NOTE: All timestamps are in the future because WE are in the future. The care takers of Midnight Ridazz.com reserves the right to remove, edit, move or delete anything for any reason. None of the opinions expressed on these boards represent the Midnight Ridazz nor can anyone purport to speak on behalf of Midnight Ridazz.
You know, I like both of you, Patrick and Roadblock. But I'm not 100% ok with this. Right at the top of the forum is says a bunch of things, including this:
nor can anyone purport to speak on behalf of Midnight Ridazz.
This campaign is purporting to speak for Midnight Ridazz. I just wanna know, who has a right to speak for Midnight Ridazz. I've organized a few rides in my day, maybe I didn't organize any 2nd Friday rides, but I had my hand in a few others. Can I speak for Midnight Ridazz? Can TWBG (sucks) speak for Midnight Ridazz?
I just want to know, who's in charge of the Midnight Ridazz endorsements, tacit or otherwise. Does Bikerowave get one? Does Bike Oven get to collaborate with Midnight Ridazz? How about Bikery?
I'd love to know. I feel like the Bike Writers Collective has gone to bat more than a few times for people who were mistreated by LAPD on Midnight Ridazz rides. I seem to recall more than a few visits to the City Council and the Police Commission and the BAC on such occasions. I mean, maybe the BWC even broke a few stories along those lines. But Storm the Bastille never got to be a MR-endorsed event.
I think it's a fair question to ask, because for years we were told by Roadblock that Midnight Ridazz couldn't work with groups because no one person could speak for Midnight Ridazz. I think it's fair to ask what's the governance of Midnight Ridazz = who's in charge? Do people get elected? Can I nominate XL or Richie or Kieron or Eddie Gopez or Rollers?
I'm a slogan machine, I'd like to submit some... But, I dont get what these slogans are promoting... The description above is more about the people behind it. Is it about Safety? Is it about Bikes? Is it about Fun, like MR? I dont understand.
Stop the fucking presses! I want to add "At the tops of ears" to my business cards. Skidz, may I can haz?
Seriously though, the BWC worked it's ass off for MR on more than one occasion, and it hurts that we're not the first that MR came to when MR decided to get political (and work with LAPD? WTF?) Are we gonna get a CBRights or Backbone endorsement?
Like I said over the phone to you a week ago Alex, LACBC came to me with the idea of putting MR behind the campaign and it seemed like a great way to put some positive light on the name Midnight Ridazz and associate it with the good side of city gov, and LAPD while getting people excited about submitting slogans. In the world of bike advocacy credit, I feel like this site doesnt get much... and Midnight Ridazz does endorse charities and such, Team Midnight Ridazz is one example. The medallions being sold to benefit the Bikery and this website are another.... there will be more in the future. If you came to me and said I'd like to run a campaign and there was someway that the name MR could benefit what you are doing I would agree to it, if it helps put a positive light on MR likewise.
and as I explained over the phone, there has been an LAPD endorsement on the front of this website since day 1 so is it really so shocking to hear that Midnight Ridazz is endorsing this poster campaign in conjunction with LAPD?
as far as getting political, I just don't see anything political about putting ads in bus shelters that endorse car drivers to be nice... we've always invited car drivers to get out and ride with us.... this is no different.
you are a slogan machine. would be dope to have you submit some! it's true, the copy is vague.... but the campaign is vague too. what will reach car drivers and educate them that bike riders have a right to the road and to respect them?
"I think it's fair to ask what's the governance of Midnight Ridazz = who's in charge?"
We are all in charge.....This is a general call to all of the MR users to give input.....What is the problem? it is not like they are only interested in certain types of ridazz or the kory leet represent MR.
Foldie responding to a comment by Alex Thompson
04.22.10 - 12:48 pm
"nor can anyone purport to speak on behalf of Midnight Ridazz."
As I said to you over the phone, does "Midnight Ridazz" simply endorse those campaigns you endorse? Is it:
Roadblock = Midnight Ridazz
I just want to understand who makes the decisions, so that it's clear who "Midnight Ridazz" is. If Midnight Ridazz endorsements are based on Roadblock's determination then fine, that's fine with me. BUT, it should be known and understood that that is how it's done.
I'm asking for clarification, and I think it's fair to ask that - who is MR?
Were you asked if you wanted to engage in a poster campaign with LAPD? Were you asked about the substance and nature of the campaign? Was your opinion solicited about the project? More importantly, did you have not just input, but some degree of control?
MR is as it always has been. It applies to everyone who upholds the principles of the ride. Technically speaking, the name itself is owned and copyrighted by Skull and myself. For now, I am the defender of the brand and I have the decision as to where the name is applied. I make sure that somethign like the Nazi Ridazz ride doesnt happen. or that kmart isnt selling fake tshirts. Most people are making up their own names for rides and so it's not much of an issue these days, but in the early days when the name was being used more, I was involved a lot more in making sure that it wast used in adversarial ways. As has been for years now, the name is applied to rides that mesh with the overall goal of MR which is to be friendly and good. This campaign is friendly and good so I saw it as a way to help publicize the contest.
