WASHINGTON, D.C.—Mode Shift reported in February that national organizations Alliance for Biking & Walking, Bikes Belong, and The League of American Bicyclists considered a merger in order to better promote the interests of bikers and walkers nationwide.
According to their February press release, "this proposed unification would combine the significant resources of the three groups into one effective, powerful organization with a clear, integrated structure and a single voice."
While they had set a deadline for September 2012 to make a final conclusion as to whether a merger would be in the best interest of all parties, the organizations announced in an August 16 press release they have decided to not pursue the merger.
"After months of steady dialogue and face-to-face meetings, the leaders of the Alliance for Biking & Walking, Bikes Belong and League of American Bicyclists have decided not to pursue full unification at this time," reads the release. "The three groups continue to operate independently, in close collaboration, to make bicycling safer and more enjoyable for all Americans."
They said in the press release the talks were marked by "goodwill and an open exchange of ideas." And while they decided not to merge, they helped the organizations standardize the vision, goals and strategies that will improve cycling conditions from Maine to California and beyond.
- The nationwide percentage of trips made by bike will increase to 5 percent (from 1 percent in 2012), and the diversity of people on bikes will mirror the diversity of America;
- Traffic injuries and fatalities (in all modes) will decrease by 50 percent;
- Half of all Americans will have front-door access to a bicycling network that will take them to destinations within two miles exclusively on low-stress streets, lanes, and trails--protected from high-speed traffic.
"The League and Alliance are developing plans to help state and local advocates get the most out of MAP-21, the new, two-year federal transportation bill, and will work with Bikes Belong on this, and other projects," the release states. "Bikes Belong has initiated a strategic discovery process to review its overall goals and to refine its focus, and is engaging the League and Alliance to help shape its future direction."
The organizations are still committed to focusing on projects from the local to federal level to best improve infrastructure and promote safe cycling and walking trips throughout the United States.