Convincing politicians to do the right thing, with Kevin Posey


Andy Boenau_Kevin Posey_podcast

If you keep quiet, they’ll assume you agree.

Kevin Posey is an advocate for sustainable transportation policy. He lives in Alexandria, VA (just outside Washington, DC). It’s a city that has a lot of great streets and architecture, but like most places in America, still deals with the political arguments about what type of transportation system best serves the public.


people as cargo

Some of you may have been carried by your spouse through the door of your first home. But when’s the last time someone carried you down a flight of stairs because you couldn’t walk?

Or worse, when’s the last time you were carried in public because a street or building was not designed to allow wheelchair access?

It doesn’t seem outrageous to carry babies as cargo. Kevin talks about a very simple (but common) problem in his hometown: a politician’s office is off-limits for some people.


Hold the U-S-A chants. Other countries are more advanced than us.

Americans love the country comparison charts. For any topic. But mostly topics where we’re #1.

Consider traffic safety. As technology becomes more impressive (and affordable), we marvel at how much safer we must be as a society. “How did I survive before seatbelts and airbags?!” Right?

While individual safety features were installed, street design became more dangerous. Protected by a metal box and 8 airbags, you feel quite comfortable stirring creamer in your coffee at 50 MPH during your morning commute.

Automobile traffic is dangerous.  In part, because you’re a careless driver. 😉

But also because streets are designed to encourage careless behavior. You’re made to feel safe doing dangerous things.

Kevin shares his experiences living in Europe, and makes a very important observation: Americans are still arguing about issues that Europeans solved years ago!


You are the marketing department.

If you care about human life, you need to be in sales. Hate marketing and sales stereotypes? Suck it up.

We all know infrastructure projects get political. So if you want to influence people and see positive change (i.e. safer streets), then you need to make a compelling case.

Your elected officials don’t care about average daily traffic or design speed. They care about approval numbers and reelections. So get to the point: “Someone will get hit by a car at this intersection if we don’t do something.”

Kevin shares some experiences with infrastructure projects that became very public, including some practical tips for making yourself heard through the noise.


Connect with Kevin Posey

He’s active on Twitter:

And he’s blogging here: Traffic Snark


Get a free audiobook!

Urbanism Speakeasy listeners: try Audible FREE for 30 days and get a FREE audiobook.

You like listening to podcasts. But it’s ok to take a break from Urbanism Speakeasy and listen to some books.

Give Audible a try. Keep the free audiobook even if you cancel your Audible membership.

The Death and Life of Great American Cities: 50th Anniversary Edition | [Jane Jacobs, Jason Epstein (introduction)]
get this FREE from Audible