Alliance for Biking & Walking's Streetside E-Newsletter

Issue 16, August 2010

In This Issue
Leadership Retreat: Biggest and Best Ever!
Partner Events in Chattanooga
One Month, Two Winning Campaigns Trainings
Host a Winning Campaigns Training in Your City
Help Promote the Challenge and Win
Advocacy Advance Grants Spur Success
Alliance Hiring Research Assistant
Heat Up Your Congress Members' Summer Break
Urgent Action Needed to Protect Cycling Routes
Alliance Seeking Fall Interns
Alliance Member News
Alliance Leadership Retreat: Biggest and Best Ever!

retreatThe Leadership Retreat is a long-standing Alliance tradition, but this year promises to be the biggest and best yet.

Nearly 100 biking and walking advocates will be gathering September 10-13, on the Delta Queen steamboat hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee for the retreat.

If you are planning on attending and haven't registered yet, you must do so by August 15, 2010.
Workshops are in the final planning stages, offering opportunities for advocates at all levels of experience with bicycle and pedestrian advocacy. In addition to topic sessions on complete streets, Safe Routes to School, Open Streets events, and working with government, the retreat will feature:
  • At least five membership-related break-out sessions - including a discussion on building membership of pedestrian-only advocacy organizations
  • At least four workshops devoted to building organizational capacity and dealing with staffing issues -even for advanced organizations
  • At least three fund-raising discussions
In conjunction with the workshops at this year's retreat, we are also planning large-group discussions on federal policy initiatives, industry supporters, and how to build a movement that embraces, and thrives on inclusivity. Of course, you can also count on Frisbee and Bike Polo games, the talent show, a cook-out, a Tennessee River social cruise, and much, much more.
If you haven't registered yet, you must do so by August 15, 2010 to ensure that you don't miss out on this great professional development and networking opportunity with dozens of bicycle and pedestrian leaders.

Participants should expect an e-mail with more details in the next week or so. And, the final agenda and workshop descriptions, with all of the details, will be available on August 16 on the Retreat website.

The Retreat wouldn't be possible without the generous support of our sponsors:


APBP     alta     america walks

bike stattion cascade

kate_recent         dero

J&B     kate_recent  outdoor chattanooga

QBP    specialized

Partner Events in Chattanooga

This September, Chattanooga will become the epicenter of the bicycle and pedestrian movement, and it's not just because the Alliance is coming to town. When the Leadership Retreat ends on September 13th, there are plenty of reasons to stick around. The following week, a number of our partners are hosting important meetings in Chattanooga that you won't want to miss. 
  • On September 13th, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Chattanooga Convention Center, Adventure Cycling will host a "U.S. Bicycle Route System Implementation Workshop." This session will highlight ways advocates can get involved in "building what will be the biggest bicycle route network in the world." Read more at Adventure Cycling here.  
  • Also, on September 13th, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Chattanooga Convention Center, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership will host its annual meeting. Partnership staff will present the group's draft 2011-2015 Strategic Plan and discuss ways to strengthen the federal Safe Routes to School program and movement over the next five years. All interested individuals are welcome, but registration is required.
  • From September 13th to 17th, The National Center for Bicycling and Walking hosts Pro Walk / Pro Bike at the Chattanooga Conference Center. This biennial gathering typically attracts an international crowd of more than 600 advocates, academics, government officials and bike-ped professionals for a wide-ranging schedule of presentations, workshops and break-out sessions. Register here.
One Month, Two Winning Campaigns Trainings!


Residents of Memphis soon will be cruising on 55 miles of new bicycle facilities and the victory can be traced back directly to an Alliance Winning Campaigns Training.

Last year, Sarah Newstok, program director for Livable Memphis, attended the Alliance's proven, three-day workshop in Little Rock, Arkansas (pictured above). Back home in Memphis, she put the training to work, pressing City Hall to include bicycle accommodations in street repaving projects that made no provisions for cyclists.

