[dc-critmass-list] Philosophy of Critical Mass vs WABA
jkeisenh at hotmail.com
Wed May 11 13:35:33 GMT 2005
I couldn't agree more. I'm not a WABA member, and don't intend to ever be,
because I don't feel like WABA represents riders like me-- people on the
streets every day, either for transportation or for work, that need more
enforcement against cars, more education for drivers, and a generally more
sane traffic city. I could care less about trails. Sure, they're fun for
the whole family, and all that, but building a trail won't keep people like
me alive. (Also, Eric, I know you're reading this, and I hope you know it's
not at all personal...)
I respect what WABA does for the people it does represent, but I think it's
audience is small, its agenda palatable, and its tactics far less grassroots
than I personally prefer. Then again, look at the size of WABA vs. CM.
(Then again, maybe if we had a budget, staff, etc...)
I do want to point out that there's a city-wide Bike Advisory Committee that
sets bike priorities for DDOT and the Council, and there are two vacancies--
ward 2 and at-large (Mendelson). if you're interested, let me know, I'll
get you the info. I sit on the BAC and I can't tell you how put off I was
when, after I rode to a meeting on a cold, dark, windy winter day, two
fellow committee members told me they "can't believe you rode in this
>From: Rachel Courtland <rcourtland at gmail.com>
>Reply-To: Rachel Courtland <rcourtland at gmail.com>,Washington DC Critical
>Mass E-Mailing List <dc-critmass-list at lists.mutualaid.org>
>To: dc-critmass-list at lists.mutualaid.org
>Subject: [dc-critmass-list] Philosophy of Critical Mass vs WABA
>Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 17:11:34 -0400
>Does anyone have any thoughts on my thoughts?
>I went to the Washington Area Bicyclist Association's (WABA)'s annual
>meeting a couple weeks ago, and I was surprised to find that there were
>few people in attendance who did not either work for WABA or were accepting
>an award that night.
>WABA seems like a much different organization than CM -- it's extremely
>top-down, has a platform (some of which I disagree with), and yet it has
>made some great strides for cycling in the region, especially trail-wise.
>CM seems very bottom-up and to be all about taking the road (both very good
>things), but does this translate into any sort of political presence in the
>city? Aside from raising awareness on the road, what can/has CM do/done?
>Is this a recreational vs. urban warrior bicyclist distinction? Organized
>multi-million dollar development efforts versus a daily battle for rights,
>recognition, and safety? Ostensibly, WABA stands for both.
>I run down the middle -- half my commute is on the trail and the other half
>is spent riding between cars and taking lanes when I feel like it. I feel
>like there should be a happy medium between the two orgs, and it's kept me
>from both of them.
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