On Friday, October 6, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin hosted a special all-day event called Moving Communities Forward on Active Transportation. It was the first time since the Covid pandemic began that members of the Active Wisconsin* network had an opportunity to meet face-to-face.
We met in downtown Appleton at the Warch Campus Center on the beautiful Lawrence University campus. There were more than two dozen attendees from the Fox Valley as well as other areas of the state, including La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, and Stevens Point. The event was an opportunity to connect Active Wisconsin members with each other in an in-person setting, inspire attendees with stories of success, and boost advocacy efforts at local and state levels on various active transportation issues.
It was an inspiring day. In a panel discussion moderated by Michelle Bachaus of the Wisconsin Bike Fed, Wisconsin Assembly Representatives Kristina Shelton (Green Bay) and Lee Snodgrass (Appleton & Menasha) shared their perspectives on connecting with elected leaders and organizing at the grassroots level to advocate for safe roads and active transportation.
Images 1) Michelle introduces the representatives; 2) Lee Snodgrass speaks to the crowd; 3) Kristina Shelton speaks to the crowd.
Darrin Wasniewski of AARP Wisconsin talked about AARP’s work to support walkability in livable communities. Sarah Schneider shared powerful stories about connecting people with everyday destinations in her work as Mobility Manager for Valley Transit.
Images: 1) Sarah Schneider speaks to the crowd; 2) Darrin Wasniewski speaks to the crowd.
Susan Gaeddert (Community Programs Director for 1000 Friends of Wisconsin), James Longhurst (Professor of History at UW La Crosse and board member of 1000 Friends), and Trevor Roark (Owner of Curbwise, LLC and Transport Equity Advocate in Stevens Point) offered a new perspective on public engagement in transportation planning through the new Community Transportation Academy program from 1000 Friends.
We concluded with a walking tour of College Avenue in downtown Appleton, led by Lawrence University professor Jason Brozek. College Avenue recently underwent a “road diet” this year, which converted the road from four lanes (two going each way, plus parking) to three (1 going each way with a middle turn lane plus bike lane and parking).
All 3 images show Jason Brozek, Michelle Bachaus, and others walking in downtown Appleton on a sunny day.
Moving Communities Forward on Active Transportation was funded in whole by the Medical College of Wisconsin endowment for Advancing Healthier Wisconsin.
*Active Wisconsin is a statewide network of community leaders and advocates who are dedicated to walking, biking, and transit in their cities and towns. We share resources, offer technical assistance, and advocate for policies that support active transportation. Anyone can join the network by signing up for our email list! You’ll get monthly e-news with community highlights and updates from around the state, funding opportunities, and invitations to special events. Sign up here: https://www.activewisconsin.org/mailing-list.