The blow-out registration for the 2015 Washington Bike Summit tells us loud and clear: Do it again. We will. As Kyla and Josef Forsberg of Lake Tapps, owners of the Green River Cyclery and Busted Bike Cafe in Auburn, got ready to leave the Summit they both said, “We’ll be at this every year!”
We’re looking at what contributed to the success of the event by asking those who went. We really want to hear from those who didn’t attend to help us plan an even better gathering of advocates, business owners, elected officials, and professionals from planning to public health to education. So it’s your turn. Here are some of the factors we’re weighing for you to think about as you take this survey and let us know what would make you most likely to attend the Summit. Share this survey with your bicycling friends too.
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Location: Tying the Summit to legislative visits necessarily means holding it in Olympia every year, much like the National Bike Summit held annually in Washington, DC. Do we do this, or do we move it around the state to other Bicycle-Friendly Communities? (For the record, we’d only want to take this kind of conference business to towns that are measuring and working on their progress to become more bike-friendly. What we measure, matters.)
Transportation Advocacy Day: This year we scheduled the Summit to hold TAD as Day Two. Public employees attended professional CEU workshops, advocates lobbied their legislators and attended sessions on various topics. It would be possible to hold TAD on its own, as has been done for years since we founded it as Bicycle Lobby Day, and hold the Summit at a different time and location.
Length of the legislative session: In odd-numbered years it’s a long session, making it possible to hold a Summit in Olympia in mid-late March at a point when issues are starting to ripen — particularly the first forays into budget negotiations — and weather is turning toward spring. In even-numbered years it’s a short session. Tying the Summit schedule to the legislative schedule means meeting in mid-February.
Alternating locations: One possible configuration would be to hold the Summit in Olympia during the long sessions, coupled with TAD, as we did this year. In short sessions we could hold the Summit in another town, keeping to the same approximate timing of mid-late March or even early April, and hold TAD during session or consider other ideas for getting constituents together with legislators that could provide greater flexibility.
Topics and speakers: This year’s sessions provided a cross-section from around the state and inspiring speakers from the national stage. Forty-five towns and cities were represented with great stories of progress. (For a detailed list see the agenda.) We know many more stories are waiting to be told and many presentation and workshop formats can get you fired up to advocate for better bicycling in your town. You ask for us information on various topics daily, and we’re tracking those requests as our idea list for Summit topics.
Tell us what you want to learn about, speak about, or experience at the 2016 Washington Bike Summit.
Sponsors: We have to give another big thank-you to our 2015 sponsors, who made it possible for us to bring together such a great line-up of speakers.
- Platinum Bike: Cascade Bicycle Club, Group Health
- Gold Wheel: WSDOT
- Silver Spoke: Raleigh, People for Bikes
- Bronze Gear: Alta Planning, Foundation for Healthy Generations, Mithun, Ortleib, REI, SRAM, Transpo Group