National Bike Summit readies us for California Bike Advocacy Day

Though an unfortunate snow storm grounded planes and kept some delegates away, most of us managed to attend the Women’s Forum and Bike Summit which are part summit, part conference, part lobby day, and part reunion. As usual, I spent most of my time in the hallways in impromptu meetings instead of in the workshops of the summit.

After decades of feeling like a fringe social justice movement, bike advocacy has caught the attention of the business elite. Making a community bikeable doesn’t just make it healthy; it makes it wealthy. Major business leaders including D.C.-area real estate leaders were sponsors and speakers, and the whole event had a very professional, upscale feeling.

While making money was a huge unstated theme of the conference, equity was an explicit theme in parallel, and sensibly so. Two friends – the former Californian Dorothy Kiều Lê and New Yorker Helen Ho – started the Biking Public Project, an innovative outreach effort to highlight the people of color who bike the streets of New York and who seem “invisible” to some.

One of my hallway meetings was with the new representatives of Bosch in Irvine, CA. I welcomed them to the Golden State and I look forward to working with them to help electric bikes take their role in support of our mission of enabling more people to bike.  

The Congressional meetings were fruitful, although it’s the follow up that matters. My highlight was getting to meet with Representative Matsui and thank her for her leadership on complete streets.

I’m looking forward to the California version of Lobby Day: California Bike Advocacy Day May 21 where our asks will be for hundreds of millions more dollars for bike infrastructure as well as other key reforms. Mark your calendars now.

UPDATE March 31: Take action to get the US DOT to set bike and ped safety targets!

Posted 3.17.14