Bike Summit in the Other Washington!

This week hundreds of advocates, interested citizens, business representatives, and local and state government staff from across the country will arrive in Washington DC for the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit. Washington Bikes’s Blake Trask and Josh Miller will be joining the Washington state delegation that includes our friends from REI, Raleigh, the University of Washington, Cascade Bicycle Club, as well as representatives from the Bicycle Alliance’s Legislative and Statewide Issues Committee. 
This year’s theme is simple: Save Cycling.
That’s a little dramatic, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, no. Over the past few months investments in biking and walking have been in the crosshairs of many representatives and senators. For some in the U.S. House of Representatives, biking and walking is the new “Bridge to nowhere” and the Speaker of the House has referred to bicycle trails as non-economic waste.
If you’ve received our action alerts (if not, sign up here!), or have been checking our blog over the past year, you have seen the numerous calls to let your federal elected officials know how important bicycling is for job creation, getting around your neighborhood, connecting safe routes to school, creating complete streets, recreation, and for tourism statewide.
What’s at stake is the end of over two decades of growing investments in walkable and bikeable communities throughout the U.S.
As we and our advocacy and business friends meet with members and staff from the Washington state’s congressional delegation, we look forward to the opportunity to speak to the policymakers about a forward-thinking transportation bill that affirms the importance of bicycle investments for Washington state.
The Summit is a chance for Washington Bikes to convey our positive statewide vision to grow bicycling. This vision includes the over 30,000 school-age children who receive our Safe Routes to School trainings, the safety improvements that federal monies provide through federal TransportationEnhancements (TE) and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) programs, and the bicycle and pedestrian awareness education that motor vehicle drivers now receive in traffic safety schools statewide. It’s also a chance to talk about growing bicycling and enhancing partnerships across the state with health and safety organizations, PTAs, advocates for the elderly, and representatives from automobile organizations.

The Summit is a great opportunity for everyone to participate. Next year, consider attending to represent Washington state. Now more than ever we need your voice in the other Washington!
Interested in following the action at this week’s Summit? Be sure to monitor our Twitter feed at @BikeWA and check-in with the always-excellent D.C Streetsblog for news and insights as the Summit proceeds.
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