Tag Archive for Doug Moore

Guest Post: Another open letter to the Los Angeles City Council #CrashCityHall

Recently, I announced my intention to #CrashCityHall this Friday to demand safer streets.

And invited anyone who’s just as mad as I am about the needless risks bike riders and pedestrians face on our streets — and the lack of action from city leaders — to join me. And tell the mayor and city council to show have courage the courage to do the right thing. 

Since many people can’t attend a 10 am city council meeting, I’m accepting letters from people who can’t make it, but still want to have their opinions passed on to the council members at the meeting. 

Here’s the second of those #CrashCityHall letters, from Doug Moore.

………

May 18th, 2018

To Mayor Garcetti and all Los Angeles City Council members,

I write you today in an effort to get you to start thinking about how dangerous our car culture has become in Los Angeles. And to urge you, our city leaders, to implement ways to make our streets more safe for all that use them.

In so doing, these changes will bring other qualities such as reduced car noise, nicer public spaces, better air quality and stress free walking, cycling, jogging and dog walking –and yes, driving.

Being a cyclist, I am very aware of how badly our streets and boulevards have suffered because of the amount and speed of traffic.

I live in Tujunga, CD7, Council Member Monica Rodriquez district. Each morning, I bike a short way on Foothill Blvd to board LADOT Express Bus 409 to DTLA.

I de-bus at the Glendale Park & Ride, prep my bike then cycle 13 miles to my office at USC.

I travel through Glendale, to Eagle Rock Blvd/Cypress Ave (Council District 14, Jose Huizar) to the Broadway Bridge into Chinatown (Council district 1, Gil Cedillo) to Hill street, then to Olympic Blvd then Figueroa (Council District 9, Curren Price) and finally to campus. In the afternoon I reverse this trip – with a slightly different route. On Fridays I drive.

I would like to provide the following undisputable facts, that come from years of this type of cycling, this type of intimacy with traffic, this type of exposure to our roadways:

  • Our streets are more dangerous than they have ever been – mostly because of excess speed.
  • Drivers are more distracted than ever before in our city’s history.
  • Motorists are driving while smoking weed. Alot!
  • Many drivers are attentive and share the road. But there is a disturbing trendwhere higher numbers of drivers are doing just the opposite.
  • Painted cycling infrastructure such as “Sharrows”, striped lanes, colored lanes,pedestrian crosswalk demarcation & similar are often seen as ‘optional’ for motorists.We all know about the latest trend of motorist hit-and-run tragedies. These have left other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists severely injured or dead.Here in Tujunga, in April, a DOUBLE FATIL hit and run occurred on Foothill Blvd. The driver, as of this writing, has yet to be apprehended. An innocent couple, engage to be married have perished from our community.

Where has this selfish, narcissistic attitude from drivers come from?

We all know about the speed of traffic on major roads and boulevards is dangerous even at legal limits, but when most drivers are 10, 15, or even 20 mph above and beyond, the danger level is unacceptable.

Where does this need-to-speed attitude come from?

We all know about the horrible traffic congestion in our city and how it continually downgrades the quality of life here. We skip get-togethers. We forgo dinners and kids sports and other social engagements across town – because “the traffic getting to the Westside from Eagle Rock is a nightmare”.

It’s not funny anymore. It’s a serious soul-sucking way of life in our city. Why have we surrendered our social connections and quality of life?

The answer to all these is the same: Our run-away, out-of-control car culture. We’ve reached “peak-car” in our city.

I know that you, leaders of this city, who are smart and insightful and understanding, know this too. You can see it as we all do.

We must start to make changes. I don’t have all the answers, but there are ideas out there that organically reduce traffic speeds. That help separate cars from people walking. Jogging. Cycling. Walking the dog. That make our public roadways safer for everyone who uses them, including motorists.

Widen the sidewalks, not freeways. Add separated bike lanes, not car lanes. Make streets and boulevards pleasant. Green with more trees and shade. More quiet to provide a nice place to shop. To hang-out with neighbors. To read on a bench.

As far as safety, traffic cops at critical intersections help so much! Intersections are where many of the dangers lie for cars vs walkers and bikers. I love seeing these guys when approaching an intersection, whether by car or on bike. Everyone is instantly on best behavior and courteous.

Getting buy-in and approval on these changes is the hard part, of course. Motorists tend to seethe at reduced speeds and “perceived” increase in commute times. Reduced lanes. Less parking. But this is the right direction for Los Angles. The right thing to do in your district.

We’ve tried over and over to increase the car infrastructure thinking that these projects would help. Did widening the 405 Fwy really help? What a huge, expensive, time consuming project.

It’s time to swing the other way on transportation projects. Less “car-centric”, more “people-centric”. Motorists are people too, and they’ll appreciate these changes.

