NBS12 Day 2 Recap

We started day two with loads of incredible leadership from both sides of the aisle who have been able to make an incredible case and change for bicycles in their communities.

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Longterm champion Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) kicked off the morning by firing up the crowd yet again, his trademark bowtie and bike pin make him quite memorable.

“I have not been anywhere in our country where I have not seen your allies, or where your message does not resonate.”
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

His message was one that got our early morning crowd fired up, knowing that America is coming around to the concept of bicycles as a solution to lots of current and future issues we face. After a few more cups of coffee, we got even more fired up as the remaining speakers continued to inspire us 750+ advocates representing all 50 states and 3 Canadian providences.

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Bringing a fresh perspective from the midwest to the table, Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard (R) and his efforts to make his city more bicycle friendly, just because he knows it’s the right thing to do. This was particularly exciting to hear Mayor Ballard’s experience with bicycling in his city because our good friend from years at the summit, Jamison Hutchins, works for him and has helped implemented some amazing facilities.

Mayor Ballard’s message is something we think is most applicable to SLO County, in that it is heavily rooted in helping to foster a robust local economy and job opportunities.

“What is my job as mayor? I tell people very candidly, it’s all about talent attraction — it’s not because the Mayor likes bikes […] We’re all in competition for young talent and young families […] And young people, millennials are looking for bike lanes. They’re looking for trails. They’re looking for that connectivity — and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Mayor Greg Ballard (R), Indianapolis, IN

2013 National Bike Summit, afternoon and evening events—Sadik-Khan, Ray Lahood

Congressman Tom Petri (R-WI) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) followed these impressive speakers with their continued message of a bicycle friendly America. Their amendment last year was pivotal in protecting biking and walking during last year’s transportation bill reauthorization.

“At the end of the day, we were successful with the Cardin-Cochran provision because of the people in this room. You’re smart. You figured out a strategy to win. Rather than just make a point, we won. The strategy is local control.”
Ben Cardin (D-MD)

After these opening speakers (and a few more cups of coffee) we split up to engage in many of the panel sessions which addressed bicycle riding at all levels. One big thing we took away from today: the future of bicycles in America is stronger, more inclusive and more sophisticated than ever, and the SLO County Bicycle Coalition is involved in all of it!

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For now, we need to fuel up with some dinner before a day meeting with legislators on Capitol Hill tomorrow. We will keep you updated tomorrow (including some more about the sessions today) wish us luck, and GO BICYCLES!

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Follow the conversation on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #nbs13 .

For more on the National Bike Summit and to hear more updates from our host, the League of American Bicyclists, view their blog here.

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Ray LaHood: Rockstar

“Perhaps one of the most courageous, innovative and forward-thinking Transportation Secretary’s ever.” Fellow rockstar Janette Sadik-Khan on Ray LaHood.

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An energetic and fired up LaHood took the stage in front of us 750+ bicycle advocates to remind us that “we’ve done this all over the country because this is what Americans want, they want to ride their bikes & walk in their communities.”

We couldn’t agree more, and his leadership at the federal level has been unbelievable and impactful in making this all possible.

Mr. LaHood, we are sad to see you go as our Transportation Secretary, and thank you for being such a rockstar in your 5 years of service!

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Janette Sadik-Khan: Rockstar

As the NYC DOT commissioner, and probably the #1 candidate for a female icon in transportation leadership. She is a major part of 2x increase in bicycle ridership in NYC in the last 5 years!

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Over 200 miles of lanes have been added in recent years, 8,000 bike racks, and the city is set to launch their 5,000 bike (largest in the country!) bikeshare system this summer!

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As you can see, more lanes means major increases in ridership, and crashes remain stable – a great sign.

We are updating a capital resource. Our streets have been in suspended animation for nearly 50 years. We are bringing community design back to the table, where traffic engineering has dominated

NYC is embracing bicycles like you can’t even imagine, and she is at the center of it.