"The Winning Campaigns Training was immensely enlightening on how to form a campaign and approach it from multiple angles," Newstok says. "We took those lessons to heart and, after chipping away from lots of directions, the barriers seemed to crumble all at once!" When Mayor A.C. Wharton Jr. announced his 55-mile commitment last month, Livable Memphis not only celebrated the new bike facilities but a bumper crop of engaged members and volunteers. 

Attend a Winning Campaigns Training and your organization will learn the same strategies that spurred that progress in Memphis.

We're taking our proven curriculum to both coasts this Fall.
  • Our expert facilitators and local host Walk Oakland Bike Oakland will bring the Winning Campaigns Training to Oakland, California from October 15-17.
  • Then, from October 22-24, we'll be hosted by Local Motion for a Winning Campaigns Training in Burlington, Vermont.
In just a few days, you'll learn all the tactics to become an effective strategist, organizer, fundraiser and media source. After direct consultation with Alliance staff and longtime leaders in the bicycle and pedestrian movement, you'll walk away with a detailed blueprint for your next campaign. Learn more about the Winning Campaigns Trainings.

Sign up for Oakland or Burlington today!
Host a Winning Campaigns Training in Your Community in 2011

WCT certificateIf you've attended a Winning Campaign Training you know that it's an energizing, empowering experience. Here's your chance to bring that momentum to your own community. The Alliance is now seeking host organizations for our Winning Campaigns Trainings in 2011.

By hosting one of these three-day workshops, your membership, board of directors and advocates across the region will gain access to the best organizing experts in the movement. Just one weekend will jumpstart a variety of campaigns to increase biking and walking in your area. To plan and promote the training, your group will receive a $1,000 stipend. 

In addition, thanks to a generous donation from VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, the host organization that enrolls the most participants in its Winning Campaigns Training in 2011 will receive an exciting prize. VBT has donated a free 10-day cycling trip in Tuscany, Italy - airfare from the East Coasts included - valued at $3,500.  

Click here for more information about host responsibilities and to fill out your proposal. Applications are due September 24th. 
Help Promote the Challenge and Win

kate_recentLast month, we enticed you with the promise of a prize. Well, here's the full scoop.

By now we hope you've heard of the2 Mile Challenge, a national competition created by CLIF BAR to get folks to replace short car trips with bicycle travel. The competition is between three teams, each headed by a national nonprofit. The Alliance has been selected to lead the Gold Team.

The top team will win $25,000 for its organization and, with only a few months to go, the heat is on!

To take the challenge, you simply sign up for a team and log each time you take a trip by bicycle. The competition wraps up at the end of October and the Alliance is solidly in second place. We know we can win, but we need YOU to help us recruit more team members. So here's your added incentive.

We know some Alliance organizations have promoted the Gold Team in their newsletters and through social media. We're making it worth your effort. Every time you advertise the Alliance team, whether it's on Facebook or in an e-mail alert, keep track of the link. At the end of October, we'll ask you to send us a list of your promotion efforts.

For each message you broadcast to recruit more Gold Team members, we'll enter your name in a hat. Then, we'll draw a name at random and that organization will receive:
  • Five complimentary copies of the upcoming Guide to Funding Biking & Walking Projects, slated for publication next spring. 
  • Two full scholarships to the Alliance's national fundraising training, to be announced, in 2011.  
Help the Alliance win $25,000! Get your members and friends to join the Challenge and pedal for the Gold Team. 

And if you're not logging YOUR trips yet, sign up today!
Advocacy Advance Grants Spur Success

This summer, the Alliance marked the first anniversary of the Advocacy Advance Grants program. After just one year, we already have exciting successes to celebrate.
In June 2009, during the first round of grant funding, we awarded $149,600 to eight bicycle and pedestrian organizations for a variety of projects. Those organizations used those dollars to make a big difference in their communities. Here are some of the highlights.

