I’m not much on looking back.
A time when many people take a long look at the year’s highlights, or lowlights, as the case may be. And try to wrap the year up in a tidy little bow.
I’m not going to go there.
Sure, it’s been an interesting year, from the Bike Summit and 5th Council District election, through the proposed bike plan and the Good Doctor’s trial and conviction. And a year that’s seen the average daily readership of this blog increase over 500% from this time last year.
For which I sincerely thank you.
But for me, the past is just that. Take a look at what happened, learn whatever you can from it, then leave it behind.
And get on with your life.
Still, I was truly honored today when L.A. Streetsblog recognized this blog for getting the candidates in the CD5 race on record for supporting cycling in L.A. — support that the eventual winner, Council Member Paul Koretz, clearly demonstrated in the recent bike-only Transportation Committee meeting.
Although I have to agree with Streetsblog’s Damien Newton that the job Stephen Box did in getting virtually every candidate in the 2nd District race to endorse the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights was truly amazing. And probably would have gotten my vote, as well.
I was also humbled by a recent comment Joe Linton made on Streetsblog expressing appreciation for my own work on this blog — both because of what he had to say, and because I truly believe Joe has done more than anyone else to promote cycling in Los Angeles and make this a better, more livable city for all of us.
But I’d rather look forward than back. So here are my priorities for the coming year, in no particular order:
Improved police training, so police officers can enforce the law and investigate cycling accidents fairly and without bias — intentional or otherwise. And develop a better, two-way relationship between cyclists and police.
Adoption of an effective Los Angeles bicycle anti-harassment ordinance.
A workable bike plan that has the support of cyclists and city government, and improves upon the still-unimplemented 1996 plan. And more importantly, one that the city is actually committed to building.
Reorganization of the Bikeways department to give it real authority within the LADOT; otherwise moving Bikeways out of LADOT, either under the mayor or to another department that will actually support its efforts.
Adoption of a statewide Bike Safety Bill, including a minimum three-foot passing distance and banning the failure to see a cyclist as a defense for any accident or infraction, along with statewide adoption of the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights.
Reintroduction and passage of AB766, the Safe Streets Bill, which would allow cities to halt the mandatory increase in speed limits on streets where the majority of drivers speed.
Increase the penalties for hit-and-run drivers, including automatic revocation of the driver’s license and seizure of the vehicle for the first offense.
Ensure that every candidate for public office is on the record as to whether or not they support cycling prior to any election.
Educate cyclists and drivers about bicycle law, cyclists’ rights and safe riding practices, as well as how to share the road in a safe and mutually courteous manner.
So what are your cycling priorities for 2010?
Joe Linton notes small improvements on the Arroyo Seco Bike Path (sorry Joe, that’s only two mentions today). A driver in the Valley demonstrates the latest rack for transporting multiple bikes. The Dept. of D.I.Y. provides missing signage for the Bay Area’s first bike box. Bostonist hates fixies and everything they stand for. A rider in America’s most dangerous state for cycling endorses Road ID for reasons that should be obvious. A more in-depth look at turning the streets over to Indonesian cyclists on New Years Eve. UK constables employ decoy bikes to catch thieves red-handed, while Bristol’s city center may be car-free within five years. Finally, that amazing cyclist from the popular You Tube video is about to go Hollywood in a major action film.
Have a Happy New Year! But whatever you do New Years Eve, please do it carefully — I want to see every reader back here again in 2010.