Leaders of the Alliance for Biking & Walking, Bikes Belong, and the League of American Bicyclists Leaders met in San Diego, on February 13-14th and have issued a joint statement announcing they are to merge.
It was agreed that uniting the three organizations would dramatically improve their effectiveness in increasing bicycle use in the US.
Chris Fortune, Chairman of the Bikes Belong board and member of the transition team empowered to facilitate unification of the three groups said: “We can transform communities across the United States and accelerate the creation of a more bicycle-friendly America by combining the programs, resources, and members of these three leading organizations."
Bikes Belong was founded by the US bicycle industry.
Hans van Naerssen, Chair of the League of American Bicyclist’s board and a member of the transition team said: “There is a lot of work ahead. We must determine how to combine the diverse strengths of a powerful alliance of state and local organizations, a storied national user group, and a vibrant industry association in a way that preserves their unique attributes and realizes the game-changing potential of a single entity.”
Noah Budnick, board Chair of the Alliance for Biking & Walking said: “Our enthusiasm to take this momentous step for the movement is matched by a commitment to do this right."
The boards of all three organisations must ratify the agreement. Once, and if that occurs, the transition team will work with a variety of board, staff, partners and advisors to determine the initial programs, membership structure, and staff needs of the new organisation.
“Changes will be implemented carefully and respectfully over time and it is important to say that all existing contractual agreements will be honored and the continuity of existing memberships is assured.”
A joint statement said the "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.This agreement must be ratified by the board of directors of each of the three participating organizations."
The decision to proceed (or not) must be made by September 2012.
An acting board of directors includes Noah Budnick, Transportation Alternatives; John Burke, Trek Bicycle Corporation; Chris Fortune, Saris Cycling Group; Leah Shahum, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition; Gail Spann, League of American Bicyclists; Hans Van Naerssen, League of American Bicyclists.
The acting CEO will be Tim Blumenthal of Bikes Belong.