Workshop Hosts Celebrate Victories in 2012
Eight communities hosted an Advocacy Advance workshop in 2012 and pushed forward essential policies, partnerships, staffing commitments, and over $10 million for biking and walking. Over 500 advocates, agency staff and elected officials attended the workshops, including mayors, county executives, state congress people, and even three U.S. Senators.
Read on to learn more, and apply to host a workshop in your community in 2013.
Bike Pittsburgh's post-workshop involvement with the City of Pittsburgh's Urban Cycling Committee has led to an increase of the City's budget for bike projects from $100,000 to $600,000. Additionally, $5.2 million of bike projects was included in the region's Transportation Improvement Plan and is eligible for CMAQ federal funding.
"Advocacy Advance and the Action 2020 Workshop specifically has focused a lot of attention locally towards funding biking and walking projects bringing these modes into the forefront." - Scott Bricker, Bike Pittsburgh
One of the top priorities identified by workshop participants was a Complete Streets policy at the state and local levels. Eight months later, the Georgia Department of Transportation adopted a statewide Complete Streets Policy.
"I’m going to be more effective at a base level because I have more knowledge. On another level, I expanded my group of contacts, from the federal down to local levels. I’ve got a lot more tools in the toolbox for our next discussion with GDOT." - Brent Buice, Georgia Bikes
Advocacy efforts in Anchorage have led to a $1.3 million increase in the region's budget for funding the bike master plan. Added to the initial $1 million set aside for this purpose, this means $2.3 million for biking over the next two years.
"The Advocacy Advance Action 2020 Workshop was instrumental in helping Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage identify key critical campaigns for the upcoming years and gave BCA the tools it needs to start implementing our campaign to fund and implement the recently passed Anchorage Bicycle Plan." - Brian Litmans, Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage
Following up from the two workshops in Missouri - the first since the new federal transportation bill (MAP-21) was passed - participants are engaged and working collaboratively to maximize funding opportunities through the new bill. MoDOT, local officials, advocates, and citizens all find that local input, priorities and accountability help ensure that precious federal funds are spent most effectively, making Missouri a model state for MAP-21 implementation.
"I learned how to identify and approach the transportation decision-makers in my community." - Lee Williams, Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation and Trailnet member
In September, Advocacy Advance workshop participants - including four of the five City Council members and Mayor of Harrisonburg - claimed that Harrisonburg will become the bicycling capital of Virginia. Since then, they have taken a giant leap towards meeting that goal: over $2 million of city and state dollars for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
Additionally, community commitment for bicycle and pedestrian priorities is indicated through dedicated staff: "As a direct result from the workshop, James Madison University (JMU) has designated a person to be the JMU bicycle contact and attend both the Harrisonburg City and regional bicycle planning meetings. Bringing JMU into the planning process is a major step for our regional bicycle development." - Rich Harris, James Madison University and Shenandoah Valley Bicycling Coalition
The Rochester workshop was co-hosted by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who greeted participants with a video and welcome: "I hope your work here today will help New York State and all regional stakeholders maximize the support that's available (for bicycle and pedestrian projects to receive federal highway investment)...Please think of me as your partner as you pursue these investments."
Rochester has since created a county-wide Transportation Specialist position. Funded by the CDC, the primary role of this dedicated staff person is to promote active transportation.
"(The workshop provided) a good agenda and content: it was the discussion we wanted and needed to have." - Rich Perrin, Genessee Transportation Council
The Advocacy Advance workshop in New Orleans supplemented Rapid Response Grant funding for Bike Easy's campaign to include biking and walking improvements in the city's $40 million Hospitality Zone infrastructure investment.
"(I will) be able to approach my Metropolitan Planning Organization for funding for projects with more informed questions." - Anneka Olson, St. Claude Bridge Safety Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development
These communities have achieved major wins for biking and walking in their cities, regions and states. From a post workshop survey, three-quarters of participants say that use the information from the workshop in their daily work and 80% have collaborated with other participants they met at the workshop.
Apply to host a Navigating MAP-21 Workshop in 2013! Participants will learn how to maximize funding in the new Transportation Alternatives program and utilize all MAP–21 funding programs for bicycle and pedestrian projects at the state and local levels. Thanks to the support of SRAM, these workshops are offered for free.The deadline to apply is this Friday, November 30.