Wrap up

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I have stepped away from the Kelowna and Area Cycling Coalition (KACC) and since this was to some extent a KACC blog, I will be turning it over to Grant. A few thoughts on the state of cycling advocacy in Kelowna.

Our town desperately needs an active cycling group, independent of the City and democratic in nature. Currently there are about a dozen KACC members who attend some KACC meetings (most meetings see about 6 or 8 people in attendance).

The KACC is not a registered non profit group but is a member of the BC Cycling Coalition (I believe). It has not held an election of officers for at least two years. Such a structure is very limiting as the group has no legal status to enable it to apply for grants or to ensure that it has liability insurance in case of problems at events.

The KACC was started by the City. I think it is time that a group be formed that is independent of the City but prepared to work closely with all levels of government towards the improvement of cycling conditions in our area. There is no reason that such a group could not sponsor a few recreational cycling events over the year – it takes active members however and right now there are so few people involved that little gets done. It is unreasonable to expect a handful of people to continually step up to the plate to work at cycling events, write reports, attend meetings, lobby government and plan events.

A new group should have close ties with other local cycling groups such as the newly formed mountain bike group, COBRA, the cruisers, the bmx group and the triathlon and racing groups. Ideally, the coalition would have a democratically elected executive and this would include a director from each of the other cycling groups.

Regarding the UBCO access issue, students and faculty must become active if they are to get the cycling facilities required towards making the campus “sustainable”. They should not depend on outsiders to do the work for them. Students can have a lot of political power if they work for it – so far that has not happened. The UBCO cycling coalition has been inactive for the last year, while a very small number of us were working hard to get one safe access route onto the campus. Their assistance would have been invaluable.

On the positive side I have seen some very dedicated people at the City who are “bicycle friendly”. As these people work their way up the ladder into management positions I believe that we will see some real changes. I have also heard that the Province has made a big turn around in their attitude towards transit in particular and to a lesser extent, cycling.

Thanks for reading the blog over the last year,

Ride Safe,

John.

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