Throughout the month of August, PeopleForBikes facilitated 19 meetings with key Members of Congress and their staff to discuss the impact of $88 billion dollar bike industry.
These congressional visits are part of PeopleForBikes’ summer campaign designed to showcase the economic impact of bike businesses. “We can tell members of Congress about the power of the bike industry over and over, but nothing can compare to seeing it in-person,” says Jenn Dice, PeopleForBikes’ vice president of government relations. “When elected officials and their staffers meet employers and retailers, a personal connection is created. Our goal is to build on this and develop more champions in Congress who will support funding for TAP and RTP.”
The response was overwhelmingly positive with many congressional leaders joining the call for investing in bike infrastructure, including the Ranking Member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Tom Carper of Deleware.
“Investments in multi-modal infrastructure – including bike lanes and paths – are smart investments to keep our nation moving,” said Senator Carper. “Delaware has made great strides in becoming a more bike friendly state with support from advocates like Bike Line.”
Leaders from the House of Representatives also joined the call including Representative David Price, the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.
“It was a pleasure to visit Performance Bicycle, an organization at the forefront of advocacy efforts for personal, community, and global health through cycling,” said Congressman Price. “The PeopleForBikes Summer Campaign highlights the impact that federal infrastructure investment programs have in providing for alternate modes of transportation that can enhance the quality of life in a community. As the top Democrat on the subcommittee responsible for federal infrastructure investment, and as a member of the Congressional Bike Caucus, I am proud to be a part of these efforts and will continue fighting for programs that enhance the cycling experience.”
Industry leader’s and shop owners appreciated the opportunity to connect directly with their representatives and show them around their facilities.
“It was an honor to host Congressman Larsen at Gregg’s Cycles,” said Marty Pluth, General Manager of Gregg’s Cycle who hosted Congressman Rick Larsen at his Lynnwood, Washington shop. “He understands that creating more places to bike helps shops like ours thrive. We look forward to working with the congressman to protect investment in bike infrastructure.”
Although there is bipartisan congressional support for bike infrastructure projects, threats continue. Earlier this year, the Trump Administration proposed a budget that would eliminate the TIGER program, which has helped communities across the nation improve infrastructure — including bike paths and lanes. Highlighting the state and local economic contributions of the bike industry to U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives will help secure their ongoing support for this program and others. For more on this, please see PeopleForBikes’ response to the Trump Administration’s budget for 2018.
A total of 18 visits in 10 states are scheduled this summer so far. PeopleForBikes plans to coordinate this program annually during the traditional August recess. To get involved and to host your member of congress or their staff email Lander Karath at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PeopleForBikes is uniting millions of individuals, thousands of businesses and hundreds of communities to make bike riding better for everyone. When people ride bikes, great things happen. Learn more at PeopleForBikes.org.