In late 2016, the Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition's Pam Milavec initiated a two-part strategy to ensure that the SR 179 bike lanes between the Red Rock Ranger District office and Back O’Beyond would be cleaned on a regular basis.
First, raise funds to ensure the bike lanes are swept in accordance with VVCC's encroachment permit while conducting grassroots advocacy efforts to ask ADOT to take this task on from the VVCC, an all volunteer non-profit club. Pam enlisted several members to assist her efforts including Rich Leever who would play a direct role in VVCC’s grassroots advocacy efforts. “Everyone I spoke to was supportive of what I initially thought would be a multi-year advocacy effort” Milavec said.
“The support we received from the community in response to our fund raising drive was overwhelming” said Lars Romig, VVCC president. “To date, we were able to raise enough funds to conduct three sweeps this year” added Romig.
“Concurrent with our fund raising efforts, we were introduced to Bob Beane, President of the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists “CAzB” for help with our grassroots advocacy efforts stated Leever. “You would have thought that Bob was a Verde Valley resident the way he responded to our situation and developed the strategy that was ultimately successful,” Leever added.
ADOT decision was made during a June 8th meeting at ADOT Headquarters in Phoenix with John Halikowski, Executive Director of ADOT attended by CAzB’s Bob Beane and VVCC’s Rich Leever. At the meeting, CAzB’’s Beane noted that “bike lanes clearly make good sense from a safety perspective and local demand, and that a local recreational club should not be required to fund ongoing maintenance in order to have bike lanes remain a part of the roadway profile.”
Director Halikowski agreed and directed that ADOT take this responsibility over by the end of 2017.
“CAzB’s mission is to assist local/regional bicycle advocacy around the state and is an example of the kind of value we can provide” stated Beane. We are so grateful to CAzB’s Bob Beane and Director Hilikowski for removing this burden from the VVCC” Leever stated.
ABOUT THE VVCC. The Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition works to improve the bicycling environment and quality of life in the Verde Valley. As an IRS recognized 501(c)(3), all donations to the VVCC are fully tax deductible.
ABOUT THE CAzB. The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists promote efforts that improve bicycling usage and safety within the state of Arizona. As an IRS recognized 501(c)(3), all donations to the CAzB are fully tax deductible.