39“Do you feel that 93% of federal funding for bicycle transportation should be used for shared pedestrian/bicycle paths and trails with less than 2% going for such things as education, sharable-width lanes and bikeable shoulders?” ProBicycle, Bicycle Advocacy by Bicyclists for Bicyclists
Everyone should take a lesson from the Dutch about how to accommodate bicycles on roadways. What a model of shared transportation! One can go anywhere on a bike in all of The Netherlands via designated bike lanes and be yielded to, as well as properly directed. This is a bike commuter’s dream: an entire cycling- friendly nation, its windmills wave to us in welcome, “Come on over and see how we bike to work, to shop, to school.”
In America, we have more space than sense sometimes. We have bigger and better roads than probably anywhere on earth, and we still build separate places for bicycles and call them greenways. It’s good that some of these projects offer parks and paths to areas which may not otherwise have them. Yet there’s little incentive to commute when unable to ride the most direct route to work or in competition with rollerbladers and dog-walkers.
So bicycle advocacy has moved beyond new trails to safe accommodation on roads with the same rights and rules as cars. In market economies, the harder, smarter workers are supposed to be rewarded with sustainability and profits. It’s time to reward bike commuters with safe road infrastructure and more widespread public education of motorists regarding bicycle awareness, rules, and driving habits on shared roads. We who choose to ride versus drive profit by reduced gasoline and health bills – that is if we don’t get hit by a car. Let’s reduce emissions and become a healthy, compatible, collision-free cycling republic.
Prayer for Cycling Advocacy
“Don’t stealthily move back the boundary lines or cheat orphans out of their property, For they have a powerful Advocate who will go to bat for them.” 40Proverbs 23:10-11
We are thankful for those lobbying for the bicycle as utility and recreational mode of transportation. We confess we don’t do enough to show others how to treat us on the road. We ask for more bike lanes and that bicycle awareness become a component of driver education.
Ponder Besides riding, how else am I a bicycle 41advocate? Affirm I will do one more action item to help this cause. Watch the bike advocates for opportunities to serve your community and your country.
39“The Shameful Side of American Advocacy,” under “Who Claims to Speak for You?” Copyright©1995-2008 by Chainguard and Probicycle www.probicycle.com
40The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
41League of American Bicyclists defines advocacy and these points for taking action: ride a bike; form an advocacy group/club; encourage friend/family to ride and employers to support commuting; speak to elected officials; respond to tragedy; and share the road. www.bikeleague.org