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New Transportation Group Coming to L.A. Help Us Pick a Name and Win Membership for Life

5:39 PM PDT on September 11, 2009

As a lot of you know, back east I worked for a group called
the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a transportation reform organization
that fought highway and other car traffic inducing projects and promoted Smart
Growth and alternative transportation. The
Campaign didn’t advocate for a favored mode of transportation, embrace a
certain environmental ideology or confine itself to a narrow geographic area; the
Campaign argued regionally in the Greater New York area for better
transportation based on the argument that our current transportation zeitgeist
was driving dangerously close to the cliff without brakes.

In other words, we argued for transportation alternatives
because they are the most efficient way to move people now and in the future.  In that argument we ended up arguing for things such as better bike facilities, better street crossings for pedestrians and more funding for transit; but those things were all parts of a mean to an end.  The goal wasn't just safer bike facilities, but a transportation system that is open, multi-modal and sustainable.

A group of
transportation reformers have been meeting over the last couple of months to
lay the ground work to get such a group here in Los Angeles. I don’t want to reveal names until we are
ready to publicly launch our campaigns, but there are a lot of familiar names
and some new ones in the mix. You’ll be
impressed. I promise.

What, you won’t be impressed with is our ability to name a
group. I came into town with the group name SMART or SMARTrans, standing for Socal/Metro Advocates for Responsible
Transportation, in my back pocket.  Unfortunately, I have yet to find anyone who likes that name. At our last meeting someone suggested CASH, Coalition of Advocates for
Safe and Healthy Streets; but we were enmeshed in the fundraising portion of the
meeting when the suggestion came up and I think we were a little punchy.

This is where we need your help. Help us come up with a name, and if we pick
your suggestion you win: a lifetime membership in the group, a Streetfilms
T-shirt, a “Best of Streetfilms” DVD and membership in the unnamed group for life. Please leave your suggestions in the comments
section and we'll get back to you.

That’s right, I’m celebrating “Back to School” week by
giving you weekend homework.

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