Our committees, work crews, and partnerships with other groups all contributed to an impressive list of achievements for 2011. Just a few were outlined in our annual report (click here) that was e-mailed to members and friends in the last week of December. We’ll try to add detail here in case you are interested. You also could use the archive links at bottom right and skip backward through the past year or so.
Green Mobility Network honored bicycle dealer Mary Jane Mark this weekend for her years of support for bicycle advocacy. The plaque presented during our benefit at Flagler Arts Space recognizes the owner of Mack Cycle & Fitness “as a long distance rider” in advocacy.
Mark has spent most of her life in bicycling, and the back rooms of her shop on Sunset Drive in South Miami are busy year-round with preparations for triathlons and cycling events of all kinds. She provided counsel and encouragement to Green Mobility’s leaders from the very beginning of our efforts. It’s hard to imagine we’d have had the success we have if she hadn’t been involved.
Saying thanks at the gallery Friday night were board members, from left, Suzanne Kores, Peter Schuetz, Eli Stiers, Tom Blazejack, and John Hopkins. Our other directors are Tony Garcia, Gary Mendenhall, Kaelsie Saravia, Hank Sanchez-Resnik, and Eric Tullberg.
Tom Coburn backed down last night from forcing a shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration to block federal aid to bike paths and sidewalks. That allows current transportation aid levels to continue into 2012. Thanks to all of you who wrote to senators to keep the bike-walk funds available. There were some 50,000 e-mails from around the country just since last Friday.
It’s reported in Washington today that the Oklahoma Republican’s hardball stand won a big concession from Senate leaders: In the multi-year transportation bill that’s to follow this extension, Coburn would be allowed to add an opt-out rule so states can use their Transportation Enhancments money for roads and other conventional projects that already get 98 percent of the aid. Here are those reports from Politico, and from The Hill.
However, Sen. Barbara Boxer, who as public works chairman is handling the transportation bill, said there’s no opt-out and that there will be dedicated funding for bike-walk uses, whether or not the Enhancements program continues by that name.
Tim Bustos, new executive director of the Florida Bicycle Association, called for better education of cyclists and other Floridians as he greeted an attentive crowd last Friday during our happy hour at The Grove Spot. “One reason Europeans have lower crash rates is because they integrate bicycle education into the school system,” he said. “It’s reading, writing, arithmetic — and riding.
“Most cyclists in this country have never been taught how to safely ride in traffic. And it’s not just cyclists. Most drivers don’t know that cyclists are legal users of the roads. We’ve got to do a better job educating motorists.”
Bustos encouraged his listeners not to count on education alone. “We also need to do a better job of encouragement,” he said. “We need to make bicycling more fun. We need more members for Green Mobility Network and for the Florida Bicycle Association.”
With growth in mind, we’re announcing a special membership deal that lasts through the end of July: Anyone joining Green Mobility now will get a first-year membership in the FBA for no extra fee. Just send in your check — $35 for an individual membership or $50 for a family — and mention that you want the two-for-one offer. Include your postal address and preferred phone number and e-mail. (Relax, we don’t sell or share ’em!)
Paul Steely White’s lecture at the University of Miami School of Architecture was available online for a while but the URL isn’t working now. We’ll try to find it and give you a good link soon.