Nanaimo Bike Summit Posed to Take Advocacy to Council

bikesummit2016

Here’s an announcement from our friends, the Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition, re: Bike Summit 2016

THE 2016 NANAIMO BIKE SUMMIT WILL TAKE ADVOCACY DIRECTLY TO COUNCIL

Nanaimo, BC – The 2016 Bike Summit, being held this Saturday, January 23, 2016 at Beban Park Social Centre in Nanaimo, will bring together several hundred people interested in cycling to coordinate their efforts to bring forward important cycling legislation, create a safer cycling atmosphere in our city and the regional district, and make Nanaimo a premier cycling-friendly city.

The emphasis this year will be for attendees to engage in direct lobbying with the city, district and provincial legislators. The theme of the event is “Equity in Motion – From Design to Law and From Paper to Pavement.” The Summit is an opportunity for citizens to learn about the programs, initiatives and events organized by the Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition. The GNCC has been working diligently to roll out their Safe Routes to School Program and the Bike Friendly Business Program and encouraging employers to assist their employees to have a choice in the way they commute.

The Summit will feature a number of videos and presentations, including a report by the City’s Engineering Department, updates on the E&N Rail Trail, and information sessions on bike-related topics such as the proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Act. In addition, we have a number of topics for open, productive discussions regarding the challenges facing multi-modal transportation planning and building.

“We’ve made significant progress on cycling-related issues in the last few years, but there are still many efforts needed to direct City staff, City Council and the Provincial Government toward more improvements” said Leo Boon, the cycling coalition’s chair and co-organizer of the Nanaimo Bike Summit. “Bringing together a diverse and committed group in one place for an afternoon of learning and discussion really focuses everyone’s energy into the effort to make Nanaimo and BC, a safer, easier and more desirable place to live and ride.”

This Summit will focus on a variety of issues with the primary focus on strategizing for the 2016 campaign, asking the City, the Regional District and the BC Government to expand cycling infrastructure to enable all people the ability to walk or cycle for daily trips. Additional topics include: putting on successful bike events, affecting policy at local and provincial levels, building fruitful partnerships and creating bicycle-friendly communities.

“We want to have a strong voice in transportation policy and also make Nanaimo a city where pedestrians and cyclists have a great place to walk and ride” says Boon. “To achieve that, we need to know how to influence decision-makers to fund and prioritize walking and cycling projects – as we continue to create a great walking and cycling atmosphere in our own city.”

In the Fall of 2016, the Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition is planning a much larger conference with around 50 urban planners, equity organizers, health advocates, corporate leaders, transit agencies, and bicycle advocates from around the province, Alberta and Washington state.  The three-day conference will include interactive panels, inspiring presentations, bike tours, and training sessions to share knowledge, build skills, and to network.

About the Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition

The Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition is a non-profit organization helping people cycle more through encouragement of better cycling facilities, education, motivation and celebration. More cycling means a healthier, happier, more connected community.

Formed in 1996, the GNCC is a committed group of people who believe cycling should be accessible, safe, and fun for all, from the very young to our growing senior population and everyone in between. The GNCC believes that cycling builds strong communities, improves our health, and helps create a better urban environment. The GNCC works cooperatively with other community groups to organize events and to achieve common goals. We are a partner in the Nanaimo Regional Rail Trail Partnership and work with other stakeholders to organize the Bike to Work Week and Bike + Walk to School Week.

For more information visit the GNCC website at www.bikesense.org

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