Published on February 23rd, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan
3 Large U.S. Bicycling Organizations Unite!!
Three of the largest bicycling organizations in the U.S. are joining forces—this has my blood moving and my nerves tingling!
I’ve been wishing they’d do this for a looong time. However, I never thought they would. The leaders of the Alliance for Biking & Walking, Bikes Belong, and the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) have decided to untie to make their voice and efforts stronger and more efficient!
“We can transform communities across the United States and accelerate the creation of a more bicycle-friendly America by combining the programs, resources, and members of these three leading organizations,” said Chris Fortune, Chairman of the Bikes Belong board and member of the transition team empowered to facilitate unification of the three groups.
Yes, you can! And I think it makes it much more clear who to go to for information, advice, support, and political lobbying on topics related to bicycling. Not only that, but it offers a more unified vision of our U.S. bicycling society.
I’m all for decentralization, and, as a former director of a community non-profit focused on advancing bicycling in the Charlottesville, VA region, I think that will continue and thrive even better with this switch as local organizations get more support and guidance from this untied national group.
“There is a lot of work ahead,” acknowledged Hans van Naerssen, Chair of the League’s board and a member of the transition team. “We must determine how to combine the diverse strengths of a powerful alliance of state and local organizations, a storied national user group, and a vibrant industry association in a way that preserves their unique attributes and realizes the game-changing potential of a single entity.”
I’m sure there is, and I’m sure you must, but this is a hugely exciting announcement to find in my news feed this morning, and I’m sending you the biggest kudos I can find.
“Our enthusiasm to take this momentous step for the movement is matched by a commitment to do this right,” said Noah Budnick, board Chair of the Alliance for Biking & Walking. “Changes will be implemented carefully and respectfully over time.” I wouldn’t expect anything less from these exemplary advocates and professionals, but I guess it’s nice to read such a statement.
LAB notes that the boards of the three organizations still need to ratify the agreement. But it looks like that’s pretty much a given… otherwise, why would they be making this announcement?
Again, big congratulations and big thanks, and I look forward to seeing more news on this as it develops!
Family of bicyclists via shutterstock