17 Jul 2007

Same problems, different place

US blogger Cycledog writes about his experience of setting up bike lanes in Tulsa.

If you're beginning to get the idea that planning and building a trail network involves a multitude of questions, compromises, competing interests, and protracted bureaucratic infighting, you begin to understand why they're difficult to bring into existence. A trail idea will not meet with universal acclaim. Quite the contrary, in fact. The NIMBYs, naysayers, and simple obstructionists show up at every public meeting. They can be quite vocal, and more importantly from the political classes point of view, they vote.But that's just the political and planning end. Even if you have a trail system, parents have to permit their children to use it. Given the "stranger danger" paranoia that infects so many parents, can we really expect them to let their kids ride a bicycle to school?
There's a couple of interesting points here- the practical problems of dealing with lobby groups representing opposing interests and the battle against the propaganda of danger.

1 comment:

Ed W said...

Thanks for the plug. Maybe I'm getting frustrated with those who say, "I want XYZ!" and expect some entity to deliver it for them.

Before I got involved with local government, I thought it was a monolith where decisions were made at the top, and the minions below carried them out. In reality, government is more like a loose aggregation of feudal kingdoms, sometimes at war with each other, and sometimes forming temporary alliances.

Herding cats is infinitely more rewarding...but then again, I'm feeling especially frustrated right now.