I guess I’m it

Hard to believe, but after waving my toes doing research on creative cities, co-creation, organizational change, urban sustainability in transportation and the unique aspects of BarCamp for the better part of a week, I only now stumbled upon the trans-action mailing list for people interested in transit in Vancouver.

In particular, a thread appeared less than a week after my visit to Northern Voice regarding my interest in a TransitCamp in Vancouver. I must admit being a little flattered – my reputation precedes me! I was introduced via Facebook to someone involved in local transit activism, and he kindly told everyone on the list about what TransitCamp was all about and encouraged people to get me involved:

What i heard from the podcast, they are proudly positive and not interested in the broader inequities and injustices in the Translink system. They will likely be very pro-engagement with Translink, and not interested in integrating the reality and legacy of citizen involvement in improving transit. In effect, their actions may work against public advocacy strategies given the engagement process is more akin to a focus group for pro-transit corp people.

The titanic bit threw me for a bit a loop. Many deep cleansing breaths later, I have a better picture in my head of what has been said, as well as what I have to say about it.

Perhaps I didn’t emphasize enough that I haven’t been in Vancouver for a while, and that I am also entirely willing to learn about these efforts. I have always believed that Vancouver is unique from Toronto, and that TransitCamp could be something unique for the way we collectively talk about transit – creatively, in support of collaboration and building something new. Why does a solutions playground have to go against the “legacy of citizen involvement in improving transit”? Granted, this critique has been leveled by others, so maybe I shouldn’t get so down.

Is there only room for what’s already in place with regards to the public’s interaction with Translink? I realize that many of the people on that mailing list are on the front lines dealing with some major shit that Translink is handing down. Maybe I am showing my age in my optimism that an organization can reform itself.

Ah, well. If TransitCamp doesn’t work out, there’s always local food.

2 Comments

  1. Hey, just found your blog through the democamp site. There’s a Transit Camp being planned? That would be awesome, after seeing what they did out in Toronto. Are you organizing it or something?

    Posted July 5, 2007 at 3:39 am | Permalink
  2. Hmmm…I think I prefer to think of the TransitCamp as “metriculating” rather than being planned, though I suppose if someone had to be accused of organizing it, it would have to be me. I think that response may tell you enough about what’s happening around Transit Camp – basically, I really want to do one, but I don’t want to impose my ideas on anyone, especially since Translink is imploding right now, which has meant that little has been done! But I am planning on getting together with some folks later this week to talk about it. Want in?

    Posted July 9, 2007 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

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