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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Education Questions on the League of American Bicyclists' Bicycle Friendly Community Questionnaire

Fort Collins is just now beginning to design educational programs for cyclists even though it has a gold level "bicycle friendly community" status.  Read more about how we might go about this:  

Any community seeking "bicycle friendly" status under the League of American Bicyclists' (LAB) "Bicycle Friendly Communities" program would do well to parse the application and their bicycle related activities into the critical areas of education, enforcement, engineering, encouragement, and evaluation.  The first four are the original "four E's" dating to the 1990s when bike plans were being written by consultants riding on the federal money bandwagon that followed the first and second transportation bills in 1991: ISTEA and 1997: TEA-21).  Many communities began then to build bike lanes and bike paths (engineering) and to promote bicycling through encouragement.  The smart ones also figure out how to enforce bicycle laws (very tough) and to educate their citizens (also difficult to design and implement sustainable programs necessary to do this).  

On one hand Fort Collins did well on the engineering and encouragement fronts while on the other hand the community is just now taking a serious look at designing sustainable bike education programs.  

The following extract from the LAB questionnaire should act as a guide to how to design sustainable, affordable bicycle education programs. 

36. Do schools in your community offer a Safe Routes to School (or comparable) program that includes bicycling education?

What percentage of schools in your jurisdiction participates? 

a. Elementary (percentage) 
b. Middle School (percentage)
c. High School (percentage)
37. Outside of schools, how are children taught safe bicycling skills?
Youth bike clubs
Youth recreation programs
Safety town
Trail riding classes 
Other
None of the above
If other, describe
38. Do you have a diversion program for cyclists or motorists?
Yes
No
If yes, describe
39. What have you done in the last 18 months to educate motorists and bicyclists on sharing the road safely?
Public service announcements
Community newsletter article
New resident packet
Utility bill insert
Bicycle ambassador program
Newspaper column/blog on bicycling
Dedicated bike page on community Web site
Billboards
Share the Road Signs
Share the road information in driver's education
Other
None of the above
If other, describe
(500 word limit)
40. What of the following options are available on a regular basis to your community?
40a. Traffic Skills 101 (or equivalent) classes -- including classroom and on-bike instruction.

40b. Cycling Skills classes -- three to four hour classroom training courses
40c. Commuter classes - one/two hour classes

41. Has your community hosted a League Cycling Instructor seminar in the past two years?
42. How many League Cycling Instructors are there in your community?
43. List active League Cycling Instructors (active means they have taught at least one class during the past 12 months).
44. Does your community have driver training for any of the following professional drivers that include information on sharing the
road with cyclists?

Check all that apply
City staff
Taxi drivers
Taxi drivers
Transit operators
School bus operators
Delivery drivers
Other

44a. If yes to any of the above, describe the program.
45. Describe any efforts your community has made to ensure your education programs reach traditionally underserved populations.

46. Are there other education efforts in your community to promote bicycling?

46a. If yes, describe

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