f%&k LA Bike Plan - everything on the table tuesday, jan. 29
Thread started by ubrayj02
at 01.28.08 - 10:41 am
If you live, or just ride through, L.A. and want to make the city a better place to bike, tomorrow is a day of immense importance.
The entire city council will hold an all day council meeting regarding a "Transportation Strategic Plan" for the entire city. They are throwing around words like "innovative" and "looking for new ideas".
The meeting will take place in the L.A. City Council chambers on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 from 10 a.m. until the public comment period (at the end of the meeting at 4 p.m.).
I've been calling people I know at City Hall about this all morning.
There are supposed to be four reports from city agencies on this idea/topic - and all of them are in the city clerk's file, except for one - the Department of Transportation's! What a shock.
You can read the reports here.
(a bunch of .pdf's)
My recommendations to council?
Count people trips when measuring road performance - not vehicle trips.
A comprehensive, scientific, liveability measurement system should be used to determine the effects of transportation planning.
Economic and demographic effects of our transportation planning cannot be ignored ay longer - we lose a lot of money every year by focusing solely on private cars.
Aight. Do what you want with this. I am going to see who I can get through to in City Hall right now, maybe I'll take the day off work tomorrow and try and lobby folks downtown, and then waste my time waiting for the public comment period.
"The entire city council will hold an all day council meeting regarding a "Transportation Strategic Plan" for the entire city. They are throwing around words like "innovative" and "looking for new ideas". "
I got a new and innovative idea -- build a train that goes from LA to Santa Monica. Oh wait, that idea is 2 decades old and they're still too stupid to get it done. Fuckers.
Good luck Ubray. At least it seems you know what kind of incompetence you'll be dealing with.
01.28.08 - 10:49 am
"build a train that goes from LA to Santa Monica"
too many uptite shortsighted selfish cockheads between western (the street) and santa monica (the city).
01.28.08 - 10:59 am
put subways under all the freeways. raise the gas tax incrementally over a period of 5 years to $2 per gallon to pay for said subways.
end of problems.
01.28.08 - 11:06 am
Build the Subway-to-the-sea and tell the uptight, short-sighted people that we are tired of the few controlling the many. They can shut up or move to Arizona.
01.28.08 - 11:10 am
Well, building trains, etc. is great - but that is an MTA/Congressional funds issue.
If you want to know why this is important, check out this passage of the L.A. City General Plan.
EVERY measurement the CIty has for measuring roadway performance is based on how many cars they can push through and area, and how fast they can get them moving.
When they measure transit, they only measure the percentage of people moved by transit. They do not measure how fast transit is, nor how much, or how little, it serves the needs of transit riders.
THEY DON"T EVEN RECOGNIZE BICYCLING AS TRANSPORTATION. The same oes for walking.
One of the most important things bicyclists can win is the right to be counted and properly studied by the agencies in charge of our roads.
That is why his meeting is important.
All the "innovative" things the City departments are going to discuss have to do with transportation funding! They are not even answering the question laid out to them by the council.
I've called Wendy Gruel's staff, but they were too busy to talk.
I've called Ed Reyes' (Mr. Bicycle Plan L.A.) staff, but they weren't interested in returning my calls.
I am going to phone up Garcetti's people (Helen Leung?) and one other council member in the Valley to see if I can give them my public comment in a meaningful way (instead of just screaming at them for not doing enough for bicycles).
Council phone numbers for Councilmembers who *might* give a fuck about cycling (ask to speak with the Leg Analyst for the Council Meeting on Transportation Tomorrow):
District 1 - Ed Reyes
District 2 - Wendy Greuel
District 4 - Tom LaBonge
District 5 - Jack Weiss
District 13 - Eric Garcetti
01.28.08 - 11:16 am
one day we are going to get tired of seeing RIDAZZ get hit by cars, it takes something dramatic to change them ass holes mind about respecting us, if some ass hole hits me, they going to regret being born, that will definitely make the 11pm news.
01.28.08 - 11:30 am
"put subways under all the freeways. raise the gas tax incrementally over a period of 5 years to $2 per gallon to pay for said subways.
end of problems."
Roadblock for Congress or City Council or MTA board or Supreme Dictator or wherever he needs to be to get that shit done.
"all the freeways"
Except the 33. No subway for Ojai. Suckers.
01.28.08 - 11:51 am
"One of the most important things bicyclists can win is the right to be counted and properly studied"
Nice! I love being counted and properly studied. My species is rare.
01.28.08 - 11:52 am
There is only one of me, and Spiderman is constantly kick my ass.
