A Word From Our Director……….. John Long

I am passing along this letter from the League of American Bicyclists about a new report on highway safety. “This report…emphasizes the need for better data, law enforcement training, and roadway improvements rather than placing the responsibility for addressing bicyclist safety to cyclists themselves.” We have begun this work in Houston — see Jessica Wiggins’ report (Here) about our ongoing work with HPD and TxDOT — we have taken the first steps in this direction and we have so much further to go.

Here’s the letter:
“John,

As the League of American Bicyclists’ Policy Director, I had the opportunity to work with the Governors Highway Safety Association and other traffic safety experts on a report sponsored by State Farm and focused on highway safety. The report found that bicyclist deaths rose 12.2% in 2015, the largest percentage increase of any roadway user group that year. In response to this safety crisis, the GHSA’s report details 30 life-saving actions that states can take to reduce deaths and injuries among people who bike.

As the League of American Bicyclists’ Policy Director, I had the opportunity to work with the Governors Highway Safety Association and other traffic safety experts on a report sponsored by State Farm and focused on highway safety. The report found that bicyclist deaths rose 12.2% in 2015, the largest percentage increase of any roadway user group that year. In response to this safety crisis, the GHSA’s report details 30 life-saving actions that states can take to reduce deaths and injuries among people who bike.

Notably, this report, A Right to the Road: Understanding & Addressing Bicyclist Safety emphasizes the need for better data, law enforcement training, and roadway improvements rather than placing the responsibility for addressing bicyclist safety on bicyclists themselves. This is a shift from past reports and press releases that often emphasized bicyclist behavior rather than all of the circumstances and motorist behaviors that make bicycling less safe. I am very excited that this means we can have a more productive conversation about creating a systemic change to an unsafe transportation rather than focusing on changing individual behaviors.

This report is an important step in educating state highway safety offices about bicyclist safety issues and presenting real-world solutions along with funding opportunities. These offices have the difficult task of addressing unsafe road user behavior without always having a direct role in how roadways are built. The report highlights opportunities such as the 405(H) Non-Motorized National Priority Safety Program, which was a major point of our advocacy in the last federal transportation. The Report also extensively references the League’s bike law resources, which can provide valuable additional detail if you or your highway safety agency has questions about bicycle laws.

I am glad that I was able to contribute to this report. I think it is a great resource for individuals who want to know more about bicycle safety efforts, state and local agencies looking to address bicycle safety issues, and everyone who wants to know more about why bicyclist safety is a persistent issue in our current transportation system.

Ken McLeod
Policy Director”

*Post Harvey Update*
The past ten days have been full of trial and tribulation. Sixty people lost their lives.  Nearly 100,000 homes were damaged and upwards of 1 million cars were destroyed.  In response, Houston’s people, businesses, and organizations have stepped up to help our vulnerable and needy neighbors.

Many of us have lost our primary means of transportation. Bicycles could help keep Houston rolling. Along with METRO bus, light rail, walking, ridesharing services and carpooling, bicycles would offer a multi-modal transportation solution for people in need of new answers.

Our friends at Houston Bike Share have invited us to be part of the solution, and we’re inviting you to participate. Their creative proposal is below.

#keephoUStonrolling

I WANT TO BIKE HOUSTON

Join BikeHouston and help change the way Houston bikes, walks, drives and lives.

Volunteer

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