Important Cycling Advocacy News for Today, February 1st

Important Cycling Advocacy News for Today, February 1st
American Heart Month - courtesy of www.heartofacyclist.com

One year ago today we were hunkering down for Snowmageddon.  On this February 1st, we can enjoy a nice bike ride!

The City Needs Your Input.  Tonight marks another public meeting for Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 at Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln from 6-8pm.  If you can't attend, there are webinars planned for Friday, February 3rd and Monday, February 6th listed at the official website.

CDOT is looking for your suggestions for protected bike lanes, bike boulevards, and overall cycling infrastructure improvements.  Join your allies from the ATA, League of Illinois Bicyclists, and Grid Chicago and help build a Chicago that values active transportation alternatives for every citizen.

The Road to Liberty is Paved with Complete Streets.  Funding for bicycling infrastructure is under attack by the US Chamber of Commerce and lobbyists representing freight haulers.  Legislation revealed yesterday not only outlines a desire to steal funding from bicycling and pedestrian projects, but it scraps Secretary La Hood's commitment to Complete Streets and strips him of any authority in appropriating transportation funds.

Yesterday, I attempted to create a SOPA-like, single talking point message that would help us attract and rally non-cyclists to support our cause.  Of the myriad benefits bicycling offers, one best applies to the greater good; Bicycles Protect Clean Air.

IMHO, if we want to gain support of non-cyclists and persuade them to take a moment out of their busy days to contact their representatives in Congress, we need to suspend highlighting our differences and reiterate our similarities.

We all want to breathe clean air.  Those of us that choose to bicycle are helping make that possible for everyone.

After watching Ron Paul's speech upon news of his trouncing in the Florida Primary last night, I found myself agreeing with his simple sentiment toward personal liberty.  We do need to promote individual liberty and its flip-side, personal responsibility.

While I vehemently disagree with his tactics - eliminating all regulations - I do believe that equal opportunity is the key to exercising liberty.  When it comes to transportation, every American should have the opportunity to choose which mode he or she favors; walking, biking, utilizing public transit, or driving.  In order to ensure every American's liberty, we need an equal amount of funding appropriated for pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure.

We need to stop prioritizing the needs of automobiles and commercial trucks over the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and patrons of public transportation.  The fuel tax shortfalls have created a need to not only claim our share, but take more general fund dollars to repair highways and bridges.  Those of us who do not choose to drive on the highways are being asked to subsidize those who do.

Our GOP Congress is in a double-down mode.  In addition to asking for all transportation funds, they are encouraging a 50% weight limit increase for commercial trucks.  In true Congressional irony, this decision will guarantee the need for more bridge and pavement repairs into the future because overweight semis cause the most damage to the roads!  I won't even get into the safety issue of compact cars sharing the road with these behemoths...

If you haven't already, please contact your representative and let him or her know that you stand with cyclists and the funding of active transportation alternatives.

February is American Heart Month.  Heart disease awareness is a very important topic for me, as I am a heart attack survivor.  If you or someone you love has been impacted by heart disease, please take a moment to learn about heart month and my involvement here.

Keep riding, supporting cycling, and be safe!

 

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