01.28.08 - 11:54 am
"..to be counted and properly studied"
Yes yes I know :)
I was an anthropologist - I can't help it!
But the point I make is a valid one (I swear) - bicycles are always determined to be a Bad Thing for "traffic" by transportation engineers.
If politicians decide that bicycles are also a mode of transportation, and ask engineers to measure them as such - we won't need to fight as hard for safer roads.
The same goes for transit riders and people who like to walk - they only get counted (if at all) as a proportional share of car traffic.
Cars, on the other hand , are counted and studied ti the point that we can reasonably predict how fast, and how many, we can pipe through an area in a given hour.
No performance goals exist for bikes, none for pedestrians. That should be fixed, que no?
01.28.08 - 12:07 pm
BTW - offices that fuggin' rock?
Ed Reyes office fuggin rocks. I just talked with one of his deputies, and they are listening closely to what cyclists have to say.
LaBonge's office was receptive too.
I couldn't get through to Gruel's, Weiss', of Garcetti's staff though.
I am going to try and make a "one sheet" to give to their staff. Then the staff decided if there is anything worthwhile on the one sheet, the council gets to look it over before going into a meeting, and *maybe* we get heard in City Hall.
This is such an amateur operation right now, I doubt anyone will spend more than 2 seconds thinking about cycling in L.A.'s future tommorrow.
I hope some of y'all phone these folks up to let them know how you feel about bikes in L.A.'s long term transportation strategy.
01.28.08 - 12:19 pm
This is what the LADOT thinks about when it thinks about people:
We're such a drag on "traffic" and "trasnportation" that we are not allowed to even use the roadway.
Elevated sidewalks DO NOT HELP. Witness: the Bonaventure downtown.
This is the type of "pie in the sky" stuff engineers come up with.
01.28.08 - 12:34 pm
Well, I don't want to knoc kthis Flow Blvd. guys ideas down - most of what he says is okey - but "Flow Blvds" show the problem at its root.
Only cars matter as transportation to people planning our future.
We need to turn the normal, surface streets of L.A. into a "flow blvd."
01.28.08 - 12:36 pm
All this talk of transportation and the City forgot to invite anybody involved with housing and employment to the party.
People live in a community first, they are employed somewhere and transportation is derivative of their need to move about.
How about planning that encourages complete streets and sustainable neighborhoods that reduce the need to move across town simply to punch the clock and run on the hamster wheel.
San Antonio's Mayoral Rep to Hollywood lived in Palmdale and was always draggin' when he appeared in the neighborhood. There's nobody that lives in Hollywood that's qualified to represent H'wood for the Mayor?
For that matter, is it too much to ask the City to hire people who live in the City? Do we not have qualified residents?
01.28.08 - 12:44 pm
Well, I don't want to knoc kthis Flow Blvd. guys ideas down - most of what he says is okey
I do. His ideas are breathtakingly awful. One-way street pairs with maximum vehicular traffic flow, elevated sidewalks, and meaningless "open space"? It's like somebody tried to distill all of the worst elements of mid-twentieth century urban planning and architectural Modernism into one unified field theory of Pure Stupid. I don't just want to knock his ideas down, I want to knock him
(Note that this guy first proposed this idea in 1973. It shows, doesn't it?)
01.28.08 - 12:54 pm
Excuse me, for those that are slow like me. What is the issue in simple terms? All I am grasping is - They are counting vehicles and not people in relation to traffic flow. What means this? How do they count? What good does this do? Danka.
01.28.08 - 1:04 pm
okay, Ubray explained it a bit better down the thread. But, I still don't see how this will make for change.
01.28.08 - 1:09 pm
Transportation Engineers are tasked with moving vehicles, motor vehicles, and moving them quickly.
Getting people out of single occupant vehicles (a great accomplishment for many reasons) is unrewarded behavior because the City, County, State, Feds don't count PEOPLE moved, they count vehicles moved.
Getting people out of the Single Occupant Vehicles results in fewer vehicles moved through the streets. This is unrewarded behavior and actually registers as a decline in efficiency. (in their books)
Faster, Wider, Straighter! is the battle cry of the current transpo paradigm!
It's up to us to change it.
01.28.08 - 1:13 pm
Oh yeah, like those elevated pedestrian overpasses in DTLA. Everybody uses the elevated sidewalks now, and nobody uses the traditional sidewalks. Er wait, that last statement is the opposite of the truth.
