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Planning a bike-friendly future

They say “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

I’m not sure that is always true but it does seem to make sense. If you don’t take the time to understand the circumstances, determine your goals, consider all the options, and get feedback from others, you may not be very successful.

I think this is definitely the case in building bike-friendly communities. They don’t just magically happen. It takes lots of time, effort, money, passion, creativity… and planning.

The City of Winston-Salem is about to update their Bicycle Master Plan. The last edition was published in 2005.  This document is developed with the help of a consulting firm which assesses current conditions, consults with experts, and gathers community input in order to create a comprehensive, long-term plan that will serve as a guide for the City. Often these bike plans focus on improving safety, efficiency, and convenience of the local bicycle network.

It includes things like:

  1. Clear vision and goals for the future

  2. Assessment of the city’s current bicycle infrastructure, maps, educational programming, and other city-sponsored activities

  3. Proposed bike network expansion and new facilities like bike parking, community repair stands, etc.

  4. Review of current bicycle policies and internal processes, along with recommendations for improvement

  5. Design guidelines and case studies from successful bike projects

  6. Community partners and funding options

  7. (and probably most important) an implementation plan with specific steps to make the plan a reality

Needless to say, it’s pretty important document. It’s critical that local cyclists are involved in this process to ensure the new plan accurately reflects the needs and wants of our community.

A public input meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 21 at the Forsyth Central Library (660 W 5th Street, Winston Salem). There will be a presentation from 5:30-6:00, followed by time for discussion and public input from 6:00-7:30.  This is open to the public and we need as many local cyclists and allies to be there to get informed and give feedback.

Just imagine the things we could do in the coming years…

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When it comes to municipal projects I tell people: just because it’s in a plan doesn’t mean it will necessarily happen but if it’s not in a plan, it’s not likely to happen.

So if you want more bike lanes and greenways, safer conditions, creative solutions that make riding more convenient and fun, you need to say so. Your input will shape the future of bicycling in Winston-Salem for years to come!

We hope to see you at the upcoming public input meeting on February 21. Bring your friends and family!!

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