Last night, the Ride of Silence visited the scene of where Max was hit. You can still see the marks on the ground where he and his bike were dragged under the car for 50 feet. You can still see the chips/chunks out of the curb where the car came to a stop on top of Max. You can still see the pain this crash has created.
BUT YOU CAN ALSO SEE HOPE, BECAUSE MAX WAS THERE!!! Hamming it up for the crowd in his cowboy hat and boots. Bouncing around the scene like a pinball, because that's what 6 year olds are supposed to do. And when it was time to go, he yelled, "saddle up!" So we did.
Next stop was the Lookout room at Boise State University, for the public safety meeting. We only had about 20 people in the room, but they were good people, passionate people, and people who wanted change. Next meeting we want 200 of the same kind of folks!
We talked about the successes since the last public safety meeting in October, because there have been many (like mandatory bike/ped questions on the statewide drivers ed exam, and Lisa Brady's quest to educated drivers ed instructors on how to effectively teach those questions).
We talked about things we had learned from other communities experiencing the same tragedies, and using them to create real positive change.
And then we talked about how another person on a bicycle was killed in Twin Falls County yesterday, after a hit and run. So YES, there is still work to be done. A lot of work. Work that we need your help with.
Leading into the meeting, we took your concerns and ideas for safer streets and whittled them down to about to about 15. We discussed each of them during the meeting, we narrowed them down a bit further, and now we've got in condensed down to 10.
Our goal is to take your input and find the 3 items that are the community's top priority. Then we will form a Grassroots Community Taskforce around each one. If you want safe streets for you and your family, if you want safe streets for Max, if you want safe streets for the 700 kids BBP donates bikes to each year, then we need you to participate on one of these Community Taskforces.
Here Are the Top 10 Community Generated Ideas.
(Choose you top the 3 at the link below. And share the link with everyone you know)
1. Speed limit enforcement / Speed Cameras in school zones.
After a string of crashes resulting in fatalities and serious injuries to kids in school zones, Seattle and New York City, have implemented speed cameras that automatically issue $50 tickets to drivers going +5mph over the speed limit in school zones. Funding from these tickets go to creating Safe Routes to School infrastructure. These cameras have significantly reduced speeding and crashes, and have eliminated car related fatalities in school zones.
2. Ongoing Drivers Education / Renewal Tests
To renew your license, you need to take an eye test and pay some fees. What if you had to take an exam that tested you on new laws and new types of infrastructure? Maybe you could take it online. Maybe you only have to take it if you’ve been issued a ticket since your last renewal. Seems like there should be some ongoing education to keep driving on our evolving roadways.
3. Bike Counting / Data Collection / Crash Reporting
If you don’t count, it doesn’t count. By recording routes, and riding numbers, we can make a better case for requesting/demanding safe infrastructure and connected bike routes. Let’s combine grassroots involvement with growing data collection/evaluation technology to get support from our city/county/state.
4. Vulnerable User Laws and Distracting Driving Enforcement
Some people choose to walk and bike for daily transportation, for others it’s the only option. When you protect our most vulnerable users, you’re protecting everyone, so let’s work on some vulnerable user laws that really help create safe streets for our families. Check out Washington's example here.
5. Mandatory Bicycle Education in Schools
It takes systematic education to create real widespread change. So what if bicycle safety education was a mandatory part of school curriculum. Maybe we sub out pickleball and make some room for teaching every single Idaho student how to bike to school safely before they get their driver’s license. 100,000s could be reached.
6. Vision Zero
Vision zero is transportation initiative/movement to effectively eliminate traffic related fatalities in communities. It revolves around these principles: Ethics: Human life and health are paramount and take priority over mobility and other objectives of the road traffic system. Responsibility: providers and regulators of the road traffic system share responsibility with users. Safety: road traffic systems should take account of human fallibility and minimize both the opportunities for errors and the harm done when they occur. Mechanisms for change: providers and regulators must do their utmost to guarantee the safety of all citizens; they must cooperate with road users; and all three must be ready to change to achieve safety.
Should Boise pursue Vision Zero? San Francisco is http://visionzerosf.org/
7. Buy-in, PR, and Public Outreach from the City / County / State / Neighborhood Associations /Businesses
The community needs support, education, and dedication from our leaders to create change. How can we help these leaders and decision makers create effective messaging, communication, and outreach to inform the public. And then, how can we hold them to it.
8. A Paid Boise Bicycle/Ped Advocacy Position
Boise does not have a bicycle organization with a paid bicycle advocacy position. And for a city of our size with such a huge and growing bicycle community, that’s crazy. If we (Boise’s bicycle community) had that position, we could get more done, be more organized doing it, and get more people involved in the process.
9. Protected Bike Lanes and Intersections / other Bike Ped infrastructure
We need better infrastructure that makes it possible, comfortable, and enjoyable for riders of all experience levels to get to where they need to go. We are now the only large city in the Northwest without protected bike lanes on our streets, and are falling further and further behind the curve for bicycle friendly infrastructure.
10. A United Bike Community. Big Bicycle Stakeholder Meeting / Ongoing Meetings.
Is it time for all of the bicycle organizations to get together and work together to create a united voice? Nonprofit bicycle organizations, bike shops, riding clubs, transportation planners, bicycle police officers city officials… maybe even motorcycle clubs…heck let’s get AAA. What about putting together a big meeting, and forming group with a collective voice for greater impact? Maybe this group meets 2, 4, or 6 times a year.
It will make a difference. And it will save lives. Look at the list above now, see if something/s strikes a chord with you, and narrow it down to the top 3. NOW SHARE!