Legislative update: help needed!

We need your help to make bicycling better in Indiana.


Photo credit: Danny Graber Photography

Bicycle Indiana will once again be working with Indiana legislators in the upcoming session – pushing for legislation to make it safer for people to ride bicycles in our state.

As a small organization, we do not have the capacity to meet with Indiana legislators throughout the state, but with your help, we can. This is our plan for the remainder of this summer and fall:

  1. Develop petition
  2. Plan and schedule meetings with legislators and constituents during the summer and early fall
  3. Determine which legislators will author/sponsor/cosponsor legislation to make biking safer
  4. Work with said legislators to plan and schedule a meeting day at the statehouse
  5. Use Ghost Bike Program in tandem with legislative efforts

Bicycle Indiana will have the petition ready for distribution later this month. The next step is scheduling meetings with our legislators. Would you be willing to contact your Senator and Representative’s local office to schedule a meeting?

We’ll provide you with the talking points and the ask. And we’ll share the dates via our social media outlets to recruit others to also attend the meeting. We’ll also provide you with a feedback form to forward back to our office.

We believe with the momentum of successfully meeting with our legislators, we’ll be poised to have a bill sponsored, and hopefully passed in the upcoming session.

Can we count on you? If so please complete the quick form below to contact me.

–Nancy Tibbett, executive director, Bicycle Indiana

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May 2017 Event Roundup!

Bike Month is here! Our favorite! Here are Indiana’s May bike-related events. Have one to add? Send us an message via the contact form at the end of this post.

May 1, Indianapolis: Bicycle Indiana Annual Meeting and Bike Month celebration

May 2 (and all Tuesdays after), Fort Wayne, 6 p.m.: Trek the Trails Kickoff

May 5, Fort Wayne, 5 p.m.: Bike Fusion

May 6, Carthage, 8 a.m.: Bikes, Books and Bridges Spring Blast

May 7-13, Lafayette: Cover Indiana

May 7, Fort Wayne, 1 p.m.: Parkview Injury Prevention helmet giveaway

May 7, Fort Wayne, 1 p.m.: Special screening of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

May 10, Nationwide: Bike to School Day

May 11, Fort Wayne, 4 p.m.: Ladies’ Open House at Summit City Bicycles

May 13, Fort Wayne, 9 a.m.: Fairy Trails – A family bicycle ride in costume

May 13, Greenfield, 10:30 a.m.: CycloFemme Greenfield

May 13, 10:30 a.m.: Liv Women’s CycloFemme Ride and Metazoa Brewery Tour

May 14, Fort Wayne, 2 p.m.: CycloFemme Fort Wayne

May 17, Worldwide: Ride of Silence

May 19, Nationwide: Bike to Work Day

May 19-20, Warsaw & Winona Lake: 14th Annual Fat and Skinny Tire Fest

May 19-21, Fort Wayne: Sixth Annual Fort4Fitness Spring Cycle

May 21, LaPorte: Orchard Country Bike Tour

May 20, Middlebury: 45th Annual ADEC Ride-a-Bike

May 23, Indianapolis, 6 p.m.: DRAFT Indy meetup

May 28, Indianapolis: Bike to the 500

–Jess Hall, communications director, Bicycle Indiana

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To ring or not to ring…

Bicycle Indiana recently learned that tucked away on page 269, of an omnibus bill from the 2016 session, was the deletion of the legal requirement for a bell on a bicycle.

bike bell

I ❤ my bike!

The Indiana Code that required this is 9-21-11-8. All that remains of the code is:
A bicycle may not be equipped with and a person may not use upon a bicycle a siren or whistle.

I have no idea why this was changed. Bicycle Indiana wasn’t consulted about this change, nor do I personally know of anyone who this was discussed with.

When I first starting riding road bicycles, it was taboo to put such a hideous piece of equipment on your bicycle, along with the safety reflectors that came with the bicycle – those MUST be removed. 🙂

As I’ve grown in my bicycling lifestyle, I appreciate having a bell on my bike. It is a good way to signal your presence on the trail and on the road. My voice is not as consistent as my bell.

