Streetsblog Network Training, Kansas City, Feb. 8, 2013
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Streetsblog Network Training, Kansas City, Feb. 8, 2013

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Streetsblog Network Training at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Kansas City. Led by Aaron Naparstek and Dani Simons.

Streetsblog Network Training at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Kansas City. Led by Aaron Naparstek and Dani Simons.

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  • Streetsblog essentially gave the advocates an amplifier. A mega-phone. Created a new set of expectations for NYC's transpo policy. It got all the various players on the same page. Literally. Everyone interested in the issue set looks at the blog in the morning. It sets the agenda. Suddenly, city officials have to respond to this. This is the power. And it is led to rapid transformation…
  • One, you need to nip this kind of thing in the bud. Make it toxic immediately. Also, having a common foe creates a sense that we’re in this together
  • This is David Alpert's outstanding blog. An example where he GG Wash was able to get 25 people out to a zoning meeting to support a Livable streets blogs are not "objective." And I think this is a form of media that millennials are more comfortable with, potentially, as well. Here's the paradox when it comes to federal issues.
  • There is a serious social and political movement here. Enormous energy and activism at the grassroots level. But it's not clear that even the people involved in this movement know or care that they are part of national phenomenon. And they are very divorced from what happens inside the Beltway. They are very focused, active and engaged in what is happening in their own communities.

