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Can CicLAvia make Los Angeles carfree?

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Can CicLAvia make Los Angeles carfree?

Old 10-07-10, 03:14 PM
  #26  
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and.....

the mayor of LA is implementing policy to reclaim LA streets for bicyclists thru interventions proven in other countries to foster greater ridership.

what's the problem, myrridin? Status quo traffic congestion can't be changed? More people wouldn't bicycle in LA if infrastructure and social changes were implemented in the city?

Yes, people want to ride bikes in LA. The mayor wants more people to ride bikes. Planners and transportation officials see the net benefits in fairly considering bike and pedestrian traffic in infrastructure design. Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and improvement in traffic flow are music to the ears of transportation officials.

why so much animosity towards reclaiming the bicycle as transportation, myrridin? are you really concerned about bicyclists in Los Angeles, or motorists? you posts paint you as an apologist for the current dysfunctional transportation model.

I suggest taking a bike to LA. I also suggest talking to the locals there about traffic.

There's such a strong group neurotic affect among the residents of LA about the traffic it's SHOCKING.
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Old 10-07-10, 04:18 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
evidence suggests it is possible for large cities in the USA to change the culture of transportation.

LA is unique in the level of psychotic animosity Los Angelenos have towards the automobile.
Culture shift is how Copenhagen did it, the city influenced ridership back in the 1970's when they started placing bikeways. campaigns that, for example, intimated how cars make you fat.

Current knowledge of active transportation, the environment, social health, senior mobility, etc are more sophisticated than in the 1970's. Benefits cities like LA could reap from incremental changes in transportation modality are overwhelming.

Transportation infrastructure planning is not a status quo, zero-sum equation just because some people wouldn't ride bicycles more often.

Oh, that's right, i forgot, Myrridin, you're an unabashed apologist for autocentric planning at bike forums.
The reason I am skeptical is:
Absolutely none of this addresses the wants of the people in LA but assumes they have even the slightest interest in changing to be like the Danes. It also doesn't address the original assumption that an organization could move LA towards being ďcar free.Ē This wasn't one of the hypothetical what is car free debates we get into so often with no conclusion. This was speculation based on the history and preferences of a region know for its car culture. I could see 5 percent cycling in LA in 20 years but even that will be a stretch. But car free in 30 years? I would find it easier to believe the core of the earth was ice. There are more registered cars in LA County than all but five states have in the US. Grasp the idea for just a second, 5.8 million cars in one county. (California DMV) There are 12 million cars commuting on the LA freeways every day and that doesnít include all the city street traffic.

You could easily convince someone from LA that driving a nuclear powered car was good for them but to break a sweat on a bicycle and get a silk dress covered in spots? Donít think so.

Telling someone in LA a car makes you fat only increases membership in Gym memberships for the gyms that have big parking lots.
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Old 10-07-10, 05:32 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
And you, bek, are a fanatic...



Policy is set by elected officials, not planners and engineers. Ostensibly elected officials policy decisions reflect the desires of the electorate. Hence my point that the people have to decide to change modes or at least to encourage the change...

IF YOU'LL WANT TO INCREASE BICYCLE RIDERSHIP THAN WORK ON GETTING PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR IT. CREATE SOMETHING LIKE THE ANTI-SMOKING LOBBY AND GET OPINION TO CHANGE.

LA isn't all that unique. It is larger than much of the country, but cycling as a mode of transport is about the same level as the vast majority of the country...
I hope your local government works that way. Where I live our elected officials have pretty much one and only one power: they can fire the city manager. Thus, even though a large majority of the city residents value enhanced bike infrastructure and an end to car-driven terrorism on our local roadways, the city staff, who run the show, have chosen to end all bike path maintenance and to add more features to facilitate driving in our city by suburban carcissists. The number one policing issue cited by city residents in a recent poll was traffic law enforcement. Our police department refuses to do any traffic enforcement. (Okay, they will cite you if you are a minority, but even that is rare; probably because we only have twelve blacks and thirty Hispanics in the entire county, not counting scholarship athletes.)

