76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008
Miami

2008 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS

ENSURING BICYCLING IS INTEGRATED INTO NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION, CLIMATE, ENERGY AND HEALTH POLICY INITIATIVES

WHEREAS, bicycling can provide multiple and cross-cutting benefits in U.S. policy initiatives that seek to address transportation needs, limit climate change and energy consumption and improve public health; and

WHEREAS, we now live in a nation with 300 million people, and that number is expected to grow to 365 million by 2030 and to 420 million by 2050 with the vast majority of that growth occurring in congested urban areas where there are significant limitations on accommodating increased motor vehicle travel; and

WHEREAS, since 1980, the number of miles Americans drive has grown three times faster than the U.S. population; and

WHEREAS, a national transportation system that invests in and is conducive to bicycling reduces traffic congestion in our most heavily congested urban areas while promoting an overall improved quality of life that is valuable for the Nation; As example: More than 200 cities throughout the U.S., representing more than 35 million people have committed to implementing bicycle friendly action plans to make their communities more bicycle friendly; and

WHEREAS, the greatest potential for increased bicycle usage is in our major urban areas where 40 percent of trips are two miles or less and 28 percent are less than one mile; and

WHEREAS, surveys show that a majority of people want to ride more but are dissuaded by concern over traffic danger and other barriers, and case studies have shown that when those barriers to bicycling are removed, people start riding; and

WHEREAS, a national network of interconnected urban and rural bikeways can provide valuable community benefits, including low or no-cost recreation and alternative transportation options for people of all ages and abilities; and

WHEREAS, the transportation sector contributes one-third of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and passenger automobiles and light trucks alone contribute 21 percent; and

WHEREAS, Ten percent of global oil production goes solely toward fueling America’s cars and trucks and the U.S. could save 462 millions of gallons of gasoline a year by increasing cycling from one percent to one and a half percent of all trips; and

WHEREAS, bicycle commuters annually save on average $1, 825 in auto-related costs, reduce their carbon emissions by 128 pounds, conserve 145 gallons of gasoline, and avoid 50 hours of grid locked traffic; and

WHEREAS, over 800 of our Nation's Mayors have signed onto the Climate Protection Agreement of the United States Conference of Mayors urging the Federal Government to enact policies and programs to meet or exceed a greenhouse gas emission reduction target of a seven percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2012;and

WHEREAS, two years ago the Conference of Mayors unanimously endorsed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, whereby a key component is to implement climate-friendly land-use policies and invest in public transportation and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, the Center for Disease Control estimates that if all physically inactive Americans became active, we would save $77 billion in annual medical costs; and

WHEREAS, the United States is challenged by an obesity epidemic in which 65 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese, and 13 percent of children and adolescents are overweight, due in large part to a lack of regular activity; and

WHEREAS, the percentage of U.S. children who walk or bike to school has dropped by 70 percent since 1969 such that only 15 percent of students were walking or biking to school in 2001 while the rate of childhood obesity has tripled in recent years;and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors believes that achieving increased levels of bicycling is in the national interest; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages the development and implementation of a coordinated national bicycling strategy aimed to increase safe bicycle use as a mode of transportation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages the development of federal transportation, environmental and public health policies that recognize increased and safe bicycle usage for transportation is in the national interest and that we further urge Congress in the next federal transportation reauthorization to establish policies and funding mechanisms that will aim to Reduce the number of motor vehicle miles traveled (VMT); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages improving safety conditions for bicyclists and Collect transportation and safety data needed to monitor progress; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages providing incentives for state and local governments to adopt and implement Complete Street policies designed to accommodate all users; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that even absent federal incentives, Governors and state-level leadership should embrace Complete Streets policies that acknowledge the contributions of bicycles as a means to reduce vehicle miles by integrating bicycle use into standard street design; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on all Mayors that sign onto the Climate Protection Agreement to develop and implement action plans to incorporate bicycling programs and policies as a key component in reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages every mayor to strive to make their city a Bicycle Friendly Community.