WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN)—Despite a shutdown of the federal government here ahead of an approaching snowstorm Wednesday, advocates attending the National Bike Summit this week took to Capitol Hill to meet with legislators and aides to improve safety for cyclists, among other goals.
In addition to seeking a national standard in federal transportation law that would help protect bike riders and pedestrians, advocates also asked House members to join Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s bike caucus and visit a pro-cycling project in their home district.
The major “ask” for Senators was that they support President Obama’s nomination of REI chief executive Sally Jewell for Interior secretary. Her confirmation hearing was set to begin this week.
Many advocates reported meeting cancelations as the so-called “Snowquester”—a feared citywide shutdown as a winter storm bore down on the District—prompted several offices to take a snow day. Those fears proved overblown, however, as early snowfall inside the Beltway melted off quickly and gave way to gusts and rain.
The League updated advocates on office closures and meeting cancellations thoroughout the day on its blog and via email blasts and Twitter. It estimated that a quarter to a third of scheduled meetings were canceled.
The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, which BRAIN shadowed throughout the day of lobbying, saw two of its eight meetings canceled. Led by planning and policy director Eric Bruins, the Coalition still hopes to connect with missed legislators as it continues meetings on the Hill through Friday.