Probably nobody knows more
about the politics surrounding local transportation planning than
Roger Baker and Dave Dobbs. They've been following these issues here
for decades, and understand the context and sense of history that is
so often missed by the media and the government.
Here's a short bio of Roger
Baker's work, written by Dave Dobbs on the local cycling email list,
in response to someone who criticized Roger for sometimes driving a
Mr. Baker has been a tireless proponent
of transportation alternatives for over 25 years. I have known
Roger for 21 of these years, and can attest from personal
experience that he has spent tens of thousands of dollars, and
worked nearly full time trying to promote sustainable sensible
transportation in this city. When I met Roger in 1979 he had no
car and rode the UT shuttle bus. He did not have a driver's
license, did not know how to drive and only became a car driver
about 1984 when his mother gave him her used 1972 Buick. And as
Mike Dahmus has already observed there are constraints on living a
"pure" existence in a city designed for cars and little else. As a
regular cyclist and bus rider, I often find my car my only real
choice given what I must do each day.
Roger's in-depth research, numerous
written tracts (published and unpublished), articles in local
print media, and public testimony before various bodies politic
have been at the very center of Austin's alternative
transportation advocacy. Roger served as a citizen volunteer
member on the City/County Mass Transit Authority task force in
1982-83 and helped write the report that recommended
(successfully) that Capital Metro be formed. As the co-chair of a
community group, Austinites for Public Transit, he single handedly
published a monthly newsletter for over two years. Together Roger
and I, through another group called the Austin Transportation Task
Force led the fight in 1985 and 1986 against the outer loop and
the Koenig Lane Freeway. Additionally, he served as a board member
of Austin Crossroads which filed two lawsuits against the ATS in
the late 80's one of which we won on the open meetings question.
Mr. Baker was an Urban Transportation Commissioner for a number of
years and led the UTC Taxi study subcommittee and served on the
Capital Metro Citizens Advisory Committee in the 1980s and
90s. The list of advocacy activities, including some acts of civil
disobedience at great risk to himself, go on and on.
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I've tried without success to get local groups to add their events to this calendar (Bike Texas, the Yellow Bike Project, City's Bicycle Program, Bike Austin, etc.)
If you'd like to help edit the calendar, or at least add your group's events to it, then please let me know!
Another site by Michael Bluejay...
Saving Electricity. Find out how much juice your stuff uses, and how to save money and energy. As seen in Newsweek.