December 11, 2006
Oberstar Named House Transportation Chair
The Democratic Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives has chosen Rep. James L. Oberstar (Minn.) to chair the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the 110th Congress. "I am pleased and humbled by this vote of confidence," Oberstar said. "I look forward to the many challenges ahead for this Committee and am ready to work with Members on both sides of the aisle, and the Administration, to move our agenda forward for the good of all the American people.” Widely regarded as one of the top experts on transportation in either House of Congress, Oberstar began his Congressional career in 1963 as an aide to his predecessor from Minnesota, Rep. John A. Blatnik. Blatnik retired in 1974, and Oberstar sought and won his Congressional seat. Oberstar is a strong advocate of bicycling.
Speak Up About Transportation Funding
The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, which was created by SAFETEA-LU, has scheduled four field hearings in 2007, to be held across the United States. The field hearings will allow Commissioners to solicit input from federal, state and local transportation officials and experts, as well as the general public, regarding transportation needs and solutions in their regions. The Commission's goal is to examine the condition and future needs of the nation's surface transportation system, and explore short and long-term alternatives to replace or supplement the fuel tax as the principal revenue source to support the Highway Trust Fund over the next 30 years. Specific details about future field hearings will be forthcoming on the Commission's website. There should be opportunity to testify before the Commission or, in the alternative, provide written testimony. We urge you to keep visiting the web site for updates, as it is imperative that the Commission hears from the bicycling community to ensure a broad system approach to the future of transportation funding.
Greehan Passes Torch to Camisasca
Interbike's director of advocacy (and League Board Member) Mike Greehan has left Interbike to focus his efforts on his company, Cue Ball Media. Lance Camisasca, Interbike's show director, who has worked with Greehan and guided Interbike's advocacy program, will assume Interbike's day-to-day advocacy efforts. "Mike was so much more than a guy that worked on bicycle advocacy for Interbike," Camisasca said. "We could not have asked for more when it came to Mike's efforts to help us understand, participate and lead important industry advocacy issues. Today, thanks to Mike, I am capable of grabbing hold of the Interbike advocacy tiller." For more information about Interbike, please visit www.interbike.com. To learn more about Greehan and Cue Ball Media, visit www.cueballdigital.com.
League Hiring Finance Mgr. & Dev. Director
The League has three positions open in its Washington, D.C. office. If you are, or you know, a development director, finance manager, or membership assistant that loves to bike and would be thrilled to work at the League, send them our way! Send resume and cover letter to email@example.com.
Ride Honors Fallen Arizona Cyclist
Excerpted from the East Valley Tribune.
Cycling was always a passion for Wesley Carnes. The Gilbert, Ariz. resident rode around Valley streets and was a member of an East Valley cycling club for some 15 years. But his wife, Leticia, always worried about her husband.
That concern turned into a reality when Carnes, 49, died Oct. 20 when an impaired motorist clipped his bicycle near Lindsay and Baseline roads in Gilbert. The Red Mountain Brumbys Cycling Club organized a Ride of Honor, a 10-mile bike ride to raise awareness of traffic safety among cyclists and motorists.
Texas Ends Road Beautification Program
Excerpted from the Houston Chronicle.
Texas state transportation officials have ended a program aimed at making roadways prettier, safer and historically relevant, blaming federal budget pressure caused by war and hurricanes. But the Texas Historical Commission's director said the state Department of Transportation purposely targeted millions in proposed "transportation enhancement" initiatives because agency officials have never liked the program. An agency spokesman denied the claim. The state began soliciting nominations for federal enhancement funds in November 2005. Eligible projects include provisions for bicycles and pedestrians, preservation of transportation facilities such as railways, control or removal of billboards and acquisition of scenic easements.
Local Motion in Vt. Seeks Dev. Director
Local Motion, a Greater Burlington, Vt. non-profit organization promoting bicycling and walking, seeks a full-time skilled, enthusiastic manager to lead organization through a growth phase. This new position will supervise five program managers and directly manage the trail development program. The position reports to the Executive Director, and after a transition period, this person will serve as Interim Executive Director during the ED’s five-month sabbatical. Submit cover letter, resume and three references to Executive Director Chapin Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org. A full job description is posted at www.localmotion.org. Application deadline: December 15, 2006. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply.
Governing Magazine Features Cycling
The November issue of Governing Magazine has a great story on bicycle commuting. An excerpt: “Over the past five years, we’ve heard a lot about health concerns and the obesity epidemic,” says Andy Clarke, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists, a century-old advocacy group. “And then in the past year, higher gas prices have started to contribute, too.”
Blogger Helps Improve Richmond, Ind.
Last Wednesday, signs were removed along Main Street in Richmond, Ind. which read "NO BIKES DOGS SKATES SKATEBOARDING". This improvement removes the misleading notion that bicycles were not allowed to ride along Main Street, which they always were. This event is the result of a petition that blogger Mark Stosberg started. Fifty people signed the online version, and several more expressed support through a printed edition. After a meeting with the mayor, the signs were removed.