Advocacy Mattersby , VP of Advocacy
Wow! This has been an exciting and eventful year for the club’s advocacy program. Recall the year started with the Mayor’s Bike Summit. It has become apparent that this was not a passing fancy but a real commitment to encouraging and promoting cycling in Metro Louisville.
One of the recommendations that came out of the Summit was a goal to achieve for Metro Louisville recognition by the League of American Bicyclists as a “Bicycle Friendly Community” by 2008. While the goal remains, we are excited the League gave honorable mention to Metro Louisville this year. The League report will provide a roadmap for the areas that need attention in order to achieve the bronze level goal. It was exciting to attend a recent meeting and learn that, because of the Mayor’s interest, transportation agencies in Metro Government have adopted what is known as “complete streets” planning for all future improvements. This means that cyclists and pedestrians will be accommodated in all transportation projects as a matter of routine! Folks, that is a major change in attitude. Now if only we can get the State Transportation Cabinet to follow suit.
While many of us may not live to see their completion, it appears that there will actually be two new bridges built. The exciting part from an advocacy standpoint is that both bridges will include a separate 16-foot lane for cyclists and walkers. All we have to worry about now is how those lanes are connected to surface streets.
Equally exciting and more immediate, it appears that the Big Four Bridge will actually be transformed into a viable route across the Ohio River. The biggest concern now is what sort of exit/entrance will the Indiana side have?
Of major long-term significance is the massive transportation bill signed by President Bush on August 10, 2005. This new bill provides more than $5 billion of funding for just bicycling and walking improvements and potentially billions more for better roads for bicyclists. If you want more information on this bill, go to the League website: www.bikeleague.org.
These developments are the result of years of effort by committed and concerned cycling advocates. Your continued support by contacting government officials when requested will be greatly appreciated. Remember, at the end of the day, this is politics and politics require numbers. Thanks for your support.
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web posted: 13 November 2005
last updated: 14 November 2005