La Crosse works to add more Lights to Bikes

With the days getting shorter, it is obvious that there are far too many bicyclists riding in La Crosse without lights.  Local advocates have gotten together to create an event which combines a bike safety ride and distribution of free lights to anyone in need.

We met at the Eagle Rec Center on the UW-L campus on October 29th at 4:30 pm.  A good  crowd of students, community members, and volunteers gathered.

I provided  a safety talk and then we rode downtown in an orderly fashion.  The final destination was the Root NoteCoffee House where the owners generously offered one dollar off any food or beverage item to participants.

As the bicyclists parked, we distributed sets of bike lists provided by the Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition.

Screwdrivers were available and many volunteers worked to help bicyclists attach their new illum

ination.  We hope to create another successful event next year as Daylight Saving Time ends.






About Carolyn Dvorak, La Crosse Ambassador

Carolyn lives in La Crosse with her husband and two daughters. She has loved riding a bicycle throughout her life. She enjoys working in the La Crosse area helping to create great places to bicycle.

3 thoughts on “La Crosse works to add more Lights to Bikes

  1. By giving away free lights, you reward those who habitually break the law and hurt the cause of bicycle advocacy. Each dollar spent rewarding scofflaws is one less dollar that could have been spent lobbying for better infrastructure, generating support for a Vulnerable Users Law or working to restore lost funding at the state level. Or perhaps a better use of the time and money would have been to work with police to issue warnings, then citations, to those habitual lawbreakers.

    I have heard the argument time and again about “helping those poor cyclists who can’t afford lights”, and for the record, I’ve not encountered a single scofflaw whose rationale for his/her lawlessness was a lack of money for a $10 bike light. Never. The pictures associated with your article certainly don’t suggest that this was an act of kindness to the poor and downtrodden of La Crosse either.

    Perhaps next time you could get the recipients to sign a pledge stating, “In exchange for this light, I promise to never hurt the cause of bicycle advocacy again, and will obey the rules of the road that countless others have worked so hard to secure for me.”

  2. This was not an effort to reward those who habitually break the law, rather an attempt to make more bicyclists visible. The Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition who purchased the lights, worked diligently to pass the Complete Green Streets Ordinance in the City of La Crosse,

    My role in the community is to provide education to all road users. Read an earlier post to see some of the recent work that has been done.

  3. “This was not an effort to reward those who habitually break the law…”

    I stand by my previous statements. My point is that these light giveaways do reward scofflaws, regardless of the intentions of those who sponsor the program.

    “The Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition who purchased the lights, worked diligently to pass the Complete Green Streets Ordinance in the City of La Crosse”

    All fine and good, but I’ll maintain that I prefer my advocacy dollars to be spent on projects that I consider to be more meaningful than rewarding scofflaws. Funding at the state level for Bike/Ped infrastructure is gone, we have no Vulnerable Users Law, cyclist deaths due to driver negligence are skyrocketing while the general populace opines that cyclist somehow “deserve” to get killed, and overt hostility toward cyclists has never been higher in my 30+ years of riding. It is my opinion that these are the pressing issue of bicycle advocacy, and the need to re-focus on them has never been higher. I’m not attacking you personally Carolyn – I’m just stating my road-tested opinion based on what I observe during my 5000+ miles of year-round bike commuting.

    Perhaps I’m wrong on this. Perhaps you actually DID manage to get scofflaws to look at how their actions are hurting our cause (not to mention habitually setting themselves up for a Darwin Award). Perhaps there were some “come to the light” moments (pun intended), and you managed to change some minds. Let’s hope so.

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