We all love to ride, walk, and stroll in public space, but occasionally we need to reassert our rights. With bikes, we call that “bikelash”. Yet any public space can be contested, and it’s healthy to direct the messaging appropriately back where it belongs. You can help steer the public conversations and rhetoric towards understanding and positivity. Here are tips:
- Use your voice and story from your own experience, to guide the messaging, in an intro.
- Resources: Any of the following may be useful or inspirational: Data and Safety Statistics, Safe Streets, Bike Laws PCC Blog, City Lab, BikeSnobNYC, Project for Public Spaces, Untokening Principles, Bike League, America Walks.
- Be positive, and remember it’s about sharing public space. Keep it simple.
- Then get your Letter to the Editor out in your local paper! Don’t be shy!
“New bicycling infrastructure proposals can be a hot topic in the local media. Respond to articles about upcoming projects with positive letters to the editor. If you own or manage a business, speak from a businessperson’s perspective if possible. Writing letters to the editor in support of bicycling infrastructure lets the community and its leaders know that the project is desirable, while adding balance to any outspoken naysayers.” (peopleforbikes.org)
Here are some tips on writing letters to the editor from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.