May is Bike Month

May is Bike Month

This past April, California legislatures considered raising taxes on gas and diesel fuel in order to fund investments in their ailing transportation infrastructure, according to a statement from Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. Brown and state lawmakers introduced legislation that would raise $52.4 billion in transportation infrastructure investment funding over the next 10 years through a series of gas and diesel tax hikes they say would cost most drivers less than $10 per month. Of the $52.4 billion to be raised, $1 billion was earmarked to improve infrastructure that promotes walking, bicycling and alternative transportation.

Here in Indiana, House Bill 1002 was signed in to law in April, and from the details of the bill, this infrastructure packaged deal included $0 for the promotion of walking and bicycling, or its required infrastructure. To fill a void in promoting healthier lifestyles regionally, the Madison County Council of Governments (MCCOG) began its participation in National Bike Month, an event sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists. Since 1956, Bike Month has been a vessel for communities to encourage healthier living and alternative means of transportation.

As 2009 adopters of the event, MCCOG and the city of Anderson began collaborating on events with a shared vision. “The initial focus was on Bike to Work Day as a way to bring awareness to commuter cycling and the health, environmental and economic benefits”, says Ryan Phelps, Senior Transportation Planner with MCCOG. “The group that was in charge of planning Bike to Work Day formalized after the 2012 activities as the White River Bicycle Coalition and expanded the event schedule for the first time in 2013, adding the Mayor’s Ride, Mountain Biking Trail Day, Bike to School Day and others.” “While the number of events has changed, the focus on increasing bicycling awareness and encouraging residents to get outside and enjoy the May weather has remained the same.”

The importance of winning the health battle in Madison Co. has never been more clear than in recent months, with our ailing health rankings continuing downward. Without increasing the communities awareness of these initiatives, can we right this downward trend? I wonder how long it will take for the west coast trend of encouraging healthier lifestyles with government investment to make it to Indiana... In the meantime, we here at the Madison County Chamber are proud to do our part in promoting the month of May as Bike Month.

 

The choice to live healthier starts with you. Let the month of May and Bike Month be your motivation! To follow Bike Month and view the detailed calendar of events, visit madbiking.com

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