Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Learning to improve bicycling, part 1

Later this morning, my bicycle advocacy colleagues and I will close the Thunderhead Alliance Leadership Retreat and head to Seattle for the ProWalk/ProBike Conference of National Center for Bicycling and Walking. Sitting at home with fellow bicyclists, I can generate loads of ideas about how to raise money to fund bicycle advocacy, how to engage diverse voices in the bicycling community, how to build partnerships to advance bicycling, etc. Here at the Retreat, we can go beyond ideas to talk about the experiences of our organizations - programs that have actually worked to achieve those goals. The wealth of collective experience is amazing.

I will come home with specific advice for making our website more useful and engaging for our members and the wider community, for delivering good advice on safe bicycling and driving to more people in our region, for winning good legislation at the state level, and for developing local support for crucial federal legislation. As importantly, I will return with recharged enthusiasm and optimism for our success in that work.

Beginning this afternoon at ProWalk/ProBike, I will immerse myself in the best examples of planning and design of bike boulevards, bicycle lanes and paths, bicycle-friendly businesses and neighborhoods, bicycle safety education campaigns, ways to measure bicycling, and other technical topics that affect our cycling environment.

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