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Survey: What Do You Think of the Alliance Website?

At Alliance HQ, we can’t stop talking about it: we’re getting a new web site!

Yep, that’s right — the Alliance for Biking & Walking’s new online abode will debut in the spring of 2014. But before then, there’s a TON of work to be done — including figuring out how to make sure that our online resources are as useful as possible for people who care about making neighborhoods safer for biking and walking.

To help us decide on the best course of action, dear blog reader, I’d like to get your feedback. Will you take two minutes to fill out this survey about the Alliance for Biking & Walking website?

It only takes a moment, and will be really helpful as we revamp. The survey asks simple questions like how often you visit the site, what you know about our organization, and whether or not you’re a member. Easy-peasy.

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We’re deep in thought about how to make our new website great for biking and walking advocates.

Click here to fill it out.

Thank you!

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Biking and Walking Win Over $90M in November Election

Cross-posted from the Advocacy Advance blog

This month, citizens went to the polls and voted on transportation ballot measures.  Seventy-three percent of transit measures passed, showing - yet again - that voters want to see their tax dollars spent on smart transportation investments.

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Graph: Center for Transportation Excellence

As described in Advocacy Advance’s recent report, “Success at the Ballot Box: Winning Bicycle-Pedestrian Ballot Measures” more and more bicycle and pedestrian advocates are pairing up with transit to achieve success at the ballot box. As states, regions and cities are looking for local sources of critical transportation dollars, this is a great funding opportunity for multi-modal projects.

How were biking and walking incorporated in 2013 transportation ballot measures? Here’s how, in 5 communities:

Tulsa, OK

Tulsa voters approved the $919M “Improve our Tulsa” capital improvement package, which will extend an existing 1.1% sales tax and a $355M bond. There’s a total of $23.4 million for “Bicycle/Pedestrian Infrastructure,” most of which is for ADA and sidewalks that will get built in areas where streets are being reconstructed. According to local advocates, the portion that has the most potential to make dramatic changes to our streets is the $4.2 million allocated to the implementation of projects from the forthcoming Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan. 

The Advocacy Advance team facilitated a Navigating MAP-21 Workshop in Tulsa in February, which included a campaign training for local advocates focused on directing dedicated funding from this package towards multi-modal projects. “This is a huge victory,” said Stephen Lassiter from Bike Walk Tulsa. “We can do a lot with $4.2 million. I think we could expect to see some significant changes to our streets in the next three years and beyond.”

Missoula, MT

The bicycle advocacy community was very involved in the “Friends of the Mountain Line” race in Missoula. The transit agency (Mountain Line) recently opened a new bike station at the system’s major transfer center and funds will support access to the station as well as racks on buses. Advocates involved a former Olympic cyclists to help with campaign outreach.

Mesa, AZ

The bond measure in Mesa, AZ included funding for “pedestrian improvements, multi-use path and trail improvements, and multi-modal transportation improvements” in its ballot language The city is now authorized to issue and sell over $79M in General Obligation Bonds of the City for its package of transportation planning and improvements.

Boulder, CO

Voters supported Measure 2B to fund transit, bicycle and pedestrian operations and maintenance through 2019. They also approved Measure 2D, which will start when 2B expires and last through 2039 to fund Boulder’s long-term commitment to a progressive transportation system. Additionally, voters supported Measures 2C to renew funding for open space. Together, these three measures total $67.2 million over 16 years for biking and walking improvements and maintenance in Boulder. The project list includes road diets, wider bike lanes and sidewalks, bike corrals, protected bike lanes and completion of our multi-use trail network.

Community Cycles received a Rapid Response Grant to support their advocacy efforts as the leader in a coalition that included environmental groups, open space supporters, former city council members and county commissioners and the Boulder Chamber of Commerce. “The Advocacy Advance grant allowed (us) to focus attention on running this campaign and doing all the organizing required to win these ballot measures,” said Sue Prant, Advocacy Director at Community Cycles. “The major electoral victory we won is a tribute to our staff’s organizing abilities, and to Advocacy Advance’s very timely funding that allowed us to dedicate the resources we needed in order to win this major victory!”

Rome and Floyd Counties, GA

In April, TRED Rome/Floyd, a trails advocacy group in Georgia, attended a Winning Campaigns Training to flesh out a campaign plan to include a more robust trail network on the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) ballot. Over the summer, they partnered with the city and a citizens committee to include 3.3 extra miles of trails on the project list, at a pricetag of $1.8 million. With the help of a great citizens group advocating for the entire SPLOST projects, lots of community marketing, and tireless speaking, the SPLOST won in Rome and Floyd County by a mere 84 votes last Tuesday. Therefore, once built, trails will connect varying points in Rome and Floyd County.