As far as L.A. goes: I would bet that most people don't really care if the planners and engineers build more bike infrastructure and the politicians create a few car-free days/city quarters. They just want the system to work so they can get from A to B with some sense of safety in a reasonable time frame. The current system is an obvious failure, so I doubt the resistance would be much more than token once a fair start is made. The hard part, as always, is getting the first bit of change in place.
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Old 10-07-10, 05:53 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
I found the residents of LA suffer from a mass psychosis centered on cars and car culture. My opinion is based on observations that a discussion of cars or traffic fosters a deeply rooted maladaptive, nervous-like response in most of the residents.

There is virtually no copacetic driver in LA. Well, maybe after they've found parking at the In-and -Out burger.
This is a classic case if cognitive dissonance. Angelenos know that the current transportation system is not only unsustainable in the near future, but often unworkable in the present day. But they don't know how to stop it or change it. They probably also fear that any changes in the present system will result in something even worse than what they have. This dissonance results in all kinds of irrational thoughts and unproductive behavior, including denial, overvaluing the automobile, romanticization of the "open road" and even road rage and other destructive behavior on the freeways.
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Old 10-07-10, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
Given that LA is expecting a 20% growth in population in the next 20 years, a 5% growth in rideshare is essentially insignificant.

Since bicycles and cars arrived at essentially the same time as modes of transport, and infrastructure for either mode was essentially non-existent at the turn of the twentieth century, we already have very strong evidence that people will prefer cars when given a choice. Congestion is a manageable problem virtually everywhere in the US, technologies are available to improve it and also provide for reduced traffic via telecommuting.

Nationwide, less than 1.8% of people choose to use something other than motor vehicle, transit, or walking as their chosen method to commute to work. Src: Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2008

While folks who follow this forum probably will not agree, it seems pretty clear that the vast majority of the US do not consider the bicycle a viable form of transport. Given that this is a democracy, it doesn't seem very probably that any legislation/change is going to occur to really change that perception.

The car will likely change form (electric, fuel cell power as an example), but the motorized personal vehicle is unlikely to stop being the predominate mode of transportation in the US anytime in the next 50-100 years.
I don't think anybody here is under the delusion that carfree people are in the majority. We are not psychotic!

But we also don't subscribe to the delusion that cars are "working" for America or for the world, at least in most urban areas. And we're also aware that non-motor transit has gone up enormously in selected cities that have implemented thoughtful, well designed plans. These cities include Amsterdam, Copenhagen and bogota--but also, to a lesser extent, Chicago, Minneapolis and many other cities.
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Old 10-07-10, 06:11 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
IF YOU'LL WANT TO INCREASE BICYCLE RIDERSHIP THAN WORK ON GETTING PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR IT. CREATE SOMETHING LIKE THE ANTI-SMOKING LOBBY AND GET OPINION TO CHANGE
Dude this is happening. My city--at least as car loving as LA--just passed a Complete Streets ordinance on the ballot, resulting from a grass roots movement when the stuck-in-the-mud politicians wouldn't act on it. Thiis was a coalliton of bike clubs, business leaders, senior citizens groups and others who wanted to improve prosperity and quality of life by providing facilities for non-motor transportation.

You and the other planners are hopelessly behind the times. You're like planners in 1910, still trying to figure out better ways to clean up horse poop even as the Merry Oldsmobile is sweeping the nation.
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Old 10-07-10, 06:19 PM
  #32  
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So who's riding to CicLAvia Sunday?
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Old 10-07-10, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by alicestrong View Post
So who's riding to CicLAvia Sunday?
You might see me there attempting to cross Los Angeles on a folding bike.
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Old 10-07-10, 08:01 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Dude this is happening. My city--at least as car loving as LA--just passed a Complete Streets ordinance on the ballot, resulting from a grass roots movement when the stuck-in-the-mud politicians wouldn't act on it. Thiis was a coalliton of bike clubs, business leaders, senior citizens groups and others who wanted to improve prosperity and quality of life by providing facilities for non-motor transportation.

