The world is on fire, and LA is lighting the match — demand the bike and bus lanes they promised us this afternoon!

Let’s go back to yesterday’s lead item.

As you’ll recall, we directed your attention to this afternoon’s 3 pm meeting of the LA City Council Transportation Committee, which will take up proposals for so-called Complete Street makeovers on Highland, La Brea and Culver.

Or rather, make that Incomplete Streets.

Because according to Streets For All’s Michael Schneider, there are currently no plans for bike lanes in any of the plans, despite what was promised in the 2010 bike plan, which was then downgraded, but still retained, in the city’s mobility plan.

Instead, the references to “bikeway striping” contained in the Highland Ave and La Brea Blvd plans probably just means sharrows, at most.

In other words, another attempt by city officials to thin the herd, with arrows conveniently painted on the street to help drivers improve their aim when they come up behind us.

In the 2010 bike plan, both Highland and La Brea were key components of the vaunted Backbone Network, designed to provide people on bicycles with the same sort of convenient and efficient cross-city routes drivers have long come to expect.

But in the mobility plan, which we were told would directly incorporate the already approved bike plan, they were instead downgraded to Tier 3 bike lanes, meaning they’re not likely to be built before the plan expires in 2035.

Or ever, in all likelihood.

The truth is, the city never had any intention of actually building them, now or in the foreseeable future. Despite adopting them by a unanimous vote of the city council.

Just another example of city officials lying to the second most vulnerable group of people on our streets.

And absolutely shameful at a time when California and our world is literally on fire, and despite the future ambassador to India mayor proposed Green New Deal to save the planet.

Yeah, good luck with that.

Because if we don’t have the political will to stripe a slightly inconvenient bike lane, we’re sure all hell not going to make the tough choices needed to make a significant dent in LA’s carbon footprint.

To make matters worse, the proposed La Brea Complete Street was supposed to include a dedicated bus lane. But city staffers have proposed removing that, apparently because they don’t want to inconvenience the people in the highly inefficient, planet destroying cars.

The future — and all of us — be damned.

We need to let the council that sharrows aren’t good enough, and we want the damn bike lanes they promised us. Along with a dedicated bus lane on La Brea’s busy transit corridor.

And every other major transit corridor, for that matter.

And we want them now. Not some far off hazy date in the future when no one is likely to object, which will probably never come.

Because we can no longer afford to surrender our streets, our world, and our lives at the altar of the motor vehicle.

………

Speaking of Streets For All, Schneider has forwarded instructions on how to comment this afternoon, along with a comment template to put into your own words.

Although personally, while I agree with comment below, I think it’s much too mild. I’m mad as hell, and I plan to let the councilmembers know that.

And I plan to demand action on the Highland bike lane, as well as a bus lane on La Brea, which could be shared by anyone on a bike brave enough to let a bus driver run up his or her ass.

Because it’s long past time to stop accepting their mealy-mouthed environmental promises, and demand that they start living up to them.

Starting right effing now.

Motion: build a “Complete Street” on La Brea by ignoring the Mobility Plan’s bus lane

Committee: Transportation

If you can call in and make public comment live, the meeting is on Tuesday, August 17 at 3pm. Call 1 669 254 5252, use Meeting ID No. 161 750 5079#. Press # again when prompted for participant ID. Once admitted into the meeting, press *9 to request to speak.

You are commenting on Item 11 (La Brea bus lane) – talking points below

If you can’t call in live -> 

Public comment link: https://cityclerk.lacity.org/publiccomment/?cfnumber=17-0950-S2

Template (please customize in your own words and be sure to enter your city and zip code at the end):

Dear City Council,

I am very discouraged that in 2021, with the UN telling us that we are facing a climate catastrophe, my City Council is building what they call complete streets that don’t include facilities for buses or bikes. We cannot meet our climate goals without including realistic alternatives to the car – and electric vehicles are neither a silver bullet, nor will they come quickly enough to dramatically reduce emissions.

Specifically as to the “complete street” you are considering building on La Brea, you mention in the report that the street has a bus lane per the 2035 Mobility Plan. However, you then go on to say that you are suggesting we ignore our own plan, and rebuild the street without the bus lane. I do not want my tax dollars to only go to car infrastructure, it is time we think about multi modality. I ask that if you proceed with the La Brea project, that you build the bus lane as is intended in the City’s own Mobility Plan, and further that you instruct the Bureau of Engineering to follow the mobility plan going forward. It is no longer an option to ignore it. Our planet is counting on your leadership.

Thank you,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR CITY AND ZIP CODE]

………

Streets For All has also provided instructions and templates to comment on proposals to curb illegal street racing and exhaust noise at tomorrow’s Public Safety Committee meeting.

Motion: to re-design streets to prevent illegal street racing

Motion: to crack down on illegal exhaust noise.

Committee: Public Safety

If you can call in and make public comment live, the meeting is on Wednesday, August 18 at 330pm. Call 1 669 254 5252, use Meeting ID No. 161 586 7607#. Press # again when prompted for participant ID. Once admitted into the meeting, press *9 to request to speak.

You are commenting on Item 8 (re-design streets to prevent illegal street racing) and Item 10 (crack down on illegal exhaust noise) – talking points below.

If you can’t call in live ->

Street racing issue:

Public comment link: https://cityclerk.lacity.org/publiccomment/?cfnumber=21-0870

Template (please customize in your own words and be sure to enter your city and zip code at the end):

Dear City Council,

Our streets in Los Angeles are designed like highways – they are extremely wide, and when drivers feel like they have a wide open road, they tend to drive faster. Street racing has become a particular problem in the city, taking advantage of our street design. I am highly supportive of the City re-designing streets to discourage bad behavior by drivers – including street racing. Specifically, I encourage the city to narrow lanes, add bus and bike lanes (these interventions can also calm speeding cars down), and add other things like speed tables and speed bumps, chicanes, and the timing of traffic lights that doesn’t allow for uninterrupted speeding traffic.

Thank you,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR CITY AND ZIP CODE]

Cracking down on illegal exhaust noise:

Public comment link: https://cityclerk.lacity.org/publiccomment/?cfnumber=20-1267

Template (please customize in your own words and be sure to enter your city and zip code at the end):

Dear City Council,

In my part of Los Angeles, I am kept awake by illegally loud exhaust noise. While I enjoy being in an urban environment, I didn’t sign up for living on a racetrack. California law limits motorcycles and vehicles to 80 decibels, and yet I often hear cars and motorcycles well beyond that. People seem to drive with these illegally modified exhaust systems with impunity. While I do not wish to see more armed police officers doing traffic enforcement, I ask that the city clamp down on the shops performing these illegal exhaust modifications. Solving this problem will create a more livable city.

Thank you,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR CITY AND ZIP CODE]

………

We’ll be back on Wednesday with our usual Morning Links to catch up on anything we missed today.

I wanted to make sure you got this in time to take action this afternoon. Because a couple dozen comments will be easily ignored.

A couple hundred won’t be.

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