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Founded in 1902, AAA is a not-for-profit organization of clubs serving more than 51 million members in the United States and Canada. As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides its members a full range of travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services through a network of 1,100 offices, as well as its full-service Web site: AAA.com. Since its founding, AAA has been an advocate for the motorist and traveler, continually lobbying for driver and passenger rights, fair laws and safer vehicles and roads. Through affiliations with motoring clubs around the world, AAA provides benefits to members traveling in 130 countries on six continents. Today, 25 percent of all U.S. households have a AAA membership. Nearly 27 percent of all North American passenger vehicles belong to AAA members.
Creating a Bicycle Friendly America
Rhonda Shah from AAA and Andy Clark from the League of American Bicyclists discuss moving towards a bicycle friendly America.
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Rhonda Shah: Hi! I am Rhonda Shah with AAA.
Andy Clark: And I am Andy Clark with the League of American Bicyclists. And today we are talking about moving towards a more bicyclist-friendly America.
Rhonda Shah: So what exactly does that mean Andy?
Andy Clark: Well, a bicycle-friendly community is one where people naturally think about riding a bike where it's a safe, convenient and comfortable option for getting away.
Rhonda Shah: I guess it would help then if there are bike lanes and trails where people can enjoy riding. But being bike-friendly means much more than that; doesn't it?
Andy Clark: It does. The best bicycle-friendly communities have safety training for children in schools, as well as skills classes for adults. And we have learned that while you may not forget how to ride a bike, you can't forget how to operate one properly. That's why education needs to be backed up with enforcement both for cyclists and for motorists. Because it's really important for everyone to know that sharing the road is more than just a slogan. Drivers and cyclists need to put down their phones, stop texting, pay attention and look out for each other.
Rhonda Shah: The places I like to ride seem to have a real cycling culture, with lots of community events and rides for families, as well as for the real cycling enthusiast out there.
Andy Clark: Absolutely right. Most communities have got an active bike club that offers a wide range of rides throughout the year, and they may also have an advocacy group. They are probably the ones behind bike to workday events, and National Bike Month celebrations in May each year.
And if you're interested in making your community more bike-friendly, supporting these groups is a great way to start. And even if you don't ride, living in a bike-friendly community is good news. Cycling is healthy, economical, energy efficient and it gives people another transportation choice. It's no coincidence that cities ranked with a high quality of life are usually also bicycle-friendly communities.
To find out more, you can visit websites such as bikeleague.
org. Rhonda Shah: Or sharetheroad.