Bicycle Advocacy: What you can do
Please read over the three sections of this page.
Contact me with your ideas and questions.
Do you like bike and pedestrian friendly areas, such as the Custom House Plaza? You can help preserve these in ways such as: (1) helping improve bike infrastructure–including bike parking areas, bike and pedestrian access to such areas, and more; (2) be a good ambassador for the bike community by respecting laws and etiquette; (3) volunteering or donating to the Bicycling Monterey work and that of other local bike advocates.
You may be surprised to learn all that’s behind our increasingly bike-friendly county. It doesn’t happen by magic! Here’s how….
I. Help improve bike infrastructure
Be part of the solution.
If you aren’t already, consider taking an active role in making better bikeways. If you are already active, perhaps you’re up for doing a little more.
- See the Local Bike News section of this site for a sampling of what’s happening locally and ways to be involved. (Infrastructure contacts are on the Bicycle Shops, Services, Clubs, and Resources page.)
- Be a VIV–a Very Important Volunteer! Commit to doing the necessary research and staying informed about one or more local bike infrastructure needs, then volunteer to keep the local bike community informed via guest posts for Local Bike News section, and other outreach. (This prevents people later saying, “I didn’t know there were $18,000 available for free bike racks and lockers locally!” or “I didn’t know our state senator voted for three-foot passing and the governor vetoed it!”).
- Subscribe to the Bicycling Monterey website, or its RSS feed, so you can catch some bike community news.
- Respond to requests for public input.
- Attend meetings of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities Advisory Committee of the Transportation Agency for Monterey County. Consider volunteering to serve on the committee. Can’t make the meetings? Sign up for committee meeting updates from TAMC. Attend related TAMC Board of Directors meetings too.
- Attend City Council and other public meetings, Board of Supervisors meetings, traffic advisory committee meetings, regional trail network meetings, and related events (e.g., transportation and parking charrette) to voice your support for better bikeways.
- Express your gratitude to municipal and other leaders for the improvements that are made to local bikeways. And celebrate successes!
- Like what you see elsewhere, like the detailed info on the back of the City of Madison bike map? It serves as a City of Madison Bike Map & Guide, or as a bike info poster as well. Take the initiative to help TAMC, City of Salinas, CSUMB, and others to make their own cool bike maps–which already share some such info–even better.
- Federal, state, and local budget cuts have resulted in cuts to city and county staff hours in most places. When making a request or posing a question to a municipal employee, please be mindful of that. If your circumstances permit, ask how you can help. Whether by serving on a city board or committee, a countywide committee, see how you can share the burden of improving bicycle infrastructure needs.
- Contact state and federal legislators regarding related legislation.
- Show up when national leaders, such as the U.S. Transportation Secretary and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, so they are reminded of the needs of bicyclists.
Support the work of state and national bike advocacy groups, such as the following.
Follow them on Twitter to stay in touch. (And Bicycling Monterey is on Twitter @bikemonterey – https://twitter.com/BikeMonterey. The HER Helmet Thursdays project is on Twitter @HERHelmetThurs – https://twitter.com/HERHelmetThurs
- California Bicycle Coalition @calbike
- People for Bikes @peopleforbikes (check out their cool videos and sign the pledge)
- Alliance for Biking and Walking @BikeWalk (make use of their resources, including webinars like their 9-14-11 one on outreach to Spanish speaking communities)
- Safe Routes to School @saferoutesca and @saferoutesnow (check out what’s happening locally, and respond to requests for SRTS support–and take advantage of their webinars, like their 2011 one on bicycle parking, security, and storage)
- League of American Bicyclists @bikeleague And make use of help offered by local League instructors)
II. Build strong relationships–within the bike community, and by serving as a considerate ambassador in the larger community
- Be mindful of laws and etiquette, including when biking in pedestrian areas such as plazas.