Ideas, plans and actions of various bike related events and advocacy start here on MR all the time. Does the Toy ride violate some policy? Does the sharrows DIY campaign violate some policy?
The point is that I like to see people engaged with MR other than just having party rides. The spirit of community and DIY getting it done resonates with me and I don't fee like I am being pushed an agenda.
People are going to step up and make things happen with MR and I am going to choose to support or not support it.
The problem with so many players in the bike advocacy arena is they all want a piece of something to push their agenda.
Foldie responding to a comment by Alex Thompson
04.22.10 - 1:06 pm
people ARE being asked for their input.... that's what the publicity is all about.
It's a bit like your secret meeting with the LAPD that you and Box tweeted about a few months back but didnt invite people to... You were representing the cycling public in those meetings, I trust that you did a good job even though I personally wasnt invited and neither were very many others... it's just the way things go you cant possibly involve everybody in every decision.
I think you are letting your disdain for the LACBC cloud the big picture which really should be a celebration. legit pro bike ad posters going up in bus shelters!
I'm not that egotistical, so instead I put it on the footer of every single page on this site as a copyright..... see it down there? it's all you have to do to notify people of copyright ownership as far as I know. now people have made really cool hand made MR shit over the years bootleg style and they usually give me a copy (which I put in the archive) and I've put out notices about contacting me when people want to make stuff. people generally know, I dont throw it in their faces all hardcore about who to ask.... it just seems too aggro.
It's not about ego RB, it's about being open and transparent about who makes the decisions. I'm not asking for transparency in the decision making process - you have a right to keep your own counsel and make decisions in private. I wouldn't necessarily reveal Bikeside or Bikerowave's internal decision making process. But, it's fair to ask who is in charge of making the decisions.
The reason I ask for an upfront clarification is that there is confusion over what "Midnight Ridazz" is. There's 3 things out there which people call MR:
Midnight Ridazz - the movement
Midnight Ridazz - the website
Midnight Ridazz - the brand
I think that without some clarification people will think that a whole movement of group rides is endorsing anything with a MR logo on it, when the truth is that it would be impossible to get the consent of that movement. You've come out and said that you control the brand, but at the top of the website it still says no one can purport to speak on behalf of MR. Is that MR the movement or MR the website or MR the brand? It's all very confusing, even to me, and I've been around.
a lot of people are right now making decisions and a lot of people weigh in on things.... yet there is about as little formal structure as possible so that it can be basically a do-ocracy. this website is the archive of whatever the result of that is. people are living and having a great time riding despite this lack of structure that admittedly is confusing.... not sure what the answers are but it sure is working to a degree no?, I see tons and tons of rides happening and I see good things happening under the MR name... Toy Ride Team MR this poster campaign....
is the poster campaign a "good" in your mind? do you want to help improve it? Trickmills Aurisha and I and others spent a lot of time on it... but it could always use more input.
now that I think about it, I regret not getting Skidmarcus involved... he is a slogan machine....
The poster campaign is not good in my mind. I think it is a strategic mistake. Part of the reason that LAPD came to the table is that Chief Beck recognized that the negative LAPD/cyclist interaction was bad for LAPD's image, we became a liability. This is amazing, because LAPD have people from all communities vying for their attention, and we managed to get it.
LAPD is only going to change to the extent that they are motivated to change, and right now they told us to take a hike on handcuffings. They basically said that they will handcuff as many cyclists as they like, when and where they like, and not record it.
The poster campaign helps LAPD get out of hot water. But it's the hot water which motivates change. This poster campaign will make it harder to motivate LAPD to change. It's inappropriate to tacitly endorse LAPD, which is what the poster campaign will do, at this point when they still fuck up things like the Ed Magos Hit & Run.
LACBC inserted itself on the Cyclist/LAPD Task Force. In doing so, they didn't bother to coordinate with us. And they came in hot to do advertising without discussing strategy with the cyclists already on the Task Force. WTF does advertising have to do with handcuffing, hit and run, & dangerous intersections? We're trying to make serious policy change here.
do you really think this is step backwards toward getting positive results with handcuffing, hit and run, & dangerous intersections? I'm a cynical person at times, but I don't see LAPD as just pointing towards posters the next time you or others bring major complaints to them.
I like everything you've said thus far, but will the poster campaign really hurt your cause, or help it? I think it would be great to hear why the former is so certain.
md2 responding to a comment by Alex Thompson
04.22.10 - 2:03 pm
Yeah man well I can kind of see it from both sides... See I feel that maybe your task force naming was the problem perhaps... Having it called the "cyclist/lapd" task force implies that this meeting represents all cyclists... I havev to admit i felt left out and a little snubbed not being invited considering that I'm a cyclist...and one who shows up to CC meetings as much as many others who were invited. Perhaps that's how LACBC felt as well. After all they are seen as the agency of record when it comes to cyclist issues. So they jumped in to have their voice and I don't doubt it got silly. I don't agree with all of your points and ways of addressing the LAPD as a cyclist. But I also know that the do-ocracy of the LA bike movement is that there is only the doers.... So I didn't gripe about not being included (much) but perhaps it should have been named the bikeside/lapd task force so that others wouldn't yearn to be invited?
