Bicycling Advocacy in New Hampshire

Bike-Walk Alliance of NH

"BWANH educates, advocates and agitates for
improved conditions for walking and biking statewide."

Visit the BWA-NH web site for more details

BWA-NH is now on Facebook and Twitter.
See  www.bwanh.org  to get started!

NH Bike Walk Summit

Granite State Wheelmen and the Bike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire hosted the state's first-time Bike-Walk Summit on July 14th at Concord Crossing. This NH Bike-Walk Summit brought together people from across the state and identified some key areas for strengthening statewide efforts. There were 42 participants with representatives from Bike Durham, Bike Manchester, Bike-Walk Alliance of NH, Cheshire Rail Trail, Central NH Bicycling Coalition, Goffstown Rail Trail, Granite State Wheelmen (13 members), Newfound Pathway, NH Rail Trails Coalition, Northern Rail Trail, Pathways for Keene, Salem Bike-Ped Corridor, Merrimack River Greenway Trail, Seacoast Area Bicycle Riders, Lake Winnipesaukee Scenic Trail and Winnipesaukee River Trail.

The NH Bike-Walk Summit featured speakers from Vermont's statewide program, Local Motion and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine who offered insights on their successful evolution and ongoing challenges. Summit group discussions focused on New Hampshire's strengths including great scenery and places to walk and ride, strong bicycle clubs and special events, expanding and connecting trail systems, and success in education and advocacy efforts including laws to better protect cyclists and pedestrians,

Next steps identified by Summit participants include:

improving safety on key roadways at the state and local level through involvement with State and community transportation planning organizations, identifying “hot spots” for investment for commuters, recreational users, and visitors

expand and better connect the statewide rail trail network

education for bicyclists, motorists and local and state officials on Complete Streets policies and other measures to better road design for all users

strengthening relationships with tourism industry to promote bike-walk opportunities for NH residents and visitors

defining how a statewide bike-walk organization can serve as a hub to local clubs and organizations by providing services, communications and coordinating efforts like legislative outreach, statewide priorities, and special events

Notes and photos from the NH Bike-Walk Summit are posted on the Bike Walk Alliance of NH and Granite State Wheelmen websites. For more information about the Summit or how to get involved in any of the activities or issues discussed, contact Donna Hepp. Other GSW members involved in planning the Summit were Dave Topham, Paula Bedard, Leslie Thompson and the late Theresa Gerossee.

GSW Conference Call after Summit

In late July, some GSW Summit participants met on a conference call to discuss the Summit and its implications for statewide bike-ped efforts in New Hampshire and take-home ideas for GSW. The dialog was frank and respectful but indicated concerns about how to ensure sustainable statewide bike-walk organizations in New Hampshire. Here are some of the issues discussed:

Bike-Walk Alliance of NH (BWANH), the statewide bike-ped organization was established in 2006. Currently, BWANH is working hard to reach a stronger financial position to support its bike-ped advocacy and education programs and staff. BWA funding sources include individual, business and corporate-level sponsors, a grant from NH DOT that funds their Safe Routes to School Bike-Walk Safety program, and a grant from the You Have Our Trust Fund. Even with these varied funding sources, BWANH struggles to meet their annual budget requirements. Go to www.bwanh.org/ for more information on BWA accomplishments.

The GSW and BWANH Boards have discussed ways to strengthen statewide bike-ped efforts. This year, one of the first steps was to conduct a survey of NH bicyclists in April which indicated support for a statewide bike-walk program.

A conference call with Local Motion from Vermont offered advice and insights on building a successful statewide program. The NH Bike-Walk Summit in July provided an opportunity to see what the bike-ped community wants to see in the future.

During the GSW call after the Summit, one GSW member expressed concern was expressed about GSW contributing more funds unless BWANH demonstrates ability to obtain additional funding from other sources, provides clearly defined payment for services or specific initiatives. Others pointed out GSW's history and commitment to supporting bicycle education and advocacy as directly benefiting GSW members and inherently in keeping with GSW goals.

