- Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2016 16:12
- Written by Admin
The 2016 Georgia Bike Summit presented by Bike Law GA was held October 21-23.
Over 100 participants gathered on Jekyll Island to network, learn and share resources on making their communities - and all of Georgia - safer and more accessible for bicycle tourism and transportation. Below are photos, links to presentations, sponsors, and more information about the 2016 Georgia Bike Summit. Thanks to everyone who made this event such a great success!
For the seventh year in a row, we convened a statewide conference to share resources and best practices to help make Georgia a safe, bicycle-friendly state. We chose Jekyll Island for the 2016 Summit to highlight recent momentum at the state legislature to speed up completion of the exciting Coastal Georgia Greenway project. The Summit kicked off with a Coastal Greenway Implementation Workshop, where over 40 advocates and local officials heard from the Georgia Conservancy, the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heriatge Corridor Commission, state lawmakers from the region, and the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails. Speakers provided socio-historical context for the Coastal Greenway route, the many health and economic benefits the completed trail will offer, messaging lessons for advocates, and funding options that can help the Greenway become a reality sooner than later.
Our hope from this Greenway event is two-fold: One, that the energy and networking from the workshop will prompt decision-makers to dedicate the funds necessary to finish Georgia's leg of the visionary East Coast Greenway, which will ultimately allow for safe bicycle travel from Key West, FL to Calais, Maine; and two, that the coordination and funding mechanisms inspired by this project will lead to more regional trails and greenways in Georgia!
On Saturday, many who stayed over from the Friday workshop were joined by advocates, planners, and civic leaders for the main event, the Georgia Bike Summit. On the heels of a major hurricane, we were concerned the Summit wouldn't happen at all, but Jekyll was spared the worst, and the tireless efforts of many crews before our arrival left barely a trace that a storm occured at all. With picture-perfect weather, it was admittedly difficult for attendees to stay indoors and not ride bikes all day on the paved trails of the island, but we were fortunate to have an inspiring and compelling slate of speakers for the day. From learning about Atlanta's Streets Alive events to Macon's Pop-Up Bike Network to Georgia's Safe Routes to School Resource Center to a tremendous panel on equitable bicycle programs, Summit attendees filled notepads, made connections, and re-energized for the long work ahead.
What did attendees really think of the Summit? According to our Summit evaluations, 85% of them would recommend the event to a friend or colleague and 96% felt that attending the Summit was a "valuable experience." We were also pleased to see that 72% of the attendees this year were first-timers!
Presentations from the Summit are posted below. We thank our speakers for sharing their expertise and knowledge and with us!
We also thank our event sponsors and partners. Thanks to a special donation from longtime supporters at the Tony Serrano Century, we were able to offer seven Summit attendees a scholarship to help cover travel costs to the coast. Most of the attendees had never been to an advocacy conference before, and they all went home better educated and energized to make their own communities safe, accessible places for bicyclists of all ages and abilities. Scholarship recipient and first-time Summit participant Yolanda Brown of Lilburn said, "It was amazing! I met so many people with ideas that promote safe, friendly, and bikable communities. I can't wait to advocate for more safe routes to our school facilities. Thank you for all that you do Georgia Bikes!"
Thank you, Yolanda, and thank you to everyone who made the trip to Jekyll Island. We look forward to great things on Georgia's coast and across the state!
Advocacy Basics (GA Conservancy)
Complete Streets (Keynote)