2018 National Planning Conference

Docudrama for Catalyzing Complete Streets Conversation

Sunday, April 22, 2018 from 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m. CDT

CM | 1.25

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC188069

Location: R05

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  • Methods to engage their communities through interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Best practices and planning theory juxtaposed with the true story of Hector Avalos
  • How to change the narrative around complete streets from an optional improvement to a life-saving intervention


While he was riding his bicycle home from work, 28-year-old Hector Avalos was struck and killed by a drunk driver in Chicago. In the aftermath, playwright Thomas Murray spoke with his family and friends to assemble an oral history of the fallen cyclist. Excerpts from those recorded interviews; the criminal trial transcript; and additional interviews with planners, historians, and activists compose “The Right of Way,” a live documentary play which asks audiences to consider whom their city streets have been built for — and how those ideas are changing. Michael Stapor, a planner for Loudoun County, Virginia, will introduce the play’s community impacts through public workshops held in Atlanta, Roanoke, and Washington D.C. Then playwright Thomas Murray and his cast will perform a 45-minute excerpt of the play and model the type of “town hall” conversation with the audience that follows every performance. Finally, Stapor and Murray will discuss how building partnerships with arts organizations in a community can increase citizen participation in planning processes and how the sharing of oral histories can impact public opinion for complete streets initiatives.

Session Speakers

Thomas Murray
Waltzing Mechanics
Chicago, IL