Thursday, March 6, 2008

National Bike Summit notes

Thanks to support from WABA, we were able to attend the National Bike Summit this year. Bicycle advocates from around the country heard about the latest advocacy efforts in the cycling world and lobbied Congress for better bicycle facilities. Some highlights from the conference:

Humana Inc., a large health care provide, recently established Freewheelin', a bike sharing program for their 8,500 employees in Louisville, Ky. 1,600 people signed up for the program in the first two days. Read more at the 1 World 2 Wheels blog and Paul DeMaio's Bike Sharing blog.

2 Mile Challenge is a program started by Clif Bar to encourage more people to get out of their cars and ride their bikes. Stressing the fact that 40% of all trips are 2 miles or less, they offer several challenges for cyclists to encourage them to take more of those trips by bike. They practice what they preach, offering employees a $500 subsidy for bike commuting. They developed a good, simple, short video that highlights many of the reasons to ride:

Portland: Several advocates from Portland, OR discussed steps they have taken to make Portland the most bike-friendly community in the U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, a former Portland city commissioner, welcomed cyclists and urged us to fight harder for our fair share of transportation funding. Scott Bricker of Bicycle Transportation Alliance discussed their efforts to get more people on bikes through development of a blueprint for better bicycling in Portland and a recent emphasis on developing bicycle boulevards. Dan Bower of the Office of Transportation discussed the Smart Trips program. Each year they focus on a section of the city. They try to reach each household at least 5 times, providing them with information on alternative transportation options.

Other highlights were the talk by DC Councilman Tommy Wells who introduced the bike parking bill and who is working with city developers to ensure they include bike access and parking in new developments. Tim Blumenthal of Bikes Belong said that he is working with Humana to try to provide 1,000 bikes for use at the two political conventions this summer.

Speaking of Portland, the Bike Portland blog contains a good summary of the summit,that ended with a bike tour this morning.



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