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  1. #1
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    Most prominent national cycling advocacy group?

    Who is the most prominent/effective national cycling advocacy group?

    Here are groups that I figure might be considered, but of course, these are just the groups I know about:

    http://www.bikeleague.org/

    http://www.thunderheadalliance.org/

    http://www.bikewalk.org/

    http://www.adventurecycling.org/

    http://www.bikesbelong.org/

  2. #2
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    I think the LAB is the most prominent. It's certainly the oldest.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  3. #3
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    They all are doing something cool so it is hard to pick just one. I am not sure what our expectations should be of national cycling advocacy group but I thought Thunderheads benchmarking report last year was on the right track of what a national cycling advocacy group should be doing.
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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I have to agree with donnamb. At a national level I think LAB is the leader.

    I was checking out Thunderhead Alliance's presence. I found the state that I'm in. Much to my surprise I sit on the board of one of the two groups that they claim to be a member organization here in Arkansas and I'd never heard them mentioned. But LAB is talked about all the time.

    Thats a good list for reference though. Thanks.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 04-20-08 at 08:49 AM.
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  5. #5
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    LAB Reform is a national group working to restore the LAB to its previous role of champion of cyclists' right to ride the road safely and responsibly: http://labreform.org/.

    I wouldn't call bikewalk.org a cycling advocacy group. It's a bike/ped coalition, and many of its goals are not compatible with safe cycling on the road. Take a look at this picture on their homepage:

    It shows a bike riding lane immediately next to a drop off that looks to be about 6". We have one of those in Columbus. I saw a cyclist go tumbling off it. Fortunately, no traffic was on the road and road rash was the only injury she suffered.

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    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    National organizations do play an important role, but traffic regulations are quintessentially local affairs, so if you want to effectuate change it is very important to get involved with local advocacy groups who communicate with the decision makers who adopt the ordinances, rules, or laws, and who are responsible for designing and building the streets.

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    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    What happened to

    http://www.thebikezone.org.uk

    ?

    I have it bookmarked, but the site seems to have gone down.

    ------------------------------------

    2nd reply:

    http://www.thewheelmen.org

    This seems to be a spinoff faction from , back when, the League of American Wheelmen changed it's name to the League of American Bicyclists.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

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    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    IMHO BikeWalk is near equivalent to LAB's Bicycle Friendly Community program.
    I will also note that government seems to be more in touch with what BikeWalk does and citizens seem to be more in touch with what LAB does, one of these days it would be nice to be on the same page.
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    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Agree about LAB, but I'd add WABA to the list.
    http://www.waba.org/
    It is DC local, but it also does lobbying on national issues. (easy to do since the government is just down the street )

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    I'd vote that LAB has always had a solid perspective as to what is important to the cycling community and renders us good solid advocacy at the national level. Always thought they were well received by the Congress as our spokesperson.
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    An admittedly biased response...

    I work at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. We're best known for our namesake work: helping convert unused railroad corridors into trails. However, we've also always worked to promote active transportation (walking & biking) nationally. Some recent successes and efforts include:

    --We recently worked with Congressman Oberstar (D-Minn.) to pass legislation that likely saved between $100 and $200 million nationally for trails, walking and biking (see here).

    --We're currently organizing the national 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation to double the federal investment in trails, walking and biking. Specifically, the campaign aims to provide targeted investments to communities across the country that can demonstrate substantial mode shift.

    --We house the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC), which monitors Transportation Enhancements (TE) - the nation's largest funding source for active transportation. We regularly speak up for TE nationally and regionally.

    --We work very closely with several of the groups mentioned above, and others (including America Bikes and STPP).


    Sorry for the short advertisement! I wanted to make sure we weren't left off the list of national advocacy groups. Check us out for more information: www.railstotrails.org.

    Thanks,
    Kartik

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    There are no prominent national cycling advocacy groups in the USA. Sorry, but there aren't. Go ask 1000 people to name *any* cycling advocacy group, and see how many give you responses.

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    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Just as a point of state pride, the new President and CEO of the Thunderhead Alliance was until last month the Executive Director of my own state bicycle coalition. Go Jeff!! (But we'll miss him!)
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  15. #15
    Pedaling Backwards Mr_H's Avatar
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    My personal perference is a local group. A while back I considered joining the LAB, but opted instead for the LMB (League of Michigan Bicyclists). Both groups do good work, I just felt it was better to get things going at a state/local level rather then a national level (For example, when I had a complaint about a lack of road signs, I was able to contact someone who knew my specific area).

