Scotty, Why Didn’t You Beam Me Up?

I am a bike advocate. This means I am used to going into meetings or sending emails with a strong argument and supporting data. It also means that the people on the other end  of the communication, who can make a difference in transportation infrastructure and approach, listen but rarely  act. I hear reservations about spending “political capital“.  Be patient. We have a plan but it takes a LONG time to get things in place. Point out that all of the routes on their network map are identified as proposed and they reiterate that they have done a lot of studies and  are committed to biking and walking….but it takes a LONG time to implement. I’m the problem. Everyone wants to be identified as all-in for safe biking and walking, but too few walk the walk or bike the bike.

Over time the continuous theme that, as an advocate,  you are not really relevant because there is no title or pay scale attached to you that we recognize in our system… so no threat here…it’s our choice when and how we respond to your request,  because frankly, you can’t do much about it.

Even advocates have to sleep. So you take daisy-chained days like this to bed with you and the mind does what the mind does, staging your day and reaching up into your head to find situations that can explain your feelings and make sense of what happened in the daylight hours.

Any surprise I have this recurring dream? Come with me…I am on a hostile planet with Captain Kirk of the Enterprise. We are surrounded by aliens. Kirk, sensing our impending doom, taps the communicator on his chest and tells Scotty he has to get us out of here now. Milliseconds later I see Kirk’s image digitize and disappear and I realize that I am alone on the planet. I can feel the hot alien breath my neck and as the dream plays out  I look at the coarse sandy ground and then stare into the red-purple sky of another world and plead, as if talking to a higher being, “Scotty, why didn’t you beam me up?”

What is my REM sleep telling me? I think Kirk is motorized transportation. I am non-motorized transportation. Scotty is all of the DOT’s and local and county governments who profess a passion for safe biking and walking but are loaded down with conflicting special interests. The Scotty’s of the world ultimately control the fate of the transportation system and though it would have been easy for Scotty to lock onto both of us, he was so concerned about Kirk that he didn’t recognize my presence.

We  need Scotty to think of bicyclists and pedestrians for who they are, another species, an alien in the transportation system who the Prime Directive says should be allowed to advance in its unique cultural evolution. That ought to get me and whole lotta others back on the ship ASAP.