Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Master Bike Plan Feedback

For the last couple months I've spent some time going to a few neighborhood meetings and talking about the master bike plan. In one meeting, I got pretty chewed up by the usual nay-sayers and car-centric approach to "planning." I've talked about the faulty anti-cycling infrastructure arguments before. You hear them a lot.

Bicycle Advisory Board members serve 3 year terms. The most you can serve consecutively is two 3-year terms. I had began to think about bowing out at the end of my first term, which ends in December.

I was getting tired of working hard, along with many others, and hitting this same wall of resistance. And there's so much other fun bike stuff to do. I figured getting the master bike plan pushed through into the city's comprehensive plan is a great accomplishment, and I'd let the next round of people deal with implementation and the money part.

The last week or so we've done our 3 open houses for the Master Bike Plan. At these meetings I have seen bike people crawl out of the woodwork to provide thoughtful, enthusiastic, and really valuable feedback on the plan that we've come up with so far. And by "bike people," I'm talking about a lot of citizens that want to ride their bikes but just want some basic infrastructure and fixes to help get them out there more. There were also commuters, recreational riders, people that want to ride with kids. The range of people and input was broad.

Many people told me and the other city staff and BAB volunteers that they are interested and stand behind the vision of the plan. There seems to be a bunch of momentum. It really has made me realize that there is a very interested and potentially vocal part of the community that will back us as we dive into the implementation piece.

I am reinvigorated. I find the advocacy stuff very trying and way more work than I'd planned on, but seeing folks interested and looking to back the plan is a huge vote of confidence.


Anonymous said...

John, I believe there are a lot of people out there who really appreciate the work you and others have done for bike advocacy in Spokane. There are many people interested in biking in Spokane, I think it's a matter of uniting the local bicyclists to continue the momentum.

Anonymous said...

Thanks John.

EvilElf said...

Thanks John for all the work you have done. I hope seeing the fruition of your time and effort reinvigorates you, but not too much!

Edward Abbey said this, but it's hard to take to heart sometimes:

"One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn yourself out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast... a part time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there. So get out there and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains. Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to your body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards."


John Speare said...

Elf: dang you all to heck! you are an evil bastard. That Abbey quote is so so true. Ugh.

Btw: the post here is not phishing for thanks or recognition. though it probably reads that way. the point is that this is a lot of work -- there are a lot of poeple doing a lot of work -- but it IS worth it. and seeing the feedback on th3e plan illustrates that to me.

i've got to not read that Abbey thing again. it's so flippin true.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who is able to dedicate themselves to anything like this cause is to be admired, and remember that many people are thankful even if they never express it directly.

On a master bike plan note, great infrastructure-related post today over on BikePortland. Interesting discussion regardless of your philosophy. It is difficult to argue that more cycling infrastructure is not better!