That's my intuition, yes. I'm in Neighborhood Councils (NCs) all the time. In many ways, the NCs are to LA's citizens, as MR is to the cycling community. They bring a grassroots energy and seriously care about what happens - they're really pretty awesome.
This is what I picture happening - I say something about LAPD not being supportive of cyclists, and failing to live up to their duty to public safety and defend cyclists - I say something like that to someone on an NC. Then they say back to me, "but didn't LAPD do that poster campaign? That seems pretty supportive, I think LAPD is trying their best."
It's an oversimplification, and they'd be wrong to see it that way, but I see that happen a lot with other issues. Like out her in West LA, people will say Bill Rosendahl (our councilman) didn't live up to this or that promise, and somebody else will say "but didn't he support that one community center that one time?" People are pretty simple in how they interpret messages, and this will be seen as a big hug from LAPD to cyclists. After that, people will have trouble understanding that there are still big issues with how LAPD handles cycling. They'll just remember the hug.
I mean, years ago, this would have not even been possible in many respects.
I get your point, but the alternative is not doing the poster campaign, with the HOPE (no guarantee) that LAPD will (ever) change their policies you're concerned about.
Another option: do the poster campaign... and lets see what transpires.
Unless there is some real tangible evidence that LAPD is close to changing x,y,z policies, and by doing the poster campaign, itwill somehow hinder that change... I don't see the campaign as doing more of a service to cyclist, by NOT occurring.
md2 responding to a comment by Alex Thompson
04.22.10 - 2:23 pm
You assume the membership was my decision. You know what they say about assumptions.
original cycling membership was
and then Carlos Morales made a contact and got on.
It was meant to be a small group without redundancy so we could get a lot done and not have long winded debates. Of the 5 originals, one is an expert in education, and the other 4 are the 4 loudest and most strident voices on LAPD & cycling issues. Yes, you've been a big part, but Stephen, Enci, myself and Glenn have been there more. And LACBC? LACBC has their own agenda, but till recently, LAPD wasn't really on it.
Roadblock, when you heard about it, and didn't get an email, did you contact anyone and ask to be included?
"Of the 5 originals, one is an expert in education, and the other 4 are the 4 loudest and most strident voices on LAPD & cycling issues. Yes, you've been a big part, but Stephen, Enci, myself and Glenn have been there more."
when you say that you've been "there" more? what is "there"? and for that matter what is "more"? more meetings? more hype about bikes? more results? I've never had to sit down and quantify my involvement in this bike scene in LA but I guess now I have to to be included the leet core of bike politics. sucks to be me.
Sorry man, I'm not trying to offend you, I'm just good at it.
I'm talking about the specific LAPD & cycling issues. Stephen & Enci & I have done more work in going to council meetings, police commission, BAC on LAPD issues. It's not an insult, it's just a fact. You've done more work organizing rides and I value that. If it was the Urban Hustle Taskforce, you would be chairman and treasurer. That is your shit and you own it. Stephen & Enci & I have done more work in talking to rank and file police, as well as calling watch commanders, captains, and filing formal complaints. And writing up incidents and informing the public. Again, not an insult to you, but that's a fact. Glenn has done a huge amount behind the scenes with talking to captains of various divisions and following up on investigations. He's also been instrumental in bringing LAPD to the table at BAC meetings. Glenn is powerful and connected and knowledgeable about LAPD issues and he's chair of the BAC.
I respect you man, and I'm glad to know you, but don't complain that it's not fair that need a hefty record to get invited to the table - it's beneath you. If you think your record is big enough then say that, but don't complain that you need one. I mean, you can complain about it, but it makes you look naive as hell. This is politics, not a merry go-round - it takes clout to play.
I mentioned to you on the phone last time that the meeting was open to all, and I told you the time and date. You never followed up. That's a fail on your part. I just asked you if you asked anyone if you could come. I know you didn't ask me, and I'm pretty sure you didn't ask Stephen or Enci or Ron or Glenn. As my coach used to say, "if you don't ask, she won't go." Make the effort. You could have been at the last meeting, and you weren't. You only have yourself to blame for that, so own that. Just own that.
Really dude, I value you and your participation and your leadership. I don't agree with this campaign, and I don't agree with the way MR is collaborating, without a collective of reps making a decision about it. I still think you're awesome and relevant.
Bump for the bike slogan contest. It's for a good cause. Despite some of the short sighted and hypocritical things Alex Thompson says....