  • The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota hired its first executive director and acted as a key partner in the passage of a statewide complete streets law during the 2010 legislative session.
  • The Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling produced a 32-page, full-color guide (pictured above) that contains newly compiled information and advice on how to give effective input on road design projects.
  • The League of Illinois Bicyclists created a model seminar that educated more than 500 planners, engineers, consultants, and cyclists about bicycle facilities and funding.
  • The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition won green-painted bike lanes on key routes and bike boxes at vital intersections as a product of its campaign to remake Market Street as a model for bicycle accessibility. 
  • Transportation Alternatives produced a comprehensive report on bicycle and pedestrian safety that included expert opinions from traffic safety, enforcement and public health officials, and provided recommendations for reducing traffic crashes in New York City.
Read more about the Advocacy Advance Grants and stay tuned for the next round of recipients on August 24.
Alliance Hiring Research Assistant

benchmarkingThe Alliance's 2010 Benchmarking Report has been hailed as a "Bike-Ped State of the Union." The biennial publication collects and analyzes data on bicycling, walking and health from all 50 states and the 50 most-populous cities.

We're looking for a qualified candidate to assist in the next report.
The Research Assistant will report to the Benchmarking Project Manager. The ideal candidate can dedicate between 15 and 20 hours per week to the project from October 2010 until September 2011. Some key responsibilities include:
  • Reaching out to government officials and advocates to complete Benchmarking surveys
  • Inputting data received from Benchmarking surveys
  • Inputting data from government and other national databases into Alliance system
  • Performing calculations and analysis with Benchmarking data
  • Creating various graphs and charts using Benchmarking data
  • Completing additional research as needed in support of the project
This is a part-time, temporary, contract position. See the full description on the Alliance Job Board.
Heat Up Your Congress Members' Summer Break

kate_recentAugust brings more than hot temperatures. It also promises hot opportunities for you to improve your relationship with your members of Congress.
Your senators and representatives will be home in their states and districts this month, which gives you a great chance to reach out to them and display the tremendous support for bicycling and walking in their community. It also provides the perfect occasion to showcase your capacity to work with them on these issues.
Our partners at America Bikes recommend three ways to work with your member of Congress this August.
  • Schedule a meeting with your member. Going to meet your senators or representative is a terrific way to share your community's bicycling and walking needs and to discuss how your member can help on federal bicycle and pedestrian issues. The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee is hoping to release a draft Transportation Authorization bill this fall, so a meeting with EPW Committee members (here's a list) is particularly relevant. However, meeting with all senators and representatives always helps build a relationship, and lets them know there are people who care about bicycling in their state or district. For some key tips on meeting with elected officials, check out this handy Alliance resource.
  • Invite your member to an event. Are you having a ride or an event this August? Send an invitation to your member of Congress. This is a fantastic way to show them what you're doing and to connect your member to bicycling in their community.
  • Ask a question at a town hall meeting. Your member should be holding town hall meetings throughout the month of August. Bringing a crowd of bicycling and walking advocates and asking a question is an effective way to get your member's attention. If you call your district office and let them know you are a constituent, they should be able to tell you where and when your member will be speaking.
Good luck!
Urgent Action Needed to Protect Cycling Routes from Rumble Strips

rumble stripDon't wake up tomorrow and find your favorite ride has been ruined!
In recent months, we've sounded the alarm about the troubling increase in the use of rumble strips. Many of you have read the reports from the Advocacy Advance Team, outlining the threat and explaining how to take action in your state.

Some of you joined us for a national conference call to strategize ways to work with state Departments of Transportation to protect our bicycle routes from indiscriminate rumbling. 

Now we need all supporters of biking and walking to take action!

All users share the desire for safer roadways. Many of us are motorists, too, and we know the benefit of rumble strips as a wake-up call when we drift off the road. But, as cyclists, we also know there's no such thing as a bike-friendly rumble strip. At best, they are uncomfortable and, at worst, they can cause cyclists to lose control of their bike and fall. In extreme cases, when rumble strips take up the entire shoulder, or when the shoulder is narrow or poorly maintained, the cyclist has no other option than to ride in the travel lane.

Today we are faced with a renewed push by the Federal Highway Administration and state DOTs to rumble strip state highways as a matter of course and without regard to their own policies on appropriate placement.

