Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bicycle Commuter Tax Credit

The "bail-out bill" just passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush includes a provision that may provide cyclists who ride to work up to $240 to offset their commuting cost and hopefully encourage more bicycle commuting.

The bill offers employers a $20 per month per eligible employee tax credit to cover reimbursement expenses related to the needs of commuter bicyclists. As worded, almost anything related to bicycle commuting could be covered.

This tax credit is only for employers, so you have to convince your employer to set up a program to make it work. You submit your receipt for bicycle expenses to your company and they reimburse you for the cost in your paycheck. At the end of the year your company claims a tax credit for the amount they've reimbursed employees.

Ryan Cooper, a member of Knoxville Regional Bicycle Program Bicycle Advisory Committee, has drafted a sample letter that you can use as a starting point for contacting your Human Resources Department to ask them to implement such a program.


Human Resources Department,

As I'm sure you are aware, the Congress just passed H.R. 1424 "The Bail-Out Bill" on Capitol Hill. Although this legislation deals primarily with the housing market, there were several other
unrelated provisions added to the bill. Among these was a tax incentive for employers who promote the use of bicycles for commuting. The specifics of this tax break are laid out in Sec. 211, "Transportation fringe benefit to bicycle commuters" under the Transportation and Domestic Fuel Security Provision section but the change is pretty basic.

The bill offers a $20 a month tax relief per bicycle commuting employee to cover the cost of any employer reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred by the employee "for the purchase of a bicycle and bicycle improvements, repair, and storage, if such bicycle is regularly used for
travel between the employee's residence and place of employment."

I am interested in finding a way that [Company Name] could implement a program that would allow employees who cyclo-commute to expense less than $20 a month in bike related expenses. The benefits of an expense reimbursement program for cyclo-commuters include:

Lower fuel costs on company owned vehicles
Less required maintenance on company owned vehicles
Ability of [Company Name] to claim a full $20 per month per eligible
Employee when actual expenses are likely to be far less
Improved employee health which in turn increases employee productivity
Creates a progressive and environmentally conscious image for the company

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like additional information about this recent tax code change.

Thank you,

[Your name]
[Your job title]

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sharing the Road with Bicycles and Pedestrians

On October 29, 2008 the Nashville Area MPO staff made a presentation to over 100 attendees of the Tennessee Highway Safety and Incident Management Conference on Sharing the Road with Bicycles and Pedestrians.

This annual conference addresses many important roadway safety issues such as preventing and responding to accidents, collecting accident data and increasing roadway safety.

For the first time, the conference addressed Sharing the Road not only with bicycles and pedestrians but with motorcyclists as well. The standing-room only crowd representing cities from all across the state asked many important questions about bicycle rider safety and laws pertaining to bicycles. A big thank you to TDOT for allowing the MPO to make this important presentation. Click here to view the presentation.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nashville Mayor Appoints Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee

The Walk/Bike Nashville 10th Birthday Celebration held on October 23rd was a huge hit! Over 80 people in attendance enjoyed food and beverages and the biggest bicycle birthday cake you've ever seen.

The highlight of the event was Mayor Karl Dean's announcement of a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC). The Committee is made up of cycling clubs, community groups, greenways and transit organizations, and elected officials. The BPAC will serve as a liaison between the Nashville community and the Metropolitan Government. View Mayor's Announcement.

View video coverage of the event.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Celebrate Walk/Bike Nashville's 10th Birthday!!

Join Walk/Bike Nashville and Mayor Dean TONIGHT for the Walk/Bike Nashville's 10th 'Birthday' Party celebrating 10 years of pedestrian and bicycle successes! The party goes from 6-8 pm at the Nashville Farmers' Market located at 900 Rosa Parks Boulevard next to Bicentennial Mall.

There will be plenty of food, drinks and of course birthday cake. Mayor Dean will be making a big announcement tonight that you won't want to miss!

For more information, visit

Friday, October 17, 2008

Online Tool Determines Neighborhood Walkability

Walkable neighborhoods offer surprising benefits to our health, the environment, and our communities. With the surge in gas prices, people are really considering the consequences of where they live., a service designed to help those seeking a less automobile-dependent life launched in July of 2007 and offers the ability for people to assess how walkable their neighborhood’s are based on proximity to grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants, movie theaters and other amenities.

Find out how your home rates for walkability; punch in your address at After you explore the site and determine your neighborhood’s walkability, provide us your comments, thoughts, and ideas for improving the walking environment in the Greater Nashville Region.

Commuting to Work by Bike

A recent article in The Tennessean highlighted the experiences of some commuting to work by bike in Williamson County.

The Tennessean conducted a follow up story and actually recorded one bike commuter's typical commute ride to and from work via roadways within Williamson County. View video journal.

If you bike or walk to work, share with us your commuting experience. Let us know what would help to improve your travel or share your secrets for travelling safely on roadways within the Nashville Region.