Thursday, April 03, 2014

Bon Voyage and Happy Riding to Hans, Ellen, and Shayne

Three longtime advocates for better bicycling in our region are moving to (relatively) distant lands. So we take a moment to remark upon, and thank, Hans, Ellen, and Shayne for the good work they've done on all of our behalf.

Oliver is sad to see them leave because
he fears that they, like his 3,000 children,
won't write, call, or even so much
as reblog Oliver's Tumblr.
Hans van Naerrssen
Many of you know, or know of, Hans van Naerrssen. Hans became a transportation advocate after attending a Tredyffrin Township meeting in the late 1990's at which he was told, "You'll never see sidewalks here." He joined the Treddyfrin Bike and Walk committee and from there joined our Board of Directors, where he immediately dove into the important issues of the day as chair of the Advocacy Committee. In 2007 he was elected our Board President and focused his efforts on changing the culture of Pennsylvania's transportation policies

Hans has traveled the world on his recumbent bicycle, and in 2009 he expanded the scope of his efforts to take on federal transportation policy reform and national bicycle advocacy. In that year he became the president of the League of American Bicyclists. Now in his seventies, Hans is retiring from East Coast bicycle advocacy by moving to the bicycle-friendly confines of the Pacific Northwest. We don't think they need him out there, but we are happy for Hans for his move.

Ellen Zadoff
Since the 1990's the Chester County Cycling Coalition (CCCC) has been a functioning committee of the Bicycle Coalition. The CCCC's volunteer activity has waxed and waned over the years, following the momentum and energy of those engaged in the group's work. The CCCC's work experienced a big spike in energy and activity in late 2009 when Ellen Zadoff was elected chair. She brought a new energy into the group, and her victories included helping to create a bicycle plan for West Chester and creating Chester County's own Share the Road education campaign. Earlier this year Ellen announced that she is also moving out of the area and stepped down as chair. Her energy and enthusiasm will be missed.

Shayne Trimbell
Shayne Trimbell could be described as a planning advocate. A dedicated bike commuter, he was the Manager of Projects and Development at Greater Valley Forge TMA (GVFTMA). Shayne was also an active board member for PA Walks and Bikes, and represented them at the National Bike Summit in Washington D.C.. Shayne was a member of the Chester County Cycling Coalition for two years and took over the chairmanship of the CCCC following Ellen's resignation. One of Shayne's priorities was to convince local communities to adapt their trail and bike plans into the official municipal map, which cements the facilitation of adding bike facilities as new developments arise.

But as fate would have it Shayne has just recently accepted a new job in Massachusetts. We will miss his many-sided work on bicycle and transportation efforts in our region.

It is worth noting that this sudden exodus of leadership is not leaving a total vacuum. Kyle Guie, another planner at GVFTMA, has accepted the chair position of CCCC. Kyle is a resident of Phoenixville and we look forward to working with him to ensure that the Chester County Cycling Coalition continues their important work in Chester County.


Biker Hans said...

Thanks, John. Ill miss you all, but also know that you and Alex and now many many others are working to make a difference in the Keystone state and Philly region. A huge thanks for your commitment and successful efforts.


SteveT said...

I, and all of my biking friends will miss Hans. It was because of his penchant for planning and management that we experienced many unique biking adventures, together. It was through his commitment to improving biking and walking in our region that we took part in advocacy efforts and volunteer work. His efforts have left a lasting effect on our community. There is a new sidewalk along Upper Gulph rd. by St. Davids CC that is there only because of his determination and personal commitment. I have named it: van Naerssen Walk.
As a mariner might say: Fair winds and following seas, Hans, as you navigate the waters in the next chapter of your life.