Thank you to everyone who attended our Bikeways for Everyone Work Group meeting on December 16th! For those who were unable to make it, here’s a short recap of what we accomplished.
Between last month’s meeting and this meeting, a small group of volunteers met to discuss the ongoing structure of the Bikeways for Everyone work group. The December meeting was our first meeting using the new format and we think it was a success.
After the welcome and introductions, the work group looked at an organizational chart of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition in order to better understand where we fit in to the larger picture. Bikeways for Everyone (B4E) is a campaign within the Minneapolis Bicycle coalition and our goals are focused on protected bike lanes (formerly known as cycletracks). Bikeways for Everyone is a partnership between the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and other businesses and non-profits such as Spokes, Sea Salt, Nice Ride, Sierra Club, and others. The work group meets monthly as a whole group, and as of this month, we are also split into three sub-groups: Outreach (partnership building, tabling, community outreach), Events (kickoff events, press events, happy hours, house parties, phone banking), and Communications (materials to support outreach, media content, social media, advertising).
At last Monday's meeting, we spent some time hearing general bicycle coalition updates from Ethan, our executive director:
• Bikeways for Everyone now has 16 partners!
• Hennepin County board of commissioners passed a plan for Washington Ave that will include protected bike lanes- yay!
• The Minneapolis City Council passed the plan for the redesign of Minnehaha and it did not include protected bike lanes.
• Minneapolis will be re-doing 26th and 28th streets, 36th St W, Broadway, and 26th Ave North and at least some of these streets are expected to have “bollard” protected bike lanes.
• Minneapolis is applying to the Green Lane Project which, if the city is selected, will help build the momentum towards protected bike lanes and help the city gain outside expertise in their design and implementation.
Third, we started what we hope will be a monthly tradition of having a short “educational” component to work-group meetings. Scott shared some research he has been doing on Seattle’s new Master Bike Plan which includes plans for an extensive network of protected bike lanes. It was really interesting to hear what Seattle is up to and it makes us realize that while we love biking in Minneapolis, our city is falling behind—other cities are building bike infrastructure at a much faster pace than we are. A blog post with more about Seattle will be forthcoming.
Fourth, we split into the three subgroups mentioned above: Outreach, Events, and Communications. The idea is for each work-group member to choose one of those three groups based on their interest. Then, each sub-group will have its own leader, and the sub-groups will come up with ideas, tasks, and strategies to work towards protected bike lanes here in Minneapolis. Each sub-group might meet in between monthly work group meetings or communicate by email or phone. The sub-groups are still in the process of working out their organization and communication strategies but the idea is that the sub-groups will communicate with people within their group who were not able to attend the monthly meeting to make sure that those people can still contribute.
Come to our next Bikeways for Everyone Work Group meeting at our office at 6pm on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 in order to learn more about the sub-groups and to find your “home” sub-group. Or, if you can’t attend, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you started!
(photo cred: crosscut.com)