Three of the largest bike advocacy groups merge into a single united organization

Yesterday was a big day in the bike advocacy world as three of the largest national bike advocacy groups announced plans to merge into a single united front. Bikes Belong, The League of American Bicyclists and the Alliance for Biking and Walking made the decision to merge, public, yesterday. There were some really good writeups about this news including this from Jonathan Maus over at Bike Portland who stated in part,

This consolidation makes a ton of sense. The current attacks on bicycling from Capitol Hill have made it crystal clear that we need a stronger voice with more power and resources behind it. Despite a valiant effort by Bikes Belong, bicycling has failed to capture the imagination and respect of the broader public that’s necessary to break out of the car-centric status quo that continues to dominate discussions about transportation in America.

Richard Masoner brought up a lot of good points including whether this new (yet to be named) advocacy group would be industry based or a cyclist based organization.

One thing that I do think is very clear, is that the current practices employed by our national advocacy groups hasn’t been as effective as it could be in informing the broader public how critical it is to have alternative choices in transportation. And while the primary discussion surrounding bicycling is at its core a transportation issue, it has equal importance in the public health realm and we need to address the serious health issues that is affecting and will continue to affect all of us thanks to a car-centric transportation system.

Bike advocates joining forces with the bicycle industry is the most logical step in the bike advocacy movement. In order to gain equal footing with the much larger and powerful auto industry and the auto advocacy groups , it makes a lot of sense for all the bike advocacy groups to combine resources. The bicycle industry definitely stands to benefit from the success of this new merger, but I fail to see how increased sales of bicycles could be anywhere as nefarious as the increased sales of automobiles.

What do you think about the merger? How do you think this will all play out on the national stage