Two Capitols/Capitals

This week I went to Jefferson City to lobby the politicos for bicycling issues, and it was a big success.  This year we more than tripled the turnout of bicyclists at the Capitol and had some great conversations about transportation policy, recreation policy, funding, and transportation safety.  Unfortunately the notoriously troubled Missouri Amtrak route got us home at almost one in the morning :(

While almost all of our state legislators are very nice and personable people, I have to say that a lot of our Kansas City delegation is underwhelming.   There doesn’t seem to be the same sense of unity and passion that that is there among the St. Louis and Springfield contingents. Those legislators are not shy about fighting for their communities and making sure their interests are represented. You can be sure St. Louis reps are fighting for transportation and mass transit dollars, while I hear very little from KC reps about light rail.  The Kansas City delegation seems to be less engaged and active than others. Kansas City is Missouri’s biggest city by far, but we have to start acting like it.

Anyway, on Monday I’m off to Washington, D.C. to repeat the whole process on the national level as part of the Missouri delegation to the National Bike Summit. It’s kinda cool that the League of American Bicyclists is headquartered on K Street with all the bigwig lobbyists.

5 thoughts on “Two Capitols/Capitals

  1. I’m leery of centrally-controlled mass transit because of the strike problem. It happens so often that the greed of a few ends up directly affecting people who are just trying to get to work or go about their business some other way. This happened a year or two ago in New York City. Centrally-controlled mass transit should be treated like air traffic control or other “crucial” situations: if the workers can’t be bothered to show up for their job and don’t have a good reason (holidays, legitimate medical reasons, etc), immediately replace them permanently. It is just too socially destructive to let the situation go on.

    After all it’s not at all like private-sector workers striking to knock down the corporate fat cats: transit strikers are striking to knock US down and shake down the general public for as much as they can get.

    Bicycles and even cars don’t have this problem: one person acting up in a socially destructive way, will create a knot in traffic that will be minor inconvenience at most.

    Detroit has a mass transit system that actually works. It’s call jitneys. Unlike the government-controlled system, it is more accountable and has to serve its riders. It is also totally decentralized. The problem? Jitneys are illegal in Detroit.

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