U.S. Mayors For Bicycling

For those who may not know, at the recent U.S. Conference of Mayors, held in Miami, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz was recently elected to serve as the longstanding organization’s President. Transit Miami has obtained a copy (below) of a resolution drafted by the Transportation and Communications Committee and adopted at this very conference. It is our pleasure to share it with you.

Although it doesn’t guarantee action, it certainly represents an understanding of the inherent benefits associated with bicycling, especially in urban areas. One can hope that it also demonstrates the progress America’s cities continue to make towards livability and sustainability. If anything, to my knowledge, such an on-paper commitment to bicycling has never been so far reaching in this country. Hopefully, this is just the beginning…

RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED AT THE

The U.S. Conference of Mayors

76th Annual Meeting

June 20-24, 2008

Miami

TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE

###

ENSURING BICYCLING IS INTEGRATED INTO NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION,

CLIMATE, ENERGY AND HEALTH POLICY INITIATIVES

WHEREAS, bicycling can provide multiple and cross-cutting

benefits in U.S policy initiatives that seek to address

transportation needs, limit climate change and energy

consumption and improve public health; and

WHEREAS, we now live in a nation with 300 million people, and

that number is expected to grow to 365 million by 2030 and to

420 million by 2050 with the vast majority of that growth

occurring in congested urban areas where there are significant

limitations on accommodating increased motor vehicle travel; and

WHEREAS, since 1980, the number of miles Americans drive has

grown three times faster than the U.S. population; and

WHEREAS, a national transportation system that invests in and is

conducive to bicycling reduces traffic congestion in our most

heavily congested urban areas while promoting an overall

improved quality of life that is valuable for the Nation; As

example:

More than 200 cities throughout the U.S., representing more

than 35 million people have committed to implementing bicycle

friendly action plans to make their communities more bicycle

friendly; and

The greatest potential for increased bicycle usage is in our

major urban areas where 40 percent of trips are two miles or

less and 28 percent are less than one mile; and

Surveys show that a majority of people want to ride more but

are dissuaded by concern over traffic danger and other

barriers, and case studies have shown that when those barriers

to bicycling are removed, people start riding; and

WHEREAS, a national network of interconnected urban and rural

bikeways can provide valuable community benefits, including low

or no-cost recreation and alternative transportation options for

people of all ages and abilities

WHEREAS, the transportation sector contributes one-third of the

greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and passenger

automobiles and light trucks alone contribute 21 percent

WHEREAS, 10 percent of global oil production goes solely toward

fueling America’s cars and trucks and the U.S. could save 462

millions of gallons of gasoline a year by increasing cycling

from one percent to one and a half percent of all trips; and

WHEREAS, bicycle commuters annually save on average $1,825 in

auto-related costs, reduce their carbon emissions by 128 pounds,

conserve 145 gallons of gasoline, and avoid 50 hours of gridlock

traffic; and

WHEREAS, over 800 of our Nation’s Mayors have signed onto the

Climate Protection Agreement of the United States Conference of

Mayors urging the Federal Government to enact policies and

programs to meet or exceed a greenhouse gas emission reduction

target of a seven percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2012;

and

WHEREAS, two years ago the Conference of Mayors unanimously

endorsed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, whereby a

key component is to implement climate-friendly land-use policies

and invest in public transportation and bicycle and pedestrian

infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, the Center for Disease Control estimates that if all

physically inactive Americans became active, we would save $77

billion in annual medical costs

WHEREAS, the United States is challenged by an obesity epidemic

in which 65 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight or

obese, and 13 percent of children and adolescents are

overweight, due in large part to a lack of regular activity; and

WHEREAS, the percentage of U.S. children who walk or bike to

school has dropped by 70 percent since 1969 such that only 15

percent of students were walking or biking to school in 2001

while the rate of childhood obesity has tripled in recent years,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of

Mayors believes that achieving increased levels of bicycling is

in the national interest; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors

encourages the development and implementation of a coordinated

national bicycling strategy aimed to increase safe bicycle use

as a mode of transportation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors

encourages the development of federal transportation,

environmental and public health policies that recognize

increased and safe bicycle usage for transportation is in the

national interest and that we further urge Congress in the next

federal transportation reauthorization to establish policies and

funding mechanisms that will aim to:

Reduce the number of motor vehicle miles traveled (VMT); and

Improve safety conditions for bicyclists; and

Collect transportation and safety data needed to monitor

progress; and

Provide incentives for state and local governments to adopt

and implement Complete Street policies designed to accommodate

all users; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that even absent federal incentives,

Governors and state-level leadership should embrace Complete

Streets policies that acknowledge the contributions of bicycles

as a means to reduce vehicle miles by integrating bicycle use

into standard street design; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that that the U.S. Conference of Mayors

calls on all Mayors that sign onto the Climate Protection

Agreement to develop and implement action plans to incorporate

bicycling programs and policies as a key component in reducing

greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors

encourages every mayor to strive to make their city a Bicycle

Friendly Community.

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