Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) and Senator Merkley (D-OR) join the 10th Annual Congressional Bike Ride
Yesterday, BikePortland.org asked whether the bike-partisan movement’s time has passed, citing the lack of Republican co-sponsors for the major legislative asks prior to the main lobby day of the National Bike Summit. Now that 700 bike advocates have had more than 450 meetings with members of Congress, we are looking forward to seeing the Summit’s impact on representatives from both parties. In a show of bi-partisan bike love, Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Georgia) and Senator Merkley (D-Oregon) were undeterred by the rain and came out for the 10th Annual Congressional Bike Ride this morning. I had the fortune to ride alongside Rep. Kingston and Drew Wade of Savannah Bicycle Campaign, We discussed the progress Savannah is making in accommodating and educating its cyclists. We also discussed Rep. Kingston’s bike commute to the Capitol from nearby Alexandria, Va along the Mt. Vernon Trail.
We would like to thank Rep. Kingston for participating in the ride and for his interest in joining the Congressional Bike Caucus. We also urge him to co-sponsored the League’s legislative asks. On the ride, we passed local schools and neighborhoods along traffic-calmed streets and bike lanes made possible through the Safe Routes to School program. The Safe Routes to High School Act that Congress is considering would be a great way to get high school students to begin and end their days in the same healthy, active way the Congressman does. During the ride, Rep. Kingston expressed an interest in organizing a ride with Congressman Blumenauer. We have already passed on the word to Rep. Blumenauer’s staff. Both sides of the aisle were represented on the ride. Senator Jeff Merkley felt right at home in the drizzly weather and remained upbeat throughout the whole ten miles. Senator Merkely said he was “there 100 percent” through the chill day, and we appreciate his continued support for active transportation. Let’s all hope the spirit of the Congressional Bike Ride and bike-partisanship can break some of the gridlock here in Washington, like the Active Community Transportation Act would help the rush hour gridlock back home across Oregon and in the first District of Georgia!
Jeff PeelPeel joined the League in March 2008 as a Program Specialist for the Bicycle Friendly Communities program. Peel has a BA in American Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi.
State and Local Advocacy Coordinator