Transportation Legislation Update
Kit Keller, Executive Director
As of last Friday, there was some good news about transportation legislation in the U.S. Congress: a diverse coalition came together to put extraordinary pressure on the Senate to include the Cardin-Cochran Amendment in the MAP-21 bill. The language of Cardin-Cochran assures local control over "Additional Activities”—i.e., bicycle, pedestrian and Safe Routes to School projects. A lot of people fought long and hard for this, from the American Public Health Association to the U.S. Conference of Mayors. As this bulletin goes out, the Senate is voting on MAP-21.
With the latest extension of SAFETEA-LU due to expire on March 31, the House may vote on the Senate's bill instead of bringing HR 7-- called the worst transportation bill in the history of America--to the floor. But there's a lot of maneuvering going on, so it's impossible to predict what will happen, especially in the House. To keep informed, follow @AmericaBikes on Twitter and visit www.americabikes.orgfor updates. Plan to attend the next U.S. Federal Transportation Policy Briefing webinar, co-hosted by APBP and the Alliance for Biking & Walking, on March 27 (register here).
Be ready to take action. Attend the National Bike Summit if you can. See you there!
Attend the National Women Cycling Forum at the Bike Summit
Register here: http://nationalwomencyclingforum.eventbrite.com/
Wow! Nearly 200 people have registered to attend the first-ever National Women Cycling Forum, on Tuesday, March 20, co-hosted by APBP and the Alliance for Biking & Walking. Luckily, we've been able to move to a bigger room to accommodate a larger crowd. Hurry and register, before those last 100 seats are snapped up.
Sue Macy, author of Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flats Tires Along the Way), is the keynote speaker. Free and open to all genders, the forum brings together a panel of women from advocacy, engineering, government and industry to discuss how to engage more women in bicycling and solicit input on making the Women Cycling Project a useful online tool for women cyclists and advocates. Plus, mark your calendars for a Women Cycling Social on Wednesday, March 21, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Busboys and Poets, a very cool venue just a few blocks from the Grand Hyatt hotel. (The forum runs 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.; 2012 National Bike Summit registration opens at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday.)
Follow up on the forum by attending APBP's third annual free Women Cycling webinar, "Empowering Women to Bicycle for Transportation", on March 28 at 3:00 p.m. More information here.
Spotlight on: Open Streets Project
Andrea Garland, Alta Planning + Design
The Alliance for Biking and Walking and The Street Plans Collaborative launched the Open Streets Project (guide and website) on February 21. We recently checked in with Mike Lyndon, Principal of the Street Plans Collaborative and founder of the Open Streets Project.
What was the genesis of the Open Streets Project?
After organizing the first Bike Miami Day in 2008, I was inspired and started a research project to learn how open street projects were growing in North America (USA and Canada). Eventually we partnered with the Alliance for Biking and Walking to form the Open Streets Project with the goal of serving local advocates and open streets organizers across North America, with support through a grant from the Fund for the Environment and Urban Life.
What role do Open Streets projects play in creating bike-friendly communities?
1) It puts people out on their bicycles. 2) Seeing cyclists on the streets helps to bring awareness to local stakeholders about the needs of the bicycling community. 3) Police involvement in the event helps change their perspective about bicycle safety because they can see and experience some of the common issues cyclists face in the streets.
What are some pitfalls that Open Streets event organizers should avoid?
1) Getting ahead of yourself without getting the proper local support. It's very important to involve the community stakeholders (local government, business, neighborhood associations, etc.) from the beginning to get their buy-in with the project.
2) Poor marketing: Make sure you get the word out so that the event will have good attendance.
3) Wrong time of the day: It's important to choose a day and time that's best for your community.
4) Route length: Should be appropriate to the size and population of the community. Not so short that there isn't enough activity, but not so long that gaps of inactivity can reflect poorly on the image of the event.
What three things should every Open Streets event have?
Activities that reach beyond biking and walking; engagement from other local groups to help get a larger cross section of the community involved; and coordination with other established events, to draw more attendance.
What's your favorite thing about Open Streets events?
Seeing people in the streets with smiles on their faces. From a planner's perspective, the best thing is that this kind of project can become tangible fairly quickly.
How do you think the Open Streets movement will grow in the next five years?
I think we'll see more initiatives emerging, especially in smaller communities. I also think we'll see longer routes and events that move around the cities, keeping established events fresh. Current initiatives that are getting stronger will become weekly events, making it easier to measure the health impacts in each community.
What's on the horizon for the Open Streets Project?
In the short term, grow the website by adding more case studies. We also plan to offer technical workshops around the country (led by the Alliance) help communities that want to host events in 2013. In the long term, we'd like to scale up the project to reach out to international communities by partnering with organizations in Latin America and Europe and translating the resources to other languages.
> Check out one of New York City's newest initiatives: Neighborhood Slow Zones, which use 20 mph speed limits and traffic calming devices to reduce traffic and noise and improve safety in residential neighborhoods. Communities must apply for the treatment; Streetsblog reported that NYCDOT may have received more than 100 applications in the first round that closed in February—many more than can be installed in the first round of work. (If you're not familiar with the UK campaign that inspired Slow Zones, "20's Plenty for Us", click here.)
> The National Center for Safe Routes to School partners with the League of American Bicyclists to coordinate the first National Bike to School Day on May 9. The event leverages the energy of National Bike Month to encourage children to cycle to school; save the date and visit www.walktoschool.org for more information.
> APBP honored former U.S. Representative James Oberstar with the Meritorious Service Award for his work in championing bicycle and pedestrian transportation and Safe Routes to School. The former Congressman received the award on February 24 at a special reception in Minneapolis hosted by APBP and Transit for Livable Communities (TLC).
