Walk/Bike/Places 2018 and Building Better Bicycling Infrastructure
It is a liberating thing to look at a map, locate your destination, and ride to it without concern for which streets are bicycle-friendly. If this describes your community, then congratulations on living in Vancouver BC or Amsterdam. For everyone else, living everywhere else, there remains much work to be done to make bicycling fun, irresistible, accessible and, in short, better than driving.
When the Walk/Bike/Places conference convenes in New Orleans this September 16–19, one of the questions we will examine is how to make bicycling… better. Better, as in no more infrastructure that seems like it was designed by and routed for the convenience of drivers.
We are currently seeking experts to help us investigate the following questions:
- Finding the right design guide. Design guidance for bikeways and complete streets is available from FHWA, AASHTO, ITE, NACTO and others. Which book should you put into the hands of your public works director or bike coordinator? How do you know if you are using the latest and best design standards for your town, city or state? How can we purge bad institutionalized design practices?
- How should you benchmark your community? Knowing where you are starting is as important as knowing what you want to achieve. What metrics should you use and how should you select a peer city to benchmark your efforts? Which recognition program should you follow and why?
- Handling the politics of building better bicycling infrastructure. Bikelash is real and it can come from the fire department, the mayor’s office, talk radio, AAA, internet trolls, and (sometimes) perfectly reasonable people. Bikelash can influence and comprimise how biking routes are planned and designed. What are the best strategies for anticipating the politicization of bicycling and answering the critics?
- What is our goal and why? Do we want to live in a biketopia in which private automobiles are outlawed? (YES!) Do we want balance in our transportation system? Should our goals be rooted in environmentalism, social justice, safety, health, and/or equality?
- Innovative solutions and tactics. How do you either create a tipping point or take advantage when an opportunity presents itself? How can major road projects, disruptions in transit, and rising fuel prices advance the biking agenda and win mode share? How can demonstration projects win over a skeptical public? Can hiring the right person at city hall or the state DOT make the difference?
Does your agency or organization have experience addressing any of these questions? If so, please join us and share your experience by applying to present at Walk/Bike/Places 2018. Begin your application here and when promoted select ‘Breakout Session Panelist’ and ‘Building Better Bicycling Infrastructure’ as your topic.
Submit your proposal by 8 pm Eastern, February 2, 2018 to be considered for the program.
Helpful links and information:
- Designing for All Ages & Abilities: Contextual Guidance for High-Comfort Bicycle Facilities (NACTO)
- 2016 Benchmarking Report and Interactive Website (League of American Bicyclists)
- Bicycle Friendly America Program (League of American Bicyclists)
- PlacesForBikes: Data-Drive City Ratings and Analytical Tools (PeopleForBikes)
- Urban Bikeway Design Guide (NACTO)
- And Amsterdam’s Cycling History reminds us that all good ideas are neither incontestable nor inevitable.
Walk/Bike/Places is North America’s largest active transportation and placemaking conference. Building Better Bicycling Infrastructure is only one of many topics that will be addressed by our conference program. For more details about our Call for Proposals and conference outcomes, please visit www.walkbikeplaces.org/proposals. The deadline for all proposals is 8 pm Eastern, February 2, 2018.
For information about becoming a conference sponsor or exhibitor please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For the latest news follow us at Walk/Bike/Places. Walk/Bike/Places was established in 1980 and is produced by Project for Public Spaces.