I have to admit. When I was told last week that LADOT had opened the "LADOT Bike Blog" I assumed it was a joke. After the creation of the Michelle Meowery twitter feed at the end of last year, and knowing how easy it is to open a wordpress blog; I assumed this was going to be another chance for everyone to get a laugh at LADOT Bikeways.
But that’s not the case. for the second time in recent months a local transportation agency that is regularly covered on Streetsblog has opened their own blog. In this case, the blog isn’t authored isn’t by a team of seasoned transportation writers, and no, it’s not written by Michelle Mowery. Instead, it’s a labor of love by an intern working with both the public relation’s office and LADOT Bikeways.
While LADOT professes pride in their new website, you can definitely see the differences between LADOT and Metro by looking at the resources put into the website. No link on the front of the LADOT website, but of course that site hasn’t been updated in years. I’m also not seeing any sign of an omni-present advertising campaign that we saw when The Source was launched. Heck, I write about LADOT bikeways as much as anyone, but I still had to read about the blog’s launch on Biking In L.A.
Of course, if LADOT really wants to support the blog, they should use it to announce some groundbreaking piece of good news to cyclists. How about using it to announce funding for the first bike boulevard in Los Angeles or the first protected bike lane in all of Los Angeles County?
Thus far, the tone of the blog is upbeat, and the themes (such as encouraging people to aggressively lock their bikes) are non-controversial. However, given the cries for better bike parking from members of the bike community on other blogs, I was surprised to see thos one dip its feet into bike parking issues so quickly.
But to really make waves, the LADOT Bike Blog is going to have to either cover ground breaking good news out of LADOT, which is out of the author’s control, or aggressively take on much of the criticism aimed at LADOT bikeways. A quick perusal of the comments section already shows some of the city’s bike bloggers griping about bikeways. And we’re only two posts in.
So, welcome to the blogroll and welcome to the Internet, LADOT Bike Blog. We’ll be reading and watching as you continue to develop your stories and your voice. Good Luck. I have a feeling you’re going to need it.