Advocacy Across Borders at the Georgia-lina Summit
By Jake Knight on November 02, 2012
This past month, advocates from both sides of the Savannah River came together at Augusta State University in Augusta, GA, for the Georgia-lina Bike Summit.
Representatives from state and local government, from universities, planning and engineering professionals, and leaders of the bicycle community – advocates, club members and the business community – came together to network, learn from each other and share their excitement about the possibilities for improving biking in their communities and states.
Brent Buice, Executive Director of Georgia Bikes!, was enthusiastic about the crowd that the summit brought together. “I was very pleased to see how diverse the group was,” said Brent. “People from different backgrounds and locations, men and women, and folks of all ages came to share their excitement for biking and how to make improvements in both states.”
Discussions at this summit focused on eliminating the gender gap in bicycling, engaging sport and competitive cyclists in advocacy and showcasing the victories in communities in both states. The summit also included a session on moving from tragedy to proactive advocacy led by Peter Wilborn of BikeLaw.com and a keynote speech from the Alliance’s own Jeff Miller.
“Summits like this inspire people to action,” said Amy Johnson, Executive Director of Palmetto Cycling Coalition. “They feel connected and get new ideas and energy.”
“One advocate from Greenville saw Brent’s presentation on their Complete Streets policy – and now he wants to bring that idea back to his own community,” said Amy. “As a result of this summit, we’re building a volunteer base to push Complete Streets across the state.”
This first summit connecting advocates across state lines holds promise for future gatherings.
“There are so many border cities where the work we do impacts people across state lines,” said Brent. “We’re definitely exploring ways we can collaborate with other states for future summits.”
For more information on the Georgia-lina Bike Summit, check out GeorgiaBikeSummit.org.
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