Cities for Cycling, a new initiative to push bike planning innovation in America with roots in Portland, was officially launched at an event in Washington D.C. last night.
Streetsblog was at the event and reported this from New York City DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan:
“Some of the most celebrated and popular [bike] improvements are not even in the national guidelines,” Sadik-Khan explained, adding that C4C ultimately aims to help develop “a new MUTCD, designed for cities, not highways.”
Also at the event, held near Capitol Hill, were Portland Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Obama’s Federal Transit Administration head Peter Rogoff. According to Streetsblog, Blumenauer and Sadik-Khan “emphasized” that big jumps in bike spending “would require hard work and political organizing on the part of bike advocates.” This is political-speak for the importance of activism to create the political cover for pro-bike legislators like Blumenauer to take more bold steps.
Speaking of politics, Streetsblog also reported that Blumenauer mentioned that “in fairness” he feels that it would be a smart move if there was some sort of “tiny fee” that came from “the bicycling community” to help pay for better roads and infrastructure.
We’ve been down this road before. Last year, the BTA said they would support the “concept” of a bicycle excise tax. Let’s hope Blumenauer steps very carefully around this issue.
Cities for Cycling, which is a project of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), has also unveiled their new website. The site includes a set of Emerging Best Practices Sheets — which are essentially white papers on some of the innovative bikeway treatments that aren’t found in the widely used federal guidelines. Among those treatments are “Bicycle Preferred Streets“, (a.k.a. bicycle boulevards).
In a press release from NACTO about this new initiative, they included a chart illustrating the rise in bike commuting of participating cities:
Check out CitiesForCycling.org to learn more.