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We need volunteers to help count bicyclists and pedestrians in 25 cities in Washington this week.

If you are available for a 2-hour shift on September 29, 30 or October 1, please help us to count pedestrians and bicyclists between 7 – 9 am or 4 – 6 pm.

The Cascade Bicycle Club is working with the Washington State Department of Transportation to track growth in bicycling and walking.

We’ll collect data to advocate for better sidewalks, bike lanes and other safe facilities.

It’s easy!  Just e-mail organizer@cascadebicycleclub.org and we will set you up with instructions and let you know which intersections need volunteers.

For more information on the Project, click here.

If you can’t join us, please help us to recruit more volunteers by forwarding the message along to your friends in Bellevue, Bellingham, Bothell, Bremerton, Burien, Ellensburg, Everett, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Longview, Kelso, Oak Harbor, Olympia, Richland, Redmond, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Walla Walla, Wenatchee, Yakima, Ferndale, Lynden, Tukwila, and Burien.

They can contact us at: organizer@cascadebicycleclub.org or 206- 957-0689.

Thank you for your help. Please contact us with any questions!

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We have a tremendous opportunity to support a more bike-friendly future- please submit your comments by Friday to make the right choice for our region.

The Puget Sound Regional Council is updating the current regional transportation plan. Five alternatives have been analyzed, and the choice made will greatly impact how we plan our communities and get around. (You can read the draft environmental impact statement of Transportation 2040 here.)

Out of five alternatives:

- Only Alternative Five makes significant reductions in all harmful pollutants measured.

- Only Alternative Five comes close to meeting the goals established in state law for reducing vehicle miles traveled.

- Only Alternative Five makes significant investments in bicycling for transportation. It would use only one percent more of our transportation funding to build 600 more miles of bicycle trails and other facilities!  None of the other options focus on walking, biking or transit to solve congestion and health problems.

Click here and tell the Puget Sound Regional Council it’s time to change our transportation priorities.

Your voice will help create more sustainable communities.

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Cascade Bicycle Club, a leader in creating more livable communities through bicycle education, advocacy, events and commuting and riding programs, announces that Wednesday, April 1, 2009 is “Jurassic Petroleum” Drive to Work Day.

Cascade Bicycle Club invites regular non-drivers to join millions of car commuters for “Jurassic Petroleum” Drive to Work Day. While almost two thirds of Americans drive, 37 percent are pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and can’t or don’t get behind the wheel each day.

In the state of Washington, over two million people do not participate in the act of driving an automobile. Alarmingly, this number may be increasing. The INRIX National Traffic Scorecard showed a three percent decline in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 2008 from 2007. This resulted in a reduction of road congestion by 30 percent, meaning that our citizens spend much less time in their vehicles. Increases in the number of people who walk, bicycle and ride transit are contributing to a decline in driving that, if continued, would one day make cars scarce on our roads. Our citizens, as well, may shrink in size and become gradually healthier. Something must be done to curb excessive fitness, as increased life expectancies would further tax our broken Social Security system.

Cascade Bicycle Club would like to ask Americans to renew their commitment to driving by leaving their bus passes or bicycles at home. If the cost of parking or gas is a burden, employees may request that their employers help offset those costs by participating in Jurassic Petroleum’s Drive to Work Day.

For media inquiries or more information, click here.

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Last week at the National Bike Summit, Rep. James Oberstar (head of the House Transportation Committee and a bicycle commuter) pledged to bring us nationally to “Copenhagen levels of bicycling.”  In case your only Danish points of reference are pastries and large blue cookie tins, half of Copenhageners commute by bike.  While this may be an unrealistic goal in the US, there’s low-hanging fruit in our large cities.

Localities often have the ingenuity and flexibility to drive change, and more metropolitan areas are recognizing positive impacts of bicyling on the road and for public health.  The majority of trips we make nationwide are less than three miles, so encouraging bicycle transportation for commuting and short trips through the day is a no-brainer.

Summit attendees agreed that much can be learned from each city’s strengths, though all have at least one blind spot.  New York is striping lanes at a breakneck pace and even closing part of Broadway to cars!  But they don’t have enough bike racks to accommodate hordes of new bicyclists, while Chicago is a leader in providing bike parking.  Coordinated data will soon reveal where better facilities, and innovative safety and eduction programs, are getting more cyclists on the road.

What’s keeping more people from riding more often in Seattle?  Is it safety concerns, the weather or simply the distances needed to be travelled? Add your feedback to the 2009 Report Card on Bicyling by taking Cascade Bicycle Club’s survey here.

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A safer Nickerson Street is in the works to connect Seattle neighborhoods- but your comments are needed to make it happen. The City plans to add bike lanes and create better conditions at intersections that will create a far more comfortable – and less nerve-racking – ride for both commuters and recreational riders.  This is an important connection to the Fremont bridge and the Burke-Gilman, the new Chesiahud trail along Lake Union, Queen Anne, and points west in Interbay and beyond.

Please stop by the open house  this Wednesday, March 4 between 5 and 7 p.m. to comment in favor of a better Nickerson for bicycling, at Seattle Pacific University’s Demaray Hall, at 509 West Bertona St.

Thank you for your advocacy!

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Cascade Bicycle Club and ally, Transportation for America, need your help right away.  We need you to call Lindsay Einhaus, transportation staff for Senator Murray, at 202-224-0235 and ask for funding for better surface streets for pedestrians, bicyclists and other nonmotorized users across America.

“We just received word that a Murray-Feinstein amendment on infrastructure spending in the Senate economic recovery bill will go live in about an hour…we are dismayed to see that the Senate stimulus proposal increases funding for highway construction with no accountability provisions in place for prioritizing maintenance and repair or for meeting national goals of reducing emissions and achieving energy independence…

“We see two different ways that this could be achieved given what appears to be a lack of giving any detailed guidance.
- An immediate soft screen on [surface transportation] funds now, saying “states should give priority to projects that will bring roads, bridges, and other transportation system elements up to a state of good repair, and to transportation projects that will increase America’s energy independence.”
- A firmer second-phase screen could require “that [Dept. of Transportation] develop criteria for funds that are distributed or redistributed 180 days after enactment of the economic recovery program to ensure that these expenditures contribute to timely progress in increasing America’s energy independence, expanding travel choices, reducing traffic growth, ensuring efficient transportation system operation, and ensuring that all roads, bridges, and other transportation system elements are brought to a state of good repair.

“I realize that the timeline for this is extremely tight, but given the ramifications for this bill, we ask that you call Senator Murray’s office to push for necessary accountability language in the Senate stimulus legislation. We cannot allow such a large investment in infrastructure go to waste without providing any direction.

“We’ve got C-SPAN up in the office and will keep you posted on new developments.”

Here is language from the amendment, which I would say is a little unbalanced!  Notice the lack of funds for better surface streets.

”    The amendment makes these investments in a balanced fashion, providing robust funding levels for the following programs:

o    Highways – The amendment increases highway investments by $13 billion, supporting an additional 362,000 jobs.  Adopting the amendment will increase the total highway investment from $27 to $40 billion.  The highway funding will be provided as grants to states and local communities and distributed by formula.

o    Public Transportation – The amendment increases investments in public transportation by $5 billion, supporting an additional 139,000 jobs.  Adopting the amendment will increase the total investment in public transportation from $8.4 billion to $13.4 billion.  ”

Stay tuned for updates- as I write, Sen. Murray is speaking on the floor.

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