Transcript

  • 1. Todays Agenda:9:30 - Dani Simons and introductions10:00 - Aaron Naparstek, "Blogging for Change."10:30 - Local Reports from Angie Schmitt and bloggers - David Johnson, KCLightRail - Alex Ihnen, NextSTL - Kristen Jeffers, BlackUrbanist - Randy Simes, UrbanCincy11:40 - Jason Barron, Cincinatti Mayors Office11:55 - Neha Bhatt, Smart Growth America12:00 - Stephen Davis, The federal transportation process12:20 - Lunch and discussion: How can we help each other?1:15 - Feedback surveys1:30 - The end!
  • 2. Streetsblog Network Gathering: Building a Movement for ChangeAaron Naparstek Smart Growth America@Naparstek New Partners Conferenceadn@mit.edu Kansas City, Missouri February 8, 2013
  • 3. I. Background: The New York CityStreets Renaissance Campaign
  • 4. How I got my start in this business
  • 5. Honku: Haiku poetry about horn honking Honku.org. Check it out.
  • 6. Midtown Manhattan circa 2005NYC transportation policy: Stuck in gridlock. Literally and figuratively.
  • 7. Meanwhile… Over in LondonCongestion Charging
  • 8. London: Motor vehicles removed from Trafalgar SquareBefore:After:
  • 9. Copenhagen: 40% of Commuters are Biking!
  • 10. Urban expressway removal projects. BeforeSeoul, South KoreaCheonggyecheon After River.Restored in 2004.
  • 11. Paris: The Expressway became a Beach."I promise to fight, with all themeans at my disposal, againstthe harmful, ever-increasingand unacceptable hegemonyof the automobile."- Mayor Bertrand Delanoë,2001.
  • 12. Bus Rapid TransitThe TransMilenio. Bogotá, Colombia.
  • 13. "We like traffic, it means economic activity, it meanspeople coming here. -- NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, August 2, 2006 A typical afternoon on Broadway, Lower Manhattan, 2006
  • 14. New Yorkers had forgotten:Streets weren’t always the sole domain of motor vehicles. Mulberry Street, Manhattan’s Lower East Side, circa 1900. Source: Library of Congress Photocrom Collection
  • 15. Park Avenue was once… a Park!Before 1922 After1922Manhattan’s Park Avenue at 50th Street looking north
  • 16. 1913 2005"Erosion of cities by automobiles entails so familiar a series of eventsthat they hardly need describing. The erosion proceeds as a kind ofnibbling -- Jane Jacobs
  • 17. Plan and design for cars and traffic, your city will get… Cars and traffic.This is the result of 80 years of planning for cars and traffic.
  • 18. NYCSR: Reimagining the citys streets What if we thought of our streets as public spaces rather than transportation corridors?
  • 19. NYCSR brought together a coalition of advocacy organizations
  • 20. NYCSR invited influential thinkers and leaders to NYC.Enrique PenalosaMayor of Bogota Donald Shoup UCLA parking guru Jan Gehl Danish urban designer
  • 21. Streetsblog launched in early 2006Able to give attention to stories that might not get covered otherwise.
  • 22. The original goals for Streetsblog1. Cover a daily beat around sustainable transport and livable streets issues.2. Watchdog and reform the New York City Department of Transportation.3. Show and spread new ideas for NYC’s streets.4. Create a community forum for high-quality discussion.
  • 23. An audience of one.Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff
  • 24. II. The Impact of Streetsblogand the NYCSR
  • 25. One of my first examples of the power of Streetsblog In April 2007 Streetsblog got a hold of this secret plan.
  • 26. Streetsblog put a face and a name on these car-oriented policiesNo one had ever paid much attention to NYCs Chief Traffic Engineer
  • 27. Streetsblog mobilized an unprecedented response700 peopleshowed up to alocal meetingthat normallywould haveattracted 35.
  • 28. This is what livable streets advocacy looked like before the Internet
  • 29. Social media reduces the costs of four things that arecritical to advocates, activists and organizers: • Access to Information • Group communication • Group coordination • Public documentation and distribution of information. By reducing these costs, social media helps to accelerate the political organizing process.
  • 30. Streetsblog put pressure on City Hall and NYC DOTProvided an outlet for frustrated progressives within NYC DOT
  • 31. Streetsblog helped to create fundamental change at NYC DOTNYC DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall resigns, January 29, 2007.
  • 32. Fundamental change comes to NYC DOT Janette Sadik-Khan takes over, May 2007
  • 33. Parking lot transformed into a public plaza. Before After DUMBO, Brooklyn
  • 34. Projects that had been "impossible" for 40 years start happening Before After Making Broadway car-free at Times Square
  • 35. Car-Free Broadway at Times SquareBefore After
  • 36. Times SquareDUMBO, Brooklyn
  • 37. Busy intersection transformed into a public plaza. Before After Ninth Avenue at 14th Street, Manhattan.
  • 38. Madison Square, Broadway at 23rd Street. Before After
  • 39. Herald Square, Broadway in front of Macy’s
  • 40. New Lots Triangle, Brooklyn.Before After New public space near a busy subway station.
  • 41. Select Bus ServiceDedicated bus lanes, off-board fare collection, signal priority
  • 42. Building a citywide bike network.Protected bike path on Prospect Park West in Brooklyn.
  • 43. Thanks to infrastructure like this, we are seeing an incredible boom in bike commuting in New York City. The new protected bike path or “cycle track” on Manhattan’s busy 8th Avenue.
