Wednesday, June 20, 2007

LAB: Making the bike case in D.C.

Image of Andy Clarke of the League of American Bicyclists presenting Bicycle Friendly Award to Vancouver, WashingtonFrom the,06.19.07:

Groups peddle bike-friendly legislation
The bike lobby's Tour de France is the reauthorization of the transportation bill. The 1991 Transportation Act designated $2.8 billion for transportation enhancements and nonroad transportation projects such as landscaping, walkways and bike paths.

About $895 million of the enhancements went toward bike- and pedestrian-related projects. The 1998 transportation bill reauthorized the enhancements program, granting $2 billion to bike and pedestrian projects.

For the 2003 round, the league joined advocacy groups and bike manufacturers to form the American Bikes coalition. Together, the group spent about $2 million lobbying Congress. The effort paid off: The 2005 federal transportation bill granted $4.5 billion to projects benefiting bicyclists and pedestrians. (Read more.)
This article on bicycle lobbying in an influential mainstream online journal of national politics profiles some of the personalities active in Washington D.C. (Curiously, it also features a quote from an "old paradigm" bike activist representing the views of about 100 malcontents, compared to the League of American Bicyclists' overall membership of 25,000.)

If American politics teaches anything, it's that you don't get any pork unless you have a place at the trough. Lobbying works; advocacy works. Certainly the highway lobby understands this, with remarkable success. I'm pleased that bicyclists--except for the "old paradigm" die hards--are getting this lesson. Congratulations to LAB on this recognition.

Image: Andy Clarke, League of American Bicyclists executive director, presenting Bicycle Friendly Community Award to Vancouver, Washington.
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site


Fritz said...

The article says LAB Reform members are ex-members of the LAB. I'm pretty sure many of them are still members. When I think LAB Reform, I think Fred Oswald who ran for one of the League board positions within the last couple of years.

Fred Oswald said...

Some of the actions of the LAB leadership have indeed alienated members and caused some to quit. (I even know of one life member who resigned.) But most of us are trying to REFORM the League and that means we are still members.

Please see for more details.

--- Fred Oswald, League member and League Cycling Instructor #947.