The National Bike Summit kicks off today in Washington, D.C. This year’s keynote speakers are Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Janette Sadik-Khan, the Commissioner of the New York City DOT. The Bike Summit is the premier bike advocacy event of the year, attracting upwards of 700 attendees including advocates, supporters, and industry executives. This year’s theme is, “Acting on a Simple Solution”. From the Summit program:
This years theme, Acting on a Simple Solution, could hardly be more timely. Bicycling is economical, efficient, clean, and sustainable. The level of investment needed to get more people riding is small and offers big returns. Riding a bike frees people from car, gas, and insurance payments; it frees the nation from costly oil imports from volatile corners of the world. Bicycling is the ultimate expression of freedom and independence and the simple pleasure of riding a bike harkens back to simpler times. It’s fun, and its good for you. What’s not to like about that?
Yet here we are; close to 800 people in our nation’s capital having to “pitch” our elected representatives on why they should support continued Federal investment in bicycling. While it may seem obvious to us why that’s a simple case to make, there are almost 100 new members of Congress and a fresh slate of key committee members and staff who probably haven’t thought much about our issue. There are very few members of the House or Senate who were in office 20 years ago when the Transportation Enhancements program was created. In the next few days, we have the opportunity — no, the responsibility — to make sure every Member of Congress understands why this investment makes sense and just how it benefits individuals, business, communities, and the nation. No one else is going to do it for us.