Monday, December 29, 2008

What Baton Rouge is Doing for Walking and Biking

Matthew Linn has become a member of Baton Rouge Advocates for Safe Streets ("BRASS") in part to provide us with information on what they're doing. Below is what they sent in response to his membership contribution. It contains a lot of ideas for what we could do here.

Thank you for your recent, tax-deductible contribution to Baton Rouge Advocates for Safe Streets. We appreciate your support for making cycling and walking safer, more convenient, and more popular in Baton Rouge. We will use our resources of money, time, energy, and ideas as carefully and effectively as we can. In our first two years, we

  • provided bicycle and pedestrian information at public events,
  • staffed bike corrals at local festivals,
  • helped organize the first Mayor's Family Bike Day,
  • provided input through the Capital Region Planning Commission's Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee on local road projects,
  • delivered letters and petitions and met with the Director of the Department of Public Works regarding bicycle and pedestrian facilities in the Green Light Plan and elsewhere in the city,
  • participated in public meetings affecting bicycling and walking,
  • taken part in the dedication of the Mississippi River Levee Multi-use Path, and
  • established regular monthly meetings, regular bicycle maintenance classes, and a web presence (

In our third year we have built on these efforts by

  • working with BREC to provide regular, League of American Bicyclists-certified bicycle safety classes (we had our first classes in May of this year)
  • working with BREC on the new Capital Area Pathways Project
  • participating in regular meetings of the Capital Region Planning Commission's Bike-Ped Advisory Committee
  • planning upcoming bicycle safety classes for kids with 4-H and East Ascension Mental Health Association
  • conducting monthly bicycle maintenance and repair classes
  • petitioning and meeting with DPW on their (recently dropped) opposition to installing bike-route signs
  • planning the routes and signs for the first bike routes to be signed inside the city limits
  • working on position papers to present to City-Parish planners on improving bicycle facilities in Baton Rouge
  • celebrating Bike to Work Day
  • organizing six successful themed rides on the trees, history, cemeteries, and public art of Baton Rouge (three last spring and three this fall)
  • planning regular SERF (slow, easy, recreational, fun) rides (we just had our first in December 2008)
  • participating in another Mayor's Family Bike Day
  • working with the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) to acquire, repair, and make available a bicycle for one of their clients
  • petitioning the Mayor and the Metro Council for measures to improve bicycle safety in the wake of yet another recent cyclist death on River Road
  • organizing a memorial ride for cyclists killed on local roads
  • meeting with LSU planners about bicycle facilities and safety on and around the LSU campus
  • helping to organize a public forum of mayoral candidates to address planning and transportation issues
  • surveying city-parish council members on transportation issues
  • working with city-parish Department of Public Works and national Thunderhead Alliance to include two bicycle-pedestrian projects for 1.45 million dollars in possible federal economic stimulus legislation
  • sending representatives to the Louisiana Department of Transportation Bike-Ped Facilities Design Seminar
  • meeting with Plan Baton Rouge's visiting consultant on bicycle facilities for the Downtown Development District

If you haven't already done so, we encourage you to

Also, if you have a moment, we'd like to hear what you think about the following questions:

  • What pedestrian and bicycling issues concern you? Bicycling education and safety? Better road facilities to ride on? More off-road bike paths? Advocacy? Bicycling routes to schools for children?
  • Do you think Baton Rouge is a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly community? Do you see it changing for the better?
  • Would you be willing to contact your City Council member or state legislators about bicycling policies and legislation?
  • Are there other particular ways you'd like to participate, for example by writing grant proposals, mentoring people interested in bike commuting, donating bike-repair expertise, or doing something else?

We appreciate your support. We look forward to working with you in the coming months and years to make cycling and walking safer, more convenient, and more popular in Baton Rouge.


Rick Moreland, Secretary-Treasurer

P. O. Box 19403

Baton Rouge, LA 70893-0403

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