Here’s How to Make Your Community Better for Biking and Walking

Former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill was famous for saying that all politics is local. The same can be said of meaningful change, particularly when it comes to making Maine better for biking and walking.

That’s why we created our Community Spokes program.

Community Spokes members get some real-world insight on how to make their communities better for biking and walking at a recent Bicycle Coalition of Maine-led Community Spokes training session.

The Community Spokes Program is the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s effort to create a statewide network of bicycle and pedestrian advocates at the local level. We empower community members to become champions of better biking and walking – in the communities where they live and work – through advocacy training, education, and on-going technical support.

The fact is, better biking and walking can bring economic, transportation, health and environmental benefits to individuals, communities, and the state as a whole.

People who sign on to the Community Spokes program lead the way in bringing those benefits to their communities, learning how to navigate the local bureaucracy to provide a voice for pedestrian and bicycle interests, and working with their neighbors and local policy makers to promote bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, policies, and programs.

But it’s not like they’re on their own. We provide ongoing assistance to Spokes – including an all-day training seminar, regional advocacy events and webinars throughout the year – as well as communications strategy and materials, an online Advocacy Toolkit, and other helpful resources.

The program has proven to be extraordinarily effective. Across the state, Community Spokes have notched wins that have directly translated into better biking and walking. As a result, the Community Spokes Program has received national recognition as an innovative and effective way to create change through local advocacy.

If you’d like to make a real difference for the better in your town by becoming a Community Spoke, our next training session is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2, at the Skowhegan Community Center in Skowhegan. You can sign up here.

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