The big question is; do we think this is a good change in our state law? Will it make a difference to anyone? I don’t think that people put bells on the bike to follow the letter of the law. I think they put them on as part of their safety. Should bells be a recommended piece of equipment from the bike shop? Will bell sales decline because they are no longer required by law? Do bells really matter?

I for one, will continue to use my bell, as a gentle signal to other bicyclists, pedestrians, etc. that I am also on the road/trail with them.

–Nancy Tibbett, executive director, Bicycle Indiana

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2016 Bike Month Roundup!

Bike Month is here! Can you believe it? Hooray for the BEST month of the year!

With so many great events scheduled around our state, we wanted to compile them for you here. Have one in your community? Send us an email about it!

May through September, Statewide: National Bike Challenge
In 2015, Indiana was #7 in the challenge. Let’s beat that year!

May 4, Statewide: Bike to School Day

May 5, Bloomington: Women’s Ride
5:30 p.m., Bloomington City Hall

May 6, Fort Wayne: Bikefusion
4 p.m., Turnstone Plassman Athletic Center

May 8, Indianapolis: CycloFemme
2 p.m., Indianapolis City Market

May 16-20, Statewide: Bike to Work Week!

May 16, South Bend: screening of “One Day in April”
State Theater

May 18, Statewide: Ride of Silence
Confirmed locations:
Fort Wayne

May 20, Statewide: Bike to Work Day!
Indianapolis: join IndyCog’s activities

May 22, Mishawaka: Mayor’s Ride
St. Patrick’s Park, Howard Park and Central Park

May 23, Indianapolis: Nine13 Sports Malted Mile
5:30-7 p.m., Sun King Brewery
Race one mile on the Nine13 bikes and win great prizes!

May 29, Indianapolis: Bike to the 500 with IndyCog
7:30 a.m., Indianapolis City Market

–Jessica Hall, program director, Bicycle Indiana

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Around the state: ISDH calls for 2016 bike/ped master plan applications

The Indiana State Department of Health is providing funding for Indiana communities to prepare a community-wide bicycle and pedestrian master plan. Applications for the funding are due by 4:00 p.m. on January 29, 2016. A minimum of two plans will be funded in this annual round. Successful applicants will begin their plans no earlier than July 2015, with funded plans required to be completed by the end of June 2016.

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity (DNPA) invests in partnerships and activities that work towards improving the health of all Indiana residents. The adoption of bicycle and pedestrian master plans by Indiana communities is seen as an effective way to invest in changes to policy and the built environment that support healthy community outcomes.

For more information and questions contact Pete Fritz at 317.234.6808, pefritz@isdh.in.gov.

–Pete Fritz, healthy communities planner, Indiana State Department of Health

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Three new U.S. Bicycle Routes to cross Indiana, promoting tourism and healthy transportation

Editor’s note: This text is from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT)’s recent news release. Bicycle Indiana was thrilled to be part of this project, and excited to see this routes completed!


Three U.S. Bicycle Routes to Cross Indiana, Promoting Tourism
and Healthy Transportation

The Indiana Department of Transportation, the Adventure Cycling Association, Bicycle Indiana, and the Hoosier Rails to Trails Council announce the designation of three U.S. Bicycle Routes that will span the Hoosier State from border to border, stretching a combined total of 610 miles.

U.S. Bicycle Routes are officially numbered bicycle routes that connect communities and the nation. The routes are for experienced long-distance bicycle riders – generally considered “touring cyclists” – who are comfortable riding on most types of facilities, including roads without any special treatments for bicyclists. This group also includes utilitarian and recreational riders who are confident enough to ride on busy roadways and navigate in traffic.

“INDOT is proud to partner with the Hoosier Rails to Trails Council, Bicycle Indiana, and the Adventure Cycling Association to turn the idea of a bicycle route network throughout the state and the nation into a reality,” said INDOT Commissioner Brandye Hendrickson. “Indiana is the true crossroads of America, validated not only by our roadways, but now by our bicycle routes as well.”

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials approved INDOT’s applications for USBR 35, USBR 36 and USBR 50 at its annual meeting last month in Chicago.

Nancy Tibbett, executive director of Bicycle Indiana, said: “The designation of these routes puts Indiana at the crossroads of a budding network of national bicycle touring routes. This is a good thing for Indiana, since studies show that bicycle tourism is growing rapidly, and that bicycle tourists spend more and stay longer than other travelers.”

