Bicycle Advocacy

Since I started bicycle commuting, I have become more interested in bicycle advocacy. I attended a local bicycle advocacy group’s meeting last year to get a feel for what the group was about. By the end of the meeting, I had nominated myself for a position on the board! This weekend I attended the first meeting of the year, and I was elected for the position. During the course of the meeting the group discussed 2007 accomplishments and began brainstorming for 2008 projects.

Most of us take our basic bicycling infrastructure for granted. We imagine that city planners and state transportation officials provide us with bike paths, bike lanes, bike racks, etc., just because it’s the right thing to do.   But the truth is, you wouldn’t be seeing most of it without the hard work of bicycle advocacy groups working behind the scenes. Many times bicycles are not mentioned or even thought of in the original planning stages of city projects. It takes cyclists banding together, and shouting out collectively, “Don’t forget us!”

At this weekend’s meeting, when you brought up a new idea, it became your project. I’m excited to be able to work on and implement some of the things I’ve wanted to see in our community. If there is something you’d like to see done in your city, it might be you that has to run with the idea. Check out your local bicycle advocacy group, and see what you can do to help out. Remember the saying, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

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0 thoughts on “Bicycle Advocacy”

  1. Ghost Rider says:

    Bravo! I don’t think enough of us really get involved at this level of government…when we have the best shot at actually getting something done (as another commenter so eloquently pointed out here last week).

    Good luck with your work on the advisory board!!

  2. Jeff P says:

    Create the city you want to live in! You can sit on your a** and complain about what “they” should do, or you can get involved and make a difference.

    Good job Jeff, you have chosen to make a difference.

  3. Jeff Moser says:

    Thanks guys! Another thing worth mentioning, is that I was encouraged to nominate myself for the position. I wasn’t competing with anyone. They really needed the help!

  4. Fritz says:

    Good job, Jeff, and good luck. Probably the most essential part of influence in local government is showing up at the meetings. Reading the agendas and minutes is time consuming, but it’s important to keep up on what’s important (and not always covered in the local newspapers). The time to influence the design of a road, building project, intersection, school or other facility is during the planning phase, not *after* the thing has been built and completed.

  5. Fritz says:

    I forgot to mention: I’m attending this web seminar on “Getting Your Story Out.” From the website:

    This 60 minute seminar focuses on a crucial aspect of successful outreach: getting your story to the people who matter. Presenter David Levinger, President of The Mobility Education Foundation, will provide you five key ways to increase the impact and reach of your story. He uses specific case studies to help you develop the support necessary to effect change.

    Specifically, the following topics will be covered:
    1. Using stories to energize your cause.
    2. Getting free advertising through “earned” media coverage.
    3. Building support and champions by telling stories at special sessions and hearings.

    At the start of the call, Nancy Pullen-Seufert of the National Center for Safe Routes to School will provide a brief update.

    This webinar is part of the Safe Routes Coaching Action Network Webinar Series, developed by America Walks and the National Center for Safe Routes to School.

    If you’re at all interested in advocacy, I recommend participation in this free online seminar.

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