What do City Leaders hear?

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Hamilton City Council’s Annual Plan for the coming 12 months has been open for submissions since April 2. This Friday 2nd May will be the closing date for submissions, so we’ll be running a series of posts this week outlining what’s in the plan and giving some guidance on making a submission in support of a more vibrant, liveable and sustainable city.

If you’re thinking of doing a submission to council. The hardest part is trying to understand what people hear.

Here is what city leaders interviewed about cycling & walking hear, from The League of American Bicyclists:

They know “support is increasing” for biking and walking in cities

Why? “The idea of quality of life came up in every conversation — quality of life as defined by the millennial generation,”

Here is some of what they suggest helps when talking to city leaders

  • Make the argument in an affirmative way, without drawing cars into it.
  • Provide mobility options, so ever one can have a Plan.
  • Build relationships; that is just an essential – on a scale from one to ten, a ten


It’s thoughts on bicycle Advocacy

  • Change the conversation – No such thing as a parking problem, there are only mobility problems.
  • Keep advocating for bicycling and walking as part of an urban environment, but know it is not the only part.
  • What people complain about is the behaviour of bicyclists.



  • Appreciate and applaud the progress made
  • Stay positive
  • Participate, Share stories of success.
  • Know your specific audience’s interests and perspective


As mentioned, we’ll continue to look at the 2014/15 plan in coming days with the hope of encouraging our readers to make submissions by the Friday closing date.

2 comments on “What do City Leaders hear?

  1. I think this post as good commentary on approaching community behavioral change.

    One thing I would add – Come to leaders, or the people who need to make decisions with potential solutions or pathways for change…as I alot of time they just will not the “how”.

  2. I think the “how” needs to come from the community and page 30.
    “combination of great vision, community engagement, the right kind of project and good execution”
    And the project could be Hamilton’s Green Ring

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