It took Congress nearly three contentious years to agree on a new federal transportation bill — but Advocacy Advance didn’t waste a single day.
Immediately after the passage of the new law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, the League launched Navigating MAP-21 to ensure that advocates and policymakers understand what the new law means for bicyclists — and how to best utilize the programs to continue building a bicycle friendly America.
In short order, the Advocacy Advance team put together a wealth of resources explaining how the new programs work, how much money each state will get and how to best organize at a state and local level to make the best of the new bill. And grassroots advocates stepped up to the plate, mobilizing quickly in dozens of states and beginning the long-term work to maximize funding for biking under MAP-21.
But the team didn’t stop with online resources and technical assistance — they brought the knowledge to the people. More than 500 participants attended the incredibly successful Navigating MAP-21 workshops in eight cities. From Atlanta, Ga., to Anchorage, AK, those workshops had a huge impact, leading to more than $10 million in new funding for bike/ped projects in local communities.
Beyond Navigating MAP-21, Advocacy Advance released a number of important reports, too, shedding light on best practices for Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committees, how bike advocates can make the most of elections, and more compelling data on how bicycling boosts the economy.
The Advocacy Advance team has plans to do even more in 2013 (if that’s possible!) — with a new staff member, a system to track federal funding, at least 10 workshops and a whole suite of new resources. After all, we’re just getting started Navigating MAP-21.
Carolyn SzczepanskiCarolyn joined the League in March 2012, after two years at the Alliance for Biking & Walking. In addition to managing the League's blog, magazine and other communications, Carolyn organized the first National Women's Bicycling Summit and launched the League's newest program: Women Bike. Before she crossed over to advocacy, she was a professional journalist for nearly 10 years.