Wednesday, May 20, 2015 is the 10th Annual Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day, a day when like-minded cyclists from across the state come together for a common cause: to promote and defend the interests of cyclists through participation in the democratic process. Sponsored by the League of Michigan Bicyclists, Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, Michigan Mountain Biking Association and Programs to Educate All Cyclists (PEAC), Advocacy Day will take place at the State Capitol in Downtown Lansing, where participants will have the opportunity to speak with their State Representatives and Senators about policy issues that promote a bike-friendly Michigan.
Among the legislative priorities that will be discussed this year include the following:
- The protection of vulnerable roadway users through the creation of enhanced penalties for injuring or killing bicyclists;
- The establishment of a safe passing standard of bicyclists on Michigan roads;
- The prevention of a raid on the Natural Resources Trust Fund – money that is available for trail projects;
- The adequate funding of safe transportation infrastructure supporting multi-modal use;
- The promotion of sustainable transportation funding;
- The defense of Michigan bicyclists rights on our roads; and
- The advocacy of speed limit standards that consider the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.
If the thought of speaking with lawmakers intimidates you, don’t worry – the meetings are very relaxed with groups generally meeting with Representatives and Senators. You do not need to have prior experience, all of the information you need will be provided beforehand, and volunteers with prior experience will be on hand to lead the way and address any questions or concerns you may have. The League of Michigan Bicyclists will also have issue papers for you to review, as well as an “Advocacy Day Primer” that should help with general questions.
The registration cost for the 2015 Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day is $15, and includes lunch after meetings at the Capitol are complete. The day will end with an optional ride. For additional information about Advocacy Day, please visit the League of Michigan Bicyclists’ website.
This is an effective, powerful event. In fact, the quick legislative action that ultimately resulted in the passage of Nathan’s Law was due to meetings on the issue that took place during 2014 Advocacy Day activities. As you may recall, Nathan’s Law requires that more emphasis is placed on bicycle and motorcycle awareness in Michigan driver’s education programs.
Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day is just one of many events taking place in Michigan during Bike Month. We will highlight a number of other opportunities and activities that celebrate this important month in future blog posts – stay tuned.