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Thread: Master thread for requests for advocacy help

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    Default Master thread for requests for advocacy help

    Now that a certain controversy is settled, time for this

    Its fairly frequent that people want to request help, not necessarily only from people in their own jurisdiction, for emails to electeds, filling out surveys, attending meetings, attending protests, etc, etc.

    Sometimes its hard to find these as they are in multiple threads in this forum, and also in jurisdiction specific forums.

    I would like to start this thread, as central place for such requests. From any jurisdiction. Please tell people (briefly) what the issue is, what you want them to do - provide a link to any surveys, email addresses if needed, time and place for meetings and protests, any special requests.

    You can of course still post a separate thread of your own.

    Lets try to keep things OTHER than such requests on this thread limited enough to not make the thread less useful.

    Thanks.

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    Thanks for creating this thread, lordofthemark. I'm happy to go first.

    If you were going to be on a panel to discuss "Complete Streets or War on Cars?" with John Townsend of AAA -- yes, that John Townsend -- what points would you expect him to raise, and how would you respond to those points?

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    Quote Originally Posted by komorebi View Post
    Thanks for creating this thread, lordofthemark. I'm happy to go first.

    If you were going to be on a panel to discuss "Complete Streets or War on Cars?" with John Townsend of AAA -- yes, that John Townsend -- what points would you expect him to raise, and how would you respond to those points?
    1. Not everyone can bike - cars are here to stay. Answer = Complete streets can make driving safer and more comfortable for law abiding drivers, and also is a big benefit to walkers and transit users.

    2. Its not realistic to eliminate all accidents. VZ makes no sense.A. The idea of Vision zero is to take a systems approach, and thereby dramatically reduce deaths and serious injuries

    3. Complete Streets leads to gentrification. A- IF CS leads to higher rents (unproven) then it shows its a benefit to communities. We need safe streets everywhere, so its not an amenity only for the wealthy.

    4. Bikers are affluent yuppies/hipsters A. Complete streets benefits walkers as well as people on bikes. People on bikes are often working class people though they too often disappear in these discussions. The way to get a wider range of ages, and more women riding is to make it safer

    5.Bikers are a bigger thread to peds than cars A. While WABA and BPAC support safer more polite riding, in fact cars are a greater threat due to speed and mass. Many more ped fatalities due to cars.

    6. All these policies are part of a larger war on cars, including tolls A- People do not all agree on tolls. You can support CS for safety even if you don't support tolling. Tolling is introduced for other reasons relating to reducing congestion and highway finace - CS supporters are on both sides of that debate.

    7 We need parking. A- Yes, but we must balance on street parking with other needs, including encouraging walking and biking which reduce demand for parking spaces (and where on street parking is not priced, that can lead to excessive demand for it)

    8. Congestion is terrible. A- CS usually creates far less traffic delay than feared by opponents, sometimes none at all. The real way to fight congestion is to encourage other modes, and housing closer to jobs

    9. Crazy to reduce lanes with all this growth coming A. MWCOG shows growth does not lead to much more VMT when we provide alternatives. North Arlington a case in point.

    10. If people fear global warming, electric cars will solve it A. Complete Streets is about safety first and foremost. But for climate change, its uncertain if EV adoption will be fast enough to solve the problem. We can encourage more EVs and ALSO more transportation alternatives.

    11. Automated vehicles will solve safety A. AVs continue to have major issues dealing with pedestrians. Plus pace of adoption very uncertain.

    Next two likely from Sullivan, not Townsend

    12. You don't need CS, just more police enforcement. See rte 7 in Falls Church. A. The Falls Church PD has said they can do that because Rte 7 is what they use to go anywhere, so they can have an unusually large presence there. Some in Falls Church say that police presence on Rte 7 means too little police presence on other roads.

    13. Automated Traffic Enforcement will solve it A. There are limits on ATE, especially in Va. But even in DC ATE cannot solve all street safety problems.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 09-22-2019 at 12:39 PM.

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    14. Cyclists are a tiny minority who exercise vastly disproportionate influence due to nefarious ties to politicians, probably greased by money. A Elected officials support Complete Streets because of the multiple benefits, and because of support from a diverse set of supporters (and no, bike advocates did not in fact kill Jesus)

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    Awesome -- thanks, lordofthemark!

    If anyone wants to put me through a murder board, I plan to be at Swings in Alexandria for Monday morning coffee and will happily take on all comers. (But possibly more happily after I've had my coffee.)

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    I'm sure you'll do great.

    What helps me is to remember my audience in these things: I'm not arguing with the other dude on the dias -- I'm there to convince the audience full of nice people who probably drive a lot, but also walk some. Most of them bike every once in a while -- like on vacation, or when it's a nice day -- because it's fun.

    Appealing to them as nice people who sometimes drive can help.
    - "I understand that change can scary. But I also drive and I get frustrated with congestion. People like to live here - in fact, more people are moving here than leaving - so congestion is only going to get worse, if people keep driving at the same rates. Let's look for solutions for that"
    - "I see how it can be scary to drive around people biking -- I've done it and I worry that one mistake from either the cyclist or me is going to lead to a serious crash. That's one benefit of protected infrastructure -- it gives people biking a specific place to ride, and minimizes the places where drivers have to interact with them. And people on scooters can use it too!"
    - "The thing about sidewalk riding is that people on bikes don't want to ride on the sidewalk. But it's more important to be safe, and too many of our streets are unsafe. The better solution is to give people safe places to ride bikes, which in turn will give sidewalks back to people walking."
    - "This goes back to the congestion issue -- the only way to move the number of people we need to move using cars would be to build more streets. But Alexandria is fully built. So building more streets would mean tearing down buildings, or spending tons of money to use vertical space. We're not going to do either of those things. So how can we make it so the people that _need_ to drive can actually get where they are going in a reasonable amount of time? We have to get everyone who is willing to not drive -- take transit, walk, bike -- to do that. "

    And if all else fails, remember you are a nicer person than Mr. Townsend. :-)

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