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The Queen Mary Hotel, a 1936 ocean liner in Long Beach, CA, was the destination for a couple of BikeTexas staff and the over 100 others who attended the Alliance for Biking & Walking’s 2012 Leadership Retreat.
Since 1996, The Alliance has held a retreat for bicycle and pedestrian advocacy leaders every other year. The goal of the weekend is to “inspire and connect Alliance leaders with:
- The sharing of best practices and techniques;
- Discussion of cutting-edge campaigns;
- Tools to increase leadership and improve organization efficiency;
- Ways to conquer internal and external challenges; and
- Opportunities to increase and diversify the pedestrian and bicycling movement.”
Attendees were able to choose from many informative sessions, such as “Innovative Education: Engaging All People to Improve Bicycling and Walking.” In this session, Edward France from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition asked the audience of bicycle advocates to role play as taxi cab drivers as he presented a power point that he shares with the San Francisco drivers. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition works with the taxi companies and local bus drivers to educate them on how to safely share the road with bicyclists and pedestrians. Additionally, their diverse citizen outreach program includes brochures in multiple languages. Knowing that many of their population do not own computers, they distribute brochures throughout the various neighborhoods to educate people on bicycling and walking.
Bicycling and walking leaders left the retreat ready to put their new knowledge to work in their communities.