Still Booming

First, an admission. I’m not a Millennial, nor am I a member of Gen-X. I’m a Boomer, part of that generation who should rightfully shoulder responsibility for many of the Earth’s ills. Yea, we (and to a lesser degree the Greatest Generation) acted in ways that now cause me to hang my head.
However, I am also part of a growing cadre who are turning to advocacy and activism to try to recover what has been lost, repair that which is broken, and leave the world a better place than it is now for my grandchildren and their children. (My apologies to my own kids: there just isn’t time.)
That said, much of what I hope to achieve will most likely not benefit me directly, particularly infrastructure change to move walking & cycling into the transportation mainstream. Even if my magic wand could bring all the politicians at all levels to think as we do, the reality is that funds are not there for a complete overhaul. Infrastructure will need  to be built and improved over time.
What can (and should) change in the immediate future is the government mindset. Adoption of ordinances and policies that promote the use of alternative transportation is a potent first step. Omaha and other cities need to start looking at options other than motor vehicle level of service in allocating transportation dollars. Federal and state lawmakers have to pass budgets an  legislation that reward municipalities for their alternative transportation actions. Advocacy groups need to continue to educate government bodies and the public on why this is not only important, but economically beneficial.
The time to start, if you haven’t already, is now! Omaha is considering a Complete Streets Policy that will hopefully be passed by the City Council in August. Take a few minutes, go to Mode Shift Omaha’s web page and read it. Then let your council member know that you support equitable transportation and urge them to pass this policy. Finally, if you can and want to do more, join Mode Shift, Omaha Bikes, or any other advocacy organization promoting safe transportation for all.
I may never see a completed safe bicycling network in Omaha, but I’ll be able to take my final ride knowing it’s coming.

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