You and the other planners are hopelessly behind the times. You're like planners in 1910, still trying to figure out better ways to clean up horse poop even as the Merry Oldsmobile is sweeping the nation.
I hope your complete streets ordinance actually accomplishes something, from my experience with such programs the politicians/political appointees can and will find ways to ignore them without continuing public pressure.

Bicycles can certainly help, but I just don't see Americans accepting the changes that they would be required (for instance a simple willingness to exercise) for bicycles to achieve the level of use that is occurring in a city such as Copenhagen. European cities were laid out centuries before modern transportation systems and as such have always been amenable to technologies like transit systems and not surprisingly bicycles. Its the main reason that they have had such high use numbers-the systems can be built cost effectively. American cities have by and large had most of their infrastructure built during the age of the automobile. It is one of the reasons that transit has such a poor level of use in the US.

While an increase in cycling is likely (and a very good thing), current research and trends in the automobile are likely to improve its viability not decrease it. One example, is the inclusion of intelligence/networking in car GPS systems. By linking condition information back to individual cars, research projects have already shown a vast potential to decrease commute times and also congestion. In the longer term, the research into "automatic driving" systems have the potential to not only increase capacities and thereby reduce commute times, they have the added benefit of giving to the personal transport vehicle the greatest benefit of the transit vehicle--the ability to do something useful while commuting. That could be as simple as reading a book or it could include turning commute time into working time.

Frankly, the only thing I could foresee that would greatly reduce the reliance on cars in the US is a major economic collapse. Frankly that is not something anyone should wish for, the consequences will, by and large, not be pretty.

Planners rely on past acts to estimate the likelihood of future behavior. It is simply the only reliable way to get what is needed in time for its need. If you have some other way of predicting the future in as reliable a way (and with as proven a track record) then by all means share it! The industry would shower you in laurels.
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Old 10-07-10, 08:48 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by alicestrong View Post
So who's riding to CicLAvia Sunday?
Have to go to the airport Saturday so I will not be going back on Sunday for any reason. I have seen the streets closed for the LA Marathon. I have seen them close the streets for the Long Beach Grand Prix. But on Monday they are back to the streets of LA.
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Old 10-07-10, 09:11 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
European cities were laid out centuries before modern transportation systems and as such have always been amenable to technologies like transit systems and not surprisingly bicycles. Its the main reason that they have had such high use numbers-the systems can be built cost effectively. American cities have by and large had most of their infrastructure built during the age of the automobile. It is one of the reasons that transit has such a poor level of use in the US.
The design pattern used by European cities was the cow path... as that's what most of their streets were originally built to do.

Most of the Dutch bicycle infrastructure was built since the 1970s as a response to traffic congestion and as a means of making the country somewhat less dependent on foreign fossil fuels. The trick for cities like Amsterdam, Copenhagen and dozens of cities around the world is that they had a vision and they worked to bring it to reality. They are still working at it.

Moaning about what is currently possible in your current situation solves nothing. If you want to become as bike-centric as Amsterdam, head down to city hall and start complaining.
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Old 10-07-10, 09:21 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
The reason I am skeptical is:
Absolutely none of this addresses the wants of the people in LA but assumes they have even the slightest interest in changing to be like the Danes. ...
I'm not saying people living in LA want to be like the Danes.

I'm also confident that many angelenos wouldn't mind alternate methods of getting around, want to drive less and would find quite refreshing the chance to ride bikes to the beach once in a while without risking their lives on roads that are either clogged with stop and go congestion or traffic moving 50 MPH 24 hours a day.

I am confident the inagural ciclovia will be a success, and next years even more so.

i believe a network of bike boulevards, expanding and maintaining the bike path system, adding bike facilities across the LA river (and other pinch points) and providing interchange alternate routes for bicyclists and pedestrians would do wonders in Los Angeles.

