Bicycling is good for people, communities and the nation. All will benefit if more people ride bikes more often. Biking is safe, healthy, and fun. The League believes in:
- Better biking infrastructure, so people feel safe riding in their community
- Better biking education, so motorists and bicyclists interact safely
- Better biking culture, so that people are encouraged to ride more
- Better biking laws, so that bicyclists are treated fairly
- Better bike plans, policies and programs, so that our communities enable bicycling to flourish
Read more about what we stand for below. If you have any questions, call 202-822-1333 or email email@example.com.
The League of American Bicyclists empowers and enables people, communities and institutions to enjoy the benefits of more bicycling.
- promotes bicycling as a fun, safe, and healthy means of travel for all
- protects the rights of cyclists at the national, state and local level;
- advocates for safe, convenient bicycling opportunities throughout the United States; and
- sets the standard for bicyclist-related education and behavior.
Since 1880, the League of American Bicyclists has been the voice of cyclists in America. The League established a cyclists’ fundamental right to the road; created the Good Roads Movement that, for the first time, ensured roads were paved; has fought to secure the same rights and responsibilities for cyclists as the operators of motor vehicles; has defended cyclists from discrimination and inequitable laws and policies; and has tirelessly promoted cycling as a practical and fun means of transportation and recreation.
As host of the National Bike Summit, the League takes a leadership role in bringing the interests of people who ride bikes to Congress and the Federal government. We empower our state and local affiliates to advocate effectively on issues that affect cyclists.
Our Advocacy Advance partnership with the Alliance for Biking & Walking translates Federal programs into state and local campaigns to invest in better cycling infrastructure and education.
The League’s Bicycle Friendly America program provides the blueprint and a host of technical resources and best practices for communities, businesses, universities and states seeking to encourage bicycle use and improve traffic safety.
Our Smart Cycling program is the only national certification program for bicycle safety instructors; the Traffic Skills 101 curriculum is the basis for virtually all state and local bicyclist education programs.
National Bike Month (May) and Bike to Work Day are firmly established on the cycling calendar as anchor events to promote riding, something which the League’s more than 900 affiliated local recreational clubs and advocacy groups embrace enthusiastically.
The National Bike Challenge inspires people to ride through friendly competition, rewards and community-building.
The League’s newest program, The Equity Initiative, addresses issues of equity and diversity within the League and broader cycling movement. Guided by a newly-established Equity Advisory Council, the League is committed to ensuring our work is relevant and beneficial to communities that are currently underrepresented in the cycling movement. Women Bike is focused on increasing the participation of women in the cycling movement and bicycle industry, and ensuring that the people who ride bikes better reflect the population at large.
The League has a vision of an America in which bicycling is a widespread, popular, and mainstream means of travel for everyday transportation, for recreation and sport. We believe that by 2020:
- 5% of all trips in the United States will be made by bicycle; a five-fold increase over 2012 levels, and
- We will more than halve the number cyclists killed and seriously injured in crashes with motor vehicles, dramatically improving the safety of people riding bikes – both in reality and perception.
Bicycling is a simple solution to many complex problems facing individuals, communities, and our nation. Dramatically increasing the amount and safety of cycling in the United States requires a multi-disciplinary approach at all levels of government. We must involve all roadway users; planners, engineers, land use experts, and developers; public health, recreation, and environmental professionals; elected officials and business leaders. League members, affiliates and partners will lead this transformation because it is in the broad public interest to do.
The diversity of bicycling and the people that ride bikes is a strength that we celebrate. The League embraces a goal of diversifying both the bicycling movement, and the League, so that they are more representative of the US population; we serve everyone that rides a bike or wants to ride a bike.
The League supports:
- Complete streets – the routine inclusion of bicycling provisions in street design.
- Connected bikeway networks with a hierarchy of separated, protected and striped bike lanes, paved shoulders, bicycle boulevards, and quiet streets.
- Trails, greenways and shared use paths that provide opportunities beyond the highway system
- Smooth, paved roads free of surface defects and hazards
- Appropriate long- and short-term bicycle parking that provides security and protection.
