No Morning Links today, as we get ready to #CrashCityHall Friday morning. Hopefully we’ll see you there; if not, I’ll see you back here on Monday.
What follows is my letter the mayor and city council. And we’ll feature some of the late arriving letters next week.
May 18, 2018
Dear Mayor Garcetti and the City Councilmembers of the City of Los Angeles,
Howard Beale may have been a fictional character, but he might as well be a citizen of Los Angeles trying to survive on our deadly streets.
Because like many other residents of this great city, I’m tired of living in fear for my own life and the safety of others on the streets and sidewalks of L.A.
And like Beale, we’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore.
We live in a city where for too long, the movement of motor vehicles has been prioritized over the safety and movement of human beings. To the point that too many people who drive feel they own the streets, and everyone else has an obligation to get out of their way.
Unfortunately, too many members of our city council seem to agree. If not in their words, then by their actions.
The elected leaders of this city have voted to adopt Vision Zero, but failed to adequately fund it. You’ve adopted the 2010 Bike Plan and Mobility Plan 2035, but failed to build it. You’ve adopted Complete Streets policies, but failed to support them when it came time to put paint on the street.
And you hired one of the leading traffic planners in the United States, but you listen instead to the complaining voices of untrained motorists who don’t want to be delayed for a few moments on their commute. Even if it means saving the life of another human being. Or their own, for that matter.
As Stevie Wonder put it, “If you really want to hear our views, you haven’t done nothing.”
So let’s be perfectly clear.
Many, if not most, of the people you were elected to represent may drive cars. But we are all human beings, some of whom bike, some of whom take transit, and all of whom walk.
And none of whom want to bury a loved one or feel threatened on the streets. Yet too many of us do, every day.
As a human being, I don’t want to see one more needless death or injury on the streets of Los Angeles. As a taxpayer, I don’t want my city to waste one more penny on the needless lawsuits that result.
And as an Angeleno, I want safer and more livable streets for all of us.
When you side with the traffic safety deniers, who like climate change deniers, reject the proven science of traffic safety and urban planning, and insist on their right to drive with the pedal to the metal, you are choosing their convenience over the safety of literally everyone else.
And failing the people who voted you into office, and who you were elected to serve.
The people who have written the letters in this packet, and those who will speak before the council today, are not activists. We are the citizens of Los Angeles, who are sick to death of being treated like second class ones at the expense of motor vehicles.
We know that failure to take action now to build Complete Streets and provide safe, viable alternatives to driving that allow Angelenos to choose to leave their cars at home will inevitably lead to a dystopian, smog-choked and gridlocked future.
Because right now, traffic in Los Angeles is as good as it will ever be, as more and more cars are added to an already built-out traffic grid.
Only you can prevent the inevitable failure of a once-great city by taking action right now to ensure the safe, livable and prosperous Los Angeles we all want.
We understand that takes courage to do the right thing in the face of public opposition. But you weren’t elected to blindly follow the voices of those who scream loudest.
Anyone could do that.
You were elected to lead this city. To carefully examine the issues and make the tough decisions that will benefit your district, and all of L.A.. And make this the city that it can and should be, for all of us.
We are your constituents. We don’t want to be the victims of your inaction.
And we’re not willing to wait one more day for safer streets for our children, parents, families and friends.
So we ask you, today and every day, to have the courage to do the right thing.
We’ll have your back when you do.
Council District 4
One more brief note.
This may be the best letter we received for #CrashCityHall, even if it is the shortest.
Dear Los Angeles,
Please be so kind as to stop killing cyclists and pedestrians.