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Old 10-07-10, 09:57 PM
  #38  
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Here's a link cycling event gets angelenos out of cars to an article in UCLA's student newspaper about the upcoming ciclovia.

select quote
Originally Posted by Sarah Bennet
This first CicLAvia is an experiment on all fronts. If it is successful in fulfilling its multi-faceted uses — and all the buzz indicates that it will — the goal is for CicLavia to become a weekly event. And with year-round outdoor weather, there is no reason CicLAvia cannot become a new Sunday tradition.

With an act as simple as removing cars from the streets, Los Angeles will create options for healthier lifestyles, bridge disparate communities, generate social change and laugh in the face of the city’s longtime car culture.
pretty good article.
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Old 10-07-10, 11:42 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
I'm not saying people living in LA want to be like the Danes.

I'm also confident that many angelenos wouldn't mind alternate methods of getting around, want to drive less and would find quite refreshing the chance to ride bikes to the beach once in a while without risking their lives on roads that are either clogged with stop and go congestion or traffic moving 50 MPH 24 hours a day.

I am confident the inagural ciclovia will be a success, and next years even more so.

i believe a network of bike boulevards, expanding and maintaining the bike path system, adding bike facilities across the LA river (and other pinch points) and providing interchange alternate routes for bicyclists and pedestrians would do wonders in Los Angeles.
Because with all the money they are saving by laying off city employees and cutting bus routes they will fund more bike infrastructure easily? Sorry that wasn't fair. It will be easy to see because we are only talking about a few days to see how accepted it will be. I am not holding my breath.
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Old 10-08-10, 06:09 AM
  #40  
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I had to go back and reread this thread to make sure I wasn't misunderstanding what a bicyclist posting in a car-free forum at bike forums was saying about Los Angeles first ciclovia event and how the promoters envision future weekly "car free days" liberating angelenos from their automobiles.

The greater LA region can easily improve the roads and highways for bicycling. How affordably and sustainably LA could improve conditions for bicycling is infinitesimal compared to the costs of a few freeway miles. There are other factors driving transportation policy in the 21st century like air quality or how balancing costs in a declining economy predicates a shift away from the transportation paradigm of subsidized private automobile use.

Cities are looking at where money is being spent, and in a place like Bell, California, you've got to wonder how much could have actually gotten done for the neighborhoods. Where entire counties can fall into bankruptcy, perhaps there's a cheaper way of doing things for the public. Communities show positive social and fiscal benefits by encouraging active transportion and there's no reason for this to somehow be inapplicable in the LA basin.

Cities across the US are having to take a long hard look at their budget shortfalls, particularly in places like Orange County, but people in LA will likely welcome these car free street events like every other city in the world that has them. Ciclovia events are no idyllic pipe dream, and by no means would regular ciclovias in LA mean the interstate freeways would get barricaded and no one could drive their cars in LA on a Sunday.



By no means should bicycle traffic be ignored in a city like Los Angeles. Ciclovias are well received even in huge, sprawling cities. I'm surprised a bicyclist posting at the car-free forum would somehow disagree with that. Mabye that's a sign of the cognitive dissonance about the automobile endemic to life in LA.
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Old 10-08-10, 10:18 AM
  #41  
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Some more about Sunday....
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Old 10-08-10, 02:56 PM
  #42  
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So,somehow a 13 mile ride through some of the worst parts in town is going to encourage people to ride their bikes more???

Anybody that lives here ride a bicycle around Boyle Heights or McCarther park unarmed??

There are more pit bulls per square mile than anywhere on earth in those neighborhoods.

There's going to be alot of flats from gun casings in the road.

I've lived here for 50+ years,and your not catching me in that neighborhood,day or night on a bicycle.The only reason to stop at McCarther park is to buy drugs,get a crack *****(oops!) chemically challenged lady of the night or aquire fake ID and SSN.

If they have armed police lining the route,I MIGHT consider it!The police are outgunned....

In all fairness,the first half of the ride is not bad,but the second half,they say there is safety in numbers,I guess.You'd have to drag me through the second half.

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Old 10-08-10, 03:06 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
I had to go back and reread this thread to make sure I wasn't misunderstanding what a bicyclist posting in a car-free forum at bike forums was saying about Los Angeles first ciclovia event and how the promoters envision future weekly "car free days" liberating angelenos from their automobiles.

