October 16, 2006
BikeEd Goes to Washington
Today, LCI Jason Martz of the National Park Service taught a condensed Road I class to 20 Congressional staffers. Many staffers are interested in commuting to work for both the economic and health benefits, yet are nervous about braving the streets of D.C. during rush hour. The League of American Bicyclists and the Congressional Bike Caucus hosted the class in which the staffers learned about the ABC Quick Check, lane positioning, rules and regulations, road and trail etiquette, and as well as tips for commuting to work on Capitol Hill. To learn more about the League's BikeEd program, click here.
Chicago Releases Complete Streets Policy
The city of Chicago today released a landmark Complete Streets Policy that for the first time mandates that all users must be accommodated in all transportation projects.
“This will save lives,” said Chicagoland Bicycle Federation Executive Director Rob Sadowsky. According to a multi-agency document issued by the city, the policy is expected to be implemented in a variety of ways that have been advocated by Chicagoland Bicycle Federation and its Healthy Streets Campaign. The policy calls for pedestrian improvements like bulb-out curb extensions for crosswalks, countdown crossing signals, median refuges and re-timing signals to minimize pedestrian delay and conflicts.
Working Toward a Bicycle Friendly Flint
On Oct. 16 and 17, League Executive Director Andy Clarke is leading a discussion on Complete Streets in Flint, Mich. The workshop is educating local advocates on complete streets, demonstrating examples from around the country, and answering questions. For more information on how to put on a workshop like this in your community, e-mail Bill Nesper at the League.
Walk to School Day a National Success
In the U.S., a record number of communities from all 50 states participated in Walk to School Day on October 4, 2006. More than 2,200 events were registered on the Walk to School Web site. Of these events, 48 percent reported that their event was a part of an ongoing walking and/or biking program and 47 percent reported that their event was part of a Safe Routes to School program. On a global scale, this year's event saw a record 40 participating countries and also marks the establishment of the first International Walk to School Month. To find out who walked in your community, visit http://www.walktoschool.org/who/index.cfm. For photos, visit http://www.iwalktoschool.org/quotes/index.htm.
Bicycling Calendar Set for 2007
In addition to the League's National Bike Summit, which will be held March 14-16, 2007, several other meetings are gearing up. New Partners for Smart Growth is holding its sixth annual meeting Jan. 26-28, 2006 in Denver, Colo. The always interesting Bicycle Leadership Conference will be held February 4-6 in San Diego, Calif. The League's national education conference, BikeEd 2007, will be held in Austin, Texas on June 14-16. And this year there is still Rail Volution in Chicago, Ill. on November 6-8.
LIB Releases New Motorist-Bicyclist Video
The League of Illinois Bicyclists, with funding from the Illinois Department of Transportation, has produced a nearly seven-minute video on motorist-bicyclist safety, which can be viewed at http://www.bikelib.org/video. The video, narrated by Robbie Ventura, a teammate of Lance Armstrong on the former U.S. Postal Service Team, presents the do’s and don’ts for new drivers for when they encounter bicyclists on the road. To make Illinois roads safer by bicyclists, DVDs have been distributed to 900 high school and private driving education programs and to more than 900 police and sheriff’s departments. Other distribution outlets are being planned now.
NHTSA 2005 Bicycle Fact Sheet Available
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's 2005 Fact Sheet on bicycling accidents and deaths is up on their Web site. As noted in an earlier comment by League Executive Director Andy Clarke, deaths are up a shocking 20 percent since 2003. See the whole fact sheet here (pdf).
Thunderhead Hiring Campaign Coach
Thunderhead’s National Complete the Streets Campaign is hiring a campaign coach. Thunderhead’s national campaign is linking state and local complete streets policy campaigns led by member organizations to leverage a federal level complete streets policy through the reauthorization of SAFETEA-LU. To learn more, click here.
Company Offers $1K to Cycling Employees
Reprinted from the Burlington, Vt. Free Press.
This summer Eric Albinson's boss offered to pay him $1,000 to ride a bike to work. The catch? In order to get the cash he had to log 650 bicycle commuting miles this year. The 59-year-old cabinetmaker didn't think he could do it. He lives just three miles from Stark Mountain Woodworking where he works. "I hadn't been on a bike since I was 14," said Albinson. "I wasn't going to do it because I'd have to bike into December to get my 650 miles." He decided to try anyway, and so did all but one of his 12 co-workers. The one who didn't had a physical limitation that kept him from participating. The Stark Mountain Health Plan, created by company co-owner Skimmer Hellier one morning fresh from a bike to work, pays employees $500 up front to buy a bike and promises an additional $500 if they completed 650 miles by the end of the year. For each mile they fell short of the goal, employees have to pay the company $1. All of the participants are on track to finish their 650 miles, Hellier said.