Saturday, May 07, 2005

Thoughts on the Bicycle Education Leaders Conference

Thoughts on the Bicycle Education Leaders Conference

I just returned from LAB's Bicycle Education Leaders Conference in New York this past week. The overwhelming theme this year was marketing bicycle education. According to Executive Director Andy Clarke LAB's LCI's through training and other local bike advocacy education initiatives have reached about 500,000 people in the past year. LAB plans to double the availability of LCI courses this year.

But that is less than 1% of the nations 80 Million Cyclists. Just as important, how do reach the nations 200+ million motorists.

Mr. Clarke went on in his opening speech to estimate that you may realistically be able to give school students up to 4 hours of training, a typical bicyclists maybe a half hour. The motoring majority about 30 seconds.

I was also impressed on the closing plenary which featured NY Transit Division Police Chief Scagnelli. This guy looks and talks like Robert DeNiro and he scared the hell out of me. But his TrafficStat program (modeled after NYPD's crimefighting CompStat) uses GIS and results oriented accountability to reduce bike/ped/auto crashes. The results have been dramatic, in 2004 NYC had the fewest traffic fatalities since 1908!

A memorable quote from Chief Scagnelli "The penalty for error should not be death".

The next conference will be in Austin in 2007, I am hoping that we can feature an improved and robust beach bike safety program in that conference.