Grand Traverse Pro Walk/Pro Bike Update: Valentine’s Day Edition

Happy Valentine’s day! Love is certainly in the air…or is that snow???

A few important things walk/bike things to add to your radar:

1. Potential solutions that are being considered as part of the GT County Road Commission’s “E/W Corridor Study” process.
An important opportunity for public engagement on the proposed solutions is coming up next Monday, February 18th from 5 – 8pm at East Middle School. This process needs the voices of people who understand how multi-modal transportation options will to help enhance East-West mobility in the region. Please consider attending this Monday!

2. Eighth Street – Norte continues to advocate for a walkable, bikeable, safe Eighth St for all road users. A few key design elements that we’re advocating for:

– A world-class, expertly designed cycle track that crosses few (ideally zero) driveways
– Spacious sidewalks that are buffered from the cycle track
– Corner radii at intersections that promote slow vehicle speeds to enhance pedestrian safety

How you can HELP:

– Write a letter to the editor to help educate your neighbors about why a healthy Eighth Street is so vitally important to the immediate and future health of our City.
– Email the Traverse City Record-Eagle at letters@record-eagle.com/Email the Northern Express at info@northernexpress.com
– Email City leadership and share WHY a walkable, bikeable, safe Eighth Street is important to you.
– Email City Commissioners: citycommissioners@traversecitymi.gov
– Email the City Manager, Marty Colburn: mcolburn@traversecitymi.gov
– Email the Planning Director, Russ Soyring: rsoyring@traversecitymi.gov
– Send your thoughts to the Technical Design Team here: 8thstreettc.info/contact

3. Round 2 of our Advocate Academy launches next week. We’re super excited to start working with these 13 passionate Grand Traverse residents! We’re super excited to have the talented Gary Howe as lead facilitator this year along with support from Groundwork and League of Michigan Bicyclists!

4. Last, but not least, we’re stoked to convene a 5 week systems practice course with our Traverse City Safe Routes To School partners.

Thanks for supporting happy, healthy, ready to learn kids, The City of Traverse City, Traverse City Area Public Schools, Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools, Trinity Lutheran School, Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District and TART Trails.

And thank YOU for supporting this important work, Rotary Charities of Traverse City.

Want to help support more happy, healthy, ready to learn kids? Sign up to be a Champion at your school: elgruponorte.org/champion/


 

 

 

13 Grand Traverse Residents Chosen to Participate in the 2019 Pro Walk/Pro Bike Advocate Academy

Stoked to announce that these 13 awesome people have been accepted into the 2019 Grand Traverse Advocate Academy that begins next Thursday, February 21st.

After a successful first year and with generous support from the League of Michigan Bicyclists and the Groundwork Center, we’re excited to expand the Advocate Academy county-wide in 2019.

The Grand Traverse Advocate Academy is a community-driven program that empowers ordinary people to be effective leaders for policies and infrastructure that encourage walking, biking, transit use, and other forms active transportation.

The end result is an ever-growing coalition of citizen advocates engaged in community decisions in support of building stronger, better connected and more walk/bike friendly communities by empowering the young and young at heart.

Highlights of the five-week curriculum include:

  • Developing and telling your own story
  • Understanding how policy, budgets, and planning impact community
  • Honing observation skills to identify and document how spaces are used and opportunities for change
  • Choosing an issue and setting obtainable goals
  • Learning the ins-and-outs of effective communication with decision-makers, the media, and the community
  • Refining leadership skills and working as a team

The Grand Traverse Advocate Academy is an engaging, hands-on, classroom setting facilitated by experienced advocates. Sessions require active participation by participants as we explore the topics of effective community advocacy. A combination of reading, individual and team projects as well as guest speakers to connect “classroom” learning to real, current efforts occurring throughout our community.

The Grand Traverse Advocate Academy curriculum is designed to help develop both hard and soft advocate skills:

Hard skills include:
  • The science behind the public benefits of walking, biking, transit, and other public transportation
  • Ability to evaluate the built environment and current conditions related to public policy
  • Knowledge in specific policies and campaign areas, such as Complete Streets, access to transit and “Vision Zero”

Soft skills include:

  • Communications, relationships, and building trust
  • Fostering a local advocacy movement with diverse stakeholders
  • Engaging effectively with decision-makers

Thank you for your efforts to help make the Grand Traverse Region a more walkable, bikeable and rollable place for all people. Please join our advocacy group and help be part of the solution.