ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION NEWSLETTER
Welcome to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Active Transportation Newsletter. This publication is a component of our 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation to double federal funding for trails, walking and biking by 2010. The emphasis is on securing focused investments in active transportation in dozens of communities across America. These newsletters highlight campaign activities, best practices, research and campaign organizing strategies.
Case Statement Countdown:
RTC needs your case statement by June 30, 2008, to include in a national story. For more information, see the campaign guidance document.
Contents of this issue:
- Campaign forum to precede Bike Summit
- Campaign organizing opportunity: Bike-to-Work Day
- Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Programs: interim report
- New campaign Web site
- "Healthy Communities, Safe Streets" Webinar
Please let us know if you have suggestions for a future issue.
1. Campaign forum to precede Bike Summit
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy will hold a 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation Forum the afternoon prior to the League of American Bicyclists' Bike Summit in Washington, D.C., in early March. This meeting for those engaged in local campaign activities will provide:
- Updates on federal transportation policy developments pertaining to reauthorization;
- Opportunities to learn from peers about their local campaign activities, and;
- A chance to ask questions of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy campaign staff.
WHAT: 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation Forum
WHERE: RTC's new national headquarters at 2121 Ward Place NW, Washington, D.C.*
WHEN: Tuesday, March 4, 2008, 1:30-4 p.m.
Please RSVP to email@example.com if you plan to attend, including the name of your community. We will provide further details soon.
If you have not already done so, consider registering for the Bike Summit, an important gathering to learn and inform Congress about the value of bicycling. Note that registration fees will increase by $100 on February 5, 2008.
We look forward to seeing you in March.
* Note: We will be moving into our new building a week before this forum. We apologize for any dust, debris or unpacked boxes as we settle in!
2. Campaign organizing opportunity: Bike-to-Work Day
As your 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation effort progresses, consider utilizing the momentum around your city's Bike-to-Work Day to generate public support. This year's national Bike-to-Work Day will be on Friday, May 16, 2008. However, note that communities often elect to organize on a different day, typically sometime during Bike-to-Work Week, May 12-16, 2008.
Bike-to-Work Day presents an outstanding opportunity to spread the message about the campaign in your community! Here's a strategy suggestion for making the most of the event:
- If you don't know whether your community is holding an event, check with the League of American Bicyclists. Involve yourself in the planning process to ensure that your community's involvement in the 2010 Camaign for Active Transportation plays a part in the day's events.
- Ask an inspirational public figure to speak at the event, painting a picture of how an infusion of resources, energy and community support could shape your local active transportation scene. Be sure this speaker uses specific local examples.
- Invite your congressperson to speak immediately following this individual. Think carefully about how best to ensure your congressperson will participate and support your message. Scheduling your congressperson immediately after the previous inspirational speaker ensures that he or she will experience the enthusiasm of your message.
- Be prepared to follow up on whatever next steps make the most sense in light of the event.
This has the opportunity to be your best Bike-to-Work Day yet! It's a great chance to give your campaign an infusion of energy to ensure the best possible campaign outcome, so don't let the chance slip away.
3. Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Programs: interim report
An interim report on the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program has just been delivered to Congress from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The report includes detailed demographic, economic and travel characteristics of each community, along with progress and program implementation data. Of particular interest in the report are the methodology, project selection, and specific results from walking and biking travel behavior.
According to the report, bicycling and walking trips in these communities range from 7.3 percent of all trips made by individuals in Sheboygan, Wis., to a surprisingly high 19.6 percent in Minneapolis. Further, given that the vast majority of transit trips are accessed by walking or biking, the percent of total nonmotorized trips is even higher, thereby demonstrating the opportunity for shifting travelers from single-occupancy vehicle trips.
"This just goes to show that, for many travelers, the automobile is not always the mode of choice and that safe and convenient options will lead them to use their bicycles or their feet to get around," says Columbia, Mo., Mayor Darwin Hindman. Adds Marin County, Calif., Supervisor Steve Kinsey, "This program, and its legacy, will change the face of transportation in communities across the country. Its contribution, and that of walking and bicycling, to the nation’s fight against global warming will be notable."
A draft of the report can be downloaded here. Note that this draft does not include a few technical corrections that will be found in the final report, to be posted on the Federal Highway Administration's Web site.
4. New campaign Web site
We've revamped the 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation Web site! With easier access to more information, we hope you'll be able to use this site as an invaluable resource for your campaign efforts.
New material is frequently added to the site, so be sure to check back regularly.
5. "Healthy Communities, Safe Streets" Webinar
This Monday, February 4, 2008, consider participating in a "Healthy Communities, Safe Streets: Preventing Injuries Through Community Design" Web seminar (webinar). The webinar is hosted by the State and Territorial Injury Prevention Directors Association (STIPDA), the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO).
From the webinar description: "This webcast will address the impact of the built environment and community design on community safety and safe, accessible physical activity. Presenters will describe injury patterns associated with the built environment, and will present collaborative opportunities and best practices for fostering infrastructure and policies that permit safe walking, biking, and other physical activity and mobility in community settings. Presentations will focus on pedestrian safety, safe routes to school, and innovative partnerships with chronic disease, transportation, education, and other stakeholders."
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