion of the successful Bicycle Friendly Community program to cover States. The Bicycle Friendly State program will initially rank all 50 states against more than 50 criteria ranging from state laws to advocacy and education programs – the first listing will be published in September; seven states have already completed the data collection phase.
Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Mark Funkhouser stunned a bike to work week crowd in May by announcing his support for making Kansas City a platinum level Bicycle Friendly Community. Steve Petrehn, Mayor of nearby Roeland Park, and Jeff Meyers, Mayor of bronze-level Shawnee, Kan. pledged their commitment to making the entire region better for bicyclists – and are engaging their fellow Mayors in the effort.
Bicycling finally got a mention in the race for the White House – Senator Barack Obama praised Portland’s mass transit and bicycle lanes in a speech that attracted 75,000 people to the city’s waterfront. Bikeportland.org and Streetsblog both reported that more than 8,000 showed up on bikes. Maybe that’s not so surprising in a city that just elected bicyclist-friendly Transportation Commissioner Sam Adams to be their next mayor (starting January 2009). Adams’ support for bicycling initiatives was a major issue in the campaign; again perhaps not so surprising given that he ran for the Commissioner’s job with one goal of getting Portland to Platinum BFC status!
The Bike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire is barely a year old and already has passage of a significant bill to improve the rights of bicyclists under its belt! HB-1203 includes a three-foot passing law and specific language requiring the Department of Transportation to develop standards for rumble strips and other surface treatments that eliminate hazards for bicyclists.
Local advocate Mike Adsit reports the great news that sending e-mails and writing letters really does make a difference. The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced last week that a shuttle bus service is now available to carry cyclists across the critical Milford Montague Bridge (NJ-PA) during major reconstruction this summer – a welcome reversal from their prior lack of accommodation for bicyclists. Mike engaged constructively with the commission staff to come up with a workable solution, backed up by a lot of supportive e-mails and letters! Thanks to all who wrote.
We’ll be telling the BFC story at the Car Free Cities Conference in Portland, Ore., June 16-20, and at IMBA’s World Mountain Bike Summit in Park City, Utah this month. These are great events that we’re delighted to be a part of, and they feature critical partners in our BFC program.
Seminars to certify League Cycling Instructors are scheduled for June in Charlotte, N.C., Bethlehem, and Philadelphia, Pa. Check out the full schedule of upcoming seminars.
And just around the corner in July is the excellent Maine Bicycle Rally, the site of this year’s National Rally for League members. There are outstanding rides and exciting entertainments set up for the rally in beautiful Fryeburg, Maine. Book now!
The League is looking for a Membership Director to serve and grow our membership in the years to come. We are also hiring a front office position to handle mail, fulfillment, phones etc. Please contact Lorna Green for more details.
There are also two exciting policy positions open at organizations with which we work closely. The America Bikes coalition is seeking a campaign manager and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership is hiring a policy manager. Both are to be located in Washington, DC.