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Big Cities Unite to Promote Cycling

Published December 14, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN)—Congressman Earl Blumenauer, New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, and artist/musician David Byrne joined officials from 15 big U.S. cities to unveil Cities for Cycling Tuesday, Dec. 8 at Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Cities for Cycling is a new effort by city governments to promote best practices in urban cycling and to increase the use of bicycles to improve urban mobility, livability and public health while reducing traffic congestion and CO2 emissions.

Bikes Belong and the SRAM Cycling Fund are providing support for Cities for Cycling—a project of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). Cities for Cycling is comprised of transportation and elected officials from Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

“The launch of Cities for Cycling shows that big-city mayors and transportation leaders see bicycling as a cost-effective urban transportation solution,” said Tim Blumenthal, Bikes Belong executive director. “The group will quickly become a respected voice in the growing movement to make bicycling safer and more convenient coast to coast.”

Cycling is booming in cities across the nation. According to the American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, bicycle commuting in the largest U.S. cities has increased by 50 percent since 2000.

Still, much work remains to make cycling a mainstream mobility option. Improving bicycling facilities has allowed cities like Portland and New York to vastly increase commuter cycling and reduce injuries and fatalities to cyclists. From protected cycle-tracks to bike boxes and special traffic signals for bikes, Cities for Cycling seeks to catalog and share these emerging best practices among leading cities and encourage State and Federal governments to adopt the new design treatments as standard practices.

“Cities have been going it alone with their bike networks,” said NYC Commissioner Sadik-Khan, who is President of the National Association of City Transportation Officials. “Cities for Cycling will create a forum to discuss and develop best practices and speed the adoption of innovative design guidelines at the federal and local levels.”

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