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Old 03-08-07, 09:00 PM   #1
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North Sioux City refused the presentation. Could they be anti-bike/ped?

I contacted the Economic Development Director for North Sioux City, South Dakota to ask if they would be interested in me doing a presentation on Complete Streets. I sent an email to the him with a link to the web site so he had an idea on what I would be presenting. After he reviewed it he spoke with the city council & asked if they would like me to do a presentation. They refused the offer to do so with no explaination why.

I don't get it. Why would they not want to improve their community? My guess is someone is anti-bike/ped. & maybe thinks bicycles belong on the trails only. That or they feel their community no longer needs any improvment, when nothing could be further from the truth. Should I ask for an explaination why? Or just let it go & focus my energy on the other communities in the area?

If anyone is going to jump at the chance to adopt a Complete Streets Policy it will be South Sioux City, Nebraska. They are so pro-bike/ped. it is not even funny. A lot of what they have done has left the other communities in this area in the dust. I think it is great. I'm still working on scheduling a time to go present the slide show to South Sioux.
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Old 03-08-07, 09:24 PM   #2
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Don't look for anything nefarious. More likely you just ran into a lazy bureaucrat. It's part of their job description.

My advice is to keep peppering different offices. You might catch one not living down to his/her modus.
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Old 03-08-07, 09:26 PM   #3
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Make some friends at Gateway, Interbake Foods, Menu Foods, Prince Manufacturing, FIMCO Industries, Sioux City Bolt.

Talk to anyone who wants to locate a big business there, before they agree to and get them to ask Kory if they have any safe street provisions.

You might also go to the big church(es) and get a feeling for their values and show them how complete streets would be a benefit to them, their kids and the community. The median age is youngish. There probably are a lot of blue collar workers. I dont know if the video would be the best thing to explain to these folks what better street design could do for them. Think also about pedestrians. Are there any areas that the old folks or kids can't cross the street safely? Any places that have a lot of truck traffic that the residents find annoying? How common are buggies and tractors on the streets of town?

How many 30', 40' and 50' wide streets are in town?

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Old 03-08-07, 10:41 PM   #4
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I'm not sure how getting companies involved would do any good. I am not looking for sponsorship here. Not only that but Gateway no longer has as many employees in this area as they once did. They more or less pulled up stakes & moved to California when they merged with E-Machines & Ted Waitt no longer has anything to do with the company as far as I know.

As a resident in Sioux City, Iowa I would push for a company to open a business on this side of the river before encouraging them to do so on the South Dakota side.

Part of the presentation does talk about the benefit to communities when a business is looking to move in. The ameneties the community has to offer are important & that it can help boost economic development.

Buggies & tractors are not common at all in North Sioux. There is a lot of truck traffic down on the interstate end of River Drive.
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Old 03-11-07, 09:24 PM   #5
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I figured that in a small area like this has a fairly close knit character. The chiefs of business would have access to the government officials and the economic development director of course at least half the elected officials would be in church on Sunday.

Business organization directors often own a business themselves or have interests in a particular group of industries. Could there be other reasons for them to say no? Hate to ask but are you reasonably sure that the conversation between the EDD and elected officials even happened?

Are there any major road builds planned for the area? Could be that they have something on the drawing board and don't want to deal with changing the plan. They'd rather not even talk about change until it is too late where change would be much more difficult.

Seems like they could at least give you some kind or reason to refuse the presentation. Even if they said something like, "we don't have the money", "we have other priorities", or "we dont have the time", etc,

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Old 03-11-07, 10:06 PM   #6
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I figured that in a small area like this has a fairly close knit character. The chiefs of business would have access to the government officials and the economic development director of course at least half the elected officials would be in church on Sunday.

Business organization directors often own a business themselves or have interests in a particular group of industries. Could there be other reasons for them to say no? Hate to ask but are you reasonably sure that the conversation between the EDD and elected officials even happened?

Are there any major road builds planned for the area? Could be that they have something on the drawing board and don't want to deal with changing the plan. They'd rather not even talk about change until it is too late where change would be much more difficult.

Seems like they could at least give you some kind or reason to refuse the presentation. Even if they said something like, "we don't have the money", "we have other priorities", or "we dont have the time", etc,
I do not know if there any roadway project plans in the works in North Sioux right now. No I am not sure if the conversation between the economic development director & the council even took place. I may not have.

