– The 2012 Wisconsin Bicycle Summit, February 21 in Madison, WI., will bring together business, community, and political leaders to focus on increasing bicycling awareness and opportunities for all Wisconsin residents.
The Wisconsin Bicycle Summit, along with its breakfast and lunch networking sessions, is the largest annual bicycle advocacy event in Wisconsin. More than 500 bike enthusiasts from around Wisconsin are expected to participate. The event is organized by the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin and will take place at the Inn on the Park Best Western located at 22 S. Carroll Street in downtown Madison.
Opening Remarks, Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb – Secretary Gottlieb will kick-off this year’s Summit. He’ll share WISDOT’s vision for bicycling in Wisconsin and how bicycling fits into WISDOT’s overall transportation network.
Closing Session, Steve Clark, Twin Cities’ Transit for Livable Communities – From bike sharing to bicycle boulevards to cycle tracks, our neighbor to the northwest is quickly building the bicycle into its everyday culture. Steve will tell the inspiring story of how, in just a few short years, Minneapolis has grown to become one of the best bicycling cities in the US.
Morning networking sessions: This year we are hosting 4 different pre-Summit breakfast sessions to give attendees an opportunity to network and share ideas in this small group, less formal setting. These 4 sessions will consist of, mountain biking vision discussion, new Pedal Ped Network introduction, bike tourism operators social, and a Trek Dealers session.
Special Bicycle Facilities Session Track: Bike Fed has recruited the Midwest’s top bicycle infrastructure design experts to lead a series of three sessions focused on sharing best practices in bicycle facility design from basic infrastructure to some of the world’s most innovative bike facilities. This is a great session track for planners, engineers, county highway commissioners, and others interested in various levels of bicycle facility design.
Summit participants will meet with their state legislators to ask them to take two important actions to help move bicycling forward in Wisconsin. These actions are:
1. Support the passage of a Vulnerable User Law
Motorists who injure or even kill vulnerable roadway users are often charged with minor offenses or with minor penalties, if there is any penalty at all. In most cases, unless a motorist is drunk or flees the scene, civil or criminal penalties are rare. A Vulnerable User Law in Wisconsin would provide law enforcement and prosecutors with an enhanced set of penalties that fall between a basic traffic infraction and a serious crime.
The Bill is supported by members of both parties in the Legislature and is strongly supported
by the Bike Fed. The bill offers prosecutors and judges the option to impose significant
penalties on drivers who through carelessness or recklessness have injured or killed bicyclists,
pedestrians or other vulnerable roadway users.
2. Support dedicated and consistent funding in the state budget for bicycling
Bicycling is a critical piece of a well-developed transportation network and provides users
with an affordable, simple and convenient transportation option for short trips. Currently,
Wisconsin lacks a dedicated and consistent funding source for bicycle infrastructure. In a time of constrained budgets, bicycling infrastructure provides a tremendous bang for the buck: bicycle lanes and paths can be built for a fraction of the cost of roadways. At the same time, bicycle infrastructure projects create more jobs per million dollars spent than roadway projects do. As the 2013 – 2015 biennial budget is developed, please keep in mind that support for bicycle facility funding is an investment in job creation and economic growth, while providing citizens with an affordable transportation option.
Bicycle Summit registration for February 21 is $35 for the full day, $25 for the evening session (also including the evening reception) and an additional $10 for those who wish to register for the Networking Breakfast sessions. Registration opens at 8am. For a complete schedule of events and information, go to http://bfw.org/events/wisconsin-bike-summit/