Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on July 1st, 2008 at 10:19 am
Larger version here (PDF)
The Portland-based Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) has joined onto a campaign with bicycle advocacy groups from New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., to help launch Independence from Oil Day.
The effort will kick off this Friday (July 4th), and the idea is garner media attention while calling on Americans to take part in “Gas Free Fridays” and pledge to make more gas-free trips.
The campaign also hopes to put bike-related legislation in the spotlight of Congress during the General Election and in the run-up to the reauthorization of the Transportation bill next year.
The group behind this effort is an informal coalition that calls themselves the Urban Bike Caucus.
The group includes the leaders of bike advocacy organizations from several major U.S. cities including:
- Paul Steely White, Transportation Alternatives (NYC);
- Eric Gilliland, Washington Area Bicyclist Association
- Jeffrey Miller, Thunderhead Alliance;
- Randy Neufeld, Chicagoland Bicycle Federation;
- Scott Bricker, Bike Pittsburgh (yes, the same name as Bricker from the BTA);
- Leah Shahum, The San Francisco Bike Coalition;
- Rob Sadowsky, Chicagoland Bicycle Federation;
- Noah Budnick, Transportation Alternatives;
- and Alex Doty, the Bicycle Coaltion of Greater Philadelphia.
(Photo: Philadelphia Bicycle News)
Karl Rohde, the BTA’s government and public affairs director says this campaign also illustrates their growing commitment to work with other advocacy groups and leverage their membership base to support bike-friendly legislation on the federal level. “It’s kind of a rallying call to Congress,” he told me via phone this morning, “We [the ad hoc coalition] will send out an action alert to Congress urging them to support bike-related legislation.”
Rohde said examples of legislation they will make congress aware of include Complete Streets bills, the National Bike Bill, and the Gas Price Relief Act that was introduced by Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer yesterday.
As for the pledge, Rohde says the group is still working on a website so people can get involved with the campaign.
Read the full press release here (PDF, 108KB).
This campaign reminds me of something I did three years ago (before I launched BikePortland.org and was still blogging on Oregonlive.com). I posted the Freedom From Cars Declaration on July 4th, 2005 and asked folks to sign on.