Luther Krueger of the Minneapolis Police Department joined the Encouragement, Enforcement, Education, subcommittee last week.
His message: register your bike with the city of Minneapolis. It could help recover your bike in the event it is stolen. (Think of it like the pet registry system.) In an event of a possible theft, officers can query a bike on the street to verify ownership.
How to do it: Flip your bike over and look under the bottom bracket. Write down the serial number. Then call 311 or go to minneapolismn.gov/police to register your bike.
What it isn't: Mandatory. A license. Something that costs money. A way for bikes to be confiscated during a critical mass ride.
What it is: Voluntary. Easy.
Already 1,000 bikes have been registered, and the police have linkages with pawn shop databases and the ZAP Dero program. In fact, police have identified five bikes that have been tagged by the Zap program and contacted Zap to get the bikes to their rightful owners.
A Zap in the right direction
Speaking of Zap…a first step toward getting bicycle commuting counted as a health care wellness discount is taking place. Zap is in early discussions with Medica to get a wellness initiative going for city employees that are under the Medica health care program, according to a meeting attendee.
Getting more minorities on bikes
According to recent Minnesota census data, since 2000, Minnesota's Asian population increased 7 percent, the black population increased 6 percent and the Hispanic population increased 5 percent.
Traditionally these groups don't come to meetings where bicycle issues are being decided. So how do we engage these populations? How do we know if bike programs and bicycle facilities are meeting the needs of the state's increasing minority groups (now making up 18 percent of Minnesota's population)? Interestingly, this news comes at the same time the League of American bicyclists issued a diversity report on minority engagement.
Committee member Bill Dooley suggested we ask get minority representation on the Bicycle Advisory Committee to become help with outreach. This caught the attention of BAC board chair Nick Mason.
How this goes about needs to be hashed out, but look for this topic to be under discussion going forward.
Recommend the mayor formally appoint a person to the BAC whose sole responsibility would be outreach to various minority communities.
Recommend each BAC ward representative send the LAB Diversity Report to their respective city council member and ask that each council member put them in touch with minority community leaders in each ward for the purpose of ascertaining minority community needs surrounding bicycling and bicycle infrastructure.
Recommend minority community leaders present directly to the BAC regarding minority community needs surrounding bicycling and bicycle infrastructure.
That's the roundup from last week's EEE meeting. - Kevin