This post is the third in a series on my experiences at the NC Bike Summit
How to Turn Elected Officials and other Town Employees
Heidi Perov Perry and Eric Allman described the evolution of their bike.net newsletters into the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition. They demonstrated how to legitimize and politicize informal bicycle groups through several steps. First, they need to advise the town on its bicycle master plan, and write themselves in as a bicycle advocacy group. That bicycle advocacy group needs to establish legitimacy rapidly, deciding to be either a 501(c)3 or 501(c)4, getting business cards for leadership, and setting up a good, if basic, website.
They need to have a point person for each player in town government, residents and businesses that will be affected by road closure during rides. They must make the program sustainable, and be creative in identifying and reaching out to other groups whose interests align.
Again, they mention data gathering. They recommend partnering with university, and taking lots of photos. Keep a running list of previous events and activities.
Part of sustainability is funding. Look for grants and public-private partnerships.
Streets Alive and Open Spaces
Salisbury, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem describe their open streets events. They recommend that the events shouldn’t focus solely on cyclists, but if they can be tied in ensure there is a sufficiently large and long enough route.
Every Wheel has a Hub
Jeff Viscount, webmaster of weeklyrides.com, describes how his site has become a clearinghouse for North Carolina bike rides, the work involved, and the stats that bolster his case in setting advertising rates.