Advocacy Newsletter: The Time is Now, Let’s Act
Advocacy Newsletter, February 25, 2020
Policy specialist Jim Bruckbauer of Groundwork Center delivers at 2020 Advocate Academy.
This is your February advocacy newsletter. Below, you’ll find four items ready for action and one big shout out. Let’s act!
Back in January, the Traverse City City Commission held a strategic planning session to clarify the new board’s goals and priorities. One of those outcomes was a goal to expand and improve active transportation options. One action step agreed to is the forming of an Active Transportation Committee.
There are many forms that an Active Transportation Committee can take. Still, generally, it is an appointed committee that advises city staff and elected officials on strategic plans to boost conditions for walking, biking, public transit, and other forms of non-automobile transportation, including universal accessibility for those using wheelchairs. These committees or commissions often invite experts in the field to serve on them.
Forming an Active Transportation Committee has long been considered a missing piece to the advancement of Pro Walk/Pro Bike initiatives in Traverse City. Currently, each major street project is a last-minute hustle to adequately meet the accessibility goals stated in the City’s Master Plan. An established committee that meets every two months or when needed to review budgets, plans, and strategic documents would be a valuable addition to the planning process.
Please send encouragement to key City Staff and City Commissioners, asking them to establish an Active Transportation Committee as soon as possible. The time is now.
Do you work at an aspiring Bicycle Friendly Business? Is your business ready to be certified?
- Walk and Bike to School – As part of our systems roll out with area schools, we’re developing informational tools to help encourage families to include a walk or bike ride to and from school. We need your feedback to get this right. Find a school you know, take a look at the “how-to,” and let us know what you think.
- Stop Distracted Driving – You’ve probably done your count and confirmed that an estimated 20…30…40 percent of us drive while distracted by our phones. Our partner in Lansing, League of Michigan Bicyclists, is working hard to see that Michigan joins 16 other states who have banned the use of hand-held wireless devices while driving. Please, take action today.
- Railroad Square Rolling – Shout out to the Village of Kalkaska for bringing in $3.7 million for the Railroad Square project. The project is a centerpiece for creating a vibrant downtown that is more accessible and active. They break ground this spring. Toot! Toot!
- It’s Sneckdown Season – Due to the sunny weather in February, the streets are clear, and near-perfect conditions exist for #sneckdown pics. When we next see fresh snow, it will melt where traffic is the heaviest and reveal the extra space we reserve for our cars (and speed) that we could reclaim for people & public life. Let’s build up our collection of local examples. Please shoot me an email and post them with #Sneckdown. I’ll share the best ones. Here’s an exemplary example via @BrentToderian
Every winter, fresh snow reveals how much we’ve over-designed our streets & roads, & how much space we could reclaim for people & public life. We call them #sneckdowns. GIF via @fietsprofessor #sneckdown pic.twitter.com/G1uDpO6awG
— Brent Toderian (@BrentToderian) November 3, 2019
Be safe. Have fun. Send us some #sneckdown photos!
Have a friend who is always talking about the streets and traffic? They can sign up below.