We know it's coming -- a tough battle on Capitol Hill over the future of transportation in the U.S. Just yesterday
, the room was packed for a hearing of the critical House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. With the expiration of the current bill, MAP-21, looming, committee chair Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) said in no uncertain terms that he wants to "take action" on a new bill in late spring or early summer.
That means T&I Committee Members and staff are working on the contents of such a bill, probably as we speak. And that means the voice of bicyclists needs to be heard in Congress right now.
We know we make a difference. When it was all but certain that we would lose all dedicated funding for biking and walking in MAP-21, we mobilized, not just with hundreds of thousands of emails, but with a commanding presence in the offices of our elected officials on the Hill. Because we stood up, we won back important dollars for bicyclists and pedestrians when most had counted us out.
That's why we need you at the National Bike Summit, March 3-5. We must unite our voices to preserve what we fought so hard for these past few years -- and push to make up lost ground.
We can't rely on anyone else to make the case for bicycling -- as part of an overall, balanced and healthy transportation system. We have to be in the room, in the meetings, working with key members of Congress with whom we have a relationship to make sure they understand the value of those programs that support bicycling. The Summit is where those relationships are forged, where we can establish a visible and impressive presence, and where we can put a human face on the hundreds of e-mails and phone calls members get from their constituents every day.
We look forward to seeing you at the Summit this March -- and we'll let Congress know you're coming!
Andy Clarke, League President