The greater LA region can easily improve the roads and highways for bicycling. How affordably and sustainably LA could improve conditions for bicycling is infinitesimal compared to the costs of a few freeway miles. There are other factors driving transportation policy in the 21st century like air quality or how balancing costs in a declining economy predicates a shift away from the transportation paradigm of subsidized private automobile use.

Cities are looking at where money is being spent, and in a place like Bell, California, you've got to wonder how much could have actually gotten done for the neighborhoods. Where entire counties can fall into bankruptcy, perhaps there's a cheaper way of doing things for the public. Communities show positive social and fiscal benefits by encouraging active transportion and there's no reason for this to somehow be inapplicable in the LA basin.

Cities across the US are having to take a long hard look at their budget shortfalls, particularly in places like Orange County, but people in LA will likely welcome these car free street events like every other city in the world that has them. Ciclovia events are no idyllic pipe dream, and by no means would regular ciclovias in LA mean the interstate freeways would get barricaded and no one could drive their cars in LA on a Sunday.



By no means should bicycle traffic be ignored in a city like Los Angeles. Ciclovias are well received even in huge, sprawling cities. I'm surprised a bicyclist posting at the car-free forum would somehow disagree with that. Mabye that's a sign of the cognitive dissonance about the automobile endemic to life in LA.
The assumptions you are making may be because you have never attended a city council meeting in the LA area or have never seen how many car events a place like LA has and how much money such events bring to the city. If you did you would realize hardly anyone, well maybe 1 in a 100, is even slightly interested in riding from Downtown LA to the beach or LA harbor. Downtown LA to Santa Monica may only be 16 miles by bike but it takes way more than an hour. And it would take more than an hour to get back in the afternoon. The more popular beach area would be Redondo, Hermosa and that is more than 21 miles away. About two hours from the speed most seem to travel in this forum. Families simply aren’t interested is traveling that distance by bike. And when you suggest pulling money from parking, mass transit or road repair to fund bike lanes or bike paths you will be talked down in little or no time.
The second point you seem to miss is people in LA don’t care all that much for walking let alone riding a bike. Just look up the average distance someone walks a year in LA and you will see that if it isn’t part of their specific exercise program most aren’t interested. The questions a cycling advocate has to answer at these meetings needs to take into account, will it be as comfortable as a car? LA busses have to advertise air conditioning.
If we have learned nothing else from Madison avenue we should have learned that modern people want easier, faster, more comfortable a lot more than they want traditional and simpler. No multiply that by two and you have LA. Yes they want less traffic but that is because they would like to see the speed limits increased so they can get from one end of LA to another in less time. They would like to see the speed limits on the freeways bumped to 70MPH. If you lived in the same area of LA as I started with you have the 5, 10, 110, 101, 105, 210, 405, 605, and 710 freeways closer than the same beaches I mentioned earlier.
I believe some politicians are interested in creating a more cycling friendly environment in LA. I just don’t believe there are enough people interested in coming to work and having to shower before they start to increase bicycling commuting to even the most liberal definition of car free.

My skepticism doesn’t come from not wanting to see more cycling friendly infrastructure. It comes from talking to people face to face and seeing the look in their eye when you suggest they might want to cycle to Santa Monica from Union Station. Better yet to hear the complaints when you propose a bicycle lane on a street that has curb side parking for businesses. At my last meeting in our little community the business owner told the city council members if people can’t park in front of their business then they will simply go to the mall and he will have to shut down. They agreed and we were voted down, again. Just so you know I worked for 18 years in Commerce and they were no more receptive than where I live now. To me it is more than theory it is practical application.
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Old 10-08-10, 03:33 PM
  #44  
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i find the commentary of robert foster quite the negative naysay.

Much of Robert's autocentric reasoning why there is no way or sense changing transportation patterns is predicated on perpetuation of the current and dysfunctional transportation model.

Wait and see, its only a couple of days away.

