Victory from the 2014 National Bike Summit!
During the 2014 National Bike Summit, New York Bicycling Coalition and local advocates met with many members of New York’s Congressional delegation and asked them to support a national goal to reduce bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities. In mid December we got our wish!
The 2015 budget bill (a.k.a “the Cromnibus”) included a directive to the U.S. Department of Transportation to create a separate non-motorized safety performance measure. According to the League of American Bicyclists – Key to that provision’s success was that roughly 20% of Congress co-sponsored the bill — and more than half of those co-sponsors’ offices point to the National Bike Summit as the catalyst for co-sponsoring the bill.
We need you at the National Bike Summit in 2015!
When it comes to federal bicycle and pedestrian funding, 2015 will bring a must-act moment for Congress, especially in the Senate. MAP-21, the current transportation bill, expires on May 31, as does the funding in the Highway Trust Fund. The House and Senate will have to find funding to continue the transportation program and extend the bill. This will include a debate on eliminating or limiting funding and eligibility for biking and walking infrastructure.
NYBC and Transportation Alternatives serve as State Coordinators for the National Bike Summit, organizing advocates and scheduling Congressional meetings. For many Summit attendees, this is their first time meeting with a member of Congress, and in some cases, their first experience engaging in direct advocacy with an elected official. NYBC makes it a point to spend time with advocates individually to provide advice and answer questions prior to their meetings. We join every House meeting to assist with explaining the details of legislation, which gives local advocates the chance to focus on district specific issues.
In 2014 we were thrilled to be joined by passionate advocates from Rochester, Ithaca, New Paltz, Albany, Saratoga Springs, White Plains, New York City and the North Country. We shared information about bicycle and pedestrian safety and how federal funding was being spent in their district, and discussed the tourism and economic benefits of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
Participation in the Congressional meetings is an excellent opportunity to build relationships with members of Congress and their staff. Face-to-face meetings are especially important, and that’s why we need you at the 2015 Summit this March – one of the most effective ways to show Congress the strength of the bicycling movement across the country. We hope you will join us!