U.S. Federal Transportation Policy Update
With yet another extension deadline looming on June 30, House and Senate conferees continue to wrestle with transportation legislation, with body parts from the defunct HR-7 and the Senate's MAP-21 scattered around the conference room. In critical condition: the Cardin-Cochran amendment, a bipartisan agreement that helps keep funding decisions for bike/ped projects under local control. Here's what you can do to help:
1. Meet with your Representative when he or she is home in the district this week (June 11-15). Ask for support of Cardin-Cochran. It offers local control in transportation funding decisions for bicycling and walking. As local governments like Boston and environs enjoy increasing success with bikesharing systems, local control will support the work of APBP members. House conferees are asking for state opt-out provisions which would stymie local control.
2. Check the America Bikes blog for an explanation of the bi-partisan Cardin-Cochran compromise. As ever, APBP recommends that you bookmark or subscribe to www.americabikes.org for the most current information on legislative events. For quick updates, use Twitter to follow @AmericaBikes on your smart phone.
Spotlight on: Hubway Bike Share System, Boston
Phil Goff, Alta Planning + Design - Boston
Interview with Kris Carter, Interim Director of the Boston Bikes program, and David Loutzenheiser, Transportation Planner with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), responsible for regional bicycle and pedestrian planning. Hubway is the bike-share system in the City of Boston. Currently, there are 61 stations with 610 bikes throughout the city with an expansion planned for surrounding cities, bringing nearly one thousand shared bikes to Greater Boston by mid-summer 2012. Alta Bicycle Share is the operator of the system with its sister company Alta Planning + Design taking care of the site planning and permitting. Recently Alta's Boston office manager Phil Goff sat down with Kris Carter and David Loutzenheiser to discuss the program.
Has Hubway met its expectations for the city and region with regards to ridership, operations and safety?
Kris: Hubway has exceeded its expectations for the city when we look at total trips taken, our current membership and safety. Last season from the end of July through mid-November, 142,000 trips were taken by Hubway users. Since our re-launch this year in mid-March, as of the end of May we've already had an additional 100,000 trips! Our membership is also strong – 6,700 annual members on the system and another 13,000 casual users since the launch last July. Despite some early concerns about how bike sharing would fare on Boston streets with "Boston drivers,” we've only had one reported accident and the individual walked away.
David: Hubway launches regionally later this summer, and we expect similar success to Boston. Anticipation is building in each of the communities among both residents and political leaders. In fact, my greatest concern is that demand will outstrip the supply of stations and bikes.
Do you think the Hubway network has changed the way residents, workers and visitors travel throughout the heart of the city?
Kris: For cyclists in Boston, we all knew that this would be a "if we build it, they will come” situation. Boston is compact and mostly flat. It's a great cycling city and Hubway has allowed us to share that secret with thousands of people. I think without a doubt it's transforming not just how people get around the city but how Bostonians view bicycles as a legitimate form of transportation.
David: The ease and convenience of Hubway has enabled a number of new cyclists to try out and use the system on a regular basis. Bike share perhaps encourages new users of bicycle transportation more than any other program. Building a constituency of new cyclists further normalizes cycling as a practical means of transportation.
Has the presence of the Hubway network altered the need and desire to expand the bike network in the city?
Kris: The two things go hand-in-hand. Thanks to the Mayor's push to make Boston a world-class cycling city and the hard work of Nicole Freedman, the former director of Boston Bikes, the city has added over 50 miles of bike lanes in the last four years and launched a comprehensive network planning process. Hubway has put that process...
Click here to read the rest of the article on the website.
Photo courtesy Phil Goff, Alta Planning + Design
What's Your Favorite Feed? A query posted on the list serve May 30 elicited over two dozen examples of APBP members' favorite Twitter feeds. Visit this page on the APBP website to see the list, comment, and add your own favorites. (Thanks to Gerald Fittipaldi, Mauricio Hernandez, Jessica Roberts, and John Wetmore for their contributions.)
