In case you haven’t been keeping up with our Twitter posts (http://twitter.com/GABikes), last week your intrepid author joined fifteen fellow Georgians for his first National Bike Summit in Washington, DC.
This year was the 10th NBS, featuring the elegant slogan “Acting on a simple solution.”
The National Bike Summit is essentially a two and a half day event, with the first day dedicated to a series of panel discussions and presentations on a wide range of issues related to bicycle advocacy, transportation policy, and best practices in both.
Day two is the nitty gritty day of Congressional lobbying, where delegates from Georgia attended back-to-back meetings with Georgia’s Congressional representatives and both Senators.
In these meetings, led by constituents whenever possible, we discussed the economic and public health benefits of investment in bicycle and pedestrian faciltiies for Georgia’s communities. Specifically, we asked that funding for Transportation Enahancements, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trail Programs not be cut when Congress considers a new transportation funding bill. These three programs represent the bulk of federal funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects in many communities, and any reduction in these programs would significantly reduce Georgia’s capacity to build the safe, comfortable, and convenient network of bike/ped faciltiies that we need to:
reduce obesity, improve quality of life, ease congestion, encourage tourism & business siting in Georgia, and increase residential property values.
It was a great experience, and I strongly encourage any bicycle advocate, and especially bicycle retailers and manufacturers, to attend next year’s Summit if possible.
Additional photos from the 2011 NBS here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=400294495663&aid=334136