01.28.08 - 1:19 pm
That picture of LADOT's "vision" is hilarious. You wanna see something like that? Go to that weird plaza in Little Tokyo that was designed in the 1950s. Marvel at the confusing, nearly unusable lay out, and scratch your head and ask yourself questions like "where is everyone? why does nobody use this plaza? and why do I have to urge to immediately get the hell out of here?"
01.28.08 - 1:26 pm
we have puppets in the city council. if money dont want it... we wont get it.
01.28.08 - 1:38 pm
I talked with my council member Smith's (12th district), deputy of transportation Hahna Lee 818-756-8501.
She took about 8 minutes with me. She listen to what I said, and seemed genuine interested while the conversation was happening. Thinking back on it now, it seemed that the whole thing was canned. After listening to me, she stated that other forums of transportation other then the automobile will be recognized and concerns for other forums of transportation projects is going to addressed by the council member.
At least they heard one of their constituents concern.
01.28.08 - 2:14 pm
How did your phone calls, with the council members office, work out?
01.28.08 - 2:15 pm
Uh oh. Did sexy just f%&k it all up for us again?
01.28.08 - 2:26 pm
I told them to eat a dick. and they sincerley thanked me for my comments and informed me that indeed they were considering alternative dietary supplements and would strongly consider my suggestions.
01.28.08 - 2:28 pm
Mine went well. I pulled the ol' "Is your refrigerator running? Well then ya better catch it!!!" gag on Reyes. Guffaws ensued.
01.28.08 - 2:29 pm
and your phone call to your council members office. How did that work out? If your a little nervous about calling Joe, you might want to have Ginger get on the phone. She might make more sense to the council members office?
01.28.08 - 2:30 pm
Just as I thought, you all can talk a gang of S*@# about government and what they should and shouldn't be doing, but when it comes to actually addressing those that can make the change.
Smart ass comments, no phone calls.
01.28.08 - 2:33 pm
"I told them to eat a dick. and they sincerley thanked me for my comments and informed me that indeed they were considering alternative dietary supplements and would strongly consider my suggestions."
What if your councilman actually did that, and then he was like "wait a minute, this is who I am!!" and he discovered he was gay.
01.28.08 - 2:33 pm
Hey sexy, thanks for the comments, I got an alternative dietary supplement I'd like to recommend to you.
01.28.08 - 2:35 pm
"Just as I thought, you all can talk a gang of S*@# about government and what they should and shouldn't be doing, but when it comes to actually addressing those that can make the change."
while I do believe that phone calls make a difference, I dont think anything will REALLY happen until money makes the call.
01.28.08 - 2:40 pm
Here's how sexy's phone call went:
secretary: "Good afternoon, you've reached the offices of Mr. Councilman"
sexy: "Quackitty fackitty *snort* *snort* blah blah blah!!!"
secretary: "...I'm sorry sir, I don't think I understand..."
sexy: "*SNORT* *SNORT* BLAH BLAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!"
secretary: "I'm sorry sir, Mr. Councilman is unavailable."
sexy: "yay! Now me go back to midnightridazz.com"
01.28.08 - 2:45 pm
"What if your councilman actually did that, and then he was like "wait a minute, this is who I am!!" and he discovered he was gay."
hmmm you have a point, does anyone know if the councilman responsible for east hollywood is republican??
01.28.08 - 4:42 pm
I called up Huizar's office - and his staff were into the suggestions mae as well.
You can check out my REALLY CRAPPY AMATEURISH one sheet .pdf file I sent in here:
It is the bst I could muster during a work day, on short notice.
By the way, RB has the whole constituent call thing down with the "yes, I was actually thinking of changing my diet" shit.
A big MAYBE, but I think we may get two or three council people thinking tomorrow morning about how to win the next election if all they can show their constituents is more car traffic, pollution, and ugliness.
01.28.08 - 4:56 pm
fuck it I'm on the horn right now. this is important. I shouldnt be this cycnical...
01.28.08 - 5:07 pm
Aight... I put in a call to LaBonge. Left a 5 min message the whole 9.... my bad for being a cycnical pessimist. This shit does matter... somewhat.... after all they need to know how to market whatever the "real agenda" is to their constituents as best they can.
01.28.08 - 7:26 pm
Submitted via web form for my councilmember:
Hello Councilman Zine,
Please forward this for inclusion in the General Public Comment part of the Single Topic Meeting on Transportation, Tuesday January 29, 2008.