Illlustrative of the mass cognitive dissonance angelenos have about driving is how robert states there's "no way" he's going back on sunday, his saturday trip to the airport is so much of driving burden that even a bicyclist who finds himself posting to the car free forum would not want to drive- on a sunday no less- to the inaugural Los Angeles Ciclovia.

Some wacky stuff in the air there!
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Old 10-08-10, 04:25 PM
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This, too...
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Old 10-08-10, 04:32 PM
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As far as the rest of the thread? What can I say except the times they are a changin'...

Car free myself for almost four years now...
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Old 10-08-10, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
i find the commentary of robert foster quite the negative naysay.

Much of Robert's autocentric reasoning why there is no way or sense changing transportation patterns is predicated on perpetuation of the current and dysfunctional transportation model.

Wait and see, its only a couple of days away.

Illlustrative of the mass cognitive dissonance angelenos have about driving is how robert states there's "no way" he's going back on sunday, his saturday trip to the airport is so much of driving burden that even a bicyclist who finds himself posting to the car free forum would not want to drive- on a sunday no less- to the inaugural Los Angeles Ciclovia.

Some wacky stuff in the air there!
I see you have never been to LAX on a bike either. And I will bne happy to read about the CicLavia event but I am not interested in attending the event. I been to LA and I know the streets so it holds no charm for me. I might attend the Citrus Classic in Riverside however.
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Old 10-08-10, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
I hope your complete streets ordinance actually accomplishes something, from my experience with such programs the politicians/political appointees can and will find ways to ignore them without continuing public pressure.

Bicycles can certainly help, but I just don't see Americans accepting the changes that they would be required (for instance a simple willingness to exercise) for bicycles to achieve the level of use that is occurring in a city such as Copenhagen. European cities were laid out centuries before modern transportation systems and as such have always been amenable to technologies like transit systems and not surprisingly bicycles. Its the main reason that they have had such high use numbers-the systems can be built cost effectively. American cities have by and large had most of their infrastructure built during the age of the automobile. It is one of the reasons that transit has such a poor level of use in the US.

While an increase in cycling is likely (and a very good thing), current research and trends in the automobile are likely to improve its viability not decrease it. One example, is the inclusion of intelligence/networking in car GPS systems. By linking condition information back to individual cars, research projects have already shown a vast potential to decrease commute times and also congestion. In the longer term, the research into "automatic driving" systems have the potential to not only increase capacities and thereby reduce commute times, they have the added benefit of giving to the personal transport vehicle the greatest benefit of the transit vehicle--the ability to do something useful while commuting. That could be as simple as reading a book or it could include turning commute time into working time.

Frankly, the only thing I could foresee that would greatly reduce the reliance on cars in the US is a major economic collapse. Frankly that is not something anyone should wish for, the consequences will, by and large, not be pretty.

Planners rely on past acts to estimate the likelihood of future behavior. It is simply the only reliable way to get what is needed in time for its need. If you have some other way of predicting the future in as reliable a way (and with as proven a track record) then by all means share it! The industry would shower you in laurels.
1. Yes, it remains to be seen how effective Complete Streets ordinances will be. Mainly it depends on closely cyclists, pedestrians, and others monitor their own local areas. You have a very fatalistic or organic way of looking at social change. I come from an activist background. I believe that humans don't just sit around waiting for change. As a species, we make change happen. We can't help this, it is our nature. The interesting part is, will we use our brains to make rational changes that increase overall happiness? Or will we allow a few strong-willed individuals and small power groups to make changes that benefit only themselves?

