The Future of Decatur Street

Posted by Jamie Wine on November 29, 2012 in Advocacy

Details on the Decatur Rally

(New Orleans) — Bike Easy supporters took to the streets in droves last Tuesday to rally for inclusion of more bicycle lanes on Decatur. Here are the details on what that means for the future of Decatur Street and our ongoing advocacy work:

Decatur Rally = Show of Force

Every so often, advocacy groups need to demonstrate a “show of force” to prove both who we represent and how powerful those interests are in the region. We utilized many tactics for this kind of advocacy, including letters to the editor, calling representatives, petition signatures, public meeting attendance and the day of rally. Bike Easy has a well developed advocacy strategy and often does work behind the scenes with city officials. We are involved in several public advisory committees, we meet in person with elected officials and technocrats, we make phone calls to large constituent groups to educate them and gain their support. However, as much as we talk about these issues, sometimes we have to show force in numbers to demonstrate our strength.

Tangible Results

The concrete for pedestrian islands have been poured on Decatur in a spot that precludes the optimal layout for bicycle lanes and for pedestrian safety. While we lost this point, the battle continues. We still seek bike facilities and adjustments to the striping plan to make Decatur more bike friendly. However, the rally did something more, something positive and something enduring for our movement.

Having a rally demonstrated:

  • Everyday people care about bicycle lanes, bike friendly communities, and safer streets for all
  • Broad support of local organizations for safer streets
  • Media interest in bicycle and pedestiran issues
  • Bike Easy is a mainstream organization with legitimate concerns that can & will be heard in the region

You did that. By showing up, signing petitions, calling 311 and rallying for a safe Decatur – you showed strength, numbers and concern for public safety. You made the government listen to your concerns. As a direct result, Bike Easy expects both to be more involved in decisions behind the scenes, and more involved in gathering direct public input on each project. Because of the noise you made about Decatur Street, your strength will be more respected as we continue to work together making New Orleans the most bicycle friendly city in America.

Thank you for all you do.

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