In 2009 Bike Newton undertook the long and complex process of applying to have Newton recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community. Several subcommittees of Bike Newton’s Steering Committee each wrote portions of the application, which the City of Newton then officially signed and sent to the League of American Bicyclists in late 2009. The League replied with extensive helpful feedback in 2010, and then again in 2012.
Though the initial application was turned down, the feedback created the base for improved planning. Bike Newton coordinated a community-wide meeting in March 2010 with city planners, policemen, Aldermen, and citizens to discuss the feedback and pinpoint areas for action. The knowledge and feedback generated by that meeting and some research into best practices fed directly into Mayor Warren’s creation of the Transportation Advisory Committee, a committee with a one-year charge to make wide-ranging policy recommendations for transportation in Newton. One recommendation was to create a permanent Transportation Advisory Group (T.A.G.) to enact the temporary committee’s recommendations.
All these different groups and committees begin to sound complicated, but basically, the goal is always to make biking safe and convenient for everyone in Newton. That’s what setting an objective of achieving Bicycle Friendly Community status will do: push Newton to make its streets safer. To make sure all of these efforts are working together, the T.A.G. has built feedback from the League of American Bicyclists into the Newton Bicycle Network Plan.
Sometimes the process is a little complicated, but we’re getting there!