Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists Striving for Significant Advocacy Milestones in 2015

CAzBike pres.
Bob Beane

Bob is the Coalition’s President. 

The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists began in 1991 with a dream of developing an effective statewide bicycling advocacy organization/network in Arizona. When we consider that meant developing a functioning team across geography the size of New England, with 45% of New England’s population, this was no small task. Early on, the founders expanded the group to include members from metro-Phoenix and metro-Tucson. In more recent years, the CAzB built a leadership team that included advocates from Kingman and the Verde Valley. In 2014, the group expanded further to add board and advisory board members from Yuma and Flagstaff, and we have assisted and/or worked with advocates in Sierra Vista, Green Valley, Prescott and Casa Grande.

As we continue to broaden and strengthen the team, we are finding more ways to make a difference for bicyclists in Arizona. Here are a few examples of programs in progress or on the docket for 2015:

  • We have been given an opportunity to review and comment on AZ’s bicycle-related standardized training outline for law enforcement officers (POST training). Our interest is in trying to get bicyclists and law enforcement officers closer to a common understanding of bicycle-related laws in Arizona, and to become a resource for law enforcement in that area.
  • Complementing the above, we have been invited to draft content for a short (15 minute) on-line police officer training course, bicycling related, for the City of Glendale PD. The reaction to the material has been extremely positive (of course, we provided much too much content), to the extent that the reviewers are suggesting that a second module be done to include more of the material.
  • The US Bicycle Route system is taking shape across the country, and we are being asked to help foster bicycle community involvement and comment on proposed route segments in Arizona.
  • After a presentation by Michael Sanders, ADOT Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator, that touched on Federal Highway Administration priorities, we want to alert the bicycling community to the potential for rumble strip issues in our future. FHWA is increasingly concerned about lane departure vehicle crashes, for which the top perceived remedy is rumble strips. Location, design and frequency of using rumble strips are all on the table. We want to publicize this and make sure our advocates keep a watchful eye for this issue in 2015.
  • Helping AZ Tourism promote bicycle-related tourism is another opportunity for us in 2015. We believe that AZ Tourism needs web site content (great ride descriptions, photos, video, etc.), and there has been initial feedback that we can work with them to accomplish this.

Other projects on the horizon include continued involvement in the ADOT bicycle-related safety plan and ongoing programs where bicyclist input is needed. Also, at least three new bicycle parks are being built between 2014-2015 (Mesa, Sedona and Flagstaff), and the Maricopa Association of Governments is in the design stage of a project to brand and sign the network of canal paths throughout metro-Phoenix. Great strides are being made in Yuma to revitalize bicycling there, including nearly monthly recreational events and a return of the North End Classic road race…Articles for IMBA and the LAB are planned to help promote these positive developments. There are “bicycle friendly” applications to review, infrastructure project rankings to do, and so much more.

So much is going on, and so many opportunities exist, that the CAzB leadership has come to the conclusion that we are primarily constrained by volunteer/member resources. That leads us to the final goal I’ll discuss for 2015: more resources. Please take a few minutes to visit our Facebook page (hopefully, you’ll “like” us while you are there) and our web site at www.cazbike.org. Also, please consider becoming a member and/or making a donation of time or financial assistance. We are a 501 c 3 non-profit organization. All of us are volunteers, and many work long hours for nothing more than the satisfaction of knowing that we are helping Arizona become a better, more safe place to ride a bicycle. Thanks for your time!

Bob Beane, President
Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists

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