LA Magazine Takes a Glance at Bike Culture

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Photo by Dustin Snipes for LA Magazine

Los Angeles Magazine takes a long hard look at our burgeoning and growing bike scene.  Writer  Matthew Segal rides the rides and talks to the people who make up the menagerie that is biking in Los Angeles.

The main piece, Spokespeople, talks to many people that any regular Streetsblog reader should be familar.  Segal rides CRANK MOB, Critical Mass and a bunch of the other social rides that make up the scene.  Segal notes the growing popularity of these rides, and the corresponding growth in bike commuting and other daylight activities.

Spokespeople also goes into the politics of bike riding and spends over half the article talking about Stephen Box, Alex Thompson and the difference between the tactics that people in the movement employ.  If you’re a rider who wants to get as much into the people and personalities of the movement, Spokespeople is a must-read.

The other articles focus on the different organizations that round out the movement:

  • Road Rules is sort of a hybrid article between the Cyclists Bill of Rights and the rules and laws by which we should apply.
  • Repairs looks at the bike co-ops, for any of you that missed the video.
  • Want to Ride breaks down the largest and best known of LA’s group rides.
  • Cycling the Links gives a list of some of the best places to get news on bikes and bike culture.

First the Wall Street Journal, now LA Magazine.  Is this a sign that the Bike Movement is finally going mainstream?  Once the press is on board, it’s only a matter of time before the pols follow.

  • For bicyclists interests to move forward, we need a focused agenda and wish list for change. Otherwise, we get wonderful symbolic victories like endorsement of the Cyclists Bill of Rights, but no substantive changes in the way the City is run.

    My suggestion for a platform:

    -Bring social science into the fold of transportation engineering by measuring more than just car throughput on streets during routine street maintenance and studies

    -Amend city, county, and MTA policies that restrict bicycles from transportation funding, or mis-define bicycle projects as a non-transportation related

    -Take General Fund money and put it toward an extensive bikeways network ($3 to $10 million per year towards construction and planning).

    A big focus should be put on allowing bicycle projects, transit projects, and car projects to be interchangeable (it’s all transportation, right?), but to add measurements of all projects that weighs car projects negatively due to increases in deaths, air pollution, negative social and local commercial impacts, etc.

  • Yes Josef! This is the kind of platform I want to rally bicyclists around at the upcoming bike summit on March 9th!
    http://la.streetsblog.org/2008/12/08/mark-your-calendars-and-get-involved-bike-summit-coming-this-spring/

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