Advocacy Updateby Sheila Andersen, Regional Bike/Ped Coordinator
I was raised in a small community in Iowa by a cost conscious and environmentally conscious mother. I was taught not to waste, and I was encouraged to walk or bike whenever possible. I thought that was the way the world was. And maybe the world was more like that when I was growing up.
I now find myself in a system where it has become increasingly difficult to walk and bike as primary means of transportation. Just as things did not get this way overnight, they likely will not change again overnight. However, because I am inclined to believe change can happen, even if it is slow in coming, I agreed to accept the position of Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the KIPDA region, which includes Louisville, Ky. I have been at it for over a year now and you may wonder what I have been doing.
I have been analyzing data on bicycle and pedestrian collisions and the use of biking and walking in our community. A report of the traffic collisions involving bicycle and pedestrians in the city of Louisville, Kentucky is available on our web site. This information formed the foundation for education and awareness efforts to promote safe biking and walking. Safety messages on bicycling and walking have been aired on WHAS-TV for six months. Brochures on bicycle and pedestrian safety have also been developed and our web site contains this safety information as well.
I have worked with citizens, engineers, planners, and other professionals to establish where bicycle and pedestrian facilities are located, where they are needed, and what should guide future implementation of such facilities. I chair the Bicycle and Pedestrian Subcommittee of the Transportation Technical Coordinating Committee for the KIPDA region. We have just started the process of revising the Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.
I have worked with advocacy groups and transportation professionals to see what their objectives are and where there is common ground upon which to bridge the gap between them. I believe both groups want to improve the transportation system; though there may be disagreement on how to accomplish that goal. I think we can all learn from each other and try to find common ground so that change can happen.
I hope you will visit our web site and continue your work to support adequate and safe facilities for bicycling in Kentucky. Any feedback and ideas for our region are welcome.
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web posted: 25 February 2002
last updated: 28 February 2002