The Congressional Bike Caucus
Bike Caucus Co-Chairs Earl Blumenauer and Vern Buchanan lead an informal group of Members supportive of bicycling and walking. The Bike Caucus is the voice in our nation’s capital for millions of cyclists actively working for safer streets, pro-bike policies, and livable communities. It espouses the following principles:
- Bicycling is the most efficient form of transportation designed—it’s low-cost, creates little wear and tear on our roads, and boosts local economies.
- Bicycling strengthens our communities by making Americans healthier, improving air quality, and adding to quality of life.
- Our national transportation infrastructure should provide safe and appropriate transportation choices for all citizens.
- Congress should encourage bicycling as a mode of transportation that has many positive benefits for the nation.
About the Bike Caucus
When Rep. Earl Blumenauer came to Congress in 1996, he found bicycling as an efficient way to get around Washington, and a great way to connect with his new colleagues, regardless of their background or political party. Back in home in Portland, the city was in the middle of transforming into the world-class biking city it is today. As City Commissioner for transportation and public works, Blumenauer had worked closely with the bike advocacy groups and city officials to help launch Portland’s cycling revolution, and learned along the way that cyclists are some of the most determined, most dedicated, and most fun people around. He hit the ground biking in DC, and with the founding of the Bike Caucus in 1996, Blumenauer helped kindle a bicycle movement in the Capitol, building on the success of Representatives Oberstar, DeFazio and Joe Kennedy, whose “Chain Gang” successfully moved cycling onto the national agenda in 1991.
Today, the bipartisan Bike Caucus boasts over 130 members, representing 39 states and the District of the Columbia. The Caucus has helped move legislation like the Bike to Work Act, which created a tax benefit for bike commuters. Since 2000, the Bike Caucus has welcomed cyclists and bike enthusiasts from around the country to DC as part of the National Bike Summit. Over this period of time, bike commuting grew 60% nationwide, and Washington, D.C. now ranks among top cities for bike commuting. The Bike Caucus works closely with groups the like the League of American Bicyclists, PeopleForBikes, the Alliance for Biking and Walking, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and Rails to Trails Conservancy.
Bike Caucus Co-Chairs Vern Buchanan (left) and Earl Blumenauer