Dear Fellow Bicyclists,
We hope that 2012 has been a great year for you to enjoy your bicycle. It certainly has been a great year for LMB. We welcomed Jenny Jensen to our staff, had a successful tour season, along with a phenomenal response to our newly released What Every Young Michigan Bicyclist Must Know, while continuing to make inroads on the advocacy front.
As great as 2012 was, we have big plans to make 2013 even better! Here's what we have in store:
Launching a statewide "share the road" campaign. We are extremely excited about the impact a comprehensive share the road campaign will have on reducing bicycle/automobile crashes, and encouraging more people to ride bicycles more often throughout the state.
LMB recognizes that infrastructure improvements alone, such as Complete Streets, do not create bicycle-friendly communities. Michigan also needs a major public education campaign to address the dangers that careless drivers create for cyclists. That's why LMB has been working closely with the Secretary of State's (SOS) office over this past year on opportunities to develop a share the road campaign.
With your help, LMB plans to work with our partners to create various share the road materials such as brochures and posters for SOS branch offices and other locations, short PSA messages, educational materials for driver's education instructors and students, as well as a new dedicated share the road website that will house these materials and include a driver/bicyclist safety pledge, information on common collision scenarios and other safety tips.
While this campaign will primarily address driver behavior, it will also focus on the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists. By emphasizing responsible cycling behavior, our campaign will combat misconceptions and prejudices that many drivers have against bicyclists and will focus on fostering goodwill between all roadway users.
Providing education for law enforcement personnel. The Michigan Vehicle Code in respect to bicyclists is often applied unevenly across the state. We have developed a law enforcement raining program, which offers educational credits for officers, to help educate law enforcement (and citizens) on Michigan law pertaining to cyclists and further their understanding of the concerns of road cyclists. In 2013, we plan to conduct three trainings. We also have a test case of the infamous "Impeding Traffic" citation and are working through judicial and legislative channels to resolve this mis-application of the law.
Working on bicycle related legislation currently in front of the Michigan Legislature. Currently, our Vulnerable Roadway User legislation and a bill to update the hand turn signals for bicyclists are in front of the legislature. We hope to advance these bills still this session and are currently finalizing our 2013 policy priorities which will include a number of new issues that we plan to advance with your support.
Continuing to be a voice for bicyclists on such issues as "bikes on trains" and Complete Streets. We continue to advocate for "roll-on" bicycle service on Michigan trains. Through a successful petition drive, we have received a commitment from Amtrak to make this happen. In a seperate petition effort this year, LMB successfully lobbied MDOT to adopt a stronger, more bicycle-friendly, Complete Streets policy.
In order to advance these initiatives and to be at the forefront of new issues affecting bicyclists, we need your help! Tours and dues continue to cover LMB's general operating expenses, but we need your help to fund these exciting initiatives to make Michigan a safer place to bicycle.
Please consider how these efforts will make you safer on the road. Whatever you can give, LMB deeply appreciates your support!
LMB Executive Director