The League of American Bicyclists is a national non-profit dedicated to building a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. We know that people who bike are people who are physically active. So in 2018, the League joined the CDC’s Active People, Healthy NationSM initiative . It has been great to work with PAPREN as part of Active People, Healthy Nation. We’re excited to connect the League’s work to ongoing research that supports long-term changes to help people be more physically active.
How policy and investment can help increase physical activity
Now is an exciting time for action at the federal level. Currently, federal policy encourages people to be more physically active from the public health perspective. Yet, too often it fails to provide adequate infrastructure for people to bike, walk, or roll. The Biden Administration is looking to Build Back Better in ways that address climate change, racial justice, and traffic safety. In March, the League hosted its second online National Bike Summit. The four-day event included an interview with Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, over 1,000 attendees, and hundreds of meetings with Members of Congress.
On the local level, policies often punish people when they don’t wear a helmet, or cross outside of marked crosswalks, or move in ways that do not threaten others from a traffic safety perspective. Resolving the conflict between promoting physical activity and punishing physically active people for non-threatening behaviors is a major interest of the League and area for potential collaboration on research. Our recent work with the Transportation Equity Caucus focuses on traffic safety solutions that reject punishment of people biking and walking. Approaches such as Safe Systems can provide safety for all, inclusive of racial justice and concerns with police violence.
The League and PAPREN
This month, the League is celebrating National Bike Month. We are optimistic about a robust federal effort to create safer and more active communities. The National Bike Summit showcased incredible work across the United States to help people of all ages, abilities, races, and gender identities bike more safely and more often. We feel a tailwind pushing us to think bigger, find new solutions, and create a more active nation. It is exciting to work with Active People, Healthy Nation and PAPREN. Together, we can add to the evidence base for policies and actions that will make bicycling for everyday transportation a normal part of American life that all people feel comfortable doing.
Help the League celebrate Bike Month in 2021 by riding a bike and sharing your bike joy on social media by tagging #BikeThere and @BikeLeague.
Ken McLeod is Policy Director at the League of American Bicyclists. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @kenmcld.