The first day of my first National Bike Summit is in the books. Today was the summit kickoff and Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, did not disappoint during his keynote address to over 800 attendees. Jerry Norquist from Cycle Oregon mentioned that the first summit, held in 2000, had ~87 attendees. One of the major goals during the summit is to meet with members of Congress and share stories from our local communities. Consultants have been prepping bike summit attendees for several weeks regarding our message and “the ask.” The message for the 112th Congress is simple: Maintain dedicated funding for vital biking and walking programs such as the Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to Schools, and the Recreational Trails program. Asking for any more funding, given the current budget realities, would be foolish. The RTP program, in particular, will need to watch its back. In 2010, Oregon received ~2 million in funding. These funds were used for some amazing local trail projects. Since 2008, Salem has received ~$1.8 million in Transportation Enhancements ($12.7 million in the 5th Congressional District). If you haven’t done so already please contact your District Representative and let him (sadly it’s only men) know why these programs are important. Provide a story and highlight how the project enhanced the area. Specifically, ASK him to maintain current funding for transportation enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and the Recreational Trails Program. It’s all about being specific and direct. Check out IMBA’s page and become a virtual member. UPDATE: State and Federally Funded Active Transportation Projects (awarded or allocated) ALL Oregon Congressional Districts (2008-March 2011) District 1 = 5,512,456 District 2 = 20,858,290 District 3 = 33,378,199 District 4 = 17,777,889 District 5 = 12,716,446 Total = 92,570,578