July 10, 2012

AAA Watch

Washington Watch


Member Alert

Website of the Month

In the News

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
AAA Watch
New BWC Member Writes Breakup Letter to AAA Mid-Atlantic

Explains Why He's Seeing Another Auto Club - One That Really Understands Him

Should You Be in a Relationship With A Partner Who's Prejudiced...Against Bicyclists?

The following comes to us from a new member (Thanks, Jack!). It has been used here with permission, and is addressed to the membership manager of AAA Mid-Atlantic.

"Let me begin by congratulating you and AAA Mid-Atlantic President and CEO Don Gagnon on achieving one of your major legislative goals. President Gagnon has been clear in advocating that the federal highway trust fund should be used only for highways... the association advocates that funds from the gasoline tax should support highway construction and maintenance to the exclusion of funds for public transportation, bike lines, and improved pedestrian access...while AAA Mid-Atlantic and its CEO have a free speech right to advocate for terrible public policies, I don't have an obligation to support your advocacy. That's why you will not be receiving a renewal from me now or in the future.

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In The News
Bike Insurance Enters the Market
by Linda Baker

Today, fewer people are buying homes and fewer people are buying cars. More people are riding bikes. Bikes, like cars, can get stolen or damaged, or cause damage. Cyclists, like drivers, can get hurt and need to go to the hospital. They can sue or be sued.

The United States is still a far cry from Holland, but transportation and housing trends are changing, and the insurance industry, apparently, has responded.

Complete Story
Top Story
Cyclist Insurance Now Included in Better World Club Bike Memberships

First Affordable Nationwide Accident and Liability Coverage for Cyclists Added to Our Roadside Assistance Membership

Better World Club is now offering BIKEon, the first nationwide, comprehensive, and affordable accident and liability insurance for bicyclists. We're including the insurance in our bicycle roadside assistance program, and primary members will receive coverage at no extra charge.

BIKEon is currently available only from Better World Club. It provides up to $100,000 in reimbursement for injuries received while cycling, and liability insurance of up to $1 million in the event of injury to other people or property damage caused by the cyclist. Cyclists who ride standard road bikes, mountain bikes or electric bikes will be covered under this new policy. BIKEon insurance does not cover riders of BMX bikes or bikes used for commercial purposes.

Our Bike Only roadside assistance program is still $39.95, and now includes insurance for the primary member. Associate members can still be added for just $17, and will receive both roadside assistance and insurance coverage.

For Basic and Premium Auto program members, $17 still purchases bicycle roadside assistance for everyone on the account. That now includes bicycle insurance at no additional charge for the primary member. For associates, insurance coverage can be added for an additional $17 per person.

If you're a current member and want bicycle insurance, give us a call at 1-866-238-1137 and we'll help you upgrade your account. If you're a new member, our online sign-up form now includes a bike insurance section. If you'd like to know more about the program before you decide, send us an email. Check out the press release for more details.

Our insurance partner is Gales Creek Insurance Services (GCIS) of Portland, Oregon, a division of JD Fulwiler. GCIS is a founding member of Green America, and is committed to building a more just, equitable and sustainable economy through ethical business-to-business transactions.

Complete Story

Read Last Edition's Top Story:

Wipe Up Your Carbon Footprints With Our New Carbon Calculator
League of American Bicyclists

Better World Club partners with LAB to provide League membership benefits to our Bike Only members. In return, we offer the League's Silver Spoke members membership in Better World Club's bicycle roadside assistance program.

With a current membership of 300,000 affiliated cyclists, including 25,000 individuals and 700 organizations, the League works to bring better bicycling to communities across the United States. They focus on safety, advocacy, outreach, and building community among cyclists in all walks (or is that lanes?) of life. Read more about our Bike Only member benefits, or read more about the League.

Want coverage for your company vehicles? Contact us about our car and bike fleet programs.

Better World Insurance will offset your car's first ton of greenhouse gas emissions!
Washington Watch
East Coast Cap-and-Trade Program Reports Success

New Jersey Says "We're Out: Less Carbon Equals European Socialism"

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a non-profit corporation, begun in 2003 in an effort to reduce emissions in 10 Northeastern states. In June 2012, managers announced that over the past three years CO 2 emissions have been reduced by 23%.

This announcement comes hard on the heels of New Jersey's sudden withdrawal from the program. State governor Chris Christie stated that "our analysis of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI reveals that this program is not effective in reducing greenhouse gases and is unlikely to be in the future." Christie's administration is being sued by two environmental defense groups.

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Member Alert
Improved Map Viewing

We heard you like maps, so we made maps of our maps. Now you can search our selection by region!

Alabama - Maine
Maryland -Wyoming
Bicycle Maps

Each point includes a description noting the areas covered, street or highway level detail, special insets, etc.

We have greatly increased our selection of map titles based on where our members live and travel. If you don't see the map you need, we may be able to order it for you!
Website of the Month
City Running Tours:
Your Sweat is Carbon-Neutral

If you're like us, you don't want to sit in traffic during your visit to the city. You may be tempted to strap on your shoes and hit the pavement (especially if you have a daily jogging routine), but as a tourist, how do you know where to go? Enter City Running Tours. In ten major cities, you can book a personalized guide who will run with you - and still have enough breath left over to explain the history, culture, and architecture of your route.

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Do You Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is?
Rent Your Car for Cash
by Peter Valdes-Dapena for CNN

Neil St. Clair owns a BMW 5-series and if you want, he'll let you drive it for $15 an hour or $75 a day. St. Clair - like thousands of people - doesn't actually need his car all the time, so he's decided to take advantage of a new peer-to-peer car sharing service that allows him to rent his car out to strangers and defray his ownership costs.

"With monthly payments and insurance, I was in the black last month," he said. "Basically, I have the car for free." He made about $700 in May, he said, his first month using the site. But for St. Clair and a lot of others, it's not just about the money. They like the fact that their unused car is doing someone some good.

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Chicago Aims for Zero Traffic Fatalities Within 10 Years, Unveils Action Plan
by Michael Graham Richard for Treehugger

It's important to set ambitious and inspiring goals. If you think wars are horrible, you should aim to end all wars, not to have 10% fewer wars. Even if you don't reach the goal, you'll probably make more total progress striving for it than working on an easier but less inspiring goal. That's kind of what the city of Chicago's transportation department is doing. Its new action agenda called "Chicago Forward" (PDF) contains the goal of "Eliminating all pedestrian, bicycle, and overall traffic crash fatalities within 10 years." In the recent past, the city has been averaging about 50 traffic fatalities a year.

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The Gas Station of the Future Just Opened
by Karen E. Klein for Business Week

Matt Horton wants to solve a problem that makes alternative-fuel vehicles unappealing to would-be buyers: lack of convenient places to refuel. Last month, the chief executive officer of Propel Fuels opened the country's first station where drivers can pump gasoline, ethanol, and biodiesel, cyclists can get tune-ups, and commuters can find public transit schedules. Backed by more than $19 million in venture capital and nearly $12 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission, the 23-person Redwood City (Calif.) startup received yesterday an additional, $10.1 million grant from the commission to help build 100 stations around the state in the next four years.

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