Did You Know?

About one-third of all work trips in Chicago are comprised of people biking, walking, or riding public transit.

Take a Traffic Cycling class – become a bike planner (almost)

Footprints coach and fellow League of American Bicyclists cycling instructor Gina Kenny taught the League's Traffic Skills 101 program to the Urbana-Champaign Metropolitan Transportation District – U-C's version of the Regional Transportation Authority [Pace, CTA, Metra] –  on July 1. Already an outstanding transportation planner, Cynthia Hoyle at the MTD organized the class. She wanted to be more grounded in good bicycling behavior for her own enjoyment and safety, but also to be a better bicycle planner.

Okay, so what? I'll tell you what:

Every bad bicycle facility or, much more common, decision to not accommodate bicyclists is at least partly rooted in ignorance of how cyclists can and do safely share the roadway. Taking the full Traffic Cycling 101 course, with its emphasis on behaving in traffic like a vehicle, brings anyone about 85% of the way toward making better decisions about bicycle accommodation than 95% of the planners, engineers, and public officials currently making those decisions.

You become the authority. And expose lots of people building streets and/or fighting bike facilities as simply being afraid of biking.

If you're one of those planners/engineers/public officials, there's pay off for you too: a bicycling constituency educated on how to share almost any street with car traffic will most appreciate the compromises you undoubtedly have to make to accommodate all traffic, even if you're 100% committed to being a bike-friendly community.

And put your own people through Traffic Skills 101, and watch the possibilities for cost-efficient, effective bicycle accommodation – and interaction with a public increasingly asking for bike friendliness – open up.

Active Transportation Alliance has five League certified Traffic Cycling instructors on staff [and yes, THAT'S why our bicycle planning staff is so good], and there are dozens more like Larry Mysz who are teaching classes right now. Drop us a line.