    It's not like you can go wrong with most advocacy groups, you just need to figure out what will be the most useful to you and your causes.

  16. #16
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    All these organizations have their place. They all fulfill different needs.

    IMBA blows them all away though. If the Bikeleague had a fraction of IMBA's successful programs and savvy, we'd all be in really good shape.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTC_Kartik View Post
    An admittedly biased response...

    I work at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. We're best known for our namesake work: helping convert unused railroad corridors into trails. However, we've also always worked to promote active transportation (walking & biking) nationally. Some recent successes and efforts include:

    --We recently worked with Congressman Oberstar (D-Minn.) to pass legislation that likely saved between $100 and $200 million nationally for trails, walking and biking (see here).

    --We're currently organizing the national 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation to double the federal investment in trails, walking and biking. Specifically, the campaign aims to provide targeted investments to communities across the country that can demonstrate substantial mode shift.

    --We house the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC), which monitors Transportation Enhancements (TE) - the nation's largest funding source for active transportation. We regularly speak up for TE nationally and regionally.

    --We work very closely with several of the groups mentioned above, and others (including America Bikes and STPP).


    Sorry for the short advertisement! I wanted to make sure we weren't left off the list of national advocacy groups. Check us out for more information: www.railstotrails.org.

    Thanks,
    Kartik
    Kartik,

    I'll vouch for you! Everyone, these guys do great work. You can see and experience the results all over the US.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by notfred View Post
    There are no prominent national cycling advocacy groups in the USA. Sorry, but there aren't. Go ask 1000 people to name *any* cycling advocacy group, and see how many give you responses.
    I agree. I think this is one of our biggest problems. Most bike advocacy organizations' communications skills and sensibilities are 20 years out of date. For example, to say they don't "get" the internet is an understatement, but it goes way beyond that.

  19. #19
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute View Post
    Take a look at this picture on their homepage:

    It shows a bike riding lane immediately next to a drop off that looks to be about 6". We have one of those in Columbus. I saw a cyclist go tumbling off it. Fortunately, no traffic was on the road and road rash was the only injury she suffered.
    Huh. I ride on that very bridge daily. For some strange reason, no ones falls off, despite major bike congestion problems.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  20. #20
    JRA
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    Quote Originally Posted by notfred View Post
    There are no prominent national cycling advocacy groups in the USA. Sorry, but there aren't. Go ask 1000 people to name *any* cycling advocacy group, and see how many give you responses.
    That's harsh and I wish I could say that it's wrong. But, unfortunately, you hit the nail on the head. There are no prominent national advocacy groups.

    The fact that so few posters seem sure that LAB is the most prominent national cycling advocacy group is quite telling.

    The glory days of The League of American Wheelmen was over a century ago. Membership peaked in 1898. In the intervening years, the organization virtually ceased to exist more than once.

    LAB currently claims "a membership of 300,000 affiliated cyclists, including 40,000 individuals and 600 affiliated organizations."

    LAB Reform's fanciful history of LAB implies that the "Golden Years" were the late '70s, during which time many services were provided by "an organization with less than 20,000 members." What a hoot!

    The existance of Thunderhead Alliance is not exactly a vote of confidence in LAB, either.

    On the other hand, whadayaexpect?

    Just as all politics is local, so is all advocacy. Local organizations do the work and national organizations take the credit - or something like that.

    What's obvious is that American bicyclists are deeply divided and disorganized. I have said many times that bicyclists are the most disparate group I've ever been associated with. Perhaps it's not surprising that bicyclists can't get organized.

    But it is disappointing.

    Quote Originally Posted by mattotoole View Post
    Most bike advocacy organizations' communications skills and sensibilities are 20 years out of date. For example, to say they don't "get" the internet is an understatement, but it goes way beyond that.
    That's a valid criticism (that applies to LAB and many others) but some local organizations like the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation (http://www.stlbikefed.org/- shameless local plug) are learning.

    Joining a local advocacy organization is probably more important than joining a national one.
    Last edited by JRA; 04-27-08 at 10:06 PM.
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