Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cyclists' rights focus of city ad campaign

Council to consider $158K DOT grant to fund most of effort

Bicyclists have rights, too.

That's the message behind a yearlong advertising blitz the city of Huntsville plans to roll out in early 2010.

Largely financed by a $158,000 Alabama Department of Transportation grant, the educational campaign comes on the heels of three cycling fatalities in the city since September 2008.

The City Council will consider the grant agreement at tonight's meeting, which starts at 6 in City Hall, 308 Fountain Circle.

Jamie Miernik, who commutes by bike to her job on Redstone Arsenal, said she hopes the ads promote more respect and understanding for cyclists who ride in traffic.

Rolling billboards attached to city buses will try to hammer home the point "that bicycles are vehicles, they're allowed on the road," Miernik said Wednesday.

"There's a percentage of drivers out there that really think bikes are not safe to be on the road with them."

James Moore, a senior planner with the city, said the ads need to be compelling enough that drivers can't ignore them.

"I'm hoping to make the buses loud, so to speak, so that it generates some interest," he said Wednesday. "It's trying to bring awareness and wake the drivers up."


JR said...

There aren't enough buses in the city to really get the message across. I think it's a great idea but a serious to the point video psa played on all local stations would be great.

clintpatty said...

And how many local stations wouldn't do that for free if the police asked them? The news stations like to stay in good relations with the police to get all the stories/info, and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't mind.

Leela the Kid said...

i agree with both JR and Clint - video is a great way to reach people and it doesn't necessarily need to cost a ton of money to get it out there. oh, and if the city's using buses for advertising space - doesn't that mean their making some money and couldn't that money go to more buses and a better schedule...

Bello Velo said...

The average motorist does not look at buses. This illustrates how out of touch they are.

I agree with you all too.

marshmallow said...

That's wtf I'm talking about.

At first when I read this I thought it was gonna be a report from another city.

Even though you guys are being negative nancies, I don't think you can deny that this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Bello Velo said...

Maybe we are being realists and don't think things are boiled down to negative and positive opinions. Just because you got the money does not mean it will be used effectively. Try reading the current bus ads and maybe consider some basics in advertising and marketing who is your target audience? Do distracted motorist or anyone in this town for that matter pay much attention to the bus ads?

That being said take a look at the comments from our neighbors and consider if bus ads will change these peoples minds.

I do think it is a step with getting the grant, I would look first at how it will be spent before I feel all warm and fuzzy.

My issue primarily is spending that much money on the buses which most people in huntsville do not support and do not take so why would they look at them.

I think having the mayor bring everyone together in the city to work towards bicycle friendly status would be a more effective way of educating the public at large.

yours truly

Anonymous said...

Council to consider $158K DOT grant to fund most of effort

wtf does this mean?? council may reject it? council waiting to assume credit? council unsure about their duties in general? Coucil waiting for BASC and Alabike's blessings? COuncil waiting on buying a nice bus to put this loud message. city has noise ordinance too, so much for loud message.

- + - = + said...

Did Jamie really says this? "There's a percentage of drivers out there that really think bikes are not safe to be on the road with them."

Anonymous said...

Have you read Ed Stones' letter comment on yet?

marshmallow said...

I, for one, do notice the buses when I drive. I see them everywhere. There is no choice. I'm an attentive driver and buses are big, and usually blocking my view of the road. In fact, it could be reasoned that inattentive drivers who are not looking for bicyclists on the road would be much more likely to see buses. I'm not saying this is the best thing to happen to Huntsville since the Monte Sano Hotel, but I don't think it's a total waste of money.

Bello Velo said...

Where is this hotel?

I don't think anyone has said that here. we would just like to see the money spent a bit more effectively.

Not to be an ass:) Since you have seen the buses what is the ad that is currently running on them?

marshmallow said...

Saw that coming. Most of the ones I've seen say that the ad space is for sale. The handicapable buses have a picture of a guy dressed as robin hood and says "Aim for your target market."

Bello Velo said...

Ahh !!! I am that predictable huh:) I hope huntsville is full of motorist like you.

If not you can take my course for 29.99 :)

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't AllBike teach motorists about cyclists seems to me that would be more effective?

Seeing bus and reading the ad is like reading all the bumper stickers I see. meaningless. can't say an ad or bumper stcker has yet to change my worldview or safety practices.


and save our cyclists.