Why we should deal together buses, bikes, pedestrians, and a lot of similar things ?

Including trains, airplanes, boats, the cane of the blind, and yes indeed, the shoes of the pedestrians ? Are these not different issues ?

Vincent Van Gogh - Shoes 2

Vincent Van Gogh, apparently promoting here the shoes, a sustainable mobility mean !

Yes they are the same issue ! Because we believe that only a global approach to sustainable mobility leads to success, all modes and needs considered in one global vision.

Of course, there are always specific choices to be done, for example if using a specific funding available to build – one day – either a bus lane or a pedestrian crossroad at rue de la Loi in Brussels, if using train or bus to operate the low-traffic line between Florence and Siena, and many similar choices. There will always be choices to be done, when confronting the huge needs of public services with the scarcity of available public money.

But all this goes towards only one single, more important, common goal : sustainable mobility, including all public transport and soft modes.

This is particularly important as we focus on citizens organizations. Due to lack of means, associations have to get specialized if they want to get any result. A volunteer person generally has time on week-ends and evenings to involve only in one single activity. For this reason, as they tend as well to deal only with one issue, citizens organizations have little time to coordinate with each other, and thus may work alone. This creates a silo effect, in the same way it happens in big bureaucratic companies, when one department works alone without keeping informed the other ones.

Without structured federations that well connect regularly everybody together again and again, the threat for citizens organizations is to work isolated or even in competition, on a fragmented issue, in lack of a common strategy. This is how, for example, local public transport committees often don't have connexions with local bike organizations.

There is thus a real need, from our active citizen perspective, to create structures able to always connect the work of each one together, every day, every month : (1) "horizontally", between all different issues (bus, bike, accessibility, environment, and so on), keeping strong the common goal of sustainable mobility. There is then need to coordinate (2) "vertically", between street-level action (requesting for example train operator SNCF to solve the poor train regularity on Paris C express line) and policy lobby at State levels (requesting for example better public funding for Paris area trains). There is at last coordination need (3) for a stakeholders dialogue : the citizens should become an active interlocutor for governments and operators, by getting enough expertise and users' representativity. These are the 3 missions of such an organization we want to develop.

This is why we promote an approach inclusive of all initiatives. Of course, then each single specific action must be organized accordingly. You can organize a protest on C Express train line in Paris, but don't have time to do that protest also on express lines A or B. But this action-level specificity should not obscure the need of coordination around a single common strategy.

Happy then, to deal together buses with shoes, and whatever else will come...

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