At the National Bike Summit last March, the League convened more than 400 bicycling advocates, club leaders and stakeholders like you to kickstart change on Capitol Hill.
In meetings with more than half of Congress, we asked for legislation that would make biking better:
- The Transportation Alternatives Enhancement Act, to build safer and better infrastructure for people who bike through a 40% increase in funding for biking and walking projects
- The SAFE Streets Act, to direct states to spend federal funding on fixing roads where people biking or walking are dying
- The COMMUTE Act, to give the people who design our cities better data on bicycling and the importance of connected bike networks
- The Bicycle Commuter Benefit, to encourage more people to try biking by reinstating and updating the tax break for bicycle commuters
Together, we worked hard in 2019 to make sure that next year, when Congress will authorize a new five-year transportation bill to guide our nation’s infrastructure investments, the needs of people who bike were included the first drafts of the bill.
A month after bike advocates climbed Capitol Hill at the Summit, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a hearing on safer streets featuring safety experts, law enforcement, elected city officials, and the bicycling movement. League Board Member and Principal at Gresham Smith, Mike Sewell, spoke forcefully about the need for bicycle infrastructure, complete streets and better speed management.
Thanks to our consistent advocacy—the January release of our 2018 Benchmarking Report, the National Bike Summit and lobby day in March, our testimony on Capitol Hill in April—and your voice throughout, Congress listened. We could not do this without you, the people powering our efforts. The first draft of the transportation bill included so much of what the League and you, our partners in advocacy, demanded on behalf of bicyclists.
Here at the League, we believe that each and every death on our streets is tragic and preventable. We’ll never accept mass tragedy as ‘the cost of doing business.’ In 2018, drivers killed 7,140 people who were biking or walking. The technology to save lives exists—and we’re determined to do the work behind the scenes that will make our streets safer. The League has convened a group of environmental, health and policy stakeholders in Washington to work with the insurance industry and lawmakers to enact changes in automobile design, combat distraction, and improve Autonomous Vehicle testing.
- A recent AAA study found that automatic emergency braking failed 89% of the time to brake for a child at 20 mph. At 30 mph, or in nighttime conditions, or right turns they fail 100% of the time.
- When car hood and bumpers are tested for the ability to mitigate harm to pedestrians in a crash, cars sold both in Europe and the US do much better than US-only models.
The League is advocating for more comprehensive testing and more transparency so we can make both our streets and our vehicles safer for people biking and walking.
As a nation, we can do better, and with your backing, the League can continue to fight tirelessly to save lives while empowering communities to a healthier, more equitable, environmentally sound means of transportation: bicycling!
The League was successful this year because we were able to draw on long-standing partnerships with national coalitions and our local partners. Building successful partnerships can’t be turned on and off like a light switch, it takes time listening and learning, building trust and finding the issues where we come together. We’ve done the work to ensure bicyclists’ interests are at the table whether we’re talking about transportation engineering, new vehicle design or climate change policy and healthy communities.