It was standing room only in Providence as the ECGA presented the first-ever New England Bike-Walk Summit on October 7! About 170 people came from all corners of New England, plus a good contingent from New York, and presenters from as far as DC, Boulder, and Portland, Oregon. Eight sessions addressed issues including: bringing bike-walk advocacy to underserved neighborhoods, the economic development potential of biking and walking, relationships between advocates and agencies, and more! An inspiring field trip, illuminating downtown walking tour, and fun reception rounded out a successful day.
Representatives of 32 state, regional, local, and federal agencies participated, and dozens of companies and nonprofit groups had presence as well. Highlights included a rousing keynote from Tim Blumenthal (President, Bikes Belong Coalition), and thought-provoking addresses from Jeff Miller (President/CEO, Alliance for Biking & Walking), Richard Fries, and ECGA‘s own Dennis Markatos-Soriano.
Among vital takeaways: the decision of participants in the “legislation roundtable”to share their email addresses and stay in touch, so that as state-level legislative efforts move forward, people can share their experiences to improve the success of efforts elsewhere in New England.
We are grateful to all of our sponsors (see below), and of course to all of the individuals whose participation made the Summit a useful event.
A high percentage of attendees (20%) returned evaluation forms, and there is near-unanimous interest in making this an annual conference. We hope to see you at the New England Summit in 2011!