Thursday, November 3, 2011

LA needs more bike lanes! LA is GETTING more bike lanes!

In the past couple of weeks, I have had two conversations with people I am close to (family friends and coworkers) about cyclists in Los Angeles.  Both conversations turned violent, with the people involved (all who only use cars to commute) talking about how frustrating it is to be in a car behind slow cyclists, that cyclists should just be bumped of the road or killed, and that Los Angeles was obviously made only for cars.

I found the conversations I had with folks about killing cyclists to be very sad and disturbing, though I do understand why people in a fast moving vehicle would feel frustrated by a smaller and slower vehicle clogging up the road in front of them.  I believe that the best way to resolve such a conundrum is to change the way things are in our city - such as by having more bike lanes.

At LTG's last event at The Last Bookstore (which happens to be on Spring St.), participants all addressed innovative ways to develop downtown Los Angeles.  One such plan focused on fusing bike lane creation with gardens.  Such lanes would leave room for cars, buses, bikes and pedestrians, while stimulating traffic to local businesses and even the growth of plants (like building garden bike lanes).  Some of these ideas are contained in our strategy paper, which you can find here

LTG exists to help people identify things that need to be changed, to identify change-makers, and to show people things that they can do to make change right at home.   Whether you are a cyclist or secretly hate cyclists, we all agree that Los Angeles County streets can and should be made much more bicycle friendly.  If you want to do something to make this change happen, just know that there is a lot you can do.  We suggest for starters that you get active with the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition, check out the LTG strategies (and maybe advocate to implement one!), or attend this weekend's California Bike Summit 2011!  

 Learning about cyclists and why people cycle, and advocating for better roads, more bike lanes and safety for roadway commuters just might provide the solution to violent thoughts and actions related to bad city planning.  

Peace and love!

Nisha Namorando Vida
Local to Global Life Works

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