Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bicycle Friendly University (Bronze)

The League of American Bicyclists has included UCLA in the list of  Bicycle Friendly Universities. This is the first year of this new program. It has awarded our campus the distinction at the bronze level. (Press release)
Congratulations! Things are happening on our campus, no doubt. We had a "sweet" bikeumentary (Thanks Herbie & Mihai for all those wonderfully executed left turns), we have a bike library (students rent a bike for 35$ a term), Bruin Bikes for campus department use, the give me three feet campaign to educate car drivers, and a pledge to be alert (distracted driving campaign). We also have the Be=a=Green=Commuter blog. We even have a few (precariously placed) sharrows. Respect. R e s p e c t !

Of course, this is not the whole story. There is the continuing ban of cyclists from Bruin Walk, limited rewards for those who don't commute by car (aka Ride Card), there is a continuing loss of bikes through theft. There is a campus architect who is more committed to aesthetic standards than to serve his most sustainable commuters. And there is our chancellor who has forgotten to make those phone-calls to the city, the county, to Metro, to Caltrans, the Country Club, the congress. The list is long: To advocate for cyclists on Sunset and Wilshire, to get these roads re-surfaced around campus (how can anyone miss the badly torn-up interchange at Le Conte and Westwood?), to limit the impact of the 405 widening for cyclists, to re-open the  National Cemetery for cyclists and pedestrians, to demand improvements for cyclists on the VA site, to get a bike facility where Wilshire crosses the the Los Angeles Country Club, to make UCLA the hub of a functioning bike network.  That is what the UCLA Bicycle Master plan from 2006 referred to as Improving bicycle access to campus, calling it the first priority of the plan. In 2006.

What do you think? Join us for the monthly lunchtime meeting April 1st, and let's get these phone calls started.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bicycle Politics: Stephen Box in District 4

March 8 the LA City Council Elections are taking place, and for cyclists, especially those who can vote in District 4, this is a very important date. March 8. One of the Candidates in district 4, Stephen Box, has a long track record as a bicycle advocate in LA. Stephen is a friend of mine. Our paths have crossed on the board of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and again on the Board of Sustainable Streets, a non-profit working in the area of bicycle education and encouragement. I know him as a great speaker, a sharp thinker, and a man of the greatest integrity. There is very little warm and fuzzy about Stephen, and that is how it must be, because cyclists don't need warm and fuzzy. We need solid and robust. We need an eloquent, sharp, intelligent representative on the city council.

City Council Elections have a very long tradition of favoring the incumbent. This is never good for democracy. If you have a way to support this challenger, please do it. Share this with your friends who live in North Hollywood, Toluca Lake, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Larchmont Village, Koreatown, Hancock Park, Silver Lake, Park La Brea, Studio City. Find out more about Stephen Box at his campaign website, on facebook, on You Tube, and Twitter.

Stephen has received many significant endorsements. I am happy for him to count the UCLA Bicycle Academy among his supporters.

Dr Michael Cahn