Bike&Walk Montclair was founded in 2002 with the idea that Montclair could one day become a safe haven for walking and bicycling. Today, we’re a dedicated group of volunteers who envision bicycling and walking as a safe, appealing and feasible choice for all users and all trips thus building a strong community fabric on a more human scale. We eagerly seek, and warmly welcome, new members.
Board of Trustees
Bill Feeney is a new addition to Bike&Walk Montclair’s Board but has been a member of Bike&Walk Montclair as well as a resident in town since 2009. Bill brings 10 years of experience in bike advocacy, infrastructure design assistance and bike education. He has lead thousands of students of all ages from gradeschoolers to senior adults through innovative bike and Safe Routes to School programming throughout the State of New Jersey. Bill is a certified League of American Bicyclist instructor, volunteers with multiple local bike organizations and currently is employed by Jersey City Bike Share (CitiBike) at the forefront of making everyday biking a new norm in New Jersey. As a Board member, Bill hopes to continue to further inspire and encourage residents and visitors in town to socially engage and explore the community on two wheels or two feet through innovative programs, rides and infrastructure improvements.
John Sullivan serves as Bike&Walk Montclair’s Vice President and is a community placemaking activist. A science teacher by day, John is an avid fan of good urbanism and proponent of the placemaking movement. John believes deeply in the physical, social and psychological benefits of “Place.” He is an active part of the Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE) campaign and helped lead a grassroots effort that built the first demonstration parklet in Montclair. John enjoys generating community enthusiasm around both the policy and advocacy components of the public space and complete street initiatives in Montclair and beyond. John believes that Montclair’s traditional development pattern and “good bones,” coupled with it’s access to public transportation, make it an exciting place to study and implement non-auto dependent transport options connected to Places that celebrate the human scale.
Paul Mickiewicz got involved with Bike&Walk Montclair in 2007 in his staff role with the Montclair YMCA to assist with the Tour de Montclair. An avid recreational/commuting cyclist and a 30-year YMCA professional, Paul has specialized in health, fitness and community building. He has worked closely with the Bike Education Committee, becoming a League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor in 2010, teaching safe cycling classes, representing Bike&Walk Montclair at school and community events, and joining the Board in 2011. Paul enjoys leading experiential learning opportunities and believes there is a direct relationship between a community’s health and well-being and the percentage of the population that walks and bikes to get around town.
Walter Franks grew up in Ocean City, NJ, where low speed limits and a few miles of off-street riding available on the boardwalk meant that getting around town by bicycle wasn’t abnormal. Upon moving up to urban North Jersey for university, he realized that cars were the preferred method of getting around for short trips, even with all the traffic. Ample mass transit systems in place allowed Walter to keep moving around without owning a car, even moreso now with Uber and Lyft. During some months studying in Europe, Walter experienced the old, pre-car urban planning that created lovely public spaces, plazas, and parks and fell in love. Also during that time, Walter began his obsession with environmentalism. Living in Essex County, Walter bikes to work. He’s been getting into the fun of bicycle and pedestrian advocacy working with Bike&Walk Montclair, NJ Bike & Walk Coalition, Montclair Environmental Commission, and Greener Bloomfield. In a time full of pollution, mental and physical health problems, and an ever-growing need to be frugal, Walter wants to see more people on bicycles and more places to ride without the droning fear of being struck by an automobile. @wojofranks
Jean Lyons first became involved with Bike&Walk Montclair in 2014 when she volunteered with the Bike Education program. Seeing how much good the organization does on a local level she was quickly hooked! Wanting to do more, she joined the Board of Directors in 2016 to help with communications and events. Jean teaches yoga in and around Montclair, is an avid cyclist and has a lifelong interest in movement, health and wellness. Since being with BWM, Jean became aware of how much she used her car – unnecessarily – and now bikes and walks locally whenever she can for errands, exercise and to help the environment.
Norma Tassy. Norma Tassy is a lifelong Montclair resident and has an extensive background in human resources management. In April 2013, she became Bike&Walk Montclair’s first Executive Director, and is working with the Board to expand Bike&Walk Montclair’s advocacy, education, and outreach. Her job is to lead Bike&Walk Montclair into its second decade of organizational growth. Norma and her family “walk the talk” of bikes and feet on every street.
Laura Torchio has been a volunteer with Bike&Walk Montclair since 2002, served as past president and is currently on the Board of Trustees. She is the former Program Coordinator for Eat. Play. Live…Better, a community-wide partnership geared to prevent chronic illness by making healthy food and regular physical activity easier to access in daily life. Previously, she was the NJ State Advocacy Organizer for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. For the bulk of her career, Laura was a planning consultant with The RBA Group in Parsippany, NJ, managing projects related to bicycle and pedestrian safety and accessibility, healthy and livable communities planning, Complete Streets policy and design, and Safe Routes to School program development. Laura volunteers on the Montclair Township Traffic and Parking Advisory Committee and the New Jersey SRTS Coalition. She spends her free time with her family and is known by some as the “Bike Lane Fairy.”
Nick De Toustain really enjoys biking and walking. No car? No problem! While everyone knows biking is fun, healthy and an economic form of locomotion, what about that connection you get with fellow bikers? (not just in Montclair but around the world) Biking is one of those universal things like Ping-Pong that bring people closer together. Nick would like to see Montclair-area trails opened up to responsible biking and won’t stop advocating until *everyone* who wants to is out there biking and walking. Let’s go!
Debra Kagan has been biking and walking Montclair for over 27 years and was very excited to join the BWM Board as a new member in 2016. She has worked professionally for over 25 years building strategic partnerships, developing programs, and telling stories through digital media at the intersection of education, community engagement, and social justice. Through her work as a consultant for both foundations and nonprofits she developed programs that enabled youth to both envision and contribute to building stronger, more sustainable and just communities. She’s believes increasing opportunities for safe biking and walking, and providing places for public engagement is a great way to build a healthy and vibrant community. She can be seen walking in Brookdale Park or riding her Dutch bike with the flower print panniers on most days.
Debra Kagan, President
John Sullivan, Vice President
Walter Franks, Secretary
Mike Martone, Treasurer