Should I ask for a reason why they do not want to pursue this at this time? Would you?
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Old 03-11-07, 10:07 PM   #7
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I'm not sure how getting companies involved would do any good. I am not looking for sponsorship here.
Getting corporate involvement gives you a bigger profile.....matter of fact, too big for a politician to safely ignore! That's a good reason right there! Corporate America is not your enemy, after all, but lazy pols are!
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Old 03-11-07, 10:17 PM   #8
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Getting corporate involvement gives you a bigger profile.....matter of fact, too big for a politician to safely ignore! That's a good reason right there! Corporate America is not your enemy, after all, but lazy pols are!
I can try but if it is one thing I know about getting corporate involvement is they always have the attitude as to how will it benefit them company & their bottom line.

All I want to do at this point is just give a presentation on Complete Streets. A company will not care about that & in fact will tell me to get in touch with the city govt. because they are the ones who make the decisions on what happens with the public roadways.

So what good will it do to get a corporation involved unless & am asking for monetary sponsorship? Right now I am not & probably will not need to.
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Old 03-12-07, 03:11 AM   #9
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Some dude from out of town calls and asks them to totally rework the way they do streets, and they refuse a meeting? Hmmmmm. I wonder why.

Seriously, it sounds like it was only the economic development director. That still leaves other officials.

Why not start showing up at local traffic planning meetings? The topic of the meetings doesn't matter. Just sart showing up. Listen for awhile. Figure out who is influential what is important to them. You will also learn what concerns the traffic planners and community members have.

In local planning, you get a lot of credibility just by showing up at the meetings. It's time consuming, but it's the only way to get credibility.
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Old 03-12-07, 06:38 AM   #10
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Some dude from out of town calls and asks them to totally rework the way they do streets, and they refuse a meeting? Hmmmmm. I wonder why.

Seriously, it sounds like it was only the economic development director. That still leaves other officials.

Why not start showing up at local traffic planning meetings? The topic of the meetings doesn't matter. Just sart showing up. Listen for awhile. Figure out who is influential what is important to them. You will also learn what concerns the traffic planners and community members have.

In local planning, you get a lot of credibility just by showing up at the meetings. It's time consuming, but it's the only way to get credibility.
I am not exactly from out of town. Look on a map, Sioux City & Sgt. Bluff, Iowa, South Sioux City & Dakota City Nebraska & Dakota Dunes & North Sioux City, South Dakota are all close to one another. About 15 min. by car & maybe an hour & a half by bike if you drive or ride to from one to the other.

I ride bike in North Sioux all the time. My wife works in North Sioux. When the Siouxland Trails Foundation first started our annual bike ride they made sure to include North Sioux City as part of the route & are doing so again this year. STF has been in contact with North Sioux asking if they need any money for their trail system. They are either told no or get no response. So we are not exactly outsiders as you imply.

What I am doing is trying to "go through other doors" to get in touch with the city council & members of the North Sioux Govt. I replied to the economic development director & plainly asked why do they not want to pursue this. I asked if it was because of cost & assured him there is no cost for me to do the presentation & advised it will be little to no cost to adopt a Complete Streets Policy.

I also asked if the reason they do not want to pursue this is do they believe that cyclists only belong on the trails & side walks & not on the street surface. If they do, do all memebrs of the city govt. have the same attitude. I asked who did he talk with about this & I asked for their direct email addresses so I can contact them myself.

Now I'll wait & see what happens.
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Old 03-12-07, 06:44 AM   #11
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I contacted the Economic Development Director for North Sioux City, South Dakota to ask if they would be interested in me doing a presentation on Complete Streets. I sent an email to the him with a link to the web site so he had an idea on what I would be presenting. After he reviewed it he spoke with the city council & asked if they would like me to do a presentation. They refused the offer to do so with no explaination why.

I don't get it. Why would they not want to improve their community? My guess is someone is anti-bike/ped. & maybe thinks bicycles belong on the trails only. That or they feel their community no longer needs any improvment, when nothing could be further from the truth. Should I ask for an explaination why? Or just let it go & focus my energy on the other communities in the area?

