In some ways 2012 was a tough year for bicycling, since Congress slashed federal funding for bike/pedestrian projects by 30%. Yet bike advocates and Bicycle Alliance members and supporters can point with pride to the impact of our efforts and celebrate the foundation we’ve laid together for even greater accomplishments in 2013. Watch this blog for progress reports on these and other projects:
- Our Neighborhood Safe Streets Bill, which would permit cities to lower the speed limit to 20mph without expensive and unnecessary engineering studies, made it through the state House of Representatives on a unanimous vote in the 2012 session. We’re already working to ensure its passage into law in 2013 and have legislative sponsors lined up in both House and Senate.
- We have championed Safe Routes to School funding successfully since its inception to make it safer for our kids to bike and walk to school. We’ll be working in the upcoming session on new approaches to funding school transportation and to defend the win we had this summer when the governor’s advisory committee recommended using federal highway safety dollars to fund Safe Routes–for the first time ever.
- We started mapping the first segment of the US Bicycle Route System in Washington across the northern tier of the state with the help of local riders and clubs. When approved the route will become part of the official highway manual—biking will really be on the map!
- We’re always educating people who drive, walk, or bike to make your interactions on the street safer. Click around our newly revamped website for bike law links and more.
- We’re at the table not only when laws are written but also when long-range policy plans are developed by every state entity with the word “transportation” in its name. We’re working every day to shape a future vision that will treat bikes as mainstream transportation. In 2013 we’ll be helping write the next update to the statewide traffic plan.
We can’t do any of this important work without the support of people who bike all across Washington. As the year draws to a close we hope you’ll make three bike-friendly resolutions for 2013:
- Invite a friend to join the Bicycle Alliance. (You could send a link to this post along with your own list of reasons why being a member really matters.)
- Get a Share the Road license plate if you don’t already have one to show your bike pride even when you drive.
- Reach a new biking goal, whether it’s taking your first overnight bike camping trip, riding to work for the first time (or every workday all year round), or biking somewhere in Washington you’ve never seen before. Then tell us about it with a guest post for our blog, a note or picture on Facebook, or 140 characters on Twitter. We love to hear great bike stories.
Happy pedaling in 2013 and beyond!
PS: You’re counting on us to be your voice in Olympia, and we’re good at it–we’ve led the efforts for passage of the majority of bike legislation adopted in the last 25 years. Your support makes it possible for us to work every day to help make Washington even more bike-friendly. Thank you!