National Bike Summit Kicks Off

The 2009 National Bike Summit is underway!

Yesterday begin with a great presentation on Copenhagen, include an introduction from the Danish Ambassador to the U.S.

Some of the key points are:

  • Most Danish do not consider themselves cyclists.  They’re just people riding bikes and most everyone is doing it.
  • They typically don’t publicly address safety. When you do, it makes people think cycling isn’t safe. Although they didn’t directly tie this to bike helmet promotion, almost none of the bikers in their presentation wore them.
  • 36% of all trips in Copenhagen are by bike.  That’s a higher percentage than cars or mass transit. Their goal? 50%.
  • Having a Bike-free day in Copenhagen would cause a bigger protest than car-free.

Congressman James L. Oberstar, the father of Safe Routes to School followed.  He mentioned:

  • A new aviation bill will ensure more bicycling facilities at airports.
  • “Bicycling is going to be available everywhere.”
  • “We need to make bicyclists a standard transportation mode by law.”  He will make sure the next transportation bill explicitly designates bikes as a mode of transportation.
  • Now going to be a mode of transportation.
  • Is cycling going to be in the transportation bill?  That’s not even a question.  The question is how much.
  • “We’ve got a generation of mobility-challenged children.”

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6 Responses to “National Bike Summit Kicks Off”

  1. Dave Says:

    Can you explain what it would mean to be designated a standard “mode of transportation”? I’m assuming this has some sort of legal ramification, but I’m not sure what it would mean in practice.

  2. Wonk Room » The WonkLine: March 12, 2009 Says:

    […] “Bicycling is going to be available everywhere,” House Transportation Committee chair James Oberstar (D-MN) told the National Bike Summit on Tuesday, explaining he “will make sure the next transportation bill explicitly designates bikes as a mode of transportation.” […]

  3. Todd Scott Says:

    Dave, I think it has more to do with being more explicit. Some argue that bikes are not transportation and therefore not eligible for transportation funding. This should make it easier to show these people that they are wrong.

  4. Todd Scott Says:

    I recalled the example Congressman Oberstar gave which should shed more light on this news. In Illinois a cyclist crashed due to a defect in the road. Road agencies have a duty to maintain roads for public travel. In Illinois the courts stated the road was not intended (although permitted) for cycling and therefore the road agency was not liable. This case referenced the federal highway code which has a highway (aka street) definition that does not include bicycles. That is likely the code Oberstar is looking to change.

    Here’s a link to the court decision:

  5. Wrapping up the National Bike Summit | Says:

    […] reported earlier that Congressman Oberstar said, We need to make bicyclists a standard transportation mode by […]

  6. PedalGR on WGVU’s The Morning Show | PedalGR Says:

    […] Greenways Coordinator Todd Scott covered things quite well – Kick-off dinner; Day 2 – Breakout sessions; Day 3 – Lobby day and our legislative “asks”; National Bike […]

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