“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens
can change the world;
indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”
Working to make the world safer and more accessible can be a process that takes time. And for everyday citizens seeking changes from governments and businesses it can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming.
Four years ago we moved to our condo, and an important factor in choosing our new home was how close it was to stores and bus routes. As a wheelchair dependent person, I wanted the independence of using sidewalks and public transit to get around instead of buying a specialized vehicle or paying extra to be “chauffeured around” in one.
As many of you have heard me say, the missing link for every non-car driver is often the small but critical path from sidewalks to store fronts. If there isn’t a safe, marked pedestrian access route, we must travel in active car lanes and through parking lots.
After many phone calls, letters and one-on-one conversations asking businesses to add safe pedestrian access, I had only a few small successes to show for all of my efforts.
A solo voice, even when it is right, is often not heard.
But recent events have reminded me how much more effective the collective voices and efforts of a team can be.
After joining an advisory committee for my local transit agency, I found other non-car driving transit riders shared many of the same concerns that I have. And safety is definitely one of our most important considerations.
Last year our committee wrote a safety “Initiative” that was presented to the agency’s board and then to other state and local government departments. This provided them with a real understanding of the issues non-drivers face. Many of them commented that, as regular car drivers they had simply not been aware of the problems.
This year we decided to start recognizing businesses and municipalities that were making real and needed changes. Our transit riders committee initiated an award program and gave out our first “S.T.A.R.” (Superior Transit Access Recognition) this past month.
Together, our group of thoughtful committed citizens is working to change our world!
I am so grateful to be a part of this effective team. And, while every single voice does matter, our collective voices are being heard louder and stronger.
Three years into the process of seeking change, results are happening. And I am so optimistic that more changes will be coming faster and faster!
Now that we have a wonderful team standing together, results speak for themselves and the future looks brighter!