When faced with options in difficult circumstances such as this, an upside is this: it’s always easy to pick out the correct option. It’s the one that tends to be avoided. It’s the one we put at the bottom of the list. It’s the one that’s the hardest.

Why? Because the right thing to do is always the hardest thing to do. That’s a fact of human nature.

I know you are thinking: “Change the car-culture, yeah, right.” But it can be done. In bits and pieces. You will gain converts. It can build momentum and you must try, as lives of our residents are depending on safe passage to work, school and the market.

In the book “Profiles of Courage”, check out the examples of other great leaders, who have acted bravely. Acted with integrity. Gone against the opinions of their constituents to do the right thing.

As a cyclist (yes and a motorist too) I am growing weary of seeing yet more Ghost Bike installations that signify the death of a fellow rider.

As a motorist, I’m continually saddened and outraged to see yet another makeshift memorial of candles, Crosses and flowers where a Mom or Dad or son or daughter or young couple was killed in a crosswalk.

We can do better and am counting on you all to have the courage to do so.

Thank you for your time today. Be brave. Do the right thing. And finally, a reminder that it’s Bike Month. Get out and ride. You’ll be glad you did.

Sincerely,

Doug Moore, cyclist, motorist, pedestrian, resident

………

If you can’t #CrashCityHall on Friday, email a letter demanding safer streets for bicyclists, pedestrians and everyone else to ted at bikinginla dot com by this Wednesday.

I’ll print them out and include them with the packages we’re giving each councilmember and the mayor containing copies of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing.

A couple quick tips:

  • If you can, try to work in the theme of our protest by asking them to have the courage to do the right thing.
  • Mention what council districts you live, work or ride in.
  • Stress that safer streets benefit everyone, whether on bikes, on foot or in cars.
  • Feel free to (politely) express whatever anger or fear you may be feeling
  • Demand they take immediate action to protect us all

And let me know if it’s okay to share your letter on here. I’ll be happy to put it online as a guest post leading up to Friday’s council meeting.

Morning Links: People for Bikes touts illegal ebike route, MyFig happening, and Bike the Vote says no on C

That ebike ride could end up putting you behind bars.

Jimmy Mac forwards word that People For Bikes recommends riding your ebike on the 21.5-mile Big Topanga Loop in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The only problem is that ebikes have been banned on the loop for nearly a year. Which means following their suggestion could get you up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

He reports he’s been in contact with the organization, and been promised that it would be removed from their site. But as if this weekend, it’s still there.

Let’s hope they have a good attorney on retainer for anyone who follows their suggestion.

………

Doug Moore sends word that concrete changes are finally starting to take place with the long-delayed MyFigueroa project on South Figueroa. (As opposed to the long-delayed Figueroa for All project on North Figueroa.)

Just a heads up that there’s been less talk and more action regarding the MyFig project, especially between USC from the south to Olympic to the north.

The far right lane in each direction has changed: no parking. At all. Now it’s just a regular driving lane.  For cyclists – this is sort of worse than it was before, but will get better once they get to the part of the project that includes installation of the bike lanes.

I cycle this section several times a week to get to my office on campus, and wow, the drivers are not used to getting stuck behind cyclists. I seem to be pissing off a lot of motorists since this change.

The other thing is new paint/striping/lines on the north bound side. Now, it’s one lane for cars. One. Wow, are motorists really pissed now. All the other lane space has been re-striped for the upcoming bus stop islands.

So it’s a little tense out there until everybody gets used to this new flow.

………

Bike the Vote LA takes a stand on Measure C in the May 16 General Election, urging a no vote on the measure that would actually reduce accountability for police officers under the guise of increasing civilian oversight.

………

More fallout in the ongoing tribulations of bike-friendly CD1 candidate Joe Bray-Ali, who tries to get ahead of any further news links by revealing that he’s had affairs, and owes $48,000 in back taxes for his Flying Pigeon LA bike shop.

But he vows to press on in his bid to defeat incumbent Gil Cedillo, who must be twirling his imaginary mustache like Snidely Whiplash.

………

Sad news, as 21-year old pro cyclist Chad Young died from injuries he received falling on a steep descent in the Tour of Gila last Sunday. VeloNews talks to people who remember the young rider; even before his death, the pro peloton struggled with news of his injuries.

Irish pro Nicholas Roche considers the recent deaths of Young and Michele Scarponi, noting that riders have just a helmet and a thin layer of Lycra to protect them, and sometimes that’s not enough.

Sunday marked the 11th annual Dana Point Grand Prix.

The Redlands Bicycle Classic stage race will kick off this Wednesday.

A British paper tells the story of Alfonsina Strada, the only woman to race in the Giro d’Italia.

………

Local

A book website talks with LA’s bike-riding librarian.

The West Hollywood city council will consider the city’s new Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan at tonight’s meeting. Hopefully, they won’t approve it, then ignore it like most cities seem to do.

