November 21, 2011  


Unfortunately, I have to report once again that cycling is in danger of Bike Summit 11 losing funding; and on top of that, there is a serious threat to our basic right to ride on Federal roads. We need to protect cycling and let Capitol Hill know why cycling is important to our communities, businesses, schools and families. Sign the petition, attend the National Bike Summit this March, and support the League so we can carry on our important work as effectively as possible. 


Andy Clarke,


League President

P.S. Have a great Thanksgiving riding with family and friends!

National News
Rights to the Road Petition   
The draft Senate transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the Bike Summit 11 21st Century Act (S.1813), includes a mandatory sidepath law for roads on Federal land. The proposed law would force cyclists off roads with an adjacent path and with a speed limit of 30mph or higher - regardless of the safety, condition or utility of the path. Right now, we want to show the Senate how important this issue is. As part of our I Bike. I Vote. campaign, please sign our petition opposing the mandatory sidepath provision. Share the petition with your club, friends and family too.
Federal Funding -- the Big and Bleak Picture  
If you are still wondering why Federal funding for bicycling projects is so important, or unsure whether your voice makes a difference ... read on. Funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects has been under repeat attack this year -- notably by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) -- and Transportation Enhancements (TE) only continue today thanks to bicyclists speaking up on several Senate votes. Unfortunately, the House transportation bill promises to be even worse -- it wont preserve any dedicated funding for enhancements, Safe Routes to School or the recreational trails programs. Look at what the Federal Government and your state spent on bicycling and walking throughout the years.

To prepare for what we could be facing, Darren Flusche, policy analyst at the League, crunched the numbers to see what the future could hold. It's not pretty.
International News
New Zealand Looking to Encourage Cycling 
This October, the New Zealand Transport Agency published the report Assessment of the Type of Cycling Infrastructure Required to Attract New Cyclists. The NZ Transport Agency is a Crown entity established under the New Zealand Land Transport Management Act 2003, and the objective of the Agency is to contribute to an affordable, integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable land transport system. Each year, the NZ Transport Agency funds innovative and relevant research that contributes to this objective. This research was conducted to find ways to encourage daily bicycling.
State & Local News
Wisconsin Governor Signs Bike Fed Legislation  
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed in to law the Bicycle Tune-up Bill (AB 265) -- a series of provisions to update old bike laws. Most notable, it is now legal for people who ride bicycles to signal turns with either the right or the left hand and to use red rear lights in place of rear reflectors. With the passage of this bill the Bike Fed of Wisconsin is now focusing all of its legislative effort on the passage of a Vulnerable Users law. This law will place higher penalties on motorists who either injure or kill vulnerable legal road users.
Research Supports that Trails Affect Property Value  
University of Cincinnati researchers Rainer vom Hofe, an associate professor of planning, and Olivier Parent, an assistant professor of economics, studied how regional trails affect property values -- and the results are not surprising at all. Their research on the Little Miami Scenic Trail - a 12-mile southern stretch of the trail that runs through the Cincinnati metropolitan region - showed a direct financial impact on residential property values in Hamilton County, Ohio. Using a research model they developed, Parent and vom Hofe found that from a real estate perspective, trails can have significant, positive spillover effects on property values when these properties are located within reasonable distances to the trails. Specifically, housing prices went up by nine dollars for every foot closer to the trail entrance. Ultimately, the study concluded that for the average home, homeowners were willing to pay a $9,000 premium to be located one thousand feet closer to the trail. Source University of Cincinnati
Pennsylvania Safe Passing Bill  
Pennsylvania might be the next state to join the short list of states that have a safe passing law. The Pennsylvania House has passed HB 170, the Safe Bicycle Passing bill.

According to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the law would protect cyclists in the following ways:
  1. Every car that passes a bike must give a minimum of 4-feet of clearance
  2. It will be against the law for a motor vehicle driver to pass a bicyclist and then veer sharply in front of forcing you to jam on your brakes to avoid injury
  3. It will be legal to ride a bike on the public road at less than the minimum speed  
  4. It will be legal for a driver to pass a bicyclist when it is safe to do so by crossing over a double line 

Residents of Pennsylvania, urge your state Senator to vote for the law without amendment. 

League News 
Our 2012 Goal -- Save Cycling   
The goal for 2012 is aggressive and specific: we're going to save cycling from funding cuts, bad laws and trash talkers. You can help the League accomplish this goal by giving generously -- your support makes a difference. If you'd rather give monthly or quarterly via your credit card, please click here. In thanks for helping create a brighter future for cyclists, donors of $100 or more will receive a Planet Bike taillight and bell set.

Read Andy Clarke's full end-of-year letter to our membership.
Club Insurance Review  
This session will be a "roundtable" discussion covering the 2011 League insurance program to help the League improve the 2012 Insurance package for clubs, advocacy organizations and rides. Feedback is welcome and encouraged. Marla Peters of American Specialty will panel. Please RSVP to Scott Williams for the December 6th EST session.

See our Club Leadership Training page for recordings and materials from past webinars, including recent presentations on Effective Club Web Sites, Social Events, and Diversifying your Membership and Outreach.

Action 2020 Workshops 
Advocacy Advance's -- a partnership between the League and the Alliance for Biking and Walking -- Action 2020 Workshops are designed for bicycle and pedestrian advocates, government agency staff, and elected officials to learn how to access untapped or under-utilized federal funding sources at the state, regional and local level to build bicycling and walking infrastructure and programs.

Upcoming Events
Houston, Texas Workshop -- The December 2 workshop is hosted by BikeHouston and the Houston Galveston Area Council. Register here.

Hartford, Conn. Workshop -- the Nov. 4th workshop was rescheduled for December 15. E-mail Darren Flusche with questions.

Learn more about Advocacy Advance's Action 2020 Workshops. Thanks to SRAM, the workshops are free.
Your Answers Make us a Better League    
Please take our League surveys for Members, Clubs and Advocacy Organizations so that we know how we can help you best. The results will shape our programming and benefits for the 2012 year. As an incentive for members to fill out the quick Member survey, one person will be chosen at random to receive $150. You can spend this money on new bike accessories, a down payment on your next bike vacation, or just dinner out with friends (perhaps after a great ride?).

Thanks in advance for participating!

Share this American Bicyclist Update with your cycling friends and fellow bike commuters. The generous support from the League's members make publications like this possible. Join the League today.
The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America's 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visit
In This Issue
Rights to the Road
Fed Funding Bleak Picture
NZTA Report
Wis. Gov. Signs Bike Law
Trails Up Property Value
Penn. Safe Passing Bill
2012 Goal
Club Insurance Review
Action 2020 Workshops
League Surveys
team 7-eleven
new zealand pedaltours
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