  • 44. Creating more complete streets.First Avenue and E. 6th Street, Manhattan.
  • 45. III. Tactics:How to blog theStreetsblog way
  • 46. There are three audiences you want to reach: 1. The decision-makers Governor Chief Traffic Engineer MayorPlanning Director Police Chief Transit Head
  • 47. There are three audiences you want to reach: 2. The public
  • 48. There are three audiences you want to reach: 3. The local media
  • 49. Remember, youre tell a story.Stories often have good guys and bad guys. Bad guys are compelling!
  • 50. Regularity is important. Try to be there every day.Headline round-ups are a great way to define your beat and provide valuable service to readers.
  • 51. Write good headlines.- Frame the issue as clearly as you can- Use officials names- Have fun
  • 52. Bring new ideas and best practices to your community Streetfilms (and web video, in general) is a great tool for this.
  • 53. This Streetfilm helped to change policy in multiple cities. Streetfilms Bogota Ciclovia video
  • 54. Try to make wonky, complex policy issues more accessible.
  • 55. BREAKING: Its a news mediumThere is value to getting news online first and fastest every once in a while.
  • 56. Make stars out of your local activists…The annual Streetsie Awards: Activists of the Year
  • 57. … and make stars of your readers tooFeature your best commenters on the homepage
  • 58. Get your readers involved and invested. This awful group of state legislators held transit funding hostage for a period in 2009. They called themselves "The Four Amigos."Caption contests are a fun way to invite particpation.
  • 59. Get your readers involved and invested. Streetsblog readers renamed them "The Fare Hike Four." (Incidentally, three of these four are either in jail or on their way.)Caption contests are a fun way to invite particpation.
  • 60. Hold government officials accountablePut them on notice: We are watching what you say and do.
  • 61. Hold your local media accountable "A Second Avenue bike lane is next to the Israeli consulate, leaving many wondering what would happen if a man on a bike were a terrorist!"Point out the absurdity of their ingrained windshield perspective.
  • 62. Headlines from the Great NYC Bikelash of 2010-11
  • 63. Even a high-quality outlet like the New York Times will publish baloney
  • 64. Do rapid-response fact-checking.In fact, the exact opposite of that New York Times story is true.
  • 65. Celebrate the innovatorsMore often than not, they only hear criticism.
  • 66. Market and distribute your content! The #BikeNYC hashtag on Twitter
  • 67. Market and distribute your content!Make use of existing social networks or create your own.
  • 68. Raise money. Give it a shot! Jonathan Maus at Bike Portland is raising three kids on advertising revenue from his web site.Im talking to you, Alex Ihnen!!!
  • 69. Have fun! Try to be entertaining. Dont be boring.
  • 70. IV. Streetsblog Network:Can we do more together?
  • 71. We launched the Streetsblog Network in 2008Concept: Connect local livable streets bloggers to the federal transportation process
  • 72. Today: Virtually every big U.S. city has a local livable streets blog All blogs ≈ 450 High-frequency local blogs ≈ 125 Unique visitors > 390,804 Monthly pageviews > 1,375,909
  • 73. Streetsblog Network members are becoming influential
  • 74. Transit Miami compels Commissioner to respond and retract.
  • 75. "Now twenty people testify at hearings. It used to be two."
  • 76. 6,758 Twitter followers makes NextSTL a viable political force.
  • 77. Fighting for Cincinattis streetcar and other projectsInstrumental in helping defeat two different referenda intended to kill the Cincinnati Streetcar.
  • 78. Livable streets blogs encourage action and engagement. "About 25 residents spoke in favor of the plan compared to only 6 opposed."
  • 79. It can be challenging to get readers to engage the bigger issues Gutting the Clean Air Act? One comment.
  • 80. It can be challenging to get readers to engage the bigger issues Harassed by SFPD while biking? 60 comments!
  • 81. “Digital networks have acted as a massive positive supply shock to the cost and spread ofinformation, to the ease and range of public speech by citizens, and to the speed and scale of group coordination.” - NYU Professor Clay Shirky,author of Here Comes Everybody.
  • 82. Does anyone recognize this urban public space?
  • 83. Tahrir Square, Cairo.
  • 84. On the local level the Livable Streets movement is powerful350 people rally on a weekday morning to support a bike lane in Brooklyn. October 21, 2010.
  • 85. So, how do we build our movement? How do we take advantage of our network? How do we move the federal transportation fight out from inside the Beltway and onto local turf, where we are winning?
  • 86. Todays Agenda:9:30 - Dani Simons and introductions10:00 - Aaron Naparstek, "Blogging for Change."10:30 - Local Reports from Angie Schmitt and bloggers - David Johnson, KCLightRail - Alex Ihnen, NextSTL - Kristen Jeffers, BlackUrbanist - Randy Simes, UrbanCincy11:40 - Jason Barron, Cincinatti Mayors Office11:55 - Neha Bhatt, Smart Growth America12:00 - Stephen Davis, The federal transportation process12:20 - Lunch and discussion: How can we help each other?1:15 - Feedback surveys1:30 - The end!