As for "clout" Alex you claim it comes from going to meetings and BAC involvement and meeting with LAPD. Then by your own criteria the LACBC has more clout than you. They've gone to such meetings for years. By that criteria indeed the LACBC should be involved. I'm not gonna defend them to the last drop - I have my own gripes about them. But to me real clout comes when something is actually accomplished and despite all your bashing of LACBC they have gotten things done and in the bikeLA political scene that's a big deal. Your tireless naysaying of the LACBC while some of it justified gets old. If you can "beat LACBC / MR / LAPD to the punch" then don't hesitate! Just don't disrupt other's efforts in the process... ADD to the overall good. The more pro-bike messages on the streets the better. Talk is cheap. Bashing someones work is the easy way to make yourself feel important. complaining about everyone is easy. Getting paint on the streets and govt to protect us is the real challenge and a huge and ominous fight that will take a lot of work. There's nothing to celebrate now. Heads down, keep working.
The discussion between AT and RB is very interesting to me. But its getting a bit esoteric as to the methods used by different activists.
I was also somewhat surprised the "MidnightRidazz" were supporting or otherwise endorsing other groups activities without any apparent discussion on the website beforehand.
It seems to me that the "MidnightRidazz" were recently taking a more active role than they have in the past in getting their good name out there.
LA can always use more publically recognized bike advocacy groups and I think that the "MidnightRidazz" are becoming more readily recognized by the public. It'll be interesting to see if "they" can maintain their early image without caving to the political machine.
Of course I've always been paranoid about Corey Leet, unjustly or otherwise.
I wanna offer my sincere thanks to everyone who has chimed in for helping to raise awareness about this thread/contest by keeping an engaged dialog going.
As for the concerns, i see nothing even slight controversial about this at all.
The whole point is that even orgs as diverse as LACBC, CIty of LA LAPD, and MR are all in agreement that drivers need to obey the law and respect the safety and rights of cyclists on the road.
When people see this poster they will note that this is an "official" proclamation from the city.
Having personally, been yelled at, harassed, and bullied by ignorant drivers since i first started vehicular riding in LA, it has long been my dream to help raise the consciousness of all road users that a bicycle has a place in the road.
I truly believe that getting road users educated about the rights of cyclists. Will make cycling more comfortable, more safe and more fun.
I also believe that education is the easiest and least expensive way to affect positive change for cyclists and this is just a baby step toward a rideable l.a.
If the LAPD sponsors a huge campaign to educate car drivers, give those working on it a little bit of trust or ask to be included in the process. If it sucks once it's up, trash talk it and be involved in the next go-round. There is no point in making philosophical points about who controls Midnight Ridazz unless there is some advantage to be gained the resolution of that quibble.
YES! we are building on the work of Fuzz, Dpt of DIY & D,O.A.T,
Hopefully we can capture some of the brilliance and creative energy of those projects but put an an offical "gloss" on them so that our message is taken more seriously.
Lets make one thing clear though ....
WORKING with somebody is NOT endorsing all of their views or actions.
We can agree on that right?
MR is not endorsing anybody here or vice-versa, we are working with people who shar a common goal, educating road users about bike safety.
I feel like all the work that has been done in the last few years is starting to pay off - everything from mass rides, political action, wheat paste campaigns, and individuals just getting out and riding in groups and as individuals.
When I ride I sense more than ever that motorists are getting used to seeing people on bikes. I tend to get given more room, have more drivers yield to me, just get better overall treatment as a cyclist than I have in all the years I've ridden a bike in Los Angeles - and that goes back to 1975.
Don't get me wrong, it's still far from perfect and it's still got a ways to go, but it feels like it's at least going in the right direction. Maybe it also helps that I'm a better, more empowered rider than I've ever been - as most of us know, sometimes you have to make the drivers respect you.
But as I was out riding yesterday I thought of a couple of things in regard to this campaign: first, we all know one of the big dangers cyclists face all the time is the possibility of getting doored - basically no one looks before opening their cars doors whether getting in or out of their cars.
Second, I think any educational campaign needs to target cyclists as well as motorists. Now that there's an increasing numbers of bike riders on the roads, I seem to be constantly seeing bikes riding on the wrong side of the road, bikes without lights at night, bikes going on and off the sidewalk without looking, bikes with freewheels without brakes. I'm used to watching out for cars and their various behaviors, but having to watch out for other cyclists is a new thing.
I haven't figured out how to turn any of this into an awesome slogan, but if you think you can run with any of it, please do.
I'm not stoked that you're mad RB, but what do you expect? All I wanted to do was clarify what "Midnight Ridazz" is . . . and you did that and I appreciate that. I didn't want to get into an argument about whether this campaign is good or not, but you asked my opinion when you wrote "do you think this campaign is a 'good'." I don't, I think it is not a good, and you already knew that, so why ask?
You indicated that you were upset about the initial makeup of the Cyclist/LAPD task force and I have been honest and direct with you about why you weren't in. Ted Rogers also got mad that he wasn't included. What do you want me to do? Lie to you about the reasons? You weren't a very good advocate for yourself - you didn't make a phone call to ask to be included. If you really expect to make change then you're going to have to ask to be included in things you weren't initially invited to = you can't just sit around moping, waiting for an invitation. Worse, when you had an opportunity to go to the last meeting, you didn't.
