Bicyclists from across the country swarmed Washington D.C. last week to
attend the 2015 National Bike Summit. At the event, dedicated bicycle
advocates discussed the current state of affairs and the future of bicycling
in the U.S.
Also, this year’s summit marked the launch of a strategic partnership
between Bike Law and the summit’s host, The League of American Bicyclists.
A like-minded understanding of “the reality of riding” and
a deep concern for bicycling and bicyclists serves as the foundation for
the partnership, said League President Andy Clark in a
statement released early last week.
To that the Bike Law Blog says: Like-minded thinking can achieve great
things in the bike world. Here’s to a beautiful partnership.
The theme of this year’s summit was “Bikes Add Value,”
and among those in attendance at the summit were 10 attorneys from across
the country that are members of the Bike Law Network.
These attorneys participated in presentations and discussions focused on
the health and transportation benefits of bicycles in communities throughout
the U.S. In addition, attendees studied lobbying techniques at the state
and federal levels of governance, and analyzed the growing popularity
of bicycling among women in the U.S.
Attendees even got the chance to put their lobbying skills to the test
when they biked to Capitol Hill to bend the ears of various political
staffers, a lot of whom were completely oblivious to the lack of rights
possessed by bicyclists in their home states.
For instance, staffers for a few U.S. congressional representatives from
New York were unaware of The Empire State’s dreadful record as one
of the most dangerous places for bikers in the country, according to
Daniel Flanzig, a summit attendee and a member of the Bike Law Network.
Daniel had the opportunity to speak with staffers for Congressman Lee Zeldin
from Suffolk County, New York, and staffers for U.S. Senators Kristen
Gillibrand and Charles Schumer of New York about a state government initiative,
dubbed Vision Zero that is aimed at reducing New York’s annual traffic
fatalities from 250 a year to zilch.
“It amazed me that not one of these staffers was aware that in 2014
Bicycle Magazine listed Suffolk County as the most dangerous place to
cycle in the U.S.”
Flanzig told the Bike Law Blog.
They were also unaware that New York ranked the worst for bicycle and pedestrian
safety with the highest number of fatalities than any other state in the
U.S. A face to face with the staffers gave us an opportunity to share
this data with these offices and let them learn of the safety crisis New
York cyclists are currently facing.”
Conversely, the politicians who actually delivered speeches at the summit,
like Mayor Mick Cornett of Oklahoma City, imbued attendees with confidence
in the future of bike proliferation and safety. While in office, Mayor
Cornett has overseen expansive additions to Oklahoma City’s bike
lanes and pedestrian walking areas, and as a result, Oklahoma has fallen
from being one of the most over-weight cities in the U.S. to one of the
fittest, according to a poll conducted by
Men’s Fitness Magazine.
Mayor Cornett accredits the increase in bike popularity among Okies for
the average decrease in the waistlines of Oklahoma City residents, and
for that reason alone, there is no doubt that bikes have value in the U.S.