This year, we were shocked, saddened and angered by the death of our cycling friends and family. On Friday, September 25, over 300 of us came together on the Statehouse lawn for the first-ever Vermont Rally for Safe Roads.
And our message is being heard. Our executive director stood side by side with Lt. Governor Phil Scott (an avid bike rider himself), key legislative leaders, top VTrans staff, and others in a shared call for safe roads. Together, we said, "Yes, we can do better. Everyone deserves a safe place to walk and ride in their everyday lives."
So what is next? In the weeks and months to come, Local Motion will build on the momentum that started at the rally to move ahead on all four fronts that you told us were priorities this spring:
Priority #1: "Keep Riding!" Get out there and enjoy the beautiful fall weather. We’ll be right there with you. This fall, you will see us all over the state, bringing Bike Smart to schools and Everyday Bicycling workshops to workplaces and communities.
Priority #2: "Educate, hold events, do a PSA, rally and protest!" The rally at the Statehouse was just the start. Over the winter, we will build connections and momentum for huge turnout and engagement at the 2016 Vermont Bike Walk Summit on April 1. Together, we will build a statewide movement for safe roads.
Priority #3: "Real penalties, real enforcement!" We are continuing our law enforcement training work in collaboration with the Vermont Police Academy. But as any police officer will tell you, enforcement is only as good as the laws that back it up. Over the next few months, we will be working intensively with legislative leaders to create a package of reforms to address unsafe behavior on our roads, including clarification of the rights and responsibilities of people on bikes as well as stiffer penalties for driving in ways that put vulnerable road users at risk.
Priority #4: "Infrastructure!" There is way more in the works on this front than we can even begin to include here. From bike lanes on Williston Road to traffic calming in Vergennes, change is in the air -- or rather, on the ground! Our goal this year is to accelerate the pace of change by supporting local advocates across Vermont and building momentum for statewide change in how our roads are designed and built. With your help, we’ll make it happen.