Visit Today!!!

Bicyclists, The Future is Now

By David Hoffman

Four communities across the US are spending $100 million over four years to build and promote bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

Status Quo

Of the myriad of problems that bicycle advocates face in their day-to-day lives, convincing project designers, planners, and policy makers to spend money and resources on projects that will benefit bicyclists (collectively, “the System”) consistently ranks high on the list. In general, the System is wary of spending time, energy, and resources on projects that do not address “the most pressing needs.” Even now, one of the most popular ways to ease traffic congestion is to build more car capacity (read: more roads and lanes) in to the System. Thus, the flaw in this approach to transportation planning is revealed: Nature (and many a motorist) abhors a vacuum. When you create more capacity, the temporary ease in congestion will invariably be filled by more traffic.

How then to break the cycle of building more roads to accommodate ever-expanding traffic?

Simple. Change the rules of engagement. (For those über-geeks out there, think: “Kobayashi Maru”) Build facilities that will encourage motorists to abandon their cars whenever feasible and start taking other forms of transportation.

“But,” you protest, “didn’t you just say that isn’t how the System works?”

Yep. Until recently.

Enter Deb Hubsmith, bicycle advocate extraordinaire, and Congressman James Oberstar (D-MN). Deb is a tireless advocate whose very long and accomplished resume includes helping to found and serve as the first Executive Director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (, and serving as the founding director of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) National Partnership ( Rep. James Oberstar ( is one of the greatest champions of bicyclists in Washington, D.C., currently serving as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.