If anyone is going to jump at the chance to adopt a Complete Streets Policy it will be South Sioux City, Nebraska. They are so pro-bike/ped. it is not even funny. A lot of what they have done has left the other communities in this area in the dust. I think it is great. I'm still working on scheduling a time to go present the slide show to South Sioux.
Simply request to be on the agenda for the next regular meeting of the council (usually with the city clerk, or the secretary/admin asst to the city manager or mayor). If they refuse to put you on the agenda, there is usually a part of the agenda already designated as 'Items from citizens present' or similar, where you can be recognized, state your case BRIEFLY and request to be put on the agenda of the next meeting, or set up a non-public meeting, to provide more detail.
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Old 03-12-07, 06:58 AM   #12
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I can try but if it is one thing I know about getting corporate involvement is they always have the attitude as to how will it benefit them company & their bottom line.

All I want to do at this point is just give a presentation on Complete Streets. A company will not care about that & in fact will tell me to get in touch with the city govt. because they are the ones who make the decisions on what happens with the public roadways.

So what good will it do to get a corporation involved unless & am asking for monetary sponsorship? Right now I am not & probably will not need to.

Wow, for a supposed advocate you are awful lazy. Sorry to sound harsh. First off, if your only desire is to give a presentation you have the wrong attitude. I figured you want to make a difference which is alot more than just giving a presentation.

And blowing off business? Just plain dumb. Of course you do have to be smart about it. Talk to small local businesses. Easier to get your foot in the door and they are likely more agreeable to the interests you are presenting. Helpful? Who do you think the government likes more, an individual who pays his income taxes, or an individual who pays their taxes AND owns a business who's taxes are likely 10 times more than yours?

Easy? No way. It will be hard work. But REAL advocacy IS hard work. Unless you just want to be a poser.

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Old 03-12-07, 07:00 AM   #13
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Simply request to be on the agenda for the next regular meeting of the council (usually with the city clerk, or the secretary/admin asst to the city manager or mayor). If they refuse to put you on the agenda, there is usually a part of the agenda already designated as 'Items from citizens present' or similar, where you can be recognized, state your case BRIEFLY and request to be put on the agenda of the next meeting, or set up a non-public meeting, to provide more detail.
That is what I'm going to do. I'll get ahold of the city clerk today & asked to be on the agenda.
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Old 03-12-07, 07:13 AM   #14
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How you get change to happen is best from the common citizens leverl, and working up.

If you want change, start with the locals...get their support. It's not a "sponsorship" so much as making sure you have enough support that it might go through. Campagining is marketing, but instead of a product, it's an idea or vision that's being sold. So in that aspect, you will need to make your proposal tempting to those involved, and that means testing out the waters as well.
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Old 03-12-07, 07:29 AM   #15
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Wow, for a supposed advocate you are awful lazy. Sorry to sound harsh. First off, if your only desire is to give a presentation you have the wrong attitude. I figured you want to make a difference which is alot more than just giving a presentation.

And blowing off business? Just plain dumb. Of course you do have to be smart about it. Talk to small local businesses. Easier to get your foot in the door and they are likely more agreeable to the interests you are presenting. Helpful? Who do you think the government likes more, an individual who pays his income taxes, or an individual who pays their taxes AND owns a business who's taxes are likely 10 times more than yours?

Easy? No way. It will be hard work. But REAL advocacy IS hard work. Unless you just want to be a poser.

-D
The first step is to present the idea to the city govt. showing them everything possible about it & answering any questions they may have. The next step is to wait & see if they want to adopt a Complete Streets Policy. If they do, steps will be taken to help them adopt one that will for fit their needs as a community. This would be the point to get companies & corporations involved because it will affect them.

With what some people are suggesting here is I contact businesses before I even do the presentation to the city govt. However if people are suggesting I invite businesses to the presenation, there is no need for me to do so. Business owners already come to these things & some of the members of the council are business owners.
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Old 03-12-07, 07:35 AM   #16
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The first step is to present the idea to the city govt. showing them everything possible about it & answering any questions they may have. The next step is to wait & see if they want to adopt a Complete Streets Policy. If they do, steps will be taken to help them adopt one that will for fit their needs as a community. This would be the point to get companies & corporations involved because it will affect them.

