Dear Mayor Garcetti and City Council of LA,
In an effort to “be the change you want to see in the world,” I sold my car ten years ago and have since used my own feet, a bicycle, or the transit system to get around. While the results of this have brought the most rewarding experiences of my life, it has also been a struggle to live without a car in a car’s world.
Drivers are becoming increasingly more distracted, careless, unsympathetic and enraged. These behaviors cause not only car accidents but the deaths of cyclists and pedestrians, who travel without the protection of metal armor. Why do drivers feel so entitled to the roads? Why is this set of traits common in the majority of car owners? It’s easy to see the answer on the streets – they’re designed specifically for cars. With lanes designated for driving, turning and parking, there’s often no space left for a bicycle to squeeze through. And pedestrians must be defensive even when walking through a crosswalk with a walk signal. Drivers are impatient to share the road when they believe it belongs to them.
Every time you see a cyclist in the streets of LA, please understand the fear we’ve overcome to be there. Please know that we have been spit at, screamed at, sworn at, had objects thrown at us, been told to “get off the road,” have had way too many “close calls,” or have lost a fellow cyclist to careless driving or road rage. And yet we’re still out there. As pedestrians and cyclists we’ll continue to defend our space on the streets, but we would truly appreciate some help from our representatives. Please take some steps to create streets that belong to everyone. A city’s priorities are evident in it’s infrastructure and use of public space. If you, dear City Council Members, were to add more bike lanes, create some road diets, invest in green spaces instead of parking lots – think of the message you’d send.
Pico-Union, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Join us tomorrow as we #CrashCityHall to demand safer streets, and urge city leaders to have the courage to do the right thing.
- Los Angeles City Council
- Los Angeles City Hall
- 200 N. Spring Street
- 10 am