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Does bicycle riding feel safe where you live? Do some car and truck drivers pass too close? Are bike lanes and paths disjointed, beginning and ending abruptly? And is secure bike parking limited or non-existent? These are the most common issues facing cyclists across the USA.
Wouldn’t it be great if all the cyclists in America could band together, like gun-owners for example, and make their voice heard in Washington to get those ongoing issues resolved? The good news is that now they can.
A new organization called People for Bikes launched this month and already has more than 22,000 members. The goal of People for Bikes is to gather more than a million names of support to let policy makers, the media and the public know that bicycling is important and should be promoted.
Cycling is growing rapidly in the USA, but according to Tim Blumenthal, head of Bikes Belong, the organization that created People for Bikes, we’re not very good yet at being heard. “Of the 46 million Americans who rode a bike last year, maybe 250,000 are engaged in bike advocacy at any level. The rest just pedal, which is understandable, but…” says Blumenthal.
Bikes Belong has a track record spanning several years of lobbying in Washington to procure more resources for bicycling. According to Blumenthal, every six years the federal government allocates billions of dollars to expand and improve our country’s transportation infrastructure. Peopleforbikes.org says it will use a powerful, united voice to urge U.S. senators and congressmen to make new, cost-effective investments in bicycling facilities and programs that benefit cyclists now and well into the future.
So how will this benefit cyclists in San Francisco? Blumenthal says: “In the last 10 years, California has received more than $500 million in federal funds for bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs. People for Bikes will tell the federal government that lots of people want bicycling facilities that are safe, appealing and convenient. This message, combined with the clout of our numbers, should inspire the government to make additional cost-effective investments in bicycling. If the distribution of money follows traditional patterns, California should get nearly 10 percent of it, and San Francisco will receive a pretty big chunk of that.”
Cyclists interested in making this happen can sign up at peopleforbikes.org.
For more info: peopleforbikes.org