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APBP Announces 2022 Annual Award Winners

Contact: Lauren Santangelo, Executive Director
859-402-9819
[email protected]

LEXINGTON, KY -- The Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals (APBP) announces the winners of its annual awards program to honor excellence in the profession. Four Professional of the Year awards and the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award were presented during the final day of APBP’s Conference in Minneapolis, MN on August 24.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has made a substantial commitment to the profession during their lifetime and who has shown excellence in the field of bicycle and pedestrian planning, design, advocacy, and/or education. The award distinguishes those whose vision and determination have made their communities better places to bike and walk and who inspire others. The 2022 APBP Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Susan Sauvé, Transportation Demand Management Planner for the City of Peterborough.

Through her selfless, collaborative nature, Sue has built a community of people around her, magnifying the impact of her efforts far beyond what any single person can do. She is a known collaborator - truly motivated to work alongside other staff departments, consultants, agencies, organizations, and residents to deliver the best outcomes for people walking and cycling. Through her passion and perseverance, Sue has transformed the way it is possible to travel in Peterborough. Her work will impact the community for decades to come!

The APBP Professional of the Year Awards recognize the achievements of pedestrian and bicycle professionals made in the last twelve months in the private, public, research, and nonprofit sectors and one young professional under the age of 30.

Laura Sandt, Director of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, UNC Highway Safety Research Center, receives the 2022 APBP Research Professional of the Year Award. Laura’s impressive background as an epidemiologist lends immense value to her perspective and ability as a transportation safety researcher. She leads a diverse portfolio of research projects with a focus on safety, mobility, and access for people who walk, bike, and roll of all ages and abilities. Laura encourages the uptake of research to practice by leading opportunities for knowledge exchange, as well as interfacing directly with leaders in multidisciplinary fields and informing adoption and implementation of ideas.

Darnel Harris, Executive Director of Our Greenway Conservancy is awarded the 2022 Nonprofit Professional of the Year Award. Darnel is a determined, resilient, forthright advocate and leader of social justice, equity, and equal opportunity for underprivileged and underserved racialized communities. For more than a decade, Darnel has been in the forefront of advocating for proper sustainable micromobility, cycling advocacy and the development of the cycle industry in North America as a whole. His ethical standard has forged bridges with important actors including major industrial investors, researchers, not-for-profit leaders, entrepreneurs, and cooperative leaders in the micromobility industry in Mexico, Canada, USA, and Europe.

Hannah Pritchard, Principal Pedestrian and Bicycle Engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation is awarded the 2022 Public Sector Professional of the Year Award. Hannah is a public sector professional with the unique skill of translating the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists to and between planners, engineers, and advocates. She understands the strategic steps necessary to design transportation facilities to meet the needs of people walking and biking. Her involvement within national guidance for pedestrian and bicycle facility design has strengthened MnDOT’s facility design guidance and has brought it into a new era. Hannah’s work has pushed the agency to figure out ways that all users of the transportation system can coexist, thus improving mobility for all people.

Austin Taylor, Redevelopment Agency Project Manager with the Salt Lake City Corporation, is named APBP’s 2022 Young Professional of the Year. In his work as a transportation planner at Park City Municipal Corporation, Austin empowered historically excluded communities to carry out tactical urbanism projects to reshape their neighborhood streets. Austin works closely with community residents, helping the public gain trust in transportation professionals. Outside of his work in municipal government, Austin spends free time advancing active transportation as Executive Director (now board member) of BikeWalk Provo, a nonprofit advocacy organization.

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APBP is a community of practitioners working to create more walkable, bikeable places. We foster peer knowledge sharing, advance technical expertise, and support the professional development of our members. We offer multiple membership levels, and more information can be found at apbp.org.

 

  

APBP Publishes Policy Statement on Victim Blaming

APBP believes it is our professional duty to make it safe for people to travel in their community, requiring us to incorporate this duty into our work wherever possible by shifting the conversation to systematic safety improvements, rather than trying to identify a party at fault; or worse, finding fault or blaming a crash on the actions of those typically most vulnerable - those road users outside of a car.

APBP encourages professional practitioners (such as traffic and transportation engineers and agency officials), as well as law enforcement and media to avoid reporting on crashes involving pedestrians, bicyclists and other vulnerable travelers in a way that places any blame on them for the traffic violence 

they suffer, especially when they are using a dangerously designed system shaped by our auto-dependent culture that does not adequately consider their needs nor the context of the street. APBP supports developing a different mindset about crashes that is reflected in a new vocabulary with comprehensive descriptions in police crash reports, local government publications and presentations, and reporting by the media. 