> National Women's Bicycling Summit: Plan to attend ProWalk/ProBike this September (your APBP membership gets you a substantial discount on conference registration). Here's yet another reason to be in Long Beach: the National Women's Bicycling Summit on September 13, a half-day event held at the close of PW/PB. The summit, an outgrowth of APBP's Women Cycling Project that began in 2010, is jointly sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and APBP. The initiative aims to increase women's participation and leadership in cycling through events, programming and networking. Details here: http://www.bikeleague.org/conferences/women/index.php
> The European Cyclists' Federation (ECF) says Vancouver, B.C. could become North America's cycling capital, according to a June 4 press release. With over 60,000 daily trips done by bicycle, the city has seen a huge spike in cyclists, as well as cycling-friendly policies. Vancouver will host Velo-city Global 2012 June 26-29, which is expected to draw 1,000 delegates from around the world. "If Vancouver keeps up this positive momentum towards cycling, I'm almost certain that it could be the Copenhagen or Amsterdam of North America,” says Bernhard Ensink, Secretary General of the ECF.
Cycling has become the fastest growing type of transportation in Vancouver, with bicycle trips increasing by over 180 percent in the past decade. Some neighborhoods see over 10% of all trips being made by bicycle. More than 3,500 cyclists commute to work downtown every morning (an increase of 70 percent in 10 years); Vancouver exceeds Toronto and Montreal in the share of women cycling (37 percent) and in bike commute mode share (3.7 percent). For more information, visit http://www.velo-city2012.com.
> Bicycle and pedestrian topics were highly visible at this year's American Planning Association National Conference, held April 14-17 in Los Angeles. The conference kicked off the same weekend as CicLAvia, where 100,000 people took to the streets to bike, stroll, skate, socialize, explore and celebrate community along a 10 mile car-free route through downtown LA. The conference itself was chock full of non-motorized sessions including panels on small town bike and pedestrian plans, regional bicycle planning, Bicycle Friendly Communities, bikeability assessments, complete streets, transit access, safe routes to school, and many others that emphasized bicycle and pedestrian integration into the planning and design process. A panel on bicycle sharing with speakers from DC's Capital Bikeshare, Boston's Hubway, and UC Irvine's ZotWheels programs was standing room only – the success and transformative nature of these systems has planners around the U.S. asking how they can bring bike sharing to their communities. And while the sessions were all excellent, when sitting indoors on a gorgeous spring day got to be too much there were several bicycling and walking focused mobile workshop opportunities including an excellent bike tour of local bicycle co-ops and community bicycle programs. (Brett Hondorp, APBP Board of Directors)
> APBP's Annual Awards recognize those people who inspire us and show excellence in their work. Nominations are open through June 30 for Lifetime Achievement, Professional of the Year – Public Sector, Professional of the Year – Private Sector, and Young Professional of the Year (Under age 30). Click here to read the award criteria and submit a nomination.
> Board elections: Four seats are open on the 2013 Board of Directors—why don't you run for one of them? Board members elected this year will serve a 3-year term beginning January 1, 2013. APBP's membership is growing, along with our programs. Help your association prosper! The deadline to submit a 400-word statement of interest is July 31. Get more information here
> APBP's new Speakers' Bureau is open for business; find it here. This new program aims to motivate citizens and educate the media on bike/ped issues while offering members a venue to promote their expertise. We're building this from the ground up, so be sure to share your comments and ideas with us (firstname.lastname@example.org). Members, click here to submit a listing.
> APBP will hire a 20-hour a week Communications Coordinator. Applications are due June 15. More info here. Invite a qualified colleague to work with the association you love!
Opportunities and Deadlines
June 15: Deadline for the next round of applications for the Walk Friendly Communities program; designees will be announced in August. Visit www.walkfriendly.org to learn more about the program and review the assessment tool.
June 18: Deadline to apply for a scholarship and travel stipend to the Comprehensive Bicycle Planning and Design course offered by Portland State University, August 20-24 (see listing under Training, below). IBPI extended the application submission deadline by one week, so there's still time to apply. You must be a U.S.-based working transportation professional, preferably at the local government or non-profit level, where travel and training budgets are prohibitively small. Recipients will be notified by June 25, 2012. The application and announcement can be found here
June 22: Deadline to participate in the FHWA's National Online Dialogue on Improving Transportation Performance. Transportation professionals at all levels are invited to discuss experiences and strategies for improving the safety, condition, and mobility of U.S. highways and connecting road networks. See http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/TPM/index.cfm
June 29: Early Summer registration deadline for ProWalk/ProBike in Long Beach. APBP members save $90 on conference registration. Register here.
June 30: Deadline for session proposals for the 12th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, February 7-9, 2013. Click here for details.
