Advocate of the Year

UWL professor named Wisconsin Bike Federation Advocate of the Year

UWL faculty member James Longhurst was named Advocate of the Year by the Wisconsin Bike Federation at a recent statewide summit.

Each year the Wisconsin Bike Fed selects an individual who shows an outstanding effort to make bicycling a more accessible, comfortable and equitable transportation option.

“This year’s Advocate of the Year recipient was an easy choice,” says Carolyn Dvorak, southwest region director for the Wisconsin Bike Fed. “Longhurst works tirelessly in the La Crosse area to identify the pertinent issues, work with others to educate community members, staff and elected officials and has the ability to bring all the voices to the table, creating a sense of community action.”

Along with a steering committee of UWL students, faculty, staff and supporters, Longhurst was the author of a first-ever application for “Bike Friendly University” recognition from the national League of American Bicyclists (LAB). A year-long project to gather information through surveys, traffic counts, stakeholder meetings and interviews resulted in the UWL “ON THE GO” report, funded by the UWL Foundation, and a bronze level award from the LAB in fall 2015.

Longhurst is also active as a local bicycle advocate off campus. Among many other projects, he volunteers for the La Crosse Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau “Bicycle La Crosse” campaign. The project promotes year-round bicycling in the Driftless Region with free road biking routes on the http://bicyclelacrosse.com website, and a yearly four-day Bike Festival over Labor Day weekend.

Longhurst, an associate professor of history at UWL, is the author of “Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road.” More info about “Bike Battles” is at http://news.uwlax.edu/bike-battles-book-explores-history-of-sharing-the-road/