Let me direct you to Nick Richert’s “”Bike Talk over on KPFK, since there’s Pigeon-related business winding up the latest hour to post: Josef Bray-ali interviews little ol’ me about the book of essays I emitted in 2014, Our Own Day Here, which deals frequently though not exclusively with urban velocipedal mobility, particularly in Los Angeles. The rather sprawling original interview, which lasted nearly forty minutes, was flawlessly edited down to a more-digestible (and less profane) quarter hour by my wife Gina, and comes off rather well. Josef is an excellent interviewer. You can listen to or download the podcast here:
Josef and I don’t have the playground to ourselves, of course: the hour begins with Nick Richert interviewing Nona Varnado about the upcoming LA Bike Festival, continues ten minutes later when Nick joins Si Se Mueve for a rundown of their recent NELA ride, and then segues into Josh Paget’s discussion of the New Urbanism Film Festival, which is, like Josh himself, heavily bike-centric. Then, and only then, do you get to here Josef and me. The entire hour is well worth listening to.
Indeed, bike doings are on the rise in Los Angeles, which is rapidly shedding its reputation as Ground Zero of Car Culture. While traffic is still awful, and many streets dreary hells of noise, smoke, and nerves, the city is beginning to realize that the problem is not too few roads, but too many cars. Supporting ways of getting around other than big hulking cars is vital: the way we’ve built the city has for too long coerced the populace into driving, by making every other choice unpleasant or impossible. A strange dictatorship that condemned us all to arbitrary time in solitary is at last beginning to crumble.
Transit is better, cycling is a little better, even walking has hopes of becoming somewhat less daunting, though pedestrianism’s needs actually harder to address than cycling’s.
And the folks interviewed in Nick’s hour are a few among the many helping LA move forward at long last.
Give it a listen. I assure you, you won’t be sorry.