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League of American Bicyclists

Report: The New Majority is Pedaling Towards Equity

05.30.2013
Washington, D.C.

Bike Use Doubled 2001-2009 with Fastest Growth Among Communities of Color

Women, youth and people of color are changing the face of bicycling - and leadership in the bike movement - in communities across America, says a new report released today by the League of American Bicyclists and the Sierra Club.

Despite significant disparities in safe bicycling infrastructure and historic lack of inclusion within traditional advocacy organizations, the percentage of trips by bike grew fasting among communities of color between 2001 and 2009, with African American trips doubling, followed by Asians (80% growth), Hispanics (50%), and whites (22%).

A first of its kind report "The New Majority: Pedaling Towards Equity" highlights new data and analysis that show the new majority that elected a president is also playing a key role in shifting transportation demand toward safe, accessible and equitable bicycling in their communities.

"Communities that supposedly 'don't bike' or 'don't like to bike' are becoming local ambassadors for the role bicycling can play in addressing their communities' issues, from access to jobs to better health," says Hamzat Sani, League Equity and Outreach Fellow and co-author of the report. "These new leaders are having a dramatic impact on the bicycle movement, moving issues of race, gender, equity and privilege to the forefront."

"More Americans are getting on their bikes and communities of color are leading the charge," says Michael Marx, Sierra Club beyond oil campaign director. "This new face of biking is also the frontier of transportation justice -- we must prioritize safe biking infrastructure like bike lanes, protected bike trails, and calm traffic streets in communities that are typically underserved."

Among the key findings of the report:

- According to a national poll, more than 85% of people of color (African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American and mixed race) have a positive view of bicyclists and 71% say their community would be a better place to live if bicycling were safer and more comfortable.

- While stark disparities in bicycle infrastructure exist, more than ΒΌ of people of color say they would like to ride more but worry about safety in traffic and 60% say that more bike lanes would encourage them to ride.

- The nation's poorest families spend the highest portion of their income on their commute, spending more than 40% of take home pay on getting to work. The cost of owning and operating a bicycle is $308 compared to $8,220 for the average car.

"The New Majority" report showcases stories of powerful local efforts opening up new lanes to bicycling in communities often overlooked by traditional transportation planners and bicycling advocates - and highlights an increasingly powerful and growing constituency that is cultivating new campaigns and bike cultures that address the needs, serve the safety and improve the health of all residents who ride - or want to ride.

Download the full report at: www.bikeleague.org/news/equity_report.pdf

About the League:
The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America's 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. The League has recently launched a Women Bike program and is developing an Equity Initiative guided by a 10-member Equity Advisory Council. Learn more at bikeleague.org.

About the Sierra Club:
The Sierra Club is the nation's oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization with 2.1 million members and supporters and chapters in all 50 states. Learn more at sierraclub.org

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Contacts
League of American Bicyclists
(202) 822-1333
bikeleague@bikeleague.org
www.bikeleague.org

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