Seeking Input: How Has the Summer Traversing Been?
How has your traversing of our little town been this summer? Or, if your from another city, how has it been there?
While walking around #TCMI have you encountered mindful people on bicycles and people in cars who give you space and consideration at intersections? Have the sidewalks been clear of bicycles?
While moving about on your bicycle, have people in automobiles given you space when they pass or looked for you as they pulled on to another street? How has their speed been?
When you drive, have you noticed bicyclists signaling their intentions and generally giving you consideration? Have you noticed other drivers respecting the speed limits, yellow lights, stop signs and pulling over to answer their phone?
If you recall back in the spring, I ran quote by Mia Burke and asked everyone to take a pledge to be more considerate no matter what form of transportation you use. 11 people took the pledge (still open). Why so few? I think a lot of it comes down to the premise that most of us think we are the shiznizz of accountability and that the problem lies with “those people.” I see this reflected in most conversations I have with people about conditions of our streets.
The reality is: we are those people. We are “traffic” in all its glory and mishap. Contrary to some of the comments I heard at the City Commission on Monday night, the plague on our streets isn’t scofflaw bicyclists or even inconsiderate people in cars with an entitlement complex; the problem is all of us and it begins with a vigilant awareness of our own actions, itself a difficult task due to real cognitive limitations based in our biology and often ignored in street design.
I’ve had trouble getting to this post and I’m going to delay again one more week. Next week, I will address how I see the current state of the streets. I feel it’s required because of the number of emails I’ve received asking for my input, the increase numbers of visible bicycle-car conflicts this year and the latest discussion at the city commission meeting that looks like it will lead to a study session on the issue. (Mind you, I can think of no worse venue to hold such a discussion.)
In the meantime, over the weekend, please send me a message, email or leave a comment about what you’ve experienced this summer as either a pedestrian (which includes people moving about in wheelchairs), bicyclists or motorist. Or, all three.
Have a heart, be considerate.
Together, let’s say, ‘I solemnly pledge to behave
as considerately as possible no matter how I get around.’”
~ Mia Birk, planner and author