Bike Riding in Los Angeles: Mostly Infeasible

I’m big advocate of the bikeability of Los Angeles. We have great weather, wide streets, many accessible parks and a highly active bicycle social scene. A big gap in this vision is the one left by an unsupportive city. Five years ago this did not bother me so much because our numbers were small and I could understand how the demands of a fringe group of bicyclists in a car city could be easily ignored. But the situation has changed. Dramatically. We have way more rides and riders, new bike collectives and shops, bloggers, activists and a more involved advocacy group. The other Gold Standard cities, Portland and NYC, have really stepped up their game. I guess you could say I started to get my hopes up.

Then the city releases the new LA Bike Plan.

I know we aren’t Portland. I know we don’t have a whole lot of civic engagement. But this is embarrassing. And people are going fucking nuts (note 4 different links).

The Senior Bicycle Coordinator of the LA DOT then claims she knows nothing about the details of the maps or them being released. And this is the city person in charge of bicycle projects? In NYC bicycle advocates working with started a campaign called Weinshall Watch to keep tabs on how then Commissioner of NYC DOT, Iris Weinshall, was actively working against bicycle infrastructure. Would a similar tactic be useful here to watch the person who is suppose to be working on our behalf? I’m not sure if I know the answer. But something needs to change. Mountain bike Hall of Famer, local journalist and DIY-advocate Dan Koeppel voiced his opinion here and as this topic makes its rounds in the blogosphere I’m sure we’ll be hearing more.