Cyclists Unite to Make Michigan Cycling Better During Lucinda Means Advocacy Day
Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance, May 11, 2018
Old Town, Lansing, MI — Bicycling and trail advocates will gather at the Capitol on Wednesday, May 23 to meet with legislators to advocate for policies that help make Michigan a more bike-friendly state. Led by a consortium of like-minded organizations; League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB), Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance (MTGA), Michigan Mountain Biking Association (MMBA) and Programs to Educate All Cyclists (PEAC), the Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day was created in memory of and to continue the legacy of former LMB executive director, Lucinda Means, who worked tirelessly to advance bicycling and the interests of cyclists of all abilities across the state.
The Advocacy Day is held during National Bike Month, which has showcased the many benefits of bicycling each May since 1956. As the popularity of cycling continues to grow, there is work to be done to advance a pro-bike policy and continue support for trail development. Michiganders that enjoy the roads, trails, or dirt single tracks are invited and encouraged to join LMB, MTGA, MMBA and PEAC for Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day to educate legislators on key policy issues to facilitate a bicycle-friendly state at the Michigan State Capital.
Legislative priorities include:
With over 12,000 miles of recreational trails, Michigan is recognized nationally as the #1 Trail State in the nation. While Michigan has an enviable trail system, significant opportunities remain. MTGA, recognized as the statewide voice for non-motorized trail users, has shown trails contribute to healthy communities, connected neighborhoods, active families and prosperous local businesses, and in order to secure the future of trails in the state, advocacy is necessary. Bob Wilson, MTGA executive director shares, “It’s vital for us all to engage on issues that impact public health safety and welfare. This is an important issue of educating both trail users and the motoring public that we all have rights and responsibilities to share. This important package of bills will affirm the rights of cyclists to use our roads.”
For those who have never communicated with policy makers, resources are available via the Advocacy Day Primer on the LMB website outlining the issue priorities along with talking points. On the day of the event, there will be additional guidance and a review of the talking points for all prior to meeting with legislators. Wilson continues, “A fundamental issue is also protecting our Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, which will help us to provide for future recreational opportunities both on our trails and in our parks. We encourage everyone from across the state to join us in Lansing for this event.”
The event begins at 8:00 a.m. on the northeast lawn of the Michigan State Capitol. Representative Clemente of Wayne County will present a Bike Month Resolution at 9:15 a.m., followed by a presentation from Senator Warren (Washtenaw County) at 9:30 a.m. Senator Jones (Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties) and Representative Hughes (Muskegon County) will speak at 12:30 and 12:45 p.m. The cost of the event is $15, which includes a lunch on the lawn of the Capitol after legislative visits. To register, visit https://www.michigantrails.org/lucinda-means-bicycle-advocacy-day-may-23-2018/.
The Lucinda Means Advocacy Day plays an essential role in shaping bicycling policies in Michigan. Past accomplishments include: Michigan Complete Streets law and the right turn signal victory. Come and be a part of the democratic process, support an active lifestyle for all people in Michigan and help create new trail funding opportunities while protecting current funding. Michigan’s legislators need to hear the bicyclists’ perspective on why sustainable non-motorized transportation funding is important to the people of Michigan today and in the future.
About Lucinda Means
Lucinda Means came to Michigan from California, where non-motorized transportation was integrated into their culture and saw the need to integrate it here. She took the opportunity to encourage legislators during her time as the Executive Director of the League of Michigan Bicyclists from 1997 to 2005 (until her untimely passing). She broke barriers by ensuring the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) included non-motorized transportation in their planning and became a strong advocate and spokesperson to MDOT. Building relationships between people and organizations was her strong suit. Through the League of Michigan Bicyclists, she created a consortium that included the Michigan Mountain Biking Association and Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance to assist with advocacy initiatives to shape non-motorized policy issues. Her additional outreach to local bicycling groups and clubs helped to increase awareness of these issues across the state and inspired advocacy which had never existed before her tenure.