Mayor Chris Koos, of Normal, IL, has introduced a resolution making the case that bicycling should be integrated into our nation's transportation, climate, energy and health policy initiatives, for consideration and adoption at this year’s U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual meeting, June 20-24 in Miami. The resolution is similar to the Congressional Resolution recently passed by the House of Representatives and the following Mayors have agreed to be co-sponsors; John Hickenlooper, Denver, CO, John Marchione, Redmond, WA; Marty Blum, Santa Barbara, CA; R.T. Rybak, Minneapolis, MN; Jim Brainard,Carmel, IN; Al Larson, Schaumberg, IL; Ron Littlefield, Chattanooga, TN; and Joe Riley, Charleston, SC.
Please take a moment to click here to check if your Mayor is registered to attend the annual meeting, if so, please contact them and urge them to sign onto and support the resolution.
The Resolution is provided in full at the end of this issue of American Bicyclist.
The 20th Annual Maine Bike Rally will take place July 11-13 at Fryeburg Academy in Fryeburg. Chosen as the League of American Bicyclists’ National Rally, the event features three days of road and mountain bike rides in beautiful western Maine and New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Valley for all levels of cyclists plus a full weekend of family entertainment, including a bicycle parade, ice cream social and much more. Registration fees start at $70 (less for children) and include camping, meals and all rides. For more information, please visit www.BikeMaine.org or call 207-623-4511.
Immediately before the Rally, you can be certified as a League Cycling Instructor! Visit the League website for more details and sign up on-line.
Tulsa Transit is rolling out an exciting variation on the bike-sharing theme on Dump the Pump Day (June 19th). The Rack-N-Roll program will enable bus passengers to check out a bicycle at the downtown transit station and use it in conjunction with their transit commute free of charge when they transfer buses and use it to continue their commute beyond the bus route. All of the fixed route buses are equipped with bike racks. The program kicks off with 10 really cool single speed bikes: they have a very retro look and feature red tires!
The Gluskin Townley Group LLC invites you to take a survey to provide feedback on your bicycle commuting experience. You’ll also have the opportunity to see a brand new product concept geared towards commuters, and tell us what you think and how you might change it to potentially meet your needs. As a final incentive, five LAB members who respond and complete the survey will be randomly selected to win one of five American Express gift cards each with a value of $50. Please click here to enter the survey site. Good luck and Thanks!
(N.B. Gluskin Townley has conducted the recent annual League membership surveys)
ENSURING BICYCLING IS INTEGRATED INTO NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION, CLIMATE, ENERGY AND HEALTH POLICY INITIATIVES
WHEREAS, bicycling can provide multiple and cross-cutting benefits in U.S policy initiatives that seek to address transportation needs, limit climate change and energy consumption and improve public health.
WHEREAS, we now live in a nation with 300 million people, and that number is expected to grow to 365 million by 2030 and to 420 million by 2050 with the vast majority of that growth occurring in congested urban areas where there are significant limitations on accommodating increased motor vehicle travel; and
WHEREAS, since 1980, the number of miles Americans drive has grown three times faster than the U.S. population; and
WHEREAS, a national transportation system that invests in and is conducive to bicycling reduces traffic congestion in our most heavily congested urban areas while promoting an overall improved quality of life that is valuable for the Nation; As example:
More than 200 cities throughout the U.S., representing more than 35 million people have committed to implementing bicycle friendly action plans to make their communities more bicycle friendly;
The greatest potential for increased bicycle usage is in our major urban areas where 40 percent of trips are two miles or less and 28 percent are less than one mile;
Surveys show that a majority of people want to ride more but are dissuaded by concern over traffic danger and other barriers, and case studies have shown that when those barriers to bicycling are removed, people start riding;
WHEREAS, a national network of interconnected urban and rural bikeways can provide valuable community benefits, including low or no-cost recreation and alternative transportation options for people of all ages and abilities; and,
WHEREAS, the transportation sector contributes one-third of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and passenger automobiles and light trucks alone contribute 21 percent; and
WHEREAS, Ten percent of global oil production goes solely toward fueling America’s cars and trucks and the U.S. could save 462 millions of gallons of gasoline a year by increasing cycling from one percent to one and a half percent of all trips; and
WHEREAS, bicycle commuters annually save on average $1,825 in auto-related costs, reduce their carbon emissions by 128 pounds, conserve 145 gallons of gasoline, and avoid 50 hours of gridlock traffic; and
WHEREAS, over 800 of our Nation's Mayors have signed onto the Climate Protection Agreement of the United States Conference of Mayors urging the Federal Government to enact policies and programs to meet or exceed a greenhouse gas emission reduction target of a seven percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2012; and
WHEREAS, two years ago the Conference of Mayors unanimously endorsed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, whereby a key component is to implement climate-friendly land-use policies and invest in public transportation and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
WHEREAS, the Center for Disease Control estimates that if all physically inactive Americans became active, we would save $77 billion in annual medical costs; and
WHEREAS, the United States is challenged by an obesity epidemic in which 65 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese, and 13 percent of children and adolescents are overweight, due in large part to a lack of regular activity; and
WHEREAS, the percentage of U.S. children who walk or bike to school has dropped by 70 percent since 1969 such that only 15 percent of students were walking or biking to school in 2001 while the rate of childhood obesity has tripled in recent years.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors believes that achieving increased levels of bicycling is in the national interest;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages the development and implementation of a coordinated national bicycling strategy aimed to increase safe bicycle use as a mode of transportation;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages the development of federal transportation, environmental and public health policies that recognize increased and safe bicycle usage for transportation is in the national interest and that we further urge Congress in the next federal transportation reauthorization to establish policies and funding mechanisms that will aim to:
Reduce the number of motor vehicle miles traveled (VMT)
Improve safety conditions for bicyclists
Collect transportation and safety data needed to monitor progress, and,
Provide incentives for state and local governments to adopt and implement Complete Street policies designed to accommodate all users.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that even absent federal incentives, Governors and state-level leadership should embrace Complete Streets policies that acknowledge the contributions of bicycles as a means to reduce vehicle miles by integrating bicycle use into standard street design.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on all Mayors that sign onto the Climate Protection Agreement to develop and implement action plans to incorporate bicycling programs and policies as a key component in reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages every mayor to strive to make their city a Bicycle Friendly Community.