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Graph: Center for Transportation Excellence

Planning a ballot measure in 2014? Join the Center for Transportation Excellence’s Six Stops to Success webinar series and review the Advocacy Advance report for tips for success. CFTE and Advocacy Advance are pairing up on April 15 for the “Going Multimodal at the Ballot Box” webinar.

 

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This Week in Biking & Walking

Alliance Member News

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How do you advocate for bike infrastructure in a bike shop desert? San Francisco Bicycle Coalition advocates organize mobile bike clinics. 

The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition reports that the city’s BPAC is requesting a fund for protected bike lanes. One step towards being a Green Lane Project city?  

You might have seen the “Is it OK to Kill Cyclists?” article in the New York Times. It sparked a lot of responses, and prompted Dave Cieslewicz at Wisconsin Bike Fed to reflect on good cycling citizenship.  

To help people pedal through the cold months, Bike Calgary works to make sure the city adequately clears snow and ice from bike routes. And SPOKES Bike Walk Connect shares 5 tips for winter bicycling.  

Chicago is redesigning their lakefront, and the Active Transportation Alliance wants to make sure it’s done right. To drum up awareness, they’ve highlighted how waterfront projects in New York, Portland, and San Francisco could serve as examples. 

Hooray for PA! Pennsylvania passed a state transportation bill with dedicated funding for biking and walking. Congratulations to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and  Lebanon Valley Bicycle Coalition

Bike Delaware eloquently explains the seven-word bill in Congress right now that could improve biking and walking safety. 

Women Bike PHL, an initiative of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, has a new report on the program’s successes thus far. 

A new mini-documentary highlights the need for better bike infrastructure in Georgia — and features advocates from Bike Athens and Georgia Bikes.  

Bike Texas has released their strategic plan. 

Washington Bikes mobilizes for a better state transportation bill. 

Biking & Walking in the News

Check out these tiled instant bike lanes. (Atlantic Cities)

BTA expands their reach with Advocacy 101 classes. (Bike Portland)

Transportation for America reemerges with a focus on local control. (Streetsblog)

Earl Blumenauer is all about “bike-partisanship.” (Politico)

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In Google’s Back Yard, Advocates Work to End Fatal Bicycle Crashes

The counties south of San Francisco Bay that make up Silicon Valley aren’t just home to some of the world’s most booming tech companies — they’re also fertile ground for bicycling. And the region’s growing populations of riders are lucky that they have a strong advocacy group working across the region to institute more bike-friendly policies and improvements.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is pioneering a highly collaborative Vision Zero campaign to find solutions to some of the tough problems the area faces. While several organizations around the country have taken on strong Vision Zero campaigns — initiatives that aim to eliminate fatal bicycle crashes — SVBC’s initiative stands out for the unique ways in which in involves stakeholders from across disciplines and jurisdictions.

The idea emerged when the Coalition hosted a summit on traffic safety with Stanford University Hospital’s trauma clinic. Staff at the clinic were concerned about the number of people who were involved in fatal or life-altering crashes while bicycling. In response, SVBC worked with the Hospital to convene a diverse cross-section of stakeholders to discuss the issues around serious crashes. Conversation at the summit was so rich that the event’s key stakeholders agreed to continue convening as a lasting group to stop deadly crashes.

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Corrinne Winter and members of the Roadway Safety Solutions Team during the release of the Vision Zero strategic plan. Source: SVBC

The stakeholders organized as the Vision Zero Roadway Safety Solutions Team (RSST). Team members are diverse in both discipline and local origin: the RSST includes city councilmembers, DMV staff, AAA representatives, staff from California’s state department of transportation, first responders, law enforcement officials, and public health department staff from throughout Silicon Valley. The RSST is working to encourage safer infrastructure, develop behavior-changing public messaging, and institute better bicycle and motorist education.

“We’ve really built, over the last two years, a collaborative,” said Corinne Winter, executive director of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. “It’s just been phenomenal to watch.”

The Vision Zero initiative is already having a positive effect on how public officials approach safe street design. Small towns within Silicon Valley’s counties that previously had contradictory active transportation policies have begun to coordinate their bicycle and pedestrian design standards to ensure a smooth ride from point A to B. Transportation planners, armed with knowledge about locations of bike crashes in recent years, have held numerous site visits and targeted the most dangerous areas for safety treatments. And the Department of Motor Vehicles has already incorporated materials about safely operating a car around bicycle riders into its driver education handbook.

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Thanks to their participation in the Vision Zero team, the California DMV’s new driver handbook with instructions on bicyclist rights. Source: SVBC / CA DMV

Involving stakeholders from many different professions related to biking has been essential, said Winter. “The law enforcement guys have a very different perspective on what happens on the roadways than the public works folks do.”

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Announcing the 2014 Winning Campaigns Training Sites

The Alliance for Biking & Walking is pleased to announce the locations of its 2014 Winning Campaigns Trainings.

