Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The School of Public Affairs Thinks about Traffic, and Forgets the Bicycle

UCLA Public Affairs are putting on a big conference on how to solve L.A.'s Traffic Problems, - but when you look at the program, you would not know that the bicycle was invented a while back.

How did this happen? Another big names event (Villaraigosa etc) about traffic in LA without a bicycle on the program? Could that be a waste of time? and money?

Franklin Gilliam, Are you perhaps missing something?
Brian Taylor, Why do respectable UCLA faculty agree to participate in a traffic related event and fail to protest that the bicycle has, again, not received a slot on the program?
Randall Crane, What is so bold about silencing the bicycle option?
Donald Shoup, If we cannot claim a slot for the bicycle on the program of the Rosenfield forum, why bother to go there at all?
Michael Dukakis, are you not taken for a ride by an program agenda that is blind to the obvious?

Bright minds who still think about traffic and congestion without considering the bicycle alternative are a true liability. How much longer will you consent that your name and your research decorate a program which pretends to be about traffic, and fails to include the obvious remedy on the title page? It should not be so difficult to find someone to speak about bicycles to this audience? Academic negligence anybody?

Sad, poor, disappointing, and worse: The organizers of this program missed a chance to include Janette "Bold Ideas" Sadik-Khan, New York City Transportation Commissioner, who is in Los Angeles the night before, giving a lecture on a LA campus.  That was not bold, not good, and not a good beginning. Start Over. The assignment is: "Responsibility and Guilt: How the UCLA School of Public Affairs Research and Teaching Agenda contributes to Traffic Gridlock in LA"

Table 2. Spending on pedestrian and bicycle improvements by metropolitan area, 1992 – 2006 source

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA  $0.20 (per capita)
Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA  $2.30
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro, TN  $1.92

1 comment:

randall crane said...

Dear Dr. Cahn,
you sent this blog entry directly to all UCLA participants yesterday. To repeat my email response to that message, to which you have yet to reply, I'm pleased to make your acquaintance.

I sense that you are unhappy with the draft program for this event and that in particular you feel the bicycle has been slighted by not being explicitly mentioned, though no travel modes were. Yet since most if not all of us are on your side of this policy issue, I'm not sure I follow your strategy here. In particular, so far as I can tell, you have absolutely no idea as to the organizers' hours of efforts to cover many transportation topics, or their many unfortunately unsuccessful efforts to get Ms. Sadik-Kahn and other bicycle planning scholars and policy leaders on the program, or actually what the speakers will speak or the content of the program and discussions will entail. Rather than just ask, or attend with questions or concerns, you feel it purposeful to send us a preemptive, speculative, inflammatory, and accusatory email (and now a public blog entry).

Whatever your intentions, good luck with that approach.

Randall Crane, UCLA School of Public Affairs

p.s. My friend Enrique Penalosa, who just today declined our invitation to appear in this program in order to run for President of Colombia, says you are way out of line.