APBP supports Vision Zero and its use of a Safe System view of traffic crashes. The Safe System approach recognizes human imperfections, shared responsibility, and demands systems be designed with those human qualities in mind. This approach, used in other transportation sectors such as for railroad and airline crashes, places primary responsibility on those who design the systems where people are harmed rather than the users of the systems. 

Read the full APBP Policy Statement on Victim Blaming.

APBP submitted written testimony for Maryland SAFE Roads Act (HB0656)

APBP submitted written testimony for the Maryland SAFE Roads Act (HB0656) which is one of the top two active transportation bills (along with HB0254) in the 2022 Maryland General Assembly session.  Written testimony would urge Environment and Transportation Committee members for favorable consideration of House Bill 656.

Bill Highlights - Safe Access for All (SAFE) Roads Act of 2022 requires MDOT State Highway Administration to:

1. Conduct an analysis of high pedestrian and bike injury corridors/ intersections and identify engineering improvements to address identified threats; publish the results by July 2023

2. Provide specified minimum annual funding levels in budget areas involving pedestrian and bicycle safety

  • SAFE Roads Act specified funding is a small fraction of the increased funding Maryland is expected to receive of the $4.6 billion over five years ($992 million per year) in IIJA Federal highway formula funding for highways and bridges. On an average annual basis, this is about 35.9% more than the State’s Federal-aid highway formula funding (USDOT  MAC Conduit Street Blog)

3. Review outstanding and upcoming preservation and maintenance projects for opportunities to implement Context Driven Design Elements and FHA Proven Safety Countermeasures

4. When implementing new safe infrastructure and engineering improvements that will take more than 12 months to complete, implement near-term, incremental improvements which enhance safety in the interim.

APBP Signs On to CDR and TDI Letter on Police Reform and Accountability

APBP, the Center for Disability Rights (CDR)The Daniel Initiative (TDI), and 43 civil and human rights groups have written a sign-on letter encouraging Congress to move and pass legislation that addresses the lack of law enforcement accountability in the harm and killing of people and in particular Black people in this country. While this letter is not specific to traffic enforcement, it does align with APBP's Equity and Traffic Enforcement policy statement.

Click here to read the full sign-on letter.

APBP Publishes Policy Statement on Equity and Traffic Enforcement

APBP believes safe and dignified mobility is a human right. Within this, equitable enforcement for people moving around public space is essential.

APBP believes the legacy practice of armed law enforcement officers enforcing traffic violations denies the communities we serve this right.

APBP supports the decisions made by several organizations to remove traffic enforcementas a component of safety initiatives.[1] APBP endorses efforts to reinforce transportation safety with a more holistic definition that includes freedom from crash risk along with other forms of harm including harassment and racism.

APBP is supportive of alternatives to the traditional model of armed law enforcement of traffic laws. Such recent efforts include replacing armed law enforcement with other trained and unarmed staff to conduct traffic stops. Existing and emerging roadway and vehicle technology can also replace the safety function of traffic enforcement. APBP supports deployment of such technologies, provided that they are transparently and equitably planned and deployed.

APBP encourages an emphasis on self-reinforcing street designs which may reduce or eliminate the perceived need for enforcement (armed or otherwise) as a tool for roadway safety. Self-reinforcing design practices use geometric elements to encourage drivers to select speeds consistent with the posted speed limits and design intent of roadways.[2]

APBP believes that any continued law enforcement related to traffic stops must be monitored and analyzed for bias and potential harm to Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC) and to the LGBTQ community.

APBP supports changes to federal funding programs related to safety that would improve transparency regarding expenditures and effectiveness, implement data reporting requirements related to racial and social equity impacts, and remove mandates for spending on enforcement activities.

Read the full APBP Equity and Traffic Enforcement Policy Statement.


[1] Safety documents often refer to Enforcement as one of the “5 Es” which can vary but typically include education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement, and emergency
response.

[2] Publication Number FHWA-HRT-17-098. Available online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/17098/17098.pdf

APBP Endorses Helmet Law Working Group Letter

The Helmet Law Working Group including Central Seattle Greenways, Real Change, Cascade Bicycle Club, and Beacon Hill Safe Streets, as well as members from other organizations has written a letter to the King County Board of Health recommending the repeal of the King County bicycle helmet law with endorsement from APBP.