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2013 Winning Campaigns Trainings in (L to R) Cleveland, Athens, and Minneapolis

The Winning Campaigns Training curriculum, one of the Alliance’s signature training programs, adapts proven community organizing techniques to the everyday realities of bicycle and pedestrian advocates. Thanks to coaching at these trainings, Alliance member organizations have launched and won dozens of campaigns for dedicated active transportation funding, Safe Routes to School programs, Complete Streets policies, and other improvements to their communities.

Each year, the Alliance selects a number of cities for trainings following an open application process for biking and walking advocates associated with Alliance member organizations. Thank you to eveyone who applied to host trainings in 2014!

We are pleased to announce that 2014 Winning Campaigns Trainings will be held in the following locations:

Stay tuned for an announcement of the dates for these sessions in the coming weeks.

Here’s what past participants have said about Winning Campaigns Trainings in 2013:

Interested in attending one of these power-packed coaching sessions? You can apply to a training near you! Plus, advocates associated with an Alliance member organization can use the Alliance member discount for a reduced entry fee. Stay tuned for details on 2014 training dates and applications.

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Call Summary & Recording: Forming Complete Streets Coalition

Cross-sector coalitions are powerful tools when working to pass and implement a state or local Complete Streets policy. By building partnerships with transit advocates, health stakeholders, economic development groups, environmental organizations and more, biking and walking advocates can multiply impact and ensure a great policy to build safe, accessible streets for all.

On a recent Alliance Mutual Aid Call, national and local advocates discussed their hands-on experience building winning coalitions for Complete Streets. Check out the below notes for an overview of all we discussed.

Alliance members can also listen to a call recording and see additional resources from the panelists in the Resources Library.

 

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Call Summary & Recording: Working with Police for Smarter Enforcement

Biking- and walking-friendly laws are important, but legal protections for bikers and walkers are only as effective as the enforcement of those laws. How can biking and walking advocates work with police departments to ensure that all people receive fair, lawful, and safe protection on community streets?

On a recent Alliance Mutual Aid Call, advocates discussed how they have implemented innovative ways to work with police departments for smart law enforcement for active transportation. Check out the below notes for an overview of all we discussed.

Alliance members can also listen to a call recording and see additional resources from the panelists in the Resources Library.

 

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Working with Police for Smarter Enforcement - 10/9/13

Biking- and walking-friendly laws are important, but legal protections for bikers and walkers is only as effective as the enforcement of those laws. How can biking and walking advocates work with police departments to ensure that all people receive fair, lawful, and safe protection on community streets? On this call, advocates discussed how they have implemented innovative ways to work with police departments for smart law enforcement for active transportation.

Call recording (MP3)
Recap from call (PDF)
Eileen’s tips from Austin (PDF)
MassBike’s background research (PDF) - Background research for MassBike’s law enforcement training video
Continuum of Training Executive Summary (PDF) - A summary of WEBike, etc.’s extensive police officer training program
Interview questions (PDF) - A list of guiding questions for MassBike employees to use when discussing bike safety with law enforcement officials.

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Streetside Issue 56 ~ November 2013

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In This Issue:

Click here to read this issue.

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Forming Complete Streets Coalitions - 9/25/13

Cross-sector coalitions are powerful tools when working to pass and implement a state or local Complete Streets policy. By building partnerships with transit advocates, health stakeholders, economic development groups, environmental organizations and more, biking and walking advocates can multiply impact and ensure a great policy to build safe, accessible streets for all. On this call, national and local advocates discussed their hands-on experience building winning coalitions for Complete Streets.

Call recording (MP3)
Recap of call (PDF)
Coalition Best Practices (PDF)
Complete Streets Local Policy Workbook (PDF)
Complete Streets Power Mapping Worksheet (PDF)
2012’s best Complete Streets policies (PDF)
Health by Design Walkability Assessment (PDF)
Indiana Model Complete Streets Ordinance Worksheet (PDF)

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11 Halloween Costumes for Transportation Nerds

Halloween is a great time to wear your passion on your sleeve. And if you love transportation, the opportunity to dress up as anything you want can lead to some pretty wonderful costumes.

This year, some transportation enthusiasts found ways to translate their favorite policy issue into wearables.

This guy is a bike lane.

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Source: David Mann

These kids’ parents must be pretty into bike infrastructure. The tot at left is dressed up as a bike box, while his brother is the white bike symbol in a bike lane (complete with floating white arrow!).

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Source: @familyride

Staff at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association dressed up as the “all-powerful bike lobby” — the shadowy actors that Dorothy Rabinowitz famously referenced in her criticism of New York City’s new bike sharing program. 

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Source: WABA

The development team from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance of Oregon showed up in the office as a road diet. (Get it?)

