May 22, 2006
Oklahoma Passes Strong New Bike Law
Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry signed a powerful new bicycle law on Friday, May 19.
1. Re-defines 'bicycle' for the purposes of the state's vehicle code, eliminating restricting wheel sizes and configurations
2. Eliminates confusing language as to where bicyclists should ride on the road
3. Eliminates the state mandate to ride on sidepaths/sidewalks
4. Eliminates the mandatory side light requirement for bicycles (not reflection)
5. Establishes a minimum safe-passing distance of three feet and sets up fines (in addition to other citations and penalties for manslaughter, improper use of a motor vehicle, etc.) for a motorist who injures or kills a cyclist.
Oklahoma is now the third state to have a safe-passing law and the second to back it up with specific fines. Arizona and Utah are the other states with safe-passing laws, with Arizona having specific fines.
Advocates in other states can now use Oklahoma's law for legal precedence to aid them in their work. The law was passed with the help of a strong push from the Oklahoma Bicycle Coalition.
League Election Results
The votes have been counted, and the results are in. New League representatives on the Board of Directors are:
Region 1 - John Allen
Region 4 - Jim Sheehan
Region 6 - Amanda Eichstaedt.
The terms are for three years, and begin at the annual rally, which will be held at Cycle Across Maryland, July 13-16, 2006
Entercom Adopts National Pro-Bike Policy
Working with Boston-area bicycle dealer Landry's Bicycles, Entercom Communications has adopted a national pro-bicycling policy for all of its radio stations. Previously, Landry's Bicycles had boycotted local Entercom radio-advertising proposals because of past bike-bashing issues on Entercom-owned WRKO Radio in Boston. Working with local Entercom representatives in Boston, Landry's marketing director Jack Johnson developed an agreement with Entercom Communications at the national level. Entercom now prohibits reckless programming against bicyclists on all its radio stations. As part of the agreement, Entercom radio stations in the Boston market have agreed to run public service announcements supporting MassBike, NEMBA, the MS Bike Tours, and the League of American Bicyclists.
Cycling Trends in U.S. vs. Canada
In spite of their colder climate, Canadians cycle about three times more than Americans. The reasons for this are made clear in a new report written by John Pucher and Ralph Buehler and published in Transport Policy. The main reasons are Canada’s higher urban densities and mixed-use development, shorter trip distances, lower incomes, higher costs of owning, driving and parking a car, safer cycling conditions, and more extensive cycling infrastructure and training programs. Most of these factors result from differences between Canada and the United States in their transport and land-use policies, and not from intrinsic differences in history, culture or resource availability.
Healthy Places Act Introduced in Congress
Introduced in the Senate by Barack Obama (D-IL) and in the House by Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), the 2006 Healthy Places Act is supported by 81 organizations, including the League. The Act is dedicated to improving our nation’s health through health promotion, prevention and treatment programs. To read more about the bill, visit the American Public Health Association's site.
Bikes Fly Free Plan Cancelled
Much to the League's dismay, the Bikes Fly Free program was discontinued effective March 2006. Adventure Travel withdrew from the program earlier this year due to lack of participation by the airlines. Currently we are working with several airlines to have the program reinstated. Please take a minute to tell the airlines that you want bikes to fly free.
Louisville, Ky. Aims for Bicycle Friendliness
Louisville, Ky. was granted an honorable mention in 2005 as a Bicycle Friendly Community. Since then, they have produced an entire plan built around the five key areas of the Bicycle Friendly Community program --- encouragement, evaluation, engineering, enforcement and education --- and released a new brochure and Web site detailing its goal to become a Bicycle Friendly Community. They will also be a Share the Road Rally in Kentucky on Saturday, June 24. To learn more about the rally, email David Devers of Kentucky's Transportation Cabinet.
National Trails Awards Deadline is May 31
Every two years, American Trails presents the National Trails Awards to recognize the tremendous contributions of volunteers, professionals, businesses, and other leaders who are working to create a national system of trails for all Americans. Nominations should cover accomplishments during the period of June 1, 2004 through May 31, 2006. The awards will be presented on October 21, 2006, at the 18th National Trails Symposium in the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois. The deadline for submitting nominations is May 31, 2006. For awards criteria and nomination forms, visit the American Trails website.
League Hires Advocacy Director
The League has hired Walter P. Finch as advocacy director. Finch has more than 18 years of experience in the transportation industry, during which time he worked on numerous issues related to bicycling. He will be responsible for the League’s advocacy work on Capitol Hill and in states across the nation, speaking up for bicyclists with legislators, lobbyists, and their staffs. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Help Save A Limb in Hunt Valley, Md. on 9/3
The inaugural Save-A-Limb Bike Ride will be held on Sept. 3, 2006 at historic Oregon Ridge Park in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Choose from a 60 mile loop through Pretty Boy Reservoir, a 30-mile or a family friendly 15-mile ride. Click here to register and for more information. Proceeds go to the The Save a Limb Fund, a program on Sinai Hospital Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics. The fund was established to help treat children born with congenital bone deformities.