The research, outreach, and discussion of the working group sought to understand the impacts of King County’s bicycle helmet law, including its disproportionate enforcement by Seattle police against people of color and homeless bicyclists. Findings were that Black cyclists have received citations at nearly four times the rate of white cyclists; homeless individuals have received nearly half of all recent helmet citations. Their research and advocacy were recently featured in The Seattle Times and The Guardian.

The King County Board of Health is now reviewing the helmet law beginning with a panel discussion at their meeting on June 17. The letter to the Board of Health urges them to keep all bicyclists safe from harmful policing by repealing the helmet law, or at the least, removing the possibility of punitive, armed enforcement.

 Read the full letter here.

APBP Signs On To Sen. Schatz Vulnerable Road User Safety Act

Senator Schatz's (D-OH) office is working on a bill to codify the infrastructure and vehicle safety recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) 2018 Report on Pedestrian Safety and 2019 Report on Bicyclist Safety.  The bill also would require better data collection. APBP has signed on in support.

APBP Submits Comments to Canadian Federal Active Transportation Strategy

On April 26, 2021, twenty-six APBP members from British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario met virtually to brainstorm ways the federal government can support active transportation in Canada. Eleven comments were also provided through an online discussion board. You can see the results of these consultations in the submitted letter to the federal government on the Canadian Active Transportation (AT) Strategy, which includes screenshots of the “jam board brainstorming” as well as recommended actions.

We are pleased to see the Government of Canada taking a leadership role in advancing active transportation, through its recent announcement to create a $400 million active transportation fund and the development of Canada’s first National Active Transportation Strategy.

Active transportation is an essential piece of any successful climate action strategy, while also contributing to healthy lifestyles, a high quality of life and thriving communities. Partnerships across all levels of government, the private sector and civil society can lead to transformative change in how people move in and between our communities, towns and cities. We are grateful the federal government is playing a leadership role in this transformation.

View the full letter here.

APBP Signs On to Rep. Frederica Wilson’s Letter to Re-establish the Advisory Committee on Transportation Equity

APBP has signed on to support Congresswoman Frederica Wilson’s (D-FL) letter to the Department of Transportation on legislation to permanently re-establish the Advisory Committee on Transportation Equity (ACTE) to help ensure that transportation policies and investments are equitably serving all communities. This committee would be comprised of community, academic, and government stakeholders to advise the Transportation secretary on policies to promote equity through community engagement and interagency collaborations.

The ACTE was established under former DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx to "provide advice and recommendations to the Transportation secretary on comprehensive, interdisciplinary issues related to transportation equity from a variety of stakeholders involved in transportation planning, design, research, policy, and advocacy." The committee was tasked with identifying best practices to implement the department's "opportunity principles" to promote agencies, programs, and projects that would strengthen and revitalize communities through a comprehensive, community-focused approach.

The committee, which was established with a two-year charter, was eliminated by the Trump administration in January 2018, nearly one year before the charter was due to expire. As Congress considers major infrastructure investment and policies to move the US forward, APBP advocates for the DOT taking actionable measures to ensure that marginalized urban, rural, tribal, and other underserved communities are equitably allocated resources to help them thrive.

APBP Submits Comments on the Current Notice of Proposed Amendments for the MUTCD

APBP submitted comments on the recent notice of proposed amendments for the MUTCD requesting that FHWA reframe and rewrite the MUTCD to create a document that supports safe systems design. 

APBP asks that the administration make changes based on comments provided and carefully consider whether the proposed standards and guidance in the proposed MUTCD will significantly address the public health crisis of traffic violence in our communities. Our consensus is that this revision will not result in the significant changes needed. The MUTCD has prioritized motor vehicles for over 50 years and it will take a significant amount of effort to overcome the inequities created by those actions. To enable government agencies to meet their local goals of reducing deaths and serious injuries, practitioners need a MUTCD that addresses the safety of multimodal users. To this end, APBP calls on FHWA to update the MUTCD with an emphasis toward increased flexibility for engineers to implement safety measures as directed by local leadership.

View the letter and comments here.

APBP Updates Policy Statement on Complete Streets

The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) supports the Complete Streets movement and recommends that transportation agencies and governments adopt and implement Complete Streets policies. Agencies should modify their planning, design, prioritization, and project delivery practices and standards to institutionalize the Complete Streets approach so that all potential users and uses are adequately accommodated with safe, welcoming, and context-appropriate facilities and networks. Read APBP's full Complete Streets Policy Statement here that was recently updated in early spring 2021.

