by Bob Beane, President, Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists
As anyone knows who has crossed over from “simply” being a bicyclist to being a bicycling advocate, there are not enough hours in a day…The more you immerse yourself in this world, the more you find that needs to be done. Possibly, that’s one of the reasons for the high rate of burnout among advocates.
Personally, I’m not there, yet… But, I can see how it can happen. So, from time-to-time I tell myself that one of the CAzB’s biggest priorities should be to increase membership.
In particular, we could benefit from members who can support bicycling advocacy through volunteering time, contributing “above average” donations to fund programs and/or who have connections (political, corporate, large consituencies of a similar mindset, etc.). If you happen to be one of those folks, please contact us and ask the question: “How can I help?” If you know someone who fits that desription, we’d like to get to know him or her.
In the interim, here are are few activities that the CAzB has been or will be involved in in the recent past and future:
- The first (ever, or in a very long while) Phoenix Bicycle Summit will take place on March 19 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Burton Barr Library in Phoenix. The CAzB will participate, and we’re bringing a list of priority projects and policy suggestions for the Phoenix Transportation Department. Check the calendar for links to more info.
- The CAzB is currently reviewing and assisting with Arizona’s Bicycle Friendly State re-application. Specifically, we are providing feedback to Michael Sanders of ADOT, who is responsible for submitting that application to the League of American Bicyclists.
- We will be helping to publicize and will participate in ADOT’s FY 2012-2016 Five Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program process. Tentatively, there are public meetings planned for Sahuarita (March 18), Gilbert (April 15) and Flagstaff (May 11). More to follow…
- We have been involved in proposing “vulnerable user” status for bicyclists and other users of Arizona’s roadways and streets in a draft bill before the AZ legislature.
- We are looking to strengthen our relationship with other organizations such as the Livable Communities Coalition, which seeks to achieve livable and sustainable communities via means that include multiple transit and transportation mode opportunities.
- We continue to participate in bike safety and education opportunities (e.g. Kathy Mills and I passed out dozens of bicycle safety pamphlets and manuals to families attending a transportation fair in Ahwatukee last weekend, as well as promoting courses conducted by our LCIs).
- We continue to participate in the Maricopa Association of Governments funding process for bicycle-related infrastructure and educational programs.
- More-and-more, we are responding to regional and national media requests for comment and ideas related to improving the climate for bicycling in Arizona (most recently, we are contributing to an article being written by a journalist at the Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU).
I could go on and on, but I’m pretty sure I’ve said enough to give you both a flavor for the opportunities that exist and how increasing the participation in bicycling advocacy opportunities might make a significant difference over time.
So, if you know of someone who is passionate about bicycling (or who commutes or just really enjoys riding), and who has realized that it is time to step up and make some level of contribution to making things better, please send them our way.
Thanks, please ride safely and share the road…