10th National Bike Summit Rocked!
The 10th National Bike Summit ended last Thursday, March 11th, with a momentous Congressional Reception, inspiring bike advocates from around the country – and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood – to bring the American bicycle movement to the next level! The 2010 Bike Summit was a paramount event for countless reasons but there are 10 clear highlights.
Drum roll please…
10. Rewards for A Decade of Service – The Summit really wouldn’t be what it is today without the ongoing support of three people we recognized for their decade of commitment to the event: Congressmen Jim Oberstar (D-MN) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) have spoken at all ten Summits, offering words of wisdom and inspiration; always challenging us to aim higher. Their staff provide invaluable logistical help and strategic guidance as we navigate the halls of power. The third award was to Bikes Belong, the title sponsor of all ten – a serious financial commitment which they exceed every year by also drumming up attendees. Thank You!
Just before the Summit kicked off, at the League’s annual meeting, we also recognized more than a decade of service by outgoing Chair of the League Board, Amanda Eichstaedt. She received the Paul Dudley White award for her contribution to bicycling over the years, including service on the League board and as Chair of the board for the past three years.
9. The League’s six asks for the Congressional Lobby Day (starting on page 14 of the agenda) were well received by our nation’s Senators and Congressmen. H.R. 4722, the Active Community Transportation of Act of 2010, had nine additional bill co-sponsors as a result of our meetings on Capitol Hill.
8. Bike/Ped Eligibility for Transit Funds Increased – Speaking at the opening plenary of the Summit, Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff confirmed that the eligibility of FTA funds for bicycling and walking projects has been extended. Following a Federal Register notice last year, FTA has agreed that bicycling projects that increase access and service to transit facilities are eligible for FTA funding provided they are within a three-mile radius of a transit station (one mile for walking). Eligibility doesn’t guarantee any more funding for bike/transit projects, but certainly removes a major hurdle that has prevented it in the past.
7. The Bikes Belong Coalition Political Action Committee (Bike PAC) – the bicycle industry’s bipartisan political action committee – had 10 members of Congress join the meeting!
6. Bikes Belong rolled out their new campaign People for Bikes – a brand-new initiative to put more people on bikes more often.
5. We had two members from Capitol Hill join us for the 10th Annual Congressional Bike Ride – Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) and Senator Merkley (D-OR)!
4. Representative Tom Petri (R-WI) pedaled a pedicab at the League’s National Bike Summit the afternoon of the Lobbying Day.
3. Google announced at the Opening Plenary Session at the National Bike Summit an addition to their suite of online directions – Google Maps biking directions! “This new tool will open people’s eyes to the possibility and practicality of hopping on a bike and riding,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists.
2. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood energized and thanked the crowd at the League of American Bicyclists National Bike Summit on March 11, 2010 declaring, “You have a full partner in Ray LaHood.” Today, March 15, LaHood issued his new Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations. LaHood then made the most substantial statement the DOT has ever made about bicycling and announced, a ” sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.”
And finally, the number one reason the 10th Annual Bike Summit Rocked…
1. You! More than 725 bicycle advocates, educators, enthusiasts, and industry leaders attended the 10th Annual National Bike Summit and had more than 425 scheduled meetings on Capitol Hill! That is approximately 600 more Bike Summit attendees than we had 10 years ago!
To recap, the National Bike Summit was a great success, and the League is confident in the progress we will make in the year to come in conjunction with the Bike Summit! The League thanks all of our sponsors, advocates, supporters and industry leaders who turned out in record numbers to support the cause we all know will make America a healthier, better place to live – bicycling.