While 2016 has been pretty much a complete shitshow all around the world, it’s been a fascinating and rewarding one, personally, and here at Better Burque. Starting up early this year, BB has tried to step at least a bit deeper into local issues, particularly those concerning transportation. I’ve learned a lot, and hope that passing along that learning hasn’t been too pedantic or polemical in its expression here.
As we move to 2017, both a new vocational arrangement and a gnawing need both for myself and the community has me thinking BB will be charting a different course in the year ahead. On the job front, I regret to inform you that I will have one. Oh, just kidding…about the regret. I start up a half-time job at a local charter school January 2nd. Being a school, particularly a charter, “half-time” probably means at least three-quarter time, and that happy commitment will almost certainly cut into my pedantry and polemics here.
Then there’s the “gnawing need” to which I also allude to above. Much of the effort here in 2016 has been to better understand why rising number of pedestrians are being killed nationwide and locally. From afar, BB has delved into the statistics and theories revolving around why this is happening and what should be done about it.
Missing from such an approach is an understanding of the people directly and indirectly involved in pedestrian deaths. As noted here and elsewhere, this impersonal tone extends to media coverage. We just don’t know much about these victims, their families, and/or the usually unfortunate motorists involved. There are no humans in these stories, just addresses and terse assessments of blame.
In 2017 Better Burque will seek to change that. Armed with an IPRA request or two, BB will be getting its head out of the spreadsheets and head out into the community to collect personal stories surrounding pedestrian fatalities. In so doing, I, and anybody willing to help, hope to present a deeper, more humane picture of these incidents, while perhaps also offering insights into why they happen and how they might be avoided in the future.
When BB started, a local blogging colleague handed me the gift of a reporter’s notebook, you know, one of those skinny things with the spine at the top. That notebook has gone largely unused in 2016, with far more time spent staring at the same computer monitor I’m staring at now.
That will change in 2017. That reporter’s notebook will get used plenty in the year to come. I’ll probably need two or three of them.
This also means that, between job and time spent speaking with folks face-to-face, I won’t be staring nearly as much at this screen. That will result, more than likely, in fewer posts here at BB. Something larger, more focused, and more slowly developed will evolve instead.
What that is exactly, I don’t precisely know. 2017 will hopefully reveal an answer to that and quite a few other questions brought up here at Better Burque in 2016. I very much appreciate everyone who’s willing to stick around, pop in from time to time and see what evolves.
Have a great holiday, everyone.
“See” you on the other side