Did You Know?
Getting what you want–a case study
John Kennedy used a literary device—chiasmus—when he said, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Chiasmus switches around the subject and object of a phrase. This particular chiasmus comes to mind because of recent conversations that I had with an Active Transportation Alliance member who is upset about what she sees shirking its responsibility for bike lanes free of double parked vehicles—especially those on Canal Street by the Metra Stations. She wanted someone to be accountable for those bike lanes, and she spoke to me.
Membership dues make us accountable for realizing our mission. At the same time, Active Trans does not write parking tickets. We don’t operate a car towing fleet. Like individual members looking to solve a problem, Active Trans holds accountable those people in power. I advised the woman to call 311 to document the problem and then to write the responsible alderman to reinforce her complaint. When the member did write the alderman, she effectively set in motion a chain of events to address the issue. The Alderman took action and wrote a letter to the police commander respectfully requesting more enforcement. He also invited her to a forum where she would have the ear of the police. We’re glad to provide you—our members—with the toolkit to critically look at transportation problems.
Bicycle advocates like you and I benefit largely from the sincerity of our desires and from our passion. One of our proven strategies is to make friends with decision makers. Get on the horn with us about the problems you’re encountering, we’ll provide you with the tools to shine light on them.
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