Villaraigosa in Copenhagen: L.A. Needs to Do More for Bikes
Yesterday Mayor Villaraigosa gave an interview to KPCC, Southern California Public Radio, where he talked about what Los Angeles can do to be a more green city. CicLAvia has the mayor's comments about bicycles:
In the area of bicycling I’ve got to do a better job and the city’s got to do a better job… we’re planning to… close down some streets in the city. We’re going to give people, probably on a Sunday, an opportunity to just take over streets. Much as we took over the freeways you remember on the 110.
CicLAvia makes two quick observations: the Mayor sounds an awful lot like Professor Robert Gottlieb and second, it sounds an awful lot like the Mayor is committing to a "closed street" festival similar to Bogota's Ciclovia or New York's Summer Streets.
Now I know there's going to be a lot of skeptics that this means that the Mayor is suddenly going to become Mr. Bicycle. However, let's remember two things in this Season of Hope: exposure to a real bike town can have an impact on the previously uninitiated such as when then-Councilwoman Greuel witnessed Denver's temporary bike share program during the DNC in 2008 and came home a believer. Second, New York's Mayor Bloomberg, and then NYCDOT Commissioner Iris Weinshal, were Livable Streets villains until he made green transportation a priority and hired Janette Sadik-Khan.