Janette Sadik-Khan, yet another rockstar here with us in DC.

Up next, the National Bike Summit is about to begin!

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Tammy Duckworth: Rockstar

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL), shares her story & belief in bicycles with us at the Women’s Bicycling Forum.

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As an Iraq War veteran, Duckworth lost both of her legs while piloting a helicopter, she truly is an inspiration to us all. On what bicycles have offered for our veterans:

“Bicycling has represented an idea of never giving up, and given us the motivation to keep going.”

“For our wounded warriors the hardest part is not being able to use your body anymore.”

Needless to say, she is a rockstar!

National Women’s Bicycling Forum!

Women Bike, the new League of American Bicyclists program, is hosting the Women’s Bicycling Forum! We’re here all day and are so excited to see a packed house and fantastic styling – looking good League!

We’ll be providing updates throughout the week, including from our day on Capitol Hill meeting with congressional leaders.

Go bicycles!

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The Capitol Building

Look closely, those are two people riding some Capital Bikeshare bikes here on the Hill.

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We were finally able to get outside for the first time today and see the cherry blossoms in full bloom, making for a beautiful day in DC. We can’t wait to get out to the national mall and see more of them from the Bikeshare bikes ourselves!

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More From Capitol Hill

We just wrapped up our day on Capitol Hill, and were able to meet with staffers from both Rep Capps’ and Rep McCarthy’s office, our elected officials from SLO County!

In Lois Capps office with our neighbors from Santa Barbara County

In Kevin McCarthy's office with his transportation staffer, Rob McCarthy

All of the California delegation almost all posing for a photo! We’ve got people from all across the state, and sat together to make sure we could meet with every representative in the California legislature.

For now, we’re off for a much needed bite to eat, it’s been a long day of meetings all over the hill, and a slice of pizza is in order. We’ll provide a more detailed update of our day on the hill tomorrow.

From Capitol Hill

Today is off to a great start! With meetings scheduled with Sen Boxer & Rep Capps’ offices, we’re excited to share the benefits that biking & walking will provide for our future!

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In between these meetings we’ve been dropping in to chat with other elected officials, on behalf of those who couldn’t make it out to DC to join us. Our message is concise and extremely relevant, as the federal transportation bill is on the top of everyone’s mind.

House leadership proposed a 3 month extension this morning and it has been the buzz on Capitol Hill in the hallways. This timing allows the conversation to run parallel to what’s being discussed in the House of Representatives today.

Have we mentioned how much everyone loves the bike pins we’re all wearing?!

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Here we are before our meeting with Capps’ office with our fellow advocates and neighbors from Santa Barbara:

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Stay tuned for some better photos later today when we have time to upload them from a computer!

Importance of Safe Routes to School

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The founder and champion of Safe Routes to School, Deb Hubsmith, shares some astounding statistics about kids biking & walking to school.

In 2005, the medical costs of treatment for kid’s biking & walking injuries, including fatalities, totalled $839 MILLION – 4.5 times what we annually spend on Safe Routes to School

10-14% of ALL road traffic is made of kids being driven to school

Only 13% of kids ages 5 to 14 walk or bike to school. In 1960 this number was over 50%

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One of the BIG reasons we’re in Washington DC is to fight to SAVE Safe Routes to School funding. We KNOW it’s important for our children to safely get to/from school for years to come!

Notes from Day Two

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This morning we heard from Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood about the future of bicycling in America. It was early morning east coast time, even earlier if you take ito account the time change, yet LaHood was able to offer some inspiring words before we take to Capitol Hill tomorrow and meet with our elected officials.

A good transportation bill, is a good jobs bill.

Our goal here in DC is to ask for continued, dedicated funding for biking & walking, LaHood is right there with us:

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Read more about his words this morning on his own site here.

We’ll have more updates from the rest of the day soon enough! Twitter has been the place where a lot of acivity is happening here at the Bike Summit, follow us on there to see updates we’re sharing from other groups too.