Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Spectacularly Successful BIKE Summit & HELP Needed

On May 2’nd through the 4’th over 160 govern- ment officials, legisla- tors, and advocates attended Tennessee’s first Bike Summit hosted by Outdoor Chattanooga. Phillip Pugliese and Jenny Park, Directors of Bike Walk Tennessee (BWT) pulled together attendees from across the State to present their perspective on the outlook for bicycle and pedestrian activities for Tennessee.  The meeting was a pinnacle in the efforts of Bike Walk Tennessee to advance interests of active transportation.

Bike Walk Tennessee, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, was formed subsequent to the rumbling of SR-109 in Sumner County and legislative attempts to ban bicyclist from River Road in Davidson County.  Realizing the need for bicyclists to have an official status to interact with government agencies and legislators, Pat Clements, Bruce Day, and Tom Evans chartered the organization with the Tennessee Secretary of State in 2009 and formed the 15-member Board of Directors with advocates from Bristol to Memphis.

Since its founding BWT has motivated Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to redraft a bicycle-friendly rumble design specification; drafted and introduced in the State General Assembly the Due Care Law of 2011 and promoted the Red Light Law in 2010; and led major delegations to Washington DC to educate legislators on the importance of bike/ped funding in the Federal Transportation Authorization.  Thanks to efforts of the directors in their own communities the League of American Bicyclist (LAB) has raised the Bicycle Friendly ranking of Tennessee in comparison to the other States by 19 positions from 43’rd to 24’th and provided it a Bronze Award.   Directors in Memphis have led that city from once being recognized as one of the three least friendly cities in America for bicycling to receiving an Honorable Mention in the LAB’s recent Bicycle Friendly Cities.

One of the projects of BWT is to contribute to a US Bike Route System across Tennessee.  Bruce Day, 2003 Chairman of Hendersonville’s Bike/Ped Advisory Committee to the Mayor and Aldermanic Board, is BWT leader and liaison with Adventure Cycling and TDOT in that work.  The photo shows Bruce presenting this work in the Bike Summit. 

This is Tom Evans’s last year as Director and Treasurer for BWT.  It is time for him to turn it and all the following activities over to the youngsters (about everyone in the FOGBEES).  He would especially like to see a FOGBEE take over for him. As past Chairman of Hendersonville’s Greenway Sub-committee in the Mayor’s Hendersonville Tomorrow project, he has been BWT’s liaison with TDOT’s Bike/Ped Coordinators, the LAB, and the Alliance for Bicycling and Walking and has been Bike/Ped advisor with Nashville Metro Planning Office and the Safe Routes to School Partnership.  Please if you are interested contact Tom.  Bruce plans to remain as Director with BWT.

1 comment:

Tom B. said...

You guys are great.