The Wausau community is still reeling from the loss of Tammy Gass who was tragically killed on May 23rd while riding her bicycle on Highway KK near Mosinee. Sadly, Tammy’s first husband Gregg Bednorski was killed four years earlier within a mile of Tammy’s crash.
Although nothing can be done to bring back Tammy or Gregg and only time can ease the pain of family and friends, the Bike Fed is working hard to create some good out of these incomprehensible tragedies.
In addition to outreach and advocacy, one of the Bike Fed’s most important roles is to educate road users on their mutual rights and responsibilities. The “3 Feet” message (a reference to the Wisconsin statute that requires motor vehicles to give at least 3 feet of clearance when passing a bicycle) is particularly important to communicate. If this law was stringently obeyed, there would be a significant reduction in automobile and bicycle crashes.
In an effort to reduce such crashes, I am very pleased to announce the launch of one the Bike Fed’s largest mass-media educational campaign efforts to date. Today three billboards were posted along several major Wausau streets. These billboards have one simple message: ”3 Feet-It’s the Law”. A “3 Feet” sign will also be installed at the main Wausau Fire Station. Finally, dozens of ”3 Feet” yard signs are being posted in and around the Wausau area.
This outdoor advertising campaign is in addition to Bike Fed public service announcements that have been running for several weeks on two Wausau television stations, WSAW and WAOW. I also had the opportunity to have a guest editorial published in the Wausau Daily Herald in response to these tragedies.
The Bike Fed is only able do its work with the support of people who want to make Wisconsin bicycling even safer, more accessible and more enjoyable. Our campaign would not be possible without the support of many people.
Thank you to Randy Bailey, with Trek Store of Wausau, who sponsored a billboard. Randy, along with his sales manager Sean Reeder are working hard to make Wausau bicycling great. Thanks also to Trek Bicycle Corporation for sponsoring another billboard and for their continued support of Wisconsin bicycling.
Tom Builer, the owner of Builer’s Cycle and Fitness, worked with the Wausau Fire Department to secure signage space at their main building. Thank you to the department for offering this space free of charge and for Stine Eye Center for sponsoring the printing and installation of this sign. Thank you to Kirk Reimann with D & L Signs for underwriting the cost of the yard signs and for Lamar Outdoor for partially underwriting the cost of the billboards.
A very large thank you goes to John “Nacho” Nowaczyk, the owner of Sprocketz Bike Shop. John has sponsored a billboard, he is connecting the Bike Fed with many new partners and he is working tirelessly to make Wausau and Wisconsin bicycling better. Thank you for your tremendous commitment.
It has been an honor to get to know dozens of people in the Wausau area who knew and loved Tammy and Gregg and who want to honor their lives by making the roadways safer. The Bike Fed remains committed to work with you to lessen the number of tragedies and strives to eliminate them altogether.
Read the press release on this campaign here. Interested in seeing more billboards, yard signs and other road education in Wausau or in your community? Please contact me directly and I’ll work with you to make it happen.