|Regional Pedestrian and Bicyclist Summit Held|
Regional Pedestrian and Bicyclist Summit Held
On March 27, about 100 bike/ped enthusiasts and advocates gathered in Chittenden County to discuss the progress of advocacy, planning, and projects nationally, statewide, and locally. Chapin Spencer of Local Motion noted the enormous gains that have occurred in the past twenty years. Michelle Boomhower of the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization reported on the regional collaborative successes and gains at the federal level and Judy Bond, board president of the VT Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition, gave updates on the status of H.540 (the “Safe Passing” bill) and the National Bike Summit.
Breakout sessions focused on how to commute by bike, the work and collaboration of CarShare, CCTA and GoVermont (formerly Rideshare), how to move local projects forward, and Local
Motion’s Trail Finder.
The keynote speaker was Mary Collins, whose life was transformed by a horrible bike crash. After being an elite athlete, she lost the ability to move on her left side. The sudden inactivity, and the side effects of depression and weight gain made her want to explore why people would choose to be inactive. Her book, American Idle, describes how she experienced the cultural dynamics that result in widespread inactivity and therefore weight gain and health problems. Collins wrote about inner cities that are so unsafe that children cannot play outside. Recess and free play have been replaced by organized sports and the “soccer mom”. Collins told the crowd that every preconception and bias that she had at the beginning were shattered.
Lou Bresee of Lake Champlain Bikeways, Jon Greissner of Burlington Bike Walk Council and VBPC board president Judy Bond were honored for their dedication and service to bike/ped advocacy.
The Better World Club offers bicycle-only and car-and-bike membership, including insurance and free roadside assistance. Better World Club offers VBPC members a 10% discount on new membership. The VBPC receives a donation for every new sign-up.