About four months ago, a group of energetic young entrepreneurs starting talking about holding a new kind of “civic conversation” around our most pressing transportation issues. Two months ago, they launched their web forum, MobilityATX, to do just that.
Since then, 747 people have signed up, sharing 276 ideas, 578 comments, and more than 3,100 up-votes on the ideas.
This is a good start; now we need more.
It’s been fascinating to watch the conversations unfold. Although the forum involves a broad range of transportation issues, the five most popular comments are all about Commuting. Three of those focus on more and better infrastructure for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit. One is Reconnect Austin’s concept of a new 1-35. And only one is a “fix my road” issue.
We don’t know if this means Austinites are getting more sophisticated about mobility, or merely that most people – most of whom are still driving alone – haven’t yet engaged seriously in the discussion about the transportation challenges we face, and realistically how we can address them.
What is clear is that, although there are a lot of smart people with opinions here in the Austin area, we haven’t yet heard from even a fraction of them! Here are a few we think should weigh in:
- Gary Hoover, Defining and Solving Austin’s Traffic Problem
- Ginger Goodin, What’s with Austin’s Traffic?
- Mark Gilbert, 7 Strategies to Solve Austin’s Traffic Problems More Effectively
- Julio Gonzales, Keep Austin Wonky
- Michael McDaniel, Connecting a City Using Aerial Gondolas
- Jim Skaggs, It is time for the future of mobility
Those are just a few voices among the many, many people who have weighed in over the years, and often counter proposals for new transportation service. So now it’s time to step up with your ideas, and with the powerful scrutiny of crowdsourcing, time to truly compare ideas on their merits.
It is also time for everyone with an opinion or idea – the driver sitting in traffic while complaining about traffic, the advocates pushing for something specific, the techies and the policy wonks – to step up and write about it. Maybe your idea would become “most popular,” maybe not. The genius of crowd sourcing is the power that comes as ideas evolve under scrutiny to become even better.
The next time you see someone complaining about Austin traffic – whether on social media or at some meet up – challenge them to put their problem and ideas for a solution on MobilityATX.
See the top ideas and start posting your own now!