Wednesday, December 22, 2004

202 Alternate Makes the Headlines

An article in the West Chester Daily Local talks about the Chester County Cycling Coalition's proposed alternate to US 202 section ES1.

The article was peppered with the usual myths and pre-conceived notions that the word bicycle brings to people. When one resident was asked if she would use a trail to shop she said ""I would not walk any trail to do grocery shopping and I wouldn’t dare ride a bicycle"

When talking to the media maybe we as bicycle advocates need to take a line out of "Karl Rove's playbook" (probably the most overused election cliche') and develop a clear set of talking points and have everyone down the line stick to it.

So my brainstorming on this issue brought the following points to mind:

Safety safety for those who already walk or bicycle and in programs such as Safe Routes to School
Health The Surgeon General has stated that 30 minutes of moderate exercise such as bicycling and walking can reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease and obesity. The President himself bicycles nearly every day for his health.
Equality Bicycles and pedestrians account for 17% of all traffic deaths in our region yet PennDOT spend less than a penny of every transportation dollar on bicycle and pedestrian projects
Statistics On a typical day in the Delaware Valley 75,000 bicyclists make 120,000 trips.
Philadelphia has installed 190 miles of bike lanes and 1500 bike racks. As a result Philadelphia has the second highest percentage of bicycle commuters in cities with greater than 1 million residents.
Complete Streets that is streets and road that safely accommodates all modes of travel for all the reasons listed above. Accommodations should not simply be considered, they should be required unless there are extenuating circumstances such as cost or proven lack of demand.