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Will fund 10 pilot projects designed to conserve energy by encouraging the use of bicycles in place of motor vehicles.

The energy bill that President Bush signed into law on Aug. 8 includes a provision for $6.25 million to go to up to 10 communities for Conserve by Bike. This new program will enable the communities, which have yet to be chosen, to promote bicycling as an energy reduction strategy. Special thanks to Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) for getting this important passage in the bill. We look forward to working with the Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta to develop this program in the coming months.

From the 2005 federal energy bill, HR6:


(a) Definitions.--In this section:

(1) PROGRAM.--The term "program'' means the Conserve by Bicycling Program established by subsection (b).

(2) SECRETARY.--The term "Secretary'' means the Secretary of Transportation.

(b) Establishment.--There is established within the Department of Transportation a program to be known as the "Conserve by Bicycling Program''.

(c) Projects.--

(1) IN GENERAL.--In carrying out the program, the Secretary shall establish not more than 10 pilot projects that are--

(A) dispersed geographically throughout the United States; and

(B) designed to conserve energy resources by encouraging the use of bicycles in place of motor vehicles.

(2) REQUIREMENTS. --A pilot project described in paragraph (1) shall--

(A) use education and marketing to convert motor vehicle trips to bicycle trips;

(B) document project results and energy savings (in estimated units of energy conserved);

(C) facilitate partnerships among interested parties in at least 2 of the fields of--

(i) transportation;

(ii) law enforcement;

(iii) education;

(iv) public health;

(v) environment; and

(vi) energy;

(D) maximize bicycle facility investments;

(E) demonstrate methods that may be used in other regions of the United States; and

(F) facilitate the continuation of ongoing programs that are sustained by local resources.

(3) COST SHARING.--At least 20 percent of the cost of each pilot project described in paragraph (1) shall be provided from non-Federal sources.

(d) Energy and Bicycling Research Study.--

(1) IN GENERAL.--Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall enter into a contract with the National Academy of Sciences for, and the National Academy of Sciences shall conduct and submit to Congress a report on, a study on the feasibility of converting motor vehicle trips to bicycle trips.

(2) COMPONENTS.--The study shall--

(A) document the results or progress of the pilot projects under subsection (c);

(B) determine the type and duration of motor vehicle trips that people in the United States may feasibly make by bicycle, taking into consideration factors such as--

(i) weather;

(ii) land use and traffic patterns;

(iii) the carrying capacity of bicycles; and

(iv) bicycle infrastructure;

(C) determine any energy savings that would result from the conversion of motor vehicle trips to bicycle trips;

(D) include a cost-benefit analysis of bicycle infrastructure investments; and

(E) include a description of any factors that would encourage more motor vehicle trips to be replaced with bicycle trips.

(e) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this section $6,200,000, to remain available until expended, of which--

(1) $5,150,000 shall be used to carry out pilot projects described in subsection (c);

(2) $300,000 shall be used by the Secretary to coordinate, publicize, and disseminate the results of the program; and

(3) $750,000 shall be used to carry out subsection (d).

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