From the Politico.com,06.19.07:
Groups peddle bike-friendly legislationThis 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.)
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.)
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: BikePortland.org. Andy Clarke, League of American Bicyclists executive director, presenting Bicycle Friendly Community Award to Vancouver, Washington.
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site