No Streetsie Left Behind: Even More Awards for 2009
Best Community Plan
What do all of these plans have in common? They all reduce car dependency to increase capacity for other users. I'm in love with the idea of increasing space for cyclists and pedestrians around the Rose Bowl because of the magical "Car-Free Rose Bowl" event in 2008.
Panel's Pick: Park(ing) Day
My Pick: Eco-Village Street Closure, Street Party, Street Painting
I know what you're thinking. How in the world could I pick an unauthorized street closure sponsored by a small group of people over an event that featured hundreds of people setting up pocket parks around the city, two different group rides to all the spaces, and even an after party watching films outdoors?
I ended up going with the Eco-Village event for a couple of reasons. First, it was an event that was unique to 2009 and unique to Los Angeles. Second, it involved a lot of people from the surrounding community in an event that was both educational and fun.
Best L.A. Streetfilm
ArtCycle was one of the best rides I've ever been on, as tour guide Elson Trinidad lead a group of cyclists through the streets of East Hollywood. Advocacy was mixed with education, and Streetfilms' top camera, Clarence Eckerson, grabbed it all. Afterward, at the block party, Eric Garcetti fired up the troops and then there was dancing.
The City of Lights program is all about bike safety education and creating new advocates with a community that has a lot of bike riders, but not a lot of political clout of visibility with decision-makers, Los Angeles' immigrant community. Since arriving in Los Angeles, I've complaiend that the city does a poor job recognizing how many people travel without using personal automobile, but City of Lights is an attempt to really do something about it.
When I first went through the guest stories and picked the nominees, I thought for sure I would be picking between Browne's Freedom to Be Inclusive and Enci's A Woman's Comfort on Our Streets. Both deal with issues essential (yet under discussed) to the Livable Streets agenda, both are extremely well-written, and both brought an impassioned response from the community. The panel made my choice easy for me...they picked one, so I picked the other. If you haven't read either you should take a second to do so.
Honorable Mention:Bike Plan Enters "Civic Enragement" Stage, Bike Plan Justifies DIY Project on Fletcher Bridge, Long Beach's Leap Towards Livability, Good News for L.A., More Congestion and Higher Parking Fees