Last week, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition published a brief exploration of what it called the “myth” that “there’s no way we can keep spending so much on bike lanes with so many other pressing needs in San Francisco.”
To make their point that dramatically improving biking and walking in a city costs almost nothing compared to many other transportation projects — in San Francisco, one of the bike-friendliest cities in the country, bike projects take up less than 1 percent of the municipal transportation budget — they listed some typical cost figures.
We decided to further explore this question by creating a simple bar chart, based on the same data. We’ll let you draw whatever conclusions you see fit.
Last summer I was fortunate enough to witness Charlotte’s B-Cycle program launch and most recently I live in the town of Denver that embraces bike share with stations all over Denver proper, and Boulder having another large program 30 minutes up the road. While I haven’t been an avid user as I have too many bikes of my own (maybe I should start my own bike share?!) I know many people that have started bike commuting, or given up their car thanks to bike share.
People for Bikes have a great info-graphic worth sharing about the power of bike sharing in the U.S. this year.
PeopleforBikes is getting May, National Bike Month, off with a rolling bang. As a fan of promoting healthier relationships between bicyclist and motorist I absolutely love the video below to “Roll Together.”
Today, Congressman John Mica of Florida, Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, outlined his plans for the new transportation bill and called for the elimination of dedicated funding for biking and walking programs, which he suggested, “do not serve a federal purpose.”
In the Senate, James Inhofe of Oklahoma is leading a similar attack. Inhofe, a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said that one of his top-three priorities for the next multi-year federal transportation bill is to eliminate “frivolous spending for bike trails.”
If Representative Mica and Senator Inhofe get their way, dedicated funding for three crucial programs — Safe Routes to School, Transportation Enhancements, and Recreational Trails — will be eliminated. The cost-effective federal investment in bicycling that is making our nation better will shrink dramatically. We can’t allow this to happen.
That’s why we are asking you to reach out to the two U.S. Senators and the U.S. Representative who represent you in Congress. Ask them to support ongoing, dedicated funding for biking and walking in the next transportation bill. (You can find your representatives and send your note directly from our website. Click here to review clear, basic, suggested text for your email. Feel free to customize it and/or add a personal story.)
Your simple messages will make a difference. You can help refute Representative Mica’s and Senator Inhofe’s unreasonable, counterproductive cuts. You can help assure that progress will continue in all 50 states to make bicycling safer and better for people of all ages.
I believe that bikes can solve many of the worlds problems if we put enough energy behind it to do so. I know I am happier on the bike than most anywhere else in the world. In honor of May being National Bike Month the fine folks at People for Bikes have created a short film.
I believe in bikes, and I believe that we can find ourselves out there on them.
A post over at Kent’s Bike Blog reminded me of a simple thing that all of the readers will probably agree to, bike rides are awesome. You don’t have to go for an epic ride, or get geared up in spandex. Often all we need in life is to get on the bike and pedal for a short while, you’ll come back nice and recharged for the day.
Did You Ride Today?
Tell us about your bike ride, take a photo of your bike, share your story with us! If you are on Flickr add it to our group, if you are on Facebook add it to our wall, Tweet it or simply leave a comment below.
Personally, I’ll be riding at lunch today. It will be time to de-stress and move forward into the weekend.
With our the announcement of our em:pwr cycling, we want to dive deeper into our main, and very exciting, partnership with Bikes Belong and their People for Bikes program.
PeopleforBikes.org is a movement created by the Bikes Belong Foundation – the national nonprofit focused on bicycling safety and children’s bike programs. The goal of PeopleforBikes.org is to unite one million voices to improve bicycling in the United States by asking people to sign a pledge in support of biking. PeopleforBikes.org aims to make our country a better place to ride by sending a unified message to our elected leaders, the media, and the public that bicycling is important and should be promoted.
Nearly 200,000 people, including Lance Armstrong, Gary Fisher, and bike-friendly Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak have already signed the pledge since the campaign’s launch last spring. Please take a moment to visit the website and add
your name today. It is quick, easy, and free, and it will help the future of biking. All they need is your name!
Whatever your background, whatever your bike, and wherever you ride – everyone has a stake in building more bike lanes and trails, securing more funding, and influencing local and national policies to better support bicycling.