LMB, together with our partners the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, the Michigan Mountain Bicycling Association, and PEAC, hosted a successful Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day this week at the State Capitol in Lansing.
The annual event drew its biggest numbers ever, with nearly 120 bicyclists from across the state making the trip to Lansing for a day of legislative meetings regarding bicycle issues. This year, the issues that participants advocated for included our 5-foot safe passing bill and drivers education improvement bill, which will require a minimum of one hour devoted to safely interacting with bicyclists on the road. This legislation was introduced earlier this year, and advocates had the chance to ask their representatives to support the bills when they come to a vote. Participants also sought sponsors for a proposed bill to clarify the definition of an obstructed license to exclude a bicycle rack. Finally, advocates discussed legislation that is being crafted to regulate electric assist bicycles, or e-bikes.
In order to better understand the rising popularity of e-bikes that is making new legislation necessary, this year's Advocacy Day included an e-bike demonstration. E-bikes provided by Trek and American Cycle and Fitness, along with safety gear, were on hand for participants and passers-by to try. A number of legislators came down to the demonstration to learn more about this new technology, and to try it out firsthand.
During a lunchtime ceremony, Rep. Holly Hughes presented House Resolution No. 104 to declare May 2017 as Bike Month in the state of Michigan. LMB then had a chance to the recipients of our first ever Micro-Grant. The representatives from the organizations that received funds had a chance to share a few words regarding the exciting projects they are getting off the ground with the funding.
Many Advocacy Day participants reported positive support for most of our legislation, and good discussion all around. Representatives from LMB are back at the Capitol today, attending follow-up meetings with legislators that will hopefully continue to keep bicycle issues at the forefront of the lawmakers' minds.
If you were not able to attend Advocacy Day, you can still help advance our bicycle bills from home. Follow the steps from our Virtual Lobbying Day anytime to keep the conversation between bicyclists and lawmakers going strong.
Thank you to our partners, volunteers, and all who attended for helping to make this Advocacy Day a huge success!