How to Host a Bike/Ped Forum

Timeline

Give yourself at least a month to plan the forum; two months is preferable and allows more time to gather community input, collect surveys, gather partners, and disseminate publicity materials.

Collect public input ahead of time

Creating and collecting a Bike/Ped Safety Survey ahead of time will:

  • Broaden the reach of your group and your forum
  • Collect useful data to display at the event
  • Help prioritize the goals for your committee
  • Help demonstrate public support and pressure for improvements
  • See HERE for a sample survey

Be Clear about the Purpose of your Forum

  • Create awareness of Bike/Ped Committee and our goals
  • Identify bike/ped problems and opportunities
  • Prioritize needs
  • Enlist volunteers for the committee, and for and other future activities

Create and introduce your agenda

  • Introductions: hosts/ committee and attendees (keep brief: name, neighborhood, why interested, any particular professional or personal investments)
  • Have someone from the committee– chair, town planner, etc.– give an overview of the committee, who they are and what they do, and any pertinent goings-on in town (i.e. if there is currently work happening on a stretch of sidewalk, a grant application going in, active SRTS programs, etc.)
  • Consider allowing participants 5 – 10 minutes at the beginning to brainstorm/ jot down their own ideas of what needs to be addressed, what’s working and what’s not, challenges, etc. before bringing everyone into small groups or one big group to talk.
  • Look at challenges/ opportunities on maps, record on poster paper, or can have people report out to the larger group while one committee member records in minutes
  • Be clear with attendees about your committee’s next steps– what will you do with this information?  How can people stay informed and/or get involved?  Who can people direct questions to after the forum?

Participants

  • Community members: business owners, parents, cyclists, members of aging adult community, young people, persons with disabilities, lower-income families, etc.
  • Bicycle Coalition of Maine staff
  • BCM Community Spokes
  • City/town planner and/or city/town manager
  • Other town staff
  • At least one city/town council member
  • Local Healthy Maine Partnership or other health promotion program staff
  • Representative from your local Municipal Planning Organization or Regional Transportation Organization (i.e., PACTS, KACTS, BACTS, ATRC, etc)
  • At least one school person– staff, PTO/PTA, or school board

Publicity and Marketing

Printed flyers and/or postcards distributed through:

  • Schools (will often send home with kids if you provide the printed flyers)
  • Community organizations
  • Post at community locations (i.e. coffee shops, grocery stores, etc.) around town

Electronic:

  • Ask that local HMPs, cycling clubs, Meet-up groups, and other community organizations include an announcement in their newsletter and/or e-blasts
  • Create a Facebook event and invite community members

Other media:

  • Announcements on municipal website
  • Include on community calendar in local papers
  • Include on town/ community marquees, signs, bulletins, etc.

Materials

  • Large, detailed maps of entire municipality
  • Flip charts for recording notes/ input in front of entire forum
  • Easels and/or tape for flip charts/ paper
  • Markers
  • Sticky notes and sticky dots for marking up maps
  • Printed bike/ped safety survey with self-addressed stamped envelopes for returning to committee
  • Name tags and email signup list
  • PA/ microphone if you expect a very large crowd
  • Beverages and snacks