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Magic Moments at National Bike Summit

It was a near-surreal moment at the 2010 National Bike Summit when Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood didn’t just make a surprise visit to the Congressional Reception, but rocked the crowd with a tabletop speech that put his unambiguous support behind bicycling.

But magic moments have become an annual tradition for the Summit, with each year outpacing the last with rousing speakers and innovative content.

Last year, we all shared a collective “ah-ha!” moment as we digested brand new research on perception of bicycling and bike advocates in Congress. Douglas Meyer, a consultant at Bernuth & Williams, found out what lawmakers on the Hill really think. One of the biggest takeaways: Biking is not a fringe movement — “You’ve been asking for a seat at the table — it’s time to sit down,” Meyer said.

Veronica Davis, co-founder of Black Women Bike DC, inspired with her story about creating a movement to empower black women to get on bicycles during our Ignite Sessions. Growing from a small Facebook group, Black Women Bike DC now has more than 750 members.

And the League staff was excited to unveil the new face of our organization, looking to the future of the bicycle movement. With a new logo and color scheme, the League has continued that evolution, releasing our new mission and vision: to lead the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.

We’re putting the final touches on the 2014 National Bike Summit, with the theme of “United Spokes: Moving Beyond Gridlock,” and we’re working to keep that energy and momentum rolling.  Here are some of the sessions we’re most excited about…

Video Advocacy

Sixty percent of Capitol Hill staff watch videos to learn about current issues or bills. How can the bicycle movement use video to advance our cause? Watch some short advocacy videos and learn how these are being used to make biking better. Here film makers discuss why they used video, their goals for advocacy and how they are using their films.  Clarence Eckerson of Streetsfilms moderates this panel including videos by: Max Hepp-Buchanan, Bike Walk RVA on their trip; Yolanda Davis-Overstreet, Ride in Living Color; Michael Marinnacio, US House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The Role of Enforcement in a Vision Zero Strategy

 Law enforcement isn’t always a bicyclist’s best friend and justice for bicyclists and pedestrians hit by cars is rarely served. Hear from lawyers and advocates who have changed the law and worked with enforcement agencies to ensure proper legal protection for cyclists. Hear from Brent Buice of Georgia Bikes on his work training Georgia police on bicyclists rights, as well as bicycle attorneys  Peter Wilburn and Bob Anderton discuss changes in the law that could strengthen the rights of cyclists.

Quantifying Bike Benefits

Nationally bicycling and walking projects get 1.5% of federal transportation funding, but under the TIGER program bicycling and walking projects get close to 4-5%. What’s the difference? As more and more states move to performance based funding – what can we learn from TIGER that can be applied to state DOT project selection. Hear from US DOT’s Chief Economist Jack Wells as to how the TIGER program calculates the cost/ benefit of bicycling and walking projects, and discuss how this formula compares with state DOTs.