Better biking infrastructure starts with smooth paved roads free of surface defects and hazards. Potholes, drainage grates, railroad tracks, broken glass and other debris create hazards that significantly degrade the cycling experience – and can cause cyclists to behave unpredictably. The League supports programs and policies that ensure a smooth, predictable road surface is provided for all road users – and that recognize people riding bikes are especially susceptible to surface irregularities.
The League is developing specific positions on chip seal surfacing, rumble strips, drainage grates, and railroad tracks.
Better biking infrastructure includes adequate bicycle parking. The League supports universal provision of bicycle parking that provides security, protection and support for the bike. The League endorses the bicycle parking standards established by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals.
The League recognizes that most bicycling will take place on streets and highways without special provision for cyclists. Thus, routine street design, maintenance and operation must adequately address the operating characteristics of bicyclists and the bicycle. This is particularly important in reference to traffic signs, signals, and markings.
The League is developing specific positions on traffic signal detection, and construction detours.
The League supports bike lanes, cycle tracks and other infrastructure that provides for exclusive and preferential use of the roadway by bicyclists. We welcome infrastructure that provides additional opportunities for bicycling beyond the highway system such as trails and shared use pathways. The League supports the development and use of innovative facilities that provide a greater feeling of safety, comfort and convenience for people riding bikes by separating them from motorized traffic; we also support designs that lower motor vehicle speeds on roadways that are shared with bicyclists and pedestrians.
The League believes such bicycling infrastructure should never affect the basic right to the road enjoyed by bicyclists since the 1880s, and that bicyclists should not be required to use dedicated bicycling facilities. The League endorses the use of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) guides for the development of bicycling infrastructure and opposes the development of bicycling infrastructure that compromises the safety, comfort and convenience of people on bikes (and other roadway users).
The League recognizes that cycling takes place in the context of a transportation system that includes motor vehicles, pedestrians, and transit – and that most people that ride bikes are also pedestrians, motorists and transit users at different times. Walking is the most basic and important form of transportation, and bicycling should never conflict with safe, comfortable and convenient walking. The combination of bikes with transit is a natural and desirable way to maximize the effectiveness of both modes of transportation.
The League supports the development of off-road cycling infrastructure such as single-track, mountain bike parks, pump tracks, as well as infrastructure that supports competitive cycling such as velodromes. We also support the provision of safety and training infrastructure to teach bike handling and operational skills (see education).
The League supports:
- Comprehensive traffic safety and mobility education for all ages
- Smart Cycling, the only national certification program for bicycle safety instructors
- Graduated driver licensing programs
- The inclusion of bicycling information in driver training, testing and re-testing
The League believes that people riding bikes have a responsibility to follow the rules of the road and behave safely and courteously. The League believes motorists have a similar responsibility to follow the rules of the road and respect a cyclists’ right to the road.
The League supports comprehensive traffic safety and mobility education that ensures the following standards are achieved:
- Children entering elementary school have achieved a standard of learning related to pedestrian safety
- Children entering middle school have achieved a standard of learning related to bicycling operation and safety
- Youth aged 15 and older have achieved a standard of learning related to the operation of a motor vehicle
- Youth leaving high school have received a comprehensive education on mobility choices including the use of transit, walking and bicycling as well as driving a motor vehicle.
- Adults have ample opportunities to learn and re-learn walking, bicycling and driving skills throughout their lives.
The League supports:
- Participation in promotional events such as National Bike Month, Bike to Work Day, Bike to School Day, the National Bike Challenge
- Sunday Parkways, Ciclovia and similar “open streets” events for cyclists and other non-motorized users
- Programs and services that help encourage people to ride including maps, signed routes, transportation demand management programs such as Smart Trips
- Bike-sharing programs, and the wide availability of bike rental programs to provide broad access to bicycles
- Clubs, advocacy groups, tours and events, shops and businesses which promote and enable bicycling to flourish and which create a strong bicycling culture in communities.
- Financial incentives to encourage bicycle use, including a commuter tax benefit equivalent to that offered to motorists and transit users
The League believes bicycling is an inherently beneficial and healthy activity. A wide variety of incentives and encouragement activities should be available to encourage as many Americans as possible to ride as often as possible.
