From Joan Pasiuk, Bicycling and Walking Program Director.

I attended my first Bike Summit in D.C. last week. This is a gathering of advocacy, government, and industry folks — 580 in force — sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists.  The job of those attending is to play the Washington game and try to score bike-friendly and bike-encouraging legislation.

The MN delegation met with members of congress and/or staff from the offices of Oberstar, Ellison, Peterson, Bachman, Klobuchar, McCollum, Paulsen, and Walz. Not bad. Our agenda — the Complete Streets bill just introduced (HR 1443, S 584) and the CLEAN TEA bill (HR 1329, S 575) which would provide a funding source through a cap and trade system, Safe Routes to School, the Congressional bike caucus and, of course, Bike Walk Twin Cities.

Overall I was heartened by what they said and what is happening. Secretary LaHood went well beyond an obligatory head-nod to bicycling; word is that inside DOT he is creating a big agenda for livability. Hmmm — nice to know TLC was a decade or so ahead of the curve. Read speech highlights from all the luminaries at Bike Portland.

Getting dressed up and running around Capitol Hill is definitely an adventure in democracy. Most of our work is not nearly so glam, and I'm back at my computer doing the day-to-day job of ped-bike furtherance.

Aside: How could I miss them? I did not see a single kiosk of the new D.C. bike share program. And I was even looking for them. The Minneapolis program will surely have better visibility on the streets.