I'm not trying to beat you to the punch. What I'm telling you is that you can have access to those kiosks without going through LAPD or LACBC or the NRA or the ACLU. That's an empowering piece of information.
Talk is not cheap Roadblock. If you think that I spent my time trying to persuade you because of some kind of character flaw, you are full of it. I make the effort because I am genuinely concerned about what will happen when you put your shoulder behind a project that has iffy strategic implications. When I talk it represents an expenditure of real effort to think about an issue and imagine the ramifications of what I say. I speak and write with purpose and it is my currency, and it is costly, not cheap. Only a fool believes that talk is cheap in a movement that is primarily engaged in changing attitudes.
Jeeeeeez Alex get over yourself already. I am not mad at all. I was pointing out what a hypocrite you are by asking for transparency when in fact you Try to keep meetings like the LAPD cyclist task force secret to only you and your crew Becuase you don't like "long winded discussions." Here's a surprise for you, I was invited to another season of the LAPD meeting whn I saw your "secret meeting" tweet. Do you think the LAPD set up the task force only to talk to you and Box as the leaders of the cyclists? Of course they know that it's more than you guys. They want a broad consensus not just to talk to 5 people.
And c'mon dude you didn't come on here to get an answer about who is in charge of the Midnight Ridazz name, I gave you that exact same answer over the phone a week ago that I wrote on here. You came on here trying to rile people up about it or Try to put me on the spot and use it as part of your campaign
to naysay this project because you hate the LACBC. It's just the scorche earth kind of approach that rubs a lot of people the wrong way. It might work for you but It's not my style.
So, we all get it, you think this is bad strategy to collab with LAPD and the punching bag that is LACBC and LADOT. But I've talked to a lot of people (some with arguably way more experience in activism/ politics than you) Who love the idea and understand that you need to work with people to get somewhere.
This project is a great way to bridge the gap between the LAPD and the group rides and Instead of working in secret to come up with a campaign we're gettig everyone's input. It's going to be quite a job to come up with something that everyone generally agrees on between LAPD and the Midnight Ridazz community and cyclists in general. But we're doing it. Sorry you are mad about it. Sorry you aren't in charge. I'll still support things like the backbone and storm the Bastille ad bikeside and LACBC and cicle and Ted Rogers (whom you also complained about being in on the task force meetings) and Livable Los Angeles because I believe we have to do everything to get somewhere. The more bike noise the better.
You're right - I didn't come here to get an answer about who's in charge of "Midnight Ridazz". I came here to get you on the record about it. Just look at my first few posts. I didn't bash LACBC at all in those posts, I didn't even mention them. Go look. All I did was try to get you to come out and say that you're in charge of what "Midnight Ridazz" supports. I didn't mention LACBC until you asked me about the campaign.
I ask for transparency as to who runs "Midnight Ridazz", not how it's run. There's nothing hypocritical about that - I've always been upfront and clear about who's in charge of the orgs I'm involved with.
And my style isn't scorched earth. Next time you come to Bikerowave, which has the dopest bike space in LA, and you're chillin in the lounge, remember that. Why are you reducing my strategy to scorched earth, when you so recently were there? That's bull.
You keep reducing my organization to one person, Box's organization to one person, and so on. When me, Box, Enci, Ron and Glenn meet with LAPD, it's not Bikeside, Bike Writers Collective, Sustainable Streets and BAC met with LAPD, it's 5 people met with LAPD. But when you meet with LAPD it's "Midnight Ridazz" meets with LAPD. When Aurisha and Ramon meet with LAPD it's
LACBC met with LAPD!!
When you and Damien and Joe meet with Bill Rosendahl it's Livable LA & LA Streetsblog & Midnight Ridazz & CICLE meet with Bill Rosendahl. 4 orgs, not 3 people.
Why is it that my posse doesn't matter to you, but everyone else's does?
No Alex, I used your own criteria to make a point about your hypocracy. YOU said I don't have the clout to meet with LAPD and that's why I wasn't invited to your "secret" meeting. Im pointing out to you that LACBC according to your own cloutometer should have been at that meeting and you were pissed that they crashed it. It's not an exclusive meeting. The LAPD wants to meet everyone they can. So they arranged meetings outside of yours to which to happened to be included.
You bash LACBC all the time and on your blog and in our phone calls so this is a continuance of that dialog. And I agree with a lot of your points about them but that doesn't mean we can't find common ground and work on a project that in many people's minds IS a good collab.
I've never said anything about bikrowave I think bikerowave is the shit. I love that place and even though I think a lot of your tatics hold you back as a leader I still support you tweet about shit you do, help hype your events like bikeside salon, etc because to me it's all about multiple level attack. There should be all kinds of groups working in the same general direction which is "more bikes!"
group rides show that people want to ride
cc meetings show that people take time to voice positions to city hall
lobbying groups kick ass on the politics
advocacy groups help people get on bikes
bike co ops rule as community cneters for bikes
In my mind and others, We have to show LAPD that we are reasonable people and this campaign is great for that.