The League opposes policies and programs that deliberately or inadvertently discourage or suppress cycling such as licensing and registration of cyclists/bikes.
The League encourages the use of helmets when riding, but does not support mandatory helmet laws.
The League supports:
- A bicyclists’ fundamental right to the road
- The principle that a bicyclist has the same rights and responsibilities as the operator of a motor vehicle and bicyclists must follow the rules of the road
- Fair treatment of bicyclists in each state vehicle code and local traffic codes
- Laws – and their enforcement – that ensures safe driving and discourages distracted and dangerous driving behavior
The League has worked tirelessly over the years to ensure that the bicycle and bicyclists are treated fairly in state and local traffic codes, and by law enforcement agencies and the criminal and civil justice system. We recognize that the bicycle and bicyclists have unique operating characteristics that make them different from pedestrians and motor vehicles. We believe traffic laws must balance those unique characteristics with the need for consistency to ensure the safe operation of bicyclists on the road and trail.
We believe in certain core principles of traffic law:
- bicyclists have a basic right to the road that should not be denied without overwhelming evidence that the safe operation of a bicycle is incompatible with the operation and function of the roadway and that alternative roads are available that provide an equivalent level of access
- bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as the operators of motor vehicles
- bicyclists should follow the rules of the road, obeying all traffic signs, signals and markings
The League supports:
- a set of model traffic laws and ordinances relating to the bicycle and bicyclists should be adopted as widely as possible to ensure fair and consistent treatment
- the provision of exclusive and preferential lanes for bicyclists is desirable when motor vehicle speeds exceed 20 mph, and that physically protected infrastructure or wider bicycle lanes or shoulders are desirable when those speeds exceed 30mph
- in the absence of such infrastructure, and when travel lanes are too narrow to safely share with motor vehicles, bicyclists should be encouraged and enabled to control traffic by using the full travel lane, sometimes referred to as “taking the lane”
The League is developing positions on a number of specific bicycle-related traffic laws and ordinances including safe passing distances, vulnerable road user protection, and “Idaho stop” laws.
The League recognizes that most bicycling will take place on roadways shared with motor vehicles. The safety of cyclists depends on the safe operation of motor vehicles, therefore the League supports all measures that encourage and enforce safe and defensive driving including:
- A ban on cell phone use, including texting, while driving (or riding)
- Strict enforcement of laws preventing drinking and driving, and speeding
- Strict enforcement of driving bans, license restrictions, and graduated driver licensing programs
- The use of photo enforcement (and other new technology) to prevent speeding, red light running, and drinking and driving.
- Strict enforcement and broad education around issues that cause a high percentage of bicycle/motor vehicle crashes, such as passing too close, opening car door into the path of a cyclist, turning in front of a cyclist, and failure to yield to cyclists
The League believes that the creation of a bicycle friendly America requires individual communities, universities, states and businesses to deliberately plan for more and better bicycling, and to routinely evaluate their progress.
The League supports adoption of:
- A target level of bicycle use – at a national level, we believe 5% of all trips should be made by bicycle in 2020
- A target of zero bicyclist fatalities due to collisions with motor vehicles – at a national level we believe it is possible to cut the number of fatal collisions in 2011 (630) by 50% in 2020 and by a further 50% by 2025.
- A target to reduce crashes and near-misses involving cyclists.
- Bicycle plans incorporating these targets and addressing the five E’s of engineering, education encouragement, enforcement and evaluation
- Dedicated funding and staffing to implement the bicycle plan
- Regular counting and monitoring of bicycle use and safety
- Full participation of and consultation with users and user groups representing all kinds of cycling activity
The bicycle is a remarkable invention that has revolutionized personal travel; has been the catalyst for technological innovations that underpin the airline and motor industry; has been integral to significant social change, including the emancipation of women; and has resulted in remarkable stories of sporting prowess and achievement. The bicycle is an iconic symbol of freedom, independence, and style.
The bicycle is also a vehicle of the future. No other means of travel offers the combined benefits of sustainability, energy independence, efficiency and efficient use of space, physical activity, affordability and economic development, and just plain fun, than the bicycle.