The Alliance, along with our partners at the League of American Bicyclists, Adventure Cycling Association, and USA Cycling, has tried to work with FHWA on this issue. We have jointly asked them to re-issue their existing rumble strip guidance to states. We've met with officials in FHWA's Office of Safety to ask for their help in applying their own guidance at the state level. And yet we learned recently that 17 states are leading a "Roadway Departure Prevention" program, which encourages the indiscriminate and wholesale application of rumble strips. Other states are sure to follow.
We need your immediate support and action to stop this threat.
What should you do?
  • Please visit the League's Advocacy Center, choose your state,  and send this message to your state DOT today!
  • Send this alert and link to your organization members, fellow cycling supporters, or your friends, urging them to take similar action.
Don't let your favorite routes get rumbled!
Alliance Seeking Fall Interns

Bright, enthusiastic interns play a key role in advancing the work of the Alliance. They gain hands-on experience, insight into grassroots advocacy and (if they choose) academic credit, while making a tangible contribution to our coalition of our more than 160 member organizations. We're happy to announce the following, Fall internship opportunities.
  • The Member Services Intern will gain firsthand knowledge working with the member organizations of our international coalition. Work will include assisting with membership outreach, prospect acquisition, website updates, member resource development, event coordination, and appeals.
  • The Technology Development Intern will also work with our Member Services Director. This project-based work will include assisting with the development and integration of current Alliance Internet-based and internal technologies including web sites, listservs, forums, contact databases, and other applications. 
  • The Program Intern will gain first-hand experience working on Alliance programs, including trainings, grants, organizational development, and resource development. Tasks may include editing training materials, reviewing grant applications, outreach to grant applicants and volunteers, updating database to assist with organizational development efforts, outreach to member organizations, compiling resources, and more.
Internships offer a flexible schedule with a fifteen-hour-per-week minimum commitment for three months. These positions are based in Washington, DC. and a modest stipend of $1,500 will be available. Applications for the Member Services and Technology Development interns are due by August 15. The program intern position will be open until filled. For a full description of our Fall internships, visit the Alliance Job Board

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Florida Bicycle Association Launches "Cycling Savvy"


The Florida Bicycle Association, with help from Commute Orlando, recently launched a new bicycle safety course that focuses as much on empowerment as it does on education. The innovative Cycling Savvy training not only teaches physical tactics and tangible skills that keep cyclist safe on the road, but also aims to change participants' mindsets about biking. "The barriers are far less about skill or lack of knowledge than beliefs," says Keri Caffrey, of Commute Orlando. "We have to remove the baggage of the car-centric culture. We have to empower cyclists to see themselves as both in control of their environment and legitimate to exercise that control." Read more about the Cycling Savvy course here.   

Columbus Living Up to Complete Streets Policy


In late June, advocates from Consider Biking helped officials in Columbus, Ohio, install sharrows on High Street. After a year of waiting, nearly 190 markers are now alerting motorists that cyclists have equal rights to the full lane. Much to Consider Biking's liking, the sharrows are highly visible and placed only 200 feet apart along the 6.5-mile stretch. That's not the only promising development in Columbus, a city that has a strong complete streets policy that aims to make roadways accessible to all users. In addition, Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman cut the ribbon on new improvements to Morse Street, which now boasts three miles of bike lanes.
Read more here.

Feet First Scores with World Cup Crowds


In July, Feet First used the biggest sports event of the year to raise awareness about the importance of walkable communities. When soccer fans gathered for a World Cup watch party in Nord Alley, the Seattle pedestrian advocates added an extra layer of intrigue. Using stats on the number of people who walk per capita and taking into account innovative projects, they forecast the semi-final winners based on each country's pedestrian-friendliness. "We looked at the World Cup as an opportunity to share with a diverse crowd the importance of walkable communities," says Ayaka Haga, the group's event coordinator. Read more here.

Wisconsin Bike Fed Gets Membership Boost from Retailers


Thanks to leaders at Trek and bike retailers in Madison, the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin could see a membership spike this summer.  At a number of participating bike shops in the capital city, residents who purchase a new ride also get a membership to the Bike Fed - for free. Retailers, like Machinery Row, say it makes sense to pick up the membership cost to inspire bike buyers to become bike advocates. "Right now we have a great opportunity in Wisconsin to improve cycling infrastructure," says Luke Bachelor-Clark, store manager at Machinery Row. "The Bike Federation is the group that will navigate the political scene and make things happen. Their success rate will improve greatly if they can say they represent more people.  There are tens of thousands of people who are interested in better biking and just don't know how to get involved and have their voices heard." Read more here.

