This week, I had a couple of conversations with people I would classify as people who think like I do. By that I mean, they are constantly thinking about how to improve transit for Indianapolis by using the limited resources that are available. In that respect, it is simple for me to strike up a conversation about how a study may be going or hey, what do you think about a rapid transit corridor along ______.
However, when I strike up a conversation with someone who does not think about these topics very often, I am struck with just how to properly go about it. For mostÂ citizens who live in Indianapolis, thinking about public transit conjures images of people waiting for long periods of time on a bus to arrive followed by another long wait for a transfer. To advocate for a system such as this to someone who does not use it is difficult. Painting a rosy picture of how that could improve if a tax is implemented can be even tougher.
I personally find it comforting to craft up a blog about how light rail might look along College Ave. Or how a proposed BRT line isn’t really BRT at all. It is easy to talk to most of the people who visit this site, because most of you come here with a preconceived notion that these are the topics that we are discussing. But when I step away from this website and start talking to friends, family or co-workers who may not recognize the value in what we write about, I am often left stuttering and trying to translate things like “TOD”, “Trip Not Taken” and “walkable neighborhoods” to people who’d as soon hop in the car and go get groceries versus jumping on a bike or bus. As an advocate, choosing the easiest message can be difficult and may not seem like the most logical way convince someone to choose transit over their car.
It got me thinking, how do YOU handle this conversation? Another open thread, for a slow moment on the site.