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Trying to promote biking and walking in my town

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Trying to promote biking and walking in my town

Old 11-13-11, 08:27 AM
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BAH
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Trying to promote biking and walking in my town

The town we recently moved to is small, flat and historical so when we moved here I was surprised how few people bike and walk. I'm going to try to change that and through some unconventional methods I seem to have gotten the ear of the downtown association, the president of the local college and city hall. What I need now are good articles on the benefits of walking and cycling for individuals and more importantly cities(for what I'm trying to accomplish) If you have favorite articles, especially ones that aren't too heavy handed on the environmental angle, please post them here.

If you'd like to see more, check out litter patrol on facebook, or I have a photo only documentary at https://litterpatrol.wordpress.com

Thanks for any help


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Old 11-13-11, 09:05 AM
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Don't have any off the top of my head, but I've lost 108 pounds by walking/biking/skiing. Feel free to use my anecdote
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Old 11-13-11, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
Don't have any off the top of my head, but I've lost 108 pounds by walking/biking/skiing. Feel free to use my anecdote

Woah!! Nice work!
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Old 11-13-11, 02:31 PM
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You could also a reverse pyschology approach. Target car drivers.

A small town in Sweden sponsored a city wide contest called "Silly uses of cars" where drivers got to tell their stories about travelling one block to buy a toothpick...

Something to get the drivers thinking...

However, the truth is that a truly effective campaign needs to go on for years to help change minds.
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Old 11-13-11, 02:57 PM
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Cycling is good for health, wealth, and public finances.



Cycling to work reduces the risk of premature death by 40%. (Copenhagen Heart Study, Andersen et al., 2000)

Cyclists who cover at least 25 miles each week can halve their risk of heart disease (Morris et.al., 1990)

Cycling increases bone density, which offsets osteoporosis. (Hillman, 1992; Cavill and Davis, 2003)

Cycling improves psychological and mental well-being and self-esteem as well as reducing the risk of stress, depression and anxiety (Pearce et al.. 1998; Shayler et al., 1993; Cavill and Davis, 2003)


Life years gained by cycling outweigh life years lost in accidents by 20 to 1 (Baden et al., 1998)
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Old 11-13-11, 03:27 PM
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For the City, increased cycling means reduced demand for emergency services, greater availability of parking in retail areas, and a shift in consumer spending towards items that generate more local tax revenues. (Every gallon of gas is $3.75 of consumer spending that generates no Washington sales tax and minimal local economic activity, since most of the revenue goes to out-of-town oil companies and state/Federal taxes. Those who shop by bicycle are also more likely to shop locally in a dense retail core, rather than going miles out of town to big-box sprawl.) Most old downtowns see big-box retail as a major threat -- cyclists are a natural market for them to pursue.


This is a great time of year to start planning for Bike Month. With Washington's weather, it's easier to get people to start cycling in early summer. If you can get them started in May, many will continue into Fall, and some will keep at it all year. Are there any businesses that already promote Bike Month in town?

It's also a good time for last-minute Christmas planning. Know any local organizations that do present drives for kids? Team up with a local bike shop to accept donated bikes, tune them up, and make them available for lower-income families. It isn't just about getting the bikes to the kids, it's also a way to develop volunteers and contacts for other cycling promotions.

If Centralia still has a small-town parade every summer, does it include a children's bicycle parade? It should, they're lots of fun. But getting all those kids on bikes means parents have to get out on bikes, too. And then they all need something to do after the parade -- a good incentive for local businesses to make sure they have bicycle parking for families.

Does your school district face funding shortfalls for bus transportation? (And if they don't yet, will they after the Legislature gets done with its special session?) If you can get PTA and District involvement, "walking school bus" and "bicycle school bus" programs can allow school districts to spend less on bus transportation while improving student health and safety. (They also promote a sense of community, having people out on the streets and sidewalks actually meeting their neighbors.)

Speaking of safety, it's not a bad time of year to remind people about disaster preparedness -- wind storms, flooding, whatever the winter may bring. If there are a hundred trees down between your office and your kids waiting at home, you can pick your bicycle up and step over the trees a lot faster than you can wait for streets to be cleared for your car. Even if you don't normally commute by bicycle, every household should probably have at least one working bicycle for emergency situations.


You're a bit outside the core territory of Cascade Bicycle Club, but you might want to contact them for more suggestions on increasing cycling. They have lots of resources and experience.
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Old 11-13-11, 04:33 PM
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Try a week-long cycling challenge with someone who works at the local paper, preferable office based rather than roving reporters. Fit them up with a practical utility bike with lights, luggage etc and make sure they are riding easy distances. If you can get a nice middle-aged lady to do a week of cycle commuting you can eliminate much of the machismo and "work ethic" pain that people associate with cycle commuting. Too many of these challenges involve couch potatoes suddenly riding 2x 15 mile commutes on racing bikes
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Old 11-13-11, 04:50 PM
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https://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/20...car-ownership/
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Old 11-13-11, 05:00 PM
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Try to get the local media to run a story about your story. Basically why you moved, how long you've been biking, and what benefits you've gained. The more personal stories tend to be the most persuasive i've found.
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Old 11-13-11, 09:43 PM
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Our mayor just had a weeklong car-free challenge. You need events and publicity not articles.