July 4: Deadline to submit papers for TOASTS (Workshop on Technologies for the Organisation, Adaptation and Simulation of Transportation Systems), September 14, 2012 in Lyon, France. More information here.
June 13: APHA webinar, "What Public Transit Means for Public Health” 2:00 pm EDT; free; register here. This is the first in a 3-part series on critical health and equity issues within the transportation sector. Don't miss the session on Health Impact Assessments on August 22.
June 14: CAN webinar, "Slowing Drivers down: Why It Matters and Two Communities' Solutions”; strategies to reduce vehicle speeds around schools. 1:00 pm EDT; free; register here.
June 20: APBP webinar, "Resolving Conflicts at Complex Intersections” 3:00 pm EDT; $50 for members, $75 for non-members; CM credit and PDH provided; register here.
July 11: APBP and NACTO webinar, "2nd edition: NACTO's Urban Bikeway Design Guide” (includes bicycle boulevard planning and design and a survey of materials used for green color in bikeways). 3:00 to 4:30 pm EDT; free; register here.
July 18: APBP webinar, "The Greener Side of Green Streets” 3:00 pm EDT; $50 for members, $75 for non-members; CM credit and PDH provided; register here.
July 24: APBP webinar, "TRB for Bike/Ped Professionals: Understanding and Engaging the Transportation Research Board” 3:00 pm EDT; free; register here.
August 20-24: Comprehensive Bicycle Planning & Design, Portland State University. This course covers the fundamentals of bicycle planning and design through an intensive week of interactive classroom and field experience. $995/person; group discounts available. More information and registration.
> The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC) has published the 2011 Transportation Enhancements Spending Report. The 33-page report analyzes states' use of federal transportation funding from 1992 through 2011, providing a view into this popular federal transportation funding source and transparency and valuable comparisons to assist those interested in transportation policy. It is available as a free PDF download
"The newly issued report is a complete update and supersedes all previous editions. 2011 marks the 20th anniversary of the designation of the TE activities as part of ISTEA. Over $13 billion has been apportioned to these activities since 1992. This report analyzes nationwide patterns to paint a picture of what role these funds play in the nation's transportation infrastructure. In addition, the report documents each state's two-decade track record concerning these funds using data from FHWA and NTEC's own extensive project-level database, created through an annual survey of state DOTs. For more information, or for technical assistance with respect to NTEC resources, contact Kyle Lukacs, NTEC Program Coordinator, 2121 Ward Ct NW, 5th Floor, Washington DC 20037, 202-974-5155, email@example.com."
> Cycling and Sustainability, edited by John Parkin. This book, part of the Transport and Sustainability research series, explores the reasons for difficulties in making cycling mainstream in many cultures, despite its claims for being one of the most sustainable forms of transport. Chapters cover various aspects of cycling culture, the environment and the economy with contributions from the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, France, Spain, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, China and USA. http://tinyurl.com/7vummak
> City Cycling, edited by John Pucher and Ralph Buehler (available in September). "City Cycling offers a guide to [the] urban cycling renaissance, with the goal of promoting cycling as sustainable urban transportation available to everyone. It reports on cycling trends and policies in cities in North America, Europe, and Australia, and offers information on such topics as cycling safety, cycling infrastructure provisions including bikeways and bike parking, the wide range of bike designs and bike equipment, integration of cycling with public transportation, and promoting cycling for women and children,” according to MIT Press. http://tinyurl.com/86yeft5
> The National Center for Safe Routes to School has released "Getting Results: SRTS Programs That Increase Walking and Bicycling to School”, which provides an overview of eight programs that sought to increase walking and bicycling rates and measured their achievements. It outlines methods that local SRTS programs can use to measure the progress of their activities and track student travel patterns to look for possible changes over time. http://tinyurl.com/6qwxgge
> The long-awaited NTPP Report to Congress has been posted to the FHWA website; it summarizes Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program findings through fall 2010: http://tinyurl.com/8x3c7a6
> The even longer-awaited AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, 4th Edition is finally available for sale here: http://tinyurl.com/82pguch
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Thanks to all who contributed, knowingly or unwittingly, to this bulletin: Pam Barth, Jennifer Dill, Christopher Douwes, Gerald Fittipaldi, Mauricio Hernandez, Kit Keller, Tracy Hadden Loh, Eloisa Raynault, Jessica Roberts, Carolyn Szczepanski, John Wetmore.