Friday, October 9, 2009

Second Sunday Is Coming

This Sunday is the second attempt for Lexington to pull off a Second Sunday "event". I have spoken about this before and I won't bother you with it again, but suffice it to say that I don't like how Lexington is going to pull this off.

I was looking at the list of sponsoring agencies and realized that Lextran is not listed in any way. For an event that takes place in a central location and needs parking spaces for patrons so that they can attend, the absence of Lextran as a way to avoid the parking woes really mystifies me. So I asked a planner for the MPO, who deals with Lextran and their future efforts, if they were involved in the past years planning meetings.

I can say that, from the course of the conversation, Lextran is usually brought in as an after thought... if then. I did learn that earlier this the Director of Lextran was call to a hastily arranged meeting of city officials because of a claustrophobia of circumstances surrounding the number of events occurring downtown this weekend. That is about as last minute as you can get.

I have written before about how I believe that Lextran is reactive agency and does not move to get ahead of the need for their services. If Lexington is going to plan for TOD(Transit Oriented Development) then the transportation needs to be planned for before the development gets started, not after. If Lexington is going to be prepared for the "Great Reset" then Lextran has to be involved in the early planning, not to see if they will "go along" with the decisions that someone else has made.

I don't think that Lexington is really going to implement any kind of meaningful mass transit. Nor does their transportation planning extend beyond catering to us on the "lunatic fringe". The LA Times wrote the other day that a larger and larger number of Generation Y'ers are foregoing the auto and getting around town by other means. If they recognize the trend there, then it will not take that long to get here, the quote the things always happen 20 years late in Kentucky may have been true at one time, but I think that it takes less time now.

Lexington has made some big strides in the provision of bike trails and paths in the past few years. thanks to Kenzie Gleason and her BPAC group, but that is just a small piece of the pie. Even the expansion of Second Sunday to a monthly schedule, in the manner in which they intend, with escorted bike rides, once again from the city center, lacks the involvement of the neighborhoods from which the participants will venture forth. I still believe that with 12 council districts and 12 calendar months, a Second Sunday street closure could be held all around Lexington for the next year. Real success would be when it is held in all districts on a monthly basis.

So far Kentucky's Second Sunday history has required a massive PR push and from what I've read, the original in Bogota, Columbia just sort of... ... happened.

1 comment:

Brian T said...

Did you get a chance to attend the Bike Summit back in 2007? The keynote speaker was Gil Penalosa, the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation for Bogota, Columbia. He was instrumental in implementing the Ciclovia, which is what the idea of Second Sunday is based on. No doubt the seeds of this idea and the benefits of it were planted during his time at the Summit.

He went into detail about the history of Ciclovia, and I can assure you, it wasn't something that "just happened".