Q: The National Bike Summit is over for this year, what do you think is the best and most effective avenue for bicycling advocacy groups to be heard by our political leaders? – L. Mullis
These inexpensive memberships give us a voice and strength in numbers. Small groups of people can do amazing things, but to be heard on the National level, we need to band as a unified voice. In DC, it was amazing to see the work that was being done by so many people with the same goal. It starts on the local level.
Second, it was very clear to us when talking to the politicians that concrete numbers and statistics speak more loudly than just our own cycling passion. What is really going to change legislation is not cyclists communicating how great riding is for us personally, but instead letting the politicians know what an economic driver cycling is, how it’s a growing transportation user group and part of the solution to the health crisis in the US.
You must gather data and provide some hard stats to be really affective.
I was at the National Bike Summit with the Director of our local IMBA Chapter, the Wood River Bicycle Coalition. By far the most compelling story we had to tell our legislators was the success story from the USAC XC National Championships in July 2011. The hotel, business and local tax numbers from that weekend exceeded any other weekend our town has seen (including winter). Sun Valley is traditionally a ski town, so for cycling to be growing as an economic driver in our community is a message that is heard loud and clear. Start gathering your usage data in your community now. Include user days on trails, bike paths, commuter routes, kids programs, pump track, whatever you can think of to record usage and economic impact.
Posted in: General Questions