I am a resident of District 3. By free choice, not of economic necessity, I use a mix of modes for my transportation needs: Auto (less than 6000 miles last year), bicycle (more than 2100 miles last year) and the MTA. By using bicycles as part of my transportation mix, I have decreased my own auto traffic in Los Angeles from over 12,000 miles per year to less than 6,000.
It's time to stop thinking of transportation in terms of autos only. I request that the Council instruct the LADOT to RE-ENGINEER its metric for transportation efficiency away from VEHICLES per hour to PERSONS transported per hour, using a WEIGHTED SUM across all available modes [auto + motorcycle + bus + bicycle + pedestrian + surface rail], giving independent weight to each mode's available speed, spacing and achievable traffic density.
Regarding bicycle traffic, I support integration of bicycle traffic with other roadway traffic rather than marginalization of bicycle traffic to the sidewalk.
01.28.08 - 10:01 pm
I think that your suggestions are insightful and apt. However, I feel your points would be better made if you tightened up your writing. Your post is 1166 words, which is likely to lose a lot of potential readers near the 600 word mark.
Here is an example. You write:
"One thing I noticed after looking through the various presentations prepared for tomorrow: they had a lot to do with talking about funding car projects, and then handing over the design of our roadways to the DOT, or another team of traffic engineers."
I feel that you could do away with this altogether. You have skewered the proposals already, so leave it to your readers to draw some inferences. If you can't cut this portion here is a rewrite which loses little:
"I noticed that tomorrow's presentations have a lot to do with funding car projects and then abdicating design of our roads to traffic engineers."
24 words vs 43.
I'm sure that my post here can be improved and I'm no great writer. Your post is important, and therefore I feel that succinctness is important, since it will necessarily be long. Readers should feel that they are moving along swiftly, since they know they have a long journey.
01.28.08 - 10:13 pm
Ubray was totally pressed for time when He wrote that up. Feel free to write it better and post it up here.
This is an effort that we can all be part of. Each person contribution is of great help to the cause.
01.28.08 - 11:03 pm
Enci and I will be at City Hall tomorrow. If you are unable to make the meeting there are still a couple of options for getting your comments in.
1) email a "Dear City Council" letter to 21202@illuminateLA.com and we will take your comments to the podium. Tell them who you are, your thoughts on the need for a Strategic Transportation Plan that recognizes cyclists as transportation solutions. Tell them that you count!
2) Call the Mayor's office and the office of your Councilmember. They will still get your comments while they're in session. Just tell them you're a TRANSPORTATION SOLUTION and that YOU COUNT!
Never underestimate the power of your words!
01.28.08 - 11:43 pm
sexy - I know what you mean. I think that ubray is a good writer, but this isn't the first time I felt as if he could be more sparing. He has strong opinions, with strong factual support, he should not equivocate them so often. He should feel more secure that his readers will fill in the details. "Be confident young ubray" is my message.
01.28.08 - 11:56 pm
TREX and sexy, and all the rest of y'all - thanks for taking the time to even think about this stuff. I tend to bloviate when I write - so the criticism is really on point. Take anything you like from what I've written, make it better, and distribute it as you see fit. The ideas I write down aren't even mine anyway.
I'm pretty worn out, and I can't be downtown today - but SoapBoxLA will be in council, and he'll be on T.V. too around 4 p.m.
A friend of mine who is a messenger downtown said that local news vans were positioned over the 110 today talking about bicycle lanes and transportation. So that's cool.
I'm going to watch the whole thing online, you can watch the BORING meeting online too,
01.29.08 - 10:10 am
its 12;02 pm is somebody really listening to her on item 16?
01.29.08 - 12:03 pm
i'm listening. i never knew how brutally boring being an interested citizen could be.
01.29.08 - 12:18 pm
shite. didn't realize this was today.. just woke up - loooooong work day yesterday.. gonna try and get over there...
01.29.08 - 1:33 pm
I guess public comment didnt last too long... clicked on it about 15 mins ago and it was cartoons.
so what happen? they came to some decisions on fixing the traffic problem?
01.29.08 - 4:58 pm
Yeah, they're going to ban private cars in the area basically bounded by PCH, Topanga Cyn, 101, 134, 2, 5 and 105. Bicycles FTW!
01.29.08 - 5:06 pm
Make that "PCH, Topanga Cyn, 118, 210, 57, and 91.
01.29.08 - 5:08 pm
It was kind of funny to see that they brought people from Portland down to lecture them on, essentially, how to plan a city that human beings actually might want to live in. I only saw a few minutes of the public comment period--somebody from Green LA, and Enci reading OTH's letter.
