BikeTexas Brings “Cyclists in Suits” to State Capitol

By Carolyn S on March 23, 2011

imageThis month, many Alliance leaders traveled to Washington, DC, to lobby their members of Congress during the National Bike Summit. But the politicos on Capitol Hill aren’t the only ones making critical decisions about biking and walking funding, policies and programs. State legislatures are in full swing and member organizations are providing a strong, vocal presence for bicyclists and pedestrians in virtually every state across the nation.

One example comes from BikeTexas. Just this past Monday, more than three dozen members of the statewide organization traveled to Austin for the biennial “Cyclists in Suits Lobby Day.” With neon bike pins shining from their lapels, they educated their elected officials on important bills and showcased the large constituency for bicycling in the Lone Star State.

“Cyclists from all over Texas split into small teams and met individually with transportation staffers in every legislative office at the Capitol — all 181 of them — to discuss key pieces of bike-friendly legislation filed this session,” Emma Cravey reports on the BikeTexas blog. “Chief among the bills shared was HB 1105 / SB 513, the Complete Streets bill. This legislation would ensure that new road construction and reconstruction projects consider all road users in their design — meaning cyclists, pedestrians, bus riders and the disabled — not just motorists… Volunteers also shared information about HB 1943, which would provide utility right-of-way for bike trails in Houston and El Paso, and HB 1583, which would require cyclists to use a red rear light at night.”

According to BikeTexas, legislators and their staff were “receptive and interested,” and advocates celebrated their success with a happy hour after a productive day creating and cultivating relationships with their elected officials.

Click here to follow the progress of key bills in Texas or read more about BikeTexas’ campaigns.

Photo: Cyclists in Suits 2011 Lobby Day (BikeTexas)

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