Sunday, January 21, 2007

On advocacy

Well, I must be doing SOMETHING right! I've been dismissed by facilities-advocate Paul Dorn as hopelessly out of date, demoralized, and ineffective.

Even Paul Tay has weighed in on the issue. Apparently the local bicycling advocacy effort is too elitist and not confrontational enough for his tastes.

Long ago, when I first started writing about local cycling issues, Brian Potter told me that I'd receive both deserved and undeserved criticism. He said that a writer needs to be thick-skinned to deal with it. And he was right.

Bicycling advocacy covers a wide opinion spectrum. Some are happy to receive a bike facility - any bike facility, regardless of its merits - if it gets them away from all those scary cars. Others take the in-your-face approach, deliberately antagonizing motorists and law enforcement through questionable or illegal riding practices. The Tulsa advocacy group has a reasonable, thoughtful approach that tries to overcome ingrained prejudices and ignorance regarding cycling issues, and adheres to the best practices ideas of vehicular cycling. In other words, we try to defeat superstition and ignorance with knowledge and education. This leaves no room for self-aggrandizement, posturing, or political theater.

The popular television show "CSI" has a recurring piece of dialog about "following the evidence." This is appropriate advice for any advocacy group. It's more important to establish what actually works and provides real benefits for the intended users, rather than pursue political agendas, private vendettas, or waste time and money on projects that have no impact on safety. The Tulsa group has a chance to incorporate the current best practices that actually benefit cyclists, rather than repeat the mistakes and failures we've seen elsewhere.

In working with government agencies, it's a good idea to park your ego at the door. Nothing happens quickly in government, well, nothing GOOD anyway. It can be frustrating to deal with various agencies, all of them with conflicting goals or different agendas. I know I've voiced that frustration here from time to time. But things get done when open-minded people work together, putting their differences aside and focusing on a common goal. The key to this is mutual respect, ordinary courtesy, and a commitment to finding the truth at the heart of any issue. Confrontation and antagonism do nothing to accomplish any goal. They're ego-gratifying, but like I said, park your ego outside.

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Blogger Paul Tay said...

If you call the practice of OPENLY utilizing Effective vehicular cycling to the LETTER confrontational, you are refuting your own training as a LCI.

NO one I know has been confrontational, except making vehicular cycling very visible, albeit for purposes other than the your purposes.

It seems in order to compensate for the marginalization foisted upon you by City Hall and INCOG, you seem intent to marginalize Santa and Biker-Chicken. Yep. Pass the buck.

Again, as I have done so many times, I invite you and Msgr. Potter to ride with Santa on ANY given Sunday afternoon on Memorial Drive.

Unless you've actually witness the Effective vehicular cycling as practice by Santa, you have NO right to judge.

And, DON'T tell me you've NEVER split lanes or roll without hands, in rush hour traffic.

6:13 PM  
Blogger Paul Tay said...

The problem with working with government agencies, ie INCOG, Tulsa Public Works, is it takes two to tango.

They DON'T want to work you, Brian, or any of the current crop of bicycle "advocates," unless you play UNCLE Tom.

Malcom, Tulsa Tough et al are doing a real bang up job in THAT department.

INCOG don't want to hear about mixing bicycles with motor vehicles, as per Effective Cycling.

They don't want to hear about AASHTO guidelines for bike lanes.

What they want is SEGREGATION. They don't want bicyclists "IMPEDING" motor vehicles. They are trying to maintain what is call Level of Service. And, Effective vehicular cycling ain't in the program.

Again, cyclists----NIGGERS of the roadway.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Paul Tay said...

Really, the only people who are CONFRONTATIONAL are the cagers pissed off they are delayed all of ten seconds behind Santa, don't want to SLOW down, and pass in the OTHER lane.

AND, the TPD Santa Task Force is pissed off because the pissed off cagers keep dialing 911, saying Santa is "impeding" traffic again.

If Santa really wanted to be CONFRONTATIONAL, and RECKLESSLY driving, he'd be rolling a TWO-ton H2 and packing a 357.

What's Santa rolling? A friggin' BIKE. What's Santa packing? A friggin' GUITAR.

Yep. Keep passing the marginalized BUCK from INCOG, and stepping on the chumps NOT on your HIGH horse.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Paul Tay said...

Hey, INCOG, Santa DARES you to prove me WRONG, by re-convening your stupid Bike sub-Committee, if for nothing else besides for LIP service.

Guess what, people? They won't do it.

Yep. Santa is getting on his HIGH horse now and directing the old doggie to POOP on INCOG. Giddy UP!

And, Ed, Santa is really on YOUR side and actually loves ALL bicycle "advocates."

NOT you, Brian. Git yerself a friggin' HAIRCUT, you hippy.

9:00 PM  

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