As you contemplate your New Year’s resolutions, take some time to build up your 2014 karma! Nominate advocates who have improved biking & walking in your community for a 2014 Advocacy Award.
The Alliance for Biking and Walking holds the Advocacy Awards every year to celebrate the individuals and groups who have demonstrated excellence in the bicycle and pedestrian movement. If you know an advocate (or two or three) who has made a big difference for biking and walking over the past year, please nominate them! Anybody can submit nominations until January 16.
Your nominations will be considered by a panel of leaders in the biking and walking movement. Winners will be recognized on March 3 at the 2014 Advocacy Awards ceremony in Washington, DC.Tweet Print
I guess it wouldn’t be too much of a generalization to say that cyclists are more likely to lean left than right. After all, the Boston Globe’s Jordan Michael Smith points out, they are more likely to live in cities and away from the more conservative car-culture of the suburbs. But while cyclists have been fighting for decades for recognition, both on the street and in the legislatures, a new level of vitriol level against them might just be a sign that they have arrived.
Particularly in America, the bicycle is emerging as a new conservative front in the culture wars. In May, Wall Street Journal commentator Dorothy Rabinowitz called bicyclists “the most important danger in the city”; in Colorado’s last governor’s election, a Republican candidate said a local bike-sharing program “could threaten our personal freedoms.” A columnist for the conservative Washington Times declared D.C. bike-sharing programs to be “broken-down socialism”; radio pundit Rush Limbaugh said he “won’t care” if his car door knocks over a cyclist.
As health and government officials have begun peddling bicycles as healthy, environmentally responsible alternatives to cars, and cities and towns spend money on new bike infrastructure, conservatives have started to sense a new target. They have begun to deploy “the bike” as a bogeyman in political debates—cast in a role anywhere from physical annoyance to a genuine threat to the American way of life.
What do you think? How to bicycles fit in the right vs. left, conservative vs. liberal debate? Share your thoughts in the comments below.Tweet Print
If you ride in our nation’s capital, you may have noticed some friendly messages popping up in the city’s extensive bike lane network:
MORE BIKE LANES
THANK YOU FOR BIKING
But who was creating these tags? Were they street art or vandalism?
The bright, encouraging—twee, if you’d like—tone of BA’s stencil art has a purpose. “We want more people to bike,” she says. “We want bicyclists to smile and know they’re appreciated. We want bicyclists to smile at other bicyclists and road users. Most importantly, we want D.C. to be a safe place to ride a bike.”
The City Paper chats with the artists, and looks at how the rapid rise in popularity of cycling in the city has had its growing pains.Tweet Print
I’m not sure what a lorry is, but it sure looks a lot like a truck. All kidding aside, in this video from the Greater London Metropolitan Police, a local cyclist and a driver explain how each can take better steps to avoid crashes. They then take turns in each others’ place to see just how dangerous riding near one of these vehicles can be if you’re not visible. After the rash of incidents in London recently, hopefully it can help save some lives.Tweet Print
The Adventure Cycling Association‘s nationally recognized awards program acknowledges exemplary contributions to the success of bicycle travel. There are four awards:
- The Pacesetter Bicycle Travel Award recognizes individuals, groups, businesses, and organizations that have consistently demonstrated extraordinary commitment, dedication, and service to the advancement of Adventure Cycling’s mission of inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
- The June Curry Trail Angel Award honors an individual or group encountered during a bicycle tour who made the cyclotourist’s journey easier or possible by helping the cyclist through an act of goodwill.
- The Braxton Bicycle Shop Award honors bicycle shops throughout the nation that go out of their way to provide unique or exemplary services to bicycle travelers.
- The Adventure Cycling Volunteer of the Year Award is our way to say ‘Thank you’ to Adventure Cycling volunteers who are helping us inspire others to travel by bike.
NPR did a profile this past week about LA Bike Trains, a service that helps new cyclists feel more comfortable on the road by arranging commutes in groups. An experienced conductor leads the group along safe roads and the pack of cyclists inherently leads to more comfortable riders and better visibility.
Since launching L.A. Bike Trains in May with just a few routes and no budget, the system has grown to a dozen volunteer leaders, covering Los Angeles by bike by as much as 20 miles per trip each way, like the route from Silver Lake to Santa Monica.
Still, bike trains are far from seeing mass adoption.
Herbie Huff, a policy researcher at UCLA, says there are lots of obstacles to taking part in bike trains. Instead, Huff thinks infrastructure like bike lanes would be a bigger winner, or a concept like bike sharing could be an easier entry point.
“In order to go on the bike train, you need to already have made a commitment,” Huff says. “You need to already have a bike.”
More than 1,000 cyclists clogged the streets in front of the city’s transportation offices last week to highlight the dangerous conditions on the city’s streets. Six cyclists have died in the past two-weeks and tensions are riding high. Organizers are demanding that 10 percent of the city’s transportation budget be spent on cycling infrastructure.
Via streetsblog.orgTweet Print
Too often the death of a cyclist at the hands of a driver is labeled an “accident”, even when the driver is at fault and faces penalties.
Lloyd Alter of Treehugger takes a look at the language used in the media and how it shapes public perception of cycling.
Streetfilms has released it’s latest, and final, dispatch from Amsterdam, and provides a nice cross-section of commentary and how-to from the City of Bikes.
Some of the major themes the film touches on are how the city rejected car culture in the 1970s as traffic deaths were mounting, how the bike system is not a jumbled pile of chaos as it appears to tourists, and how despite all the bikes, the city doesn’t really have much of a “bike culture”.
Streetfilms produces short films showing how smart transportation design and policy can result in better places to live, work and play.Tweet Print
The roads in the East County region outside San Diego are some of the most beautiful anywhere, and naturally they are popular with cyclists. But someone isn’t too happy about their presence, and has posted a sign on private property condoning hitting cyclists.
ABC 10 News in San Diego picks up the story from here:Tweet Print