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How to Overcome Political Hurdles that Block Bike Lanes

4:03 PM PDT on July 26, 2022

Telegraph Avenue, Oakland. Image: Roger Rudick/Streetsblog

Next week - on Thursday, August 4 at 5:30 p.m. - advocate Carter Lavin will offer a ninety-minute webinar on how to run a campaign to get safer bicycle infrastructure built in local communities.

Lavin has over a decade of experience planning, launching, winning (and losing) issue-based campaigns, as well as training people to become more successfully politically engaged. "A huge part of my work is explaining how political power works," he says.

"Bike lanes are easy and affordable to build, and make getting around your community safer, more accessible, greener, cheaper, and fun," says Lavin. "We have the space, we have money, and we have the technology" to build bike lanes, but "the main limiting factor is politics."

But political power and political will, according to Lavin, is a resource that can be built. "It's learnable, and it's teachable."

"If the government wants something to happen, they can get it done. Nothing is stopping any city from building better bike lanes, but bike safety is just not a top priority. We're not going to get safe infrastructure on the timeline we need without Team Bike stepping up," he says.

The webinar will go over how to understand the political process and how to build political power. "It's about strategizing a campaign, about how to build a coalition, and about why coalitions work," he says.

"I want to help people who have a lot of passion to learn how to apply it."

The webinar is for everyone from new bike riders to long-time advocates; anyone who has ever thought: There oughta be a bike lane here! "Even for veteran advocates, it's good to go over basics and get motivated," says Lavin.

Register at this link for the August 4 webinar.

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