Countdown to Velo-city 2012 – Early Bird Rates Extended

Velo-city Global 2012 is extending its early registration deadline until April 30, 2012. This is good news for the numerous delegates who have contacted Velo-city Global 2012 to say they are awaiting approval on travel requests and funding.

In other news, an update on the European Cyclists’ Federation website, ECF communications assistant Amanda Winter explains why it can be counterintuitive to use the admirable biking track record of some European countries to discount the slow progress of improvements to cycling mode share in North America:

Any article containing “North America,” “Europe” and “cycling” will largely conclude in a comparison to show Europe’s utopian cycling atmosphere versus North America’s lack thereof. This article will not propose this, mainly because 1. Each city has its own recipe; there is not one common urban planning rule book or cookie cutter approach for all. 2. As the environment does not function around national borders; we are all in this global green fight together, the time is now to cooperate and learn from each other.

Maybe we should think of Europe and North America differently, like North America is Europe’s little sister, younger, more careless, the kind that steals your favorite clothes and eats the last cookie without offering it to you. They like taking the easy way out and changing their behavior is extremely difficult, unless ‘all the cool kids are doing it.’ Let’s be that annoyingly functional family and inspire each other. Let’s have a family meal and share our recipes. Velo-city Global takes inspirational people at an international level, creating a global family not only to help you reach your goals, but to set new ones and step out of your box, try something on the menu you never tried before.

As humbling as it may be to think of North American cities as the younger siblings of more mature European locales, it’s useful to take into account the amount of “growing up” North America needs to do before more people will be willing to jump onto the saddle.

Separated bike lanes are a key piece of infrastructure that, once established, tend to boost cycling numbers significantly. A League of American Bicyclists report notes that:

Cities in the US, like Portland, OR, have been able to increase their mode-share by building a complete network of facilities and encouraging urban density. The results of a study of 33 large US cities, (excluding New York City, which is considered an outlier in much transportation research because of its size and high use of public transportation) showed that each additional mile of bicycle lane is associated with an approximate one-percent increase in the share of bike-to-work trips.

In this case, as in life, growing up has its benefits.

Velo-city Global 2012 is expected to host over 1,000 delegates from around the world. The conference will be held June 26 -29 at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Center Hotel, accessible by the new Hornby Street separated bike lane.

Originally published on momentummag.com.

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