As some of you Campaign insiders are aware, I made a trip to DC this past week as part of the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit, in its 10th year. There were almost 700 registrants from across the country, there to learn about federal policy as it affects their local efforts, and to advocate with our elected officials in Congress for better policy.
Luminaries of the bicycle industry were there, including the ever fashionable Gary Fisher, pictured above with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Inspiring words came from elected and appointed officials including Jim Oberstar, Earl Blumenauer (both above right), LaHood and many others. I was particularly pleased that Representative Jack Kingston, himself a regular bicycle commuter while in DC, joined us for the Congressional Bike Ride on Friday even in the face of rain and cool temps (as also chronicled on the League of American Bicyclists’ blog).
A suite of bicycling-related bills is under consideration, but since the vast majority of legislation that is introduced never becomes law, we need your involvement to ensure that our government takes action on these bike-partisan issues:
- HR 1443/S 584: The Complete Streets Act of 2009 requires state and local transportation agencies to adopt complete streets policies to ensure all road users (bikes, pedestrians, transit and cars) are included in the design of transportation facilities funded with federal dollars.
- S1156/HR 4021: Safe Routes to School reauthorization (first was in 2005, expires with current transportation bill) to include high schools and an increase in the amount of funding available to states for the programs.
- HR 4722: The Active Community Transportation Act (ACT Act) establishes a competitive funding program in the surface transportation bill for concentrated investment in communities to complete active transportation networks.
- HR 3734: The Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act authorizes funding for development and revitalization of urban parks and community recreation infrastructure.
- S 2747, The Land and Water Reauthorization Act rededicates funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund through which park and trails programs can compete for funding.
Go to congress.org and find your representatives. Let them know you support these bicycle friendly federal policies — Georgia’s advocates at the bike summit briefed staffers of all Georgia’s members of congress on Thursday, so they should already know about them.
The geography may differ, but many of the issues we face are common to everyone. Help make your government work for you by calling for better policy.