Advocates Gather in Athens for Winning Campaigns Training

” Energized” “Inspired” “Empowered”

These are the words attendees of this past weekend’s Winning Campaigns Training used to describe the results of the workshop. Over three days, 25 advocacy leaders representing 11 organizations and 3 states gathered in Athens to learn from the Alliance for Biking & Walking – and from each other – how to define, develop, and execute a “winning campaign.”

Over the course of the weekend, we defined our issues, set long and short-term goals, created messaging strategies , and developed tactics and budgets for achieving real improvements to biking and walking conditions in communities throughout the southeast. Between all the work, we enjoyed sublime spring weather with walking meetings, a bike tour of the Athens Greenway, and a New Belgium-sponsored social at the BikeAthens Bike Recycling Program facility.

The end result: nine winnable campaigns for signage, driver education, dedicated funding, and innovative infrastructure for communities from Greenville, SC to Birmingham, AL and all across Georgia.

Julie Smith, an attendee from Rome, GA, said “This is a program that I will heartily recommend to other bike/ped advocates, and we will continue to go back to the [Training] workbook and blueprint for future campaigns.”

Our sincerest thanks to the Alliance trainers for such a valuable workshop, to the attendees who spent much of a gorgeous weekend in a classroom, and to our local Training sponsors and supporters: Koons DesignNew Belgium Brewing Company, and Jittery Joe’s Coffee.

Watch for great things from these participating organizations:

2013 Seed Grant Winners

Congratulations to our 2013 Seed Grant winners!

Thanks to funds from the “Share the Road” car tag, provided through the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, we are awarding $5,000 Seed Grants to each of the deserving local advocacy groups listed below.

Chosen from a large pool of Seed Grant applicants, these organizations are new and emerging bicycle safety leaders and advocates in Georgia. They will use their funds to send representatives to this April’s Winning Campaigns Training in Athens and to implement programs and campaigns that will enhance cycling safetyimprove cycling facilities, and encourage more cycling trips. Check out our winners, and watch for great accomplishments from them!

Bicycle Columbus
Griffin Bicycle Coalition

WeCycle Atlanta

Bike Access Victory for New Bridge Over 400

After many months of persistent advocacy, we just received confirmation from GDOT that a new Northridge Rd bridge over 400 will include bike lanes in both directions!

The AJC has the story, which involved a tremendous grassroots campaign led by our very own Board member Joe Seconder of Dunwoody:

“When Seconder discovered early this year that dedicated bike lanes were not in the design plans, he got busy, phoning friends and transportation contacts.

‘This bridge is the single point of access between Perimeter CID, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs to cross the Chattahoochee River into Roswell,’ he said.

GDOT invited Seconder, his supporters and Sandy Springs officials to a followup meeting March 29 where it presented a redesign that included two bike lanes without changing the width of the bridge. 

‘I’ll give him a lot of credit, but I have to give GDOT a lot of credit, too,’ said Roswell Mayor Jere Wood, an active cyclist who backed Seconder’s campaign. ‘They have a whole new attitude down there.’

The agency officially adopted a Complete Streets policy last fall, requiring that it routinely incorporate bicycle, pedestrian and transit concerns into transportation projects. The Northridge Bridge project was finalized well before that policy took effect.

Georgia DOT engineer Darryl D. VanMeter said budget and time constraints would have normally precluded a late change in plans. However, the department had a productive exchange with bike advocates and Sandy Springs officials which led to the accommodation, he said.

‘I think this is a great example of government listening,’ Sandy Springs Assistant City Manager Bryant Poole said.”

We’ll add that it’s also another great example of advocacy working– way to go, Joe!