This year the National Bike Summit - hosted by the League of American Bicyclists in Washington, DC, from March 4 to 6 - is more important than ever. Bringing together more than 800 advocates, government staff and cycling enthusiasts, the Summit is a critical opportunity to tell Congress that "Bicycling Means Business" - and start building a bike-friendly agenda for the next transportation bill.
"Bicycling could be perched on the precipice yet again," says League President, Andy Clarke. "With the debt ceiling coming due in February, the fiscal cliff deal expiring March 1 and the current budget expiring on March 31, Congress will be looking for any and all possible budget cuts. Based on this past year, we can expect bicycling and walking programs to be targeted for elimination. Not an equitable or proportional cut along with other programs - total elimination."
But that's just one of the top 8 reasons to attend the National Bike Summit:
Since 2009, there have been at least six (unsuccessful) attempts during the budget process to either weaken programs that fund biking, or eliminate funding outright. In coming months and weeks, that funding could face further attacks - and Congress needs to know that bicycling has a strong, vocal constituency nationwide. Read more.
There are 95 new members of Congress, providing a critical opportunity to educate leaders about the importance of bicycling and set the tone for the legislative session. Summit-goers will be meeting with both the new and longtime legislators to let them know we mean business. Read more.
Bicyclists and pedestrians account for 15.6 percent of fatalities, 12 percent of all trips and yet just 1.5 percent of transportation funds are spent on the two modes -- and virtually none of that goes to education. Why is it that traffic safety seems to be improving for people inside cars, but decreasing for cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists? Read more.
The new transportation bill passed by Congress dramatically cut dedicated funding for biking and walking. The Summit will unite bicyclists and show opponents on Capitol Hill that people who ride will continue to stand and advocate for better biking nationwide. Read more.
From industry leaders to local advocates, government employees to shop owners, the Summit is an opportunity for bicyclists to meet and learn from the diverse range of folks who make up the bike movement. Read more.
The Summit will gain insight directly from advocates to build an agenda for the next federal transportation bill. From equity to transit, the Summit will ensure work here in Washington best reflects the needs of the entire bicycling community. Read more.
The League prepare first-timers and veterans alike to make the case for bicycling in the halls of Congress, with workshops, speeches and insider tips. Plus, we'll walk over to Capitol Hill to talk one-on-one with legislators to tell them why bicycling is important. Read more.
The League has a new commitment in 2013: To change the face of cycling and work strategically to ensure that the diversity of people on bikes mirrors the diversity of the American population. Attend the National Women's Bicycling Forum - and be the first to see the League's new look! Read more.
To learn more about the 2013 National Bike Summit visit: bikeleague.org