CNHBC Goes to Washington
CNHBC sent a volunteer to the National Bike Summit in Washington DC to learn and connect with others working on a wide variety of cycling issues across the country and internationally. Some of the main take aways from the event were:
Inclusion, Cultural Awareness, and Bicycling
A number of sessions looked at how our biases impact access, focus, and culture around bicycle transportation; how we can create more inclusive organizations, and how to broaden our thinking to build better coalitions. It was an opportunity to share and learn from each other, and a reminder to organizations to examine their work and make a conscious effort to listen to issues effecting bike and pedestrian transportation from a variety of needs and perspectives; to make traveling by bike something accessible, approachable, and "me" for all of our community. By examining our own preconceptions and how those impact our work, we can do a better job of reaching out to the "bike-curious" and even the "bike-not-so-curious" to build a stronger, more creative, more inclusive coalition.
Building Bike Infrastructure through Bike Tourism
The bicycling tourism industry is $83 billion/ year. Speakers in the Growing Bicycling Partnerships and Local Investments Through Bicycle Tourism session told a variety of stories about how making the business case for cycling infrastructure can create a positive feedback loop, creating economic growth and increased quality of life in their communities. With New Hampshire's scenic roads, proximity to urban centers, and existing tourism industry, CNHBC wants to work with other organizations and local businesses to develop plans for capitalizing on this opportunity for our region.
Speakers also shared strategies for building the market for your unique bike tourism opportunity including technology's increasing ability to modernize, simplify, and connect the bike tourist experience. Life Cycle HQ was one example of strategies to bring often disjointed and static trail information into one, dynamic, accessible place- one stop shopping for adding a bike ride to your next vacation.
Keynote speakers and panelists working at the national level on cycling issues reported that the many successes at the local level are creating a national trend toward increased cycling and pedestrian transportation. They reiterated the importance of local and regional efforts to achieving actual changes, and discussed how the Trump Administration infrastructure plan may impact availability of federal funding to support local work.
CNHBC looks forward to taking the inspiration and lessons from the national summit into our work here in the Central New Hampshire area and finding opportunities to build these lessons around New Hampshire's unique strengths to create walkable, bikeable, liveable communities.