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.
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.)
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.