Letter sent to Sustainable Energy Institute, Arcata
- Dear XXXXX,
My dear friends, I believe it is time to begin assembling a national
coalition for transportation choice. This coalition would be
comprised of environmental and ecological groups and organizations,
bicycle advocacy groups, pedestrian advocacy groups, public
transportation advocacy groups, and all who share our concern with
automobile domination of our cities and of our national
transportaion system, including urban and land-use planning groups.
By establishing a national network/coalition of this kind, we will
be better poised to take on many tough issues locally, at the state
level, and at the national policy level. I, personally, believe the
need is urgent.
As a tentative offering, I would propose that our motto might be
something like "Safety equals choice"
-- as I believe millions of Americans feel trapped in car culture
because our national, state, and local transportation infrastructure
has unfortunately been built around the assumption that cars rule.
The obvious result is that cars do, in fact, rule the road.
Bicycling, and even walking, don't feel like (and often aren't) safe
alternatives for the choosing. And local, state, and national
statistics on bicyclist and pedestrian injuries and deaths hold up
this sad fact. This must change, and it must become a matter of
local, state, and national policy that we will not tolerate unsafe
conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians.
This issue is urgent because our nation must, for numerous reasons,
seriously cut back on fossil fuel dependency. There is climate
change, toxic air, and all manner of serious
environmental/ecological destruction borne of fossil fuel
dependency. We have the health of a nation and of the planet in our
hands, and our mode of transportation plays a key role in the
changes we must make, asap.
I'd like to be involved in helping to create this Coalition--which
should work to publish a policy statement to be widely read and
used, by all levels of government--, and by all who care about the
health of our nation and planet.
Distribute this letter to anyone who might like to participate in
discussion toward this Coalition. Modify, or borrow from, this
letter as needed.
James R. Martin
BiPed, Santa Fe