Our National Bike Summit trip and What You Can Do Now

Our SC delegation just returned from the National Bike Summit in DC.  We made it through rain, snow, and ice to let our Senators and Congressman know what bicycling means to you!  Federal buildings were shut down, but luckily some legislative offices remained open for business.

The 1st day we attended the Women’s Bike Summit, where Greenville’s now famous Pedal Chic bike shop was showcased in one session.  Owner Robyn Bylenga, sitting center stage, spoke about the importance of developing relationships with her bike shop customers.
The 2nd day we heard from many more worthy speakers, and here are a few notables. Janet Sadik-Khan (NYC Transportation Commissioner) said it is the cities, not any other entity, that serve at the forefront of transportation innovation.  We heard from Building Better Blocks, a project starting out of Dallas, TX that demonstrates with legal permits and temporary paint how to revitalize commercial blocks with huge economic potential in underused neighborhoods.  AAA unrolled their new Share the Road campaign.  And finally, we heard from Leah Shahum of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.  She spoke about the importance of building sustainable local advocacy:  1st maintain your fierce indignation, and 2nd always save time for joyful celebration. 
The final day we met with aides from the offices of Senator Graham, District 2 Representative Joe Wilson, District 4 Representative Trey Gowdy, District 5 Representative Mick Mulvaney, District 6 Representative James Clyburn, and the new Representative from District 7:  Tom Rice.
The ASKS for our Senator was:
DC cycle track, Pennsylvania Ave

1) Will you visit a local project that makes our community bike friendly?

2) Will you try DC’s BikeShare? 

The ASKS for our Representatives were:  
1) Will you support a non-motorized performance measure?  (This says we should count people, including bicyclists and pedestrians, and not just the cars people drive when measuring transportation performance). If so, please sign Earl Blumenauer’s Dear Colleague letter. 
2) Will you visit a local bike project?

3) Will you try DC’s BikeShare?

What can you do NOW, you say?  ..thanks for asking…
DC cycle track, 15th Street

Call, email, or write your Representative and Senators and give them the same Asks we explained above.  These are key at a time of uncertain financial conditions, especially when it’s so important to retain our freedom in choosing how we’ll travel 1 mile down the street:  …on a bike safely?  …or in a car because road performance is still measured the old Eisenhower way?

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