The leadership of the Alliance for Biking & Walking, Bikes Belong, and the League of American Bicyclists has agreed that uniting the three organizations would dramatically improve their effectiveness in increasing bicycle use in U.S. communities. Leaders of the three groups issued a joint statement summarizing the outcome of their recent meeting in San Diego, February 13-14:
“Our enthusiasm to take this momentous step for the movement is matched by a commitment to do this right,” said Noah Budnick, Board Chair of the Alliance for Biking & Walking. The boards of all three organizations must ratify the agreement. Once (and if) that occurs, the transition team will work with a variety of board, staff, partners and advisors to determine the initial programs, membership structure, and staff needs of the new organization. “Changes will be implemented carefully and respectfully over time,” continued Budnick, “and it is important to say that all existing contractual agreements will be honored and the continuity of existing memberships is assured.”
“We can transform communities across the United States and accelerate the creation of a more bicycle-friendly America by combining the programs, resources, and members of these three leading organizations,” said Chris Fortune, Chairman of the Bikes Belong board and member of the transition team empowered to facilitate unification of the three groups. The transition team comprises representatives of each organization and will be working with the boards, staff, and members of each group to implement the process.
“There is a lot of work ahead,” acknowledged Hans van Naerssen, Chair of the League’s board and a member of the transition team. “We must determine how to combine the diverse strengths of a powerful alliance of state and local organizations, a storied national user group, and a vibrant industry association in a way that preserves their unique attributes and realizes the game-changing potential of a single entity.”
Below is the official statement:
SUMMARY RECAP OF THE U.S. BIKE ADVOCACY UNIFICATION
MEETING, SAN DIEGO, CA, FEBRUARY 12-15, 2012.
Leadership teams representing the Alliance for Biking & Walking, the
League of American Bicyclists and Bikes Belong agreed in principle on
February 14, 2012, to recommend the unification of all three organizations
to more effectively support and advance bicycling in the United States.
The goal is to speed progress in creating a bicycle-friendly America, where
bicycling is a viable transportation- and recreation choice for everyone and
more people bike more often. This proposed unification would combine the
significant resources of the three groups into one effective, powerful
organization with a clear, integrated structure and a single voice.
This agreement must be ratified by the board of directors of each of the
three participating organizations. Two key dates on the timeline:
1. Make the decision to proceed (or not) by September 2012.
2. Launch the new organization by January 2013.
An acting board of directors was selected. It includes:
Noah Budnick, Transportation Alternatives, New York, NY
John Burke, Trek Bicycle Corporation, Waterloo, WI
Chris Fortune, Saris Cycling Group, Madison, WI
Leah Shahum, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco, CA
Gail Spann, League of American Bicyclists, Dallas, TX
Hans Van Naerssen, League of American Bicyclists, Wayne, PA
An acting CEO was selected by the board:
Tim Blumenthal, Bikes Belong, Boulder, CO
The acting board and acting CEO will work to provide the full boards of the
three participating organizations with details that will inform their votes to
If and when all three boards ratify the unification decision, this transition
team will work in conjunction with legal counsel, staff, and other allies to:1. Establish and help manage the technical details of the transition to the
2. Register the new organization with the Internal Revenue Service as a
501c3 non-profit organization;
3. Develop articles of incorporation, bylaws, charter, mission statement,
long-term goals and the organizational structure of the new organization;
4. Select a CEO;
5. Create a timetable for the launch of the new organization and the plan for
communicating the launch and the objectives to all audiences.
1. How will this agreement affect the programs, memberships, partnerships,
operations and staffs of the participating organizations?
A: First, the boards of all three organizations must ratify the agreement.
Once (and if) that occurs, the acting board and acting CEO will work with a
variety of board, staff, partners and advisors to determine the initial
programs, membership structure, and staff needs of the new organization.
All three organizations have considerable institutional assets and significant
track records of success. Changes will be implemented carefully and
respectfully over time. All contractual agreements will be honored.
2. What will happen to the League of American Bicyclists, Alliance for
Biking and Walking, the Bikes Belong Coalition, and the Bikes Belong
A: The goal is to transfer the resources and programs of these organizations
to a new, unified organization.
3. What will happen to the Safe Routes to School National Partnership?
A: It will continue to function as it does now. Its staff and steering committee
will work closely with the staff, board and supporters of the new
organization. The primary change will be a technical one. The Partnership
will operate under the 501c3 umbrella of the new organization—a group
that is guided by many of the same people and organizations that have
worked with the Partnership since its inception.
4. Who participated in the San Diego Unification Meeting?Tim Blumenthal, Bikes Belong CEO;
Noah Budnick, Alliance for Biking & Walking Board Chair;
John Burke, Bikes Belong Board Member;
Andy Clarke, League of American Bicyclists President;
Chris Fortune, Bikes Belong Coalition Board Chair;
Deb Hubsmith, Director of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership;
Elizabeth Kiker, League of American Bicyclists VP;
Bruno Maier, Bikes Belong VP;
Mike Mercuri, Bikes Belong Board Member;
Jeff Miller, Alliance for Biking & Walking CEO;
Randy Neufeld, Director of the SRAM Cycling Fund;
Rob Sadowsky, Alliance for Biking & Walking and League of American
Bicyclists Board Member;
Leah Shahum, Alliance for Biking & Walking Board Member;
Gail Spann, League of American Bicyclists Board Member;
Hans Van Naerssen, League of American Bicyclists Board Chair.
The meeting was facilitated by Steve Mulvany of Management Tools Inc.
For additional information, contact:
Tim Blumenthal, Bikes Belong, 303/449-4893;
Andy Clarke, League of American Bicyclists, 202/822-1333;
Jeff Miller, Alliance for Biking & Walking, 202/445-4415
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