While every day is Bike to Work Day at Parks & Trails New York, May is recognized as the “official ” Bike to Work Month and Friday May 16th was Bike to Work Day. Nationally, the number of commuters who choose to cycle to work has risen dramatically and New Yorkers demonstrated their embrace of the idea with events and media coverage across the state.
In Albany, the Times Union came out in favor of a more Bikeable Capital Region. The Times Union also asked several of their staff journalist to describe their experiences biking to work in the capital city. Councilwoman Leah Golby also introduced a resolution in Albany Common Council recognizing May as Bike to Work Month in the Capital.
In Syracuse, Mello Velo bike shop offered a free breakfast for bike commuters, and a local newspaper kicked in with tips for safe commuting.
Buffalo’s take on Bike to Work month can best be described as eclectic. GOBikeBuffalo kicked off the month with Artists & Cyclists, a series of cycling-themed art installations, invited residents to bike to a Buffalo Bisons minor league baseball game, and hosted an event that focused specifically on women cyclists.
Rochester read a Bike to Work proclamation on May 7, and followed it up with a long list of rides, clinics, and workshops. The City also helped organize a “Kidical Mass” family bike ride along the Genesee River Trail on May 11.
The New York Times took a more personal approach to bike commuting, by describing the challenges faced, and injuries sustained, by several of its staff reporters who regularly commute by bike. In New York City, BikeNYC operated fueling stations and hosted a Bike to Work Challenge, among many other Bike to Work events.
Upstate, downstate, and across the country – Bike to Work events highlight not only the great progress that has been made in making streets safer for cycling, but also the issues that continue to confront bike commuters and all non-motorized road users. Too many roads are still dangerous for bike commuters, and many local traffic policies are not created with active transportation in mind. New York’s current ranking as the most dangerous state for biking and walking, with 27% of all roadway fatalities involving a cyclist or pedestrian, stands as a stark reminder of this.
That’s why we continue to advocate.
Parks & Trails New York works to increase safety of cyclists and all road users through the New Yorkers for Active Transportation coalition. At the state level, we’re asking legislators and the Governor to pass local speed control legislation, so that local communities have the tools they need to make their roads safe. We also have our eye on national legislation that affects cyclists and pedestrians, and join with national advocacy groups to make sure that cyclists and pedestrians are represented.
Here are a few steps you can take to move the issue in Washington:
- Ask your Representative and Senator to support the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act HR3494/S1708 which would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to set national performance measures to reduce the number of bicyclists and pedestrians who are killed on our roads.
- Send a message to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) asking them to require states to set separate safety performance measures specific to bicycling and walking as part of implementation of MAP-21. MAP-21 required the establishment of safety performance targets and gave states a significant increase in Highway Safety Improvement Program dollars to accomplish those goals. Presently, US DOT is asking states only to set a target for overall fatalities and serious injuries, meaning most of these safety dollars will go only to reducing motorized fatalities and serious injuries.
Happy Bike to Work Month!