Mayors-Car-Free-Challenge
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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 11-14-11, 11:32 AM
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all great info, thanks especially jputnam!
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Old 11-14-11, 11:51 AM
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Same here, no one really bikes much.

I'm speaking at the Relay for Life tomorrow night. I am doing a 1000 mile "Ride for Relay" or "Ride for Life". Where I am going to log 1000 miles on my bike between January and the night in may that they have the event. The goal is to get people pledge/donate $10 if I make it. By doing this I believe they are going to put an article in two local newspaper, and I will be speaking on a radio station. I'll be wearing a purple jersey. I'm also at some point see if I can get some "Share the Road" bicycle signs put up.

With the advertising of the event, I hope it also promotes cycling and healthy living.
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Old 11-14-11, 07:42 PM
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The Real Reason Why Bicycles Are the Key to Better Cities


I think this is what you're looking for. It's very well stated and original. Enjoy.
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Old 11-14-11, 10:51 PM
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This from a larger town around here (Springfield mo) but seems to get lot of press!
https://www.ozarkgreenways.org/bike-to-work/index.php
this organization works with the city on lots of pro bike projects! I'm not in any way conected to them, but I hope it helps!
Terry
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Old 11-15-11, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by jputnam View Post
Cycling increases bone density, which offsets osteoporosis. (Hillman, 1992; Cavill and Davis, 2003)
While I applaud the efforts, and the sentiments here, I couldn't help but notice your inclusion of these articles and this statement. Because this topic has been vehemently dicussed here on BF (and believed by most, including me, to be false), I couldn't believe that someone found an article to prove this point, so I looked up this article, where they said specifically the opposite:

"Physical activity has a positive impact on osteoporosis - a bone disorder defined
in terms of abnormally low bone mineral density. Osteoporosis increases the risk
of fracture and often causes pain, disability and deformity. Physical activity that
includes a measure of impact such as running, jumping and skipping, (but not
cycling)
can increase bone mineral density (BMD) in adolescents, maintain it in
young adults, and slow its decline in old age45. Physical activity can also reduce
risk factors for osteoporotic fracture, such as low body weight." (Cavill and Davis, 2003)

Next, I looked up Hillman's Cycling and the promotion of health. PTRC 20th Summer Annual Meeting, Proceedings of Seminar B, pp
25-36, 1992. Guess what? It doesn't even mention bone density among the benefits of cycling. Sorry.


So, to the OP, do your homework before you cite works that others have referenced for you. It took me all of three minutes to find the opposite evidence. Because I am a cyclist, I understand the cause, and agree with its importance. If I were not, however, I would have stopped listening to whatever you had to say, no matter how accurate the rest of your facts were, and chalked you up to a raving fanatic...

Good luck with your cause, I'm sure you'll change the lives of those who give it a chance.
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Old 11-16-11, 04:09 PM
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Thanks for the input all and very good thoughts about checking sources. I haven't approached it from the environmental standpoint at all and I think that may be a big reason why there hasn't been any opposition yet. So far everybody I've talked to is interested in hearing more. I've gotten some local businesses really interested and some have started chipping in to help. In particular one shop gave me a lot of free latte cards to hand out to people with the stipulation they have to walk or bike in to redeem them It's been fun so far, hopefully I can run with it all the way and we can become the next Mackinac Island

Out spreading cheer by bicycle ;0

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Old 11-16-11, 04:29 PM
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Double the price of gas in your town. Otherwise, and maybe even then, people like their convenience and private enclosed moving couch so much they prioritize it above most other things.

Maybe you can get people to ride recreationally. Start a group ride and invite people, make it scenic and fun. The sheer joy of a bike ride is what got a lot of the people in here thinking that maybe their bike can get them to work, too. Fun is a gateway drug.
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Old 11-16-11, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Fun is a gateway drug.

If you take a look at their website you will see that they have already moved on to the hard stuff....

While I have yet to cycle around Centralia it does seem a wonderful place for cycling.
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Old 11-17-11, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Double the price of gas in your town. Otherwise, and maybe even then, people like their convenience and private enclosed moving couch so much they prioritize it above most other things.

Maybe you can get people to ride recreationally. Start a group ride and invite people, make it scenic and fun. The sheer joy of a bike ride is what got a lot of the people in here thinking that maybe their bike can get them to work, too. Fun is a gateway drug.
So if recreational riding is the gateway drug, then commuting is the heroin...

Hmm... don't mention that one to the mayor.
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