The resurgence of bicycling in America is apparent from coast to coast and north to south. And DOT is proud to have played a role in re-establishing bicycling as a way of getting from place to place. But, we also know that even more people would take to two wheels if they were confident that the nation's roadway infrastructure helped keep them safe.
Last month at the National Bike Summit, I said "It's time to take the bicycling renaissance to the next level." And I proposed to help do that by changing the conversation from "Bicycling has earned a seat at the transportation table," to "Like all forms of transportation, bicycling must be safe."
Today, we're announcing the latest steps in our effort to help protect bicyclists from harm on our roadways: two bike safety summits--one in Tampa on April 11 and one in Minneapolis on April 29.
I want to thank Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak for their generosity and their partnership. At each of these two sessions, we'll hear from the respective mayor about the bicycle safety steps his city has taken, and we'll hear from experts in the industry and from the people who ride and walk our roads.
We're going to learn from communities what works and what doesn't work. And once we figure out what the best practices are, we're going to team up with the bicycling community to help ensure that when cities, towns, states, and counties think about creating new bike infrastructure, they'll have the tools to implement those practices and keep all users of our roads as safe as possible.
After all, whether you're driving a tractor-trailer, sitting in the back seat of a minivan, or pedaling a bike, the road safety you enjoy shouldn't depend on the number of wheels you're riding on.
That means that the safety ideas emerging from the summits won't just benefit folks in Tampa or Minneapolis. They'll be useful across the country. So, although we'll be touring bike paths, lanes, and other facilities in our two host cities, we'll be looking to see what can work to improve bicyclist safety in every community.
When I say that safety is this Department's number one priority, there's no exception for bikes. With more bicyclists on our streets, helping them ride safely is not a luxury; it's part of our obligation.
This month, we're taking the next steps to fulfill that obligation.