How Does Your State Stack Up?
The League has ranked all 50 states as part of our new Bicycle Friendly States program. A 75-question form was sent to every state bicycle coordinator in June. The questions covered everything from funding levels to state bicycle laws to plans for improving mountain biking in the state. We scored every application and created a ranking – Washington came out at the top, and West Virginia was at the bottom. More important than the ranking, however, is that we now have information on all 50 states that we can use to:
- Provide a roadmap for state advocacy groups and agencies to follow to improve conditions for bicyclists
- Document how many states have certain policies and practices that others can then follow
- Compile and disseminate best practices
- Benchmark states against each other – Oregon already wants to get ahead of Washington…
We are sending feedback and links to best practices to the DOT bike coordinators and state advocacy groups in the hopes they will work together to improve their state performance. There will also soon be a second part to the program that will get at the more qualitative aspects of how good the bike map is or how effective the bicycle advisory committee is, or whether policies are actually implemented or not. We will offer states the chance to complete this second part during the winter and will announce the outcome and an updated ranking in National Bike Month next May. USA Today published a story on the list last week.
Responding to Trash Talk About Bikes
Every now and then, someone takes a potshot at bicyclists and bicycling. Sometimes it’s a politician; other times a shock jock. Whoever it is, and whatever their motivation, we don’t like it! So we're starting to keep track of who says what, and give you the chance -- and the data you need --- to talk back. The first few people on the list are: Senator Jim DeMint, South Carolina; David Brooks, New York Times; Representative John Boehner, Ohio; Transportation Secretary Mary Peters (fresh comments) and Representative Patrick McHenry, North Carolina.
Help Shape America's Transportation Future
The current federal transportation program, which funds many bicycle and pedestrian projects and programs, expires in September 2009. Bicycle and pedestrian groups, led by the America Bikes Coalition, are determining what we want out of the next bill, and how we will get it. Help us with your opinion of what matters: Take this survey by October 1.
Bicycles and Pedestrian Professionals: What's Up?
The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP), which was established in 1995 to represent the interests of people working to advance bicycling and pedestrian issues, seeks your help with our research. To benchmark our emerging field, APBP surveyed professionals in 1996 and again in 2000. Now, with our profession reaching into an ever wider network of disciplines and relationships, it is time once again to ask you some questions. Please take a few minutes to take this year's survey, which will allow APBP to document your professional progress, needs and challenges. Your answers will enable APBP to report back to you, your employer, government and the public on the state of our profession. In exchange for your participation, you will receive an advance copy of the survey results. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete and confidentiality of individual survey responses will be respected. Survey results will be reported to participants by the end of the year with a final report published shortly thereafter.
Huge Growth in Portland Bicycling Economy
Alta Planning + Design has been updating the 2006 study we did about the value of bicycle-related businesses to Portland’s economy, which determined that the value of this industry sector was $63 million. They just released the results, and growth has been tremendous – a nearly 40 percent increase in gross revenue ($90 million), and 50 percent increase in the number of businesses. More info can be found here.
Older Americans Searching for a Car-Free Way
A new poll by AARP finds that while many Americans older than 50 are trying to move away from car transportation as a result of high gas prices, their attempt to go "green" is challenged by inadequate sidewalks and bike lanes, as well as insufficient public transportation options. "More Americans age 50+ are trying to leave their cars behind but face obstacles as soon as they walk out the door, climb on their bikes or head for the bus," said Elinor Ginzler, AARP Senior Vice President for Livable Communities. Almost one of every three people (29%) polled say they are now walking as a way to avoid high gas prices. But as those people set out to walk, almost 40% of the 50+ population say they do not have adequate sidewalks in their neighborhoods. Additionally, 44% say they do not have nearby public transportation that is accessible. Almost half (47%) of poll responders say they cannot cross the main roads safely -- 4 in 10 pedestrian fatalities are over the age of 50.
Become a League Board Member: Sept 19 Deadline
Nominations are open for three regional director spots on the League’s National Board. The election process will unfold this fall for Region 1 (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT), Region 4 (MI, IL, IN, OH), and Region 6 (AK, CA, HI, ID, NV, OR, WA). If you are interested in serving on the League Board of Directors, or if you know someone who would be a good representative for cyclists in your region, the Nominating Committee is now soliciting recommendations for candidates for the 2009 board elections. Click here to learn more.
Aloha ... Job Opening in Hawaii
Balanced Transportation Coordinator
Hawaii County is hiring a Balanced Transportation Coordinator. The person is responsible for initiating the integrated development, coordination and implementation of a county wide plan and program that ensures bicycle, pedestrian and other non-motorized transportation modes of travel are integrated into Hawai’i Island infrastructure. This position serves as the County of Hawaii government’s point person and liaison representing these multi-modal interests including supporting access and use of mass transit and recreational trails. Letter of interest and resume must be mailed or delivered to the Hawaii County Planning Department, Attn: Balanced Transportation Coordinator; Aupuni Center, 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 3, Hilo, HI 96720, and be postmarked/ time stamped by September 17, 2008, 4 p.m.