2. I've often wondered, in these automated traffic control systems (which have been forecast for at least 40 years that I know of) what will be the place for bicycles and pedestrians? Or will everybody be required to use a car on these automated roadways of the future? It seems that if you have systems that allow cars to move at high speeds while the drivers read a book, bikes would just gum up the works. Also, if one thing Americans like about their cars is the sense of freedom yhey have while driving, will they be happy driving on roads that automatically determine their rate and direction of travel? Maybe they'll abandon these freedom-crushing automatic roadways in favor of the freedom of the bicycle?
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Old 10-08-10, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
I see you have never been to LAX on a bike either. And I will bne happy to read about the CicLavia event but I am not interested in attending the event. I been to LA and I know the streets so it holds no charm for me. I might attend the Citrus Classic in Riverside however.
I look forward to seeing the "old neighborhood" as my family once lived in many of the communities lining the route of the the CicLavia itself. My parents abandoned East Hollywood, Westlake, Downtown, and even East Los Angeles properties each time the criminal elements took over these same streets. With such solidarity, I will be able to enjoy these old communities as it should be safe enough again to have another closer look. I was small when we left, and the same houses & landmarks are still there waiting to be enjoyed by myself.

I don't expect Los Angeles to ever give up the famous addiction to the car. I just want the opportunity to see Los Angeles again as it was before "progress" nearly destroyed the city & surrounding communities.

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Old 10-08-10, 07:50 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
The assumptions you are making may be because you have never attended a city council meeting in the LA area or have never seen how many car events a place like LA has and how much money such events bring to the city. If you did you would realize hardly anyone, well maybe 1 in a 100, is even slightly interested in riding from Downtown LA to the beach or LA harbor. Downtown LA to Santa Monica may only be 16 miles by bike but it takes way more than an hour. And it would take more than an hour to get back in the afternoon. The more popular beach area would be Redondo, Hermosa and that is more than 21 miles away. About two hours from the speed most seem to travel in this forum. Families simply arenít interested is traveling that distance by bike. And when you suggest pulling money from parking, mass transit or road repair to fund bike lanes or bike paths you will be talked down in little or no time.
The second point you seem to miss is people in LA donít care all that much for walking let alone riding a bike. Just look up the average distance someone walks a year in LA and you will see that if it isnít part of their specific exercise program most arenít interested. The questions a cycling advocate has to answer at these meetings needs to take into account, will it be as comfortable as a car? LA busses have to advertise air conditioning.
If we have learned nothing else from Madison avenue we should have learned that modern people want easier, faster, more comfortable a lot more than they want traditional and simpler. No multiply that by two and you have LA. Yes they want less traffic but that is because they would like to see the speed limits increased so they can get from one end of LA to another in less time. They would like to see the speed limits on the freeways bumped to 70MPH. If you lived in the same area of LA as I started with you have the 5, 10, 110, 101, 105, 210, 405, 605, and 710 freeways closer than the same beaches I mentioned earlier.
I believe some politicians are interested in creating a more cycling friendly environment in LA. I just donít believe there are enough people interested in coming to work and having to shower before they start to increase bicycling commuting to even the most liberal definition of car free.

My skepticism doesnít come from not wanting to see more cycling friendly infrastructure. It comes from talking to people face to face and seeing the look in their eye when you suggest they might want to cycle to Santa Monica from Union Station. Better yet to hear the complaints when you propose a bicycle lane on a street that has curb side parking for businesses. At my last meeting in our little community the business owner told the city council members if people canít park in front of their business then they will simply go to the mall and he will have to shut down. They agreed and we were voted down, again. Just so you know I worked for 18 years in Commerce and they were no more receptive than where I live now. To me it is more than theory it is practical application.
Bek has made the point well, but i want to add a little. I think nobody is more aware than angelenos how broken the current traffic infrastructure in America is. Even the diehard motorists know there is something wrong with a system where you spend nearly as much time standing still or driving much below the speed limit due to traffic congestion. I don't think bikes are the total answer by any means. But they can help. And peo;e can learn to like and respect bikes, if they're a) ginen a friendly little nudge, and b) given streets that are designed to include bikes as well as other modes. Certainly, experimenting with bike facilities in some sections of LA would be cheaper and quicker than the automated roadways that myrridin proposes. And also cheaper, and more likely to preserve quality of life, than putting in additional freeways, or increasing capacity on the existing freeways.

I want to put the ball back in your court. Do you accept that the current traffic infrastructure is badly flawed if not broken? Do you accept that government should try to improve quality of life by facilitating better transportation in LA? What do you think is a better solution than integrating other modes into the existing streets?
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