We’ve Got a Plan

Bicycle KitchenA little late with my post this week, as I’ve been working on another article for Cycling Mobility magazine, a wonky journal out of England published for bicycle bureaucrats worldwide.

They wanted to hear about the new Los Angeles Bicycle Master Plan that was officialized just last February–of course, LA being Ground Zero of Carmageddon, people find it hard to think of us and cycling in the same mindspace.

But I hit the road, going from City Planning to LADOT to LACBC interviewing people, plus sifting back through my own memories of participation in this or that part of the public blowback against last year’s really awful release of yet another fake bike plan–now replaced by a workable document that will be watchdogged by the community through the BPIT meetings I’ve written about here before.

I talked with Claire Bowin at City Planning, Michelle Mowery at DOT, Alexis, Allison, and Aurisha of LACBC, and even caught Stephen Box during CicLAvia and cornered him into t quick interview.

There were two things that everybody–everybody brought up in during the interviews.

One was, of course, Mayor V’s famous broken elbow, a road-to-Damascus moment that turned him into a fervent supporter of urban cycling.

And the other was the growth of the cyclists of LA from a few scattered freaks on bikes to a rich, inclusive, cohesive community of constituents–people for whom bikes were an everyday part of life, people who knew each other, and people who knew their rights and what they deserved.

And everyone from engineers to activists agreed that this new community grew out of the ferment stirred up by the bike co-ops and the dozens of semi-organized social rides that have become part of the city’s landscape now.

Yes, the Bicycle Kitchen, Bikerowave, and the Pigeon-affiliated Bike Oven were cited as key elements of our new success, along with Midnight Ridazz and the other rides large an small, including of course the Pigeon rides–Spoke’n Art, Brewery, and Dim Sum.

So that the council members knew that lots of people were out on bikes, and when activists and advocates hammered on their doors, this time they listened!

Just thought you’d want to know. We succeeded because of you.

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