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Mass Transit Magazine Addresses Jacksonville’s Dangerous, Nationwide Reputation

January 28, 2013

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The magazine, Mass Transit, was recently made privy to the North Florida TPO’s latest survey regarding North Florida’s transportation problems. There was an overwhelming response from the cyclist communities that make up the counties of Duval, Clay, Nassau, and St. Johns.

Read more about it here:

http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/10859635/fl-road-improvements-for-cyclists-pedestrians-in-first-coast-counties-subject-of-transportation-survey?utm_source=MASS+NewsViews+Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MASS130122002

I want to sincerely thank everyone who has ever voiced their concerns about Jacksonville’s awful reputation to the proper authorities, or at least to the media. There have only been a little handful of advocates that have been “whining” (as Councilman Bill Gulliford puts it) for years and years, hoping beyond hope that Jacksonville will finally start accepting cycling as a serious form of transportation, and that we need more infrastructure, education, and enforcement in order to be up to par with the rest of our progressive metropolitan counterparts.

If you’re interested in the context of Mr. Gulliford’s lovely comment about cyclist advocates, you can read that exchange of emails right here in the blog post “Anger Management”.

Since the JBC was formed and reinforced by teaming up with Bike Jax and BPAC, I’ve witnessed a very noticeable influx in media coverage about cyclist issues. You can read some of the articles in a couple categories in this blog – “Cyclists’ Concerns in Jax News” and “JBC in the News”. I don’t have every article represented here. No where near, in fact. But most of what I’ve posted regarding media coverage has more to do with the media “raising awareness”, not necessarily simply reporting another casualty (Jacksonville has always had more than its fair share of articles of that nature).

So again, THANK YOU, JACKSONVILLE ADVOCATES, for all that you do to BITCH and MOAN and most especially WHIIIIIIIIINE (that one’s for you, Mr. Gulliford) to those who are supposed to be implementing enforcement of the law, to those who are supposed to be including bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in new street designs, and to the highest authorities who are supposed to stay on top of these matters when those who are supposed to be doing their jobs are, in fact, not.

That’s one thing an advocate is supposed to do, anyway.

And in my continued efforts in figuring out how to advocate for such a huge city with only a tiny number of advocate colleagues by my side, I’ve found that walking into City Hall, or the TPO headquarters, or contacting local media, or speaking to the mayor, or speaking directly to any given necessary figure, provides a great deal more change for our city, as opposed to standing outside those facilities and protesting.

You must be a part of the system and go right up to the authorities and communicate with them. An advocate cannot solely rely on protesting from the sidelines.

It’s that one nagging thing that makes me shy away from being a part of any bureaucratic system, though, and which ultimately slowed my momentum these past few months – the merciless politics.

 

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