Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Top US Bike Advocacy Groups Set to Merge



Top three US bicycle advocacy groups plan merger to better cyclists' voice in Washington
Three of the most powerful bicycle advocacy groups in the US it could be the right number as they consider consolidation. Last month representatives from the Alliance for Biking & Walking, Bikes Belong, and the League of American Bicyclists met in San Diego to discuss the possibility of a merger.The key reasons for the groups to consolidate include: strength in membership numbers, reduced confusion over cycle advocacy issues, and presentation of a united message.
Advocacy leaders say the merger will give greater clout in washington:
This new united front could “rock the boat" and make things better as well. At present, each group is asking their respective supporters what they think they need to see. One point that each group makes clear is that questions won’t directly overlap much, as the three groups each have a very different membership base. The League has individual membership and a very large membership base, the Alliance has city and state bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups, and Bikes Belong has manufacturers and retailers. This new group would provide a greater single voice, and it should noted that all three groups, along with IMBA, Adventure Cycling, and the Association for Pedestrian, and Bicycle Professionals have worked together before on America Bikes, a coalition that was formed to focus on federal bike funding.

Advocacy leaders say the merger will give greater clout in Washington. This merger is important because with all these groups there has been confusion, specifically on Capitol Hill. Anyone who drops into bike advocacy is hit with a sea of acronyms. The merger of the three groups could help streamline efforts,
thus the yet unnamed group will suddenly speak for the multiple voices.

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