Spring has been an exciting time for LMB! As the weather has been warming up, we had the opportunity to meet and engage in lively discussions on bicycle friendliness, safety, and beyond at two conferences: the Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Conference and the Bicycle Friendly America Conference.
The Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Conference took place in late April in Mount Pleasant, and was a huge success! LMB was excited to partner with Michigan Department of State, Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan Fitness Foundation, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, Michigan Trails and Greenway Alliance, and Safe Routes to School for this inaugural event. Over 150 individuals were in attendance representing a variety of fields, from education to law enforcement, city planning, and more.
During this conference, an array of topics were presented to help advance education and awareness of pedestrian and bicycle safety. Our own John Lindenmayer was one of the presenters who kicked off the conference with an overview of what the current state of this topic is in Michigan. Other presenters spoke on efforts to include youth and individuals with disabilities by Safe Routes to School and Programs to Educate All Cyclists (PEAC). Round-table style sessions dissected bicycle and pedestrian crashes and shared insights on how the research of crashes is helping to shape Michigan's transportation systems. The Conference also outlined an extensive five year study by Western Michigan University, which documented the details surrounding ped/bike crashes in an effort to better understand them.
In May, LMB attended this year's Bicycle Friendly America (BFA) Conference, which was hosted by Michigan State University. This conference highlighted and detailed the League of American Bicyclists' Bicycle Friendly America Program. Through this program, businesses, communities, and universities can apply to be designated within five levels: Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. The levels provide an incentive to work towards creating an environment that is safe and welcoming to bicyclists.
Presenters and attendees from all parts of the country joined in discussing innovative ideas and implementation of bicycle friendly policies. The conference also provided the opportunity to also break into smaller groups, based on interest in topics relating specifically to communities, universities, or businesses, to create for a more personalized experience. The conference concluded with a guided bicycle ride through MSU's campus to demonstrate the policies and ideas that earned them their recent Silver designation. LMB is proud to hold a Gold designation as a Bicycle Friendly Business and enjoyed the opportunity to learn from others on how we can do better, and share our own journey as well.
LMB looks forward to continuing the great dialogue we experienced at these two conferences and hope to put all that we learn into action throughout the year.