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Source: Rob Sadowsky

The agency that operates the Metro in Washington, DC sells kids’ train engineer costumes — a perfect way to show appreciation for multimodal transportation. Here’s Alex, son of Alliance Member Services Coordinator Megan Odett, modeling the getup.

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Source: Megan Odett

Of course, you could always dress up your bike for Halloween.

Like this guy who rode a giant dolphin through the streets of Boston.

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Source: Bike and Roll

Or this woman who transformed her bicycle into a racehorse.

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Source: Bike and Roll

Fans of The Neverending Story will appreciate this bicycle-powered Atreyu costume.

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Source: Bike and Roll

Or a bike could be a part of the costume.

Like this kid who dressed up as Elliott from E.T. Just add moon and flying powers.

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Source: Bike and Roll

Or this fellow who went as Napoleon Dynamite.

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Source: Bike and Roll

And finally, for the sleep-deprived parents: helmet + baby = turtle.

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Source: Bike and Roll

 

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Introducing Christy, Advocacy Advance’s new Outreach Coordinator

Christy Kwan is the new Outreach Coordinator with the Alliance for Biking & Walking and Advocacy Advance, an avid walker, and an advocate to make bicycling and walking safer and more accessible to all. Read more about Christy below and her new role with the Alliance.

Throughout my life I have been drawn by stories – not necessarily fairy tales, but rather the stories we tell each other to explain how we experience the same world in different ways. I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California where I spent much of my childhood riding in my parents’ car traveling to one strip mall to another for errands. But one of my fondest childhood memories was walking home from school with my grandmother and listening to her stories.

My grandmother walked slowly with a cane, which she needed after becoming permanently injured by someone in a vehicle. On these slow walks, I learned about my grandmother’s experiences growing up in China and about my family’s history. Even as a child, I understood that walking gave me opportunities for not only sunshine and fresh air, but also to listen to stories that would have otherwise gone unheard.

My professional experiences are varied but all have the same focus: making the world a more livable and equitable place. I received my bachelor of arts from the University of California, San Diego in sociology and critical gender studies, and my master of city planning from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design. I have worked at a non-profit to increase healthy food access to underserved communities across the country and as a contractor to the Department of Defense’s environmental conservation program to protect natural and working lands near military bases.

Throughout all of my experiences, I have enjoyed working in complicated situations and building consensus among diverse stakeholders because it gives me an opportunity to listen to what others have to say. In graduate school, I was recognized by my peers with a collaboration award, and more recently in my own community, as volunteer of the year by a local organization.

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Today, I consider myself an avid walker who dabbles in bicycling. As Outreach Coordinator for the Alliance and the Advocacy Advance teams, I will focus on engaging both the transportation and public health communities on the need for funding bicycling and walking policies and programs.

I am excited to focus on what I know best: walking and working with diverse stakeholders. I look forward to working with grassroots advocates, planners, engineers, public officials, doctors, and anyone else interested in how bicycling, walking, and health meet. Building upon my love of listening and sharing stories while walking, I am particularly excited to listen and learn from others about their work on the ground level, and to support Alliance members by sharing their stories nationwide.

If you have a story you want to share with Christy, please feel free to email her.

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State & Local Roundup: Halloween by Bike and on Foot

Alliance Member News

Happy Halloween! Advocates from Oregon, DC and Seattle showed their awesome costumes today. 

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Costumed kids will ride cyclocross in Bend, OR this weekend. (Bicycle Transportation Alliance

Cascade Bicycle Club outlines goals for funding transportation projects in 2014. 

Local elections are coming up! Pittsburgh, New York City, and Cleveland are getting ready. 

Bike Maryland is featured in the Maryland State Police’s new training video about the rules of the road for bicycling. 

Meanwhile, MassBike is gearing up to shoot a training video for police departments, and they’re crowdsourcing ideas for where to shoot. 

Zebras have been installed on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. (Washington Area Bicyclist Association)

The Illinois DOT will allow a protected bike lane on Clyboun Avenue, where 26-year-old Bobby Cann was struck and killed. (Active Transportation Alliance

For one advocate, maintaining a ghost bike was an opportunity to reflect on outreach about road safety. (Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition)

On their first anniversary, BikeSD reflects on their first-year advocacy goals. 

Three huge legislative victories for biking in California. (California Bicycle Coalition)

Biking & Walking in the News

A record number of people have died this year while walking in Tucson, AZ. (AZ Star Net)

Crashes that injure walkers are on the rise in San Francisco, too. (SF Examiner)

Protected bike lanes make their debut in Austin! (Austin Statesman)

A Virginia bike thief gets 12 years. (Arlington Now)

Portland, OR buses are testing devices to warn walkers. (The Transit Wire)

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Webinar recap: Green Lane Project 2

Will your city build protected bike lanes over the next two years?