AASHTO approved new U.S. Bicycle Route miles in Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Ohio and Vermont in October, bringing the system to more than 11,000 miles. Indiana is now seventh in the nation with the most number of U.S. Bicycle Route miles.

“Indiana is delighted to be joining 22 other states as part of the U.S. Bicycle Route System,” said Mark Newman, executive director of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development. “We take great pride in our rural roadways and the charm of our natural assets and destinations. Hoosiers look forward to sharing their roads and communities with bicycle tourists as they travel the Indiana portions of these U.S. bike routes.”

The three U.S. Bicycle Routes in Indiana are:

usbr-35-grpahic-as-jpeg_cropUSBR 35: The nearly 381-mile, north-south route crosses Indiana from LaPorte County on the Michigan border to Jeffersonville at the Big Four Bridge over the Ohio River. Because USBR 35 was previously approved through Michigan, the route now connects southern Indiana to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, for a total of 865 miles. USBR 35 follows county roads, city streets, state highways and off-road trails, traversing along diverse topographies and ecosystems, including wetlands, forests, fields and agricultural land. Cyclists can explore cultural and historical attractions and bicycle facilities along the route, including the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Hoosier Rails to Trails Council Vice Chairman Richard Vonnegut said: “Of all motor and bike routes in Indiana, USBR 35 is the only international route and therefore brings bicycling to supersede other interstate, federal and national roads across Indiana. Further, the requirement for local approvals in creating USBR 35 sets a model for creating other cross-state and local bike routes in Indiana.”

usbr-36-graphic-as-jpeg-new_cropUSBR 36: The 58.7-mile route runs between Illinois and Michigan, with 35 miles of the route on off-road trails. The route begins near the southern tip of Chicago in Hammond, where it soon diverts from an urban setting to a loop trail around Wolf Lake and its 1,000-foot boardwalk bridge through naturalized areas hosting a myriad of wildlife. The route connects with the Erie-Lackawanna Trail, and along the Oak-Savannah and Prairie-Duneland trails. These off-road trails eventually lead riders to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The Dunes Highway, or U.S. 12, takes cyclists through Michigan City and eventually crosses the Michigan state line.

usbr-50-graphic-as-jpeg_cropUSBR 50: This 160-mile route connects from the Illinois border, near Terre Haute, to Richmond on the Ohio border. The Ride Across Indiana bicycle ride follows this route, which passes through rolling hills and agricultural land, and many bike-friendly communities in central Indiana. USBR 50 intersects with USBR 35 in Indianapolis.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, which determines most standards for roads in the United States, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. AASHTO’s primary goal is to foster the development of an integrated national transportation system. AASHTO works in concert with the Adventure Cycling Association regarding the U.S. Bicycle Route System.

Stay informed
Subscribe to receive text and email alerts at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/INDOT/subscriber/new.

Find links to INDOT’s regional Facebook and Twitter pages at http://in.gov/indot/3074.htm.

–Jessica Hall, program director, Bicycle Indiana

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Anderson’s first bike lane has arrived!

The City of Anderson opened its first bike lane along Columbus Avenue during a road diet and re-paving project in mid-October. The bicycle lanes, which extend from 32nd to 53rd Street, are the first step in a larger plan put together by the Madison County Council of Governments (MCCOG) to greatly expand the on- and off-road bicycle network in Anderson over the next ten years. The lanes span approximately 1.5 miles, connecting multiple neighborhoods on the east side of town, with the intention to continue into downtown Anderson at the beginning of next spring.Anderson_ColumbusAve_RibbonCutting

At the ribbon cutting, Mayor Kevin Smith and Ben Orcutt, owner of Buckskin Bikes and Chair of the White River Bicycle Coalition, talked about the role of bike lanes in improving safety, attracting young professionals, and providing equitable transportation options. Columbus Avenue is a link in the Lenape, a signed, on-road route established in 2005 and sees both recreational and utilitarian cyclists throughout the year. The bike lanes vary in width from 4 to 6 feet due to changing available road widths and the project is already receiving a lot of positive feedback from the cycling community.

–Ryan Phelps, project planner, Madison County Council of Governments

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