August 28, 2006
Cycling Deaths Increase in America
The recent release of the 2005 annual assessment of motor vehicle crashes highlights an alarming trend. Bicyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes increased by 7.8 percent in 2004, and fatalities have increased more than 20 percent since 2003. Too many of our street designs and vehicle improvements have made it far too easy for drivers to speed and there are many more distractions to driving than ever before. Highway users who are not in cars are increasingly paying the price. The fact that injuries and fatalities increased in every non-occupant related category clearly demonstrates the need for Congress to pass “Complete Streets” Legislation to ensure that state departments of transportation are fully considering all users when constructing transportation facilities. To see the League's letter to NHTSA, click here. To see the report yourself, click here.
Make Your Voice Heard
The League of American Bicyclists is completing its member survey. If you haven’t yet taken it, click here to do so. Your voice helps us build a bicycle friendly America.
Bicycle Safety in Florida
Beginning November 12, the Florida Discovery Bicycling Center will teach adults of all ages how to bicycle safely. Safety training is provided by League of American Bicyclists-certified instructors. The non-profit Florida Bicycle Association manages the project. Programs operate twice monthly. Each is six days and five nights – Sunday afternoon through Friday noon -- perfect for a short vacation. The programs are highly sociable and include evenings in Lake Helen homes. Everything is provided: lodgings, all meals, instruction, on-road guides, support vehicle, maps and cue sheets. Details appear at www.floridabicycle.org/discovery.
Sign up for BikeEd in NE
Final approval has been given by UNO Campus Recreation to teach the Road I course at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. LCI Steve Draper will teach the class once a week for three weeks starting September 6 and again starting September 14. There is a limit of 10 people per class, so early registration is imperative. To learn more, click here.
Obese People Now Outnumber Hungry
There are now more overweight people across the world than hungry ones, according to experts. US professor Barry Popkin said all countries - both rich and poor - had failed to address the obesity boom. At a recent meeting of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, Popkin said that the number of overweight people had topped 1 billion, compared with 800 million undernourished. Speaking at an Australian conference, he said changing diets and people doing less physical exercise was the cause. Professor Popkin, from the University of North Carolina, said that the change had happened quickly as obesity was rapidly spreading, while hunger was slowly declining among the world's 6.5bn population. (from the BBC)
Congress Focuses on Bicycling
On July 31, Congressional Resolution 145 was passed, recognizing May as National Bike Month. Click here to see the Congressional Record containing statements from Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Congressman Thomas Petri (R-WI), and Congressman Jim Oberstar (D-MN) in support of the bill. Blumenauer said, “While the passage of the resolution came after this year’s Bike Month, the timing of the resolution could not be more appropriate. With record high gas prices, increasing rates of obesity, and continued traffic congestion, bicycling is one of the most simple, commonsense, and fun ways to address the major crises of the day.”
Thunderhead Partners with CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved a one-year contract towards Thunderhead Alliance’s first full Benchmarking Report. This report will build on Thunderhead’s previous Benchmarking work, comparing bicycling, walking, health and underserved population data in all 50 states and at least the 50 largest U.S. cities to reveal the total impact of the built environment on the health and safety of Americans. For more information on Thunderhead and the Benchmarking Project, visit www.thunderheadalliance.org.
League of Illinois Bicyclists Wins Contracts
The League of Illinois Bicyclists has been selected for three contracts/grants with IDOT. The first two (Bicycle Enforcement for Safe Roads and Share the Road PSAs) were IDOT Traffic Safety grants, the same funding source used for the driver ed video project. On the third, Safe Routes to School professional assistance, they are a subconsultant on a team
led by the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation. To find out more, click here.