Some of the options discussed were:
Contracts with NH DOT with Regional Planning Commissions
Expand individual, business/corporate and Club memberships
New grants opportunities (NH Charitable Foundation grants and public health grants)
Special issue fund-raiser campaigns
Annual Meeting/Campaign
Contribution from GSW to assist with financing part-time BWA assistant

Provide Club affiliates with a range of services for a fee such as:
providing membership list management
cloud-based database storage
accounting/financial reporting
statewide website on bicycling opportunities
assistance with event management
website assistance
statewide updates on bike-ped information/calls to action on legislative issues
coordinate regional legislative updates for state legislators and local advocacy workshops

 Want to help the Bike-Walk Alliance of NH?

Join the Alliance as an individual or a sponsor, help with the bike-ed programs, and get involved with local planning issues affecting bicycling in your area. The more people who know what is going on in our NH bicycling community, the sooner the better, then everyone can express their opinions in a timely manner to help make a positive difference for all bicyclists.

We encourage all interested parties to speak up in favor of improved bike-ped policies, education, and facilities.  Participate!  Visit the Advocacy section of the www.BWANH.org website to learn how to become an effective advocate.  Join your local planning board.  Join the TAC (Transportation Advisory Committee) and represent your town at the regional planning commission.  Together we can make a positive difference! 

Save time, paper, and postage!  You may join BWANH or renew your sponsorship by viewing the “ Join-Us” page on our web site.  All major credit cards are accepted.  Each new BWANH membership comes with a complimentary one year GSW “electronic” membership if not already a GSW member.  In addition to supporting your state’s advocacy organization, you will enjoy discounts at GSW sponsoring shops, knowing about recreational rides, and having supplemental accident insurance when on GSW rides.  

Bike-Walk Alliance of NH
c/o National Safety Council of Northern NE
2 Whitney Road, Suite 11
Concord , NH 03301-1844

From Interstate Route 93:

From Interstate 93 Northbound
From I-93 heading north, take exit 17 (Penacook/Boscawen Exit). At the top of the exit ramp, merge right onto US 4 west. Proceed 1/2 mile and turn left at the Mobil station onto Whitney Road. The entrance to the office is on the right, and designated by a large granite post with a "2". Enter the facility through the main entrance. 

From Interstate 93 Southbound
From I-93 heading south, take exit 17. At the top of the exit ramp, merge right onto US 4 west. Proceed a few hundred yards and turn left at the Mobil station onto Whitney Road. The entrance to the office is on the right, and designated by a large granite post with a "2". Enter the facility through the main entrance.

Note: For those arriving by bicycle, Concord Crossing is 3 miles southeast from the southern terminus of the Northern Rail Trail at the Jamie Welch Memorial Field.

BWANH Focus

The Bike- Walk Alliance of NH is the only statewide advocacy group for bicyclist and pedestrian activities including legislation, safety and education programs.

BWANH Goals

To be the voice for bicyclist and pedestrians in New Hampshire.

To promote bicyclist and pedestrian safety, education, and access.

To ensure streets are bicyclist and pedestrian friendly.

To provide resources and support for bicyclist and pedestrians of all ages.

To act as a clearinghouse for bike/ped literature, resources, and curriculum.

To promote bicycling and walking as a means of transport, physical activity and exercise.

To be a statewide liaison for all bicycling and pedestrian organizations.

Walking and bicycling instead of taking short trips in the car improves air quality, increases rates of physical activity, and may help people to maintain a healthy weight.

Making bicycling and walking safer and easily accessible to more people, may reduce the burden of chronic disease and injury and improve the health of NewHampshire citizens. Please check this advocacy page frequently as new developments and announcements will be posted here even if not in our newsletter. Time and space contraints prevent everything from appearing in print. Use of this web site to convey detailed information in a timely manner for those interested seems like a good idea to us, and we hope you agree. As always, comments are welcome!

For more information, email info@bwanh.org or call (603) 410-5848.

Note: It is prudent to use flashing bicycle tail lights and headlights both day and night.

Granite State Wheelmen