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Bicycle Congress Facts

Professor Knight

Created and Directed by

George C. Knight
Department of Philosophy
Boise State University


Encourage Boise State University students, faculty and staff to commute by bicycle; engage professional planners, policymakers and engineers in thinking about how to build a bicycle-friendly community (hence the project’s full name, Community Bicycle Congress).


Bicycle Congress events and symposia have been made possible primarily by gifts through the Boise State University Foundation. Private donations have been supplemented by small grants from sources within the university, and by large measures of “sweat equity.”

History in Brief

In May of 2004, the Bicycle Congress originated with “bike to work/bike to school” encouragement events. In 2005, the project began producing symposia to feature current and cutting-edge research in bicycle transportation planning. Relevant accomplishments are summarized below.


  • 2005: Planning for Bicycles in Regional Transit I. Panelists included the bicycle program manager for the City of San Francisco; research faculty from Portland State University, and from the University of Minnesota; and the director of Victoria Transport Policy Institute.
  • 2006: Planning for Bicycles in Regional Transit II. Panelists included research faculty from Iowa State University, from the University of Minnesota, and from Texas A & M University. A representative from Alta Planning+Design alsopresented her current research.
  • 2007: Third Symposium of the Community Bicycle Congress. Research papers were presented by professional engineers from Santa Clara County, California and from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency; by a planner from Toole Design Group; and by faculty from California Polytechnic State University, from the University of Oregon, and from Boise State University.
  • 2008: Fourth Symposium of the Community Bicycle Congress. Local planning and transportation agencies took center stage with reports on their current efforts; research papers were presented by faculty from Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) and from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Workshops and Clinics

Unique Features

  • Each annual symposium has been surrounded by events and activities to encourage bicycle commuting. In 2005 there were outdoor exhibits and displays stressing intermodal transportation, and stressing the health benefits of active transportation. Booths were provided for bicycle registration, and there were outdoor stations where students, faculty and staff could bring bicycles for mechanical inspection with simple repairs. Local vendors displayed gear and equipment to suit the bicycle commuter
  • Also in 2005, each morning there were organized rides to campus, following routes designed and mapped especially for commuters to Boise State University.
  • In 2006, conference presentations were videotaped. Videos aired weekly on the public access television station (TVTV) and on Boise State University Television Productions’ cable network during August and September, 2006.
  • Also in 2006, rides were organized for outbound commuters, offering diversions to the “Fettucine Forum” in downtown Boise; to a meeting of Ada County Highway District’s Bicycle Advisory Committee; and to the Eighth Street district of downtown Boise.
  • In 2008, the Bicycle Congress joined with the Department of Kinesiology and cycling team to present a Bike Festival for Women.
  • The 2009 Statewide Conference on Active Transportation resulted in subsequent formation of Idaho Pedestrian and Bicycle Alliance, a private non-profit.

People Who Like the Bicycle Congress

  • Bicycle Congress events and symposia have attracted diverse audiences including…
  • Boise State University students, staff and faculty
  • professional planners from local and state government and from the private sector
  • former Governor Kempthorne’s transportation advisor
  • representatives from the City of Coeur d’Alene, and from the City of Spokane, Washington
  • interested citizens from the Treasure Valley
  • members of the Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance
  • representatives of fifteen other advocacy or advisory groups from all corners of Idaho