New year, new priorities. 2014 is going to be a busy year for MassBike. As we all know, there is a lot that we can do to make biking safer, more convenient, and more fun in the Bay State. But we’ve narrowed it down to a list of 14 priorities for 2014.
- Legislative Agenda – We will continue working to pass the safety bills we introduced at the beginning of the legislative session last year. These bills include the Vulnerable Road Users Bill (S 1639) and the Bike Lane Protection Bill (S 1640), among others. You can read more about them here. Now in its third year, the Massachusetts Bike/Walk Summit at the State House is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, April 3 from 10 AM – 1 PM.
- Bikeable Communities Program – We’ve already completed projects in 37 communities under our flagship program, and we will expand our work empowering local advocates to more communities, especially focusing on our state’s Gateway Cities. Read more about the Bikeable Communities Program here.
- Police Education – Police Departments are recognizing that understanding the rules for bicyclists (and other road users), and recognizing what safe – and unsafe – interactions look like , is more important than ever. This Spring, we will release our new bicycle safety training video for police officers to help improve safety for everyone on our roadways.
- Commercial Driver Licensing – With the tragic deaths of several bicyclists in Massachusetts from crashes with large vehicles, it is clear that there is a serious need for better training for truck and bus drivers. Following up on our successful work with MBTA bus drivers, we are already working on adding bicycle-specific safety training to the Commercial Driver Licensing process.
- Youth Bike Safety Training – We are expanding our on-bike child safety training to after-school programs, one in the Boston area and one in the Berkshires. One of them will be with high schoolers, an age group we typically don’t get to work with. We think more intensive safety training for kids is essential for a more bike-friendly future, and these pilot programs will help us develop an effective educational model for Massachusetts.
- Federal/State Funding – On Beacon Hill, we will continue working with legislators to make sure that bicycling is given its fair share of funding. On Capitol Hill, we will visit our members of Congress in March for the National Bike Summit to urge them to increase funding for bicycling.
- Valet Bike Parking – Valet bike parking is a really public way to encourage people to ride their bikes to events, and we did a lot of it in 2013 – from EarthFest in May to the Boston Bike Party Halloween Ride in October. But we want to do even more of it! You can help by connecting us with your favorite restaurants, shops, venues, and events. We think all large events should offer valet bike parking!
- Bay State Bike Week – 2013 was our biggest year yet for Bay State Bike Week, with 175 events and an estimated 14,000 participants. We want to make it even bigger. Have you started planning your community’s event?
- National Bike Challenge – MassBike brought the National Bike Challenge to Massachusetts in 2013, and we want a lot more people to participate in 2014. Are you ready for the challenge?
- Awareness Campaign – There are a lot of road users out there, and we all need to get along. We cannot reach everyone on our own, so we will work with other advocacy groups to increase safety awareness as broadly as possible.
- Build Our Volunteer Base – Everything from tabling events to monthly renewals to bike valet needs the dedicated hands of our volunteers. We want to increase the number of volunteers we have so that MassBike can do even more for bicyclists! Are you interested in getting involved? Contact Volunteer@MassBike.org
- Grow Membership – What would MassBike be without its members? Everything we do, we can only do with the support of our membership. We count on members to call their legislators, to come to our events, to volunteer, and to support all our programs – you are the bedrock of our organization. It’s simple: more members means more political clout and more resources. If you aren’t a dues-paying member of MassBike, we hope you will sign up here. And tell your friends – we are working for everyone who rides a bike in Massachusetts.
- Increase Donations – The reality is that we need money to make it all happen. We count on donations for a large percentage of our operations. If we want to grow our advocacy in communities around the state, be the voice for bicyclists at more project meetings, and move toward zero bicyclist fatalities, we need to increase donations. If you are interested in donating to MassBike, you can do so here.
- Have Fun! – Look forward to a calendar full of fun and exciting events in 2014!
That’s quite a list, but with a little help from you we should be able to get it done. Thanks in advance!