In addition to witnessing LAPD fail a reality test, cyclists also got into a debate with the LADOT and City Planning over the Draft Bike Plan at yesterday’s City Council Transportation Committee Hearing. As regular readers already know, in late May a series of maps was released to the public, causing a round of jeers from many in the cycling community. Last week the maps and outreach plan were presented to the City Council Transportation Committee, and over four dozen cyclists pedaled Downtown for the 8:00 A.M. meeting to lodge their protests.
Yesterday, a smaller crowd was on-hand and Council Chair Wendy Greuel tried her best to keep the comments directed at the outreach plan and not the Bike Plan. A few speakers got their objections to the plan on the record, but the bulk of the comments were on the outreach plan’s deficiencies.
Unfortunately, so far there is no change to the outreach plan that was outlined back in May at a Bike Advisory Committee sub-committee meeting. There are four public workshops planned as well as hearings at the Planning Commission, Transportation Committee and City Council. The plan will also be presented at a special meeting of the Bike Advisory Committee and of course they will continue to collect comments at the website at labikeplan.org.
However, following testimony that the four locations for the workshops, Downtown, South LA, the Westside and San Pedro were insufficient and that it is downright strange not to have a hearing on the Eastside; a strange thing happened. Councilman Rosendahl asked how much it would cost to have another workshop and guaranteed he would find the money for it. Greuel followed up with a request that if there are other places that need workshops, people should submit them. Feel free to use the comments section, I’ll pass them on.
However, the complaints about the outreach also reached to the Internet outreach. Roadblock continued to press for a more interactive website, picture combining the current bike plan site with Midnight Ridazz; but was brushed off by city staff.
While the lowlight of the meeting was clearly the LAPD report, a sub-lowlight was a virtual no-show by Alta Planning and Design. Last week, Rosendahl demanded that the firm, which has gotten nearly half a million dollars in city funds, be at future Council hearings on the Bike Plan. While it’s true that local consultant Matt Benjamin was in the room, he was only identified at the end of the portion on the bike plan causing Greuel to grump, "It would have been nice to know he was here earlier" and for Stephen Box to ask for everyone to get a "do-over" in testimony since we should get a chance to hear from them.
Benjamin was never called on to testify.