We are working to expand our mission to include walking and pedestrian work as well bicycling. Here are more details on where we are at, what this will mean, and why we are doing it.
We’re more effective together. People who bike, walk, and roll have shared interests in safer, more vibrant streets. This change will allow us all to be a more effective advocates for great, safe streets together.
We all benefit from safer streets. More walking and biking in our city makes it stronger and an even better place to live, work, and play. Biking and walking are both fun, healthy, clean, equitable, and efficient ways to get around and are growing rapidly in popularity in Minneapolis. We’ll be able to improve more lives with this expanded work.
We’re building on work we’ve been doing. We’ve worked side-by-side with pedestrian advocates on many policy and on-the-ground projects around the city. This change will formalize work we’ve been doing already to support walkability through Complete Streets, Open Streets, Safe Routes to School, and more.
There is a need. Walking and biking are increasingly popular in Minneapolis, but there are still far too many unsafe and uncomfortable streets and too many people hit and killed or injured. We’ll work to bring forward the voices and perspectives of people walking and in wheelchairs to make streets safer and better.
We’ve heard from pedestrian advocates a desire for more organizing support and we want to do what we can to provide that. We also take very seriously our equity commitments, which we have formalized this year. As we’ve been doing more engagement, especially with communities of color, we’ve heard a desire from many people for walking advocacy and promotion as well. We also know that with Complete Streets implementation, new streets funding, and more, there are many timely issues for people who walk.
Why the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition?
Since forming in late 2009, the Coalition has grown into one of the most influential advocacy organizations in Minneapolis, uniting a network of more than 12,000 people and 1,300 volunteers. While biking and walking are different and their needs are different, at the core they are fun, healthy, clean, equitable, and efficient ways to get around. People who bicycle, walk as well. We have heard from a number of leading pedestrian advocates who are excited to organize to improve conditions and we’re excited to support them! We also know we can do more together to inspire more people to walk and bike.
We’re interested in your input for how this looks. We’re months away (sometime in 2017) from updating our mission, name, and priorities to including pedestrian work. We are not rushing those changes because we want to hear from you about what matters around walking. We’re starting with these opportunities to share your thoughts:
Saturday, September 10 at Open Streets West Broadway--find us at the Bicycle Coalition canopy from 11-5
Sunday, September 18 at Open Streets Nicollet--find us at the Bicycle Coalition canopy from 11-5
Thursday, September 22 Open House at the Coalition office--stop by anytime from 4:30-6pm
You can share comments or questions using this online form as well.
How can I get involved?
In addition to the opportunities to share your thoughts, we’ll be planning other engagement activities in future months and will provide volunteer opportunities throughout that work. You can note your volunteer interests as part of our comments online form. We are also seeking new Board members for terms starting in January 2017 and will post details on that September 12. In the meantime, we hope you’ll volunteer for an Open Streets and join as a member.
Will the Coalition’s name change?
We plan to change our name to reflect a new mission, although it is possible that we may maintain the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition identity in one way or another. We plan to unveil a new name and logo in 2017 after we have done engagement to understand needs, priorities, and our new mission.
What will this mean for the Bicycle Coalition’s existing work?
We plan to continue to work with partners to support new protected bikeways, Complete Streets implementation, Open Streets Minneapolis, Minneapolis Bike Week, and bicycle encouragement. This is an expansion of work and we are seeking additional resources to support it. We hope you’ll join or renew your membership to support our success and help us build capacity for this new work too.
What pedestrian work will you do?
We are taking the time to listen and understand the needs of people walking and in wheelchairs before jumping into advocacy. We are interested in your ideas of what will be helpful for you, your family, and your community. We’ll be doing specific stakeholder outreach to make sure that this work is grounded in our equity commitments.
I’m a Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition member. What happens to my membership?
Your annual membership will continue as before and continue to be tax deductible. We will let you know when it is time to renew. Thank you for your continued support.