In previous years, Kansas has struggled to send even one delegate to the summit, but in 2011, there are at least five Kansas Cyclists headed to Washington to advocate for bicycling to our Senators and Representatives:
- Dale Crawford, Olathe, President of KanBikeWalk
- Jeff Koenig, Manhattan, of Big Poppi Bicycle Co.
- Doug Polson, Overland Park, Advocacy Chair for the Johnson County Bicycle Club
- Mark Rainey, Overland Park, Vice President of KanBikeWalk
- Michael Ruder, Olathe, Second Vice President of the Kansas City Bicycle Club
Last year, Doug was the only person from Kansas to attend the summit. Here are some of Doug’s thoughts about the experience (from the March 2010 JCBC newsletter):
Building an Advocacy Tradition
First let me paint the picture the situation for Kansas. States like California had like 15 or 20 delegates. Even our neighbor, Missouri had six. I was the only one from Kansas.
Here’s my take: Kansas is in the beginning stages of bicycle advocacy and there isn’t any extra money this year. We need a concerted continual effort including lots of emails to our elected congressmen and this includes the state legislature as well. I don’t know if they bought my “I represent thousands of bicyclists” rap. It would be more effective if there were thousands of emails, letters and visits to back me up. As I kept repeating to myself all week “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step”. At least Kansas was there and she said her piece.
Well done, Doug. Hopefully this year’s larger showing can help to make a difference.
The theme for this year’s event is “Acting on a Simple Solution”:
There are more people riding bikes than ever. Yet half of all U.S. trips are three miles or less, and more than 90 percent are made by car. The National Bike Summit has improved bicycle-friendliness and livability in many communities, but the need and opportunity to improve physical activity, safety and livability in the U.S., while reducing congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on oil – remains greater today than a decade ago.
These issues seem difficult to solve but the answer is simple. The answer is the bicycle. Now is the time to ask Congress to make strategic transportation investments that foster healthy people and healthy communities. Join us March 8-10 in Washington, D.C. to act on a simple solution – the bicycle.
Thanks to all the advocates for investing your time (and personal funds) to work for improved bicycling conditions on the local, state, and national levels. We appreciate it!
Let us know how we can help.