Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Organizing meeting






The Green Country Bicycling Advisory Group (working title) will have an organizing meeting on Thursday, September 11th at the Martin East Regional Library at 7PM.

TAOBIKE has long supported local bicycling advocacy, education, and planning in the Tulsa region. In order to work effectively with INCOG and local governments, TAOBIKE is inviting members of the Green Country area to form a standing Bicycling Advisory Group (hereafter referred to as the BAG) to provide input from the cycling community on issues relating to bicycle commuting, bicycle safety, facilities improvement, project identification, project review, and any other relevant bicycling issue. The BAG will perform the same function as INCOG's former Bicycling Advisory Subcommittee while remaining independent of INCOG.

Why do we need a BAG? INCOG's Bicycling Advisory Subcommittee has met infrequently over the last few years because of personnel changes at INCOG. TAOBIKE seeks representatives from throughout the region to participate in a more stable group, the Green Country Bicycling Advisory Group.

The Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG) performs regional transportation planning for member governments, seeing that plans meet federal standards and that they are consistent and coordinated throughout the region. INCOG also performs due diligence by seeing that federal funds allocated to a project are actually used for that project. The Bicycling Subcommittee assisted with planning the annual Bike to Work events, as well as providing input on various facility proposals.

Membership in TAOBIKE is entirely voluntary and there are no dues. The BAG will require something more valuable than your money--your time. Members may participate by attending public meetings with government officials, poring over planning documents where the devil is truly in the details, or writing emails in order to initiate a dialog. We don't need large numbers to be effective. But we do need inter-connectedness. Effective advocacy means learning about best practices in bicycling, both from a public policy viewpoint and a personal one. It means much more than just knowing how to ride a bike. Members should educate themselves, their clubs, and the public about the best cycling practices in order to better serve the cycling public. TAOBIKE exists to help advocates in this cause and to represent policies in the interest of the public.

Simply attending this meeting is the first step. It shows an interest in making Tulsa a better place for all cyclists. The next step is to learn more about bicycling. Finally, there's the commitment to spending time on bicycling advocacy. Without committed local advocates, we will not see positive changes that directly effect local cyclists.


This group was originally Tulsa Bicycling Advisory Group, or T_BAG. All the members of the first INCOG BAG were invited to join. The group was regional, however, not specific to the city of Tulsa. Hence the need for a name change. We've worked with INCOG and Tulsa Public Works regarding the on-street plan and found many areas for improvement. TAOBIKE has been the formative hub for each iteration of INCOG's Bicycling Subcommittee. It is a loosely-organized group of like-minded volunteers.

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