The Complete Streets Act was reintroduced in February 2021 by Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. View the press release here and Smart Growth America's blog post here which includes a call to action to send a message to your Congressional representatives urging them to support the legislation.

APBP Updates Policy Statement on Shared Micromobility Programs

APBP supports the development of shared micromobility programs and supporting policies as a key element of a community’s comprehensive transportation system. APBP believes that shared micromobility programs have the potential to improve access and reduce barriers to schools, parks, libraries, food, services, and jobs; increase transportation options; reduce congestion on city streets; act as a catalyst for infrastructure that increases safety for all vulnerable users; improve air quality; and support local economic development. To ensure an effective, equitable, and sustainable program, communities must take a proactive approach to managing shared micromobility.

The APBP Policy Committee regularly reviews and updates our statements and the updated version of the Shared Micromobility Programs statement can be found here.

All of APBP's Policy Statements can be found on apbp.org under Resources > Policy Statements.

Remembering Jay Walljasper

Our work on creating livable places has benefited from many hands and minds, including like-minded journalists. Jay Walljasper was one of those journalists. As a young editor of the Utne Reader, Jay’s vision pushed the periodical to the forefront of influence in a time when the printed word was king. His work reflected much of what we believe and hope for, dished up in articles, books, lectures, and frequent conversations.

Jay died a few days before Christmas last month. The victim of an aggressive form of cancer that he could not outrun, Jay Walljasper was a friend to many in the APBP family.  To know Jay was to know more than a gifted writer.  Jay was, at heart, a student of people and places, a keen listener who absorbed details with child-like wonder, and a storyteller with a knack for framing big issues in a relatable way that helped to break down political and ideological walls.

Jay reflects on things that bring him joy in one of his final published articles, Treasure Hunt, which he asked be shared.

Jay’s thoughts about The Commons, articulated in his book, All That We Share, reminds us that we all have the right and responsibility to determine how our public space is used, including the public right-of-way. This message is particularly important in our work to build walkable and bikeable communities. His work on building neighborhoods, chronicled in The Great Neighborhood Book, is based on the theme of community ownership, as well.

More of Jay’s work is available on his website, http://jaywalljasper.com/.

Some of his articles on bicycling, bicycle networks, and bicycling’s impact on our communities are linked below, many published by AARP:

Bicycles Aren’t Just for Kids:
http://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/getting-around/info-2015/bicycles-bike-riding-older-adults.html

E-bikes get older people riding:
https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/getting-around/info-2018/e-bikes-energize-bicycling.htm

How Better Biking Benefits Even People Who Don’t Bike:
http://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/getting-around/info-2016/why-bicycling-infrastructure-is-good-for-people-who-dont-ride-bikes.html

Bike-Sharing Gets Older Adults Cycling: 
https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/getting-around/info-2018/bike-sharing-transportation-solution-for-older-adults-too.html

7 Street-Level Solutions for Safer Cycling: 
https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/getting-around/info-2018/street-level-solutions-for-better-bicycling.html

Bike-Sharing’s Past, Present and Future:
https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/getting-around/info-2018/bike-sharing-past-present-future.html

Vision Zero:
https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/getting-around/info-2015/vision-zero-safe-streets-for-everyone.html

Lessons from Melbourne for US Cities:
https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/livable-in-action/info-2019/livable-lessons-from-melbourne-au.html

20 Minute Village:
https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/livable-in-action/info-2017/20-minute-village.html








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APBP Supports INVEST in America Act

On June 29, APBP signed onto a letter to Congress along with over 30 other organizations to support the INVEST in America Act.

We are urging Congress to vote in favor of the INVEST Act, which is part of H.R. 2. This important piece of legislation will help make our transportation safe and accessible for people bicycling, walking, rolling, and taking transit. Providing more affordable transportation options improves public health and reduces congestion and air pollution in our communities.

Read the full letter here.

APBP Stands in Solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter

APBP stands in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter. We are outraged, dismayed, and grief-stricken by the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, and Ahmaud Arbery as the latest people killed by police. As an organization of pedestrian and bicycle professionals, we know this injustice is occurring on our streets and that the built environment has been designed in ways that both reflect and signal racism. We have a moral imperative to take action to fight racism and center equity in our work.

