It has been eight years since assuming my post with CABA and a great ride it has been. But the time has come to pass responsibilities onto others. It is my intention to vacate my post by the end of June. After that I hope to continue a commitment to a sustainable future through a variety of bicycle-related advocacy pursuits, some with higher profiles than others. It has been eight, great years, easily the most fun I have ever experienced, but all good things must come to an end.
To friends, colleagues, supporters and allies a heartfelt thank you for your support and encouragement along the way. Among other successes, CABA’s membership has grown five fold, and financial support has kept pace with this growth from a variety of sources – – government, foundation, corporate, family and individual. But equally important, CABA’s reach in the community has expanded to new levels, perhaps most significantly, the granting of the 2012 first place award by Sustain Charlotte in the transportation category earlier in April – – a gala celebration held at the new UNCC Uptown building.
Specific names and organizations to thank are too numerous to list. They include current Mayor Anthony Foxx, former Mayor Pat McCrory and former Chairperson of the CountyCommissioners, Jennifer Roberts, whose support for bicycling as an essential component of transportation policy has been unflinching. Thanks to Michael Smith, Debra Myers, Allison Billings and others with Charlotte Center City Partners, who, in concert with Planning Department Director, Debra Campbell and her capable staff are committed to a “City of Bikes” priority for the 2020 Center City Vision Plan. Thanks to those members of City Council who voted in favor of the trend-setting 2007 Urban Street Design Guidelines and the 2008 city-wide bicycle plan, and who have consistently approved CIP funding for bike budgets. Thanks to Jim Garges, Gwen Cook and colleagues at theCountyParkand Recreation Department, who, on concert with Ann Browning and others, are putting more and more bicycles on greenways and the ever-expanding Carolina Thread Trail. Thanks to the many grassroots partnering organizations with whom I have had personal contact, ranging from the Sierra Club, to Clean Air Carolina to Green Drinks; to neighborhood groups and their representatives, especially those within eco-districts; to Chancellor Phil DuBois and staff at UNCC who are committed to a mission of sustainability that reaches far beyond the enviable campus setting.
A word of appreciation to the many folks in the bicycling community itself – – ranging from bike shop owners and employees to the myriad members of cycling clubs and groups – – Dirt Divas, Trailblazers, MoJos, Jeff Viscount’s Weekly Rides, Attorney Ann Groninger of “mybikelaw”, Harry Johnson and Paula Fricke of Trips for Kids, and many, many others. And perhaps most of all, the individuals who put in countless hours of time simply because they have a passion and commitment to a cause. People like Pamela Murray, a CABA “member of the month” and Plaza Midwood activist; Rich Haag, Shane Hockensmith, and Ray Atkinson for their invaluable assistance in University City; Jane Cacchione and members of the Bicycle Advisory Committee; CABA members Josh and Jamie Rimany, proprietors of Dilworth Drug, which offers discounts to customers who ride bikes to their establishment; Haley Beaupre for taking a lead on bike share.
To numerous corporate entities – – Harris Teeter, Bank of America, Food Lion, the Crosland company and others who have approved the installation of 87 bike racks on their properties throughout the city of Charlotte.
And last but not least, a very, very special thank you to Dan Faris, CABA Board chairperson and Kelly Picarsic, membership coordinator, for going the extra mile at a 24/7 pace !
You all have my continued respect and trust.
Here’s to better days for CABA and its evolving mission; but most importantly, the community it serves !