Earl Blumenauer was a cycling advocate long before he was elected to Congress in 1996. By the time he got to Washington D.C., he was very familiar with the environmental, transportation, and health benefits of bicycle commuting. During his tenure as a Portland City Commissioner, Blumenauer worked with bicycle advocacy groups to make the city one of the most bike-friendly in the country.
Once Blumenauer got to Washington, D.C., he founded the Congressional Bike Caucus. The group was initially meant to be a fun organization for legislators and their staff who preferred to get around the nation’s capital on two wheels instead of four. But it quickly turned into a bipartisan group of lawmakers committed to working with the cycling community to provide more infrastructure and safer commuting routes for cyclists.
Riding a bike is not only fun, it is one of the healthiest ways to get around.
When Blumenauer arrived in Congress in 1996, he brought a bicycle -- rather than a car -- to Washington DC. Now, after riding his bike in DC for 14 years, he's burned more than 356,000 calories – instead of 241 gallons of gas. And his commute is only 2.6 miles!
Bicycles: Good for Our Economy
Bicycling used to be seen as only a recreational activity, important for personal pleasure and fitness, perhaps, but of no real consequence to our communities’ livability or economy.
Today, as more people are bicycling, the bicycle industry is playing an increasingly significant role in economies, both at the local and national scale.
Nationwide, the bicycling industry contributes an estimated $133 billion a year to the US economy, supporting nearly 1.1 million jobs and generating $17.1 billion in federal, state, and local taxes.
The 111th Congress offers plenty of opportunities to improve the safety and convenience of bicycling for all Americans. With fluctuating gas prices, concern about climate change, and a heightened awareness of bicycling’s economic, environmental and health-related benefits, millions of Americans are willing to invest in bicycle facilities, so they can burn calories instead of fossil fuel. As Congress works towards the reauthorization of the Transportation Act, it becomes more and more important that we provide people with real choices about how they get from place to place. This session, Congressman Blumenauer has introduced the following pieces of legislation
- H.R. 3271 Green Routes to Work
- H.R. 4021 Safe Routes to High Schools
- H.R. 4722 the Active Community Transportation Act of 2010
Recognizing the importance of bicycling as a safe and convenient transportation choice, as well as an important recreational opportunity, the Congressional Bicycle Caucus will provide leadership in creating the policies and funding needed to make bicycling safe and convenient for all Americans. The Caucus works to keep members educated, involved and up to date on bicycling issues.For an updates list of the Bicycle Caucus, please click here.