Click to Watch Video
[rambling excursive preface, may be advisable to just skip ahead to the Video Itself section below]
The Maricopa Association of Governments defines itself as a Council of Governments, which I assume is a newer designation than "Association of Governments", but probably once all the ACOGs got going, MAG was already self-styled AG and it would have cost millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours to change itself to a COG, so they left it MAG. Alternatively, since MAG seems to have a broader reach than some of the COGs, "xAG" may represent a wider scope than the grasp of a COG. And I can't be the first to notice what the abbreviation for "Maricopa Association of Governments of Governments" would be.
If the ACOGs gather, that would constitute ACOCOG, I think, although at that point, the MPOs and TMAs might feel left out, necessitating something along the lines of ACOCOG+MPO+TMA. Rendering that approach slightly confusing if not redundant, but erasing concerns about the feelings of some of the MPOs if not the TMAs, is that MAG also represents the MPO for the Maricopa County area, while WACOG and YMPO appear, at least on the map, as separate overlapping entities. I want to attend either an ACOG or MAG meeting just to listen to what an assembly of assembly of assemblies sounds like. The council of councils of councils will come to order! And running the meeting? The currently serving ACOCOG council, some of whom may also be representing their MPO or TMA.
I've been in small towns where the mayor also ran the drug store, was head of the church board, and could serve as Justice of the Peace, Acting Director of the Farmers' Co-op, or Fire Chief when needed. You could get a sense of which role he or she was performing at any given time by the setting, the name plate on the desk, or title on the cap on the head. In the case of the ACOCOG council, an ombudsman / bureaucracy navigator may be useful for Joe Citizen to know who to talk to about what: someone with a keen sense of structure, parliamentary procedure, recursive definitions, political organizational structure, and abstract hierarchies.
For example, who do I contact to discuss bike lanes that stop dead at city boundaries (Indian School Road)?
[Video itself section]Currently at the bottom of the list of the MAG Video Outreach program, the I Ride! video above pleasantly surprised me with its thoroughness, insider vision of what is really good about riding around here, and focus on real people who ride. One of the real people interviewed for the video is a follower of this blog: Artur is the bicycling realtor showing prospects neighborhoods and houses from the perspective of a bicycle. It seems like a great way to experience a place you are considering moving into and making a home.
The video also shows a somewhat balanced view of what car drivers face here. The long traffic jams shimmering in the heat waves rising from the rubberized asphalt are a way of life for commuters in the Valley. Speaking of heat waves, though, I felt they might have served viewers of the video from outside of this region by spending a little more time about what it's like riding a bicycle here during the hot season from May through September or October. It's hot. Obvious to many conceptually, sure, but the reality of it is something else, and is a key fact of life in riding a bicycle here, requiring adjustments and some preparation to enjoy.
Anyway, overall a great video, well made, with real people, and accurate portrayal of the current state of cycling around here. Give it a watch, and let me know what you thought. I saw a couple of local features I haven't seen before, so I'm going to go have a look from my bicycle. So I better stop typing and Get up. Go ride.