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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