July 29, 2008

National Bike Bill

Representative Earl Blumenauer from Oregon introduced House Congressional Resolution 305 (H.CON.RES. 305), otherwise known as the “National Bike Bill” and it was adopted by the House of Representatives back in May. This week it will come before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

The bill is a marvelous laundry list of things the federal government can do to expand the use of bicycles for transportation and recreation and reasons why they should.

Senator Cantwell is Washington’s representative on that committee, you can contact her through her website.

Here’s what I wrote. Feel free to borrow liberally.

Dear Senator Cantwell,

I’m writing to request your support for the National Bike Bill (H.CON.RES. 305), scheduled to be considered by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee this Thursday 7/31/08.

As our country embarks on an effort to move away from our dependence on petroleum, it is vital that we recognize the role cycling will play.

Nearly half of all trips in the US are three miles or less; more than a quarter are less than a mile, distances easily covered by bike.

Every mile traveled by bike rather than by car keeps one pound of climate-damaging carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

And yet, of all the trips in the United States, just two-thirds of a percent are made by bicycle.[1]

There is a huge opportunity here and H.CON.RES. 305′s recognition of cycling as part of our transportation solution is a step towards embracing it.

Thank you for your support,
Jeff Youngstrom
founder of GAIT: Getting Around Issaquah Together

[1] This statement and those in the previous paragraphs are from the Sightline Institute’s book Seven Wonders for a Cool Planet.

July 16, 2008

July meeting

A small but mighty group of GAITers met this evening at the police station. We had Becky, Jeff, Lori, Paul, and Shirley. And a post-meeting visit with Kent at the bike rack.

We looked at the list of 58 things for GAIT to do that we came up with back in May. In pretty short order we were able to identify seven general areas that encompass all those ideas:

  • Measurement
  • Advocacy
  • Promotion
  • Improvement
  • Education
  • Group Activities/Identity
  • Collaboration

And then we came up with some very rough draft statements of goals for each of those areas:

  • Develop methods of measuring the ability and utilization of walk/bike/bus transportation
  • Advocate walk/bike/bus transportation to citizens and city leaders and staff and business leaders
  • Promote GAIT as a group in the community
  • Improve the ability of people to get around Issaquah by walk/bike/bus
  • Provide materials and training to educate people of all ages how to walk/bike/bus around Issaquah
  • Organize activities to highlight the fun aspects of walk/bike/bus transportation and connect GAIT members
  • Collaborate with other groups and entities to accomplish our mission

Clearly they need some wordsmithing, so if you have a clearer way of phrasing any of these goal statements then let me know. Likewise if you can’t fathom what we meant by one or more of them it would be great to know that too.

Next time we’ll collect any improved phrasing anyone’s come up with and go back from the general toward the specific to define some specific objectives for us to work on going forward.

July 13, 2008

Issaquah buses at a glance

I put together a one-sheet summary of Issaquah bus routes to give to people trying to make sense of them. If you’d like to print a copy you can download (or view) it in PDF format. Or continue reading to see the contents in HTML for viewing here.

[read more...]