You Complete Me

Dave CowanThere is a scene, from a once famous movie where this guy busts through the door to expel his undying affection for a woman. She completes him, and he wants to make sure she knows it.

I’m no Tom Cruise, but I want you to know: You complete me.

You see, the aspects of my work (including this blog) are reliant on the fantastic, innovative and original program and policy work YOU have been doing across the country. Listening to your successes, pulling out the innovation and best practices and sharing them with other local programs, regions or states that have similar needs is a common theme in my day to day work.

This is especially poignant right now, after spending last week at Prowalk/ProBike mingling with some of the greatest minds behind many of the most interesting bicycling and walking projects in the country. After a mish-mash of intellectual dialogue and the occasional break for bicycle riding, I’m chock full of new ideas that can be shared to help further our movement. It is exciting to recognize the similarities in the obstacles to walking and bicycling presented from rural Hawaii to rural Wisconsin. I note the great work being done through a Tennessee MPO, youth engagement projects in Wisconsin and California, not to mention how green paint is making bike lanes across the country even safer for bicyclists. I have the lucky job of identifying the synergies, sharing the best practices and hopefully supporting Safe Routes to School projects across the country in becoming the best that they can be.

Of course, none of this is possible without you. Keep doing your great work, in the face of new and difficult challenges continue to look for original ways to get more children physically active through walking and bicycling. Please don’t hesitate to pass on your successes – I’ll make sure they are put to good use!

Anyway, I thought you should know: You had me at hello.

Local Practice and Policy, a blog written by Dave Cowan, will cover many of the multifaceted aspects of his work here at the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Focusing on best practices, voices from the field and reflections on the Safe Routes to School movement as a whole, this blog will attempt to share a sliver of the good vibes, happy stories, and great people Dave has the pleasure of working with to further Safe Routes to School on a daily basis.