No dude, I did not say that you don't have the clout to meet with LAPD. I said that the 5 people picked for the original meeting were picked, in part, because of their experience in dealing with LAPD & Cycling issues. I did not say that LACBC doesn't have the clout, I said that they hadn't made law enforcement an issue prior to the meeting. For the most part, LACBC had been absent on issues of law enforcement, and certainly not leaders. I said that you hadn't been as present in law enforcement issues as the four people in the meeting who were selected for their involvement (the other being an education expert.) I stand by that.
"The LAPD wants to meet everyone they can."
Ummm, yeah, I seriously doubt that. However, I would love to hear about those other meetings.
It's a myth that I bash LACBC all the time on Bikeside. I've been critical at times, but it's only a small percentage of what I write about. It seems like LACBC supporters (or collaborators) are so thin skinned that any criticism becomes full scale, all out bashing. In private, however, I'm very willing to discuss the breadth and depth of their failures. Keep studying sharrows LACBC, hope that $15,000 is keeping you happy!
Alex your posse does matter to me. Why would I support all your work? Have I ever done anything but fully support the backbone? Or hype up bikeside links on Twitter or attend storm the Bastille or retweet bikeside salon? I love most of what you guys do except when it's secret exclusive stuff. It's just weird political shit to me. Why not support everyone who is fighting for bikes!
Alex the ONLY thing that bothered me about your meeting the cyclist/LAPD task force is that you tweeted something about a "secret" meeting. Had you simply just called it a meeting with LAPD for the task force and been open about it I personally wouldn't have cared. It's the secret stuff that whiffs of the old you that I would hear about through the grape vine where you'd have secret meetings about people you didn't like and what not... Like this is some big political game to be "won." I just want more bikes on the streets, more bike infrastructure and more support from the lapd. I'll do what I can to support anyone who wants the same thing I don't care who gets it done as long as it gets done. If it's bikeside then I will be clapping in a standing ovation to you as I always have. If it's LACBC same deal. If it's storm the Bastille yes cicle yes everything bike... YES! No more naysaying. No more complaining. Just bikes!
Ok man, that's good. I support you to, for the most part.
You ask "Why not support everyone who is fighting for bikes!" I really think that is worth talking about. Not just in this context, but generally. Why not be a solid, unified movement? I hear that a lot.
A simple answer is that I don't believe everyone is fighting for bikers. (Dude, "fighting for bikes"? Bikers, not bikes!) I think some people are fighting to get a few bikers funding, such as funding to study sharrows, when they don't really need a study.
For a bigger answer, I'll give you the analogy that I gave Kim Nowacki.
The notion of a unified bike community, functioning as one, strikes me as similar to a tank. A tank is a huge chunk of metal that will run you over and destroy your shit. Tanks are formidable.
Until you blow the tracks off them, which isn't that hard to do. Then a tank is a big, clunky, immobile and vulnerable piece of shit.
A truly unified movement, moving in lockstep, is like that. It will make a lot of progress quickly, but then be rendered immobile. It also is limited in the number of issues it can take on at once.
A healthier movement, in my opinion, is like an ecosystem, and incorporates a bit of Darwinism. Different organizations pursue different strategies, and sometimes they conflict. At times one organization pursues an ineffective strategy and another pursues a new, highly effective strategy. At that point other orgs either adopt that strategy, or stick to the old ways (which usually means FAIL.) The movement is rarely unified (although at times it is, and scary in those instances), but is a movement which learns and adapts and consumes.
BTW - my point of view is supported by history. No other movement has been unified, and there have always been serious, often public, internal conflicts. Just look at gay rights and the Don't Ask Don't Tell issue right now - there are huge battles over whether Obama is doing the right thing and groups should be patient, or whether Obama is stalling and he needs to be pushed.
A tank can knock down walls, but an ecosystem can turn sand into rainforest. That's what will be needed to make LA lush with bikers - an ecosystem to turn LA into a bikerforest. I've always operated from that point of view - I've always tried to fill holes in the ecosystem, so that we could trap more energy in the bikerforest. Almost everything I've put my shoulder behind has been a hole I was trying to fill.
An ecosystem has internal conflict. A political ecosystem has internal criticism, flak between organizations, and many different arrangements of groups. Criticism and evolution of positions, strategic battles and strategic discussions - they are key elements of the ecosystem. It can't operate without criticism - criticism is absolutely key to the operation of the ecosystem.
When you say things like "Why not support everyone who is fighting for bikes!" I say to you, "are you trying to silence criticism?" Are you sure that supporting LACBC leads to positive change for bikers? Maybe LACBC has compromised one too many times, and now slows down change. I have personally experienced that when the LACBC endorsed the bike path to nowhere for $30million - money that could build the Backbone three times over - and when they diverted LAPD discussions from policy to advertising. Maybe the positive efforts of you and Patrick indirectly support the ongoing obstruction of others by LACBC.
