Bicycle Friendly America Fall 2017 - 28

BICYCLE FRIENDLY BUSINESS

THE ANSWER IS NOT EITHER/OR -
IT'S BOTH/AND: TRANSPORTATION
AND CLIMATE ADVOCATES
CARON WHITAKER

T

his summer I had the opportunity to
speak at the Citizen's Climate Lobby
conference in Washington, D.C.,
The event brings in over 900 advocates
to lobby congress on climate change.
Our session on climate and transportation brought in about 80 advocates, and
I was thrilled to see that many participants.
You see, over the last year or so I have
been trying to build a stronger relationship with climate advocates. The transportation sector has become the biggest
contributor of greenhouse gas emissions
(GHG), and with the administration
focused on an infrastructure bill and
governors and mayors renewing their
commitment to the Paris Accord, it
seems clear there is an opportunity for a
productive partnership between climate
and transportation advocates.
I am not the first bike advocate to
think we should have stronger relationships with climate advocates. In my
first interview for a position at America
Bikes I was asked, "Why aren't environmental organizations more involved in
the federal transportation bill given the
repercussions of sprawl, habitat loss, air
quality and climate?"
I bumbled through an answer citing
lack of resources, multiple issues, and
since the transportation bill in Congress
only comes up every five (or eight) years,
it hasn't risen to the top of their agenda.
Today I would answer that question
differently. Environmental and climate
organizations do work on transporta-

28 BICYCLE FRIENDLY AMERICA

tion, they just define it differently. Who
has been leading the push for higher
CAFE standards (mpg requirements for
new cars) and electric vehicles? The environmental community may look at us
and say, where have you been?
In fact I was asked that at the 2016 National Bike Summit. One of the speakers
on the panel dealing with Transportation
and Climate directly asked, "How can
you be holding a National Bike Summit
and not have an ask for Congress on climate?"
After that I started reaching out and
talking more with climate advocates

Caron Whitaker at 2017 National Bike Summit

about how we can work together. I attended the US Climate Action Network
( a coalition of environmental, social
equity and faith based organizations)
annual meeting. While there I was surprised by how many professional and
volunteer advocates I met who made a
point to tell me they biked for transportation in their personal life ... and yet
only a few of them worked on bicycle
and pedestrian issues. (A few worked on
transit.) My session on transportation
and climate at that conference drew only
a handful of attendees.
So how do we breach this gap? First


http://www.usclimatenetwork.org/ https://www.nhtsa.gov/laws-regulations/corporate-average-fuel-economy

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bicycle Friendly America Fall 2017

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Bicycle Friendly America Fall 2017 - Cover1
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Bicycle Friendly America Fall 2017 - 1
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Bicycle Friendly America Fall 2017 - Cover3
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http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Summer2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Winter2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Fall2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Summer2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Winter2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Fall2016_GatewayDemo
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Fall2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Spring2016
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com