With what some people are suggesting here is I contact businesses before I even do the presentation to the city govt. However if people are suggesting I invite businesses to the presenation, there is no need for me to do so. Business owners already come to these things & some of the members of the council are business owners.
and the last is precisely WHY you get business involved in an alliance to promote the concept!
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Old 03-12-07, 07:38 AM   #17
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and the last is precisely WHY you get business involved in an alliance to promote the concept!
Right, but I don't need to contact them, they are already involved in matters in the city govt. They'll already be there or at least be invited.
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Old 03-12-07, 07:42 AM   #18
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Right, but I don't need to contact them, they are already involved in matters in the city govt. They'll already be there or at least be invited.
If they know and understand your advocacy BEFORE you get into a boring government meeting, your chances of success grow exponentially.
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Old 03-12-07, 08:10 AM   #19
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Right, but I don't need to contact them, they are already involved in matters in the city govt. They'll already be there or at least be invited.

Yea, no need to get them educated and on your side BEFORE the meeting. No benefit to having them be advocates with you rather than just simply meeting attendees.

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Old 03-12-07, 08:40 AM   #20
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Guys, I tried explaining this all to N_C before....he sees consensus building as kissing butt and refuses to engage in it.

N_C, while everyone is defacto 'invited' to public meetings, you won't find representatives from your local business and industry entities attending unless there is something on the agenda that has impact directly on their organization or industry. I doubt that seeing 'Complete Streets Presentation' on the agenda is going to pique their interest...you have to sell them on the fact that it IS in their interest, including how and why, before the meeting if you want their support and attendance. These folks are giving you good advice - open your mind, dude!
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Old 03-12-07, 08:52 AM   #21
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Guys, I tried explaining this all to N_C before....he sees consensus building as kissing butt and refuses to engage in it.

N_C, while everyone is defacto 'invited' to public meetings, you won't find representatives from your local business and industry entities attending unless there is something on the agenda that has impact directly on their organization or industry. I doubt that seeing 'Complete Streets Presentation' on the agenda is going to pique their interest...you have to sell them on the fact that it IS in their interest, including how and why, before the meeting if you want their support and attendance. These folks are giving you good advice - open your mind, dude!

Yea I gathered that. Although I took it as more of "N_C is already an advocacy master and doesn't really want any constructive criticism or advice"

Either that or he likes the idea of advocacy, but doesn't really want to work hard at it. Just do enough to make him look/feel good about it.

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Old 03-12-07, 08:58 AM   #22
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Guys, I tried explaining this all to N_C before....he sees consensus building as kissing butt and refuses to engage in it.

N_C, while everyone is defacto 'invited' to public meetings, you won't find representatives from your local business and industry entities attending unless there is something on the agenda that has impact directly on their organization or industry. I doubt that seeing 'Complete Streets Presentation' on the agenda is going to pique their interest...you have to sell them on the fact that it IS in their interest, including how and why, before the meeting if you want their support and attendance. These folks are giving you good advice - open your mind, dude!
Ok, so you're suggesting I give presentations to businesses prior to the council meetings that they attend? Or at least ask if they're going to be at the meeting & give them an idea on what I am trying to accomplish.

There has been other instances where organizations have done things to improve the community & they contacted the businesses prior to the public meetings, which is a good thing. The businesses kindly told the organization they would rather wait until the public meeting to see the presentation.


Oh & in North Sioux, being such a small community, everything affects the businesses there.

This is why I am reluctant to contact the businesses to begin with because I know what has happened in the past. I have learned from prior experience. This part will already automatically happen there is no need to show a presentation to a business before hand or invite them to the meeting, they will tell me they will wait until the public meeting & they will be at the meeting.
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Old 03-12-07, 10:06 AM   #23
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I didn't say to give them a presentation. Go to the key people in the community, including the business leaders and TALK to them. Tell them what you are trying to do, how it benefits them, and that you would appreciate their support when you bring the matter before the local governing body.
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Old 03-12-07, 11:03 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by chipcom
I didn't say to give them a presentation. Go to the key people in the community, including the business leaders and TALK to them. Tell them what you are trying to do, how it benefits them, and that you would appreciate their support when you bring the matter before the local governing body.
As David Byrne used to sing.... "Stop making sense."
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Old 03-13-07, 04:45 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by N_C
I am not exactly from out of town. Look on a map, Sioux City & Sgt. Bluff, Iowa, South Sioux City & Dakota City Nebraska & Dakota Dunes & North Sioux City, South Dakota are all close to one another. About 15 min. by car & maybe an hour & a half by bike if you drive or ride to from one to the other. . . .
When it comes to local traffic decisions here in Columbus, being from the city makes you an out-of-towner in the suburbs, and vice versa. As to getting on the agenda for public comment, I hope it's better than here. Here, no one listens to the public comment section of city council or school board meetings.
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