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Report from the National Bike Summit

Author: Bike East Bay

Date: March 17, 2015

Lobbying on Capitol Hill

During the Bike Summit, Bike East Bay met with legislative staff from the offices of Marc DeSaulnier (District 7, Contra Costa), Mike Honda (District 11, Fremont/Newark), Barbara Lee (District 13, from Albany to San Leandro) and Eric Swalwell (District 15, Tri-Valley and South Alameda).

We asked two things of all of them: support continued funding for bikes at the federal level, and co-sponsor Vision Zero. 

Continued Funding

Why do we need to ask our representatives to support continued funding for bikes? Because for as long as we’ve been doing bike advocacy, there have always been calls to kick bicycles and pedestrians out of federal transportation bills. We are expecting a vote just this May to strip bicycle funding – even basic eligibility for any funding at all – from the federal transportation bill. Therefore it is important to get a sense of which Sentators and Representatives on whose support we can count on. We are fortunate in our districts to have largely supportive representatives. 

The Vision Zero Act

This act, introduced in the House barely a week before the National Bike Summit, encourages an approach to traffic safety based on the fact that all traffic fatalities are preventable, and therefore there are no acceptable levels of traffic fatalities. 

In California especially this is important; we lead the nation in number of pedestrian deaths, with 23% of all vehicle fatalities involve people walking on our streets.

The Vision Zero Act is an incentive program that directs existing funding to communities that are taking this innovative approach. The bill focuses on engineering, enforcement, and education to bring about change. 

Read more about the Vision Zero Act here.

Relationship Building

The conversations with each of the staffers also touched upon some of the great local work we’ve been doing in the their districts. Our work at the local level is helping us build stronger relationships with our elected officials. In term, we are thankful for their help in lending a hand when we need to rally larger support at the regional level.

Winning Campaign of the Year: Measure BB

We are thrilled to have been recognized for our work on the national level for the third year in a row! The Alliance for Biking and Walking celebrated our historic Measure BB win with their Campaign of the Year Award. 

Photo credit: Denis Largeron/ Bicycling Magazine

A billion dollar for bikes really is a magic number, and no other local organization came close this year to acheiving so much through one single campaign. We’ve already started our work making sure the Measure BB funds get spent well – read more about our continued work and get involved today!

Also celebrated at the Awards ceremony were our fantastic neighbors the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition as Organization of the Year, Jeff Miller, Keith Holt, and many more. See the full list and official recap here

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