On Monday, Feb 22nd, KPCC ran it’s second round of bike discussions on the Pat Morrison show (the entire show is up now if you want to listen in). Due to more technical troubles, I was not able to get my thoughts in, and I feel like I need to put them out there. This is what I wanted to say in response to all the panelists.
“I want to remind everyone here that what we are discussing is an issue of life and death. It shouldn’t even be a question of “is it Feasible?”, it should be “how do we get this done?”. It seems like we’ve become desensitized to the point were we blame cyclists for getting in the way our motor vehicles. Like Alex said, we need a cultural shift just as much as paint on the streets.
Too often the cyclist is the one ending up criminalized or treated as a second class citizen. So, just to balance out what Michelle Mowery said in regards to cyclists requiring more “education” – we need more accountability for drivers, since they’re the ones that drive 2000 lb vehicles. For those listening right now, just in case you weren’t already aware of it, LA is plagued by an epidemic of hit and runs. Many of them are fatal. Many of them leave cyclists strung up in a hospital bed while the cops don’t even bother following up on the case.
I have another quick fact about Amsterdam which Michelle forgot to mention – in a collision involving a cyclists, the DRIVER is the one at fault until proven otherwise. Keep that in mind.
I’ve heard the quote about LA being a bigger beast. Yes, we all know that, it’s a terribly designed city from a human standpoint. This is why the LA Bike Working Group is pushing forward and creating so much debate in the bike community – I think LA cyclists are starting to realize they need to strong arm their way into this slow-moving bureaucracy. We won’t back down from our demands or wait another 15 years until real action is taken. Our lives are on the line, so it’s fairly easy for us to stay motivated.
This city is so dehumanized, that various police forces, LAPD, BHPD, refuse to press criminal charges against motorists, even though there are witnesses at the scene of the crime, and full license plates are turned in. Our best option right now for justice, if we do survive a hit and run, is to pursue a civil suit. That’s sad.
We want results now. We want results yesterday. Everyone wants to know where our funding is going to come from. We at the LA Bike Working group are volunteering our time to this cause, for all
cyclists. You could even say we have an infinite bugdet and unquenchable enthusiasm. Why? Because, once again, our lives are on the line. I don’t hear that kind of urgency from city planners, and this is why I’ve been pouring in so much of my free time into the BackBone Network and into coming up with a Bike Plan for LA that speaks for me.
I am on the eighth floor of UCLA’s Broad Art Center, and I have a clear view of Downtown LA. And I don’t see any streets with the words UNFEASIBLE printed on them. “
So that’s what I wanted to say, in a nutshell.