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help with some talking points for odd city meeting invite

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help with some talking points for odd city meeting invite

Old 01-08-10, 02:41 PM
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possiblecrit
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help with some talking points for odd city meeting invite

I unexpectedly received this email invite

Bicycle/Pedestrian stakeholders are invited to attend a meeting with
> the Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WAMPO) Project
> Team regarding the Metropolitan Transportation Plan 2035 (MTP 2035).
> MTP 2035 is a long-range transportation plan for the region that will
> cover all modes of transportation for goods and people. MTP 2035 will
> define policies, programs, and projects to be accomplished over the
> next 25 years.
>
> The purpose of the meeting with the stakeholders will be to discuss
> work on the Plan completed to date; potential projects to be listed in
> the Plan; and to get additional input, feedback, and other pertinent
> information or concerns regarding MTP 2035.

Not really sure how my email address ended up on something that's "only a key stakeholder representative meeting, not open to the public" or even what a key stakeholder representative is, but it seems like a good opportunity to speak up for some cycling infrastructure. Ideas for talking points? I know I have plenty to say but it's all jumbled currently (the meeting is tuesday!)

a little background:

Wichita has spent tons of money on rec paths that wind around to nowhere, it's illegal to ride sidewalks downtown but there's not a single lane or sign or sharrow. They're on the verge of adding lanes on the two major crosstown one ways (a huge step) and just added bike racks to the buses. but almost everyone rides on the sidewalk and drivers can be pretty ignorant and scary. Too many possibilities, not really sure how to go about this or what to expect... Any ideas I should throw in the mix?
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Old 01-08-10, 03:37 PM
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In meetings like this just showing up is worth something. There is usually no shortage of comments.
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Old 01-08-10, 05:20 PM
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Streets should be able to accommodate all citizens, pedestrians, cyclists, the elderly, the disabled, public transportation, not just those who drive or ride in cars/motor vehicles. This is commonly known as a "complete streets policy."

"Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles." While segregated or separated bike facilities (such as bike lanes, bike paths, cycle tracks, etc.) are important measures to encourage more people to ride bikes, don't close your more confident riders out by forbidding them to use the traffic lanes and public streets/roads. Bicyclists need to go places around town, too... and too often bike paths don't do that; roads do. The same traffic rules that apply to cars apply to bikes as well, with a few specific exceptions.
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Old 01-09-10, 07:06 AM
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Here are some talking points I use in Maryland: https://www.baltimorespokes.org/artic...81204130117752
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Old 01-09-10, 07:43 AM
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PSA on sharing, neutral viewpoint (neither pro nor con, talking down to nobody)

Complete streets or similar approach

Develop plain to link paths together

Main thing: point out that bicycles will be part of the transportation mix in the future, rather than recreational machines, and investment needs to go towards the transportation end.

A supporting and quite crucial point: in the near future we will have roads that contain a mix of bicycles, scooters, motorbikes, microcars, regular cars, trucks and buses. The number and density of the smaller vehicles will be much much higher than today. Now is the time to start refining our existing physical roadways, markings, signals, and education to prepare for this mix.
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Old 01-11-10, 08:26 PM
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THANKS guys. I will let you know how it goes tomorrow. trying not to get too nervous, i'm relatively new to dealing with city governments.
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Old 01-12-10, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by possiblecrit View Post
THANKS guys. I will let you know how it goes tomorrow. trying not to get too nervous, i'm relatively new to dealing with city governments.
I went to a meeting like that last year, and was pleasantly surprised to find out a lot of work had been done to make transportation easier for cyclists. https://www.tylin.com/tyl_what_rs_bp_03.html is an example of something similar in another town, and this firm has done a number of projects like this. They have a couple of engineers that are bike comuters come out for the presentation I took part in, and I was amazed to see the city council members intently listening to their presentation.
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Old 01-18-10, 10:52 PM
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so post meeting update:

First of all I learned that I had been unknowingly missing the project proposal meetings (arg!) but there's still about 6 months left to get involved in that process. Most of the current projects in the plan involve connecting existing bike paths and such. I repeatedly emphasized the need to incorporate on road facilities (lane markings and signs) but learned that the area I find most problematic (downtown) seems to be under the control of a "downtown revitalization somethingorother" not the MPO. The meeting moderators stayed fairly neutral so it was more just voicing opinions than argument. I did get to meet a few older roadies who seemed very supportive and even set up a meeting for the various cycling groups in town in hopes of forming some sort of coalition.

All in all a good experience, gained insight into the workings of our local govt, met some good contacts and got a few good rants in. I'm a pretty vocal advocate on an individual level but have been somewhat timid about getting involved with the administration. I'm pretty cynical about the potential for actual change here but at least we're trying!
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