Advocating for Better Roads

Advocating for Better Roads

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

The conditions of our roads, and whether they are safe for cyclists and drivers, are everyone’s concern. We all have a role to play in ensuring that our roads are in decent condition for us to get out there with our cycles for recreation and/or active transportation.

Making change happen means putting together a small campaign for your cause. Being strategic and staying organized will help in getting your message across to the right people. Below are some guidelines to get you started.

(If you are visiting from away, we would appreciate any help you can provide about your time on the roads in Nova Scotia. Contact Cycling Nova Scotia to let us know about your experiences, good or bad, so we can continue to strive for safer and better roads.)

Keep in Mind

  • Join Cycling Nova Scotia and any other local advocacy groups; the more members in an organization, the more influence they have.
  • Be persistent and be vocal.
  • Be sure to keep records of your conversations; save emails and all correspondence.
  • Get as many people as possible to support your cause; have it in writing if possible.

General Process

  1. Identify what the issue is. Be specific about the location, condition, what should be changed, and why. Have a clear, manageable goal in mind that can be achieved
  2. Contact Transportation and Active Transit (DTAT) District Area Manager. Share your concerns; see if there are any plans to fix the problem area. Ask about how to go about getting it fixed.
  3. Contact Cycling Nova Scotia. Ask for a letter of support and for strategy about how to proceed.
  4. Garner support: Many voices are heard more loudly than one. Talk with other stake holders and get their support. This both raises awareness about the issue and also makes your argument stronger.
  5. Reach out to your MLA: Write a succinct and well-written letter asking for your MLA to look into your concerns. (See “Guidelines for writing your MLA”.)
  6. Continue Outreach: Contact local counsellors, the Minister, and the Deputy Minister. Share a consistent message and ask for a meeting and follow up.

Who to contact for potential support:

  • Cycling Nova Scotia
  • District Area Manager for TIR
  • Active Living Coordinator
  • Municipal Recreation or Active Transportation staff
  • Local bike shops
  • Local bike businesses
  • Local bike clubs
  • School groups
  • Local bike advocacy groups

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