01.29.08 - 5:11 pm
You can watch the MONSTEROUS video of the meeting here:
The "Journal" of the day's proceedings are here:
Surprisingly, the stuff that we talked about here got brought up repeatedly during the meeting! So awesome.
The meeting was ended (for me) by Enci Box's awesome reading of two letters from Ridazz.
I think we've got to follow Stephen's advice, and get the Bicycle Advisory Committee revitalized with active cyclists. Hopefully, the technical changes I've written about will get some more attention downtown. Then, one day soon, get written into the books - protecting cyclists interests fo' eva'.
01.29.08 - 5:40 pm
how about we create a Bicycle Ridazz Union? something akin to the bus riders union but without the covert automobile industry funding.
01.29.08 - 6:06 pm
Great Day for Cyclists in City Council today!
I've never heard the word "Bicycles" used so much in a City Hall sponsored discussion of transportation solutions.
It was a long day, 6 hours of testimony, panels, reports, Councilmember Q & A and the absolute smallest obligatory public participation.
(I spoke while they were eating and Enci spoke at the end, right before they approved their new Strategic Transpo Plan. (She was able to read OTH's letter into the record - calling on Councilmember for talking on the phone while she had the podium!)
Ultimately, Josef's issues of revising the definition of transportation so that it reflects people not vehicles resonated.
Right out of the gate, Councilmember Ed Reyes of District 1 jumped in and argued Josef's point as if he was reading from a script. I think the lobbying paid off.
Director of Planning Gail Goldberg spoke of small changes with big payoff, such as getting people out of the car by encouraging cycling.
Once the die was cast, CM's and staff alike continued to contrast George Jetson solutions with simple, encourage people to walk and rid a bike for local trips like they just thought of it.
Two Councilmembers didn't make it to the end. (Weiss & Wesson had to leave early...maybe it was the traffic?)
As for the content of the meeting...
Planning Director Gail Goldberg is our new best friend.
LADOT has a new General Manager. DOT needs to get subservient to Planning. Why they are separate departments is beyond me.
There was much talk (Mike Feuer) of funding solutions.
There was much talk of housing, employment, community centers, business and the impacts on transportation.
There was much talk of mobility vs. accessibility.
I'm glad we were there. I think this is the year of the Bike!
See you on the Streets!
01.30.08 - 12:38 am
I WAS WAITING TO READ ON THIS POST, ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TODAY, AND I'M REAL HAPPY THE THIS SOAPBOX DUDE, LAYED IT OUT FOR US, THANKS, NOW I CAN GOTO SLEEP, BUENOS NOCHES PERRAS!
01.30.08 - 12:55 am
Everyone that called their councilpeople deserves a pat on the back...great job and it showed yesterday.
A point to Brayj's comments. Back east we counted whether or not a road or intersection was a failure based on the delay caused by congestion. While this is clearly a car-centric way to look at things, it also promoted the idea that less cars is one way to make a road "passable." That might be something we could all work around getting changed. Does anyone know the process for something like that? Is it through the Council?
01.30.08 - 9:56 am
When it comes to measuring our roadways there are two ways to get things done: "Plans" and department policies.
Right now Plans (General Plan, community plans, etc.) call for counting how fast, and how many, cars can drive in the road. Existing plans ignore bicycles, they ignore pedestrians, and they count a bus full of 90 people as the equal of a single person driving a car.
When it comes to actually measuring the roads - that gets set by agency policies. Pick an aency: MTA, LADOT, or CalTrans. They have written policies to ignore bikes, peds, and transit. They ignore them when it comes to measuring roads, and they ignore them when they fund for road projects.
General Plans, and other plans, require public hearings and laws to be passed. to get changed.
Department policies can be changed by either council or mayoral requests, by the discetion of a department head, a board or commission in charge of a department, or by a new ordinance or law being passed by the city (or a body with more power, like the state legislature).
Plans are expensive to make, but have long term political ramifications. In the process of being made, they can make or break changes in the political culture.
Policy changes can be changed VERY quickly and cheaply (sometimes). They are very susceptible to being changed when it suits someone in power to change them.
01.30.08 - 10:28 am
...then I guess we have to give electeds a reason to want to make a change...
01.30.08 - 11:11 am
Nice job you guys!! It's great to know we have people like Stephen, Enci, Joseph, RB and all the others out there fighting a good fight for all the ridazz. By having these consultants coming from Portland and other places where real change is taking place, shows at least that the city is looking in the right direction. Now if they can be weaned off these temporary fixes they keep applying, we might get somewhere.
01.31.08 - 8:09 pm