Advocacy

PRESS RELEASE : Bike Baton Rouge announce winners of annual Mike Bitton Awards

Bike Baton Rouge announce winners of annual Mike Bitton Awards
4/11/16, Baton Rouge, LA

Bike Baton Rouge today announced the recipients of the annual Mike Bitton Awards that recognize community members who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to make Baton Rouge a better place to bike. The Mike Bitton Awards are named after former LSU student Mike Bitton, who became a spokesperson and advocate for bicycle safety and awareness following a hit and run crash on River Road that left Mike with life threatening injuries.

Award recipients will include Gabby Loubiere Higgins of Brew Ha-Ha, who will be awarded the Bike Friendly Business Award for her long time support of bicycling in Baton Rouge; Kathy Stites and the BREC Capital Area Pathways Project, who will receive the Bike Friendly Professional Award for their leading the way in design and installation of bicycle facilities throughout Baton Rouge; and finally Larry Reilly, former board member and long time volunteer for Bike Baton Rouge, who will be awarded the Mike Bitton Award for his services to bicycling in Baton Rouge, including running the Bicycling BR bike calendar, leading advocacy efforts to create the Dawson Creek bike trail, and more.

“Mr. Reilly is an unsung hero,” said Doug Moore, Bike Baton Rouge Vice President. “His advocacy in helping make the Pennington trails a reality and his civic engagement in general make him an outstanding recipient, and he's a role model for those of us fortunate enough to know him and work with him."

The award ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday April 19 at WHYR Community Radio (1623 Main Street). Bike Baton Rouge members, non-members and the general public are invited to join Bike Baton Rouge and our award recipients for some fun, food and festivities. More details about the ceremony are available on Facebook.

For more information, visit bikebr.org, look up Bike Baton Rouge on facebook, or email Bike Baton Rouge at bikebatonrouge@gmail.com

Mika Torkkola
225 571 2906
bikebatonrouge@gmail.com

Bike Baton Rouge is a local non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization and has been dedicated to making bicycling trips in Baton Rouge safer and more enjoyable since 2006.
 

2016 winners (left to right) Gilles Morin, Beaux Jones, Juan Cruz and Dave Cano

Meet the Board - Sarah Schramm

Sarah is a landscape architect from Wisconsin who brings great enthusiasm and creativity to the Bike Baton Rouge board.

Sarah is a landscape architect from Wisconsin who brings great enthusiasm and creativity to the Bike Baton Rouge board.

Who are you and where are you from? 
I'm a landscape architect/ecologist/adventurer from Milwaukee, WI.

Why do you love bicycling? 
I love bicycling because I love being outside and I like the feeling of speed.  I also like the social and functional aspects of it.

Why did you join the Bike Baton Rouge board? 
I feel like I can be helpful to the organization and I support the mission of Bike Baton Rouge.  A perfect combination!

What do you see YOUR role as with Bike Baton Rouge? What do you do and what are you good at?
Currently I think I help build relationships within the group by reaching out to and engaging with members at the rides and other social events.  I think I could help more in a wide range of capacities including organizing events, researching policy and making hand-outs, finding and applying to grants, and attending local policy meetings.  I'm good at organizing, research, graphics, and writing.

What would you consider the greatest challenge to bicycling in Baton Rouge?  
I consider the lack of connectivity between places to be the greatest challenge to bicycling in Baton Rouge.  There are often few side-roads available to get to different areas outside of a core area in Baton Rouge. The main road options are inhospitable for bicyclists.

What are you and Bike Baton Rouge doing to tackle that challenge?
To tackle those challenges, Bike Baton Rouge attends public meetings to voice support for transportation plans that include bike lanes, bike paths, and sidewalks.  Also, Bike Baton Rouge has been working with BREC to connect neighborhoods with bike paths through city park land.

What will bicycling in Baton Rouge look like in 1/5/20 years time?
With more bike paths and complete streets, and more bike-focused social events, I think we will see more people on bikes in Baton Rouge.

What is does your 'ideal' day of bike riding in Baton Rouge look like?
I wake up early on a sunny, crisp morning, meet up with my pals, and bike to a camp site where we grill out, throw a frisbee, and tell funny stories. Also, there are potato chips.

Open letter to Baton Rouge's Mayoral Candidates

[EDITOR's NOTE : The following letter was sent to Baton Rouge's mayoral candidates on October 6th, 2016. Responses to the letter will be published by on Bike Baton Rouge's website on October 21st, 2016. We encourage you to pass the letter below on to those candidates yourself - it is ALWAYS better to have more voices.]


In spite of Bike Baton Rouge's continuous work to ensure the safety of locals, Baton Rouge remains a largely hostile environment to bicyclists. The poor quality of Baton Rouge’s narrow roads makes it incredibly dangerous to ride a bike almost anywhere in the city. Additionally, drivers and bicyclists alike receive little to no education concerning safe practices on the road, which can prove fatal. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDCP) 2015 report, Louisiana ranks third-highest in bicycle-related deaths.

Increasing the conditions for safe bicycling in the city is not solely a matter of improving a recreational activity. Making safe bicycling more common could solve part of Baton Rouge’s traffic congestion problems; it could also provide a cheaper commute alternative. Furthermore, studies have shown that bicycle-friendly neighborhoods attract more economic development.

