National Bike Summit Recap

2014BikeSummitIt’s been a literal whirlwind of a week in Washington DC. Amid several inches of snowfall and high winds, the brightest minds and leaders of the national bicycle movement converged to advance efforts towards a more bicycle friendly America.

Day One – Women Bike

The week kicked off with the third annual Women’s Bicycling Forum. Everyone came together to address the gender gap in the bicycle world. With amazing speakers from government, advocacy, industry and culture, the forum had one goal – getting more women on bicycles.

There is great leadership from women in the bicycle world and amazing progress has/is being made towards the common goal of encouraging more female leadership in the bicycle world and even more women out riding! Follow the progress from Women Bike and the forum on their Twitter feed below.

Day Two – Presentations


Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. Image courtesy of the League of American Bicyclists.

It was an early start to a day full of presentations and speakers who are doing amazing things to promote bicycles across the country. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Texas Senator Rodney Ellis (TX), and Pittsburgh Mayor, Bill Peduto were all present to fire up the crowd in the early morning opener.

Anthony Foxx is in his first year as Transportation Secretary, and filling the shoes of former Secretary Ray LaHood is something he is proud to do. LaHood has long been an ally in the administration, being very vocal about his support for biking and walking, lucky for us, Anthony Foxx continues to carry that torch.

On the new $302 billion dollar transportation proposal released that same day:

“We made sure that this plan increases resources to step up bicycle and pedestrian programs and the resources we need for our public transit systems, which are so important to people who walk and ride bicycles… I’ve made investing in bicycles and pedestrians a priority in the president’s plan… We need to make sure Congress acts on this plan.”

We’re looking forward to working with Secretary Foxx in the future, and thank him for his continued support of biking and walking as key components of our country’s infrastructure. Read more from Foxx’s appearance at the Summit on the Bike League’s blog.

Douglas Meyer

Douglas Meyer. Image courtesy of

After Foxx, we heard from Douglas Meyer on a study conducted on the perspectives of mayors  on bicycles. Interviews with 40 mayors from across the country revealed that”Everyone is bought in and support is increasing” for biking and walking. This is true for cities of all sizes where mayor after mayor said that those who oppose bicycle infrastructure are now in the minority.

Quality of life was often cited as a main reason for support bicycle projects. Economic development is also closely related to quality of life issues, and bicycle infrastructure has shown to be an incredible opportunity to attract young talent and businesses to cities of all sizes. 

One of Meyer’s best lines from his talk is something we believe at the Bicycle Coalition as well:

“If you have a One Less Car t-shirt, burn it. Anything anti-car adds fuel to a fire you don’t want to stoke.”

You can view his presentation below, and read some fascinating takeaways from his presentation on the on the Bike League’s blog.

Day 3 – Advocacy Day on the Hill

Lois Capps and advocates from SLO and SB counties.

Lois Capps and advocates from SLO and SB counties.

It was a warmer day than last, making for much easier trekking on Capitol Hill for our annual advocacy day. We had a meeting set with local representative Lois Capps (D-CA, 24th District) who has long been a supporter of better biking and walking on the Central Coast.

The common “ask” all of the advocates were making on the Hill was simple:

  • Co-sponsor the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act (HR3494 and S1708)
  • Co-sponsor the Safe Streets Act (HR3978)
  • Co-sponsor the New Opportunities for Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Financing Act (HR2468 and S2004)

We have a great supporter in Lois Capps, who agreed to the first two and will be paying us a visit here in SLO County later this year, where we hope to highlight some of the new projects on the horizon. Read specifics about these bills and the collective ask from the Summit on the Bike League’s blog.

After meeting with Capps and a few other leaders from across the country to drop off information to their offices, we wrapped up another successful advocacy day with a reception on the Hill to celebrate our hard work! That’s all for 2014, cheers to a bright year ahead and to next year’s trip to Washington DC!


View more from the National Bike Summit with the #NBS14 tag on Twitter and Facebook.

National Bike Summit 2014


Next week your Bicycle Coalition is leaving our 75 degree California ‘winter’ weather to brave the cold front of the East Coast for the 2014 National Bike Summit! From March 3 – 5 we will be meeting with national leaders on Capitol Hill to advance bicycle safety, funding and equity. We’ll be keeping you up to date here on our blog throughout the week, stay tuned.

In addition to the Summit, we’ll also be attending the National Women’s Forum with female leaders throughout the country. There are a few big news items on the legislative agenda as well that we will be keeping you updated on:

  • H.R. 2468 (House) & S 2004 (Senate) – The Safe Streets Act of 2013
    • Requires each state to have an explicit policy statement, that requires all federally-funded transportation projects, with certain exceptions, to accommodate the safety and convenience of all road users in accordance with complete streets principles.
  • H.R.3978New Opportunities for Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Financing Act of 2014
    • Takes steps to advance equity for bicyclists and pedestrians, and boost funding for bike/ped projects in low-income communities.
  • Transportation Bills are also currently being drafted by both the House and the Senate as we speak!

Keep track of the week’s progress on our blog – – to see your Bicycle Coalition hard at work to make better bikeways in SLO County!

Support our advocacy efforts for better bikeways by becoming a member of the Bicycle Coalition, the more members we have the stronger our voice is as we amplify community support for bike/ped projects.

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!


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.

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.


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!


National Bike Summit Day 2

Let’s do this!


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!


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!


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!


Tammy Duckworth: Rockstar

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


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!