Illinois Cracks Down on Reckless Drivers


Last month, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill that enhances the penalties for drivers who willfully or negligently endanger cyclists. Standing next to the Governor at the press event, Ed Barsotti, executive director of the League of Illinois Bicyclists, applauded the measure. "Most cyclists here have been threatened in various ways," Barsotti said. "The new bicyclist protection law... sets penalties for motorists driving recklessly close to, toward or near a cyclist and depending on whether serious injury results, it's either a Class A misdemeanor or a Class 4 felony act.  The new law will serve as a deterrent through education and as a prosecution tool." Read more here.

Advocates in Missouri Defend Against Bike Ban


Last month, when a county official in eastern Missouri proposed banning bicycles from a number of state highways, biking advocates packed the council meeting. A handful of advocates testified against the proposed measure, which flies in the face of state policy. Leaders with the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation launched an online petition opposing the ban. Click here to add your name. Check out the campaign's Facebook page, too.  

San Jose's "Green" Airport Grounds Bikes
bike ban

While officials poured nearly $2 billion into renovations aimed at making the San Jose International Airport a model of environmental responsibility, they forgot one crucial element of sustainability: bicycle access. When advocates from the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition rode out to see the new terminal, they were dismayed to spot "No Bikes" signs on the main roadway to the airport. "There were several others that have been removed," says Corinne Winter, SVBC's executive director. "We aren't happy with how the airport circulation element was designed in the first place. We didn't feel there were enough bicycle accommodations and now, apparently, they agree that it isn't safe there because they're tossing these signs up. So this might lead to a larger discussion." The SVBC has started an online petition to get officials to remove the signs and rescind the prohibition. Read more here.

An Advocates' Guide to Road Design


With a little help from an Alliance Advocacy Advance Grant, the Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling released a new resource that decodes transportation projects. The 32-page guide simplifies and streamlines the confusing road design process with easy-to-follow flow charts, handy check lists and explanations that make sense to folks who don't have a masters degree in urban planning. "As far as we know, no one has compiled material like this before," says Fionnuala Quinn, the primary author of the guide. "I wanted to use my background in civil engineering to help demystify the road design process and to help people take advantage of occasions to incorporate bike facilities whenever roads projects are being designed." Click here to read more or download the document.

Hotline Helps in Aftermath of Crash

crash support

In Chicago alone, thousands of cyclists and pedestrians are injured or killed in traffic crashes every year. Advocates at the Active Transportation Alliance know the confusing consequences often extend far beyond the immediate aftermath, so last month they opened a new Crash Support Hotline. "Crashes are an unfortunate reality on our streets," says Melody Geraci, interim executive director at the Chicago-based advocacy organization. "When they do happen, there are a lot of questions: What are my rights? Do I need a police report? When will I feel comfortable riding again? We are ready to lend that support." Staffed by trained volunteers, the Hotline acts as a resource for all post-crash questions, from logistical help to attorney referrals. Read more about Active Trans' crash support program here.

No More Playing Frogger in Ann Arbor


Pedestrians in Ann Arbor will no longer have to "play frogger" when crossing the street. With considerable help and encouragement from the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition, Ann Arbor's city council unanimously passed an ordinance that will require motorists to stop and yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks. The WBWC released an accompanying video demonstrating the perils that pedestrians face due to Michigan's culture of not stopping at crosswalks. To watch the video and for more information about Ann Arbor's click here.

Charleston Moves Pushes Battery to Beach Paths


Charleston Moves is working to connect downtown Charleston to its surrounding beaches with a network of safe, accessible bike paths. The 24-mile project will allow bicyclists of all skill levels to cruise to the beach or travel around town. Leaders from Charleston Moves also hope this project will promote a broader, regional mindset when it comes to bicycling and walking. For more information about this initiative, click here.

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