We recognize explicitly that centuries of systemic and institutionalized racism have resulted in walking and bicycling being much more dangerous for people of color, particularly Black people. Deliberate decisions about the placement of highways and major roads disrupted Black neighborhoods and created barriers to freedom of movement.  In addition to documented disparities in transportation safety, access, mobility, and health burdens, Black people experience violence, intimidation, harassment and racial biases on our streets and in public spaces. The resulting damage to life, physical and mental health, economic opportunities, and general well-being is real, profound, multi-generational, and unacceptable.

APBP exists to support professionals in creating more walkable, bikeable places that support the free and safe movement of all bodies. We foster peer knowledge exchange, advancement of technical expertise, and the professional development of our members. We recognize that planners, engineers, and other professionals working in this space have participated, knowingly and unknowingly, in creating places that reinforce oppression and injustice in our communities. Reform is needed at all levels of the profession to repair the harm that has been caused, and to result in more just communities.

As important as it is to speak out, a statement is not enough. APBP, as an organization, commits to serving this cause with explicit plans, evaluation, and reporting on our work to:

  • create a learning space for productive discourse within our community
  • build capacity for centering justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion within our work
  • lift up Black voices in our webinars, conferences, committees, and leadership
  • evolve the association’s practices with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion through our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force

As leaders within the pedestrian and bicycle profession, we call on our community to:

  • acknowledge the privilege that White professionals have in this field of work
  • educate ourselves on how to dismantle systems of oppression
  • engage in respectful dialogue within our community forum
  • listen and learn from lived experiences we may not share
  • foster and support opportunity for Black people in our workplaces, professional organizations, and other career spaces
  • practice community-led planning and establish processes of collaboration that build local capacity and amplify voices that have been silenced in the past
  • make a strong and public commitment to inclusive procurement policies, set and report on ambitious targets to intentionally hire, partner, and procure/purchase services and goods from Black-owned businesses.

We undertake this work with a sense of deep urgency and the will to sustain our efforts over the long road ahead. We know that there are people in our membership and the professions we represent that have engaged in working to dismantle anti-Black racism. Others are newer in their understanding and the learning process. We will all make mistakes as we develop and exercise the collective power in our profession to change the way we do our work and its outcomes. Like many professions we refer to “practicing” our disciplines--that means we keep trying, learning, and improving. We thank you for reading this statement and invite you to join us in a commitment to create strong, just communities. Together we can, and must, address the painful legacy of the past and create welcome spaces and opportunity for the future.

APBP Supports Safe Routes to School Expansion Act

Last month, Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) introduced the “Safe Routes to School Expansion Act” which would expand funding for infrastructure improvements critical to student safety. The legislation expands eligibility under the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) to include projects under Safe Routes to School Programs such as sidewalks, crosswalks, signage and bus stop shelters.

"Safe Routes to School not only encourages kids to bike and walk to school, which improves their health and wellbeing, but these projects are also great for communities by encouraging active transportation for everyone. said Jessica Roberts, President of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. "This bill makes building sidewalks, crosswalks and bikeways more accessible for communities who want to make their streets safer."

Read the full press release here.

APBP Publishes Policy Statement on Performance Measures

The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) recommends that transportation agencies and governments consider the needs and desires of all users of the transportation system in line with a commitment to complete streets. To accomplish this, APBP recommends the use of multimodal performance measures that reflect community goals.

A holistic set of performance measures should derive from the goals of the community as determined through robust public engagement. Goals should consider the following themes and recognize the ways in which they are interconnected:

  • Safety
  • Public Health
  • Access and Mobility
  • Environmental
  • Economic vitality
  • Equity
  • Livable places

Performance measures should leverage both quantitative and qualitative analyses. Data collection and analysis methods should recognize that community engagement and qualitative information are valuable. Both types of information help decision makers and the public to understand trade-offs between alternatives and guide decisions that best align with community goals. Furthermore, performance measures and transportation data should be accessible to the public.

Goals and performance measures should apply to a wide variety of project types and at multiple tasks and checkpoints throughout the project.

We recently published our Performance Measures Policy Statement. The full statement can be accessed here.

APBP and PPS to partner on Walk/Bike/Places 2020

Project for Public Spaces (PPS) and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) are both pleased to announce a new joint venture for Walk/Bike/Places held next in Indianapolis, IN, August 4-7, 2020.

