What does the Trump Election Mean for Bikes?
LAB’s Expert Caron Whitaker Explains at Advocacy Boot Camp
With the ballots cast for both the United States Executive and Legislative elections, bike advocates will study the results to determine the direction of Federal bicycle policy.
With the election of Donald Trump and the GOP in control of both houses of Congress questions arise over transportation policy with regards to bicycles. Can there be a silver lining?
The person who studies this the most in Washington DC is Caron Whitaker, vice president of government relations for the League of American Bicyclists, will make one of her first public speeches on the matter at MassBike’s Advocacy Boot Camp to be held Dec. 17 in Watertown.
“Caron is the person every American bike advocate turns to for information and advice for anything that pertains to the Federal government,” said Richard Fries, MassBike executive director. “We were stunned that she would agree to address our group. This may be the first time she distills her views on the impacts of this election. She is THE person who crafts the national policy objectives for bike advocates.”
“The election results have created some real uncertainty in Washington. That uncertainty extends to transportation policy and funding decisions,” said Whitaker. “ What will that uncertainty at the national level mean for biking and transportation? And how will decisions in Washington affect progress being made at the state and local level?”
Whitaker is a native of Beverly, Mass., and developed a love of bicycling here in the Bay State. She understands bike advocacy from the granular level of a college campus up to the national policy level.
Given the recent election, however, she is doubling her efforts. “Bike advocates and partners need to work together to preserve and promote progress for safe and accessible transportation choices,” said Whitaker.
Prior to joining the League of American Bicyclists in 2012, Whitaker served as the Campaign Director for America Bikes where she coordinated and implemented America Bikes federal policy agenda. Before that, she worked for the National Wildlife Federation on smart growth, international policy, and community engagement. In addition, Whitaker served as a Community Land Use Planner for the State of North Carolina Division of Coastal Management, providing technical assistance to local governments and staffing a stakeholders’ council responsible for revising state planning regulations. She has a Masters in Environmental Management for Duke University, Nicolas School of the Environment and a Bachelors of Arts from Williams College.
Whitaker will be the final presentation at the MassBike’s inaugural Advocacy Boot Camp. The event will be held at Fresh Tilled Soil, 480 Pleasant Street, Watertown, Mass., on Saturday Dec. 17. Her presentation will be an informal interview format with an emcee and a lot of question-and-answer elements. She will forecast some of the changes to be expected within the U.S. Department of Transportation and what, if any changes, can be expected in Congress with regards to funding bicycle programs. The need for investment in public infrastructure has been cited by several candidates; in question is how much of that investment will be for bicycles.