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July-August 2003 Newsletter

Advocacy Notes

by Stewart Prather, VP Advocacy


Many of you might wonder, and some have asked, just what does the VP Advocacy do? Good question. The role of the vice president for advocacy is to serve as the Clubís representative with the various groups and governmental agencies that deal with bicycle issues. What is a bicycle issue? They vary. Many deal with use of the bicycle as a transportation vehicle. The design of our highways and intersections can go a long way towards encouraging or discouraging bicycle usage. Various cities have proven that if bicycle traffic is taken into serious consideration when roadways are rebuilt, the use of the bicycle as a transportation vehicle greatly increases. Even cities with weather conditions that do not encourage cycling have become great examples of increased use. Convincing developers to provide for bicycle facilities, such as a safe place to lock your bicycle, promotes the use of a bicycle for more than just recreation. However, recreation issues are also frequent topics. Recreational bicycle trails, now better known as multi-use pathways, are very popular with many bicycle users. I attempt to represent your interests when such facilities are being planned or considered.

However, as the title implies, advocating bicycle use, suggests ďpoliticalĒ involvement. Thatís where you come in. As the representative of a club with hundreds of members, I have some authority to comment on proposals. Much more effective is when I can convince you to take the time to voice your opinion, usually in the form of a letter, but occasionally by attending a meeting. I want to thank all of you who took the time to write the Highway Department about the proposed changes to the Hurstbourne Lane Ė I-64 interchange. I was pleased with how many responded on what was short notice. Your letters have a disproportional impact. Most people never write their government about anything. When you do, the officials take note.

The unfortunate thing about advocacy issues is that most of them arise and require response within a relatively short period of time. Thatís where Ducís e-mail list excels in allowing me to notify those of you that follow the list to the need for action. So keep your eye open for pleas for help. I canít do justice to this job alone. Thanks for helping.


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