Thursday, October 26, 2017

UCLA in Downtown: Campus and city agree: Best to ignore the scandalous bicycle infrastructure around UCLA

Provision for those who would walk or ride a bike to UCLA is, well, bad. Scandalously bad. It would be a nice project to quantify the damage done to the environment and the health of our communities by those planning decisions in the region around UCLA that have favored cars and ignored sustainable modes. But even before these figures are on the table, one would expect that the conversations between campus and elected officials during the annual UCLA in Downtown event would touch on the need to improve non-motorized access to campus. Not so. Campus and city agree: Best to ignore the scandalous bicycle infrastructure around UCLA.

To make up for this omission, we have attended the evening reception UCLA Day in Downtown LA at LA City Hall. An impressive building, a beautiful evening. We handed out some reminders to those who forget (and forget yet again) all about the surprising benefits of non-motorized transportation. Here is the batch of custom colored bicycle badges for the occasion.

custom colored bicycle badges

One lady would not touch our offering, she apparently fell from a bike as a child. But many attendees proudly displayed our bike badges as the evening progressed. One alumni remembered his father in law who had a bike shop, the other had his fiancee who is a keen cyclists. Still another arrived on a bicycle. The servers transmitted urgent demands from the kitchen where the badges were in high demand. They all supported the idea that a world class university which promotes an agenda that challenges itself to make a real difference in the local community can ill afford to stay silent on the benefits of bikes. Specially when talking to elected officials and planners.


Chancellor Gene Block

Chancellor Gene Block

Paul Koretz


We also brought a few playing cards.

But not the standard Bicycle Cards®. Our cards are specialized bicycle advocacy cards, cheat sheets with some of the questions that deserve attention when thinking about the place of UCLA in its community.
Our cards were ♠ spades ♠ only, because ♠ spades ♠ is what it takes to get bike lanes built.

Finally, for the latter part of the proceedings, when the assembly honored its advocates, we found a few bicycle bells in the our advocacy tool box. They rang out happily when the audience applauded, reminding all, yet again, that a campus that fails to get involved with healthy and sustainable modes of transportation is a poor campus indeed.

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