Next time you want to be included in something, and no one asked you, ask them!
- That tweet was tongue in cheek but I do occasionally have meetings that are off the record.
- You heard bullshit through the grape vine. Don't forget the old game "telephone" - the grape vine is unreliable. Why would I waste time on meetings about people I dislike? We had meetings about building shit, building awesome shit like 328. We also drank. It was good times, intimate Westside shit. It was also a failed project, but it was fun while it lasted.
- Old Alex, new Alex, it's all the same Alex.
I say, run with LLA - that's your way awesomest project right now. Except the project which shall not be named, which is even awesomer.
The only relevant people, with true access, are those that can beat death to the punch.
All others, let's hope we're potting soil for a community garden.
AT would make a great hip-hop activist rapper, he could battle rap, write lyrical gems about being credible in the activist game, clout, and his criticism of LAPD. I mean really, this thread is all activist bling-bling.
Come on guys... this you're giving a poster campaign WAY too much credit one way or the other (seriously). We're getting older and more dogmatic by the day, lets give in to a little humility and open-mindedness as we once did.
Basically, on the sharrows thing, I thought "this is LACBC's project, you should respect their project and stay out of it, Alex." Then this whole compromise with LADOT went down, and I got sick to my stomach. When DOT said "sharrows are slippery and we need to study them", LACBC should have called bullshit. It's so easy to do that - Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Long Beach, and UCLA all did sharrows without studies. What makes LA special? It's easy to make the case that this is a form of delay by DOT. Instead, Mowery worked out a deal to get LACBC funded to do a piece of the study, and suddenly LACBC thinks sharrows need studying. FAIL FAIL FAIL.
Sharrows aren't my priority. The Bike Plan is. It looks to me like the sharrows are supposed to go in sometime between June and September. Jesus, that's pathetic. If something isn't on the ground by August 1, I'm willing to get involved.
I am genuinely interested in the specific reasons that you think that this campaign has "iffy strategic implications".
From my perspective, street level education is absolutely crucial to us turning the tide of understanding and opinion in our favor. And this is a great step along the way.
For years, local governments have failed on many levels in living up to their responsibility to allow safe implementation of the letter of law of CVC 21200. The failures have been infrastructure, legal, and cultural.
While the legal and physical changes are imminently necessary and important they are also very expensive and can easily be delayed by bureaucratic bullshit.
On the other hand, these efforts are not aided by the fact that the mass public is so miseducated about the the status of bicycles that they don't feel any pressing need to spend those public dollars. As it is many of them perceive the recent uptick in bicycles as at best: a youth culture phenomenon that gets tin their way when they are trying to get somewhere and at worst: as a mode of transportation for people who can't get it together enough to fully participate in society.
Educating people. Changing the "soft infrastructure" is I think the most bang for our buck in terms of making a better climate for bikes. For the price of just 1 mile of separated bike path. I am guessing that we could have excellent printed materials & posters in every DMV, every Driving School, Every High School, Every Court House, Every Taxi Co, Every MTA break room, and Every Police Station. With enough left over for a few, Billboards, Radio Spots, and Bus Shelters.
We aren't quite there yet.
But I am proud of what we have put together so far.
We have poster campaign organized by people with roots in the underground bike culture.
A designer with ties to the bike scene that is respected by local artists, international curators, and ad agencies alike.
Slogans generated by actual cyclists from across the spectrum of the So Cal Bike Scene.
And the LAPD & CITY of LA on board to put their stamp on safety poster that originates from real cyclists who know about bike laws, culture and hazards, first hand.
My only questions righ now are: how can I make this project as badass as possible? and
How can I channel this energy to help keep growing public awareness about bikes.
Alex, I welcome your insights. Because I want to my my efforts at public awareness about bikes as effective as possible.
So, its not clear to me, is this a contest for a single winning slogan to be approved and implemented, or will multiple slogan posters be implemented? If its multiple, how many, and who's going to do the artwork?
My first impression was that this was going to be polished version of the DIY on cardboard effort implemented previously but after reading the LACBC description it looks like a single poster design in multiple locations or maybe multiple designs in multiple locations.
Either way the posters might be more valued by cyclists as art pieces to be coveted and acquired at the late-late-nite bicycle supply shop rather than any statement that motorists might be impressed by.
That music was so corny I had to mute 1/2 way through.
Does that make me a snob?
I like all the different people riding bikes though.
Speaking of PSAs I think this classic found its way to MR via ubrayj02, no?
Its funny that this is a corporate commercial yet it's probably one of the best PSAs around for bikes.
I love it that its from a libertarian/ heartland perspective too.
Look what we get from "hollywood liberals".
Adults that ride bikes in movies and TV are usually total nerds
the bike is the symbol of how they just don't fit in. Even if there is a heroic aspect to the character. Like pewee, the 40yo virgin or Kenneth from 30 Rock.
I don't agree with the campaign. I'm not sure there is something you can do to the poster's message to ameliorate the fact (IMO) that it eases LAPD's need to make policy change.