 

Over the course of the last two years, the Green Lane Project has worked with transportation officials in six select cities — Memphis, Austin, Portland, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC — to build and plan more protected bike lanes. These futuristic bike facilities ensure a relaxed bike ride for folks of all ages, help keep everybody comfortable on the road, and elevate cities’ efforts to build truly contemporary transportation networks.

Thanks in part to technical assistance, educational study tours, and support through the program, city transportation officials have spearheaded new protected lanes throughout Green Lane Project cities. Advocates, in turn, have had the opportunity to work with city staff to encourage and support these projects.

Your community could be part of the Green Lane Project’s second round! PeopleForBikes staff are now looking for a second batch of awesome cities to be a part of the program for the next two years.

On this week’s webinar, program director Martha Roskowski talked about the application process and the criteria for the next six Green Lane cities. If you missed it, check out the recording here.

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State & Local Roundup: Summit and Elections Ahoy

Alliance Member News

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The Georgia Bike Summit was awesome! (Georgia Bikes!)

So was the Harrison and Rockingham Bike-Walk Summit in West Virginia. (Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition)

Bike, walk, vote! State and local elections are right around the corner. Cascade Bicycle Club released their full docket of candidate endorsements, while Minneapolis mayoral candidates offered full-throated support for protected bike lanes.

The Active Transportation Alliance responds to a proposal that people who ride bikes in Chicago pay a licensing fee. 

A new short documentary from Bike Arlington shows how a Virginia suburb became super bike-friendly. Related: NPR examines how the city became a gold standard for commuting. 

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition reports another crash in the South of Market neighborhood, adding urgency to their Safe Streets SoMa campaign. 

A peek behind the scenes: laying down green paint in San Mateo. (Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition

Bike share may come to Los Angeles! (Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition)

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is merging with the Cadence Cycling Foundation, a youth education group. 

Baltimore City Department of Transportation is planning a road diet on Belair Road. Bikemore says it won’t be complete without bike lanes.

Washington, DC has passed the Bicycle Safety Amendment of 2013. (Washington Area Bicyclist Association

A new trail in Delaware has been named after former U.S. representative and Delaware governor Mike Castle. (Bike Delaware)

Biking & Walking in the News

A global injustice: more than a quarter of a million people are killed while walking each year. (The Guardian)

The mayor of Paris just converted a highway along the Seine river into walkable public space. (NPR)

New Orleans has a new biking and walking path along the Algiers levee. (Times-Picayune)

Austin, Texas will get a protected bike lane on Guadalupe Street. (City of Austin)

An op-ed writer in the New York Times objects to Citi Bike because the bikes are too blue. 

Forget room service – at these ten hotels, order a bike. (CNN)

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Webinar Recap: Twitter 101

Given that 20% of global internet users are on Twitter, there are almost definitely people in your area who are tweeting about biking and walking issues. And if your advocacy organization doesn’t have a Twitter presence, you’re missing out on opportunities to join those conversations.

But if you’re not sure how to start tweeting, don’t fret — we’ve got you covered.

Yesterday, the Alliance and the League of American Bicyclists hosted “Twitter 101,” the second in a series of webinars focused on using social media as a way to connect with your consituency and bolster your campaigns. We drilled down into the basics of tweeting — wait, what IS a tweet anyway? — and discussed how to begin building up a network of online supporters.

If you missed the session, check out the slides (PDF) and the recording in the video below.

 

During the webinar, we had the chance for some great Q&A. Thanks to everybody who tuned in live and asked great questions! There were some issues were weren’t able to address in our allotted time, so here are some quick follow-up items.

First, you can definitely connect Twitter and Facebook. Here’s Twitter’s guide on how to push all of your tweets to your personal Facebook profile or to a page you manage, and here’s Facebook’s tool for pushing your Facebook posts to a Twitter account.

That said, I would argue that it’s actually best not to link your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Here’s why. Twitter and Facebook are very different social networks, with different norms and sets of etiquette. On Twitter, brevity is key, and multiple posts per day are the norm. On Facebook, the image rules, longer posts are A-OK, and folks may get annoyed by a barrage of posts in a single day. Your tweets will likely look out of place on Facebook, and the same is true for the reverse. So I recommend updating the two accounts separately, provided you have the time and staff resources to do so.

This post looks great on Facebook…

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...but looks like an unfinished thought on Twitter.

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And, for what it’s worth, here’s how I would have modified the original content for a tweet:

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Also, you can tweet from a mobile phone even if you don’t have a smartphone. It’s as simple as sending a text message. Here’s Twitter’s guide to tweeting via text.

Finally, I benefitted enormously from a glossary of Twitter terminology when I first started tweeting. Thanks to Sue at BikeTexas for recommending Mashable’s Complete Guide to Twitter Lingo.

