Written by Taco Ride
Courtesy of League of American Bicyclists:
This week, a record-breaking number of Americans will flood the halls of Congress to “Save Cycling.” The 2012 National Bike Summit, March 20-22, will bring together more than 800 cyclists from 49 states to show policymakers that bicycling is an important transportation option for a powerful and growing constituency in communities across the nation.
Hosted by the League, the Summit convenes as Congress considers how to spend billions of dollars on the future of our transportation system. Bicycling represents a popular, equitable and growing mobility option that creates jobs, cuts healthcare costs and protects American families from skyrocketing gas prices. Still, members of the U.S. House of Representatives are poised to eliminate dedicated funding for cost-effective programs that make bicycling safe and accessible in urban and rural communities across the country.
The 2012 National Bike Summit will showcase and harness the dramatic impact bicyclists have on Capitol Hill. Already, grassroots advocates, local business owners and people who ride bikes triggered dramatic changes in the Senate transportation bill.
“Two months ago, the Senate bill would have gutted critical funding for local bicycle projects, eliminated programs like Safe Routes to School and eroded the rights of all American cyclists,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “But tens of thousands of people called and wrote their members of Congress and their voices were heard. Now more than ever, cyclists have become a powerful, organized constituency that is redefining our streets as safe, public spaces for people, not just speeding automobiles.”
In the midst of deep political divides, bicycling also represents a rare, truly bipartisan issue. The Summit will bridge political ideology and bring together representatives from both sides of the aisle. Speakers during the 2012 National Bike Summit will include:
- U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood
- Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
- Congressman Tom Petri (R-WI)
- Mark McKinnon, Former Presidential Campaign and Chief Media Adviser
- Jason Dorsey, The Gen Y Guy
The National Bike Summit will be held at the Grand Hyatt Washington (1000 H Street NW, Washington, D.C.) on March 20 and 21, and moves to Capitol Hill on Thursday, March 22.
The Summit opens with a banquet on the Tuesday evening; education sessions and advocacy training are held on Wednesday; Capitol Hill meetings fill Thursday; and the event concludes on Friday with a Congressional Bike Ride. See the full agenda at: http://www.bikeleague.org/conferences/summit12.