On May 23rd, 2018, 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 at the State Capitol in Lansing.
The annual event drew bicyclists from across the state, making the trip for a day of legislative meetings. This year, bicycle advocates went to their meetings fired up, armed with proof that coming together to fight for laws needed to make Michigan bicycling safer works!
To kick off the morning, Representative Cara Clemente presented LMB and our partners with a Bike Resolution and spoke of her support for bicycling in Michigan.
LMB then shared the news of a recent success: Governor signed our obstructed license bill, one of our legislative priorities (HB 5100), into law the week before Advocacy Day. This new law, Public Act 147 of 2018, clarifies the definition of an obstructed license plate to exclude bicycle racks and other rear-mounted devices.
Attendees then left for their meetings, advocating for our safe passing and drivers education improvement bills, which would require motorists to pass bicyclists at a specified distance and require a minimum of one hour devoted to safely interacting with bicyclists in drivers education curriculum. Both House and Senate versions of the bills are advancing through the legislature. By chance, in the middle of Advocacy Day, the Senate took up the Senate versions of these bills for a vote. Bicyclists were able to watch the bills get voted out and were even recognized from the Senate floor by the bills’ sponsor, Margaret O’Brien.
Another issue discussed by bicycle advocates is an action to protect the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) that would allow MNRTF to continue to be used to conserve and develop public lands.
During the lunch hour, Senators Margaret O’Brien, Rebekah Warren, and Rick Jones, as well as Representative Holly Hughes, spoke to attendees about their support for bicycle-friendly policies.
To end the day’s events, LMB awarded 14 organizations Micro-Grant funds. In its second year, the Micro-Grant Program awarded $15,000 to bicycling initiatives that promote bicycling and bicycle safety in Michigan.
On top of the beautiful weather, many Advocacy Day participants reported positive support for most of our legislation and good discussion all around.
Thank you to our partners, volunteers, and attendees for helping to make this Advocacy Day another huge success!