More social media webinars are on the horizon! To stay up to date, sign up for our weekly email digest about upcoming calls and webinars for biking and walking advocates.

And if you found this helpful, please share!

 

           
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State & Local Roundup: Proud to be Bicycle Friendly

Alliance Member News

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Bike art lovers take note: the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition‘s upcoming auction boasts lovely offerings. 

Complete Streets are coming to Houston! (Bike Houston)

Here’s a cool idea: the SLO County Bicycle Coalition is holding an mini-summit to teach concerned citizens to become advocates.  

Los Angeles Walks reports that L.A.‘s new mayor is making a major commitment to walking, biking and transit. 

The Active Transportation Alliance is fighting hard against a proposed $1.3 billion expressway. 

The League of American Bicyclists announced the latest round of bike-friendly communities, and advocates in those areas are thrilled. Check out the enthusiasm from Cleveland, Wisconsin, Illinois, Rhode Island, New York state and Georgia.

Bike Austin opposes a curfew on trails in Austin, TX.

Vulnerable road user bills are moving in both Wisconsin and Michigan. (Wisconsin Bike Fed, League of Michigan Bicyclists)

Shake Shack is installing modernist bike racks in Philadelphia! (Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia)

A new report from Transportation Alternatives highlights the need for greater police enforcement on the traffic violations that pose the most danger to public safety. 

Bike share is moving forward in Pittsburgh. (Bike Pittsburgh)

A new directive in Massachusetts will require that future transportation projects are evaluated with modeshift goals in mind. (MassBike)

Biking & Walking in the News

Guerilla activists stencil memorials where children under age 8 were killed by cars this year in New York City. (New York Daily News)

Chicago’s new speed cameras are up and running. (Chicago Tribune)

CitiBikes’s popularity, in four charts. (Business Insider)

Start your own bike share with a keyless bicycle lock. (Atlantic Cities)

How will the United States pay for roads when the gas tax no longer works? (The Economist)

People are taking wedding photos with CitiBike, and the Times is ON IT. (New York Times)

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Webinar Tomorrow: Twitter 101

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As a social network that captures over 20% of active global internet users, Twitter can be an important tool for biking and walking advocacy. But if you’re stuck scratching your head about retweeting, hashtagging, and following, an introduction may be in order.

For a beginner’s overview on leveraging Twitter for your advocacy organization, join our webinar, “Twitter 101,” tomorrow at 2 PM Eastern time.

In this webinar—the second in a series held by the Alliance for Biking & Walking and the League of American Bicyclists—we’ll break down the basics of tweeting for advocacy. We’ll cover all the basics (What’s a mention? What do RT and MT mean?) and will drill down into cultivating a strong network of online supporters.

Intrigued? Join us tomorrow at 2 PM eastern!

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State & Local Roundup: Completed Candidate Questionnaires Pour In

Alliance Member News

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This week’s Walk and Bike to School Day was a great success in many communities across the country, including Wisconsin and Connecticut

Atlanta Streets Alive drew over 80,000 people! (Atlanta Bicycle Coalition)

Pittsburgh took the Rust Cup in the Rust Belt Battle of the Bikes, the end of a five-month battle with Cleveland. (Bike Cleveland, Bike Pittsburgh)

Advocates test helmets using SCIENCE. And melons. Guess which melon smashes. (Active Transportation Alliance)

Huzzah! Georgia advocates succeded in defeating an bill that would have made it illegal to ride bikes side-by-side. (Georgia Bikes)

The Michigan legislature will soon decide whether bike riders can point right to turn right and legally ride through malfunctioning traffic lights. (League of Michigan Bicyclists)

Without a plan for implementation, San Diego’s bicycle master plan will be just a plan.  (BikeSD

San Francisco has plans to install a new set of “green wave” lights, which are timed at bicycle speed. (San Francisco Bicycle Coalition)

El Monte, CA has approved the city’s first bikeway. (BikeSGV)

Cascade has appointed Ed Ewing as the Seattle organization’s first Director of Diversity & Inclusion. (Cascade)

The California Bicycle Coalition recounts the extraordinary story of how the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition closed the case on a deadly crash and tackled police enforcement issues. 

Mayoral candidates and city council candidates have been answering advocates’ questions about transportation. Check out completed questionnaires from Calgary and Pittsburgh, plus a new questionnaire in Tucson.

Biking & Walking in the News

Millennials — even those with kids — are driving less and biking, walking and taking transit more. (USA Today)

Language check! Reasons not to call bike riders “cyclists.” (Bike Portland)

Lincoln, NE and Westchester, NY have passed Complete Streets policies. 

Profiles of women of color who ride bikes in the Twin Cities. (Twin Cities Daily Planet)

Pittsburgh’s southernmost neighborhoods have been starved for bike infrastructure. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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LA Study: Open Streets Give Local Business a Major Boost

How can local businesses bring more money in the door? The answer might be more frequent open streets.

