The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s Regional Organizer, Patrick Monahan and Events & Community Engagement Manager, Sonja Bontrager traveled to New York City last week to attend the Vision Zero Cities Conference at New York University—and learned more about how to organize successful local campaigns, among other things.

The conference, organized by Transportation Alternatives in New York City, is a multi-day conference focused on bringing together leading industry and policy experts, advocates and elected officials from across the nation to explore the challenges and opportunities facing us as we work to improve our built environments with zero traffic deaths. We heard from the city’s Chief Public Realm Officer Ya-Ting Liu, Director of Organizing with Transportation Alternatives Juan Restrepo, and author of Inclusive Transportation Veronica Davis, among many others.

Shortly after arriving in NYC, BCGP joined the Your City, Your Voice session that covered an activist training guide developed by Transportation Alternatives’ team of community organizers. We gathered insight from the lessons learned in their years of hyper-local, grassroots political activism and the tools and tactics that contributed to winning campaigns to change New York’s speed limit and introduce innovations like protected bike lanes, bike share, and speed cameras to city streets.

Other noteworthy discussions included a conversation with one of the leaders of Los Deliveristas Unidos about e-bikes, access, and regulation, and hearing from active transportation leaders from Kansas City, Texas, and Salt Lake City about strategies that have allowed for winning campaigns in other regions of the country. A discussion with Professor Sarah Seo, author of Policing the Open Road, Rigel Robinson, and Streets Are For Everyone founder Damian Kevitt yielded some great insights into practical and equitable implementation of automated speed enforcement, as learned from their experiences with California’s AB645.

Here in the Greater Philadelphia area, the Bicycle Coalition plans to implement these tools to engage with our communities by organizing campaigns to fight for more high quality bike facilities, accelerate the development of the Circuit Trails and improve safety conditions for all vulnerable road users.

We believe bicycling should be a safe and fun way to get around for anyone in Greater Philadelphia. Bike riders and active transportation enthusiasts of all stripes are part of our movement to promote healthy and sustainable ways of getting around. We’re a member-funded organization, and we can’t advocate for building out the region’s bicycle network without your support. Join or donate today to partner with us and make your ride better.

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