It’s almost closing time for feedback on Local Board Priorities for the coming year. Feedback closes Sunday 22 March – so make sure you have your say! With our heads spinning from the COVID-19 response, this is one small useful thing you can do, to ensure positive direction through the interesting times ahead.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT
Your Local Board is one of 21 hyper-local bodies with significant power to make your neighbourhood nice. By having your say, you help change the streets you live, walk, and bike on.
Every Local Board has budget to spend on transport things: a Transport Capital Fund, and access to other pots of money like the Community Safety Fund. This can cover little things – e.g. better bike parking, or ramps instead of hard curbs – as well as area-wide issues like safer speeds, traffic-calming, Vision Zero, greenways through parks, and local links to the bike network. It’s important to make sure this money is used, and used wisely.
The Local Board Priorities guide what happens from mid-2020 to mid-2021. Your board needs your support for its vision – and it also needs you to point out what’s missing.
HOW TO HAVE YOUR SAY
Luckily, it’s easy to have your say. In fact, it’s as easy as 1-2-3:
1. Find out what Local Board area you’re in, using this link.
2. Have a look at your Local Board’s Priorities – all the links are on this page.
3. Give your feedback via the blue Have Your Say button on this page. Note: Q.4 covers Local Board priorities. You can comment on as many as you like, but we suggest starting close to home.
4. Other ways to give feedback
- Twitter: tweet using @aklcouncil and #akhaveyoursay
- Facebook: leave a comment on this page and use the hashtag #akhaveyoursay
- There are a few remaining drop-in sessions, although many have been cancelled: keep an eye on this page.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR FEEDBACK COUNT
- SUGGEST A PROJECT – We all have ideas. Give your idea some legs by writing it down so other people can see it. A link to a local school. A specific traffic-calming project at a tricky spot.
- THINK POSITIVE – Our local reps tend to hear from people who want to stop something from happening. Take a moment to thank them for any improvements, no matter how small – and point out ways to leverage those wins. If you’ve got critiques (and who hasn’t?), highlight the potential. As Oscar Wilde kind of said, ‘We’re all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the planter-protected kid-friendly bike path to school, or through the shopping centre.’
- BE YOURSELF – Describe how your own life would be different if… ‘If my kids could bike safely to school, that’d be one less car on the road in the morning, and two healthy little people who feel at home in their neighbourhood.’ ‘If there was better lighting in that park, I’d be more likely to walk or bike to the bus.’ ‘If there was bike parking at these shops…’ ‘If the rat-runners stopped flying down my street…’
- CHECK FOR KEYWORDS – here are some keywords to look for, so you can find things to support or expand on. And if you don’t find these keywords in your Local Board’s priorities for 2020/ 2021, put them in your feedback!
- Transport. Look for any mention of “active transport” or cycling specifically.
- Cycling, obviously. What’s the commitment to cycling, cycleways, cycle or bike infrastructure? The LB needs to know there’s support out there.
- Greenways. Does your LB have a Greenways Plan, for safe connected walking and biking paths through parks and neighbourhood streets, and have they pledged to keep working on it? If not, encourage them to create one. If they do, great! Support any specific projects, or suggest others.
- Local Board Transport Capital Fund. Often, this doesn’t get used… because nobody asks. So if you can think of a project, mention it! A safer school route? A missing link? A broken sidewalk? Raised crossing on your street?
- Vision Zero or any reference to safer speeds, traffic-calming, or road safety. Support your LB’s to improve safety and encourage local trips on foot and on bike.
- Pedestrians/Walking – because anything that makes streets sweeter for pedestrians (slower speeds, better crossings) is likely to be good for people on bikes, too.
- Parks, health, children, diversity, connections, sustainability, heritage, strong community... you name it, there’s a role for bikes in almost every priority a board can think of. Some LBs are quick to join the dots; others need locals to spell out the connection. Get a handle on what matters to your Local Board, and then let them know how more people on bikes will solve it for them!
Lastly, pat yourself on the back for being a good citizen. You’re a great citizen!