"Walking and bicycling are humble modes of transport; they are not the choice of those who seek to impress others or to dominate them. Bicycling and walking are experiences that bring us into close contact with our communities, with people, with nature and with the built environment. When you walk and bike you are not "on it" or "going through it," you are "in it" and "of it." You can’t walk or bike and not be aware of the community and the people; and you can’t be aware and not care."
–Bill Wilkinson, opening the 2002 Conference in St. Paul, MN
Before there was public bike share, before there were complete streets policies, before there were cycle tracks, before our awakening to the fact that communities which support walking and bicycling are healthier, happier, and more economically resilient places—before all that, there was the Bicycle Federation of America and the Pro Bike conference.
Pro Bike 1980 assembled a handful advocates in Asheville, North Carolina, to discuss how to make bicycling safer, more comfortable and more accessible to all types of riders. In the nearly 40 years since, the conference has grown in size from a hundred zealous advocates to 1,500+ attendees and grown in scope to embrace walking and place. The audience has transformed from a collection of advocates into an ecosystem of planners, designers, researchers and community leaders representing the public, private, and non-profit sectors.
Our name has also changed with the times: thirty-eight years after its inception, this year's conference will convene in New Orleans, September 16–19, 2018, as Walk/Bike/Places. What has not changed is our commitment to building sustainable and equitable communities.
Over time, the conference has been a crucible for creating consensus on best practices for bicycle facility design for all ages and abilities, equitable bike share system design and operation, complete streets policy and implementation, placemaking, context sensitive design and more.
Here is a sampling of some prescient sessions from conferences past:
What's in store for 2018 in New Orleans?
In December 2017 we will launch our call for proposals to help us decide the breakout program. While we can’t give you specifics about the program we do promise that equity will be a key theme throughout the 100+ breakout sessions, mobile workshops and general sessions. New Orleans has much to teach us about resilience, diversity, music, culture and how all these elements and more combine to create a place unlike any other. It is a city whose sights, smells and sounds are best experienced at a walking pace.
Stay up to date on the latest conference developments by , and subscribing for updates on the conference website ().
Walk/Bike/Places is organized by . For more information place contact Mark Plotz, Conference Director, .