Your Life, Health, and Prosperity Are at Stake

Whether you ride a bike today or not, whether you ever plan to ride a bike in a safer, saner world or not, the planned bike lanes along North Figueroa will bring you—yes, you personally—endless benefits. Yet Gil Ceillo is determined to prevent the road diet and bike lanes that the community approved after so many time-consuming and expensive meetings….

The addition of bike lanes allows people the choice to get around their neighborhood without a car, improving their physical health, lengthening their lives, and involving them in their communities—which leads to healthier communities as well. Your neighbors become faces instead of obstacles, and you are stronger, happier and more alert if you can get around pedaling (or walking) instead of feeling compelled to drive everywhere by the danger and stress of wild-west street designs.

The addition of bike lanes slows down peak car speeds, which means that crashes happen less frequently, and that the crashes that do occur are less harmful. Here are some figures from the UK:

Hit by a car at 20 mph, 1 out of 40 pedestrians will be killed. 97% will survive
Hit by a car at 30 mph, 2 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed. 80% will survive
Hit by a car at 35 mph, 5 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed. 50% will survive
Hit by a car at 40 mph, 9 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed. 10% will survive

Scofflaw drivers routinely exceed 40mph on North Figueroa. Bike lanes, and the road diet, will help slow them down.

But that may not even increase travel time through the neighborhood for the cut-through drivers Mr. Cedillo seems intent on pandering to. In terminally-congested Manhattan, GPS data gathered from taxi fleets showed that motor traffic actually moved faster point-to-point after a road diet, though peak velocities were much lower. Drivers simply didn’t have the chance to speed themselves into traffic jams.

In Manhattan, as elsewhere, calmed traffic and the increase in bicycling and walking brought about huge boosts in sales for local merchants.

Yet, despite this wealth of real-world experience showing that road diets with bike lanes bring constellations of benefits to neighborhoods, Mr. Cedillo continues to oppose this approved, designed, and funded project. His counter-proposal is to slop on a few sharrows, the junk-food of bicycle facilities, and to keep North Figueroa wide open for outside speed demons to use as an alternate to the freeway only a block or two away.

Why this is so, we don’t know. Perhaps Mr. Cedillo will explain at the meeting he has called for tomorrow night, when he will explain to the peasants why they should just shut up and drive.

If you live or own property along North Figueroa, or anywhere in Council District 1, we urge you to show up at Mr. Cedillo’s show-and-tell. Let him know you suport the bike lanes and road diet, that you love your neighborhood, and that you don’t want the street to be reserved for speed-addled drivers zooming through on their way from someplace else to someplace else, with no regard for the lives, health, and prosperity of residents.

Thursday, May 8th, at Nightingale School, 6pm, at the corner of North Figueroa and Cypress. (Click here for more details.)

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  1. fakey mcfakename
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    I always thought sharrows looked like a chalk outline the cops drew when a bike got run over.

  2. RJ
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    The anti-bike people know they’re outnumbered, they know their arguments don’t hold water, so instead they work to de-legitimize the opposition (“Cyclists pay ZERO taxes” / “Funny, I haven’t seen any of you around this part of town…”). Classic.

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  1. […] meeting to discuss bike lanes vs sharrows on dangerous North Figueroa, Richard Risemberg says your life, health and prosperity are at stake. And astutely calls sharrows the junk-food of bicycle […]

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