Through a contact in the “Metropolitan Development Department” I got an audience with a “Transportation Committee” which was tasked to implementing the transportation related aspects of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The Plan among other things directs the city to complete a network for “motorized and non-motorized transportation”.
Given that, I pitched my project has helping the City to meet it’s own stated objectives.
I also understood that getting support from the City meant more than just showing off map and getting a thumbs up.
I spent most of my 10 minutes with the mic to brief the group on a vision of a bike-friendly community. I used a photo-heavy slideshow with background music to show off XtraCycles, Bakfiets, velomobiles and sensible european commuting bike fashion. I think this actually worked to get the group more exciting about bicycles. Having set the mood, I used the last few minutes to show of the draft of the map. I was invited to present a final draft to the Transportation Committee for their approval, who could in turn recommend the network for approval by the Mayor.
I also came prepared with a lot of bicycle safety statistics in my back pocket. Not wanting to frame the conversation around safety, I didn’t bring up the topic much, but I was well-prepared to discuss the reality of cycling safety if someone else brought it up.