General guidance – how to present

With the completion of our Complete Streets policy it is time to present our ideas to the town. Presenting in public can be daunting, but we want to make it as straightforward as possible.

Strong Towns – has some general guidance here. If you’ve never presented at a town meeting or could use a refresher, these resources could be exceptionally helpful:

We recommend starting here for most folks unless you are experienced speaking at public meetings.

When it comes to Nashua’s public presentation policy – each resident of Nashua is given 3 minutes to present. Request for public comment is usually done at the beginning of the meeting right after the folks present are noted. Please be respectful and do not use more than 3 minutes. Of course you can use less time if you don’t want to talk for 3 full minutes.

You can see an example of public speaking from one of our very own members at a PEDC meeting here (thanks for speaking Betsy!) if you would like a great example of what is like.

Complete Streets – what to present

So you’ve read through the rough idea on how to present, let’s discuss what to present. When it comes to the actual Complete Streets Policy – the policy is almost 10 pages long. There is no way we’re going to present it the whole thing.

Folks are free to present whatever they like, but here is what we recommend:

  • Give a short introduction of Complete Streets
    • Complete Streets are streets that accommodate residents of all ages and abilities who travel by foot, bicycle, public transportation or automobile.
  • If you’d like, you’re free to say you are part of our Nashua Strong Towns group
    • The town is well aware of our group and knows it is a grassroots campaign. If you would like to say you are coming as part of our group you are free to do so.
  • Explain what features of Complete Streets are most important to you
    • Do you really like bike lanes? Are cars going the speed limit important to you? Shorter pedestrian crossings? More accessible transit? There are many to talk about.
    • This is up to you. Given the amount of time you have to speak, we recommend picking one or two features that are most important. There should be enough folks to go over the most important sections.
  • Explain what this feature of Complete Streets provides for the community
    • We have lifted a few common benefits from our full report if you need ideas (extra sources provided for less obvious points):
      • Increased economic activity (better for small business)
      • Decreased tax burden on residents (1, 2)
      • Increased safety for more vulnerable road users
      • More pleasant places
      • Lower personal expenses
      • More accessible places for everyone
      • More accessible places for folks who cannot drive (young and old alike)
      • Decreased automobile traffic
      • Decreased carbon emissions
      • And significantly more
  • Wrap everything up with a final note that Nashua could use a Complete Streets Policy
    • You are free to say Nashua Strong Towns has a Complete Streets Policy ready to use for this purpose.

One last thing, and the most important thing – we VERY strongly recommend not to be negative in any of your talking points. Remember the folks that decided the current street designs are in the room. They are working with their best intentions. Please do not be derogatory, rude, or negative. We want to ensure we talk about the benefits of Complete Streets and not drag anyone down.

Once all members of our group have spoken, we are current planning for our Conversation Leader (Darrien Glasser) to speak last, and present that Nashua Strong Towns has a Complete Streets policy, provide a very rough summary of the policy, and finally discuss where to get it.

Your testimony will help make our case that Nashua needs Complete Streets! If you are interested in having an impact on making Nashua more walkable, this is the meeting to be at!

The meeting to be at will be the infrastructure meeting at 7PM on January 29 in the Aldermanic chamber. For more information, see the town agenda link here.

Categories: Advocacy


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