Bicycle Indiana is pleased to announce Paul Taylor as the recipient of its Northern Indiana Leadership Award. Paul was nominated for this award by the Bicycle Indiana board for his leadership toward changing Indiana’s antiquated bike/traffic safety legislation, through the 2008-09 bill which became known as SB553. Bicycle Indiana’s executive director Nancy Tibbett presented the award to Paul during Monday’s Bike to Work Week activities in downtown South Bend.
In speaking about SB553, bill sponsor Senator John Broden said he had “never received such a thorough and complete proposal for a piece of legislation” as that from Paul. Paul’s efforts toward improving bicycle safety laws speak volumes for his commitment to creating a bicycle-friendly community: not only in his home of South Bend but throughout the entire state of Indiana.
Paul has been a Bicycle Indiana member since 1996, secretary for the Bike Michiana Coalition since 2008, a husband, father of three, grandfather of four. He’s also been a lifelong bicyclist. “I’ve always ridden a bike, except for the period between my 16th birthday and about the age of 22 when a bicycle was not cool. I started commuting while in my mid 30’s and haven’t stopped. I have enjoyed self contained touring around the Midwest, but my greatest tour was coast to coast with 5 other cyclists.”
When asked what he enjoyed most about the legislative process, Paul said, “I’ll never forget the elation I felt when I learned that the bill had been approved in Senate committee, and sent to the full Senate…that first leap from committee to floor was exceptional. I also got to know and work with some really fine people” including Bicycle Indiana executive director Nancy Tibbett and Senator John Broden. What did Paul find least enjoyable? “It was tough not knowing what was going on at the Capitol. The bill took on a life of its own, and the team didn’t have as much control as I would have liked.”
True to character, Paul is already planning for next year’s legislative campaign. “We will benefit from the mistakes we made this year.”
That’s the never-quit spirit of the Bike Michiana Coalition team.