I spent 23 hours in Bowling Green this fall. On October 12 Kathleen Watkins and I led a Professional Development Ride with the City Engineer, Fire Chief, Civil Engineer and Assistant Municipal Administrator. I returned November 7 and hosted two Professional Development Rides with the Director of Public Works, 2 City Council members, a Bowling Green University student organization representative, a reporter from BG Independent News and one from the Sentinel-Tribune, 2 City Council Members, Ohio Department of Transportation District 2 Engineer and 2 local bicycle advocates. After the rides that day, I led a public meeting with approximately 50 attendees in which I presented about safe riding practices and facilitated discussion about them. The media coverage was encouraging:
And the direct feedback (from the ODOT engineer) was even more so:
Since the rides, I've spent at least 7 hours on the phone with city leadership, including Jason Sisco, Bowling Green's City Engineer, and Robert McOmber, a City Council Member, about updates they're considering. A group from Bowling Green is planning a trip to Columbus to experience our infrastructure first-hand. And soon, "Bikes May Use Full Lane" signs will be popping up throughout town (the message is already in rotation on the electronic billboard by the police station)!
So 47 hours—23 in Bowling Green, 7 on the phone with their leadership, and an additional 17 in the office preparing. And yet a complete transformation is underway in that community, with dozens of advocates and professionals now on a coordinated path to accommodating people who ride there. Wouldn't it be perfection if everyone in America had an experience of riding on roads? Wouldn't it be pretty close to perfection if every transportation professional did? We're back in action on another round of ODOT-funded Professional Development Rides next spring. Support that work now with your gift.