Local control of federal bicycle and pedestrian funding means state advocates and support will be more important that ever. Summit attendees at the “How to Save Cycling at the State Level” session learned about successful state advocacy and ways to work with their governor, legislature, and agency staff to continue investing in bicycling and walking.
Shailen Bhatt, Delaware Secretary of Transportation spoke about how cycling is a key investment for DOTs, Dorian Grilley with Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota shared how states can become bicycle-friendly fast, and Robert Ping with Safe Routes to School National Partnership discussed how bicycling is about people, not just funding and infrastructure. Dan Grunig with Bicycle Colorado moderated and spoke of the importance of funding and support at all levels of government.
Advocates in the room were clearly energized and already thinking about . Here’s a quick summary of what we learned:
- The majority of funding for bicycles and pedestrians comes from the state and local level
- Elect a bicycle-friendly governor and legislators – invite them to your events so they can publicly share that support
- Progressive DOTs are thinking of bicycles as a wise investment – “The way you run a DOT is ask ‘what’s my return on investment’”
- Don’t reinvent the wheel – learn and borrow from others
- Partner, partner, partner – public health departments, parent groups, local mayors, outdoor enthusiasts, and more
- Talk about your values – traffic safety, children’s health, economic benefits, freedom of transportation choice
- Make sure states spend their bicycle funding – only about half of available SRTS funding is currently being utilized
League State and Local Advocacy Coordinator
Mr. Wempe joined the League in September 2011. For the three years prior, he worked as a transportation planner and Safe Routes to School Coordinator in Fort Collins, Colo. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.