Bicycle Friendly America Spring/Summer 2016 - (Page 12)

2016 NATIONAL BIKE SUMMIT & WOMEN'S FORUM FROM MODE SHIFT TO FRAME SHIFT: HOW CYCLING CAN HELP SOLVE GLOBAL WARMING TONY DUTZIK, SENIOR POLICY ANALYST AT FRONTIER GROUP T o transportation planners, when a new person gets on a bike, it's called a "mode shift." For many of us who have taken up cycling, however, the change is deeper than that. It represents a frame shift- a change not just in what we do, but in how we see and understand transportation in our cities. Cyclists understand that leaving the car behind doesn't inherently require self-sacrifice. Biking is often simply better than driving-cheaper, healthier, certainly more fun and even, in some circumstances, faster. Cycling shifts our mental maps of our cities and towns. Shops, parks or entire neighborhoods that might be too far away to reach on foot or a hassle to reach by car, suddenly become accessible on a bike. If driving a car puts far-away places within our reach, cycling often helps us better reach places close to home. And, cyclists ... well, we see things, things that change and challenge us. We witness first-hand the growing peril of distracted driving. We see the dangers vulnerable users experience in navigating our cities. And we experience it all face-to-face, not from behind a car windshield. So, unsurprisingly, cycling advocates tend to ask some deep questions about our transportation priorities, such as: 12 BICYCLE FRIENDLY AMERICA Why can't we seem to make room on our roads to allow people who want to travel via an efficient, zero-carbon mode of transportation to do so safely? The answer, we know, is that governments tend to enshrine moving private cars rapidly through our streets as the overarching goal of transportation policy. We know the consequences of that way of thinking for people using our streets, but we might not often think of what it means for the planet. Our auto-centric transportation system currently produces about five percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. In large part because of how much we drive, the average American produces roughly three times as much carbon dioxide pollution from transportation as the average resident of the United Kingdom, France or Germany. All that will soon need to change. World leaders committed last year in Paris to hold the increase in global temperatures to less than 2° Celsius- the threshold at which many scientists believe the most dangerous impacts of climate change will become inevitable. To achieve that target, America must cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050. Meeting that target is going to require changes in technology to make our cars more efficient and able to be powered by renewably generated electricity. But it is also going to require some frame shifts. That's where cycling and cycling advocates come into the picture. Cycling advocacy at its best challenges us to consider not just how we can repower our cars or coax people out of them at the margin, but also how we can build great communities where people are free to bike (or walk) anywhere they need to go. Building those kinds of commuContinued on Page 14

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bicycle Friendly America Spring/Summer 2016

Social Media
Core Values, Unique Contributions
A Silver-Level Playbook: Arlington, Virginia
How Cycling Can Help Solve Global Warming
What The Bicycling Movements Could Learn From the Climate Movement
Photos from Bike Lobby Day
Senator Ben Cardin, Legislator of the Year
Getting to Know Kathy Durham
Plenary Sessions
Memphis Hightailers: Bicycle Club of the Year
Bike Lobby Day: A Nevada Perspective
Call for League Board Applications
Reflections on the National Bike Summit
Photo Highlights of Bike Lobby Day in DC
Architect of the Capitol–Bicycle Friendly Business
Summit Demographic Information
2016 Catalyst Award Recipient: Community Cycling Center

Bicycle Friendly America Spring/Summer 2016