Walk/Bike/Places 2020 will feature 7 breakout tracks: Infrastructure, Planning, Place, Health, Advocacy, Transit and Excellence. As part of the partnership in 2020, APBP will manage the Infrastructure track to ensure that the content promotes best practices and that it meets the professional development needs of APBP members. For more about the conference tracks and formats visit the conference website. The full program will be revealed in early Spring 2020.

Under the joint venture PPS has contracted with APBP to manage the event’s exhibit space. The conference will continue the tradition of providing discounted registrations to APBP members. New for 2020: complimentary APBP student memberships for anyone who registers for Walk/Bike/Places as a Student/Recent Graduate.

“Formalizing a relationship with APBP has been a longstanding goal of the conference,” said Mark Plotz, Conference Director of Walk/Bike/Places. “APBP members represent the largest segment of our audience and they are important to the sustainability of our event. It is only right and long overdue that we go beyond our verbal support for the organization, and make a pledge to APBP’s future,” Plotz added.

Jessica Roberts, APBP President, noted "Walk/Bike/Places is the premiere gathering for active transportation professionals, and our members tell us how much they value its outstanding professional development and networking opportunities. We are thrilled to be working closely with PPS to make Indianapolis the best conference yet."

Early Registration is now open for Walk/Bike/Places 2020 until March 31, 2020, and this year’s sponsorship and exhibitor package can be found here.

Walk/Bike/Places 2020 will feature 60+ breakout sessions, peer coaching by subject matter experts, and poster displays. The 3-day conference will also feature mobile workshops that showcase the best placemaking and active transportation projects in the host city, all led by members of the local community.

We hope you will join APBP, PPS, and 1,500 other planners, placemakers, advocates, health professionals, designers, engineers and others in Indianapolis, this summer, to make Walk/Bike/Places 2020 a great success!

For more information please contact:
Rebecca Weiser
Project for Public Spaces
212-620-5660
[email protected] 

 

APBP Responds to Recommended Mandatory Helmet Laws from the National Transportation Safety Board

As an association of practitioners in a field that promotes and encourages safe bicycling, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) and fifty of our partners from industry groups, the private sector, community and nonprofit organizations, and national associations recently sent a letter to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) expressing our grave concern with the recommendation on mandatory helmet laws in their latest bicycle safety report.

APBP agrees that improving the safety of people walking and biking is paramount. However, we believe mandatory helmet laws have the potential to not only reduce the number of people biking, but to actually make bicycling less safe rather than more safe.

Multiple studies across North America, Europe and Australia have shown that bicycling safety differs from other modes in one specific way. There is a safety in numbers effect to bicycling that not only reduces the rate of crashes and fatalities for people biking, but actually reduces the number of crashes, even as the number of bicycling trips increase.

In the letter, APBP stressed the importance of increasing the number of people of bicycling to ensuring bicycling is safe. Bike helmet laws are not the same as mandatory seat belt or motorcycle helmet laws. In contrast to these laws, there is clear evidence that the more people bicycling in a community, the safer bicycling becomes for everyone, and there is evidence that mandatory helmet laws can reduce bicycling rates, effecting the “safety in numbers’ argument. Mandatory helmet laws also make it harder for bikeshare, a service that increases bicycling rates and thus bicycling safety, to be successful.

In U.S. cities, the increase in bicycling trips has not only led to a reduction in crash and fatality rates, but even as the number of miles bicycled increased, actual numbers of crashes and fatalities have decreased.  APBP is also concerned about discriminatory enforcement of mandatory bicycle helmet laws, which is evidenced with the current mandatory helmet laws for minors, common across the U.S. 

Fifty organizational partners on both the national and regional level, including the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO, the North American Bikeshare Association (NABSA), People for Bikes, and Better Bike Share Partnership signed onto the letter.  APBP has requested a meeting with NTSB to discuss the matter further in person.

View the letter to NTSB here.

APBP Publishes Policy Statement on Shared Micromobility

APBP supports the development of shared micromobility programs and supporting policies as a key element of a community’s comprehensive transportation system. APBP believes that shared micromobility programs have the potential to improve access and reduce barriers to amenities, services, and jobs; increase transportation options; reduce congestion on city streets; act as a catalyst for infrastructure that increases safety for all vulnerable users; improve air quality; and support local economic development. To ensure an effective, equitable, and sustainable program, communities must take a proactive approach to managing shared micromobility.

We recently published our Shared Micromobility Programs Policy Statement. The full statement can be accessed here.