For Immediate Release 3-9-2011
Contact Mark Eller, IMBA Communications Director
markeller [at] imba [dot] com
Addressing bicyclists at the National Bike Summit today, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said that bicycling is part of the historic commitment to conservation in the United States. He cited Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt as presidents who acted to protect American landscapes even during tumultous times. In 2011, we can look back to those episodes and realize that despite today's economic challenges, we should continue the American tradition of conserving natural resources.
IMBA executive director Mike Van Abel introduced Secretary Salazar, praising his efforts to integrate opportunities for mountain biking into properties managed by the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Salazar also spoke about importance of getting Americans outside and exercising, and he said bicycling has an important role to play in those efforts. He discussed the White House's America's Great Outdoors initiative and its goals of increasing recreation and conservation programs.
In addition to Secretary Salazar's remarks, National Bike Summit delegates heard remarks from Oregon's Earl Blumenauer, a longtime advocate for bicycling in the House of Representatives, and from New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn.
Blumenauer spoke about the divergent attitudes that bike summit delegates are likely to encounter as they meet with elected officials on Capitol Hill tommorrow during the National Bike Summit lobby day. He warned that some officials will be very reluctant to invest in bicycling infrastructure, while others will embrace these ideas enthusiastically. He praised the delegates for carrying the pro-bicycle message to decision makers.
The bike transportation initiatives under commisioner Sadik-Kahn have recently drawn signficant media attention. Speaking enthusiastically about New York's improved record of traffic safety and its role as a world leader in walking and bicycling initiatives, she pledged to continue refining and implementing these programs. She also introduced the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide, a just-launched primer on best practices for bike-friendly transportation planning in urban settings.