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Bicycle Advisory Committee in my town (Advice)(2 posts)

Bicycle Advisory Committee in my town (Advice)rtyszko
Sep 24, 2002 4:43 AM
Okay so this is sort of about cycling on this board but it's really about politics too.

I recently e-mailed the mayor of my town to ask if there was a bicycle advisory committee here. In other towns where I've lived this committee acted to ensure urban trail access, advocate for bike lanes on new streets and for wider shoulders on roads among other things. I think that this is a fantastic opportunity to set the ground work for a sustainable voice at the local Town Council Meetings. A voice that advocates for cyclists rights and concerns.

My question to the gallery gods present is this; What experience (good/bad) have you had with similar committees in your town? If given the opportunity to do this in your town what kinds of things would you advocate for?

I live in Nashua NH, a town of about 80,000 folks. It borders mostly rural (but growning) farm country and has an urban trail (limited) set up already.

I'm a bit of a political novice but I'm fairly savvy. I think that by enlisting the help of other cyclists that we (local cyclists) have an opportunity to be "at the table" when important issues are discussed and I'd be a dope not to try to take advantage of it.

Bob Tyszko
re: Bicycle Advisory Committee in my town (Advice)PdxMark
Sep 24, 2002 12:47 PM
I'm on a Bike/Pedestrian Advisory Committee for my county. There's also a separate committee for the city. (It is Portland, OR, afterall.) The county committee was established by ordinance

http://www2.co.multnomah.or.us/counsel/code/chapter3.htm#_Toc12166460

We don't have any real power, but we have a voice that is recognized by the county commission and county agencies. That means that as county agencies try to decide what to do, our voice is "recognized." We might ask the county attorney to look at certain situations, or offer thoughts on proposed county bicycling map or refurbishing of a bridge.

So, I think, one thing would be to get an ordinance passed to establish the committee legally. A benefit to the town is that it gives councilors/commissioners a source for thoughts about bike/ped issues in transportation matters... they can say the are listening... As for what to advocate for... well, you and the other folks on the committee and in your town will get to learn what's being planned for transportation changes/upgrades, find out what your community sees as the main cycling risks or areas for improvement, and then go from there. Good luck.