Bike Summit: Multimodal Activism

One of my favorite themes of the conference was the focus on multi-modal activism.

The activists I’m most familiar with are prone to just focusing on cycling and motoring, often as competing modes. Even when there is acknowledgement that accommodating cyclists will enhance all forms of transportation, we still seem to neglect the other modes and how they will all integrate together.

This is a paramount issue for many reasons.

One of them is that in places like San Diego, especially, cycling everywhere is impossible. Even if you are a super-hero, there aren’t enough hours in the day; it’s too spread out.

Also, I really like to walk. Somedays, I’d just like to sit down on a train.

But the problem is that we often have a winner take all feeling especially in the non-cycling communities. Most cyclists that I know are 100% on board with multi-modal.

However, at the funding level, we are often told by motorists to fight for a few crumbs. This brings advocates of transit, walking, cycling, and handicapped into conflict.

This is a really stupid approach.

I got a taste of this when I listened to the pedestrian and transit advocate talk. I really regret not being able to speak with her one on one; this didn’t work out logistically.

I could, see, however, that she shared, in a small way, some ill will towards cyclists.

We totally can not control how people think, but I did feel that cyclists were responsible, in some way, for her feelings.

I would really like to reach out, with love, to the other communities. I feel like we should work together and spend money on all modes save for motoring; we literally spent enough money on cars to make the US a paradise several times over. All we have is the hungry ghost and lame whining for more lanes for cars only and more free real estate. In some ways, I’d like to keep building for cars and to pave over our planet.

But this is stupid and spiteful, and the conference showed me that there’s not just a better way possible, but positive change is happening now.

Still, like others have mentioned, why do cyclists ALWAYS have to be the bigger person? Can’t someone, handicapped, motorist, pedestrian, alien, whatever, to us and say, “How can we accomodate you?”

This NEVER happened to me. I come in with smiles and good cheer and all I get from others is mockery, derision, or at best sad, resigned defeatism. I’m ALWAYS the most positive person on cycling. ALWAYS.

I so long for someone to smile and let me complain and just LISTEN. Just one non-cyclist.

No worries; I’ll continue to be the happy face. I’ll continue to smile, and try to be positive.

Transport love to all.

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