The Capitol Steps are no Barrier to Bicyclists

The BTA will be part of a 22 member force heading to Washington DC this week for the National Bike Summit.  We’ll learn about the state of the art in bicycle policy and lobby Congress on critical issues facing the cycling community.  I’m joined by our Executive Director Scott Bricker, Safe Routes to School Director Angela Koch, and Policy Advocate Emily Gardner.

We’ll be supporting the League of American Bicyclists in advocating for a Congressional Resolution in support of bicycling, support for Complete Streets Policies and support for the National Park Service.  In addition to those, the Oregon group will be discussing issues ranging from the Historic Columbia River Highway to Safe Routes to School.

With a new president on the way and a new transportation act under development, the possibility of making a huge leap forward for bicycling is at our fingertips.  It will be critical that we are engaged at every level of government.  I, or someone from our team, will try to get a post up at least once day.

Comment

Comments (4)

  1. Fritz Permalink  | Mar 04, 2008 04:40pm

    I’m looking forward to reading the reports. WIll photos also be posted?

  2. Antonio Gramsci Permalink  | Mar 04, 2008 05:00pm

    Enforcement.

    Enforcement.

    Oh, did I mention, ENFORCMENT?

    We need MADD-style legislation that jacks any state’s federal transportation dollars for failing to implement tough new legal standards against careless motorists.

    We need to copy all the plays right out of MADD’s playbook on this subject.

    Tougher enforcement against careless and dangerous motorists will do more to save lives and improve conditions for both current and would-be bicyclists (as well as pedestrians, as well as motorists, as well as anyone who uses our roads) than all other efforts in other areas combined.

    Forty thousand people die on our roadways every year. The yearly death toll in this country alone exceeds the deaths attributed to locomotive accidents in ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF TRAIN TRAVEL IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.

    If I get killed by a careless or reckless motorist, I’m no less dead than if I get killed by a drunken one. So why are we continuing to give the former a free pass??

    Change is possible. We know this from the example set by MADD. In twenty five years of lobbying for greatly toughened enforcement against drunk driving, they managed to cut the incidence of alcohol involved fatalities on the nation’s roadways by 50%. No other activist group comes close to the positive results that MADD has achieved — because they focused on the right issue: safety. And also because they chose the right target: drunk driving. No one self identifies as a drunk driver. No one is willing to step up and defend drunk driving on principle.

    Similarly, the same goes for careless and dangerous motorists. There is no lobby in defense of “careless driving.” No one will self-identify as a “careless driver.” This is an issue where enormous strides can be made with the right kind of coalition building.

    Examples of areas where we need tougher enforcement:

    Mandatory jail time for driving while suspended.
    Enhanced criminal penalties for injuring or killing
    while driving suspended.
    Tougher penalties for distracted drivers, or any serious injury incident where distraction is concluded to have played a role (eg, eating, cellphoning, etc).

  3. Karl Rohde Permalink  | Mar 05, 2008 07:44am

    Hoping to get pictures into the mix but I discovered that my battery was dead this morning. It’s charging and I’m looking to borrow a camera.

  4. gwadzilla Permalink  | Mar 08, 2008 05:41am

    which scott bricker?

    will the real scott bricker please stand up?


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