And we need policy change, desperately. Roadblock's encounter with LAPD officers who refused to file a report at the site of a possible hit & run yesterday - that drives the point home. I'm calling for a policy that deals with bike collisions from the hit to the filing. We need stated policy on this stuff, and working with LAPD on this poster campaign is at best a distraction, at worst a diversion. That's where I'm at.
OK the LAPD is going to spend about 5 minutes tops looking at a slogan and deciding "yes or no" should we put our logo on the bottom corner of a poster with this wording.
its that simple.
a distraction & a diversion?
Please explain how rubber stamping a safety poster in any way hinders the LAPD's need or ability to engage in reform.
Please explain how them agreeing to rubber stamp their logo on a poster could possibly cause any hinderance toward anybody who is working to reform the LAPD.
The bottom line is this is a safety poster communicating directly to drivers in a way that hopefully will make for a safer climate on the road. This is an effort to capture the thoughts of tens or hundreds of thousands of drivers in l.a. and try and get them to better understand how they are supposed to treat cyclists on the road. This will included members of the LAPD.
Political change often mirrors cultural change, it is essential that we have both.
Communicating with the public is a huge step toward affecting that cultural change that will coincide with political change to make the streets better.
But yeah ... if you can tell me specifically what is bad about this I am very interested.
It does seem that you are more concerned with who is associated with this project more than what it will actually do. Does this just come down to beef and territory?
its not worth arguing about. Alex won't change his opinion and save for a brief moment of anger at yesterday's handling of a hit and run I still believe this is a good thing. I've gotten a lot of response and attention from the LAPD regarding yesterday's incident and I'm idealistically awaiting new policy from the LAPD on this... If it wasn't for the community coming together and pressing the LAPD over yesterday's incident I'm not sure if they would be responsive at all. So let's preserve our relationships in the advocacy world as best as we can. Alex, Box Glenn Bailey, Aurisha, Ross Hirsch, myself and others came together and raised our voices in discontent and the LAPD leadership seemed to hear it. That means we need to quit the bickering and continue to work together even if we dont totally agree on things. I hope that moving forward now that we know our positions, that the naysaying of this project melts away and that it inspires people to push for their own "more bikes" "more people on bikes" projects.
Lets just agree to disagree and move forward in our own ways. Multi-level attack.
When DOT said "sharrows are slippery and we need to study them", LACBC should have called bullshit. It's so easy to do that - Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Long Beach, and UCLA all did sharrows without studies. What makes LA special? It's easy to make the case that this is a form of delay by DOT. Instead, Mowery worked out a deal to get LACBC funded to do a piece of the study, and suddenly LACBC thinks sharrows need studying. FAIL FAIL FAIL.
That's a good point. The tendency of activists and activist orgs, once they finally get some of the "access" they crave, to become addicted to the process (and sometimes the money that comes with it) rather than the goal is a real one. It happens all the time in the enviro world, so it's not something you can just attribute to mean old Alex Thompson being paranoid again. Just something to think about. OK, bye.
PC responding to a comment by Alex Thompson
04.27.10 - 1:29 pm
PC I 1000% agree. But the situation is so fucking desperate here in LA that if it comes down to the LADOT actually fucking finally agreeing to put some god damned sharrows down then the sharrow study pay off / bribe / whatever you want to call it seemed like the lesser of two evils... the other evil being, lets say LACBC vehemently opposing the sharrow study.... I mean does anyone hear think that the LADOT would actually say "oh gosh all right lets just move forward without the study and put in sharrows" I highly doubt it. Instead I think they would have said, oh ok since LACBC or anyone else doesnt want the study then we'll do it.... when we get the time and money.... maybe next year..... maybe not...." giving the LACBC $15 is def a conflict of interest but the cost of the LACBC running a volunteer count vs. the LADOT doing the count themselves is probably a tenfold savings....
Alex, I need to chime in here. You are spreading some falsities. LACBC had been involved with working with LAPD since August of 2009. Ask Ron Durgin, he was at those meetings as well. I just want to get the record straight so everyone reading this would get the truth, not just your personal perspective on the matter, which in this case, is incorrect.
Our agenda in August was the educational component for LAPD officers. We even put together a ppt for them. That was the beginning. Not your secret meeting. You guys then picked the same educational component as your agenda as well. Which, personally I think is good. The more working on it the better.
LACBC invited MR and CICLE, BikeOven and others to a meeting we had after your initial meeting. We were interested in getting MR, CICLE and NELA folks at the table as well as they are also cyclists and deserve to have their voices represented as well.
This Slogan campaign will be the first time the city has ever agreed to post positive messages about bikes. These ads will be the 1st time drivers will see that they DO NOT own the road anymore. That the city is telling them -- hey bikes, YOU DO BELONG!!
Let's work together to start changing the way people think - in the streets, where it all happens!!
Oh, and one more thing.. I happen to be an eco head living at the Eco Village surrounded by eco maniacs and an ecosystem is a community of living and non-living things that work together, harmoniously.