D.C. - May 1, 2012 - Americans want to ride their bikes, but Congress is
threatening to slam on the brakes.
May, millions of Americans will participate in National Bike Month,
showcasing the widespread desire to use bicycles as a healthy, affordable
and efficient form of transportation. Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists
and supported by the Sierra Club, the month
will feature more than 450 events across the nation, highlighting the
popularity of bicycling and the need for bike-friendly transportation
Already, Americans who ride bikes aren't getting their fair share. Biking
and walking account for 12 percent of all trips in the U.S. but receive
just 1.6 percent of federal transportation spending. Still, some members of
Congress want to eliminate those crucial dollars for biking and walking in
the next federal transportation bill.
"It's time for Congress to recognize the many benefits and rising
popularity of cycling and stop shortchanging Americans who choose to travel
by bike because it's good for their health, saves them money and improves
their community," said Andy Clarke, president of the League of
Even the current miniscule federal investment has produced massive results,
and benefits. Currently, less than 2 cents of every federal transportation
dollar go to biking and walking, but the number of bicycle commuters grew
40 percent between 2000 and 2010. That growth was even more dramatic in Bicycle Friendly Communities
that leveraged federal dollars to improve conditions for bicyclists,
skyrocketing by 77 percent between 2000 and 2010.
"Bike month is about smart investments in transportation
options," says Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director.
"More and more Americans are getting on their bike to get where they
are going. They are saving money, getting exercise and making what might be
the most radical act in America today-passing on the pump."
By continuing to shortchange people who ride bikes, Congress is out of
touch with the overwhelming majority of the U.S. population.
are driving less: The average resident drove
6% less in 2011 than 2004.
- The next
generation wants to bike more: The number of bike trips for
16- to 34-year olds grew 24% between 2001 and 2009.
- New polling
data from America Bikes, to be released next week, shows that the
vast majority of Americans support maintaining or increasing federal
funding for sidewalks, bike lanes and trails.
National Bike Month
events will showcase how Americans continue to embrace cycling and why Congress
needs to invest in smart, healthy, safe transportation choices -- like
bicycling. Find data, events and information about National Bike Month at bikeleague.org/bikemonth.
League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and
transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a
bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America's
57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. Learn more.
About the Sierra Club
Since 1892, the Sierra Club has been working to protect communities, wild
places, and the planet itself. We are the largest and most influential
grassroots environmental organization in the United States. Learn more.