Car Free Fridays are coming to Santa Monica, and our ride on the 29th of May is scheduled to precede the ceremony when the city of Santa Monica receives the award as a bicycle friendly city. Congratulation folks, well done! Now the hard work is starting.
The route is in place: We meet at Santa Monica College, in front of the Library off Pearl Street, just across the Road from Sustainable Works. @ Meet at 8:00am ride at 8:10 sharp. The route takes us around John Adams School, across town around Lincoln School. From Lincoln we will leave at 8:35, then back to SAMOHI, and arrive at City Hall @ 9:00 for refreshments and weighty words.
Join us, all ye early risers, and let us start this important political process with a bit of a show of force. Bring a bell, a whistle, and all your friends. The bronze medal is our foot in the door, California Legislation to reduce Greenhouse Gases will be our lance, and us being just like normal people will make the bicycle an irresistible winner. To get there, we will compile our very own bicycle wish list for the future.
Withdrawn? Canceled? Before it was even awarded?
In a secret memo it was revealed today that one of the main reasons for granting the award to Santa Monica was the nice weather here. It has also been leaked that the city has plans to permanently valet park all bicycles and withdraw them from circulation. They will be permanently parked on the airport tarmac, solving some of the more serious problems of bicycle circulation.
Let’s not get carried away: An award is not the truth about a state of affairs: Every award is the result of a political process, we all know that. The beauty of it is, that it is also the beginning of a political process. These are not laurels to rest on, these are branches good for whipping. One Two Three.
The political process can be conducted in different ways. Let’s see how you want to do it.
Kevin Herrera tells it all: The Santa Monica Daily Press features a great piece about the award: Stephen “Cyclists’ Bill of Rights” Box wants full equality, Beth “transportation planner” Rolandson praises the climate, and Jen “LACBC” Klausner understands the challenges city planners face in a city that is dense and built out and wants to address a bias that enforces the car’s dominance on the road. Read all about it here
The LACBC board met earlier this week at the Encino Velodrome, and has voted to establish an ad hoc committee to study LACBC chapters: more news soon! We are now officially a chapter of the LACBC (applied for), or rather: A Chapter In Waiting
I haven’t posted to this blog before, but I felt this video was worth it. It’s an interview with New York City’s Commissioner of the Department of Transportation Janette Sadik-Kahn. A comment at my blog tipped me off to it, and it’s an amazing glimpse at what is possible with motivated, inspired leadership.
There have always been a lot of things to love about New York. Now you can add this:
Click on image to play film in new tab
Come on, Santa Monica!
by Scott David Reiter
We need to have another meeting soon, perhaps a chatroom format may be more comfortable?
We need to help coax the public mind off combustion. We need to seamlessly integrate biking into all the transportation modes. Going somewhere should be, well, as easy as riding a bicycle. Santa Monica will now work towards the Gold Medal of bike friendliness, and not just settle for the Bronze. I feel that we can surpass Portland and claim our rightful title as America’s Most Bikeable City. Heck, let’s take that even further, and develop a whole new industry opportunity. Maybe we can encourage development of low cost, planned community of hotel pods as an even cheaper alternative to youth hostels, with centralized cooking and hygiene facilities, a serious piece bicycle infrastructure. Money not spent on high priced hotels can benefit local businesses. The bicycle tourist as a economical opportunity: this could be big! It includes rides and walks of all that makes Santa Monica great: From the beautiful beach into the mountains, art, architecture, including the Wilshire Palisades Building and its “Ship Steaming to Sea” profile, Camera Obscura, etc.
Let’s move forward!
Beware of the margins of the transportation universe: The bicycle belongs into the mainstream. This will probably be our main task in Santa Monica, and elsewhere: To gently move the bicycle out of the various marginal zones, the geographical margins of the beach path, generational margins when perceived as as childhood toy, limitation to the life-style of the eco warrior, with male gender imbalance, or with an emphasis on extreme sports. Perfectly normal people cycling, these are our heros, and their stories need to be told, loud and clear.
The League of American Bicyclists has awarded Santa Monica the Bronze medal as a Bicycle Friendly Community, with a special distinction in the category “Encouragement“. Well done, Santa Monica! After Claremont, this is the second city in LA County singled out for this award. And it is a great basis for improvements.
There are heros, and there a villains in this piece. One hero, undoubtedly, is Luis “Lumo” Morris from the Transportation Demand Management department, who has created a bicycle valet parking program here that brings a smile to every cyclists face. His dedication, inventiveness, seriousness and enthusiasm is a pure platinum, as far as I can tell. The villain would be the SMPD, which has thought fit to engage in a disproportionate enforcement campaign agains the critical mass rides. Out of touch with the joy of cycling, they pursued a hard line of car-friendly bike enforcement, which has brought tears to many eyes, and almost a thousand members to the critcal mass mailing list. A Police Department quite out of touch with the green aims of the city. Anyone who has seen a ticket being issued for sidewalk cycling on Lincoln Blvd will never forget it. Where was this poor cyclists supposed to ride? On the broken up pavement in the midst of high speed traffic?
The Bronze Award is a wonderful opportunity to remind the administration and agencies where gold and silver lie. Perhaps at the end of a difficult road called Bicycle Boulevard.