A Pasadena man was whacked in the head with an electrical box as he tried to ride away following a dispute with a man in a hardware store.

No bias here. My News LA says Pomona police are planning to celebrate Bike Month by cracking down on scofflaw cyclists. Except that’s not what the story from City News Service actually says, or what the police will be doing.

The Long Beach Report offers photos from Saturday’s Beach Streets University, where they estimate 10,000 people turned out for the open streets event. Note to LBR: It’s ciclovías, not “cylovias.”

A bike train by any other name. Manhattan Beach kids will be encouraged to join a “cycling school bus” as part of the city’s Bike to School Day on Wednesday.

 

State

Streetsblog asks how we can get Orange County’s many progressive transportation plans off the shelf and onto the streets.

Newport Beach wants you to be a roll model during May’s Bike Month.

Chula Vista held its first open streets event on Sunday.

Oddly, a Ramona hit-and-run driver doesn’t appear to have been arrested yet, even though witnesses followed the driver home after s/he hit a cyclist, and watched as the garage door was closed.

A Palm Springs city councilman says the planned CV Link bike path will be an asset for the Coachella Valley, and that cities that have pulled out of the project will come to regret it.

A Big Bear paper calls Big Bear Lake the cycling capital of Southern California. To which virtually every other cycling hotspot would beg to differ.

A Victorville bike rider was collateral damage when a driver stopped to let him cross the road and was rear-ended by another car, knocking it into him.

The Walgreens/People for Bikes Ride for Red Nose kicked off from Santa Barbara yesterday.

Sad news from Half Moon Bay, where a trail of debris led police to a driver who fled after killing a bike rider, dragging the bike underneath his car to a house a mile away.

San Francisco’s Bay Bridge finally opens to bike riders and pedestrians seven days a week, as long as they’re willing to settle for going just halfway across.

Here’s something you don’t see every day. San Francisco reconsiders plans for a protected bike lane after a massive public outcry. No, to keep it.

The Napa Valley paper says it’s Bike Month, so let’s get out there and ride.

 

National

A new US study shows walking significantly increases blood flow to the brain, to a greater degree than bicycling. That does not, however, mean that walking is better for your overall health than bicycling, despite the breathless headline.

An economics website gives a wrongheaded nod to the deadly 85th Percentile Law, which allows speeding drivers to set their own speed limits, while failing to mention that higher speeds might be safer for drivers in some cases, but increases the danger for everyone else on or near the roads.

The LA Times looks at Portland’s efforts to make their bikeshare more accessible for handicapped users. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

An eight-year old boy born without most of his right arm is able to ride a bike for the first time, thanks to a team of students from the University of Iowa who built a special prosthetic arm and socket attached to his handlebars.

Once again, business owners shoot themselves in the foot by opposing protected bike lanes in Minneapolis, even though studies show added business from bike riders and pedestrians usually more than makes up for the loss of parking spaces.

Someone placed a memorial plaque on the site where a very much alive Ohio cyclist pulled an endo after hitting a squirrel, leading to a mystery as local officials tried to figure out what the heck happened there.

In a massive clusterfuck, a New York judge a) bases his judgment for a killer driver on an inaccurate preliminary report, b) apologizes to the driver, and c) rudely berates the victim’s mother when she tried to point out the mistake. Needless to say, d) the cop assigned to the case who promised to show up, didn’t.

New York police respond to killer drivers by cracking down on bike riders who dare venture outside the bike lanes.

Delaware’s former governor plans to ride across the US to benefit state organizations serving local youth, and encourage citizens of the state to be more active.

An education website profiles the South Carolina teacher who raised funds to buy every kid in her school a new bicycle.

A Florida woman hopes it will send a message to other drivers after she’s awarded $4 million in the death of her husband as he rode his bike in 2012.

 

International

A British Columbia driver gets eight well-deserved years for the drunken crash that killed two bicyclists, as well as the passenger in his own car.

A Winnipeg city councilor calls a new bike and pedestrian bridge a game changer that will dramatically improve safety.

Once again, a British lord blames London’s bike lanes for causing pollution. Not all those big, dangerous machines that spew smog out their butts, or the people who insist on driving them.

A “keen cyclist” won’t be riding again anytime soon after his wife got tired of UK thieves stealing his bike for the third time in six months. Although you’d think after the second time he’d stop leaving it in the garage.

More proof that people are the same everywhere, as Beirut drivers are already parking on the city’s one-week old bike lane. Meanwhile, bikeshare has opened in the city, even though users have to compete with aggressive motorists for road space.

 

Finally…

Evidently, when you’re a big star, you get stuck with the crappiest bike. As if watching out for trucks on the streets wasn’t bad enough, now we have to worry about them falling from the sky.

And who knew Earth Day was a leftist scam conducted by “self-appointed shamans” of “alleged ethnicity?”

They’re on to us, comrades. And our alleged ethnicities.

 

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