A recent study from UCLA’s Luskin Center found that local Los Angeles businesses made 10% more in sales during the June 2013 CicLAvia than during typical Sundays. And businesses that actively participated in the Open Streets event — with vending tables out front, music or signage — saw a phenomenal 57% sales boost.

All told, researchers found that CicLAvia caused a total sales revenue increase of $52,444 across the 128 establishments in the area.


For businesses that line event routes, Open Streets mean big sales boosts.

CicLAvia’s strong economic impact makes good sense: Open Streets bring thousands of potential customers to business districts. With folks moving at a walking or biking pace, it’s no surprise that people find new shops and restaurants that they enjoy.

Researchers think their work spell a clear lesson businesses along upcoming Open Streets routes. “The results tell us that local business seeking to maximize profits during CicLAvia should consider CicLAvia engagement strategies such expanding the business closer to the street with a booth, music, or CicLAvia signage,” said Colleen Callahan, deputy director of the Luskin Center.

Notably, this is the first economic impact study to measure the link between local business sales and Open Streets. Previous studies have found that Open Streets attendees report opening their wallets to local businesses. In 2011, 78% of participants in St. Louis’ Open Streets said they spent money at a local business, while 68% learned about a new store or restaurant. In Louisville these numbers were 70% and 47%, respectively. But this study has been the first to survey the businesses themselves, rather than attendees, adding a key study to the growing body of literature on Open Streets’ economic impacts.  Keep an eye out in the next few months for an even more comprehensive study coming out of San Francisco.

Luskin Center researchers note that CicLAvia’s economic impact is likely even greater than their study suggests. “These numbers demonstrate positive gains for local businesses, but they underestimate the event’s overall economic impact,” said J.R. DeShazo, director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and principal investigator of the study.


The UCLA study would have likely demonstrated an even greater economic impact if the methodology had included mobile businesses like food trucks.

This particular study’s numbers don’t account for mobile vendors like food trucks, which could have accounted for another $50,000 in sales. The study also didn’t count businesses that are normally closed on Sundays and therefore saw 100% increases in sales.

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State & Local Roundup: Walking Woman to the Rescue

Alliance Member News

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Above: Walking superheroes protect the right of citizens to walk safely in LA. (Los Angeles Walks)

The government shutdown means closure for federally managed biking routes and trails around the country, like Ballards Lock in Seattle and many paths in the Greater Washington, DC area. (Cascade Bicycle ClubWashington Area Bicyclist Association)

New leaders ahoy! Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin will soon welcome former two-term Madison mayor Dave Cieslewicz as their new Executive Director, while Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition welcomes Ethan Fawley as their first Executive Director. 

San Francisco advocates are calling for fair treatment by the police. (San Fracisco Bicycle Coalition)

More advocacy organizations are holding or participating in mayoral forums on transportation. This week, we saw notices from BikeSD and the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition.  

There’s good policy coming out of Sacramento. California voted to increase active transportation funding and to pass a three-foot passing law. (California Bicycle Coalition)

Advocates in Greenville, NC will work on the city’s first bicycle and pedestrian master plan. (Bike Walk Greenville)

Congrats to the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and East Bay Bicycle Coalition for receiving Community Grants from PeopleForBikes! (PeopleForBikes)

Philly advocates will offer two women’s-only Urban Riding Basics classes. Cool! (Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia)

A new poll in New York shows that a strong majority of voters (and drivers) support protected bike lanes and pedestrian islands. (Transportation Alternatives)

Adorable new coloring books about walking in Kansas City. (Bike Walk KC)

Michigan is considering vulnerable roadway user legislation. (League of Michigan Bicyclists)

Biking & Walking in the News

The Bicycle Coaltion of Maine had a rockin’ first ever Bike Maine ride throughout the state. (Bangor Daily News, WCSH6)

Bike Pittsburgh has revealed their “Better Bikeways” vision. (WESA

Lincoln, NE has plans to build a protected bike lane. (Journal Star)

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Adventure Cycling Releases Best Practices Guide for U.S. Bicycle Route System

Our friends at the Adventure Cycling Association are proud to announce, in conjunction with Toole Design Group, the brand new U.S. Bicycle Route System Best Practices Guide (PDF).

Ginny Sullivan, Director of Travel Initiatives at Adventure Cycling, has more details on the new resource to improve bicycle touring routes throughout the United States.

This guide provides planning, designation, and promotion models developed using the lessons learned from over eight years of system implementation and feedback. It outlines state challenges, opportunities, and solutions for all stages of implementation.

One of our main goals in developing the guide was to gauge basic awareness of the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) within Departments of Transportation (DOTs). Our survey of state DOTs proved exciting: forty-seven states plus the District of Columbia answered the survey (for various reasons, California, Hawaii and Montana opted not to answer).

