Source:  Reflection    Tag:  linkage institution
Before taking this class, I had no interest in the political system and how it works. However, after taking Civics and turning eighteen, I have become very interested in how my voice makes a difference in how the government makes decisions. This experience really gave me an idea of a political process that was close to home. I felt like I was really making a difference on the future of the road in Downtown Willow Glen. The survey that I took acts as a linkage institution. It was a way for people to become involved in the government. If the general public did not know about the 90 Day Road Diet Trail, they were informed about it. By participating in the survey, the people were linked to the San Jose City Government. Because this issue is put on the San Jose City Government's policy agenda, it is clearly important to public officials. The policy impacts are to increase biker and pedestrian safety by slowing down the traffic and extending the biker lane. The topic of safety on Lincoln Avenue caught the attention of the city of San Jose, and eventually made its way onto the policy agenda. This activity also relates to public policy, specifically the decisions the government has to make about expenses. The 90 Day Road Diet Trail is a temporary test to see if the City of San Jose is going to spend the necessary expenditures needed on this new road based on the public's opinion. It is important they they get the public's positive opinion on the road because if they did not, they would be spending a significant amount of money without a proper amount of information. I also believe that if the city of San Jose wants to keep this new road, they will need to spend a lot more than just finalizing the road. One lady brought up the important issue that people started using the left turn lane to pass other cars. Another person said that the residents are angry because cars are zooming through back roads to avoid Lincoln Avenue. This would require the government to place patrolling police officers in the downtown area as well as on the streets close to downtown. If there is a shortage of police officers, new ones would have to be hired. I enjoyed this experience because it showed that I had an impact on the policymaking system besides voting, joining an interest group, or attending a city council meeting. (415).