After serving on the staff of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia for the past 13 years, I just made the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my professional life: In November, I will be leaving and taking a new job as the Executive Director of the League of American Bicyclists.
Since I began at the Bicycle Coalition 13 years ago, I’ve seen our organization go from just two staff members to 20-people strong. I’ve worked as an advocate as Philadelphia became the most-biked big city in the United States, and helped lead the way to 300 miles of Circuit trails in the nine-county Greater Philadelphia Region. Spruce and Pine Streets in Center City became a main thoroughfare for bicyclists after buffered bike lanes were installed in 2009, the Schuylkill Boardwalk became the most-photographed landmark in the region (other than, you know, the Rocky Statue), and at the end of this month, we’ll celebrate the opening of the Manayunk Bridge as a bike-ped route over the Schuylkill River.
I’ve raised two children in West Philadelphia during my time here, and have watched as we’ve become a biking family, all of us using our bicycles to get to and from school, work, and our local pool. I’ve developed a talented staff of individuals to make bicycling a more inclusive form of transportation around the region. And as part of accepting my new position, I’m pleased that the League has agreed to let me continue to live in Philadelphia, the city that I love.
Together over the past few years, we’ve been able to create the Better Bike Share Partnership, which helped bring bike share stations to regions of Philadelphia outside Center City, and take on Cadence Youth Cycling, to work directly with Philadelphia youth in West and North Philadelphia, fostering healthy habits, leadership, and independence.
It’s because of our talented staff that I foresee a smooth transition. Deputy Director Sarah Clark Stuart will become acting Executive Director. Sarah has been with the Coalition since 2006 and has taken part in, and led, so many of our accomplishments since that time:
- The $23 million TIGER trail-building grant;
- Naming and building out the Circuit;
- Lobbying successfully for legislation mandating the inclusion of bike parking in new construction projects;
- Philadelphia’s Complete Streets policy; and
- Coordinating research and analysis of our reports on bicycling in Philadelphia.
Today, there are so many great bicycle projects we have been a part of, and there are many more to look forward to. But the fact of the matter is, none of them would be possible without your membership and active participation.
From joining us on our Summer Circuit Rides, to volunteering at Bike To Work Day, to standing alongside us at town board and City Council meetings, it’s bicyclists and advocates that truly make Greater Philadelphia a top-notch bicycling region.
So please, keep up the good work!
To honor my 13 years of service, the Bicycle Coalition has started a Legacy Fund to raise critical dollars needed to embrace new leadership and continue making bicycling a safe and fun way to get around for anyone in Greater Philadelphia. Jim and Gail Spann, members of the League of American Bicyclists’ board of directors, have generously offered to match each dollar given to the Legacy Fund up to $10,000. Please consider making a contribution to the fund by clicking the donate button below.
See you on the Circuit!