Blast From The Past: Issue #1 Armchair Advocate
Bicycle advocacy can be a tireless job, and for many people, the thought of another weekly meeting is enough to keep well-intentioned cyclists from contributing to a worthy cause. But being a conscientious citizen doesn’t necessarily entail volunteerism or civil disobedience. Sometimes you can affect change by just sending a few email messages to the right person.
In 2005 construction began on a dangerous portion of my commute—a stretch of four-lane highway with no shoulder. The curvaceous Mae West Bend corridor had been the cause of several deaths and countless accidents over the years, and recent flood damage made improvements imminent. Curious as to the possibility of adding bike lanes to my commute, I did some Internet research and located the appropriate person at the Department of Transportation.
It turns out bike lanes weren’t an option, but a few concise, well-written emails were all it took to get numerous “share the road” signs placed throughout the corridor. Sure, I didn’t save the world, but I was able to raise cycling awareness from the comfort of my own home. And so can you.