Monday, October 19, 2009

First UCLA Bicycle Seminar: LA Bike Masterplan

This Friday 23 October the first UCLA Bicycle Seminar: LA Bike Masterplan is taking place at noon, Kerkoff Lawn.  You Have Been Warned. Google "LA Bike Masterplan". Be there to witness how the monster that is cycling lolls, wakes, and transportation may never be the same again. Joseph will speak shortly about the LA City process, your's truly will make some remarks about the unredeemed promises of the UCLA Bicycle Master Plan, and then it is for our cycling public (yes, you) to raise the issues and insults we are exposed to on two wheels.

The paradox is deep and important and needs to be spelled out to be fully enjoyed. Yes, we firmly hold the moral superiority on the road. Yes, more than two thirds of all car drivers have lost their innocence and clearly know they should not do it. They buy hybrids and are still full of shame. If you knock on their window they apologize for driving. Without delay. And still we are somehow unable to translate this perfect storm into action on the ground: Witness the gentlemanly ease with which UCLA claims lack of jurisdiction over the criminal street conditions in Westwood. The lack of access routes. The illegal closure of the National Cemetery where cycling is verboten because it considered recreation. Etc.

What is missing? Why does it not click? Why does our moral superiority not translate into the services we require to stay safe and to become more? I think we are at the brink of something here, and we need every cyclist on Kerkoff Lawn to make it happen. There are cities in this country where you cannot get elected if cyclists do not endorse you. And there are campus administrators who think they have done all they can. And who are about to pat themselves on their shoulder about the big success the Bicycle Master Plan has been. Yes.

Will women on campus accept a male equal opportunity officer? No they don't. Why do campus cyclists accept a transportation service which does not cycle to campus?

There will be comment cards for cyclists who want to make public comments on the LA bike plan right then and there. We'll also announce plans to ride to the Westside "public workshop" (the following Wednesday, Oct. 28 in Santa Monica) which is hosted by LA's Department of Planning and by LADOT to discuss the LA Bicycle Master Plan drafts. We hope to have large copies of the maps from the LA Bicycle Master Plan, but in the absence of those, we'll at least have a couple hard copies of the plan for cyclists to review. And, most importantly, we will have free burritos.

Credit for this seminar is available in Bicycle Heaven. Please give yourself a few hours to look at the documents. Lawyers, Planners, Urban Studies, Architects, Historians of the West LA Veloway are urged to attend. And everybody else.

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