Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Proposed Agenda for Thursday's Meeting

Here's the agenda:

A brief history of TAOBIKE

Malcolm McCollum and the first BAG

The ad-hoc committee of volunteers/ on-street planning/the usual suspects

Aaron Bell and the bicycling subcommittee

Patrick Fox and the informal bicycling subcommittee

Initial Road1 class due to Brian's efforts

Initial LCI class. It's not a certification that we know everything about cycling. It's a certification that we can teach what we know.

Recent addition to the local advocacy effort – The Hub – Ren Barger to lead.

INCOG bicycling subcommittee and functions

Why are we here today?

We are looking specifically for people who can work with INCOG on regional planning, and on the proposed Comprehensive Bicycling Master Plan ( a BFC requirement). INCOG requires a representative group for such planning. We must recognize that the available pool of people willing to commit time to bicycling advocacy is quite small, therefore this committee will still be self-selected to some extent. The usual suspects again.

INCOG's original organizing document addressed representation as follows:

The Advisory Group shall be composed of 9 voting members: A Chairman, one representative from the Tulsa Bicycle Club, one representative from the Tulsa Wheelmen, one representative from an area bicycle shop, one representative from the suburban cycling community, a representative from the Oklahoma Bicycling Coalition, one bicycle commuter appointed by the Chairman, a member at large appointed by the Chairman, and a representative from one of the area corporate bicycle commuter programs.

Regional and national bicycling advocacy: an overview of OBC and LAB

LAB is the national advocacy organization. They oversee the BikeEd program and lobby for bicycling at the federal level. They confer BFC status. Tulsa wants BFC status. We have an opportunity to accomplish that due to some unique factors here. 1. Average 5 mile commute. 2. Favorable topography and street grid system. 3. Motorists more accommodating than in other cities.

The Oklahoma Bicycling Coalition is the state advocacy organization. They offer some education support, lobby for bicycling at the state level, and pursue other projects like SRTS.

Bicycling education for advocacy

This is separate from BikeEd. An advocate must know the best practices in cycling. This is twofold. First, there's the personal standpoint of being a more capable cyclist. Then there's the additional focus on influencing public policy.

Bicycling for 'ordinary' people

In a recent meeting with our elected officials, one city councilman complained that the "Wheelmen" have too much influence over bicycle planning in the city of Tulsa, and that more ordinary people should be involved. 'Wheelmen' in common vernacular - is anyone wearing lycra and a helmet. Such cyclists are seen as the elite riders. Be aware that if you pursue bicycling advocacy and persist in learning the best practices, statistics, and other relevant safety information, you too will be labeled as an elitist. This is an upside down comparison to the intention of Driver's Education, where we expect to train new drivers before they'll be safe on the public roads. After receiving that training and getting a few years of experience, they're considered 'average' drivers - not elitists. Why then do we turn this assumption on its head and presume to make roads 'safe' for untrained, inexperienced cyclists? And why dismiss those who've taken time and effort to develop a thorough understanding of bicycling safety?

Tulsa's Transportation Advisory Board

Upcoming vote on streets package. Cyclists use the streets too, and should be included in any planning as a routine accommodation. Otherwise, we have to play the catch up game after plans are finalized. What do we want? Signals that reliably detect bicycles (or motorcycles, for that matter). Smooth paved surfaces free of debris, storm grates, cracks, potholes, or anything that may cause a diversion fall. Inclusion of bicycling education at several levels: possibly free to city residents, as part of DUI classes, as part of outreach to homeless or disadvantaged. The proposed Comprehensive Bicycling Master Plan would be a product of this board.

Opportunities for advocacy: teachable moments

Public Works


Law enforcement

Elected officials


Common misconceptions

Bicycling advocacy can be accurately characterized as being much like playing WHACK-A-MOLE. It can be both frustrating and rewarding, but there's intense satisfaction gained in those brief moments of reward. You can expect to encounter these misconceptions repeatedly:

Bikes don't belong on the road

Riding a bicycle is extremely hazardous or even suicidal

Helmets make you safe

Ride against traffic

Sidewalks are safer

Ride like you're invisible



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