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-- "The Evolution of a Successful Bikeway System," Public Works, August 1983.
--Susan Sorensen, "Cities Making a Difference," Bicycling,
Integrating consideration of bicycle transportation into planning activities:
If improved funding is the key to implementing bicycle transportation programs, then the full integration of bicycling into all governmental planning processes is the key to initiating and sustaining them. This will involve: 1) adding of bicycle transportation to governmental policy agendas; 2)establishing guidelines for the treatment of bicycles in federal, state and local planning efforts (i.e., transportation, air quality, energy conservation, highway safety, urban development); 3) monitoring these activities through program/policy review; and 4) recommendations by appropriate associations (such as the Institute of Transportation Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, AASHTO, National League of Cities, and the National Association of Counties) that bicycles be given serious consideration in such program planning, design and implementation.
Two points deserve specific mention. First, the level of response to the Transportation System Management requirement that pedestrians and bicycles be considered in transportation plans must be increased if the 1985 goal for bicycle transportation is to be attained. Every effort must be made to insure, through rigorous program review, that bicycles are given more thorough consideration. Second, integration of bicycle considerations must entail more than simply adding a "bikeway plan" to the Transportation Improvement Program. Full integration of bicycle transportation necessitates, for example, an assessment of the positive and negative impacts of any proposed transportation project on bicycle use and bicyclists' safety. This distinction between a bicycle "add-on" approach and full integration is important. Full integration will open the door to a wide range of opportunities for incidental improvements for bicycling that might not be considered if bicycle transportation activities are conducted independent of other modal planning and programs.
Improving coordination of bicycle transportation activities:
A major institutional problem which has been identified is the poor coordination of bicycle transportation programs at all levels of government. Within various agencies, there is frequently no individual responsible for coordination the programs that are or should be taking place. Individuals and even agencies, operating in isolation, may respond to bicyclists' needs on a project-by-project basis, but often lack the authority to develop a comprehensive plan for integrating the bicycle into their program area. On a broader scale, there is usually no individual or agency in a position to oversee an entire jurisdiction's response to bicycle transportation. The result can be a duplication of effort, wasted program funds and situations where programs are developed and implemented by inappropriate agencies.
Therefore, a framework for coordinating the development and implementation of bicycle programs should be established at each level of government. This arrangement could include: 1) a bicycle coordinator in appropriate agencies; 2) an inter-agency bicycle task fore; and 3) bicycle advisory groups, representing the interests of all cyclists, to assist in the identification of problem areas and the development of program solutions.
Increasing the acceptance of bicycle transportation by transportation professionals:
Just as it is necessary to improve the public's perception of bicycling, organizations and professionals involved in bicycling programs need to be encouraged to consider bicycle transportation a legitimate and important area of responsibility. This involves a change in attitudes or perceptions that can be brought about through: 1) the inclusion of bicycle-related material in professional-training curricula; 2) the publication of bicycle-related articles in professional journals; and 3) the acknowledgement by professional associations of the importance of bicycle program specialists.
Increasing the knowledge and understanding of bicycle programs among transportation and related professionals:
Related to the improvement of attitudes is an increase in knowledge through the dissemination of information on bicycling needs, program options, technical resources and funding opportunities to professionals who are or should be involved in bicycle transportation. The first step in this process should occur in undergraduate and graduated professional training. Information related to the value to bicyclists of wide curb lanes or paved shoulders, for example, should be included in traffic engineering curricula and texts. This early orientation to bicycle considerations will not only provide technical information, but will also help establish the bicycle as a mode of transportation in the eyes of new professionals.
In-service training keyed to bicycle programs should be made available to all program specialists. A professional journal dedicated exclusively to bicycle programs to maintain regular lines of communication among the professional community should be supported by all levels of government. (Bicycle Forum is a good one, published by Bikecentennial folks in Missoula, Montana.)
--Bicycle Transportation for Energy Conservation, a report of the Secretary of Transportation to the President and the Congress, April 1980.
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Last updated: 7 April 1999