The leadership of the Alliance for Biking Walking, Bikes Belong, and the League of American Bicyclists have 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.
“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.”
“Our enthusiasm to take this momentous step for the movement is matched by a commitment to do this right,” said Noah Budnick, 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.”