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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bike Advocacy on the Move in Ohio [LAB] @yaybikes gets recognition!


Last month, the League released its 2012 Bicycle Friendly States Ranking and the Buckeye State came in at #37. But, while they still face challenge in funding, infrastructure, legislative support, and public opinion, bike advocates are making headway — and improving Ohio for bicyclists.
The Ohio Bicycle Federation is making progress for cyclists in the Buckeye State
Ohio has a long history of cycling, but it is only recently that bicycles have been widely seen as a means of transportation as well as recreation. Bicycle-friendly legislation and construction are laying the foundation for better bicycle safety, but laws and lanes aren’t likely to boost cycling without the support of an understanding public. This is where advocacy can make all the difference. Luckily, strong advocates in Ohio are providing support and encouragement for longtime cyclists and new riders alike, while easing the concerns of motorists through awareness campaigns.
In a state where municipal law is so important, local advocacy has an advantage over statewide efforts. Cleveland has passed a complete streets ordinance and Cincinnati was designated a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community both thanks to dedicated local advocates. “Advocacy in Cleveland has shifted from a small group of voices advocating only for rights to the road, to a large voice of people advocating for more livable, bike friendly neighborhoods,” said Jacob VanSickle of Bike Cleveland. “Advocacy’s role in the future will be to push for more progress on street bike infrastructure like cycle-tracks. We will also need to advocate for continued motorist and cyclist education on sharing the road. Our goal is to get more people on bikes more often. To do this we need to design and rebuild our streets to be intuitive. They need to be able to accommodate all types of cyclists, including youth, beginner, and advanced.”

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