How can we get city staff to pay more attention to Walk to School issues?
There are several possible approaches:
Establish a coalition, task force, or safety committee. Invite staff to join and collaborate on the Walk to School issues.
Plan an event such as a Walk/Bike to School Day. Plan a walking school bus parade or bike rodeo and ensure media coverage. Include public recognition for staff and/or elected officials to stimulate interest in Walk to School issues. Take photos. Try to get photos of staff in the local paper or on the City's website.
Make a presentation/award on Walk to School at City Council, School Board or at an annual awards dinner to those who have been paying attention.
Ask staff to solve a particular Walk to School issue and reward responsive staff with lots of recognition. A positive letter to the City Manager in the case of a city employee, or to the editor of the local paper in the case of a community leader are ways to give positive recognition and make it more likely that the next Walk to School issue will receive a positive response.
Don't overburden staff or be unreasonable or act as though you are entitled to their immediate attention. Be persistent if needed, but give the person a chance to respond.
If there is no response, take the issue to a wider audience. Sponsor a walkable community workshop with many in attendance. Sometimes, staff will address longstanding Walk to School issues in advance of the workshop to avoid negative publicity.
Show staff how Walk to School can help achieve their other interests.
Get publicity about the issue itself so staff becomes more interested.