No, the League isn’t going to start ranking advocacy groups. But we are expanding our tradition of partnering with state and local advocacy groups on the Bicycle Friendly America program. These partnerships have already yielded some great local resources for cyclists – check out Bike Pittsburgh’s amazing commuter guide or Bike Minnesota’s technical assistance. Building on these existing successes, we’re very excited to work with Bike Walk Mississippi and Bike Maryland on upcoming campaigns.
Bike Walk Mississippi knows the state is currently ranked #38 in bicycle friendliness, and they’re going to change that. Taking both a state and local approach, BWMS is working with the League to offer “on the ground” assistance and resources to communities seeking Bicycle Friendly Community status. This includes:
- Short- and long-term action plans in target communities – Pascagoula, Jackson, Greenwood and Starkville
- Developing a Community Resource Tool-kit and “How-to” guide
- Creating a statewide bicycle and pedestrian advisory coalition
- Identifying BFA application best practices
- and a lot more
It’s an impressive campaign recently supported with an Advocacy Advance grant. Want to help? They’re hiring!
Bike Maryland and the League have been partnering on BFC workshops for the past few months (Salisbury, Annapolis, Columbia). Before and after the workshops, BikeMD staff have provided technical and advocacy assistance to interested communities. “The BFC application process is key, especially with everything that a community can learn just by thinking about bicycling issues, as well as the League’s feedback,” says Anna Kelso, BikeMD’s Bicycle Friendly Maryland Program Coordinator. BikeMD will also be working to connect advocates where a local advocacy group may not exist to create a network across the state.
This year the League made a few updates to our toolkit including the brand new Building a Bicycle Friendly America Booklet which is designed to give advocates, elected officials, business leaders, students, and university administrators a visual and written tour of the BFA program and includes a brief BFA self-assessment scorecard. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 202-822-1333 to request a copy or visit the BFA website for a printable electronic version. A standard BFA web model and new promotional presentations for partner organizations will be available online later this fall.
Elsewhere in cycling advocacy…
- The City of Omaha, the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA), Metro and the Pappio-Missouri River Natural Resources District cordially invite you to attend the Heartland Active Transportation Summit 2012 (HATS 2012). The Summit will take place on Friday, September 28th, 2012 at the Swanson Conference Center on the campus of the Metropolitan Community College – Fort Omaha Campus. For more information visit http://hats.mapacog.org/.
League State and Local Advocacy Coordinator
Mr. Wempe joined the League in September 2011. For the three years prior, he worked as a transportation planner and Safe Routes to School Coordinator in Fort Collins, Colo. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.