April 24, 2006
New Bicycle Friendly Communities Selected
Communities as diverse as Milwaukee, Wis., Carrboro, N.C. and Longmont, Colo. now share an achievement—they are all Bicycle Friendly Communities, as designated by the League of American Bicyclists. This program analyzes bicycle friendliness in five areas: education, enforcement, encouragement, engineering and evaluation. Communities are rated platinum, gold, silver or bronze. Fifteen cities earned or renewed the designation in April 2006, and four communities earned an Honorable Mention. The Bicycle Friendly Community program is supported by a generous grant from Bikes Belong.
Seven cities are awarded the BFC designation for the first time:
• Madison, Wis.
• San Francisco, Calif.
• Bellingham, Wash.
• Flagstaff, Ariz.
• Milwaukee, Wis.
• Sunnyvale, Calif.
• South Sioux City, Neb.
Eight communities successfully renewed their designation.
• Tucson/East Pima County, Ariz. (formerly silver)
• Gainesville, Fla.
• Ashland, Ore.
• Brentwood, Calif.
• Carrboro, N.C.
• Longmont, Colo.
• Mountain View, Calif.
• Presidio of San Francisco, Calif.
Four communities were given honorable mentions.
• Philadelphia, Pa.
• Portage, Mich. (formerly bronze)
• Rochester, Minn.
• Rockville, Md. (formerly bronze)
“We salute these communities for their tremendous commitment to improving conditions for bicyclists,” said Andy Clarke, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “They are making the streets safer for bicycling, educating bicyclists and motorists to share the road, promoting a wide range of bicycling activities and even stepping up the enforcement of traffic laws to protect bicyclists.”
Bicycle Commuter Act Introduced in Senate
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) today introduced the Bicycle Commuters Benefit Act of 2006. This Senate bill would provide employees the same benefit for commuting by bicycle that other employees get for taking mass transit. This bill matches HR 807 introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) last spring. The Senate bill is also supported by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).
Celebrating Earth Day with President Bush
Congratulations to President Bush for starting his own Earth Day celebrations with a bike ride: What better way to experience the glories of Mother Nature than from the saddle of a bike. It is a great example for the nation to have a President who enjoys riding his bike and isn't afraid to share that pleasure with the nation. Let's hope more Americans follow his lead and get on their bikes during National Bike Month. And, let's not forget what else bicycling can do to help save the planet! Make sure you've written your members of Congress in support of the Conserve by Bike program. Visit the League's on-line advocacy center to have your voice heard.
NHTSA Posts Preliminary 2005 Crash Stats
Cycling injuries due to automobile accidents went up almost 10 percent in 2005 compared to 2004, although deaths went down almost 1 percent. These numbers are from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's recently released 2005 projections. According to the report, 720 cyclists were killed last year, down from 725 in 2004, and 45,000 were injured, up from 41,000. Click here to see the full report.
2006 IMBA Summit to be held in June
The International Mountain Bicycling Association Summit/World Mountain Bike Conference will be held in Whistler, British Columbia this June 20-23. The theme is promoting sustainability and enhancing communication. This is a unique opportunity to gather up-to-date information and materials addressing the rapidly evolving sport of mountain biking. To learn more, or to register, click here.
Share the Road Bill Passes in Iowa
On April 6, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack signed a bill into law that provides for share the road instruction to be included in drivers' education courses in Iowa. The law reads: "Instruction providing an awareness about sharing the road with bicycles and motorcycles. The instruction course shall be first approved by the state department of transportation. Instructional materials creating an awareness about sharing the road with bicycles and motorcycles shall also be distributed during the course of instruction." This bill was passed with the support and help of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, Iowa Department of Transportation and the League of American Bicyclists.
Floridians in Favor of Bicycle Facilities
At the ProBike/ProWalk conference in Florida last week, the Florida Department of Transportation released the results of a 2005 statewide survey on bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The survey found that, "Floridians place a high value on bicycle facilities in their communities, and generally believe that more money should be invested in improving bicycling safety." To see the results of the survey, click here (pdf).
Bicycle Conferences in Idaho, Nev. and Va.
Three states are having bicycle/pedestrian conferences in the coming weeks. The League's own Andy Clarke will be the keynote speaker at Nevada's Bicycle & Pedestrian Conference in Lake Tahoe. Virginia will be hosting BikeWalk Virginia April 30-May 3 in Lynchburg, Va. And Idaho's 2006 Community Bicycle Congress will be held at Boise State University on May 1-5.
Bike Month Launches Nationwide May 1
Next Monday is the start of Bike Month 2006, the 50th anniversary of Bike Month. Since its beginnings in 1956, millions of Americans have celebrated Bike Month by commuting to work, riding to errands, or just enjoying the fun of bicycling. Check out the League's Bike Month Event page to see what is going on in your community. If you know of an event that isn't posted yet, e-mail it to us and we'll put it online.
New League Jersey on Sale Now
The League has a new jersey just in time for Bike Month. The jersey is available in men's S-XXL and women's S-XL. They are club cut and made by Verge Sport, and will provide an excellent addition to any cyclist's wardrobe. Order yours today!