Monday, September 17, 2018

Ride with the Mayor...Then What? How about Drive Less Challenge!

Maybe the centerpiece of Open Streets Salem, the Ride with the Mayor kicks off at 11am on Saturday the 22nd from Highland Elementary School.

Open Streets Salem
But what then? The "Ride with the Mayor" is a one-off, a little orphaned. What happens after the hoopla wears off?

the City as "model" and "leading example"
TDM chapter of TSP
According to the City's formally adopted Transportation System Plan,
The City of Salem shall encourage the use of alternative travel modes by serving as an institutional model...[and] leading example.
Councilor Andersen is great on this and leads by example. You can often see his bike at City Council. Earlier this summer in the midst of the cyanotoxin crisis, he biked up to our Geren Island water intake and treatment facility.

Drive Less Challenge
Is there a way to get more people in leadership positions visibly involved, so these things aren't just one-off photo ops, but knit more into habit and routine? To create more of an institutional culture at the City of visibly "modeling" ways to get around apart from our default drive-alone car trip? Maybe City leadership already does this, and if so they should share more of it publicly on social media, in interviews, and by participating in "encouragement" contests.

The Ride with the Mayor could be a pivot to the Drive Less Challenge and Walk+Roll to School Day, for example. It would be great to see daily updates from the Mayor, other Electeds, and other managers. (Remember when City Manager Steve Powers said he was going to bike and walk to City Hall?) They should really get into the challenge, even issue challenges to other municipalities! How about a West Salem focus from the Congestion Relief Task Force?!

Let's see more of this! - via Facebook
The winter months aren't the most propitious for new bicycling, there is transit, and then in May there's the Bike More Challenge and Bike Month. There should be ways to continue the momentum with more public modeling from the City.

Bike Month and the Bike More Challenge
The focus here in on bikes, but some will bike more, some walk more, others take more transit. The big picture isn't necessarily bikes but is more about opening up our autoist monoculture and its hegemonic dominance.

It has seemed like the Ride with the Mayor was stranded, and there are ways to leverage it into something more.

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