We were saddened by the passing last Friday of William “Bill” Dooley, an avid cyclist, transportation options advocate, and dear friend to BikeMN. Bill served on the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota’s board of directors, executive committee, and as the longtime chair of BikeMN’s advocacy committee. He traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the National Bike Summit and to Europe to attend the International Winter Cycling Congress. Many of us also know Bill as the person that faithfully monitored the news that impacts biking, walking, and transit. He shared that news with fellow advocates, organizational leaders, and elected officials in 3-4 email updates a week for the better part of a decade. He will be missed by many.
Bill’s preretirement work as a lobbyist and his deep commitment to transportation equity, social justice, and biking provided him with a unique combination of knowledge, experience, and judgment that he used to help steer BikeMN’s Legislative Agenda and strategy for many years. He was working on an Omnibus Biking and Walking Improvements bill in the months and weeks before he passed away and was looking forward to monitoring its progress and eventual implementation. He even chaired the BikeMN Advocacy Committee meeting on Zoom a little less than four days before he died. Bill’s guidance has led to the creation and funding of the state-level safe routes to school and active transportation programs and several important policy changes. Funding from the Safe Routes program is the basis of BikeMN’s Walk! Bike! Fun! elementary school safety curriculum, and supports ongoing programming and staff that have trained over 1,000 educators that are presenting the curriculum to about 100,000 kids in Minnesota per year. We are forever grateful for Bill’s quiet and persistent advocacy. He was looking forward to attending legislative committee hearings in-person again in 2023. We’re sorry that will not be happening.
Bill was a great friend of BikeMN and it has been an honor to work with him for all of these years. Outside of his work with BikeMN, Bill was an important member and supporter of the Major Taylor Cycling Club and several other organizations. This is a profound loss for so many, and our thoughts and hearts are with his family and friends. From a biking, walking, and transit advocacy perspective, Bill’s was a life to be celebrated and we here at BikeMN are truly thankful to have been a part of it.
–The BikeMN Staff and Board