> The Open Streets Project Guide features an introduction to open streets, a summary of initiatives, and 67 case studies in North America. It also summarizes best practices from North and South America and links to additional resources. Download a free copy online; hard copies will be available for purchase in late March.
> This excellent 14-minute film, "From the Netherlands to America: Translating the World's Best Bikeway Designs", is a significant tool to advance the discussion about achieving greater cycling mode share and fitness levels in North America. It embodies a common sense approach to transportation policy that recognizes the extraordinarily challenging issues of our day. Make this Streetfilms video required viewing for every city council, plan commission and public works commission member in North America (and staff as well).
> According to the latest PBIC newsletter, "The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center has updated the materials for its Graduate-Level Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Course based on the latest safety and planning research and in response to feedback from students and instructors. PBIC provides all materials instructors need to train future planners about bicycle and pedestrian needs, including a syllabus, homework assignments, lectures and reading lists.” Learn more here: http://tinyurl.com/7k4orn9
> "Integration of Bicycling and Walking Facilities into the Infrastructure of Urban Communities” is a new study of three California cities; it identifies the characteristics of facilities associated with high alternative mode choice and recommends specific planning policies. View the summary here; read the full report here.
> Thanks to Tim Potter, MSU Bikes, for sharing this Google document that summarizes examples, operational information, and links to articles and other resources related to Scramble Intersections. This link was posted to the APBP list serve on 1/25/12, and may also be found in the website Resource Library.
> SAFECYCLE is a short term, EU-funded project that documents and assesses intelligent transport systems (ITS) and e-safety applications that can help increase the safety of cyclists in Europe. Get more information and sign up for the newsletter at www.safecycle.eu
Opportunities and Deadlines
> March 16: The deadline for proposals for Walk21 in Mexico City has been extended to this Friday, March 16.
> March 30: Deadline for proposals for Rail~Volution in Los Angeles, October 14-17. Details here.
> March 31: Early registration deadline for Velo-city Global 2012, in Vancouver, B.C. June 26-29. Velo-city unites politicians, engineers, planners, architects, social marketers, academics, researchers, environmentalists, advocates, educators and industry representatives to foster trans-national collaboration and share best practices for creating and sustaining cycling-friendly cities, where bicycles are recognized as a viable transportation option and an important component of integrated transportation plans. Conference organizers expect to host over 1,000 delegates. It will seldom be easier to attend this outstanding international cycling conference. Click here for details.
> April 27: Deadline to apply for funding from California's 2012-2013 Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA). The BTA is an annual program providing state funds for city and county projects that improve safety and convenience for bicycle commuters. While the typical annual appropriation of the program over the last few years has been $7.2 million, this year there is an anticipated one-time increase to $11.9 million due to past BTA projects that did not use the funds in a timely manner and have since been placed back into the account. Information on the program, including the application, can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/89unx2q
Browse the calendar on the APBP website for more conferences, paper submission deadlines, and training opportunities.
APBP Member News
> APBP welcomed more than 330 new members in 2011; many joined when they registered to attend the Professional Development Seminar in Charlotte, N.C. last October. Welcome new members! APBP now has over 1,100 active members. We encourage you to consider organizing a no-host networking event for members in your area. Search the member directory online, or contact us for ideas and help.
> Your membership in APBP pays off again. Thanks to the folks producing Pro Walk/Pro Bike® 2012—NCBW and the Project for Public Spaces—APBP members will save nearly $100 on the early registration rate in effect through May 16. Plan now to attend this well-loved conference, September 10-13. See you in Long Beach!
> Brian Graham is moving from his position as Greenway & Sustainability Manager in Greenville, S.C. to take up the job of Bicycle/TDM Planner with Boulder County, Colorado. He writes, "It has been a real privilege to serve the Greenville community over the past 3+ years and I am thankful for the opportunity I had to work with and learn from so many. The [new] opportunity was just too good to pass-up, as Boulder is one of three platinum bicycle friendly cities in the U.S. and I hope to have the chance to really do some cutting-edge work.” Brian is APBP's 2011 Young Professional of the Year. Congratulations, Brian!
> Kudos also to David Kemp, the new Active Transportation Coordinator for the City of Davis, California. David was formerly with the City of Fort Collins, Colorado.
> The Board of Directors has appointed Annick Beaudet, Program Consultant with the City of Austin (Texas) and Diana Zinkl, a former member of the Riders' Advisory Council of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, to the NCUTCD Technical Committee Recommendation Review Team. They join current team members Bill Schultheiss (Toole Design Group), Michael Moule (Nelson\Nygaard) , and Tom Dodds (State of South Carolina). The team reviews and comments on the recommendations of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Technical Committees of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
> Congratulations to the officers of the 2012 Board of Directors: Jennifer Hefferan, Safe Routes to School Coordinator for the District of Columbia Department of Transportation, was reelected President for a second one-year term; Brett Hondorp, Principal with Alta Planning & Design in California, was elected Vice President, for a second one-year term; Secretary Eric Anderson, Associate Planner - Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs with the City of Berkeley Department of Public Works, was also re-elected for another term. Craig Williams, Senior Associate at Alta Planning + Design and a founding APBP Board member, will serve as Treasurer.
Send us your news!
Thanks to all who contributed, knowingly or unwittingly, to this bulletin: John Cinatl, Adam Fukushima, Andrea Garland, Kit Keller, Sue Knaup, Mike Lydon, Mark Plotz, Tim Potter, Jessica Roberts, Shawn Turner, and Judi Wallace.
Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP)
PO Box 93 | Cedarburg, WI | 53012
262-375-6180 | www.apbp.org