March 2015 Common Council – Connecting past PPSP remarks to recent events

My name is Bob Fisch, and I am the Chief Bike Fun Officer of Poky Pedaling Stevens Point.

I have spoken to you regularly about bicycling over the past two years. My intent is to make our Common Council better informed about transportation bicycling so that you may make better decisions for our city.

At this time of electoral transition for our Common Council, it seems appropriate to reflect on some of my past remarks and discuss their current relevance.

In August of 2013, I spoke about bicycling and job creation. Better bicycling encourages creative young adults to raise their families in Stevens Point, thereby attracting businesses needing these quality employees. Recently, the Arts Alliance announced plans for a downtown Center for Entrepreneurship and Creativity, and you voted support for their efforts. The creative people that better bicycling attracts are the same creative people the Arts Alliance wants to nurture. Making bicycling better in Stevens Point will help the Arts Alliance succeed.
My August 2013 comments to Common Council:
Discussion about the Center for Entrepreneurship and Creativity and the recommendation to approve funding for it during the January 2015 Stevens Point Finance Committee meeting (agenda item 3) – Common Council approved this funding one week later: )

In August of 2014, I spoke about the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, and I encouraged you to adopt the portions specific to Stevens Point. As part of our city’s Comprehensive Plan outreach over the past several months, our planners have collected numerous citizen comments. A desire for better bicycling was repeatedly mentioned in districts all over the city. Adopting and implementing this bike/ped plan will make bicycling better, thus delivering what your constituents are demanding.
My August 2014 comments to Common Council:
Summary of comments from Comprehensive Plan neighborhood meetings: )

To give context to my final topic, US Cabinet Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recently issued the Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets. This initiative is a call for all city mayors to take significant action over the next 12 months to improve safety for people bicycling and walking of all ages and abilities. I encourage Stevens Point to participate in this Mayors’ Challenge.
(Source: )

As additional motivation, Wisconsin Rapids is listed among the Mayors’ Challenge cities.
from a link off the following page: )

I applaud Rapids for their efforts. Yet news of their participation should heighten urgency here to aggressively improve bicycling. Stevens Point enjoys economic advantages due to being the best city to live in central Wisconsin. Rapids certainly aspires to that title. We cannot afford to ignore quality-of-life issues such as becoming more bicycle-friendly. Otherwise, Rapids could develop into a more attractive business incubator than Stevens Point over the next few decades.

For this reason, Common Council cannot rest on the laurels of our bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community award that I spoke about in November of 2013. We need to actively work towards a silver or gold designation to help ensure a robust economic future for Stevens Point.
(Source: my November 2013 comments to Common Council: )

A transcript of these and my past comments to Common Council can be found on my website,, under the Speak Your Poky menu bar item.

Thank you for listening.