Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bicycle Advisory Committee Holds First Meeting in Haywood

Well, we finally did it! Our community’s first ever Bicycle Advisory Committee met this past Monday evening for the initial time. We held our meeting to coincide with National Bike Month and National Bike to Work Week. To get things started, part of our crew was able to assemble for a picture. Shown below are 8 of our 13 charter members.

BikeAdvocatesMembers1

Pictured l – r are: George Ivey, Scot Worley, Ron Leatherwood, Brandon Anderson, Fred Baker, Marcia Tate, Joey Massie, Cecil “Zeke” Yount.

As would be expected for a first time meeting, the agenda was mostly to get acquainted and begin to focus in areas where we feel we can have our greater impact. We enjoyed a wide ranging conversation as we “broke bread together”. The over-riding subject that all things related back to was rider safety. Comments regarding specific roads were discussed and different approaches to sharing the road in a safe manner flew around the table. The issue of Safe Routes to Schools was also included and members were encouraged to contact our local US Senator and urge his support of funding for the Safe Routes to Schools bill currently in the US Senate.

Some ideas were also generated about soliciting the general public’s input regarding issues of sharing the road with the hope of developing some public education materials that would begin to have a cultural shift in how motorists and cyclists co-exist. We also agreed that working with our local officials to identify safe corridors of travel for cyclists and generating local bike maps would be an early project that could get underway. Mention was also made of examining ways in which we can begin to positively affect the overall health and fitness of our community with a special focus on reducing obesity.

On a personal note, it was gratifying for me to see this group of folks come together with a positive “can do” attitude. I’m looking forward to working within this group to affect positive change in our community. We agreed to meet again in one month and continue our efforts. Several organizational steps need to be taken including coming up with an appropriate name for the group and continuing to sharpen our focus on achievable goals.

I know that we are following in the steps of many successful organizations across both our national and global communities. I hope that any reader of this blog will feel invited to comment on our efforts and lend us any constructive criticism/suggestions that you might deem helpful.

Thanks to Haywood Bicycle Advocate Fred Baker for bringing this to our attention. Colorado passed Senate Bill 148 and the Governor signed it into law yesterday.

Until later,

-- Zeke

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