November 28, 2020

Advocacy

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It’s time to choose the future of American cycling

Toy Bicycle

Grouped with pedestrians as a Pedestrian-On-Wheels.

Separate, limited, dangerous, slow, substandard restricted system of lanes and paths.
 

Special classification of access, rights and rules.

Dangerous shared pedestrian paths.
 

Go somewhere to ride

Vehicular Cycling

Same rights and legal standing as every other vehicle operator.

Enforce safe sharable road design policies. Accommodation on every road. Sharable-width lanes, bikeable shoulders.

Same Roads – Same Rights – Same Rules

The safest form of recreational and utility cycling- by far.

Ride to go somewhere

 

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  The Shameful State of American Advocacy.  

Who claims to speak for You? Are you sure they do?

“Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.”
    – George Bernard Shaw

Do you feel that 93% of federal funding for bicycle transportation should be used for shared pedestrian/bicycle paths and trails with less than 2% going for such things as education, sharable-width lanes and bikeable shoulders? Does your bicycle advocacy organization measure success in terms of ribbon-cutting ceremonies? If so, congratulations- you are a modern American “bicycle” advocate and you are well represented. Transportation planners, state and federal departments of transportation, government funded bicycle-pedestrian groups, bike manufacturers associations and trade groups, powerful path and trail building organizations, environmental and outdoor recreation organizations, the motoring majority, and tragically many well-meaning cyclists and essentially every cycling club, organization and alliance all have your interests in mind.

“If American bicycle advocacy leaders had championed the civil rights movement, the “Dream” would have been reserved seating in the back of the bus.”
                – Jack R. Taylor

 

The American Toy-Bicycle SyndromeBike riders are unpredictable. Motorists should not have to dodge or be delayed by bicycles. Much more like pedestrians than vehicles, bicycles should not be on the roads at all. If a separate sidewalk or other pedestrian/bicycle path can not be provided, then bicyclists must be kept out of the way of motorists by the use of separate bicycle lanes.

How did this happen, and how does it continue?

The Toy-Bicycle Syndrome began in the 1950’s and is based upon the concept of bicycling as children’s’ play activity, which in fact it largely was in the America of 1950. In the 1970’s a fitness-crazed adult American public discovered the modern lightweight 10-speed bicycle and the “bike boom” began. Millions of cyclists took to the roads and panic set in with motorists and transportation planners that had long held the belief that bicycles belonged on sidewalks. Thirty years later, those same concepts prevail and control the American bicycling environment.

Worse than ignorance alone, the American public and transportation establishment base their beliefs and actions on a false foundation. Motorists and the vast majority of bicycle owners have no understanding

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Action Alert: Cutting Projects

On this coming Monday, April 20, the Transportation Policy Board at the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization will consider cutting already-approved projects, including some active transportation projects, to divert $600 million to rebuild I-35 in Central…

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Basic Guidelines on Safe Biking Now

It’s OK to ride your bike, but follow these tips to do so safely.

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COVID-19 Shelter in Place: What It Means for Austin Cyclists

Biking is more essential than ever. We also want to share that we’ve officially postponed Bike to Work Day until the fall, but May is still Bike Month and we’ll be offering some fun ways to engage those of you who still want to celebrate all things cycling.

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Do Bike Shops Provide “Essential Services” in the Time of COVID-19?

*UPDATE, Monday, March 30, 5p: The Essential Service FAQ page has been updated to specifically say bike shops ARE essential if they provide repair services. We are grateful to the Governor’s team for reassessing the status, and to many legislators who helped elevate the conversation to the right folks, and to the shop owners who filled out the designation request form and who are taking impressive steps to ensure there is no risk of contamination or spreading the virus.”

*UPDATE, Wednesday, March 25, 9:30p: We have just learned that the bike shop prohibition language has been removed from the Governor’s FAQ page, and though we are still asking for bike repair shops to be named as “essential,” this gives us confidence that the State is not prohibiting bicycle repair as a necessary service during these this Emergency Order. We advise all shops that choose to stay open to also check with their local municipality.*

*UPDATE, Wednesday, March 25, 8a: Per the Governor’s FAQ published after this blog, bike shops are NOT included as essential, however many municipalities are contacting shops and letting them know they consider them essential. We will be working with the administration to get this changed so there is clarity and consistency across the state from the Governor’s Office on this matter.*

Image result for mass.gov charlie baker

This week Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide COVID-19 Essential Services to close their locations through (at least) April 7. This is a crucial move to stem the spread of the Novel Coronavirus by limiting social interactions and preventing the contamination of public spaces. So what does this mean for your local bike shop?

Well, per the Governor’s list of “essential services” one could take a loose constructionist interpretation that bicycle repair shops fall into the Transportation and Logistics category, specifically “Employees who repair and maintain vehicles, aircraft, rail equipment, marine vessels, and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers.”

Obviously bicycle shops are providing transportation services by repairing and maintaining bicycles, which is the primary form of transportation for many essential workers such as hospital staff, grocery store clerks, and workers of all stripes — especially in Massachusetts’ urban areas.

Over the past week, the Frequently Asked Questions page regarding Essential Services had stated bike shops as not essential. However, due to a hearty advocacy push from MassBike, our partner advocates, bike shop owners, and concerned state reps and senators, as of Monday, March 30th the language has been changed to specifically state that bike shops CAN stay open if they provide bike repair services.

We are grateful to the Governor’s team for reassessing the status. And to many legislators who helped elevate the conversation to the right folks. And to the shop owners who filled out the designation request form and who are taking impressive steps to ensure there

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