The 2012 National Bike Summit is just a few hours from its official start (the National Women’s Cycling Forum begins at 2:00 pm today). I’m here to capture the stories and images so you can follow along at home.
Given the dizzying politics around the transportation bill in both the House and Senate in recent weeks, I have never felt such a sense of urgency and relevance to our presence here in the six years I’ve attended. The League says a record number of advocates — about 800 — are here from nearly all 50 states (49 to be exact – Update: it’s Alaska).
The goal of the summit is to learn about the key issues facing cycling in America, network with fellow advocates, and most importantly, to tell our elected representatives that bikes deserve respect. Tomorrow is full of breakout sessions on everything from recreational trails to engaging with minority communities. Then on Thursday, we storm Capitol Hill: 800 bike pin-wearing, well-dressed, smiling bike advocates ready to sit down, face-to-face with our nation’s lawmakers to remind them that bikes matter.
As Streetsblog DC pointed out yesterday, we’re not the only transportation lobbying force in town. The highway builders are here too and they want (even) more money for freeways and road construction.
Stay tuned all this week for reports and photos from Washington D.C. With any luck, I’ll get some time to ride a Capital Bikeshare bike through the cherry blossoms, which I hear are in full bloom right now.
I also want to give a special shout out to Planet Bike. They have once again stepped up to sponsor my trip here in D.C.
So I’m dying to know what State isn’t represented.
If I had to guess I’d say Alaska…
Weather forcast looks great, mid-70’s & sunny. Enjoy!
I’m guessing Oklahoma.
Great photo, Jonathan.
“With any luck, I’ll get some time to ride a Capital Bikeshare bike through the cherry blossoms, which I hear are in full bloom right now.”
I posted a comment in the “Alta Bike Share/Chicago Contract” post that links to another comment made by supposedly an ex-employee of Alta Bike Share (DC). The following below is an excerpt of what they said.
“…..Every time you rent a Bikeshare bike, just know that your 6 million dollars of taxpayers money used to fund Capital Bikeshare was squandered away. As it was stated by Alta “a mistake was made in thier budget” and therefore the bikecheckers will pay for this mistake with thier wellbeing. When you rent a Bikeshare bike, know that it functions properly because it was checked by a bikechecker. Know that said bikechecker traveled by bike to do thier job, and had his/her wellbeing stripped of them by thier employer Capital Bikeshare/Alta! Know that i am only able to say something because i do not work there anymore. Everyone in my position (even the 3 who were made managers) have strong feelings about this change and cannot speak up out of fear of losing thier job!!!….”
Can you phrase your complaint in a way that is easier to follow?
You mention employees’ stripped wellbeing and $6M wasted. What do those phrases mean? Can you provide some context?
That comment/complaint was not made by me, it was made by someone else 10 months ago on CNN Fortune’s tech website. My interpretation is that Alta Bike Share mishandled a significant portion of the finances for the Capitol bike share program, thus they cut a number of their employee’s health insurance to make up for the loss.
Thanks, Planet Bike.
Jonathan: While you’re there, how about taking a detailed look at the DC bike share system, perhaps for a future report?
Definitely thanks to Planet Bike for getting you there! I’m eagerly awaiting the reports (and pictures). Thanks, JMaus, for being our local rep!