It’s finally happening – 2020 is coming to a close. Before we say our big ‘Good Riddance’ to the year that was, I want to reflect on our hard work together this year as we look to better times ahead.
February: League staff here in Washington were gearing up for 2020 National Bike Summit – securing mobile workshops, hotel arrangements and Lobby Day visits. With just days to go before our big event in Arlington, the virus was just starting to make headlines…
March: The National Bike Summit moves online. We host hundreds of advocates while learning from keynotes like Amy Cohen of Families for Safe Streets and Keya Chatterjee, of the US Climate Action Network. Together, we were among the first groups to lobby on the Hill virtually, and Summit Lobby Day centered on increasing Transportation Alternatives Funding, data access and the Bicycle Commuter Benefit.
April: The League is instrumental in establishing Bicycle Repair as an Essential Service. This move allowed shops to remain open during stay-at-home orders, and arguably made the 2020 Bike Boom possible. By mid-month, nearly every state had issued a protective order, “Bikes Are Essential.”
June: In response to a heightened awareness of policing disparities throughout the U.S, the League overhauls the enforcement criteria within Bicycle Friendly Community applications as we reflect on our programming, using an anti-racist lens. The BIKE BOOM is in full force, with bike shops selling out of inventory and more bikes on streets and trails than just about ever before.
July: Support builds for a new Transportation Bill, the guiding document for federal transportation policy for the next five years, including the passage of the INVEST in America Act in the House. The League and our Lobby Day advocates were pivotal in developing INVEST, and together we advanced floor amendments to enshrine equity more deeply into federal policy. Many call INVEST the best bill for bicycling in 30 years, boosting Transportation Alternatives by 60%.
September: New polling data from the League and IPSOS reveals that 60% of Americans, from all political persuasions, now favor an increased federal investment in biking and walking. This type of data is invaluable in building new support on Capitol Hill.
October: The Senate opts for a one-year extension of the FAST Act, as opposed to our hard-fought Transportation Bill. While disappointing, the outcome wasn’t fully surprising and sets the League up for success in 2021 as we develop a new Transportation Bill with a new Congress and a new Administration in 2021.
November: The League publishes new youth education curriculum as we try to reach more children, families and new adults with the skills and confidence to ride safely. The League helps halt a potentially disastrous Autonomous Vehicle bill, the SELF-DRIVE Act, while continuing to push for legislation that will enable automated vehicles on our roads which are responsive to all people, including people on bikes.
December: We welcome a new round of Bicycle Friendly Communities, including the Platinum-level Davis, California. On page 784 of an arcane government manual that guides transportation decisions, the League finds a typo in proposed updates that would have curtailed the right of people who bike to ride on the road. With our quick action, the typo in the proposed updated language was fixed because the League is always working to protect your rights to ride.
Thank You to our generous members and supporters who helped move us forward this year. If you believe in the power of bicycling to make life better for everyone, invest in our movement today.