Critical Mass Cyclists Should Get Involved in Local Government, Too
Critical Mass Mentality
Thoreau praised civil disobedience, and the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ‚’ 60s validated it. But Critical Mass cyclists owe it to themselves and to fellow cyclists to get involved in local government to effect change see ” An Arresting Ride,” June 2.
In October 1995 volunteers in Fort Collins wrote a comprehensive, forward-looking ” Fort Collins Bicycle Program Plan.” City staff have spent a decade implementing the plan — building bike lanes, paths, underpasses, bridges and more for cyclists and pedestrians. Funding came from federal highway transportation allocations. Staff should be congratulated for capturing those funds and putting them to excellent use.
Critical Mass cyclists need to get involved, however, because the ” Bike Plan” was never fully implemented, and during the recent budget squeeze we lost the Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for Fort Collins. Bike Month and Bike to Work Week barely survive in this city as a result. ( Yes, this is Bike Month in Colorado, even though you’ve seen little mention of it in our city).
The parts of the Fort Collins Bicycle Program Plan that are incomplete call for education ( for all cyclists and motorists), encouragement ( for casual cyclists, noncyclists and businesses), and enforcement ( to promote safe cycling). In short, we have a plan and we have facilities, but we have no program to promote safe, frequent cycling.
You can help revive the Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator’s position and to implement the plan by making your voice heard at any of 28 Citizens’ Advisory Board meetings and at Fort Collins City Council meetings. Public input is invited and encouraged at every meeting. If each Critical Mass participant would attend one public meeting per month we could make this happen. The message is simple: ” Please implement the 1995 Fort Collins Bicycle Program Plan.” Public meetings are listed on the city’s web site.