Texas had a strong presence at the sixth annual National Bike Summit hosted by the League of American Bicyclists in Washington, D.C., March 3-5, 2006. The Summit attracted more than 350 leaders in bicycle advocacy, industry members and experts in education from across the country. Delegates participated in trainings, networking and lobbying. After years of focus on the passage of the Federal transportation bill, workshops this year emphasized implementation of the recently passed legislation; how to turn federal funding into better conditions for bicyclists.
Texas Bicycle Coalition regularly visits the nation’s capital to lobby on behalf of Texas cyclists. For this trip, staff members Robin Stallings, Texas Bicycle Coalition executive director, and Chris Davis, BikeTexas Safe Routes to School program manager, attended the Summit workshops and lobbying day. Austin Cycling Association (ACA) was well-represented by Laura King, Preston Tyree, Fred Meredith and Scott Korcz. ACA’s consistent presence with Texas Bicycle Coalition at the Summit has manifested significant results, with Austin receiving $10 million in high priority projects in the 2005 SAFETEA-LU federal transportation bill. Texas Bicycle Coalition encourages Texas bicycle clubs to sponsor a member to attend future summits and advocate for local bicycle priorities.
Coalition staff and ACA members met with 12 Representatives’ offices, providing an opportunity for the Texas delegation to thank our elected officials for supporting our legislative agenda and update them on the Coalition’s activities in their districts. Texans were received warmly by all of the offices. Several Representatives asked Texas Bicycle Coalition to help identify bicycle facility projects in their districts that could be funded with appropriations dollars, signaling the relationship the Coalition has developed with the Texas Congressional delegation.