“We will be known by the tracks we leave behind.” -some old proverb
Bicycles are emerging as the simple solutions in a problematic world of increasing gas prices, traffic congestions and environmental degradation. The Bikes Belong Coalition reports that in the United States more than 40-percent of all automobile trips are less than two miles. Riding a bike in lieu of driving a car over such distances is economical, healthy and environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, 100 years of car culture have created a complex network of high-speed freeways and busy boulevards, leaving some areas completely unsafe for cycling.
Since the mid-eighties, WTB has actively contributed to bicycle access and advocacy. Now more than ever, WTB and its sister nonprofit organization, Transportation Alternatives for Marin (TAM), are pouring serious time and energy into the development of cyclists’ rights. Through education, diplomacy and a clear focus on a solution, we have raised cycling safety awareness at the local, state and federal levels. The results are very real and tangible: In 2005, WTB/TAM and the Marin County Bicycle Coalition initiated a federal transportation bill that included $712 million in programs promoting safe and efficient travel for cyclists and pedestrians. Numbers of that size may be difficult to fathom, but the effects on bike routes nationwide are easy to appreciate. This investment in bicycle infrastructure has already delivered a marked improvement in terms of mobility and congestion.
WTB/TAM also engages in a multitude of local Bay Area projects that play a vital role in the big picture of bicycle advocacy. The Cal Park Hill Tunnel, merely one example of many, will link a busy ferry terminal with a densely populated San Rafael neighborhood. The $25 million tunnel, scheduled to open in 2010, will protect cyclists and pedestrians from a complex freeway interchange and encourage cycling by tunneling through–rather than up and over–a steep grade. We are proud of these accomplishments and continue to work hand-in-hand with our esteemed advocacy partners to keep this momentum rolling. We encourage you to support local and national advocacy organizations as well. These nonprofit groups’ tireless work will benefit all of us–commuters, road riders and mountain bikers–for generations to come.
An old proverb instructs that: “We will be known by the tracks we leave behind.” WTB aims to leave a lasting legacy of cycling access and infrastructure as well as an enhanced sense of community. We encourage you to join us on this journey.