Westside Kids “Testify” on Bike Plan and Are Heard Across the Country

Today on the Streetsblog Network,
a story about some kids in Los Angeles who did their research and came
up with several good ideas about improving conditions for bicycle
commuters. Then they ran up against the reality that the public forums
on the city’s bike plan weren’t so public. But they didn’t let that
stop them.

Stephen Box at SoapBox LA reports:

The FIRSTteamWestside (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and
Technology) is a group of kids who prepared a presentation that they
intended to give at the Bike Plan (draft) workshops.

Their
mission was to develop a plan to improve local transportation. They did
the research and they prepared and they discovered that the public
workshops were not the robust public arena they desired, so they adapted.

Their
coach reports, "The kids were hoping to give a presentation at one of
the "public forums" but were badly disappointed when they found out
that members of the public would not be allowed to speak so they posted
it on YouTube and submitted the link at labikeplan.org."

The
kids give an amazingly articulate and informed statement, recommending
additional bike cars for the region’s commuter rail system. The future
is coming.

More from the network: The Transport Politic looks at the importance of aligning transitways with walkable neighborhoods. On Transport
discusses the concept of "lifestyle centers" and their aspirations to
create a sense of community in a suburban mall setting. And Intersection 911 reports on the 38 percent bump in Philadelphia bike commuting during the SEPTA strike.

  • This is really fantastic. I love it. Perhaps LA should consider having young students present their transportation ideas to a committee meeting? They are definitely some informed stakeholders who have done their research and formulated valuable ideas for the city to consider. I love it!

  • Their advisor Chris Johannesen contacted me a wiole back. They hoped to present their ideas at one of the Transit Advocates meeting but I guess the logistics of coordinating with parents etc. prevented it. When Christ later told me about the video they had put on YouTube I told him to let Streetsblog know about it. Glad to see they are receiving the level of attention this merits.

  • Once again:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mariaiop/2671620303/

    There are obviously loading/unloading issues regarding bike theft and the amount of time the train will spend at stops. This is, however, quite an effective way of extending the reach of mass transit via rail. The radius around a station that will be accessible to travelers can be doubled or tripled with better bike integration with mass transit.

    The policies set forth in the Bike Plan, and the mayor’s total lack of support for bicyclists, fall pretty damn short of what is needed. I hope these kids are taken seriously – they’ve obviously put in the time to present a viable idea.

  • One of the kids in the Video

    Thanks for all of the comments.

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