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Choosing To Be Stewards of Inclusiveness: Build It And They Will Come

Dedicated city and county participation is the only way to make this challenge a tangible solution by designating a Transportation Ombudsman

Photo of Adrian Dole
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Written by

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

No solution will be successful unless it becomes attractive enough. With all of these proposals in place, current users would benefit as well as expand to even more that rely on public transport. Commuter trips by car owners would be cut short as they join the integrated grid. Tourists will benefit from the accessibility to all parts of the city that they wanted to explore as well as this influx serve many of our local farms, businesses, and cultural organizations. A new connected identity would begin to expand and thrive that will bring not only an economic boon but a socio-cultural benefit as well. Last, all residents would benefit from these proposals--commuters and public transportation users alike weekdays and weekends. We would also see a decline in traffic fatalities, late night DUI, and crime.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

No team or organization, just me. As I told one of your moderators: I have always made sure that I live within walking distance to my work and public transportation so my commute foibles are always negligible. I have also lived in very connected cities--Boston and Portland, OR; and some struggling or not connected at all--New Orleans and Raleigh, NC.

Size of your team or organization

  • I am submitting as an individual

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

As Transportation Ombudsman, I would plan the implementation of trolley systems and express buses with lower rates over a grid covering up to 30 miles from city center. This would include requesting (gratis) research institutions like MIT and CalTech to aid in making the grid a smart one. Government offices would also move to rotating schedules as proposed above and the immediate designation of parking garages for commuter Ford fleets be implemented. Bus passes for government employees and low income folks and students would be handed out. The first smart walkway would be built from Brickell to the Design District. The planned mall contract will be amended to include housing and public transportation benefits. Tax revenue from toll rates, registration & plate rates, and a new resort "green" rate for all hotels and home share sites as well as contibutions from major developers benefiting from the increase of visitors to their shops and restaurants would keep funding this expansion.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Sustainability will be measured by an account of ridership use and be observed by traffic on toll routes during rush hour a year after full implementation. Also, a year after the walkway being built, measurement of crowds using it and attendance to events and markets will be measured. Last, a detailed survey would be mailed out before and after implementation to evaluate use as well as research directly input into smart grid system to help evaluate ways to continually get more efficient at serving the needs of the community which may expand over time. Donations to green expansion from income tax returns evaluated as well as a concerted marketing effort for donations from local financial institutions be measured. Positive press for the city will only increase its coffers--especially if we get chosen as a new Amazon headquarters for example--imagine the compounded increased benefits. These are just a few ideas, imagine what a well chosen team could accomplish!

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Photo of KatieWalsh 100
Team

Hi Adrian - what an interesting idea submission. I do not know if this is a feasible entry - I will seek enlightenment though - but your vision sounds attractive. I will get back to you with the team's take on your idea here! Katie Facilitator.

Photo of Adrian Dole
Team

Hi Katie--I would love feedback on how to make my idea be a feasible entry. There is much more to what I posted that I have in mind that can be implemented but did not have room left to elaborate. It is easy to forget that to implement an idea in an urban environment the primary focus to be given is to the framework in place through which the idea will navigate and make it feasible--namely the bureaucracy of government. If we cannot tackle this with that in mind form the offset, this challenge will surely become null and just a memory of great effort that led nowhere. This is why it is so key to have an Ombuds(wo)man that understands that and is keenly aware of how to navigate the governmental hurdles, the marketing hurdles(for help from the business and art community is key as well,) and the funding obstacles with legislation as we move to a 5 and 10 year plan. An intrinsic consciousness change must occur and this must be clearly and effectively communicated from the start in order for taxes and fees to be approved, legislation to be passed, building requirements to be enacted, etc. Human beings are driven for instant gratification and the relief in an urban commute must be felt eased in a radical way from the start in order to have the majority of the population buy in. If we do not buy in as a community as a whole, all this will become a pretty memory looked in that rear view mirror as we keep struggling in that mounting daily commute.

Photo of KatieWalsh 100
Team

Hi, sorry it took so long to get back to you. Any ideas here must suggest pilots that must create immediate impact and support long-term improvements. If you can make your pilot suggestion do that, then the idea, although not obviously in scope, deserves to stay for now.

Photo of KatieWalsh 100
Team

PS - your proposed pilot is assuming that you have been appointed Transportation Ombudsman - maybe the pilot has to be more like a chance to convince the city that that post is essential - gathering evidence for one from other cities, proposing a budget and so on. I don't think the city will appoint you because you've proposed this in a post on this challenge. Have a think and maybe adjust your pilot proposal to something more about the role of ombudsman?

Photo of Adrian Dole
Team

Thanks for the reply. I think that the ideas proposed hark to the importance of immediate impact in order for any longer term plan to be feasible--I did talk about the importance of folks "buying in" plus establishing short term measurement impact goals in order to move forward and then support long term improvements: smart grids for buses and trolleys and governmental office schedule changes(short term) leading to expanded/improved bus/trolley networks, building code changes, company/government shuttles, paths and walkways, toll and car registration/plate fees, etc., cultural and neighborhood participation(long term.)

Photo of Adrian Dole
Team

P.S. Agreed. Winning this challenge is the beginning. The city will not appoint a Transportation Ombudsman in the near future unless there is pressure from the folks on the ground for the city to get its act together--plus there would have to be a budget for this appointment that will surely lead to tied strings and a litany of interests being lobbied to that position. This Ombuds(wo)man does not have to be me personally but it does have to be someone championing these ideas put forward by all of us and who is best at communicating this to a larger public, keeping the conversation in the forefront in local media outlets, neighborhood meetings, election debates, etc. I see this challenge as an intrinsic part of building a movement from the ground up and this movement needs to have its funding independence, at least at the beginning. This challenge grew, in part, from the idea that cities themselves, and their government, are ill prepared, uninformed, and/or do not care about long term plans and solutions to infrastructure in these cities. The catch 22 is realizing that in order for any of these ideas--some great and feasible and others not so much--we have to work with the governmental structures in place in order to achieve any lasting effect. This is the right time for this to be born, as midterms are on the way and as gubernatorial debates on the horizon for the state of Florida. So, to be honest, although the call for ideas in this challenge is an exciting one, I would vote for the ideas WITH the plan for them to be implemented. If not, as I said before, we will look at this a decade from now as a cool wind cooling our face, pleasant and ephemeral, a pie in the sky. If you really care, you will heed this call, with me in it or without me(I have always engineered a personal commute full of ease wherever I lived,) for its cause is greater than all of us.