- Our Constables of the Peace are great in Monterey County. Make their job easier–and be a good ambassador for the bike world–by brushing up on CA Bike Laws and Personal Safety.
- Help others keep the vibe cool by sharing a summary of California bike laws, in English and Spanish, with other cyclists: SPANISH and English – Summary of bicycle section of CA Vehicle Code – Leyes de ciclismo de California
- Volunteer with Bicycling Monterey. (Why? See Section III below.)
- Volunteer with the HER Helmet Thursdays project. Have a favorite Monterey County business or organization you’d like to see in the H-E-R Helmet Thursdays project? Invite them.
- Make a donation to the Bicycling Monterey work. Even small amounts help maintain and expand these resources and projects.
- Ask me about other local bike-related volunteer opportunities, such as PAL bike fairs and other ways to help get more youth on bikes.
- Contact local bike clubs, listed on the Bicycle Shops, Services, Clubs, and Resources page, and offer to help with trail work, community outreach events, education, and more.
- Do you love a parade? The larger community has asked that the bike community have a presence in local parades. To make this happen requires someone to volunteer to be the coordinator for the bike community. Is that you? Contact me for more info.
- Look over that Bicycle Shops, Services, Clubs, and Resources page to become aware of the many resources available in Monterey County, then…
- Spread the word!
- See Posters, Weblinks, and Other Project Resources on this site.
- Been to a HER Helmet Thursdays spot where a staff member didn’t know about the project? Help that busy manager out by printing and dropping off the HHT Staff Reference Sheet, with a cheery “thank you for participating–thought this sheet might be helpful.” You might print and offer them a participant’s sign (found on that “Posters, Weblinks…” page) too, to help attract new business.
- Have a bicycle shop or bike services location? Laminate and post this PDF: Bike Shops in Bike Friendly Monterey County
- Spanish-language resources are available on this site: información en español sobre las bicicleta. Get the word out with these fliers: SPANISH 2-to-a-pg flier re Spanish resources at Bicycling Monterey website
III. Volunteer time or donate money or other resources in support of the Bicycling Monterey work
Along with the local bike community leaders found on the “Bicycle Shops, Services, Clubs, and Resources” page, Bicycling Monterey is helping to make Monterey County an even more bicycling friendly place for visitors and residents. The Transportation Agency for Monterey County recognized the value of the Bicycling Monterey resources and projects with a Transportation Excellence Award on January 25, 2012.
Don’t know what Bicycling Monterey is about? Here’s a summary:
The Bicycling Monterey website and projects are a public service of Mari Lynch and Fine Wordworking, recognized by the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments, City of Monterey, City of Salinas, City of Seaside, Monterey County Health Department, Transportation Agency for Monterey County, Monterey-Salinas Transit, National Steinbeck Center, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey Institute of International Studies, California State University Monterey Bay, Stevenson School, Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Monterey Jazz Festival, Sea Otter Classic, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, California Bicycle Coalition, and many others, and recommended and featured by media including KUSP Central Coast Public Radio, KSBW, the Monterey County Weekly, the Salinas Californian, and the Monterey County Herald.
Bicycling Monterey serves as an information hub for bicycling in Monterey County, with over 300 posts and 65 webpages of info. Who is the site for?
It is for locals and visitors, from Carmel to Castroville, those whose presence expands our perspectives and those in our community who require help at this time. It includes serious cycling and cycling chic fun. It is for teen girls and boys, children starting out, and elders too–like the man at the end of this post.
Below, teens in Castroville helping to get the word out about the availability of local bicycling resources.
Below, Kaki Cheung of the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC), using the Cycle Tracks app in Salinas. Learn more about Kaki and TAMC in “Section 11: Infrastructure” on the Bicycle Shops, Services, Clubs, and Resources page.
Here’s the question:
Will today’s children–and future generations–find this a wonderful place to bike?
It’s up to us.
Is there anything at all happening for local Safe Routes to School efforts? Yes, there is a start. Click here.