[TheThinkTank] Bike Collectives- Advocacy Work

Bob Giordano mist at strans.org
Fri Aug 31 11:58:09 PDT 2007

here's our path:

'96: free cycles forms to advance community cycling
2000: missoula institute for sustainable transportation forms to address
safe and accessible cycling, clean air, equity, street design, etc.

2003: free cycles brought under mist umbrella

2007: works well; free cycles does the 'non-political' restore/teach bike
stuff, mist does the 'in the trenches research, design and advocacy' work.

in essence, we have many overlapping circles of people doing related yet
distinct work.

i think there is no magic formula, only organically growing circles of
people and organization(s)

i also think we have reached a collective awareness of
sustainability/bicycle issues that the same people working on
'non-political' community bike programs (these programs are actually very
political and effective in a quiet way), can be very direct about the need
for bicycle friendly infrastructures.

mist was able to help get a road diet in place last year, which made many
people angry (and many people very happy).  the 4-lane to 3-lane
conversion is working great, for bikes, walkers, and even motor vehicles
(slow and smooth car flow).

a new group just formed here, with different circles of people: the bike
walk alliance for missoula.

here is why mist and free cycles are under one umbrella: the experiences,
excitement, trials and errors of the community bike shop help inform mist
as to what people desire and practice with regards to cycling; conversely,
the research, design and collaboration of a larger sustainable
transportation movement helps guide what projects to undertake with the
mountains of bicycles and people energy that flow into the shop every day.

-bob giordano

Free Cycles Missoula (program of...
Missoula Institute for Sustainable Transportation
www.strans.org, mist at strans.org, 406.880.6834

Erik Ryberg said:
> I am interested in this discussion too.  Our group, BICAS, does not
explicitly do advocacy (though it depends what you mean by that -- we
have robust programs for "disadvantaged youth" and so forth and maybe
the folks doing that work would consider it advocacy) but I think we
come pretty close, and of course individually we are all
> advocacy-minded.

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