Cyclist Equity — do they mean it?
At long last. More than a year after the initial article penned by Amanda Eichstaedt and Dan Gutierrez, the League of American Bicyclists has finally made the Equity Statement a official position. I hear there is an article in the league magazine, but I haven’t received mine yet. Looking for evidence of this position on their website requires a magnifying glass. There is no page, no grand announcement, it doesn’t even show up on a search. It’s one small sentence with links to 3 PDFs tucked into the bottom corner of the homepage.
Considering how important equity is (especially in light of recent events), I think it deserves more. So here it is, the contents of the Equity Statement PDFs:
Cyclists’ Equity Statement
Cyclists have the same right to fair and equitable treatment by the government as other road users. The basis for these rights is expressed through the six Es approach that the League supports:
- Equality – Legal: traffic law and legislation, including movements, access, equipment, uniformity
- Engineering – Transportation: road and bicycle facilities development, design, and construction, and mobility and funding sources
- Enforcement – Police and Courts: Equitable treatment of cyclists through citations and trials
- Education – Schools and Smart Cycling™: Traffic skills education for the public, engineers, enforcers, and legislators
- Encouragement – Public and private agencies: advertising campaigns, promotions, etc.
- Evaluation – Public agencies: Measurement of the effects of the other Es using relevant research methods and testing.
The League of American Bicyclists supports equity in the treatment of all cyclists in the
implementation and evaluation of all Es.
EQUALITY – The equal legal status and equal treatment of cyclists in traffic law. All US states must adopt fair, equitable and uniform traffic laws, that are “vehicle-neutral” to the greatest extent possible. Cyclists’ ability to access to all destinations must be protected. State and local laws that discriminate against cyclists, or restrict their right to travel, or reduce their relative safety, must be repealed.
Engineering – Roadways and separate facilities must conform to state and national standards and allow for safe, legal and efficient traffic movements. Construction and maintenance of roads must equitably serve all users. Separate facilities must be maintained at a level not less than that applied to the public roadway. Trip-endpoint and waypoint facilities such as parking must serve bicyclists.
Enforcement – Cyclists must be given equal treatment by police and the courts in the enforcement of traffic laws and in the investigation of crashes that involve bicyclists which reach the threshold for the state or jurisdiction in question. Cyclists must be viewed as fully equal to other parties in the determination of culpability in crashes, the economic value of injuries or death, and non-economic losses that are commonly awarded to crash victims.
Education – Cycling training should be based on the principle that “cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles.” This type of cycling is based on the same sound, proven traffic principles governing all drivers, and is the safest, most efficient way for all cyclists to operate. by making them highly visible and their actions predictable to other road users.
Encouragement – Promotion of cycling as a healthy and environmentally sound method of transport and recreation. Encouragement is done via promotional campaigns, incentives for those choosing bicycling rather than another form of transport and promotion of cycling as a healthy activity. The encouragement of bicycling should be inclusive of all types of cyclists.
Evaluation – Evaluation of the other five Es (Equality, Engineering, Enforcement, Education and Encouragement). Evaluation must involve measurement, analysis and research using rigorous, statistically sound methodologies.
There you have it. Not a bad policy statement with Equality as the underpinning of all else. Many thanks to Amanda and Dan for making this happen. If you want to tell the league to act like they mean it, you can do that here.
Fred, and many other cyclists around the country, really need the League to take leadership action on this! Regular roads will always be our primary means of getting to our destinations, we need to have the right to protect our space on those roads without fear of misinterpretation and harassment. Florida (and many other states) have a backwards, misleading law full of exceptions that try to mitigate the damage it does. The poor wording (and malintent) of this law causes a lawfully-traveling cyclist to have to defend his legal right to the road against misinterpretation by authorities (and everyone else). This places an unjust burden on law-abiding citizens.
To make matters worse, Florida even has so-called bike advocates trying to enact a mandatory bike lane law to get public support for more bike lanes. As if we didn’t have enough to do protecting ourselves from external anti-cycling bias.
It will be interesting to see how LAB takes action with this new policy. We’re watching.