Tagged: bike lanes

Advocacy <-> Action

I teach economics at the University of Memphis at both the undergraduate and graduate level.  I’ve been teaching economics for around 13 years, going to back my days as a graduate student at Georgia State University.  In those years of teaching I’ve developed many pedagogical tools to help my students better understand economics, which believe me, can be quite a challenge for many undergraduates, if not graduate students.  One of the tools I’ve developed is emphasizing how cause-and-effect relationships can describe what motivates people to change their behavior.  For example, an increase in the price of some good should motivate consumers to buy less of that good.  In this example, the direction of causation is one way: the change in price causes people to change how much they purchase, not vice versa.  Of course, I am implicitly relying on the ceteris paribus assumption: that all other relevant factors, including income, tastes and preferences, the price of related goods, are held constant.  In other words, we consider only the relationship between the price of the good and the quantity of that good that consumers wish to purchase at that price. All other factors are held constant.

Of course, in reality it is most difficult to hold all other factors constant.  We economists have many tools at our disposal for dealing with these challenges, among them regression analysis, but we fully recognize that reality is far messier than our models allow.

What brings all this to mind is something my wife said the other night.  I don’t remember what we were talking about, probably something about my cycling advocacy efforts, but what she said really made me pause for a moment.  What she said was this: “You live the life you advocate.” Continue reading

Memphis MPO Meeting

An email reminder from Kyle Wagenschutz …

Hello everyone,

Just a quick reminder about next week’s meeting during Phase 2 of the update process for the Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.  We had over 70 people attend last month’s meeting, many of whom were new faces, and we got some great feedback and ideas for expanding our region’s greenway and trail network.

We are now gearing up for our second meeting that will focus on pedestrian and bicycle issues.  During this process, we will be getting public input on the most important part of the plan – describing what we, as a region, want to accomplish in terms of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and support programs.

The Memphis MPO will be holding two additional public meetings over the few weeks to help us gain your perspective on how the plan should be updated.  Each of the meetings will be held at the Church Health Center Wellness Center at 1115 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104 in Conference Rooms A and B.  A link to a map and a schedule of the times and topics is listed below:


February 9, 2011 – Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities – 5:30pm-7:30pm

March 2, 2011 – Review and Revise Phase 2 Findings – 5:30-7:30pm

Please make sure to mark these dates on your calendars and plan to attend. We need to hear from you about how we can advance our efforts in formulating a regional bicycle and pedestrian network.

Feel free to pass this information on to anyone that may be interested in attending.

Kyle Wagenschutz
Memphis MPO
Bikeway/Pedestrian Coordinator
kyle.wagenschutz (at) shelbycountytn.gov

I’m planning to go but may have to skip.  My students have their first round of exams this week and I’ll be buried in blue books and spreadsheets for the next few days.  The first meeting was pretty quick, so hopefully I can squeeze in time for this one.

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