Earlier in October “Bicycle Citations and Related Arrests in Minneapolis, 2009-2015,” a report researched and compiled by Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition volunteers, was published. We hosted a report release event, and it generated a lot of meaningful conversation. We were able to hold a follow up event this week, to start the process of understanding how bicycle advocacy interacts with law enforcement, and how we can focus our advocacy to make biking and walking safer for all.
We were happy to host a room of engaged folks who showed up to offer their experiences and knowledge of enforcement.
We talked about ways in which law enforcement touches our lives as people who bike and walk in Minneapolis. Police behavior, enforcement, and policy all touch our lives. We found positive and negative aspects of all of these. We talked about the impact of these things on whether it encourages or discourages walking and biking.
Throughout this conversation we recognized that young Black men, the group most affected by citations according to the report, were not in the room, and that our perceptions and life experiences influenced how positive or negative something like "enforcing jaywalking," or "police response to a bike crash" could be.
After identifying ways in which we interact with enforcement, and the potential impacts that these things have on biking and walking, we discussed possible solutions. The group identified a range of things like "work to get patrols on trails conducted on foot or by bike," "follow up on citations research by analyzing 2015 data," and "clarify or change laws about riding on the sidewalk."
The goal of this meeting was to start the process to identify a vision for where we would like bike advocacy and enforcement to be in five years, and start to see the path to get there. The group will continue to meet to get closer to this vision!
2nd week of December- "Organizing solutions brainstorm and start to talk about engaging youth"
January- "Plan youth engagement"
February- Conduct youth engagement
March- "Campaign visioning"
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to get involved in this process! We need many hands to make this effort happen!