With the upcoming Mayoral elections, Bike Baton Rouge is committed to ensure that candidates are aware of the city’s lack of appropriate infrastructures and are dedicated to solve these serious issues during their term. To this effect, Bike Baton Rouge asks that all candidates answer the following questions so as to inform voters of their intentions concerning the health and safety of their constituents:

1) Are you aware of Baton Rouge’s increasing bicycling community and their demands for safer infrastructures? 

2) What are your plans regarding the development of safer environments for bicyclists in the city?

3) Baton Rouge has had two bicycle master plans, one in 1974 and the other in 1996; neither were implemented. Will you and your team listen to the concerns of your constituents regarding bike safety and commit to a bicycle/pedestrian master plan? What would be the timeline for implementing this plan?

4) The position of Urban Transportation Coordinator has been left vacant since 2009 in spite of the fact that it is already budgeted for. When will you fill that essential position?

5) Bike Baton Rouge is committed to ensuring the safe access to bicycling on roads across the city. North Baton Rouge is home to most of the city’s  bicycle commuters. What will you do to improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in North Baton Rouge?

Please send responses to bikebatonrouge@gmail.com

Bike Baton Rouge is a 501c3 organization
www.bikebr.org

Meet the Board - Tina Ufford

Tina is a long time bicycle advocate and former Board Member of Bike Baton Rouge. She practices and teaches many things, including Yoga, Massage and Pottery.

Tina is a long time bicycle advocate and former Board Member of Bike Baton Rouge. She practices and teaches many things, including Yoga, Massage and Pottery.

Who are you and where are you from?  

Tina Ufford Colorado Springs, CO

Why do you love bicycling?  

Outside, gas free, exercise time! It shifts me into thinking about where I am..rather than where I'm going

Why did you join the Bike Baton Rouge board?   

I want to be heard, I want to help create change. I want to funnel frustration into action and help others do the same.

What do you see YOUR role as with Bike Baton Rouge?

Connecting the dots in the networking world, finding new partnerships. Keeping things going when we get stalled or burned out.

What do you do and what are you good at?

I am a healer and a creator, an explorer and an educator. I'm good at giving permission, and making people comfortable.
 
What would you consider the greatest challenge to bicycling in Baton Rouge?  

Guh! I only get to pick one...? Continuity! From planning to intersections to sidewalks, it's my biggest frustration here. 

What are you and Bike Baton Rouge doing to tackle that challenge?

Creating rides and events that document the experiences of all riders in town. Inclusion. All people, all areas of town. And then pushing for change.

What will bicycling in Baton Rouge look like in 1/5/20 years time? 

Well I'm pretty satisfied with the Dawson's creek path for this year! One little spot by Coyote Blues to smooth out, and we have a real people mover.
5 Years- I hope to see more education for riders and drivers, and for Government St, Eugene St, and Acadian to be slower, smoother, and safer.
20 years when I'm 60, I hope it just looks something like other capital cities as far as biking infrastructure goes. 

What is does your 'ideal' day of bike riding in Baton Rouge look like?

Morning ride to the Farmer's market downtown, lunch on the levee, a pit stop at home, sunset at the Perkins park, Trader Joe's on the way home. Getting groceries on bike is always ideal. 

Anything else you'd like to mention?

I believe our transportation troubles are the biggest reason for amazing people leaving this town. I have been here for over 10 years now, and plan to stay. When I travel to other cities, I realize how far we have to go, and also how easy we have it!! Good weather most of the time, mostly flat terrain, and the parade culture all lend themselves to this being one of my favorite places to ride! I feel that safe easy travel-biking, walking, public transport-makes a strong connected city,where people want to grow roots and bloom! I know that Bike BR is part of that foundation that keeps me here. 

Announcement - Bike Baton Rouge Annual General Meeting and By-Laws vote - October 5th at 7pm

At our annual general meeting on October 5th (location TBD), Bike Baton Rouge members will be voting on adopting a new set of by-laws for the organization. By-laws are the 'constitution' of any non-profit organization such as Bike Baton Rouge, and describe how that organization should be run.

All Bike Baton Rouge members will be eligible to vote on the by-laws - either at the meeting itself or online here. You can sign up for membership here any time or at the meeting itself. 

Read more about the changes to our by-laws and put your vote in here.

Why else should you be a Bike Baton Rouge Member

1) It helps us be your voice. When we talk to elected officials or employees of the city (or state) about bike issues, we use our membership statistics to help our case. If we tell those people that we represent over a hundred paid members of Bike Baton Rouge, they listen a little harder than if we were there alone. Those people make and enforce our laws and buy the infrastructure that we'll be riding on in the years to come.

2) It helps us help others. The money raised from memberships goes directly back to making bicycling in Baton Rouge safer, easier and more enjoyable. Our most notable examples from 2016 include our light donation program, which has seen four hundred sets of LED bike lights donated to people without them (mostly by the BRPD) - and the Bike Baton Rouge Map stickers which we are putting up around our city to help people get around town easier.

3) It helps you help us. We are a 100% volunteer run organization. Our members make us who we are - from our board of directors, to the people who put on our bike rides, and the people who staff our volunteer events like bike parking. 

Thank you for supporting Bike Baton Rouge!

http://bikebr.org/bylaws