Results showed that 83% were very aware of the USBRS and all were at least “somewhat” aware.  In addition, a majority of states were aware of the tools and resources on our website and 81% said they have done some work to implement a U.S. Bike Route in their state.

To assemble the report, we also surveyed a small group of active advocacy organizations and volunteers, then developed case studies using the most interesting models and implementation methods.

An additional case study analyzed rural bicycle level of service (BLOS) measures. Because the original BLOS model was intended to evaluate bicycling conditions on city streets, rural conditions require a separate set of criteria. Toole Design highlighted several methods for evaluating roads, including a rural BLOS developed by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and provided helpful recommendations.

If you’re working on bicycle route implementation — especially in rural areas — be sure to check out this new report at www.adventurecycling.org/USBRSBestPractices.

 

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Streetside Issue 55 ~ October 2013

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In This Issue:

Click here to read this issue.

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Call Summary & Recording: Boosting Advocacy with Health Impact Assessments

It sounds like a no-brainer: outfitting communities for better biking and walking can be an elegant solution to prevent chronic health problems like heart disease and diabetes. But how can advocates help public officials measure just how much built environment projects and policies affects public health?

Enter health impact assessments (HIAs). These formal assessments are important tools to help communities fully understand the health implications of transportation facilities, policies and programs. HIAs bring public health issues to the forefront so that planners and policymakers outside the public health world can incorporate everyday wellness into the built environment.

On a recent Alliance Mutual Aid Call, planners and health practitioners discussed how advocates and officials can use health impact assessments to boost biking and walking. Check out the below notes for an overview of all we discussed.

Alliance members can also listen to a call recording and see additional resources from the panelists in the Resources Library.

 

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Climate Ride Recap: 200 Riders Pedal to DC for a Sustainable Future

When it came to Climate Ride, I really didn’t think I could do it.

I didn’t think I could bike 300 miles. I didn’t think I could muster the strength to propel my 1980’s steel road bike up and down all those hills in eastern Pennsylvania. I didn’t think I could raise $2,400 on my own, the minimum amount to participate in the ride.

Despite all this, I signed up for Climate Ride to test my own abilities and to raise money to support active transportation advocacy. As it turns out, that was a great decision. The ride was full of passionate folks working on awesome issues who, for various reasons, had decided to drop everything and ride for five days to support a cause they love.

And, hills be damned, we made it all the way from New York City to Washington, DC.

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For those who are unfamiliar, Climate Ride is an organization that leads two fully supported bike trips each year to raise awareness and funds for climate protection and bicycle advocacy. Since 2008, the ride has engaged hundreds of riders from across the nation who, instead of simply opening their wallets, raise money from friends and colleagues, which is directed to a number of nonprofit groups that work on renewable energy and active transportation issues. For the past five years, Climate Ride has led two rides each year—one in California and one from New York City to Washington, DC—and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for nonprofits like the Alliance for Biking & Walking.

Geraldine Carter and Caeli Quinn, Climate Ride’s two rockstar founders, do an exceptional job of organizing a team to create a fun, engaging, and even luxurious experience out of the challenging multi-day ride. The vistas alone were well worth the sweat we expended on giant hills: every day, we savored stunning views of big, open sky covering patchwork farms, picturesque grain silos and Amish garments stretched out on clotheslines.

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Each night, all two hundred riders cozied up in rural retreat centers and off-season summer camps to enjoy hearty meals and engaging talks from folks working in climate advocacy and sustainable transportation. And on the final day, we pedaled triumphantly along the National Mall to the Capitol Building, ready to speak with our elected officials about the importance of passing legislation to ensure a sustainable future.

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Perhaps the best part of Climate Ride, though, is that individual riders’ fundraising dollars go towards supporting great causes. This year, the top fundraising teams for both Climate Ride events were local members of the Alliance for Biking & Walking — on the California ride, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition‘s team raised the most funds, while the Washington Area Bicyclist Association brought in the most dollars on the East Coast ride. Each organization will receive a generous portion of the funds that their teams raised for the ride — a major win for local bike advocacy.

Six riders chose to support the Alliance for Biking & Walking with their fundraising, and it was also great to see all of the state and local biking and walking organizations represented among the ride’s beneficiaries. Riders who had pledged to support New York City’s Transportation Alternatives, New Jersey Bike + Walk Coalition, Chicago’s Active Transportation Alliance, Bike New York, Boston Cyclists Union and more were pedaling not only to push their own limits, but to support causes that make a real difference in their communities.

Way to go, Climate Riders!

Want to be a part of Climate Ride next year? It’s not too early to register for the May 2014 California ride or the September 2014 NYC - DC ride. Please consider choosing to support the Alliance for Biking & Walking and your state or local bike advocacy organization!

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